Sunday, December 6, 2009

final blog

After reading this book I have either been interested or confused. However, I actually liked the end of this book because I feel like because i've been to Burlington before and know how clean and environmentally safe they are, it was a lot easier for me to read this chapter. It kept me interested and reading. I also enjoyed how it seems like the end of the book was like a "how to help with global warming," thing. The whole book until these chapter was about global warming and how its effecting or planet, and then the last couple were ways to make the environment safe and better. I don't know if this was intentional, probably, but I liked that.
The descriptions of Burlington made me laugh because it is so weird to read a book from a critically acclaimed author, on a town that I have known so much about for so long. I enjoyed this a lot more than all of the other chapters because I think it has the "hits home" factor, which personally I think is great. It wasn't all about science, it was interesting.
All together this book is probably something I would never pick up to read for fun, but it definitely gave me a different perspective on the world and how we should start thinking about how we do things. At times I did get frustrated with the reading because it would get confusing, but then again you have to look at it as a whole. The main theme is global warming, what can we do to fix this problem.
Knowledge of the facts will help those that don't know what is going on, and I think this is a great book that will help those people figure it out.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Field Notes Ch5&6

Chapter 5 made me very confused. She jumped from the Mayans to NASA to the Akkadians, I just couldn't stay focused on these things because she discussed too much. I feel like she continues to jump from subject to subject without a general flow. This isn't reading like a story anymore like in the beginning, more like a research paper. I appreciate her abundance of knowledge on everything but for me, this stuff is very confusing.
Don't get me wrong, her descriptions are great, I enjoy that because it actually gives this book something tasteful instead of the scientific words I definitely would be even more confused about.
I did, however, find the story about the lost city, Tell Leilan, it reminded me of the other lost city people really know about, Atlantis. Stuff like this will keep me interested but only for so long especially when she continues to jump from example to example.
Chapter 6 was a little better reading I think, I enjoyed the things she was describing because they were things that have actually been discussed about with Global Warming. For instance like rising sea level and CO2 levels as well as green house effects. All of these present different issues with the change of the earth and what is in store. I especially liked the ending of this chapter,
"In the future, she said, she expected that people all over the world would live in floating houses, since, as she put it, 'the water is coming up, and we have to live with it, not fight it-it's just not possible.' " Personally I am totally for floating houses, how fun would that be?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Field Notes-ch4

Kolbert has once again been able to use her great description of people and places to help with this topic of Global Warming.
I understand how difficult it is to write about something that is so intensely looked upon with so much to write about, however I'm beginning to see a repetition in just what this book is really about. It's a compile of examples that to the time may be interesting, but I don't find any hard evidence behind it. It is just examples of animals and how they have begun to migrate in different areas.
I do enjoy this book, however, because it has definitely given me a better interest in what exactly Global Warming is all about and how it is effecting our world today. I enjoy Kolberts writing style by describing her subjects in such great detail from their messy desks to the color of their eyes. That's the type of reading I enjoy, great descriptive writing that can paint a picture in your head being able to visualize these things.
I'm not really sure as to why Kolbert decided to use the examples she did in this chapter, maybe to describe how greatly Global warming is effecting them. However I did notice that throughout this entire book so far she will describe an example for however many pages and then the last sentence is just something like, "there is only one explanation, Global Warming." I feel like she needs more evidence then just explaining these insects and animals or describing what they look like. Personally I feel like they are just that, descriptions. Animals change, as do humans, we adapt to society, as to animals adapt to their surroundings...I understand Global Warming, but are these facts just merely animals changing thinking they are sick of their daily routines just like we do in every day life? That's a question scientists will eventually figure out.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Field Notes-ch2&3

I'm sure everyone has heard of the movie The Day After Tomorrow. However, when I watched this the first thing I thought of was wow, this could actually happen one day. Little did I know at the time but it IS happening all around us every minute of every day.
Kolbert discusses many different facts of Global Warming in these two chapter. The problem is, are we as readers, and as human beings willing to actually believe this is happening?
A couple of examples that caught my attention were when she was at the Swiss Camp and they did the dating of the earth's climate from drilling into the ice core. Also the many different diagrams really help encourage the fact that Global Warming is occurring. Greenland's temperatures are proven to be rising. The Keeling Curve as described in chapter 2 is essentially what got me from beginning the reading. Being able to show the difference in CO2 levels from winter to summer is definitely a huge benefactor in the issue of Global Warming.
Kolbert's writing helps with understanding the difficult aspects of what exactly is going on. Her unique writing flow really helps move me along from page to page. She really explains and describes the individuals from what they do as a living to their eye colors. I think this is a great gift to be able to describe such a skeptical issue in our society today, as well as she does, and do it with such great understanding.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Field Notes

Global warming isn't a topic that I tend to read about because it's usually too "scientific" for me and I get too confused. The author of this book, however, seems to write this more fluidly and really take her time to describe what she sees which, I think really helps pull your readers in.

It's interesting to read about what she has witnessed instead of just reading scientific codes, equations, dates, and data. All of that stuff gets too jumbled up and confusing so for her to write more about how Global warming is effecting little towns that, personally I have never heard of, and all of the things they've gone through to survive, it makes me want to learn more and read on.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Rag Time Weed"

Q. What is Ragweed?

A. As the distant sneezes and coughs come from around the corner, many are starting to take cover having their hand sanitizer and tissues, maybe even face masks ready for action.
There has been a lot of panic going along with the swine flu but some may not realize it could just be a regular seasonal allergy.
There is one plant, however, that is severely associated with allergies due to its pollen. This plants name is Ragweed. You can see this plant in many areas along the road, river banks, sandy soils, sunny grassy plains, and basically anything that is dry.
Ragweed's are also called ambrosia, bitterweeds or even bloodweeds. They are "invasive weeds" meaning, very hard to get rid of once they are in a spot. This is ironic because their scientific name is Asteraceae, which is part of the sunflower family. Ambrosia on the other hand is the Ancient Greek term for perfumed nourishment of the gods, odd seeing how they or the cause of sever allergies to those unfortunate souls just like I am.
They occur in the Northern Hemisphere and also in South America, and there are actually 41 different species of Ragweed worldwide.
Some of these Ragweeds are flowers and plants we see daily such as annuals, perennials, shrubs and subshrubs. They have erect hispid stems that grow in large clumps to a height of around 75-90 cm.
These plants are able to produce a billion grains of pollen over one season. It is also considered to be the greatest cause of hay fever in North America and also considered the worst allergen of all pollens. They usually bloom in early July, and stay until the colder months. It is a wind pollinated plant, meaning airborne pollination.
Many will say that it is impossible to remove ragweed from any are due too its high production in seeds, and of course the pollen. So for now the best thing to do is stock up on those allergy medications and tissues and wait for the snow to fall.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"What are goosebumps?"

Q. What exactly are goosebumps?

A. It's that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the temperature is getting colder, and the snow will soon fall. People are bundling up in their warm fuzzy sweaters, and wrapping themselves in 11 blankets. All of this means that those little bumps on your arms happen to come around more often.
Those little bumps happen to be called goosebumps. Not only can they be formed when someone is cold, but also when you are scared. Goosebumps are small bumps in the skin, which are caused by tightening muscles. These muscles pull body hair into an erect position. Goosebumps are a vestigial reflex in humans, which is from a long time ago left over from when we had more hair on our bodies. You may see this in certain animals when they are frightened, most symbolic would be cats when they are scared and there fur stands straight up.
The medical term for goosebumps is cutis ansernia, and going along with that the term
“horripilation” is sometimes used to refer to the act of raising goose bumps. According to some scientists this muscle stimulation is part of the fight or flight system, meaning it is an involuntary motion, it just happens.
A signal from the automatic nervous system tells the muscles around the hair follicle to tighten, which in turn causes a bump on your skin. Some people may assume that goosebumps only form at the legs and arms, but they can also form on the face, scalp and chest, or basically anywhere else.
So the next time you are enjoying a scary movie or just really cold from a chilly breeze and these little bumps form, there is don't be alarmed.