ISBN 10: 0285638998 / ISBN 13: 9780285638990
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Riassunto:

In Brilliant, award-winning author Jane Brox offers a sweeping history of our transformative relationship with light?from the stone lamps of the Pleistocene to LEDs embedded in fabrics of the future?and reveals that the surprising, complex story of our illumination is also the story of our modern selves.

Just five hundred years ago almost everyone lived at the mercy of the dark, yet today so much of life as we know it?our long evening hours, our flexible working days, our feelings of safety at night?depends upon cheap, abundant light. Brox not only examines the social and environmental implications of this remarkable transformation, she tells a compelling story imbued with human voices, startling insights, and timely questions about how the light of the future will shape our lives.

Recensione: Amazon Best Books of the Month, July 2010: In Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light, Jane Brox illuminates the fascinating and forgotten history of man-made light, tracing its development through centuries of sputtering, smoking candles, to the gradual refinement of gas and, finally, electric light. Brox captures the sense of wonder that permeated the Chicago World's Fair as electric light lit up the "White City," and shows how quickly we became reliant on electric light, recounting the trepidation and anxiety that accompanied the mandatory blackouts of World War II and the power outages that have plagued New York City's power grid since the 1960s. Brox also addresses the unexpected consequences of light pollution, detailing the struggles of astronomers who are no longer able to see stars, and migrating birds that confusedly circle lit buildings at night until they die from exhaustion. Brilliant is an eloquent account of how a luxury so quickly became a necessity, and permanently changed human history. --Lynette Mong

Amazon Exclusive: A Letter from Jane Brox, Author of Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light

Dear Amazon Readers,

So much of life as we know it--our long evening hours, our flexible working days, our feelings of safety at night--depends upon cheap, abundant light made possible by the incandescent bulb. Now that new government energy efficiency standards will make filament light bulbs illegal by 2014--and for the first time our new means of illumination may not be as satisfactory as the old--it's the perfect moment to look at the extraordinary story of how we came to inhabit our world built of light.

Just five hundred years ago almost everyone lived at the mercy of the dark. In a time before street lighting, travel at night was always perilous, and forbidden to all but a few. Most people were confined to their homes after sunset--authorities in some towns even locked citizens inside their houses for the night. Within their close quarters, many had no hope of more than a few hours of light in evening--meager, troublesome light cast by one or two stinking tallow candles or oil lamps.

Since then, each century of painstaking progress in illumination has had its own drama. The 18th century's need for more and more light spurred a world-wide hunt for whale oil, which proved to be so exhaustive it put the very survival of some whale species in peril, while the 19th century race to build a viable electric light involved the work of many scientists throughout Europe and America. In truth, Edison's bulb was not the isolated triumph it often seems to us now. His achievement was only possible after centuries of evolving understanding of electricity, and decades of experiments by dozens of scientists racing to fashion a workable incandescent light.

Edison's light assured cheap, abundant illumination for many, but not all. The democratic distribution of light in the United States depended upon the decades-long struggle by rural Americans to have the same access to electricity as those in the cities and suburbs. And controversies continue: as the demands for energy efficiency compete with our desires to have the light we want, we find ourselves in the midst of a new race for the perfect energy efficient light of the future. And as the grave consequences of light pollution become more and more evident we are faced with the question: How much light is too much?

When you read Brilliant you'll not only gain insight into the history of artificial light, you'll find that the surprising, complex story of our illumination is also the story of our evolving modern selves.

-Jane Brox

(Photo © Luc Demers)



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Descrizione libro Souvenir Press Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 218 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Brilliant, award-winning author Jane Brox offers a sweeping history of our transformative relationship with light--from the stone lamps of the Pleistocene to LEDs embedded in fabrics of the future--and reveals that the surprising, complex story of our illumination is also the story of our modern selves. Just five hundred years ago almost everyone lived at the mercy of the dark, yet today so much of life as we know it--our long evening hours, our flexible working days, our feelings of safety at night--depends upon cheap, abundant light. Brox not only examines the social and environmental implications of this remarkable transformation, she tells a compelling story imbued with human voices, startling insights, and timely questions about how the light of the future will shape our lives. Codice libro della libreria AA69780285638990

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Descrizione libro Souvenir Press Ltd, United Kingdom, 2011. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 218 x 140 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Brilliant, award-winning author Jane Brox offers a sweeping history of our transformative relationship with light--from the stone lamps of the Pleistocene to LEDs embedded in fabrics of the future--and reveals that the surprising, complex story of our illumination is also the story of our modern selves. Just five hundred years ago almost everyone lived at the mercy of the dark, yet today so much of life as we know it--our long evening hours, our flexible working days, our feelings of safety at night--depends upon cheap, abundant light. Brox not only examines the social and environmental implications of this remarkable transformation, she tells a compelling story imbued with human voices, startling insights, and timely questions about how the light of the future will shape our lives. Codice libro della libreria AA69780285638990

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Descrizione libro Souvenir Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: Brand New. 360 pages. 8.74x5.55x1.34 inches. In Stock. Codice libro della libreria __0285638998

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