November 2017 notes on books

living with nature 11 5 17 for blog

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Books on living with nature

Living with Nature- Two Thoughtful Books

 

At one time or another some of us have thought about what it might be to live in nature, out in the sunlight with clear air and clean water and with the company of animals around us.

Most of the books about this subject are unrealistic and don’t write of dangerous animals, disease, and lack of medical care. Self reliance is the reality of nature living.

 

Two books, one fiction and one non-fiction, have tackled this subject.

JANE, The Woman Who Loved Tarzan, by Robin Maxwell, Tor Books, 2012, ISBN 9780765333509, Paperback, Ebook, or Audio, https://www.amazon.com/Jane-Woman-Who-Loved-Tarzan/dp/0765333597/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1483714521&sr=1-1&keywords=jane+tarzan

From Amazon: “Cambridge, England, 1905. Jane Porter is hardly a typical woman of her time. The only female student in Cambridge University’s medical program, she is far more comfortable in a lab coat dissecting corpses than she is in a corset and gown sipping afternoon tea. A budding paleoanthropologist, Jane dreams of traveling the globe in search of fossils that will prove the evolutionary theories of her scientific hero, Charles Darwin.

When dashing American explorer Ral Conrath invites Jane and her father to join an expedition deep into West Africa, she can hardly believe her luck. Africa is every bit as exotic and fascinating as she has always imagined, but Jane quickly learns that the lush jungle is full of secrets―and so is Ral Conrath. When danger strikes, Jane finds her hero, the key to humanity’s past, and an all-consuming love in one extraordinary man: Tarzan of the Apes.”

Critical Acclaim: “Finally an honest portrayal of the only woman of whom I have been really, really jealous. What a wonderful idea to write this book. Now I am jealous all over again!” ―Jane Goodall PhD, DBE, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, UN Messenger of Peace

 

My impression of this fictional book is that its fast paced adventure takes the early concept of Jane and Tarzan in Edgar Rice Burrough’s 1912 pulp magazine story and adapts it to the modern world of science. What Maxwell also does also is remind us in 2012 writing style of self reliance. It is humanity in a world without safety or assurance us of a long life. In this way it stirs us to think of ourselves as more than we may be in a our current life. Its a powerful and entertaining reminder of the wonder of nature around us and the freedom it offers is inspiring.

 

 

 

 

Into the Heart, by Kenneth Good

Simon and Schuster, 1991, ISBN 9780671728748

Hardcover, Paperback https://www.amazon.com/Into-Heart-Pursuit-Knowledge-Yanomama/dp/0671728741/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1483714604&sr=1-1&keywords=into+the+heart

 

 

Kenneth Good’s non fiction scientific book prompts us to ask ourselves the question. “How are we so advanced from these people?” Moreover, “Can we live with nature the way they do?” Many of us who have deserted the city for the  homesteading lifestyle will readily admit that any of us can do this and happily so. The book gives us pause in our civilized aspirations to ask whether what we are doing with our lives is really worth it and whether these wilderness folks know something that we don’t.

 

Barefoot or not?

“To be barefoot or not to be”

As we go into the twenty first century we learn more each day about our body. Surprising are the discoveries about the various attributes of our feet. We now know the feet contribute more to the well being of our body than just keeping us upright to walk or run.

In the early development of the human body, we were a walking or running species. Our feet were important to our survival. We lived in a land which was warm and its surface was usually a jungle or plain which had a relatively smooth surface. Thus the foot as it developed had a soft skin which could grab the earth securely and send messages to our brain of the surface condition.  As the centuries progressed we moved into harsher more rocky strewn environments looking for food. Our needs progressed as the surface became harsher with rocks remaining from glaciers. In combat with other humans we found our feet needed more protection. If they were struck by an antagonist, we would fall and be killed. Thus, we made tough boots so that we could exist as hunters. We also had to withstand harsher weather so the feet needed to be protected from ice.

However, today in many climates we have warm interiors to our homes, warm summers with leisure time and we are surrounded with paved and smooth surfaces to walk on. What does this mean with regard to going barefoot?

It may mean better health as we return to our natural state.We are learning to eat the primary foods of our ancestors to have a healthier digestion. We may need to relearn foot health and natural design to be able to walk and run better without injury.

Let’s look at the thoughts on this subject.

One of the more fascinating ideas is the concept of earthing. This means that the body receives electrical current form the earth. The idea is that the earth’s free electrons can enter your body when your bare feet contact the soil. This results in a stable internal electrical environment for the body. Whether this works of not is subject to much more testing. Earthing fans believe the body can suffer from electrical imbalance. Thus, stabilizing the imbalance will reduce inflammation  and other irritation throughout the body and thus promote health.

Another benefit is balance in the act of standing erect. By feeling the ground with bare feet you can better orient your weight and walk more securely.

Muscles can be awakened and toned. Pronation (the science of your foot movement) in your natural gait can be improved to better distribute your body’s weight as it contacts the ground. Runners have long debated this issue. In running, shoes have given athletes the capability for longer strides and speed. However, shorter strides with bare feet can improve pounding on heels and the resultant injuries. Check out Bill Gifford’s excellent discussion of barefoot running in Men’s Journal http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/is-barefoot-running-really-better-20130603

Often, your feet become healthier through being barefoot. Since the foot is in use through all its nerves and muscles, it tends to improve in strength, flexibility and blood flow. Think about this. In wearing shoes you are essentially standing on a small platform. This can often give you a slippery support, especially if the shoes are poorly fitted. If you fall you can twist your ankle. Your foot, moving inside poorly designed shoes, has no chance to adapt to a change in posture as it was originally designed to do. With shoes, of course your toes have little value at all. However, they were supposed to help you adapt to the ground and to wrap around things to help you climb.

But what are the downsides of being barefoot?

Your feet get dirty for sure. It can be a big difference whether this is earthy soil from forest paths or ugly filth from city streets.

If you puncture the skin of your feet with a sharp object, you’ll need a tetanus shot to prevent possible lockjaw. You’ll also need clean bandages.

There’s the danger of absorbing disease from walking on infested soil such as refuse from animals. This could produce hookworm.  Plantar warts and athletes foot can be contacted by being barefoot, especially at the pool or showering at a public gym.

Everyone is affected by foot trauma from icy or hot surfaces. You’ll have to watch the weather. Winter weather is not fun for walking barefoot and the heated concrete streets of summer are not pleasant.

Check out these sources for more information and always consult your foot doctor for advice on your own plans to be barefoot.

http://www.runbare.com/

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15777/1/Benefits-of-Walking-Barefoot.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9099/the-surprising-health-benefits-of-going-barefoot.html

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/09/20/barefoot-on-electron-deficiency.aspx

 

PEEPING NEW ENGLAND FOLIAGE

“FALL LEAF PEEPING HOW TO” newengland.com  #PET http://www.amazon.com/Solar-Sipper/b/ref=bl_dp_s_web_10790805011?ie=UTF8&node=10790805011&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Solar+Sipper #BOOK https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_5_11/156-5130182-9036153?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=thomas+hollyday+books&sprefix=thomas+holl%2Cstripbooks%2Cbanner four