Half King reading series : The blue machine
featuring author Helen Czerski
Eventbrite RSVP required
About the Series
What was once one of the most vital literary hubs in the city, The Half King Reading Series, has a new home at the Salmagundi Club. At monthly events, authors of new works will discuss their books in a warm, welcoming, and informed setting. Selections are predominantly, but not exclusively, non-fiction, current events, biography, autobiography, novels and memoir.
Salmagundi members are welcome to have dinner in our dining room. Dining reservations can be made via our Reservations page. Please note that last call for food is 8:30 PM.
About the Book
A scientist’s exploration of the “ocean engine”—the physics behind the ocean’s systems—and why it matters.
All of Earth’s oceans, from the equator to the poles, are a single engine powered by sunlight, driving huge flows of energy, water, life, and raw materials. In The Blue Machine, physicist and oceanographer Helen Czerski illustrates the mechanisms behind this defining feature of our planet, voyaging from the depths of the ocean floor to tropical coral reefs, estuaries that feed into shallow coastal seas, and Arctic ice floes.
Through stories of history, culture, and animals, she explains how water temperature, salinity, gravity, and the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates all interact in a complex dance, supporting life at the smallest scale—plankton—and the largest—giant sea turtles, whales, humankind.
From the ancient Polynesians who navigated the Pacific by reading the waves, to permanent residents of the deep such as the Greenland shark that can live for hundreds of years, she introduces the messengers, passengers, and voyagers that rely on interlinked systems of vast currents, invisible ocean walls, and underwater waterfalls.
Most important, however, Czerski reveals that while the ocean engine has sustained us for thousands of years, today it is faced with urgent threats. By understanding how the ocean works, and its essential role in our global system, we can learn how to protect our blue machine. Timely, elegant, and passionately argued, The Blue Machine presents a fresh perspective on what it means to be a citizen of an ocean planet.
About the Author
Helen Czerski is a physicist and oceanographer at University College London’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. The author of The Blue Machine and Storm in a Teacup, she is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, writing regularly about the physics of everyday life. She lives in London.