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Featured Blue Books

(Librarian Selected)









Behind Deep Blue
by Hsu, Feng-hsiung

9780691090658Feng-Hsiung HsuBehind Deep Blue - Building the Computer That Defeated the World Chess Champion On May 11, 1997, as millions worldwide watched a stunning victory unfold on television, a machine shocked the chess world by defeating the defending world champion, Garry Kasparov. Written by the man who started the adventure, Behind Deep Blue reveals the inside story of what happened behind the scenes at the two historic Deep Blue vs. Kasparov matches. This is also the story behind the quest to create the mother of all chess machines. The book unveils how a modest student project eventually produced a multimillion dollar supercomputer, from the development of the scientific ideas through technical setbacks, rivalry in the race to develop the ultimate chess machine, and wild controversies to the final triumph over the world's greatest human player. In nontechnical, conversational prose, Feng-hsiung Hsu, the system architect of Deep Blue, tells us how he and a small team of fellow researchers forged ahead at IBM with a project they'd begun as students at Carnegie Mellon in the mid-1980s: the search for one of the oldest holy grails in artificial intelligence--a machine that could beat any human chess player in a bona fide match. Back in 1949 science had conceived the foundations of modern chess computers but not until almost fifty years later--until Deep Blue--would the quest be realized. Hsu refutes Kasparov's controversial claim that only human intervention could have allowed Deep Blue to make its decisive, "uncomputerlike" moves. In riveting detail he describes the heightening tension in this war of brains and nerves, the "smoldering fire" in Kasparov's eyes. Behind Deep Blue is not just another tale of man versus machine. This fascinating book tells us how man as genius was given an ultimate, unforgettable run for his mind, no, not by the genius of a computer, but of man as toolmaker. - Description from Syndetics
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The Green Blue Book
by Kostigen, Thomas

9781605294711Thomas M. KostigenThe Green Blue Book: The Simple Water-Savings Guide to Everything in Your LifeWith hundreds of entertaining facts, Thomas Kostigen gives simple tips for water saving, both the water you see and use and "virtual water," the water you cannot see but is embedded in the things you consume. For example, it takes 27 gallons of water to grow a banana but only 19 gallons of water to grow an apple--thus choosing to eat an apple can save 8 gallons of water. The Green Blue Book includes an extensive guide so you can make smarter choices and help reduce the demand for water-intensive foods and products. With breakthrough research, humor, and a hopeful message, The Green Blue Book will show how, drop by drop, one's water savings can add up. - Description from Syndetics
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The Blue Notebook: A Novel
by Levine, James

9780385528719James A. LevineThe Blue NotebookA haunting yet astonishingly hopeful story of a young Indian prostitute who uses writing and imagination to transcend her reality. An unforgettable, deeply affecting tribute to the powers of imagination and the resilience of childhood,The Blue Notebooktells the story of Batuk, a precocious 15-year-old girl from rural India who was sold into sexual slavery by her father when she was nine. As she navigates the grim realities of the Common Street--a street of prostitution in Mumbai where children are kept in cages as they wait for customers to pay for sex--Batuk manages to put pen to paper, recording her private thoughts and stories in a diary. The novel is powerfully told in Batuk's voice, through the words she writes in her journal, where she finds hope and beauty in the bleakest circumstances. Beautifully crafted and deeply human,The Blue Notebookexplores how people, in the most difficult of situations, can use storytelling to make sense of and give meaning to their lives. All of the U.S. proceeds from this novel will be donated to the International and National Centers for Missing and Exploited Children ( http://www.icmec.org ). - Description from Syndetics
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The Making of Kind of Blue: Miles Davis and His Masterpiece
by Nisenson, Eric

9780312266172Eric Nisenson; Eric NinsensonThe Making of Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis MasterpieceFrom the moment it was recorded more than 40 years ago, Miles Davis's Kind of Blue' was hailed as a jazz classic and to this day it remains the bestselling jazz album of all time. 'The Making of Kind of Blue' is an exhaustively researched examination of how this masterpiece was born. Through extensive interviews and access to rare recordings, Eric Nisenson has pieced together the whole story of this miraculous session, laying bare the genius of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, the other musicians involved, and the heart of jazz itself. Absolutely essential for all jazz fans.' - Description from Syndetics
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Blue: The History of a Color
by Pastoureau, Michel

9780691090504Michel PastoureauBlue - The History of a Color Blue has a long and topsy-turvy history in the Western world. Once considered a hot color, it is now icy cool. The ancient Greeks scorned it as ugly and barbaric, but most Americans and Europeans now pick it as their favorite color. In this entertaining history, the renowned medievalist Michel Pastoureau traces the changing meanings of blue from its rare appearances in prehistoric art to its international ubiquity today in blue jeans and Gauloises cigarette packs. Any history of color is, above all, a social history. Pastoureau investigates how the ever-changing role of blue in society has been reflected in manuscripts, stained glass, heraldry, clothing, paintings, and popular culture. Beginning with the almost total absence of blue from ancient Western art and language, the story moves to medieval Europe. As people began to associate blue with the Virgin Mary, the color entered the Church despite the efforts of chromophobic prelates. Blue was reborn as a royal color in the twelfth century and functioned as a formidable political and military force through the French Revolution. As blue triumphed in the modern era, new shades were created, and blue became the color of romance. Finally, Pastoureau follows blue into contemporary times, when military clothing gave way to the everyday uniform of blue jeans, and blue became the universal and unifying color of the Earth as seen from space. With an exceptionally elegant design and strikingly illustrated with one hundred color plates, Blue tells the fascinating history of our favorite color and the cultures that have hated it, loved it, and created great art with it. - Description from Syndetics
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Jeans: A Cultural History of an American Icon
by Sullivan, James

9781592402144James SullivanJeans: A Cultural History of an American IconThe story of America's best-loved garment, from the humble pants Levi Strauss sold to California miners in the 1870s to big-city socialites spending big money-$300 and up-for premium jeans today. Since their emergence over a century and a half ago, blue jeans have been worn by every segment of American society, and exported around the world as a symbol of our civilization. In Jeans, James Sullivan traces the evolution of jeans from a simple utilitarian garment into what fashion critics have called "the American uniform," the very embodiment of our society's ethos. Touching on a broad-ranging host of topics-from the rise and fall of natural indigo dyes to the enduring mythos of the cowboy, from the explosion of youth culture in the Baby Boom era to the globalization of the textile industry and the erosion of American manufacturing- Jeans is a history of American culture as told through its pants. - Description from Syndetics
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Empire of Blue Water
by Talty, Stephan

9780307236609Stephan TaltyEmpire of Blue Water: Captain Morgan's Great Pirate Army, the Epic Battle for the Americas, and the Catastrophe That Ended the Outlaws' Bloody ReignHe challenged the greatest empire on earth with a ragtag bunch of renegades-- and brought it to its knees. "Empire of Blue Water" is the real story of the pirates of the Caribbean. Henry Morgan, a twenty-year-old Welshman, crossed the Atlantic in 1655, hell-bent on making his fortune. Over the next three decades, his exploits in the Caribbean in the service of the English became legendary. His daring attacks on the mighty Spanish Empire on land and at sea determined the fates of kings and queens, and his victories helped shape the destiny of the New World. Morgan gathered disaffected European sailors and soldiers, hard-bitten adventurers, runaway slaves, and vicious cutthroats, and turned them into the most feared army in the Western Hemisphere. Sailing out from the English stronghold of Port Royal, Jamaica, " the wickedest city in the New World, " Morgan and his men terrorized Spanish merchant ships and devastated the cities where great riches in silver, gold, and gems lay waiting. His last raid, a daring assault on the fabled city of Panama, helped break Spain' s hold on the Americas forever. Awash with bloody battles, political intrigues, natural disaster, and a cast of characters more compelling, bizarre, and memorable than any found in a Hollywood swashbuckler-- including the notorious pirate L' Ollonais, the soul-tortured King Philip IV of Spain, and Thomas Modyford, the crafty English governor of Jamaica-- "Empire of Blue Water" brilliantly re-creates the passions and the violence of the age of exploration and empire. - Description from Syndetics
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Born on a Blue Day
by Tammet, Daniel

9781416535072Daniel TammetBorn on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic SavantBorn on a Blue Day is a journey into one of the most fascinating minds alive today -- guided by its owner himself. Daniel Tammet sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures, and he can perform extraordinary calculations in his head. He can learn to speak new languages fluently, from scratch, in a week. In 2004, he memorized and recited more than 22,000 digits of pi, setting a record. He has savant syndrome, an extremely rare condition that gives him almost unimaginable mental powers, much like those portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the filmRain Man. Daniel has a compulsive need for order and routine -- he eats the same precise amount of cereal for breakfast every morning and cannot leave the house without counting the number of items of clothing he's wearing. When he gets stressed or is unhappy, he closes his eyes and counts. But in one crucial way Daniel is not at all like the Rain Man: he is virtually unique among people who have severe autistic disorders in that he is capable of living a fully independent life. He has emerged from the "other side" of autism with the ability to function successfully -- he is even able to explain what is happening inside his head. Born on a Blue Day is a triumphant and uplifting story, starting from early childhood, when Daniel was incapable of making friends and prone to tantrums, to young adulthood, when he learned how to control himself and to live independently, fell in love, experienced a religious conversion to Christianity, and most recently, emerged as a celebrity. The world's leading neuroscientists have been studying Daniel's ability to solve complicated math problems in one fell swoop by seeing shapes rather than making step-by-step calculations. Here he explains how he does it, and how he is able to learn new languages so quickly, simply by absorbing their patterns. Fascinating and inspiring, Born on a Blue Day explores what it's like to be special and gives us an insight into what makes us all human -- our minds. - Description from Syndetics
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Beating the Blues
by Thase, Michael E; Lang, Susan S

9780195304534Michael E. Thase; Susan S. LangBeating the Blues: New Approaches to Overcoming Dysthymia and Chronic Mild DepressionMild depressions are so insidious that sufferers often don't seek help. They think, "that's just the way I am. There's really not much I can do about it." As Dr. Michael Thase and science writer Susan S. Lang reveal, they can do something about it. Persistent mild depression, which afflicts upto 35 million Americans, can be readily and permanently cured. In Beating the Blues, Thase and Lang show how chronic mild depression can be relieved by learning strategies that help sufferers to recognize and change negative and distorted thinking patterns that lead to a downward spiral of pessimism. They reveal that a combination of medication and therapy hasbeen shown to be the most effective treatment for mild depression, with an impressive 85% of patients experiencing full relief. Thase and Lang also discuss when a person should seek help from a therapist and what kinds of therapy seem the most effective. They outline the safer new antidepressantsthat are helpful for both mild and severe depressions, detailing each drug's strength and weakness; and examine alternative therapies, including stress management, physical exercise, acupuncture, supplements, and other mind/body therapies. Finally, they provide in-depth discussions of milddepression in children, adolescents, college students, and elderly parents, as well as those with chronic stress. Beating the Blues is an inspiring and empowering book, offering everything a person needs to know in order to overcome mild depression. - Description from Syndetics
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