I’ll be honest, having read Dr. Eleanor Spicer Rice’s four books about ants and found them to be absolutely brilliant, I may have actually squealed (in a manly, dignified way, of course) with glee upon learning of the publication by University of Chicago Press of her new “Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Spiders.”
For as long as I can remember, most every bit of American history I’ve ever read has in one way or another led back to the Chesapeake Bay. Which makes it rather unfortunate that, like many life-long westerners, I’ve never once set eyes upon it.
Recounting the story of the life and work of the late Peter M. Douglas, long-serving chairman of the California Coastal Commission, and indefatigable advocate for the preservation of and open access to the magnificent coastline of the U.S. state of California, this new book will – it is hoped – bring greater attention to one of those most responsible for making it still possible for us all continue to be able to enjoy a visit to some of the worlds most remarkable coastal areas.
The public perception – due in no small part to the success of the film “Blackfish” – of keeping cetaceans, particularly Orcas, in captivity has taken a decidedly downward turn from the family-friendly spectacle it once was. But where did all this fascination with keeping these enormous marine mammals in captivity first begin, and how did the general public become so enamored of them in the first place?