Most of us take our breathing for granted, but we aren’t all lucky enough to live in a place with clean air.
In Beijing, pollution has gotten so bad that breathing the air has become dangerous. There are days when the smog is thick enough to block out the sun. On these days, schools close and construction stops. People walk around the city wearing masks to avoid breathing in the dangerous smog, which contains harmful particles from coal power plants.
Some people in Beijing have started purchasing bottled air from Canada to avoid breathing their own dirty air. They pay about $28 for a single bottle of fresh mountain air. One bottle produces about 80 inhalations of air. Consumers say that the fresh bottled air helps them to stay alert and to do things like exercise, which is very difficult to do if you’re breathing polluted air every day.
A recent study of air quality in China showed that over 80 percent of Chinese people are exposed to unsafe air. In fact, air pollution is responsible for 4,000 deaths each day in China. According to researchers, breathing Beijing’s air is like smoking a cigarette and a half per hour, all day long.
While it might seem odd to bottle air, it’s not the first time this has been done. Inventor of the lightbulb, Thomas Edison, had an interest in the chemical make-up of a breath. When he was on his deathbed, several open test tubes were left nearby to collect the air of his final breaths. The bottles were later sealed by his son. One was given to Edison’s pal, and fellow inventor, Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company. Ford kept this bottle of Edison’s dying breath as a memento of his old friend.
For human beings, breathing is a symbol of life. When we witness something beautiful or awesome, or are emotionally moved, we feel alive. We call these moments ‘breathtaking’.
We often use phrases about breathing to help us describe how we’re feeling about something. ‘A breath of fresh air’ is a phrase used to describe things that feel new and appealing. When we’re feeling sad we sometimes say we’re feeling ‘deflated‘ like we’ve somehow let all of our air or life force leak out.
Notice your own breath now. Is your breath fast or slow? Deep or shallow? Take a deep breath. Feels good, doesn’t it?
from Deep English » Blog http://deepenglish.com/2016/01/a-breath-of-fresh-air/