I’m currently reading The Mosquito, a remarkable book by Timothy C. Winegard.
For many of us, having grown up in the time and place we did, mosquitoes have been little more than an itchy nuisance. This book opened my eyes to just how myopic my experience has been: through most of our history, and in many parts of the world to this day, mosquitoes have been our deadliest predator.
The Mosquito lays out how these small insects and their cargo of diseases — especially malaria — have profoundly influenced the course of history and human evolution. One of the shocking facts revealed in the introduction:
The mosquito has killed more people than any other cause of death in human history. Statistical extrapolation situates mosquito-inflicted deaths approaching half of all humans that have ever lived.The Mosquito, pg 2.
I finally found a chance to read an engrossing article entitled American Green (via Longreads.com), an excerpt from a book of the same name by Ted Steinberg. In the article, Mr. Steinberg unearths some disconcerting facts about our green obsession, including:
Between 1994 and 2004, an estimated average of 75,884 Americans per year were injured using lawn mowers or roughly the same number of people injured by firearms.American Green, Ted Steinberg
And finally, a few days ago I watched Treeless Mountain (나무없는 산 – Namueopneun San), a 2008 South Korean film directed by So Yong Kim. I won’t give too much away, but it follows two young girls caught up in the implosion of their family. I was really impressed at how well it captured the experience of childhood without becoming sentimental. Peter Rainer aptly summarizes the film, describing it as “one of those artfully small scale movies in which nothing happens and everything happens.“
I’m reticent to post the trailer for the film as I don’t feel it does the film justice, just as a two-minute summary of the summer when you were seven would be ridiculous. Despite that, I’ve included it in hopes it encourages someone to search out this film.