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review 2018-12-25 16:49
Buzz by Thor Hanson
Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees - Thor Hanson

I liked this book about bees, but I should point out that I know basically nothing about bees so all of the information that was new to me in this book may be old hat to those of you who actually have an interest in them. I suspect that if you've been inclined to open more scholarly tomes about bees you won't find much of interest here. This is definitely not a scholarly tome.

 

At first I thought that this book would escape my criticism of what passes for general science books, but although it does much, much better than some of the books that have inspired one- and two-star rants from me, it still reads more like a series of magazine articles, complete with descriptions of people like:

 

With tanned features and a perpetual, blue-eye squint, he certainly looked like someone very much at home in the desert.

(p 168)

and,

Wearing a floppy sun-hat and tinted glasses, with his snow-white beard cropped short, he looked something like Santa Claus on vacation—assuming the old elf spent his off-season in California doing a lot of hiking.

(p 176)

Sometimes descriptions like these work, but they started standing out to me more and more once I realized he did it all the time. And there are a lot of people who get introduced to the reader. Really, I'd say that this book is more about the people who work to study and use bees than the bees themselves.

 

Sometimes the humour works well, like in the update I posted, and sometimes it falls flat, like when the origin of the phrase Doh! is discussed on page 105:

The Oxford English Dictionary traces the origin of the expression "Duh!" to a Merry Melodies cartoon from 1943. The similar time "Doh!"—popularized by Homer Simpson—got its start on a BBC radio program a few years later. Either phrase would have been appropriate for me in that forehead-slapping moment.

Just a lot of filler, really. I'd also count many of the author's asides with his son as unnecessary filler. If you do decide to read this book, be prepared to be a subjected to a series of Noah's bee-capades as he grows up. They're related to bees and what is discussed in what I'd consider the "main" text, but the way they're presented makes them feel like they're being used to flesh out a rather thin volume on bee facts—and this isn't a long book. For that reason, I'm nominating this book for Task 3 for Door 9 (Thanksgiving): Name a book you’ve read this year that you thought was full of “stuffing”.

 

Oh, and at one point, to illustrate how dependent humans are on bees for helping to pollinate our food, the author describes how he got up early to be able to go to McDonalds to order a Big Mac for lunch but disassemble and dissect it to take out anything whose production may have been helped by bees. He actually took a picture of the result, but I was left wondering, why ruin your lunch when you could just use the burger as a point of discussion? Admittedly, I was also wondering who still went to McDonalds in 2018, since that also seemed somewhat odd.

 

Previous updates:

35 of 216 pages (asking an ornithologist about chickens)

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text 2018-12-23 16:19
Reading progress update: I've read 35 out of 216 pages.
Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees - Thor Hanson

"It's not that I don't like Apis mellifera," he explains on his university website, using the honeybee's scientific name. But when people ask him questions about honeybees, he points out, it's like "asking an ornithologist a question about chickens."

Alright, I have to admit that that made me chortle a little bit.

 

And yes, I'm way behind on my reviews.

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review 2018-07-09 07:49
BUZZ by THOR HANSON
Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees - Thor Hanson

TITLE:  Buzz:  The Nature and Necessity of Bees

 

AUTHOR:  Thor Hanson

 

PUBLICATION DATE:  10 July 2018

 

FORMAT:  ARC ebook

 

ISBN-13:  9780465052615

_________________________________

 

NOTE: I received an Advanced Readers Copy of this book from NetGalley. This review is my honest opinion of the book.

_________________________________

 

Book Description:

"From the award-winning author of The Triumph of Seeds and Feathers, a natural and cultural history of the buzzing wee beasties that make the world go round.


Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds. In Buzz, the beloved Thor Hanson takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They've given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing.


As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you'll never overlook them again.
"

______________________________

 

Buzz by Thor Hanson is a wonderfully written book about bees - all sorts of bees.  The author does not focus on honeybees, but "celebrates bees in general, from leafcutters and bumbles to masons, miners, diggers, carpenters, wool-carders, and more."  This is not a book about honey-bees and how to cultivate them.

Hanson starts off with why bees are important, then delves into their evolution from wasps, bee anatomy, habitats and habits, as well as the special relationship bees and flowers have.  Without bees the colourful and fragrant flowers we have today would not exist.  There is also a fascinating section on honeyguides (a species of bird), early hominins and their possible evolutionary honey munching habits.  Hanson also briefly covers Colony Collapse Disorder, the decrease in wild bees in connection with current mono-culture farming habits, how farmers are working to provide more habitat for wild bees, and how our food is reliant on bee pollination.

This book is well-written, informative, wide-ranging book on a fascinating topic, made more personal with Hanson's observations and experiences.  Thor Hanson loves bees and this is evident through out the book.

 

 

 

NOTE FROM BOOK:  "A portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to help preserve and protect wil bees."

 

 

 

 

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text 2018-06-15 03:13
The Flat Book Society: Reminder - List is open for September nominations - Vote for your favorites!
Unlocking the Past: How Archaeologists Are Rewriting Human History with Ancient DNA - Martin Jones
Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law - Peter Woit
Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Matin Durrani,Liz Kalaugher
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams - Matthew Walker
Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees - Thor Hanson

Just a reminder that our list is still open for voting for the September read.  We currently have 10 nominees (we aim to keep it at a max of 12-15) and the current leader with just 3 votes is:

 

Unlocking the Past: How Archaeologists Are Rewriting Human History with Ancient DNA - Martin Jones 

 

In Unlocking the Past, Martin Jones, [...] explains how this pioneering science is rewriting human history and unlocking stories of the past that could never have been told before. For the first time, the building blocks of ancient life—–DNA, proteins, and fats that have long been trapped in fossils and earth and rock—–have become widely accessible to science. Working at the cutting edge of genetic and other molecular technologies, researchers have been probing the remains of these ancient biomolecules in human skeletons, sediments and fossilized plants, dinosaur bones, and insects trapped in amber. Their amazing discoveries have influenced the archaeological debate at almost every level and continue to reshape our understanding of the past.

 

In contention are 4 others with 2 votes each are (as listed above):

Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law - Peter Woit 

Furry Logic: The Physics of Animal Life - Matin Durrani,Liz Kalaugher 

Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams - Matthew Walker 

Buzz: The Nature and Necessity of Bees - Thor Hanson 

 

Be sure to get over to the Flat Book Society and vote if you haven't already, and if you have a dark horse entry, we still have a few spaces to fill.  If you're not a member already, it's never too late to join!

 

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text 2018-05-07 12:40
New Buzz in Town: Barre Workout

Sculpt, stretch, sweat and tone your trouble zones with Barre workout. Just press play and get ready to feel your booty burn as you tone your entire lower body and abs.

 

Barre workouts are the combination of the precision of Pilates, alignment of yoga and the grace and technique of ballet. This exercise is designed to tone the thighs, lift the butt, sculpt the arms and flatten the abdominals. It is one of the fastest, safest and most effective ways to change your body, improve posture, strength, flexibility and stamina. Full range muscular contractions are performed, followed by end range isometric contractions and then a static hold in order to fatigue the muscle.

 

Barre workout begins with a standing warm up and progresses to the barre for glute, outer thigh, inner thigh and hip sculpting. You will move on to arm blasting moves to strengthen, sculpt, and define your biceps, triceps, back and shoulders. Always finish the barre workout on the mat with an arm & abs series and finally blast your core with Pilates inspired moves with the mini ball.

 

It is the best way to create and elegant posture, a toned body and helps in keeping you fit and healthy. Sometimes we find barre workout intimidating especially if we haven’t done it before, but truly this is a fun way to learn the basic steps and start your journey towards your healthy, toned, long and lean body.

 

Barre Workout Tips:

 

* KEEP YOUR CORE STRONG! Engage your core muscles from start to finish. Zip up through your pelvic floor, firm your navel to your spine and keep your shoulders relaxed.

 

* KEEP YOUR BODY LONG! Reach with energy through the crown of the head, lengthen your torso keeping your body upright throughout. Also, remember to lengthen behind the knee and send the energy all the way down to your toes.

 

So, are you ready to do this barre workout? Let's start pointing your toes and float around the room, you’ll soon feel beautiful and more confident than ever. Be proud of yourself, every time you start to do the barre workouts and every time you will get at the end of it, you are one step closer to your goal! Never give up!

Source: fitpass.co.in/blog/new-buzz-in-town-barre-workout
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