Air: The Restless Shaper of the World by William Bryant Logan

By William Bryant Logan

The writer of Dirt and Oak brings to lifestyles this fastest, so much maintaining, so much communicative portion of the earth.

Air sustains the dwelling. each creature breathes to dwell, changing and altering the ambience. Water and mud spin and upward push, make clouds and fall back, fertilizing the dust. Twenty thousand fungal spores and part one million micro organism trip in a sq. foot of summer time air. The chemical feel of aphids, the ultraviolet sight of swifts, a newborn’s knowledge of its mother’s breast―all happen within the medium of air.

lack of knowledge of the air is expensive. The artist Eva Hesse died of breathing in her fiberglass medium. millions have been sickened after September 11 by way of supposedly “safe” air. The African Sahel suffers drought partly simply because we fill the air with commercial dusts. With the passionate narrative sort and wide-ranging erudition that experience made William Bryant Logan’s paintings a touchstone for nature enthusiasts and environmentalists, Air is―like the contents of a bag of seaborne dirt that Darwin accumulated aboard the Beagle―a treasure trove of discovery. 25 illustrations

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Extra resources for Air: The Restless Shaper of the World

Sample text

He was always cheerful and helpful. Chad Jemison and everyone at the Edmund Niles Huyck Preserve in upstate New York were so helpful in providing me access to all the information they had about creatures living on the preserve. As always, the New York Public Library was an invaluable resource for my research. I am grateful for my space in the Wertheim Study, and in particular to librarian Jay Barksdale. It was a very great pleasure to work with my editor, Alane Salierno Mason, whose sensitive, intelligent editing and questions have become an important part of my writing process.

Since the airport radars refresh every minute, while the in-house radar updates information only every seven minutes, they get not only different pictures of the air but also fresher ones. They can also call up any other data, including the results of weather balloon launches anywhere in the world, and the reports from aircraft and ships at sea. m. It was a humid day in early autumn, with the temperature in the high 70s. He knew there might be afternoon thunderstorms, but nothing big was on the horizon.

Charles Darwin began to realize this on January 16, 1832, aboard the HMS Beagle just off Porto Praya of the Cape Verde Islands, about 310 miles west of the coast of Africa. Whenever Darwin was at sea, he looked for things to understand. He threw nets overboard to see what was living near the surface of the sea. ) He watched spiders that rode a filament of web onto the masts. He had himself towed in a dinghy astern of the Beagle to net and observe what he caught. He watched balls of light appear underwater and judged their depths by whether or not the passage of the ship’s keel disturbed them.

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