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Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone

– tekijä: Juli Berwald

Muut tekijät: Rachel Ivanyi (Kuvittaja)

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1858115,684 (3.36)6
A former ocean biologist describes how she rediscovered her passion for marine science while investigating the enigmatic jellyfish and what the species' unique physiologies can teach about engineering and environmental stability. "Jellyfish have been swimming in our oceans for well over half a billion years, longer than any other animal that lives on the planet. They make a venom so toxic it can kill a human in three minutes. Their sting--microscopic spears that pierce with five million times the acceleration of gravity--is the fastest known motion in the animal kingdom. Made of roughly 95 percent water, some jellies are barely perceptible virtuosos of disguise, while others glow with a luminescence that has revolutionized biotechnology. Yet until recently, jellyfish were largely ignored by science, and they remain among the most poorly understood of ocean dwellers. More than a decade ago, Juli Berwald left a career in ocean science to raise a family in landlocked Austin, Texas. But then jellyfish drew her back to the sea. Recent, massive blooms of billions of jellyfish have clogged power plants, decimated fisheries, and caused millions of dollars of damage. Driven by questions about how overfishing, coastal development, and climate change were contributing to a jellyfish population explosion, Juli embarked on a scientific odyssey. She traveled the globe to meet the biologists who devote their careers to jellies, hitched rides on Japanese fishing boats to see giant jellyfish in the wild, raised jellyfish in her dining room, and throughout it all marveled at the complexity of these alluring and ominous biological wonders. Gracefully blending personal memoir with crystal-clear distillations of science, Spineless is the story of how Juli learned to navigate and ultimately embrace her ambition, her curiosity, and her passion for the natural world. She discovers that jellyfish science is more than just a quest for answers. It's a call to realize our collective responsibility for the planet we share."--Dust jacket flaps.… (lisätietoja)
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» Katso myös 6 mainintaa

Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
nonfiction/biology.
Interesting and lots to be learned; I got to page 92 before deciding I might return to this later. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
So, this book might have been a bit lighter on the science of jellyfish then I would have liked, but the author tells a good story about how she got to the place where she had an actual "well, how did I get here" moment in her life, and rediscovered her vocation for science. About 55% jellyfish and the conduct of science, 40% the author's life story and travel writing, and 5% environmental advocacy. ( )
  Shrike58 | Jun 19, 2021 |
The taste of the jellyfish was so subtle as to be almost nothing at all. I ate some more. It was a tasty, light, savory salad. In spite of all my anxiety about buying, soaking, preparing, and then eating it, jellyfish was completely unremarkable.

I had a review typed up and the wi-fi crash at the library ate it, and I don't really feel like messing with this much more, so I'm going to go with pros and cons and be done with it.

Pros:

★ There is some nice jellyfish science in here.

★ Dr. Berwald does manage to meet some interesting people during her jellyfish obsession, including the woman who found the kraken and a woman who swims from Cuba to Miami.

★ It is actually more coherent than [b:The Soul of an Octopus|22609485|The Soul of an Octopus A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness|Sy Montgomery|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1425611143s/22609485.jpg|42099445], although I'm not sure more coherent comes out to better in this case.

Cons:

☆ There isn't nearly as much jellyfish science in here as I was expecting.

☆ The author spends far too much time navel gazing; her own struggle to find meaning as a fairly privileged middle aged woman just doesn't relate all that much to the jellyfish.

☆ The author also fails to do any actual journalism around the 'Save the oceans!' theme she seems to be trying to go after. A look at [b:The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History|17910054|The Sixth Extinction An Unnatural History|Elizabeth Kolbert|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1372677697s/17910054.jpg|25095506] would have served her very well, and I think if she had entered into some dialog with that book she might have had some interesting contributions to make.

☆ This is not so much a flaw, but the science doesn't actually answer the question she set out to address. (The question was 'Will jellyfish be the big winners after global warming and ocean acidification?') A refocusing might have been helpful.

☆ Overall, it comes across as a bland but breezy read with some nice jellyfish science thrown in. Jellyfish really deserve better.

( )
  amyotheramy | May 11, 2021 |
This book is more of the author's personal memoir than any type of science book about jellyfish. Berwald's enthusiasm for jellyfish is obvious and the writing style flows nicely. She includes some incredibly interesting information about the creatures, but there is simply too much personal "stuff" about her, her kids, her husband, her travel trips adn the people she meets to wade through. After a while the biographical pages became boring and wading through all the irrelevant "stuff" to get to the interesting jellyfish information became annoying.


If you are looking for actual science about jellyfish, try the wikipedia entry. If you like biography with some interesting jellyfish information, then you might like this book. ( )
1 ääni ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
Every chapter of this book seemed filled with stuff that astonished me. I didn't realize how little I knew about jellyfish before! The author is, quite simply, a woman who became enthralled with jellyfish. She read about them, watched documentaries, traveled to visit scientists who studied them and fishermen who caught them. She kept some in a special tank in her living room, and several times ate jellyfish- once cooking it herself. She took her family on detours during vacations to visit beaches where jellyfish had been sighted. And more. The details are mind-boggling. Jellyfish have a very complex and curious life cycle- and one species at least, is known to reverse the process. The way they physically move through the water is intriguing- so different from how we do that it's hard to understand. They can be incredibly fragile- literally dissolving away once in open air- and yet jellyfish blooms- when certain populations suddenly reach staggering numbers- can dramatically change local oceanic ecosystems, causing fish numbers to crash. Then there's the jellyfish toxins- their sting can be mildly irritating, or deadly. Jellyfish stinging cells move faster than anything- even the mantis shrimp, whose strike is so fast it literally makes the water boil. I'm boggled. I was also blown away by the verve the author had to follow her growing passion- she had a job in a different field, an everyday family life with kids- yet sought out people and events revolving around jellyfish, even sitting down at conferences about them. There's a lot in here not only about the physiology and mystery of jellyfish (so much we still don't know), but also what jellyfish indicate about ocean conditions, which throws light on what we are doing to the ecosystem. It's a book I'm very glad to have read, which has fired my mind with so many questions and curiosity for more.

from the DogearDiary ( )
  jeane | Feb 9, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu

» Lisää muita tekijöitä

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Juli Berwaldensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Ivanyi, RachelKuvittajamuu tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Han, GraceKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sinun täytyy kirjautua sisään voidaksesi muokata Yhteistä tietoa
Katso lisäohjeita Common Knowledge -sivuilta (englanniksi).
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Alkuteoksen nimi
Teoksen muut nimet
Alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi
Henkilöt/hahmot
Tärkeät paikat
Tärkeät tapahtumat
Kirjaan liittyvät elokuvat
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Epigrafi (motto tai mietelause kirjan alussa)
Omistuskirjoitus
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
For Keith
Ensimmäiset sanat
Sitaatit
Viimeiset sanat
Erotteluhuomautus
Julkaisutoimittajat
Kirjan kehujat
Tiedot englanninkielisestä Yhteisestä tiedosta. Muokkaa kotoistaaksesi se omalle kielellesi.
Alkuteoksen kieli
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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A former ocean biologist describes how she rediscovered her passion for marine science while investigating the enigmatic jellyfish and what the species' unique physiologies can teach about engineering and environmental stability. "Jellyfish have been swimming in our oceans for well over half a billion years, longer than any other animal that lives on the planet. They make a venom so toxic it can kill a human in three minutes. Their sting--microscopic spears that pierce with five million times the acceleration of gravity--is the fastest known motion in the animal kingdom. Made of roughly 95 percent water, some jellies are barely perceptible virtuosos of disguise, while others glow with a luminescence that has revolutionized biotechnology. Yet until recently, jellyfish were largely ignored by science, and they remain among the most poorly understood of ocean dwellers. More than a decade ago, Juli Berwald left a career in ocean science to raise a family in landlocked Austin, Texas. But then jellyfish drew her back to the sea. Recent, massive blooms of billions of jellyfish have clogged power plants, decimated fisheries, and caused millions of dollars of damage. Driven by questions about how overfishing, coastal development, and climate change were contributing to a jellyfish population explosion, Juli embarked on a scientific odyssey. She traveled the globe to meet the biologists who devote their careers to jellies, hitched rides on Japanese fishing boats to see giant jellyfish in the wild, raised jellyfish in her dining room, and throughout it all marveled at the complexity of these alluring and ominous biological wonders. Gracefully blending personal memoir with crystal-clear distillations of science, Spineless is the story of how Juli learned to navigate and ultimately embrace her ambition, her curiosity, and her passion for the natural world. She discovers that jellyfish science is more than just a quest for answers. It's a call to realize our collective responsibility for the planet we share."--Dust jacket flaps.

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