Page Turn Episode 030

Hello and welcome to Episode Thirty of Page Turn: the Largo Public Library Podcast. I’m your host, Hannah!

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The English Language Transcript can be found below

But as always we start with Reader’s Advisory!

The Reader’s Advisory for Episode Thirty is The Dragons, The Giant, The Women by Wayétu Moore. If you like The Dragons, The Giant, The Women you should also check out: Black Sunday by Tola Rotimi Abraham, The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui, and A Drop of Midnight by Jason Diakité.

My personal favorite Goodreads list The Dragons, The Giant, The Women is on is Profiles in Silhouette.

Happy Reading Everyone

Today’s Library Tidbit is all about the movement of hurricanes.

Hey remember in August when we had two storms in the Gulf at the same time? Why did Marcos and Laura hit roughly the same location when they formed in completely different geographic places?

Hurricanes move along patterns created by global winds. Wind in general happens because of the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by the sun. Hot air rises and cold air sinks. Through convection this causes the atmosphere to move creating wind. Wind moves from the equator to the poles as it heats and then flows back to the equator as it cools.

Now here is where things get a little confusing. Because the planet rotates the air at the equator moves faster than the air at the poles. This means that, in the Northern Hemisphere, as air moves from the equator towards the poles it ends up slightly to the right of the location it began at. This is called the Coriolis Effect. This is why hurricanes rotate. Storms rotate counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere because of this effect.

The Coriolis Effect also causes global winds to move in a large rotation. The interaction of the equatorial winds and the polar winds causes cells to form. The cell nearest to the equator, from about zero to 30 degree latitude is called the Hadley cell. This is the cell where hurricanes form and where the Gulf Stream begins. This cell also creates the trade winds.

As the air at the equator heats and rises to the tropopause, which is the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere. As it hits this place air is no longer buoyant and the air rising below it pushes it northward and southward toward the poles. As it moves towards the poles it cools and sinks again. As it gets closer to the surface a frictional return flow pulls the air back towards the equator to rise again. The Coriolis Effect explains why air moving towards the north pole moves easterly and why the air coming back down from the north pole to the equator moves westerly.

This circulation is what causes the North Atlantic Gyre, which is bordered on the west by the north moving Gulf Stream and on the east by the Canary Current which moves south. At the heart of the current is the Sargasso Sea, which, fun fact is where fresh water eels from both North America and Europe mate, but not to each other.

Hurricanes form the same way that the winds that form the Hadley cell. Hot air along the equator rises causing an area of low pressure beneath it. Air from around flows into the new low pressure area. This air warms and also rises. This convection cycle causes the spin characteristic of a tropic storm or hurricane. The more the storm is fed by the hot air flowing the stronger the storm grows and the faster it rotates. The rotation causes an eye to form. The eye of the storm is an area of low pressure. Air that is being displaced by air moving up beneath it actually starts to flow back down through the eye.

Hurricanes move predominately westward off the coast of Africa because the trade winds along the equator move consistently westward. As the storms move, however, the Coriolis Effect takes into effect and the storms begin to move more and more northward and even eventually eastward. Of course, if it moves above 30 degree latitude the storms can move again westward as it reaches a new convection atmospheric cell.

The other reason hurricanes move westward for a long while after coming off the coast of Africa is because there is an almost permanent high pressure system in the middle of the Atlantic. This area of high pressure in the Atlantic, called a few things but mostly the Bermuda-Azores High or the Azores High and it exists in the center of the North Atlantic Gyre roughly in the same place as the Sargasso Sea. This high pressure area is why you see storm systems head due West straight off of Africa.

Hurricanes move along paths of low pressure and are blocked by areas of high pressure. This interaction between hurricanes and high pressure systems are why Marcos and Laura came to land in almost the same location. At the time they were forming and traveling there was a band of high pressure that was moving across Texas eastward and also a high pressure system over Florida. This squeezed the two storms into the north Gulf area.

When I sat down to write this tidbit I assumed, like a lot of other tidbits I’ve written, that while I may not fully understand the science I was about to synthesis, I would at least be able to find it. Coworkers can attest that the entire time I was researching for this tidbit I kept coming up to them and asking “but why?” So many sources commonly available about hurricanes will tell you what happens but almost never the why it happens. If you also have this internal “but why” I encourage you to keep researching.

And now it’s time for Book Traveler, with Victor:
Welcome to a new edition of Book Traveler. My name is Victor and I am a librarian at the Largo Public Library. Today I am going to talk to you about a new book that we have in the Spanish collection titles Un Hombre de Verdad by Thomas Page McBee.

Synopsis: Thomas Page McBee was the first transgender boxer to fight at Madison Square Garden, but this book is not about that. McBee was born with the body of a woman, he was always known he is a man, he had surgery at thirty years old and understood that the world would never be the same again. Because changing gender changes everything. And that’s what this book is about.

A Real Man is the first-person account of that transition, a lyrical testimony about what it means to be a man in today’s world. When McBee decided to enroll in a boxing gym to understand masculinity through violence, he recognized himself as an amateur in this sport and in the most basic questions about his own identity.

McBee’s story can be read as an intimate story about bullying, fear, rejection and acceptance. But above all as a defense of fragility in the face of the omnipresent stereotypes of the outdated macho, with the certainty that in and out of the ring this fight is one. His, yours, ours.

Opinion: The book presents several essays on the life of Thomas Page McBee, his experience as a transgender man, homophobia, sexism, and gender violence.

From an early age Thomas knew he was a man, in his childhood he was raised to fear men in dark alleys, at bars or anywhere he is alone with a man. He always associated masculinity with power and violence. It never occurred to him that there was another alternative, that someone was not educated to have these kinds of insecurities.

Thomas joined a gym where he began his boxing practice. It was there where he would know what masculinity is and how much it conditioned them. They told him that weakness and fear are unseemly male traits because they are “female and homosexual” traits. In the boxing ring, all men fight to prove they are “real” men, not just him. They had to stand firm, strong, free from vulnerabilities. But Thomas fought another kind of fight against stereotypes when he concealed his identity as a transgender man.

Thomas Paige became aware of the sexism that exists in society when he found it in his own behaviors. Little by little he gave more importance to conversations with other men and started to value their company more. He realized how much women had to try to fit in and even train harder than any man just to be respected like any of them. The reality was in front of him and he had to work on himself so as not to fall victim to toxic masculinity.

This story reflects how Thomas Paige became the best version of himself, leaving behind the notion of gender, questioning masculinity and emphasizing the connection between people. It is a highly recommended book. It’s all for today until the next issue of Book Traveler. Bye.

Stay safe everyone out there! Check out our virtual programming here and also don’t forget to sign up for our Read Woke Initiative on Beanstack!

For everyone interested our intro music is by Break the Bans and the outro music is by Jahzzar, both artists can be found on Free Music Archive.