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Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the…
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Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone (edició 2017)

de Juli Berwald

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1889114,424 (3.4)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.… (més)
Membre:JillMcKiernan
Títol:Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone
Autors:Juli Berwald
Informació:Riverhead Books, Kindle Edition, 346 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:***
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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

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Es mostren 1-5 de 9 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I learned so much and it was great. I thought the structure was excellent though maybe not quite pulled off all the way through and not enough about what to do to help. But my main reason was to understand jellyfish and I loved that she had an essential question and it is going to be a great book to present at LLC. ( )
  erikasolberg770 | Oct 11, 2021 |
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 vota ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
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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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