@Read Epub ê Basin and Range ⛄ eBook or Kindle ePUB free

@Read Epub ¿ Basin and Range ó The first of John McPhee s works in his series on geology and geologists, Basin and Range is a book of journeys through ancient terrains, always in juxtaposition with travels in the modern world a history of vanished landscapes, enhanced by the histories of people who bring them to light The title refers to the physiographic province of the United States that reaches from eastern Utah to eastern California, a silent world of austere beauty, of hundreds of discrete high mountain ranges that are green with junipers and often white with snow The terrain becomes the setting for a lyrical evocation of the science of geology, with important digressions into the plate tectonics revolution and the history of the geologic time scale Interesting revisiting the work thator less introduced me to the geo poetry pioneering geologist Harry Hess s term of plate tectonics and brought a lyrical sense of deep geological time to life Some details of our understanding of the earth s dynamics have changed, almost all of them in ways that confirm the basic vision McPhee builds the book around his encounters with geologists and the basins and ranges fanning out from Interstate 80, primarily in the West, and nothing about eithe Interesting revisiting the work thator less introduced me to the geo poetry pioneering geologist Harry Hess s term of plate tectonics and brought a lyrical sense of deep geological time to life Some details of our understanding of the earth s dynamics have changed, almost all of them in ways that confirm the basic vision McPhee builds the book around his encounters with geologists and the basins and ranges fanning out from Interstate 80, primarily in the West, and nothing about either the culture or the landscape has changed, give or take humanity s hubris Came out of it, as I come out of Gary Snyder s poetry, feeling like there s really nothing our species can do to change, or maybe even seriously effect, the story of the planet What I absolutely love about McPhee s nonfiction is his ability to write about place Bason and Range , people Deffeyes and ideas plate tectonics with both beautiful prose and amazing intimacy My favorite parts are where McPhee weaves place and people, or people and ideas, together and establishes the grand metaphor for his book ExampleAt any given moment, no two geologists are going to have their heads exactly the same level of acceptance of all hypotheses and theories that are floating What I absolutely love about McPhee s nonfiction is his ability to write about place Bason and Range , people Deffeyes and ideas plate tectonics with both beautiful prose and amazing intimacy My favorite parts are where McPhee weaves place and people, or people and ideas, together and establishes the grand metaphor for his book ExampleAt any given moment, no two geologists are going to have their heads exactly the same level of acceptance of all hypotheses and theories that are floating around,Deffeyes saidThere are always many ideas in various stages of acceptance That is how science works Ideas range from the solidly accepted to the half baked those in process of forming, the sorts of things about which people call each other up in the middle of the night IT is amazing to me that McPhee is able to illicit a quote from a geologist that suggests, subtly, that all science itself IS like plate tectonics shifting, moving, banging into each other, erroding, collapsing Again, McPhee is amazing Rocks A book on rocks A book on rocks that rocks There was a time when I would ve assumed that a head full of rocks was a prerequisite for reading a book on rocks There was a time when I wasn t aware of John McPhee McPhee rocks.Why This book rocks because it s really about time, or as McPhee calls it, deep time the mind blowing discovery that the planet is a pebble or two older than, say 40,000 years, which, once upon a time, was the received wisdom about Mother Earth s age Turns out Rocks A book on rocks A book on rocks that rocks There was a time when I would ve assumed that a head full of rocks was a prerequisite for reading a book on rocks There was a time when I wasn t aware of John McPhee McPhee rocks.Why This book rocks because it s really about time, or as McPhee calls it, deep time the mind blowing discovery that the planet is a pebble or two older than, say 40,000 years, which, once upon a time, was the received wisdom about Mother Earth s age Turns out we missed her birthday by a few ticks and tocks of the planet s natural time piece you got itrocks Whatever divine stork delivered the planet in a galactic diaper flapped its wings this way around 5 billion years ago give or take millenium or two Whatever god you worship, curse, ignore, or deny, that s a significant miscalculation that s hard to sweep under the crusty carpet of our geological living room But before you grow melancholic under the existential landslide of that idea, rest assured that McPhee serves as a most lucid and entertaining guide of the geological heavings and grindings underlying literally that process whereby our understanding of time shifted from Biblical finitude to scientific near infinity and if you need a little OTC supplement to calm your nerves, may I suggest chanting Theodore Roethke s wise line, All finite things reveal infinitude As in all his books or at least the ones I ve read , he does this by organizing his material around a story featuring an expert protagonist, in this case the geologist Ken Deffeyes, whom McPhee follows around, learning how to read the face of rock, rendering the abyss of various fault linescompreshensible than terrifying But the real character that makes this such a fascinating read, whether for expert or novice, is McPhee s vivid but never intrusive prose Permit me just one sample with a description of one feature of the Great Basin in Nevada In the manner of a seesaw, the high, mountain side of the block as a whole reached a state of precarious and temporary truce with God, physics, and mechanical and chemical erosion, not to mention, far below, the agitated mantle, which was running a temperature hotter than normal, and was, almost surely, controlling the action It is lines like that one that have transformed my weekly Sunday drives back from my sweetie s home in Southwest Virginia, as I slalom down through the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Piedmont of North Carolina dropping off a thousand feet and sweeping out into a vast plain that resembles a leafy ocean floor it may once have been and may well become again Instead of speeding home heedlessly, preoccupied with thoughts of the coming work week filled with meetings, classes, bills, and chores, I tap the breaks now and then in an attempt to savor the descent and momentarily forestall my own passage into deep time This would be two and half stars, if that were an option I very much wanted to love this book It s been recommended to me multiple times by multiple people, even long before I started working with geologists, long before I held oolites in my hand, or saw an angular unconformity, or got to know Walter Alvarez.Although I m not an earth scientist, I m familiar with most of the ideas in the book, and recognized many of the words I m interested in geology So I was presumably in the target audien This would be two and half stars, if that were an option I very much wanted to love this book It s been recommended to me multiple times by multiple people, even long before I started working with geologists, long before I held oolites in my hand, or saw an angular unconformity, or got to know Walter Alvarez.Although I m not an earth scientist, I m familiar with most of the ideas in the book, and recognized many of the words I m interested in geology So I was presumably in the target audience a well suited reader.Yet I found much of it incomprehensible Poetic and interesting, but not understandable It s too technical to be fully engaging for non scientists, but doesn t include enough maps or diagrams to be illustrative educational And it s probably too travelogue ish or narrative to be of interest to scientists.McPhee opens the second chapter by saying that when he took an earth science class as a young person, he let the words go sailing past him like paper airplanes I got a similar feeling reading his book I enjoyed the words flowing past me, but would have preferred to be able to catch a ride on that drift.I m glad I read it, and will be interested to read another of his books to see how it compares Overall, though, I m disappointed