The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light
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The "terrific ... moving, poetic, immersive, multifaceted, and thought-provoking" book (Publishers Weekly) that will open your eyes to the night.
A brilliantly starry night is one of nature's most thrilling wonders. Yet in our world of nights as bright as day, most of us no longer experience true darkness. Eight out of ten Americans born today won't ever live where they can see the Milky Way. And exposure to artificial light at night has been cited as a factor in health concerns ranging from poor sleep to cancer.
In his gorgeous debut, THE END OF NIGHT, Paul Bogard travels the globe to find the night, blending personal narrative, natural history, health, science, and folklore to shed light on darkness. Showing exactly what we've lost, what we have left, and what we might hope to regain, he attempts nothing less than a restoration of how we see the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky.
The Korean peninsula at night, search “Korea at night from space.” The stark demarcation between the light-saturated South and the primitively dark North could hardly be more dramatic. Likewise, searching “world at night from space” will yield a selection of satellite photos showing not only the spread of electric lighting but also those places on Earth that remain primitively dark—primarily, places that either are economically undeveloped or without human inhabitants. So far, without exception,.
Case. “Very little about this light is spontaneous,” says David Downie, an American expatriate and author of the wonderful Paris, Paris, who has joined me for a walk through the old city. “It’s all studied. Since 1900, they’ve consciously cultivated their image. Paris was really the first to pioneer this concept of a light identity. Of using light to create an atmosphere.” Downie points to the lamps glowing on the short bridge from Île St.-Louis to Île de la Cité. “See the light fixture? It’s a.
In the journal Science that changed everything. But that was with very bright light. The amount of light at night that the scientific community agrees can suppress melatonin in people has been going down, down, down. But we don’t know whether chronic very low light coming in from the streetlights or whatever, we don’t know what effect that has.” We haven’t begun to understand all of the health effects of our living amid the flood of light at night, a flood most of us are so used to we don’t.
But as it is, it’s as though Florence fights itself. That perhaps it employs two lighting designers, one with a philosophy of beauty and the other with a philosophy of fear. For that is the excuse the current politicians use—that with all these tourists (to say nothing of citizens), we need this light for safety. But especially in a place like Florence, that argument feels silly. The streets are full of people—even after midnight on a Sunday night, there are plenty of couples, groups of friends,.
Missing,” I say. “But most people, when you explain better, they understand and agree. Not all, but most. We are starting to realize the value of the dark. Up till now we try to exorcise the night. For me it is impossible to think because I love night, of course, but for some people the dark is the dark side of life. They are worried about it.” When our two other pasta dishes arrive—orzo mantecato with shrimp and pancetta, and bigoli carbonara—I turn my tape recorder off so that we can eat. A.