!KINDLE ♫ Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places ⚖ PDF or E-pub free
!KINDLE ⚑ Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places ⚇ From Avalanches To Glaciers, From Seals To Snowflakes, And From Shackleton S Expedition To The Year Without Summer, Bill Streever Journeys Through History, Myth, Geography, And Ecology In A Year Long Search For Cold Real, Icy, Below Cold In July He Finds It While Taking A Dip In A Degree Arctic Swimming Hole In September While Excavating Our Planet S Ancient And Not So Ancient Ice Ages And In October While Exploring Hibernation Habits In Animals, From Humans To Wood Frogs To BearsA Scientist Whose Passion For Cold Runs Red Hot, Streever Is A Wondrous Guide He Conjures Woolly Mammoth Carcasses And The Ice Age Clovis Tribe From Melting Glaciers, And He Evokes Blizzards So Wild Readers May Freeze Limb By Vicarious Limb
Streetcar is a bit jumpy in his descriptions, it s best not to take the whole thing too seriously But his writing is entertaining and the content very interesting. What can I say about Cold I bought it on a whim The snow was coming this was back in November and I wanted something seasonal to read It heralded my return to chilly Nebraska from the warm South.It was everything that I wanted Mary Roach s books to be but felt they weren t, which is to say science, less forced humor, cohesive Occasionally in my status updates I complained about the authors interjections In the beginning there were times that I felt that they detracted from the story They seemed detached and out of place They weren t adding anything By the end, though, it seemed Streever had worked out a good formula They were strengthening the book, no longer convoluting it, and at times they even leant poignancy to the message.It was a fascinating book and wonderfully arrayed It s an in depth overview of literally EVERYTHING cold lessons on how animals have adapted to arctic environments, the problems Alaskans face when building homes, the history of the refrigerator, the Ice Trade that crossed the Atlantic, the desperate push to be the first to the North South pole, and the quest for Absolute Zero I learned about permafrost, ice, glaciers, and the Pleistocene that I would have thought possible in what I consider to be a medium sized book In fact, I wish there was , and I do have to thank Streever for the absolutely wonderful suggested reading section in the back It was an excellent presentation of science to the public.I don t think that I will ever feel cold the same way again. I m not having very good luck with NYT Notable Books this year I found Cold just barely engaging enough to finish On the plus side, it has occasional interesting facts about animals that actually freeze during the winter not just hibernate and about the effects of extreme cold on human physiology and behavior In the debit column, however, I must say that it is fuzzy and repetitive Certain events, like an early attempt to air condition Westminster for James II, are referenced again and again in an attempt either to tie everything together for the lazy reader or to make the book longer At other times, the author will say something vague like It is said that a quarter of a million German soldiers died of frostbite and hypothermia in regard to events that are probably well documented enough to permit a solid statement The author repeatedly describes his own experiences say, climbing a small peak in Scotland but avoids saying anything concrete about himself, his life, his companions, or what caused him to travel to the location in question The effect, to me, was like reading about paper dolls He tries to structure the book around his experiences in the months of the year, but the result is or less stream of consciousness.This might be worth reading if you re into reading poetic books about natural phenomena for my money, the Nova presentation Arctic Passage constantly repeated on our PBS station was a far enlightening and evocative exploration of the cold. As I read this nonfiction title, I kept wondering why science in high school or college couldn t have been this fascinating Maybe it s because school texts are so dry and politically correct I have no idea, only that this book made me wish I had paid attention.Simply put, this is fascinating Streever is a scientist environmentalist researcher who explores the science of weather, as well as the history of man s fascination with it This book compiles a year of research He begins outside of Alaska, studying a caterpillar that is so frequently frozen that it takes ten years to go from pupa to moth Ten years He has numerous anecdotal stories with some heavy science sprinkled in, such as how water molecules change amid temperature changes The pace is fast and snappy and makes all the details easily absorbed, without feeling like it s dumbed down or too deep.One especially fascinating aspect of Cold is the stories of men and their search for the North Pole I m not sure why, exactly, men throughout history have been so interested in traversing miles of brutal cold to get there He goes through notes and journals of many of these explorers, most of whom are spectacularly unprepared and most of whom die on the way So few actually did make it What s amazing is the descriptions of their journeys Death was always present and it seemed the life of their companions was pretty cheap, as they would just keep going as members died off See, I don t get it I d be at the nearest plush hotel, with some hot cocoa and maybe brandy, in front of a roaring fire Why the cold Streever weaves the unassailable facts of global warming into the book, never too preachy but not backing off with the clear evidence of disappearing ice and changing weather patterns He clearly cares about the issue and knows what he is talking about, as his facts are not biased or partisan in any way One caveat this book is best read when you are warm, as the descriptions will have you chilled to the bone quickly. Bill Streever conveys his thoughts on cold in the form of a journal, marked off in the months of a year from July through June Each of these chapters is further divided into passages alternating between his personal experiences, his experiences on various parts of the planet, but in Alaska than anywhere else, and reflections on the experiences of explorers and scientists who had sought to be the first to the South Pole or to absolute zero, for example This way of laying out his material keeps the human element in what is, looking back on it, surprisingly a science book than anything else If it was Streever s intent to convey an appreciation, and some added respect, for cold, as well as how it has driven some and informs daily life for many others, he has succeeded, at least where I am concerned.But with the human element comes all the dissatisfaction of frustrated attempts at accomplishment, and Streever is all too human It s difficult to decide which among an array of habits of his is most annoying Is it the repetition his apparent need to keep returning to the nearly frozen hibernations of those ground squirrels, or the frost bitten off limbs of various poor souls who did not have a proper respect for the cold Or is it the man s apparent psychological need to prove himself not entirely rational no, not just prove himself, but boast about it What am I to make of his tendency to forget the most obvious conventions to exercise care in preparing himself for a jaunt out of doors in very cold climates Or in the almost gleeful curiosity he displays, to the exclusion of any other type of concern, over the various colors his Raynaud s afflicted hiking companion s hands go through on one of those ill prepared treks Or is it the inconsistencies in his views of science, which he on one occasion feels the need to put in quotes Western science He is, as I say, writing a science book, yet it seems he feels an almost overt need to apologize for that to consign weather prediction, for example, to the bin of the impossible, given the unmodelable chaotic forces with which it must contend, while later in the book to express no trouble over the models that underlie predictions of climate change that he apparently accepts.The end notes are helpful, though precise matching to the text or any matching, for that matter, finer than the chapter level would have made them helpful The reading group guide is as inane as the average such addendum Stupid discussion questions are preceded by an interview with Streever that is little than an extended advertisement half for the current book and half for his next one. Mr Streever has some really interesting information to share about the cold adaptations of organisms, but the interesting parts are sandwiched between tedious inventories of cold related topics that he simply glossed from historical sources in an apparent attempt to make his book encyclopedic.But the most troubling and off putting aspect of this book is the author s apparent lack of empathy or sympathy for any of his subjects Critics have called his style flinty and tough minded I call it glib and flat There are lots of scientists who love their work and care about their subjects Streever doesn t seem to be one of them.On the plus side, he does occasionally point out that scientists can learn from indigenous people, which is refreshing But that s offset by his amateurish attempts to entertain the reader by repeating ad infinitum his spurious indictment of Adolphus Greely, a 19th century bureaucrat in charge of the first U.S weather service who, according to Streever, was responsible for the deaths of children in the Midwest because he failed to adequately predict a blizzard Streever doesn t seem to care any about the kids than about the caterpillars he condemns to death in his freezer, but he doggedly clings to his bizarre thesis that Victorian meteorology should have been an exact science.Go figure. The Little Ice Age, Snowball Earth, lucky and unlucky explorers, cold weather forecasting and how the adequate lack thereof has caused terrible loss of life, and the Japanese ama divers mostly women, since men can t handle it who dive in waters so frigid, they d kill most of us Yes, it s all here and , in 12 chapters, each corresponding to one month of a year the author spent in pursuit of cold I read this book not long after having finished writing storyboards for a museum exhibit about a Titanic survivor who credited the woolen long johns he was wearing for keeping him from freezing, after he swam to a lifeboat and huddled there until dawn Turns out, he was right each wool hair is covered with scales and coated with a layer of lanolin that repels water Even when wet, there are air pockets between the wool s curls and these pockets insulate the wearer Wool, even wet, can save you cotton fibers hold water and are probably worse for you, in the cold, than naked skin Perhaps the most amazing information is about the remarkable adaptation of animals that live in very cold climates How do they do it Well, read the books and learn and be impressed P.S Streever followed this book with a volume about couldn t you guess Heat I hope to read it soon. Got incredibly annoyed with the arrogant, cavalier, condescending tone of the author It got and grating until this passage which is when I stopped reading and seriously felt like burning the book Talking about Raynaud s disease of a companion, The disease is of an annoyance than a serious threat When I say this, I mean an annoyance for her For me it is a curiosity As we move down the mountain, I entertain myself by stopping intermittently to observe her recovery At one point, her fingers are striped with mauve and pale yellow bands Sadly, I am not carrying a camera It occurs to me that Raynaud s would be deadly if it prevented someone from striking a match to start a fire or tying a bootlace or cinching down the harness on a dogsled My companion, her hands still numb from the Raynaud s is afraid of falling, rightfully scared because her numb hands will be little help in breaking the fall I scurry ahead Below the scree, I find a hollow of deflated soil that shaves a notch off the wind and nap while waiting for her to catch up What A normal person, male or female, would have helped the person down the mountain to make sure she wouldn t fall A normal person isn t entertained by other people s struggles This guy s a total sociopath. Cold, filled with obscure facts and fascinating anecdotes, is both entertaining and enlightening, and Streever s crisp, articulate writing style and easy to understand scientific explanations yield a compulsively readable book However, Streever s loosely organized chapters and stream of consciousness, bloglike narrative keep him from dwelling for long on any single topic, and the Dallas Morning News took issue with his single minded focus on the northern hemisphere Some critics also objected to his views on climate change, but these complaints stemmed from differences of opinion Streever s breezy, captivating romp through the frozen North reminds readers that cold shapes continents, wins and loses wars, fuels madmen, inspires Nobel Prize winning work, challenges us, curses us and blesses us Cleveland Plain Dealer This is an excerpt of a review published in Bookmarks magazine.