The Biology Thing

It’s no secret that the collective imagination has a deep-rooted fear of wolves. Our legends and fairy tales are populated with powerful wolves getting up to all manner of naughtiness, from pretending to be something they aren’t (whether dressed as Grandmother or sheep), to reflecting our animal sides in the form of werewolves, to simply…

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Dickens, Luck & the Woolly Mammoth

“Life is made of ever so many partings welded together.” Charles Dickens (born 7 February 1812), Great Expectations So many of Charles Dickens writings are concerned with those who succeed and those who fall by the wayside. Usually in his novels, success (or at least, survival) can be due to a number of factors in…

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Unraveled Threads

Ecosystems that have evolved over millennia are bound to be as complex as the most intricate tapestry, with interrelationships and connections that might not be readily apparent amidst all the color and noise of the larger pattern. As with a tapestry, pulling on one thread, or even two or twenty, might harm a small part…

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Proximity to Magnificence

When I was a little girl in the 1960s, a friend of my parents brought over a few unexpected gifts for me. One of the gifts was a genuine Indian tiger skin, complete with claws, head, teeth, and glass eyes. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, also…

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