green tree frog (Photo: Stephen Michael Barnett, Creative Commons license)

The sound of silence

. Silent Spring, the ground-breaking book by Rachel Carson on the negative effects of DDT and other pesticides, celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Carson’s genius, in part, was in personalizing a difficult and somewhat esoteric subject using a humble and ubiquitous example—nearly everyone, regardless of age, education or political leaning, could easily grasp the […]

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european starling by Kenny Louie, Creative Commons license

Shout out to my peeps!

If you happen to be a small bird living in the city, you’re facing a big dilemma. Online dating and electronic security systems aren’t an option—you’re responsible for finding a mate and protecting your own territory. You do this by singing. But the metroplex is loud; sometimes Gotham’s growl of traffic, heavy machinery, and other […]

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Fool for the City

Why is Homo sapiens becoming an increasingly urban species? For the same simple reasons as raccoons (Procyonis lotor), it seems—more housing options and better restaurants (easy access to French fries and Dunkin Donuts, in particular). The more difficult question to answer is this: As we convert forests and pastures into prefabs and flower shops, are […]

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