The Sea Around Us () - Rotten Tomatoes
For me, the inevitable summertime trip to the beach is not about any of these things; it's an opportunity to inhabit, however briefly, the margin where land and sea engage in a constant, ever-changing relationship that is one of the great drivers of life on, and the life of, the planet. It's a zone of interchange between the three great planetary ecosystems of earth, air and ocean and one which played a crucial role in the evolution of life itself.
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A trip to the seaside is an opportunity to contemplate the sea in all its multifaceted glory. However, if, like me, you're no expert, you'll need a guide to take along, someone who knows the science of the sea and can communicate it clearly and alluringly. You're unlikely to find anything better than Rachel Carson 's The Sea Around Us , the first, and still perhaps the best science bestseller.
It wasn't her first attempt at capturing the oceans between the covers of a book; 10 years earlier she had published Under the Sea Wind , a set of short stories in which sea life is narrated through the eyes of birds and fish. This first book was a critical but not a commercial success and disappeared until the success of The Sea Around Us brought it back into print. The second book is a quiet tour de force.
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Carson avoids the temptation to patronise either the reader or the world she is bringing to life. There is none of the wallowing in anthropomorphic inaccuracy that mars much popular nature writing and the science is lucidly explained without leaving out the hard bits.
The reader is immersed in a new and wonderful world, one where everything really is connected to everything else. Where the water is rich in plankton, it loses the glassy transparency that permits this deep penetration of the light rays. The yellow and brown and green hues of the coastal waters are derived from the minute algae and other microorganisms so abundant there.
The unrelieved darkness of the deep waters has produced weird and incredible modifications of the abyssal fauna. It is a blackness so divorced from the world of the sunlight that probably only the few men who have seen it with their own eyes can visualize it.
The Sea Around Us
We know that light fades out rapidly with descent below the surface. The red rays are gone at the end of the first or feet, and with them all the orange and yellow warmth of the sun.
Then the greens fade out, and at feet only a deep, dark, brilliant blue is left. Here is a discussion of the influence of the ocean upon weather and climate, a consideration of the wealth of mineral matter potentially available in oceanic waters, and a thumbnail sketch of the earlier history of navigation. More than likely, it will inspire new respect for scientific habits of mind and awaken dormant interests in scientific pursuits.
Kirtley F. Mather — , the first editor of American Scientist 's Scientists' Bookshelf, was a geologist and professor at Harvard University. He served as president of AAAS in the s, during which time he also spoke out against the McCarthy-era inquisitions.
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This was not the first time Mather had advocated for freedom of expression: In the s, he refused to take a "teachers' oath" proposed by the Massachusetts state legislature. Bork notes, "Mather was happy to pledge allegiance to the federal government when he was inducted into the U. Army, but he rebelled against state fealty oaths for faculty members at private universities. View the discussion thread.