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Science Books

August 10, 2006

The Unidentified & Creatures Of The Outer Edge
Jerome Clark, Loren Coleman (2006)
ISBN: 1933665114

Whether you approach this classic bumper edition with stoic skepticism or as an account of the mysterious phenomena that hides in the shadows between science and the imagination, this book's one hell of a ride. Rather than addressing established scientific facts (how passé), Clark, a long-time ufologist and anomalist, and Coleman, a cryptozoologist, take delight in scrutinizing the weird and wonderful terrain that remains largely un-traversed by mainstream science. Aside from making regular appearances on the History and Discovery Channels, Clark is responsible for the award-winning, multi-volume UFO Encyclopedia. As a cryptozoologist, Coleman researches animals rumored to exist even though there is no conclusive evidence to suggest that they actually do. Cryptozoology also delves into reported sightings of animals that were thought to be extinct. Some of the "cryptids," as they are known, have attracted some very colorful names over the years, such as Devil Dogs, Phantom Panthers, Mothman, Owlmen, the Enfield Thing; and one sure to give you nightmares, the El Reno Chicken Man. The authors have spent much of their lives determining what various anomalous sightings have in common, and whether any of these hoary old tales have any basis in fact. What is it that people are really witnessing, and do they represent phenomena yet to be explained by science? Their research has taken them far and wide, including Scotland's Loch Ness, the rainforests of Mexico, the Everglades and the Pacific Northwest, home of the infamous Bigfoot. Previously released as separate volumes some decades ago, The Unidentified & Creatures Of The Outer Edge remain timeless masterpieces of deductive reasoning that link supernatural folklore, cryptozoology, religious visions and UFO accounts. This is a book that is sure to get your gray matter ticking overtime while having a hoot to boot. Recommended.

Follies Of Science: 20th Century Visions Of Our Fantastic Future
Eric Dregni, John Dregni (2006)
ISBN: 1933108096

Ever wondered why we're not zipping about town in personal flying machines, teleporting to work, or, thanks to a robot workforce, not going to work at all? Well join the club! Eric Dregni and John Dregni review some of the greatest technological gadgets never to appear, despite science's best efforts. Lead author Eric Dregni, a 2004 Fulbright Fellow to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, also points out that while we may be disappointed that we never got to wear a jetpack, we did end up having to endure some of science's less appealing predictions. The better, cheaper, more versatile building materials of "the future," asbestos, lead and foam, turned out instead to be lethal. Yes, Follies Of Science shows that the home of the future - with its lead-paint coated walls and DDT based fly killers - eventually ended up having all the chic of a toxic waste dump. Follies Of Science takes a nostalgic trip through the scientific yet romantic ideals of a utopian world that may have been but never came, which is beautifully complemented by some classic futuristic artwork. Well worth a look.

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