Zoos are amazing places. At their best, the modern forms mix research and spectacle into a melange that has the power to both entertain as well as enlighten. At their worst… well, let us not dwell on that at present. And as to their history; in their previous existence as menageries and indeed, right up into living memory, some have not only been institutions of scientific study, but but also centers of far more social and political influence than we would likely think possible today.
I was particularly pleased to discover that the 2 June 2017 issue of the Times Literary Supplement contained a review by Tom Holland of not just one but two recent books on foxes; Lucy Jones’ Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain. from Elliott & Thompson, and How to Tame a […]
Most readers of this publication are likely to be at least somewhat familiar with the famous 1831-1836 journey of Charles Darwin aboard the H.M. S. Beagle (and for those who aren’t, I highly recommend his own account of it, published as The Voyage of the Beagle). However much less attention seems to be given to what happened at the locations of his researches afterward.
It never fails. Whenever we have any fruit in the house, not five minutes following the missus pouring herself a glass of her favorite pinot, I hear her utter a mild oath under her breath and notice that she’s playing lifeguard to a floundering Drosophila melanogaster. “Why do these things have to exist?” she exasperatedly exclaims […]