Sunday, December 6, 2009

Final Chapters on 'Field Notes'

Chapter 9 caught my attention immediately because it focused on one of the neighboring cities of Plattsburgh: Burlington. I wanted to know what global warming phenomenon was taking place there that would warrant being mentioned in a book. I was amazed to discover that the global warming prevention plan in Burlingon is one of the most progressive in the country. I admired the fact that Kolbert was able to take this 'small city' and showcase how the people with political power as well as the residents are doing what they can to reduce carbon emission.

It was also good that she mentioned that even though Burlington is making all these efforts to protect against global warming they still have their setbacks, and I think this is what makes this whole situation seem realistic. Without setbacks their would be no reason to push forward and try harder and I think that is the message that Kolbert is tying to deliver. That the people who believe in global warming are going to try as hard as they can to prevent it or prevent further damage regardless of the challenges.

I think for the final chapter Kolbert should have stayed away from mentioning to much scientific stuff and focused more on how we as lay persons can take the knowledge gained from this book and use it to benefit our living situation. She went on to talk about this scientist who won a Nobel Prize and once again she just related information to me that didn't mean anything. I wanted the final chapter to be uplifting and hopeful and I did not get that impression.

The book on a whole for me was not great, but it definately had its moments where it showed great journalism and provided information that the general public needed to hear. I think Kolbert should have used better transitions in the book so that it would have had a better flow. There have been many books written about this topic and this one just does not stand when placed in a category with all of them. I want to read a book about global warming where a skeptic like myself would say 'Wow, I need to do something to curb this'. I did not receive that from Kolbert's book.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

'Field Notes' Chapters 7+8

Chapter 7 is the first chapter to give me exactly what I expected from this book since I began reading it. The sentences were short and to the point and explained everything that was highlighted so that the reader could understand. The author still had her flair but it wasn't to the level where it distracted me from the topic that she was discussing in this chapter which was CO2 emission.

Her writing style in this chapter made me believe that this particular aspect of global warming was one that she was deeply concerned. I just enjoyed this chapter because I felt that there was nothing that was unnecessary in it.

Chapter 8, thought not as straightforward as chapter 7, was still very informative. From reading these two chapters it seems as though Kolbert is changing her writing style as the book develops. It is moving from seeminly being carefree and flimsy with her so-called jokes to presenting serious information in a serious matter which I think is the best way to convey a book about this topic.

That being said I still believe that the reader can sense the tone of the book and the writer's opinions about the topic but in these chapters she seems to present the information without allowing her personal view come out too much. If these chapters are any indication of how the book will progress then I think that the up coming chapters will be very good.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

'Field Notes' Chapters 5+6

The beginning of chapter 5 was definately a surprise. I felt like I was reading a history text as opposed to a book that is suppose to inform me about global warming and the effect it has on the earth presently. I understood the idea that Kolbert had in her mind about the comparison between climate change hundreds of years ago to today, but I think it would have been more effective if she did not go so in depth with describing basically the whole life on this King. It seemed so irrelevant to inform the audience that as a baby he was discovered and compared him to Moses.

I enjoyed the illustrations that Kolbert used because with topics like this I believe it is more effective to give readers something to look at instead of words all the time. Something that I have noted about Kolbert's writing style is that some of the words she uses to describe things seem childish and are not effective as she would like it to be.

What I like about chapter 6 is that Kolbert talks about the ads in Netherlands to enforce her point and it is effective because the description is short and straight to the point which was lacking in the previous chapter. I also liked the length of chapter 6 because sometimes long chapters, on oftentimes boring topics, can hinder a reader's interpretationa and intake of the material.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

'Field Notes' Chapter 4

As I read on through the chapters in the book I am noticing that Kolbert is becoming more direct in presenting her information, and she is seemingly loosing the flair that attracted readers in the beginning of the book.

I actually thought the information that she presented to be pertinent to the subject of global warming, but the way in which she presented it was for lack of a better word boring. She tried to personalize it with her cute, little descriptions of the people she spoke with but after the first couple of chapters that trait had completely lost its initial effect.

Another thing that bothered me with the writing was that some of the sentences were too long. This had me confused as to what Kolbert was trying to say, and I found myself having to go back up the page to read again on more that one occasion.

What I did like about this chapter was that she focused on a few examples but really delved into explaining what was taking place with these creatures. I think this was very effective, and it allowed me to really see the extent to which global warming is having an effect.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Evidence to support Global Warming in chapter 2+3 of 'Field Notes'

The evidence that is put forth in 'Field Notes' to support global warming is extensive and strong as it is the role of the author to provide information that will showcase the 'truth' behind the theory. In chapter 2 when the author discusses the Irish physicist John Tyndall and his usage of a radio spectrophotometer which allowed him 'to compare the way different gases absorb and transmit radiation.' These tests with varying gases resulted in modern term of 'natural greenhouse effect.'

The author then when into the description of the effect that these greenhouse gases can have on the earth and its atmosphere. I liked the authors flow into how the research of Tyndall created an opening for the Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius. It allowed the reader to also see how science is something that develops over time and that one of its key characteristics is change.

Arrhenius brought about the notion that industrialization and climate change go hand in hand. Chapter 3 focuses more on the issues of recognizing global warming.

One of the doubts that I still have about this issue is whether the effects are not simply a gradual change that is occuring naturally?

The writing style has definately improved from the opening chapter. The author gets more thorough with her description and provides all the possible information that she can while still remaining to have her own flair.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Field Notes

The first observation that got my attention was the fact that the book began in a very unorthodox manner more so as it is dealing with the supposedly serious issue of global warming. The beginning seems to characterize a book that can be classified as a fiction novel. I guess this can be a clever tactic in drawing in readers on a topic that they might not normally be interested in.

Personally I know a lot of people might like the fact that the writing style is so simple and easy to understand, but I would have preferred a more informative and thorough explanation of different terms and 'lingo' used for global warming. I think when you are trying to educate an audience you need to write a little more formal if you want the knowledge to stick in their minds.

The tone of the first few pages was so easy to pick up and this turned me off because I think it should be neutral unless she simply wants the audience to get the story as she sees it.

The pictures were a good addition because it can often explain things that words can't.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why do people crave certain foods?

Q&A: Why do people crave certain foods?

I NEED CHOCOLATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyone has those special foods that they love to eat in abundance and those feelings of 'I am going to die if I dont eat it right now' always seem to happen when you are not in the position to get any sought of food. Go figure. But why do we get these sudden urges and why are they always so strong?

According to 'Psychology Today', "Up to 97 percent of Americans get seized by strong and specific urges to indulge."

The causes of cravings have ranged from the effects of hormones in the body to stress to emotional instability. Pregnant women showcase a unique variety of cravings and this has been linked to the hormone fluctuations that are taking place in their body during their pregnancy as well to ensure that the fetus is being properly fed. Stress, lack of sleep and other activities that affect the wellness of the body can also cause cravings for certain foods that are not always good for the body. These may be our comfort foods, which are foods that make us feel full and happy and therefore we crave for them often. Serotonin is the feel-good hormone in the body and many simple sugars and carbohydrates release a small amount of serotonin which will allow us to feel good for a small period of time and then we regress to our former stressed disposition and the cravings will continue.

Simpler things like seeing food in commercials can also trigger cravings. Food cravings usually last 4-12 minutes. A way to break these cravings is to realize that after a few minutes they will no longer be there and giving in to them as you feel them is not always the best decision for your body.

That being said I think allowing your body to have what it wants is sometimes a good thing especially when it wants a slice of pizza.