Hooked on this writing

I’m presently reading 18 Miles: The Epic Drama of Our Atmosphere and Its Weather, and loving the writing.    In advance of a review, I’m sharing some of my Kindle highlights:


Insubstantial factories of infinite forms, clouds are both ephemeral and powerful, and though conjured out of practically nothing, out of ungraspable mist, they can shake the earth with thunder if they have a mind to.

You’d never guess it but we live in a world flatter than a sheet of paper. Shrink the Earth to the size of a basketball and our atmosphere would be as thick as a layer of food wrap. The oceans likewise. Two of the most critical elements for our survival, water and air, are relatively scarce commodities. We are like microorganisms living in an evanescent fluid film, a dampness that would burn off like morning dew if the sun increased its solar output by just 15 percent.


“The Line Storm”, John Steuart Curry

In fact, at any given moment, there are about 2,000 active thunderstorms worldwide, and the human population has no control over them whatsoever.

A summer thunderstorm starts life as a cumulus cloud cruising over fields and rivers and lakes. It’s a case of wandering lonely as a cloud, certainly, but a cloud with megalomanical tendencies.


At noon in the second week of February, something spectacular happens. The sun erupts above the horizon, For the first time in months, pure, unadulterated sunlight strikes skin, floods through windows and blinds eyes in an almost painful wound of light. This first sunshine, a day lasting only a few minutes, is spring in its purest form — raw and crystalline. The ice-hoary dwellings of Grise Fiord, like buildings long-submerged under the ocean and covered with coral encrustations, glow orange in the light, and every peak of the low hills surrounding the bay also glows with the same orange fire. Apollo’s flaming chariot has arrived, and burning deep inside his golden brazier is summer itself



About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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