Tag Archives: natural history

Of Mars, Antarctica, and the human condition

Mars is a cold tease, an object of immediate interest to anyone who believes humanity needs to continue to venture outward.  It’s neither so hostile or so far from us to preclude manned missions entirely,  and it has its own resources that … Continue reading

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Aerial Geology

Aerial Geology: A High Altitude Tour of North America’s Spectacular Volcanoes, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters, and Peaks © 2017 Mary Caperton Morton 308 pages   It was love at first sight, me and this book. There  I was, cruising BooksAMillion … Continue reading

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Dinosaurs, India, and the smartphone

We in the United States  recently enjoyed a three-day weekend, ostensibly for the purpose of honoring fallen soldiers, though I suspect for most it’s just an occasion to shop and cook out before the summer heat becomes unbearable.  I took … Continue reading

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The Ends of the World

The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth’s Past Mass Extinctions© 2017 Peter Brannen336 pages Earth has tried to kill us five times before, and now it’s at it again. (To be fair, … Continue reading

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In the Land of the Tiger

In the Land of the Tiger: A Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent© 1997 Valmik Thapar285 pages Imagine a Planet Earth episode focused entirely on India, and then presented in book form. The result is In the Land of the … Continue reading

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Week of Enchantment: Epic? Nay, MAMMOTH!

The natural history museum in downtown Albuquerque is monstrously big, and after arriving at its service doors I made my way around the campus (“building” does not suffice), admiring the way the landscape was sculpted and filled with plants to … Continue reading

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This week at the library: the cosmos, Jane Austen, zombies, and the Middle Way

— Minireviews —  Some zombies like to lurch about groaning for brains. Some zombies like to ride the escalators, listen to Frank Sinatra, and daydream about their past life. That’s R,  a zombie who has forgotten most of his life, … Continue reading

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The Humans Who Went Extinct

The Humans Who Went Extinct: Why Neanderthals Died Out and We Survived© 2010 Clive Finlayson256 pages Whatever happened to the Neanderthals? Did Homo sapiens drive our beefy cousins into extinction in the first of many exercises in genocide as we … Continue reading

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The Ghosts of Evolution

The Ghosts of Evolution: Nonsense Fruit, Missing Partners, and Other Ecological Anachronisms© 2000 Connie Barlow291 pages Grocery stores are excellent places to encounter ghosts. They lurk in the fruit section, feasting on anachronisms. The biological world is a wondrous web … Continue reading

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Catching Fire

Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human © 2009 Richard Wrangham309 pages Cooking has created a great many fantastic dish throughout the centuries, but Richard Wrangham holds that the culinary art’s greatest triumph is us — humanity, for the advent of … Continue reading

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