By William Bryant Logan
The writer of Dirt and Oak brings to existence this fastest, such a lot maintaining, such a lot communicative component to the earth.
Air sustains the dwelling. each creature breathes to reside, changing and altering the ambience. Water and dirt spin and upward thrust, make clouds and fall back, fertilizing the dust. Twenty thousand fungal spores and part one million micro organism shuttle in a sq. foot of summer time air. The chemical experience of aphids, the ultraviolet sight of swifts, a newborn’s knowledge of its mother’s breast―all ensue within the medium of air.
lack of information of the air is dear. The artist Eva Hesse died of breathing in her fiberglass medium. hundreds of thousands have been sickened after 9-11 by means of supposedly “safe” air. The African Sahel suffers drought partly simply because we fill the air with commercial dusts. With the passionate narrative kind and wide-ranging erudition that experience made William Bryant Logan’s paintings a touchstone for nature fans 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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Additional resources for Air: The Restless Shaper of the World
He filled the dishpan with water, invented a dye to trace the way the fluid moved, and started fiddling with the knobs. He rotated it faster and slower; he heated the water more or less at the center; he cooled the water more or less at the edge. He kept careful track of what he saw. Granted, Fultz used water, not air, and his pan was more like a shallow cylinder than a globe, but one could guess that the water would behave something like the air in the atmosphere, responding to the heating and the turning.
David Oguss and Captain Richard Siano—both pilots of deep experience and humanity—train working pilots using simulators and classroom training. Oguss put me through the paces of a flight simulator for a private jet, and both men talked with me at length about their experiences as teachers and pilots. I also owe thanks not only for the expertise but also for the patience of my flying instructor, Brian Monga, of Air Fleet Training. 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.
This last regime bore an uncanny resemblance to weather maps. Two of the four regimes in the dishpan experiment. At left, the regime of pure streamlines. At right, a regularly varying pattern. (Courtesy of the American Meteorological Society) When the dishpan propagated regular and unvarying waves, the only unknown was how big they would be. Once started, they would continue ad infinitum. When the pattern vacillated between making waves of one sort and then waves of another sort, one did not know ahead of time either the size of the wave sets or the period in which they would arrive.
Air: The Restless Shaper of the World by William Bryant Logan