I first encountered Stephen Jay Gould when I happened on one of his books in a bookshop during my late teens. Its unusual title, The Panda’s Thumb, caught my eye. The lead article channelled Charles Darwin’s approach to understanding the natural world, not through looking at perfect adaptations to the environment but ...... (read more)
Icebergs loom large in Joy McCann’s Wild Sea: A history of the Southern Ocean. They are one of the most recognisable features of the higher latitudes of the Southern Ocean and the one that people often look forward to the most when voyaging south for the first time. Ice gets its own chapter ...... (read more)
A friend and colleague from Europe visited in October 2010 for the first time in almost a decade. I had peppered him in the intervening years with emails bemoaning the long drought, the record heat, the lack of rain, the bushfires, the water restrictions, the young and old trees dying, the rivers ceasing to flow and finally drying altogether. I had described the har ...