An entertaining, instructive, diverse, and unusual book, Light and Dark: An Exploration in Science, Nature, Art and Technology encompasses a wide range of topics not normally found in one book.
With more than 100 diagrams, graphs, and figures, the subjects discussed include the history of artificial lighting, eclipse cycles, light-sensitive eyeglasses, rainbows, art, bioluminescence, the clock setting at the South Pole, zebra stripe patterns, lighthouses, color perception, the harvest moon, and how information and speech can be conveyed by light from the sun or a laser.
The book encourages readers to take a more careful look at many familiar phenomena, such as the variations in the duration of twilight through the year and the ability of human vision to misinterpret patterns of lines under certain conditions. It describes the anatomical peculiarities of four-eyed fish and explains how the Jewish calendar contrives to follow both solar and lunar cycles. It also presents the reasons why tortoise shell cats are almost always female. Readers are informed where they can see 19th century military equipment that could convey messages rapidly over vast differences.