National Geographic : 1987 Jul
needs a little optimism to view such a grand sub ject. Brazil's greatest strength lies in her people's will, compassion, and optimism. From year to year I see vast changes for the better in Brazil. In future articles please emphasize some of them. GEORGE F. JOHNSON San Francisco,California Mysteries of the Bog Congratulations to Louise Levathes and photog rapher Fred Bavendam for their excellent article on peatlands (March 1987). Those strange lights reported in bogs at night, the will-o'-the-wisp or jack-o'-lantern, may not be so strange after all. Called fen fires in England and IrrlichterinGer- many, they are well documented in older scientif ic literature. Peatlands generally are anaerobic and thus can reduce many chemicals. Where phosphorus is available, it can be reduced to phosphine, a volatile gas. Unstable in the pres ence of air, it spontaneously ignites, producing a green iridescent flame. Bog gases are also rich in methane and hydrogen, two flammable gases that may help fuel the fen fires. WILLIAM SHOTYK University of California Riverside, California The caption on page 401 states that scientists cannot figure out why the sedges grow in waves. I suspect they are indicative of the direction of Compact agility Dodge Dakota. miles. Dakota, quite simply, has no competition. The mid-sized Dodge Dakota is America's new thoroughbred. The heart of a full-sized pickup. And the spirit of a compact. A breed unlike any other. A truck unlike any other. DIVISION OF CHRYSLER MOTORS AMERICA'S BEST BACKED TRUCKS ARE RAM TOUGH *See 7/70 powertrain & 7/100 outer body rust-through limited warranty at dealer. Excludes imports. Restrictions apply BUCKLE UP FOR SAFETY.