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I find it difficult to recommend the purchase of this book, although it might make for pleasant reading while one is browsing in the library. Selected chapters might be very useful for clinicians for review or in residency or medical student training. Were the editor to undertake the integration of the material and provide some guiding commentary for each of the chapters, dien controversies might be more clearly identified (e.g., Birch's somewhat controversial research), and clinically useful concepts in theory and practice might emerge. This is a book that, in its second edition, may have considerable promise. Bennett L. Leventhal Departments ofPsychiatry and Pediatrics University of Chicago Rainbows, Halos and Glories. By Robert Greenler. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1980. Pp. 304, illustrated. $24.95. Walter Reed widi his colleagues saved die world from yellow fever at least for die past 80 years. When he was a military surgeon in Nebraska 100 years ago, one morning when die temperature was far below zero he saw spectacular sun dogs, parhelia. He was so impressed diat he drew a picture of them in his monthly report to the post commander. Last winter as I rode my bicycle to work in Iowa City when the temperature was a mere 20 F, though die air a few hundred feet up must have been way below zero, I was delighted and almost distracted by a gorgeous parhelion. After my short bike ride I alerted colleagues, secretaries, nurses, and patients to rush to the window and see a sight diey had never noticed. Today most people live like troglodytes; diey go from air-conditioned or centrally heated houses to similar offices in automobiles similarly conditioned. Few look out and fewer still look up. I explained to my friends that, when it was very cold, instead of round droplets which might make a rainbow, little ice crystals formed and produced this remarkable effect, though I could not say exactly how. In general, I was on the right trail but really did not understand it until I read Greenler's book. For those hearty folk who venture outdoors in summer, winter, spring, or fall a rare treat awaits in Robert Greenler's book. He has studied rainbows, halos, and glories for many years and has combined a hobby and a life work to produce a very good and amply illustrated book, including diagrams and computer duplications and clear and simple explanations. On many occasions I have seen parhelia. Once I saw a moonbow and on many occasions a glory, which one can see from a plane as its shadow moves across the clouds below, encircled by a rainbow-colored halo. The parhelion is the incomplete halo produced by die sun when not too high in the sky. On the left and right of the sun are sharp, sometimes multicolored, increases in intensity of ring which may be only very faint. I saw one on a warm day in Galveston, though the air above must have been far below freezing. The explanation reminded me of die phenomenon of rouleau formation and the increased red cell sedimentation rate. When the temperature is right and diere is 164 Book Reviews the right amount ofmoisture in the air, instead offorming tiny droplets, die cold produces a multitude of litde wafer-like crystals. They are disposed in the air as leaves would be or as red cells are in suspension, slowly floating down like leaves. These tiny six-sided plates, all floating more or less flat, catch the light from the sun, bend it at a predictable angle, and condense and concentrate it on the right and left. Greenler has programmed computers to study various mechanisms of such phenomena, including a series of remarkable studies of the effect of odier crystals that are like long six-sided pencils. For decades I have tried to teach students the simplest way of understanding die sedimentation of red cells and what makes it rapid. I had the idea diat, like die lévitation of a Frisbee, individual red cells, in a mainly horizontal arrangement, slip and slide slowly down. When they are stacked up like a long roll of coins, die relationship of surface...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 164-165
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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