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Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light #2020

Brilliant The Evolution of Artificial Light Brilliant reminiscent of Lewis Hyde s The Gift in its reach and of Timothy Egan s The Worst Hard Time in its haunting evocation of human lives offers a sweeping view of a surprisingly revealing aspe

  • Title: Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light
  • Author: Jane Brox
  • ISBN: 9780547055275
  • Page: 196
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light By Jane Brox, Brilliant, reminiscent of Lewis Hyde s The Gift in its reach and of Timothy Egan s The Worst Hard Time in its haunting evocation of human lives, offers a sweeping view of a surprisingly revealing aspect of human history from the stone lamps of the Pleistocene to the LEDs embedded in fabrics of the future.Brox plumbs the class implications of light who had it, who didn t thBrilliant, reminiscent of Lewis Hyde s The Gift in its reach and of Timothy Egan s The Worst Hard Time in its haunting evocation of human lives, offers a sweeping view of a surprisingly revealing aspect of human history from the stone lamps of the Pleistocene to the LEDs embedded in fabrics of the future.Brox plumbs the class implications of light who had it, who didn t through the many centuries when crude lamps and tallow candles constricted waking hours She convincingly portrays the hell bent pursuit of whale oil as the first time the human desire for light thrust us toward an environmental tipping point Only decades later, gas street lights opened up the evening hours to leisure, which changed the ways we live and sleep and the world s ecosystems.Edison s tiny strip of paper that a breath would blow away produced a light that seemed to its users all but divorced from human effort or cost And yet, as Brox s informative and hair raising portrait of our current grid system shows, the cost is ever with us.Brilliant is infused with human voices, startling insights, and only a few years before it becomes illegal to sell most incandescent light bulbs in the United States timely questions about how our future lives will be shaped by light.

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      Posted by:Jane Brox
      Published :2020-02-13T19:47:54+00:00

    1 thought on “Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light

    1. I have to admit disappointment in this book While aspects of it were interesting and engaging, I found it on the whole to lack focus and direction, and most importantly of all, to not really be about the history of light.I had high hopes As an Interior Designer, my work relies heavily on the use of light, and as such I have learned fascinating things about it over the years why HID lamps are used in conjunction with green signs on the highway, the methods of making a space illuminated to create [...]

    2. This was a really interesting book about something we pretty much take for granted artificial light Brox takes us back to the Stone Age discovery of how to harness fire After that, light was pretty much unchanged until the 18th century when one after another, brighter and brighter sources of light, from whale oil to kerosene to gaslight, changed the way humans related to the night After detailing the history of how we harnessed electricity for lighting, Brox turns to our dependence on electricit [...]

    3. Brilliant was an interesting look at the evolution of light The research was strong, but the writing was quite inconsistent with moments of poetic lyricism interspersed with poorly told stories and snippets if weakly veiled propaganda I don t think I would read another book by this author, but I would consider recommending this book to someone with a deep interest in the subject Overall, my response to the book us meh.

    4. I was reading this at the same time as The Zookeeper s Wife , which took a fascinating story and turned it into an unreadable book Brilliant , by contrast, took a mundane subject and turned it into a fascinating book My time reading it was filled with discovery and enlightenment One of those books I borrowed to read but now want to own.

    5. Fascinating, readable account of humankind s relationship with light In the final chapter, titled The Once and Future Light, Brox suggests that we also need to think back to the past, to ask ourselves whether we are hampered by brilliance than our ancestors ever were by the dark A very good question.

    6. Interesting and comprehensive It dragged in portions, loaded down with information, lumbering along I learned a lot though My favorite parts were the ancient times, the TVA electrification and the future of lighting Some of it was familiar already the disaster that lighting has caused among migratory birds, nesting turtles and astronomers but the new information was fascinating.

    7. p.27 There would always be something of the cold taste of order in public lightingchokengtitik

      titikchokeng97 8 Benjamin Franklin, one of the eighteenth century s most tireless electricians a phrase he coined and by which electrical experimenters were then knownchokengtitik

      titikchokeng130 Not until the 1867 Paris Exposition did a world s fair stay open at night.A fascinating and thorough look at a subject that most people, including this reader, take for granted artificial light One of the [...]

    8. A very interesting book I think it could have used a bit editing Some times it read like a science textbook, but overall I think it portrayed how artificial light has evolved over the centuries in an interesting and informative way.

    9. Note This review also appears on.Shines a light down many previously darkened pathsIn a poetic, lyrical style mixed with equal parts journalistic reporting and historical research, Brox does a nice job of capturing a shadowy subject artificial light, what it has given us and what it has taken away.From miners using the purifying flesh of luminescent fish to Inuits with seal blubber candles made of moss and stone, from seamstresses with tallow candles magnified through water lenses to arc lamps i [...]

    10. Brilliant describes the amazing and often surprising journey from fire to candle to oil lamp to gas lighting to electric light brilliant also describes this book and its author This book is a mix of history, science, cultural analysis, literary quotes, newspaper clippings, and insightful analysis into how light has changed, why we ve demanded it change, and how light has changed us as humans Brox takes us in scene to various settings For example, in Medieval Europe in order to enforce the curfew [...]

    11. Jane Brox s book is an excellent and brief history of light as we have created it It reads faster than its 300 pages, and is filled with snapshots of the fascinating men alas, it s all men who pushed forward the quality and demand for light Argand, Fresnel, Faraday, Edison and Tesla all contribute to the steps forward in illumination This book is certainly not an exhaustive study, and is not meant to be The people, science and advances are all given a couple of pages, or perhaps a chapter each M [...]

    12. It would NEVER have occurred to me to pick this up, but am I glad I did Have you ever noticed how PANICKED people get when the lights go out Brox has, and her points about how darkness was not as feared way back as it is now as well as concerns about the centralization of both the delivery of fuel think gas works or electrical grids and the loss of autonomy when such fuels were no longer available or the delivery interrupted was just fascinating Light, as it happens, was for the wealthy because [...]

    13. A book like this that takes something from my everyday life I don t think about very much and explains how it has evolved and helps me see it in a totally different way is a good book.Brox lays out the chronology of artificial light since the first caveman painted on the walls of Lascaux Cave in France She describes so vividly how feeble the light from old tallow candles was, and how even as the candles got better they were still so much work to maintain something I truly had never ever realized [...]

    14. 368 pg nonfiction This book is the story of how we made and the problems with artificial light The history of light isn t a subject we think about when we flick the switch and stare in depth at a light bulb We don t think about how we used to not be able to see our hands in front of our faces on a moonless night and when light pollution first started to brighten the skies at night We normally look at a flourescent light bulb and think about our budget but to all the generations working hard to m [...]

    15. I really enjoyed this book While it doesn t flow as smoothly as some other histories I ve read Salt, At Home , I learned so much about what is probably obscure history in some ways For me, it especially brought to life just how dark life must have been before the incandescent light bulb I love to read Victorian romance novels, which include scene after scene of evening balls and events After reading this book, I have a whole new appreciation for what kind of light that era actually had in the ev [...]

    16. Brox s intriguing blend of science, cultural analysis, and social history drew diverse reactions from critics While the Boston Globe and the Washington Post would have preferred a tightened focus on technology, others applauded her ability to illuminate the relationships between and interdependence of culture, politics, economics, and science Brox may not be an authority on such matters, but whatever she lacks in expertise, she makes up in enthusiasm and rigorous research Her elegant writing, en [...]

    17. I love books that show the connectedness of events, books like Bill Bryson s One Summer America 1927 and Rinker Buck s The Oregon Trail A New American Journey Brilliant shines a light on the world before and after Man harnessed fire, from stone lamps of the Pleistocene 40,000 years ago to the future of cool light and the concern today of light pollution Despite some sections heavy in technical detail, Brox has a lyrical style which capture s the reader s imagination from the pitch dark streets o [...]

    18. Loved this book Brox tells a lovely story that serves to disturb our familiarity with lighting in a delightful way the ordinary becomes new and remarkable again This is an engaging balance of evocative historical detail and millennia spanning breadth, and Brox s own presence in the narrative is properly limited so as to allow the events to stand alone I have but one complaint, and it is that the book is dreadfully citation sparse only direct quotations are cited, leaving many stretches of great [...]

    19. Wow I found this thoroughly engaging, despite the great amount of information conveyed But even important, I feel like reading this has shifted my thinking I ve never really thought about light before because, as she points out, it has become something we and of course I mean we living in prosperous and politically stable countries that actually have the ability to create and maintain widespread electrical grids take for granted because it s just always there The impact it has socially, cultura [...]

    20. I really liked this book The story of the evolution of artificial light told in language a layman can understand, but never condescending I found the author s discussion of the social, political and economic ramifications of the development of artificial light through the centuries to be particularly interesting I would have given this book 5 stars but for one thing the book and the subject cries out for illustrations and photographs, but they are nowhere to be found I realize that the inclusion [...]

    21. This is one of the most informative and fascinating books I ve ever read The author is very talented and obviously did a lot of research for this book It not only gives an in depth history of artificial light of every kind Many I didn t even know ever existed But it also ties light into many different facets of our lives There is a great deal of history learned from reading this book that you won t likely learn anywhere else Exciting and interesting facts about our ancestors and things about the [...]

    22. This is a good book about a fascinating topic What s really hard to imagine is how vastly different life has been for each of the last five centuries From 50,000 years of huddling around a lamp fueled with animal fat through the dark nights of winter to candles made of tallow to oil lamps powered by the reduced fat of whales to kerosene in blown glass to sitting on a couch under compact fluorescent light with the air conditioner on, the television on, the phone ringing, the words of our books sh [...]

    23. I love this stuff Brilliant is a very comprehensive guide to the history of light through the European American channel It amazes me how light affected other aspects of history the effect on race relations, home development, etc but I guess that s the point and power of microhistory 4 stars instead of 5 because my favorite parts ancient usage of light the downside to stargazing were short It s also not creative nonfiction the information, though interesting, is just given But still, a highly rec [...]

    24. An engaging history of how the availability of ever artificial light has changed our world over the centureis, from stone lamps in prehistoric caves to contemporary light emitting diodes LED s No simpleminded technological determinist, Brox appreciates how culture and technology have affected each other at every stage of our quest for light, from the caves of prehistoric French caves, medieval and early modern villages, whaling and other ships, industrializing cities, Chicago s White Ciuty of 1 [...]

    25. Brilliant is than an eloquent and gorgeous history of artificial light it is a survey of profound experiences long lost to the human senses, imagination and heart Brox reveals how light and darkness create intimacy and isolation, mark periods of rest, work and dreaming, and she demonstrates how light divorces us from and damages the natural world All students of literature, history and art should read Brilliant anyone interested in what it means to be human should read it, too Reviewed by Jo Pe [...]

    26. An illuminating read Not a page turner, but a book to read slowly and ponder the amazing differences between my life and the lives of those who lived only a scant one or two hundred years ago I will never again flip on a switch cavalierly And I will be careful to switch it off again with the hope that someday we can all see the stars that once were 2 23 12 Interesting article on sleep that sheds light on our sleep patterns and the effect nighttime lighting has made on our lives The myth of the e [...]

    27. Thinking about looking for places to see the Milky Way againaces to see the Aurora Borealis againFeeling flooded with light Just the fact that readily available light is only a 500 year old event set me to thinking about the thousands of years of human life before electricity Fascinating to think about the caves at Lascaux and what it would be like to see it by the flickering light of a tiny flame, one small piece at a time.

    28. An informative and well paced book on the evolution of artificial light, from the use of animal fat to incandescent light and beyond Knox excels on examining the social and cultural changes brought about new discoveries and spread of electric lights, especially in rural areas Another intriguing area of discussion in the book is how artificial lighting has impacted our bodies and own own natural rhythms Very thought provoking material.

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