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Defining the Wind: The Beaufort Scale and How a 19th-Century Admiral Turned Science Into Poetry

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Defining the Wind is a wonderfully written account of one man's crusade to learn about what the wind is made of by tracing the history of the Beaufort Scale and its eccentric creator, Sir Francis Beaufort. It's as much about the language we use to describe our world as it is an exhortation to observe it more closely.


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Defining the Wind is a wonderfully written account of one man's crusade to learn about what the wind is made of by tracing the history of the Beaufort Scale and its eccentric creator, Sir Francis Beaufort. It's as much about the language we use to describe our world as it is an exhortation to observe it more closely.

30 review for Defining the Wind: The Beaufort Scale and How a 19th-Century Admiral Turned Science Into Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    "The Beaufort (Wind) Scale and how a 19th Century Admiral turned science into Poetry." Exultant writing about a fairly boring subject (history of sea navigation), that made it come alive. It is about writing and words, which I love, and about knowing moments of intense joy by observing the world in openness and detail. I was rating the wind speed for weeks afterwards. For example, Beaufort Number 7 is a moderate gale wth speeds of 32-38 mph and "whole trees in motion; inconvenience in walking ag "The Beaufort (Wind) Scale and how a 19th Century Admiral turned science into Poetry." Exultant writing about a fairly boring subject (history of sea navigation), that made it come alive. It is about writing and words, which I love, and about knowing moments of intense joy by observing the world in openness and detail. I was rating the wind speed for weeks afterwards. For example, Beaufort Number 7 is a moderate gale wth speeds of 32-38 mph and "whole trees in motion; inconvenience in walking against the wind." Or Number 2, light breeze, 4-7 mph, "wind felt on face; leaves rustle; ordinary vane moved by wind."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Huler's book is much more than a biography of Francis Beaufort and a tale of his work. It describes a beautiful coexistence of observational science and artistic documentation and interpretation that science is and should be. The characterization of scientific inquiry that is predominant in popular culture and in education is an artificial divorce of the empirical and the expressive. Huler cuts through that division in this book, explaining clearly the necessity of qualitative observations, quant Huler's book is much more than a biography of Francis Beaufort and a tale of his work. It describes a beautiful coexistence of observational science and artistic documentation and interpretation that science is and should be. The characterization of scientific inquiry that is predominant in popular culture and in education is an artificial divorce of the empirical and the expressive. Huler cuts through that division in this book, explaining clearly the necessity of qualitative observations, quantitative measurements, and practical meanings in scientific endeavors. He also clearly conveys that science is an endeavor of great effort undertaken by individuals who are inspired by need or curiosity, brushing away the lightning strikes of genius that again predominate explanations of science in popular culture and schools everywhere. Also made clear is the central role that communication plays in science - for one person to know a thing is not enough. As a science educator, I cannot recall ever being more inspired by a book. I could not sit while reading it. It completely changed the way I teach and the way I view science communication - as well as the wind.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Adela Bezemer-Cleverley

    "Never leave the ship without pencil and paper; keep a compass handy; jot down what you see. Keep your eyes open." "Nature, rightly questioned, never lies." I have no idea what I was expecting when I bought this book at a flea market on campus a year ago. I picked it up purely because the title and cover were pretty. It's a very different book than anything I've read for pleasure before. Nonfiction, first of all. Very research-y, scientific and historical, for another. For most of the book I was cau "Never leave the ship without pencil and paper; keep a compass handy; jot down what you see. Keep your eyes open." "Nature, rightly questioned, never lies." I have no idea what I was expecting when I bought this book at a flea market on campus a year ago. I picked it up purely because the title and cover were pretty. It's a very different book than anything I've read for pleasure before. Nonfiction, first of all. Very research-y, scientific and historical, for another. For most of the book I was caught between two reactions: amusement at Huler's unabashed enthusiasm for everything he was discovering (particularly for the scale itself, which he claims is the most beautiful piece of writing in.. ever), and genuine interest in the history and contributors and aficionados and implied messages and everything surrounding the Beaufort Scale. How such a small thing--something I'd certainly never heard of before this book--has actually been of tremendous importance to travellers, scientists, artists and people everywhere, for nigh on two centuries. And despite being named after Beaufort, how many more people where actually involved in its long and rambling evolution. Like the North Shields observer who, a hundred years after Beaufort first penned the scale, actually wrote the crisp descriptions that so enchanted Scott Huler. The book is a somewhat scattered (yet still cohesive) account of Huler's seemingly foolhardy quest into the history of wind observation, and it leaves you with a very clear message: don't get lost in everything that humanity has built, or in yourself, or in imagined and virtual business, so much that you take no notice of the clarity and beauty that lie in the details of the world. That can only be seen, truly, by close, focused, and unenhanced human perception.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    Oh, man, if you're interested in writing, what an adventure. And who knew that wind speed could be so riveting? It's all about the Beaufort Scale, which Scott Huler stumbled upon in a large dictionary. He believes it to be (and in his hands, the reader cannot help but agree) one of the finest, most poetic pieces of technical writing ever: a concise, pre-anemometer means of describing wind speed. For years, it's what we used. Example: 0: Calm. Smoke rises vertically. Seeing this, and possibly weepi Oh, man, if you're interested in writing, what an adventure. And who knew that wind speed could be so riveting? It's all about the Beaufort Scale, which Scott Huler stumbled upon in a large dictionary. He believes it to be (and in his hands, the reader cannot help but agree) one of the finest, most poetic pieces of technical writing ever: a concise, pre-anemometer means of describing wind speed. For years, it's what we used. Example: 0: Calm. Smoke rises vertically. Seeing this, and possibly weeping into his Unabridged, Huler started to wonder: who is this Beaufort, how did he come to write this, and to write this so well? That's the Odyssey of this book, which takes us back to the days when Britannia Ruled the Waves and Men of Science were trying to figure out how to measure things. And what we find out is— No, no spoilers here. Let us just say that there are surprises on our journey to uncover the truth about Read Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort and his eponymous scale. (Yes, thanks to Kay Gilliland (and John McPhee, I guess), I take every opportunity to use eponymous; there are so few.)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Scott Martin

    Truth be told, if this site had a 2.5 star option, that is what I would have graded it. It is interesting how an editor took something he read in a dictionary and decided to explore how the Beaufort Scale came about, the man who gave it life, and the impact of this achievement. For the most part, the writing is solid and the author demonstrates true admiration for the subject. It trends too much in the corner of the subject, perhaps making him out to be more of a hero than he really was. However Truth be told, if this site had a 2.5 star option, that is what I would have graded it. It is interesting how an editor took something he read in a dictionary and decided to explore how the Beaufort Scale came about, the man who gave it life, and the impact of this achievement. For the most part, the writing is solid and the author demonstrates true admiration for the subject. It trends too much in the corner of the subject, perhaps making him out to be more of a hero than he really was. However, Beaufort's legacy is no small thing and it did have significance in science and other endeavors. The work is not too dense or technical, so that helps. If it wasn't so Beaufort-was-a-hero, it might rate higher. Still, not a bad read, at least once in your life.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Knemlich

    Excellent biography about Francis Beaufort, the admiral whose name is forever attached to his wind scale. Huler explores Beaufort's life following his encounter with the elegant scale in a dictionary. As it turns out, Adm. Beaufort was one of those extraordinary gentleman who seemed to pop up at various intriguing points in history. For example, it was Beaufort who put Darwin on the Beagle. Huler walks the reader through his personal fascination and discovery.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kest Schwartzman

    True statement: the scale itself contains more prettily put together sentances than the whole rest of the book. Still, interesting, informative, and something I still think about this many years later.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fabián Pérez

    Very interesting book. At some parts it shows a little that the author is not an expert on the issue, when he wanders around a few things that are pretty much obvius for someone more acquainted with it. However is beautiful journey through the scientific discovery of the wind.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Loved the idea of the book and then it got lost in the pile, so I decided it was high time to finish it. What a delightful reminder to look up and don’t miss what’s happening around you. Oh, and write down as much as you see.

  10. 5 out of 5

    yoli

    FINALLY finished this, not because it wasn't an engaging and fun read but because non-fiction and life, and requisite thinking and digestion (which tells me I need to read more non-fiction!), all combined to turn this into a slow, snail crawl towards the end. Ultimately, my biggest takeaways were a lot of stuff about the wind and natural science, given the subject of the book, but also about the importance of being observant and the power of data. Beaufort's Scale was the early science version o FINALLY finished this, not because it wasn't an engaging and fun read but because non-fiction and life, and requisite thinking and digestion (which tells me I need to read more non-fiction!), all combined to turn this into a slow, snail crawl towards the end. Ultimately, my biggest takeaways were a lot of stuff about the wind and natural science, given the subject of the book, but also about the importance of being observant and the power of data. Beaufort's Scale was the early science version of making quantitative data out of qualitative observation. He set fort principles of standardization, but at its core it's about being able to efficiently and effectively note your surroundings. And those observations tell us more than wind speeds or photographs can because they quantify and contextualize SCIENCE for laypeople. 244 There is a kind of cosmic power in the universe that confers on certain things their appropriate titles, and I believe the Beaufort Scale has found just the name it needs. Beaufort, after all, was a stickler for finding the words that average people used for their mountains, rivers, bays, and shores; he adjured his hydrographers never to slap a name on a feature out of vanity or favor, but to call the places they visited and observed by the names they already carried. Beaufort would have said this was simply a way to improve accuracy, but I'm not so sure. It was also, I think, a way of showing respect for the observable universe, a sense that names have meaning--they find their way onto things through processes long and difficult to understand, and it's best not to mess with them. 248 Just the way clear thinking and clear writing have a on-to-one ration--you can't have one without the other--the Beaufort Scale has that kind of relationship to an observant, attentive life. If you're thinking about things in a Beaufort Scale way, you can't fail to pay attention.

  11. 4 out of 5

    William Wren

    Because I have something of an obsession with wind and weather, I recently read Scott Huler’s Defining the Wind : The Beaufort Scale, and How a 19th-Century Admiral Turned Science into Poetry. It turns out to be an interesting, if somewhat eccentric, study of making something useable. If nothing else, the book illustrates how the idea of usability is not a recent one. Huler’s interest began when he came across the scale in the Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, Ninth Edition. For example Because I have something of an obsession with wind and weather, I recently read Scott Huler’s Defining the Wind : The Beaufort Scale, and How a 19th-Century Admiral Turned Science into Poetry. It turns out to be an interesting, if somewhat eccentric, study of making something useable. If nothing else, the book illustrates how the idea of usability is not a recent one. Huler’s interest began when he came across the scale in the Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary, Ninth Edition. For example, on the Beaufort Scale force 6 isn’t just a number. It reads like this: Number – 6 Name – strong breeze Miles per hour – 25 to 31 Description – large branches in motion; telegraph wires whistle; umbrellas used with difficulty. The description is key. The scale isn’t just numbers. When this version of the scale came about (19th century), each number had a description that gave genuine meaning to it. There was something a person from that period could readily relate to, like “… telegraph wires whistle; umbrellas used with difficulty.” I found the book as intriguing to read as Huler seems to have found in writing it. In particular, I found Admiral Francis Beaufort himself fascinating. He appears to have been obsessed with making things clear, understandable and useable – from the scale named after him to the making of maps. He was a usability expert before there were usability experts. The book is a kind of idiosyncratic exploration of language and usability. And it’s interesting that it’s about something (and someone) from the 1800′s. It’s too bad the world of business and technology don’t have more Francis Beauforts. (If he saw some of the user manuals that go with audio and video technology he’d have a coronary.) (Written on my blog April, 2005)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Marvin

    I never would have picked up this book on my own, but I'm glad my friend Mary recommended it. Even so, I didn't read all of it, because parts of it just didn't interest me very much. But that's certainly not the author's fault. What's really remarkable is that I spent as many hours as I did with it, because I wouldn't have thought that I'd have found ANY of it very interesting. It's a book, if you can believe it about only The Beaufort Scale, a table devised, sort of like the Richter Scale for e I never would have picked up this book on my own, but I'm glad my friend Mary recommended it. Even so, I didn't read all of it, because parts of it just didn't interest me very much. But that's certainly not the author's fault. What's really remarkable is that I spent as many hours as I did with it, because I wouldn't have thought that I'd have found ANY of it very interesting. It's a book, if you can believe it about only The Beaufort Scale, a table devised, sort of like the Richter Scale for earthquakes, to measure the intensity of wind, and about the man to whom it is credited. One could hardly imagine a book entirely about that. But here it is. And the author's intellectual curiosity and engaging writing are absolutely infectious. And, in fact, one realizes long before he says so explicitly 12 pages from the end that it's really a book about calling all of us to live lives devoted to “paying attention.” The Beaufort Scale [and, I would add, this book about it] is “about noticing whether smoke rises vertically or drifts, whether it's the leaves shaking or the whole branches, whether your umbrella turns inside out or just rattles around some. More, it's about taking note of those details, filing them away, in memory or . . . in the notebook you'd never leave the house without. . . . It's about being able to express what you've seen simply and clearly, in as few words as possible, so that others can share it. It's about the good of sharing that knowledge, of everyone paying attention so that, together, we can learn as much as possible. . . . It's a philosophy of attentiveness, a religion based on observation: an entire ethos in 110 words.” This is a book that, because of its subject, is unlikely to attract as large an audience as it surely deserves.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shonna Froebel

    Huler was fascinated when he encountered the Beaufort Scale in his dictionary, finding the terminology poetic and wanting to learn more. (The book cover is actually an image of that dictionary page.) So he went searching for Beaufort, wanting to know more about the man behind the scale and what inspired him. But he also looked into the wind directly, travelling on a sailing ship, visiting a wind tunnel, and looking into meteorological history. He found out a lot about Beaufort and his influence o Huler was fascinated when he encountered the Beaufort Scale in his dictionary, finding the terminology poetic and wanting to learn more. (The book cover is actually an image of that dictionary page.) So he went searching for Beaufort, wanting to know more about the man behind the scale and what inspired him. But he also looked into the wind directly, travelling on a sailing ship, visiting a wind tunnel, and looking into meteorological history. He found out a lot about Beaufort and his influence on both wind measurement and modern nautical procedures. Since Beaufort kept extensive diaries, there is a lot of personal as well as professional information known about the man. He also shows us the development of wind measurement, with discussion on all the different measurements before and after the Beaufort Scale, discovering that the Scale itself has changed over time. The chapter that I enjoyed the most was Chapter 8 A Picture of the Wind: Poetry, the Shipping Forecast, and the Search for the North Shields Observer. I think I enjoyed this one because of its literary and cultural focus and its taking the reader back to what drew Huler to do this research in the first place, the language used in the dictionary version of the Scale. He introduces us here to more interpretations of the Scale, through picture books, art, and music that add to its draw. He also completes the search for the man who wrote the words used, the North Shields Observer. Well worth reading, this book both educated and entertained, and now I'm waiting for my music CD containing the Beaufort Scale to arrive!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    (It's Beaufort 1 - the smoke next door indicates direction but leaves don't move - it's 2 to 3 mph) I look out the window first thing now and check the weather. That is how I came to watch a flock of young flickers doing their teenage thing, diving in and out of trees, stumbling over branches and such-like. The book details the process by which the Beaufort Scale of wind speed was devised. Mr. Beaufort was not the initiator but he pushed it hard and refined the details. The narration is very con (It's Beaufort 1 - the smoke next door indicates direction but leaves don't move - it's 2 to 3 mph) I look out the window first thing now and check the weather. That is how I came to watch a flock of young flickers doing their teenage thing, diving in and out of trees, stumbling over branches and such-like. The book details the process by which the Beaufort Scale of wind speed was devised. Mr. Beaufort was not the initiator but he pushed it hard and refined the details. The narration is very conversational and doown to earth so you don't get lost in mathematical formulae. One of the best moments was discovering that the recorders at Oxford just determined the speed of the anemometer and left it at that, while other recorders were comparing the table to what was physically happening at the time, the trees, the smoke, the fields, and the birds. Another moment was standing in the square in North Shields and realising he was experiencing exactly what was reported by the Observer a hundred years ago. Loved this book and will read it again soon.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan G

    A little essay on the op-ed page of the NYT one day was so good (read it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/04/opi... and see if you agree) that I actually sent the author an e-mail thanking him (and I got a nice response). But his book was about ... the Beaufort Scale for wind velocity?? I had to read more of that terrific writing, though, and I am SO glad I did. What a terrific book! Not only about the Beaufort Scale, of course, although he manages to make even that really fascinating. I lea A little essay on the op-ed page of the NYT one day was so good (read it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/04/opi... and see if you agree) that I actually sent the author an e-mail thanking him (and I got a nice response). But his book was about ... the Beaufort Scale for wind velocity?? I had to read more of that terrific writing, though, and I am SO glad I did. What a terrific book! Not only about the Beaufort Scale, of course, although he manages to make even that really fascinating. I learned about copy editing, the beauty of scales, how science mysteriously changed from observational to experimental in the 19th C. (and how that changed EVERYTHING), Darwin and Dafoe, and so much more -- one of those books that makes you wonder how you didn't know all this stuff before. A big bonus was that he is so funny I was laughing hard out loud throughout the book. A little gem; don't miss it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    This was one of the most engaging, well-written, thought-provoking, and fascinating books I've read all year. Possibly ever. The main message could be summed up as: "Pay attention! Be interested in details, and live in the world around you. Ask questions and explore." Huler truly loves the English language, and it shows. It's not the abstract love of someone who majored in creative writing who delights in abstruse flourishes and complexity --its the solid, tactile love of a craftsman for a valuab This was one of the most engaging, well-written, thought-provoking, and fascinating books I've read all year. Possibly ever. The main message could be summed up as: "Pay attention! Be interested in details, and live in the world around you. Ask questions and explore." Huler truly loves the English language, and it shows. It's not the abstract love of someone who majored in creative writing who delights in abstruse flourishes and complexity --its the solid, tactile love of a craftsman for a valuable, well-loved tool. Here, Huler explores the Beaufort Wind Scale. Through this lens, he looks at the entire Age of Exploration, including some of the most well-known (and notorious) scientists, explorers, sailors, rulers, and natural philosophers. His active imagination and agile brain ask, and then answer, a myriad of unrelated questions along the way. This book is a delight to read, and should be mandatory reading for citizens of the Earth. I plan to re-read it many times.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Louise Leetch

    One of those bizarre little books we often find in our local (independent)bookstore. While it does give the background and construction of the Beaufort Wind Scale, it's more about the men who believe that "nature, rightly questioned, never lies." Men like Darwin,Defoe, Capt Cook and all the explorers of the 18th century. What started the author on his quest was not so much the scale as the description of the wind at different speeds. He's teaching us that you can learn more by observing than by One of those bizarre little books we often find in our local (independent)bookstore. While it does give the background and construction of the Beaufort Wind Scale, it's more about the men who believe that "nature, rightly questioned, never lies." Men like Darwin,Defoe, Capt Cook and all the explorers of the 18th century. What started the author on his quest was not so much the scale as the description of the wind at different speeds. He's teaching us that you can learn more by observing than by measuring. Sometime, look in the dictionary at the wind scale descriptions. You're more likely to remember "wind extends light flag" than Beaufort #3 at 4-7 miles per hour. This book is great for writers and artists who really need to learn to not only look but to see.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tet Roberts

    I love these kind of books and I remember the book Longitude which described the amazing story how the Longitude problem was solved and ships could navigate much more precise. In Defining the Wind we follow Sir Francis Beaufort and how he measures the wind force. I knew the scale quite well since I did the Maritime Academy and even determined the different scales at sea by identifying the behavior of the water as wind itself is invisible... Unfortunately I lost my interest in the stories, someho I love these kind of books and I remember the book Longitude which described the amazing story how the Longitude problem was solved and ships could navigate much more precise. In Defining the Wind we follow Sir Francis Beaufort and how he measures the wind force. I knew the scale quite well since I did the Maritime Academy and even determined the different scales at sea by identifying the behavior of the water as wind itself is invisible... Unfortunately I lost my interest in the stories, somehow parts were too lengthy and well... I don't know, too dry, lacking personal history, a bit boring, I did not complete it and put it back on the shelves, closed, forever...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    As far as writing and interest, this book is a 3 star. Despite his great insights into the superiority of brevity and plain speak the author has a tendency to ramble on with no strong organization. The later third of the book particularly dragged on as the other plowed through his philosophical musings. It's gets a 4 though because those musings, based on the story he told up to that point, I agree with. Just wish it had been distilled down a bit. In my rating system where five stars are reserved As far as writing and interest, this book is a 3 star. Despite his great insights into the superiority of brevity and plain speak the author has a tendency to ramble on with no strong organization. The later third of the book particularly dragged on as the other plowed through his philosophical musings. It's gets a 4 though because those musings, based on the story he told up to that point, I agree with. Just wish it had been distilled down a bit. In my rating system where five stars are reserved for books that literally change my viewpoints or my behavior, this book has inspired me to emphasize observation more and to try jotting more things down.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Brown

    This is exactly the kind of book I'd expect a professional copyeditor to write. The details are very well researched, the prose is competent. But half way through I was bored silly, and three quarters of the way in I gave up reading it. The topic was just too trivial. I came away feeling that, in his pursuit of a book-length work, the author squeezed whatever life it might ever have had right out of it. Recommended for people who collect bottle caps or stamps--but only if they're colored green.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sally

    I really enjoyed this book. I liked how the author brought me along on his journey of discovery, as he researched and unearthed the Beaufort scale's predecessors and followers. Beaufort's scale, where it is positioned in history, is like a fulcrum point, where he (Beaufort) coalesced previous attempts to define wind force into the concise (and therefore, somehow poetic) form he gave it, out of which similar offspring emerged, from measuring hurricanes to earthquakes to hot pepper intensity. How I really enjoyed this book. I liked how the author brought me along on his journey of discovery, as he researched and unearthed the Beaufort scale's predecessors and followers. Beaufort's scale, where it is positioned in history, is like a fulcrum point, where he (Beaufort) coalesced previous attempts to define wind force into the concise (and therefore, somehow poetic) form he gave it, out of which similar offspring emerged, from measuring hurricanes to earthquakes to hot pepper intensity. How many times do we today say, "On a scale of ..."? This book illustrates that influence.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linnaea

    This book originates in the author being struck by the poetic character of the descriptions of various points on the Beaufort Wind Scale, and being curious to know more about who Beaufort was, and how he came to write the scale. The resulting book is a look at 400 years of attempts to measure and understand the wind, a story in which Beaufort plays only a supporting role. The book is equal parts history of science and literary detective story. A great read for a stormy day.

  23. 4 out of 5

    D

    Really disappointing. Too much of the author and not enough of Beaufort. I don't care about how much you love the Beaufort scale (pages devoted to the author's feelings). The writing was clunky and the entire book was more of a superficial overview of disconnected bits that the author found interesting rather than a deep examination of Beaufort and his times. I did learn where the wind comes from, so that's something.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Todd Stockslager

    Fun little book reads like an NPR piece, not surprising because Huler (who lives in Raleigh) does NPR pieces on occasion. Huler traces his fascination with the scale from his discovery of it in a dictionary, then trace the history of the scale its uses, and its meaning, both mundane and philosophical. Not life-changing, but fun.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Steve Walsh

    Starts off strong and remains so for the majority of the book. Huler paints a picture of how the simplest thing may have touched the lives and thoughts of many. Some notions get mentioned repeatedly for the sake of increasing the book length although they do not take away from the books subject matter.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Arwen

    I heard the author on NPR a few years ago when the book came out and was enthralled. I'm finally reading the book, and wonder why it took me so long. It's a wonderful meditation on the language of science and the poetry of language.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    Some interesting points, though very repetitive. The end got a bit preachy, though he did offer some valid criticism of our tech-reliant culture. What saved the book was a down-to-earth style of writing.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kfirestone

    Best "fun" non-fiction I read all year. Huler sets out to find out about a man and a simple scale and instead learns alot about how to experience life. A fabulous read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ronald

    Esoteric, perhaps; but to the sailor, seaman or fisherman on the high seas it's an intriguing revelation of how the categorization of wind force and its correlation with sea state came into being.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Patty

    An interesting story of the author's quest to learn everything about the Beaufort Scale, it's namesake, and the wind. At times lyrical, at times too much of himself.

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