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It's titillating, tantalizing, but is it science? Is it new? We are forced to conclude not very--either scientific or new. Fast is a clever and facile writer who has touched base with the leading figures in biometeorology (weather and its effects on mind and body). But what he's come up with is a collection of conjectures, occasionally interesting findings, largely gratuitous advice, and yet another contender in the rate-yourself medical league. You, too, can decide if you are a weather ""sensitive"" (an apt word) by charring symptoms (e.g., loss of appetite, headache) and mood (irritability, confusion) against weather patterns (changes in barometer, temperature, humidity, etc.) every day for a month. Clearly there are interesting data in the field, some already the subject of books-like the positive ion/ill health theory postulated about such notorious winds as the mistral. Fast also cites a reliable experiment in which cold and damp measurably worsened the joint pain of arthritics. But much of the book is speculative, invoking the stars and planets as well as atmospheric conditions, or else is simply anecdotal. The chapter on sex, for example, concludes that some people are turned on by hot weather, others by cold, and some don't mind one way or another. The advice, too, is a mix of useful tips (adopt the layered look for cold-weather insulation) and dubious suggestions (plan to have a baby between July and December). We hold no brief against biometeorology, but an anthology of assorted opinions does not a medical consensus make.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Wyden--dist. by Simon & Schuster