A Few of Our Favorite Things: Snow Leopards, the Lyric Essay and Smart Birds
Posted by on April 28, 2016
Here are a few things that caught our eye recently:
1 – The government of Mongolia has designated more than 8,000 square kilometers of prime habitat in the Tost Mountains a legally-protected “Nature Reserve.” A Nature Reserve is one of four levels of protected land areas under Mongolia’s National Park system. This designation prohibits mining, construction and hunting, creating a true safe haven for the snow leopard.
3 – We recently discovered this article by Maria Popova about Rebecca Solnit’s essay collection The Faraway Nearby. Excerpts like this one resonated with us: “The object we call a book is not the real book, but its potential, like a musical score or seed. It exists fully only in the act of being read; and its real home is inside the head of the reader, where the symphony resounds, the seed germinates. It exists fully only in the act of being read; and its real home is inside the head of the reader, where the symphony resounds, the seed germinates. A book is a heart that only beats in the chest of another.”
4 – According to a blog post by science writer Elizabeth Preston over at Discover, a species of Antarctic seabird called skuas have apparently memorized the look of the scientists who have messed around with their nests. This was discovered through an experiment by Korean researchers conducted during winter 2014-15. Preston explains the experiment, which was recorded in a paper published in Animal Cognition: “Starting in the fourth week of their study, two researchers visited each nest at a time. One of them, the “intruder,” had checked on the nest in previous weeks. The other, ‘neutral’ researcher had never been to the nest before. As they approached the nest, the researchers recorded how close they could get before the birds attacked. As the weeks went on, skuas attacked from greater distances. But they didn’t attack just anybody. All seven of the nesting pairs directed their attacks at the known intruder. The birds ‘reacted very aggressively’ after five visits, the authors write, including kicking intruders in the head. They ignored the neutral humans.” We thought this was awesome.
5 – You may have noticed, here at Little Curlew Press, we are major dog lovers. A recent blog post on The Dodo about a shelter dog and his big sister captured our heart.