John Muir spoke, wrote, and lived the wilderness, including taking President Theodore Roosevelt on an overnight trip to the Yosemite Valley. This trip led to Roosevelts signing into law a bill that placed Yosemite under federal control as a national park. Because of this and his founding of the Sierra Club, John Muir is credited as one of the key shapers of the modern environmental movement.
In 1974, an inventor named Victor Wouk became a man who could be described as ahead of his time. He had developed a prototype for the hybrid, a car that would become the most credible and commercially successful alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles.
Perhaps no two people in history exemplify the spirit of invention better than brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright. Born in the Midwest in the late 1800s, Orville was exceptionally good at creating mechanical devices, and Wilbur had a genius for ideas. The turn of the 20th century came during an age of invention and technological development. Inspired by a fierce worldwide competition to be the first to invent a machine that could fly and be controlled by a pilot, the Wright brothers tested and refined several prototypes. At last, on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, they achieved their pioneering flight. The brothers went on to develop machines and controls that made possible powered, fixed-wing flights and laid the foundation for pilot-controlled aviation as we know it today. They also founded the Wright Company, which built airplanes for the rising new industry of commercial aviation. Had Wilbur not died at the early age of 45, who knows what else the innovative pair might have accomplished.
By the time Roberta Bondar became Canada's first woman in space in 1992, she already had careers as a doctor, a scientist, and a professional photographer. Born in 1945 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, a town on the border between Canada and the United States, Roberta has had an active career in both countries. Today she is well known for her continuing work on behalf of the planet, writing and appearing on TV and in documentaries, covering Space Shuttle launches at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and shedding new light on the needs of the natural world.
Albert Einstein was a theoretical physicist and an intellectual giant of the twentieth century. This fascinating biography reveals Einsteins life story, and how his theories changed the way we looked at the universe. Born in Germany in 1879, Einstein focused his studies on science and mathematics. He won a Nobel Prize in Physics and was instrumental in persuading U.S. President Roosevelt to pursue the development of the atomic bomb in World War II. Einstein published hundreds of research papers, articles, and books and lectured at universities in Europe and the United States until his death in 1955. Einsteins name is synonymous with genius, and, not surprisingly, his brain has been preserved for study.
Steve Jobs was a pioneer of the personal computer age. This compelling biography describes his life and career as a visionary entrepreneur who helped usher the world into the digital agein style and comfort. Born in 1955, Jobs grew up tinkering with electronics in the garage with his father. Although he dropped out of college, he would follow his passion for electronics and become well known for founding the computer company Apple. Equally well known for his uncompromising product philosophy, he continued to innovate in the fields of animation, personal electronics, and marketing. Both Jobs and Apple had their share of ups and downs. After an amazing comeback in the 2000s, Jobs was diagnosed with cancer and passed away at the early age of 56 in 2011.
Politician Al Gore has lent both his voice and his political influence in the fight against global warming. His work and creative energy have earned him numerous forms of public recognition, most notably the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
David Suzuki is a prominent environmental activist. Throughout his adult life, he has been the creative force behind numerous television shows on science and the environment. He has used his voice to advocate for the environment and to take to task political leaders whose action and inaction have been part of the problem behind the global warming crisis.
Ed Begley, Jr. is a Hollywood actor, who inspires, entertains, and motivates a new generation of environmental activists, fans, and consumers with his all-encompassing green lifestyle. Whether he is promoting his own line of green products, lending his voice to further environmental awareness and action, or walking the walk of the life he touts in his own solar-powered home, the star of Living with Ed is constantly on the lookout for ways to live more green - and get others onboard in the process.
Rachel Carson was a marine writer, biologist, and ecologist whose work inspired millions to take seriously the danger that human activity poses to the environment. She both revealed the wonders of the natural world and exposed the sinister threat to that world posed by DDT and other pesticides.
Sally Ride soared into outer space on the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1983, the youngest astronaut and the first U.S. woman in space. Just 32 years old that year, this California girl was already an accomplished astrophysicist when NASA chose her. Since then, she has written several books introducing young readers to the subject of space exploration and encouraging them to study the sciences.