From Plants to Planets: Our Favorite Coffee-Table Books of 2012
Each winter we peruse the year’s large-format books about science and present brief reviews of the ones we like best. As usual, there are plenty of good books to cozy up with, including a treatise on longleaf forests, a book that explains every aspect of bicycles you might wish to know about, and a giant book of planetary imagery. And we're not done yet: More reviews will appear in this space throughout December. Check our Twitter feed (twitter.com/amscimag) to hear when new reviews are posted.
A Supersized View of the Universe: Planetfall, by Michael Benson
At the Heart of Pine: Longleaf, Far As the Eye Can See, by Bill Finch, Beth Maynor Young, Rhett Johnson and John C. Hall
The Power of Two Wheels: Cycling Science, by Max Glaskin
Modern-day Botanicals: Natural Companions, by Ken Druse, photographs by Ellen Hoverkamp
A Map of the Universe: Space Atlas, by James Trefil
Series of Milestones: The Math Book, The Physics Book and The Medical Book, by Clifford Pickover
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ANIMATION: Hydrangea Colors: It’s All in the Soil
The Hydrangea macrophylla (big-leafed hydrangea) plant is the only known plant that can 'detect' the pH level in surrounding soil!
One of the world’s most popular ornamental flowers, it conceals a bouquet of biological and biochemical surprises. The iconic “snowball” shaped hydrangea blooms are a common staple of backyard gardens.
Hydrangea colors ultimately depend on the availability of aluminum ions(Al3+) within the soil.
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