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Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light by Jane Brox
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Brilliant Quotes (showing 1-4 of 4)
“To reach the farthest chamber of Lascaux, it's likely a man had to snuff out his light, lower himself down a shaft with a rope made of twisted fibers, and then rekindle his lamp in the dark so as to draw the woolly rhinoceros, the half horse, and the raging bison there. A long spear transfixes that bison, and entrails pour from its side. Beneath its front hooves lies the one painted man in all of Lascaux: prone, spindly wounded, disguised behind a bird mask. And below him, until its discovery in 196o, lay a spoon-shaped lamp carved of red sandstone ... Hold it again as it once was held, and the animals will emerge out of darkness as you pass. Nothing stays still. Shadows nestle in the cavities; a flicker of light across pale protruding rock turns a hoof or raises a head. One shape recedes as another emerges, and everything lingers in the imagination.”
Jane Brox, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light
“Time and task were both disorienting, for if you were to remove everything from our lives that depends on electricity to function, homes and offices would become no more than the chambers and passages of limestone caves- simple shelter from wind and rain, far less useful than the first homes at Plymouth Plantation or a wigwam. No way to keep out cold, or heat, for long. No way to preserve food, or to cook it. The things that define us, quiet as rock outcrops - the dumb screens and dials, the senseless clicks of on/off switches- without their purpose, they lose the measure of their beauty and we are left alone in the dark with countless useless things.”
Jane Brox, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light
“Soon now, the faint tinkling of a broken filament will become another sound of another century.”
Jane Brox, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light
“Yet oil had already become so essential to modern life that in 1873 the Titusville Morning Herald proclaimed: "The production of petroleum has now become of such commercial and social importance to the world that if it were suddenly to cease no other known substance could supply its place, and such an event could not be looked upon in any other light than of a widespread calamity.”
Jane Brox, Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light

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