Fieldnotes

Stories are not chapters of novels. They should not be read one after another, as if they were meant to follow along. Read one. Shut the book. Read something else. Come back later. Stories can wait.

Mavis Gallant

How Dangerous is Your Couch? 

One woman’s crusade to rid our lives of flame-retardant chemicals.

Weekend Feature: ‘Lucy’ Discovered to Co-Exist With Tree-Climbing ‘Species’
dailygalaxy.com

The Burtele par­tial foot clear­ly shows that at 3.4 mil­lion years ago, Lucy’s species, which walked upright on two legs, was not the only hominin species liv­ing in this region of Ethiopia,” said lead author and project leader Dr. Yohannes…

Inbreeding did not kill mammoths 

bbc.co.uk

The last known pop­u­la­tion of wool­ly mam­moths did not “inevitably” die out because of inbreed­ing and lack of genet­ic diver­si­ty, a study sug­gests.

Prehistoric fisheries offer clues to sustainable catch 

newscientist.com

Efforts to reform fish­eries in the present just got a boost from the past. Two quan­ti­ta­tive stud­ies of pre­his­toric fish­eries show that some early cul­tures fig­ured out how to get high yields with­out over­ex­ploita­tion.

Jack Kit­tinger…

The originality of the species
Ian McEwan, guardian.co.uk

A frenzied desire to be first inspired Darwin and Einstein to bursts of creativity. Like writers and artists, scientists strive to have their names attached to a work of brilliance, but any breakthrough depends on the efforts of countless…

Rethinking Emotions, aka "Survival Circuits" 

"LeDoux believes that this view of life can make human emotion a lot easier to understand. We have feelings, he argues, because we have evolved a conscious awareness of our survival circuits are doing. When our consciousness detects a survival circuit coming online, we can give that experience a name. If LeDoux is right, then understanding whether animals have emotions like we do comes down to determining whether they’re conscious of their survival circuits, too."

I have long been an admirer of the octopus. The cephalopods are very old, and they have slipped, protean, through many shapes. They are the wisest of the mollusks, and I have always felt it to be just as well for us that they never came ashore, but—there are other things that have.

There is no need to be frightened. It is true some of the creatures are odd, but I find the situation rather heartening than otherwise. It gives one a feeling of confidence to see nature still busy with experiments, still dynamic, and not through nor satisfied because a Devonian fish managed to end as a two-legged character with a straw hat. There are other things brewing and growing in the oceanic vat. It pays to know this. It pays to know there is just as much future as there is past. The only thing that doesn’t pay is to be sure of man’s own part in it.

The Immense Journey, Loren Eiseley

Very few things I like more than quotes from Mark Twain

beingblog:

“Every one is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”

~Mark Twain, from Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World.

A new moon is scheduled for the evening of March 22, 2012.

Photo by Waqas Bhatti. (Taken with instagram)

Human Behavior and Energy Consumption 

"Generating electricity creates the potential to use that energy, so creating new energy technologies often leads to yet more energy consumption.”

(Source: addtoany.com)

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