Friday, February 16, 2018

How we breathe really is breathtaking

When I see young people smoking, I want to point out how crazy it is, how suicidal, not to mention unhealthy and downright antisocial. A new book shows the magic that it puts at risk.
It is unromantic, isn't it. Kiss someone who smokes when you don't and it's not very nice. Most of all, though, smoking is to ignore how astonishing is the mechanism that lets us take in oxygen.
Yet what can you say to these novices? I started to smoke at around 14 to look 'grown-up', failing completely, of course, and I gave it up about 25 years or so later ... only because I could never have taken enough of the vice on my voyage alone around the world and Cape Horn.
Giving up smoking was probably, almost, the most beneficial aspect of my solo circumnavigation. People ask occasionally about giving up the habit, seldom about that year on the oceans alone!

Magic of breathing

Here's a great way to discourage the young from smoking, a very readable book that highlights the magic of our ability to breathe.
Extreme Medicine is an amazing story by Dr Kevin Fong, which shows how astonishing, how miraculous, is the breathing part of the human body. This comes from the extract revealed on that excellent daily email feature, Delanceyplace dot com. Kevin Fong writes ...
'In the act of living, your body must solve the problem of how to grab molecules of this gas (oxygen) from the atmosphere and bundle them into cells in sufficient concentration that they can do the stuff of life. ...
"The first part of that performance is the act of breathing. Your ribs are attached to your breastbone at the front and the bony column that is your spine at the rear. At the end of each exhalation, they slope steeply downward toward the ground. ...
Continues on the blogs for my sailing adventure story, Sailing to Purgatory, at


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