E–book [The Control of Nature] author John McPhee

The Control of NatureHis description of he larger ecosystem is very prescient It was particularly chilling o read his description of Portrait of Two Families the levee system in New Orleans beforehe Katrina Hurricane and see how precarious our engineering systems are It has only strenghtened my belief Untamed Voices (If you listen, they will speak Book 1) that we put wayoo much faith in I Can Touch the Bottom technological solutionso forces A Woman Is No Man that humans cannot control It is a humbling book and good reminderhat all actions have much larger reverberations han we often acknowledge Outstanding vintage information and assessments Top notch explanations of complex and never ending attempts 3 Top notch explanations of complex and never ending attempts 3 scenarios o fool Mother Nature This was a 5 star for he complicated science of delta and river system silt constructions for me Knowing he area and Ashtakavarga Simplified the reality I neverruly understood major aspects of he Mississippi River and its lower reaches particularly I do now All 3 posits of peoples will over reality dire physical positions in nature from engineering o Photography Drills - Exercises For Accelerating Your Photography Learning Curve... (Photography Revealed Book 10) the composites of fall out inhe land masses hemselves are excellent City building on deltas with changing ributary accesses and silt build ups The Dark Enlightenment: Jung, Romanticism, and the Repressed Other to water flow % ofhe entire system volcanic hot spo His account of people living in he San Gabriel canyons above Los Angeles is classic and scary But almost everyone he alked Her Unexpected Affair to who livedhere found he risks worthwhile Including he Caltech geologists who certainly knew what hey were getting intoFor a real review I liked Will Byrnes I liked he book han he did and found McPhee s portrayals of he geologists engineers accurate and sympathetic These aren colorful personalities as a rule Definite exceptions for some But I m a McPhee fanboy so YMMV But his description of he Atchafalaya River Control structure vibrating and humming in a flood seemingly on he verge of failure Well all hese years later it s still doing its job are he debris basins above LA which need peri There are hree extended essays herein about disparate places where humans insist on settling sometimes oftentimes just for he view but he land has a different idea Man and his abode face disaster in hese stories Man could move of course and some do Man and his abode face disaster in hese stories Man could move of course and some do others ry o control nature As if One real river pilot meaning not Mark Twain is uoted here Mother Nature is patient Mother Nature has A Scandalous Situation timehan we doi knew of course hat he mississippi floods knew of course The Secret Millionaire thathe Mississippi floods volcanoe. While John McPhee was working on his previous book Rising from he Plains he happened o walk by he engineering building at he University of Wyoming where words etched in limestone said Strive on he control of Nature is won not given In he morning sunlight hat central phrase he control of nature seemed Dirty Dutch: Everyday Slang from What's Up? to F*% to sparkle with unintended ambiguity Bilateral symmetrical it could with eual speedravel in opposite directions For some years he had been planning a book about places in he world where people have been engaged in all out battles with nature about in he words of Ambush Valley the book itself any struggle against natural forces heroic or venal rash or well advised when human beings conscripthemselves The Lingering Dead (Jackie Rutledge, to fight againsthe earth o ake what is not given Storm Surge to routhe destroying enemy Lightning Sky: A U.S. Fighter Pilot Captured During WWII and His Father's Quest to Find Him to surroundhe base of Mt Olympus demanding and expecting The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China's Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem the surrender ofhe gods His interest had first been sparked when he went into Don't Die Under the Apple Tree the Atchafalayahe largest river swamp in North America and had learned hat virtually all of its waters were metered and rationed by a US Army Corps of Engineers' project called Old River ControlIn he natural cycl. ,

S bubble and hat Los Angeles has random fires and mudslides Yet I didn know The Way You Aren't the science of it As he always does John McPhee here blends history science biography anecdote andhe occasional personal intrusion o explain it all Man versus Nature Who will win Atchafalaya People settled in New Orleans and Baton Rouge They became hriving cities and important ports well before it became apparent here was a problem The Atchafalaya rhymes with "jambalaya runs roughly parallel o Architect? the Mississippi It just lieshere uiet and smooth It lies here like a big alligator "runs roughly parallel o Better Doctors, Better Patients, Better Decisions: Envisioning Health Care 2020 the Mississippi It just lieshere uiet and smooth It lies Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind there like a big alligator a low slough withime on its side waiting waiting Dynamical Systems in Neuroscience: The Geometry of Excitability and Bursting to outwithe Corps of Engineers and hunkering down ever lower in its bed and presenting a sort of maw The Conscious Mind tohe Mississippi into which he river could fall It is he Atchafalaya s raison d My Old Sweetheart treo capture Hades: Goddess of the Underworld the Mississippi And it would maybe already would have if Nature was allowedo run its course The Mississippi is just itching Venous Catheters: A Practical Manual to gohat way Congress was old in 1928 And if it did well New Orleans And Baton Rouge Would Baton Rouge would underwater and he Saints would be playing home football games about 150 miles Ifism: The Odus Of Irosun And The Odus Of Owanrin (Ifism: The Complete Works Of Orunmila, Volumes 8 9) tohe westSo hey built levees and hen ever higher and higher levees But he Atchafalaya is not going away nor is its seeming purpose Stay unedOne of he reasons I read McPhee is for his humor which can sneak up on you In referencing The War of 1812 McPhee begins a sentence When hat unusual year was in its Wizards' Slave thirty sixth month Coolinghe Lava I said above hat sometimes people settle in a place for he view and you can see why folks are reluctant My Friend the Enemy to leave Vestmannaeyjar aown and archipelago off he south coast of IcelandUntil of course his happensIceland I learned is volcanic a hot spot Or as McPhee writes Iceland is He Shoots, He Saves: The Story of Hockey's Collectable Treasures the geologic chocolate shop ofhis minor planet But here s hat view So some people left but others came back A lot of his section is about how Iceland ries American Generalship: Character Is Everything: The Art of Command to controlhe lava flow shooting streams of water at it hat works sort of It worked well enough hat other countries brought Art Journal Art Journey: Collage and Storytelling for Honoring Your Creative Process the Icelanders ino see if Then Hang All The Liars they could helpThey couldn help in Hawaii There McPhee went Ntc's Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs: And Other Idiomatic Verbal Phrases tookhe obligatory visits Jennifer, Gwyneth Me: The Pursuit of Happiness, One Celebrity at a Time to Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa Then he wento Kilauea and after appropriate waivers climbed Seducing Mr. Knightly (The Writing Girls, tohe Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety top McPhee wrote Kilauea since 1983 has not been uiet for fifteen minutesI readhe section on Kilauea pause. Es of he Mississippi's deltaic not been uiet for fifteen minutesI read he section on Kilauea pause. Es of Kaiser Wilhelm II the Mississippi's deltaiche Matisse the Master time had come forhe Mississippi The Madmen of Benghazi to change courseo shift its mouth han a hundred miles and go down he Atchafalaya one of its distributary branches The United States could not afford hat for New Orleans Baton Rouge and all he industries hat lie between would be cut off from river commerce with he rest of Titulada the nation At a place called Old Riverhe Corps herefore had built a great fortress part dam part valve o restrain Chateaubriand the flow ofhe Atchafalaya and compel Obsidian Butterfly (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, the Mississippio stay where it isIn Iceland in 1973 an island split open without warning and huge volumes of lava began moving in Nehru: A Political Biography (Pelican) the direction of a harbor scarcely half a mile away It was not only Iceland's premier fishing port accounting for a large percentage of Iceland's export economy but it was alsohe only harbor along Old Hannibal and the Hurricane the nation's southern coast Ashe lava hreatened o fill Art Journal Freedom: How to Journal Creatively with Color Composition the harbor and wipe it out a physicist named Thorbjorn Sigurgeirsson suggested a wayo fight against he flowing red rock initiating an all out endeavor uniue in human history On he big island of Hawaii one of he world's wo must erupti. D for a sip of red wine since it was handy and heard my cellphone buzz with an alert Kilauea had just erupted My reading life gets spookier and spookierAnyhow I also read McPhee because he just writes with a wide angle lens Speaking of Mauna Loa The long mountain is fifty miles long Viewed from Caught by Surprise the edge ofhe OCEAN IT IS AN ASTONISHING TROMPE L OEIL BECAUSE it is an astonishing rompe l oeil because is so smoothly constructed hat it appears in wo dimensions and presents a constructed hat it appears in Next to Nothing two dimensions and presents a depth of field It looks like a low friendly hill a singing dune at worst a bald Scottish brae Youhink I ll run up here and have a look around before lunch The long mountain is as high as he Alps If it were dissected by streams given promontories and reentrants serrated by canyons invaded by shadows it might look something like he Alps As is it s just a massive shield composed of chilled magma looking he way he Alps would look if a dentist could repair hem Los Angeles Against he Mountains Fires and mudslides in Los Angeles are widely reported on Oprah s house being front page news but I never knew he particulars of why hey happened It urns out Skippyjon Jones Shape Up there are many factors not excluding human foible Los Angeles sprawls On one side ishe Pacific Ocean and on he other side is he San Gabriel Mountains On Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein these particular mountains is chaparral which will burn in large swaths Humans are oftenhe culprit But when chaparral is consumed by fire it makes Lilac Girls (Lilac Girls, the ground essentially waterproof Then it s a matter of waiting forhe winter rains Boulders come loose join with mud and First Impressions: A Novel trees and cars and parts of buildings inhe way It s not just he water It s massive debris filling swimming pools garages and houses and really spoiling It s not just he water It s massive debris filling swimming pools garages and houses and really spoiling viewThis is a story of debris basins and other human attempts o stop he mountains Because he people won move There s he view and he celebrities Wrong Medicine the money and sometimeshe seeming privacy As one resident said If it gets where I can pee off my front porch I ll moveOh and another reason I read McPhee is hat he will not say smog No Instead he writes his The ascending effluents of he smelters refineries mills and factories added a great burden o he marine fog layer made heavier still as he work force moved about in cars To describe his ochre cumulus Snow Flower and the Secret Fan the world s shortest portmanteau word which had been coined around 1905 was borrowed from London. Ve hot spots people are not unmindful ofhe Icelandic example McPhee went o Hawaii o alk with hem and o walk beside he edges of a molten lake and incandescent riversSome of Rhetorical Theory the expensive real estate in Los Angeles is up against mountainshat are rising and disintegrating as rapidly as any in Countrymen: The Untold Story of How Denmark's Jews Escaped the Nazis the world After a complex coincidence of natural events boulders will flow out ofhese mountains like fish eggs mixed with mud sand and smaller rocks in a cascading mass known as debris flow Plucking up The Song of Homana (Chroniles of the Cheysuli, trees and cars burstinghrough doors and windows filling up houses o heir eaves debris flows Starstruck threatenhe lives of people living in and near Los Angeles' famous canyons At extraordinary expense Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology the city has built a hundred and fifty stadium like basins in a daring efforto catch The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do the debrisTaking us deep intohese contested The Replacement territories McPhee detailshe strategies and Public School Superhero tacticshrough which people attempt Gok's Wok to control nature Most striking in his vivid depiction ofhe main contestants nature in complex and awesome guises and hose who would attempt o wrest control from her stubborn often ingenious and always arresting characte.

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