The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light
3 journalers for this copy...
The book discusses public opinion and ecological concerns vs. practical advantages; clearly, some amount of nighttime lighting is a good thing, so that we can stay out later without bumping into things, but there are ways to design the lights and the spacing and timing such that we aren't blasting photons all over the place to no purpose.
He mentions safety concerns at one point, as in safety-from-violent-crime; he suggests that the criminals prefer to work where they can see what they're doing, so people who dread any dimming of street lights may be miscalculating the risks! (One photo demonstrates quite well the advantages of well-thought-out security lighting: a too-bright lamp casts a glow that can obscure the view of, say, a stranger lurking by the gate, while a better-designed choice can allow wider visibility. Think low-beam headlights vs. high-beam.)
I appreciate the chance to enjoy near-dark, myself, though where I live it's difficult. Still, my own backyard, shaded by trees from most of the surrounding houses and streetlights, can get dark enough on moonless nights to feel quite remote indeed. And I spent time on a friend's ranch in Wyoming in my youth, where walking out into the yard at night meant stepping back in time: I recall one night when I was terrified by a thundering noise whose origin I couldn't see or even accurately pinpoint, until several of the - very tame - ranch horses galloped by me, enjoying their evening gambols! And I do wonder if I've damaged my own night vision by spending most of my after-dark time in well-lit spaces, staring at screens of one kind or another...
Among the author's other dark-seeking visits was to Cape Cod, to the site of Henry Beston's long-vanished beach house from which he wrote The Outermost House (a favorite book of mine). While the area isn't as remote - or as dark - as it was in Beston's day, the author appreciates the spot, even though he has to turn his back on the huge glow that is Boston...
There are discussions of darkness as it relates to sleep habits, light-pollution as it affects wildlife, and more.
but yet another that sounds interesting. I think I will at least add this one to my wishlist and like elizardbreath with the Bicycle, maybe it will find its way back to me :-)
Update October 15: still reading but I'm getting there; I'm currently starting chapter two. (This book's chapters count DOWN.)
Either Bogard or his fact-checker slipped up a couple of times: the memorable science fiction short story "Nightfall" is by Isaac Asimov, and the long-time host of public radio's "Music Through the Night" was Arthur Hoehn, who kept me company during many a long night while I was in high school.
USPS tracking 9549 0104 3304 9292 6490 47
Released for Secretariat's 2019 NJABBIC challenge (week 42: figures turned away from the reader), AlterEgoZoe's Spook-tacular challenge, and DragonGoddess's Tick Tock challenge.
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