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We are a worldwide social network of freethinkers, atheists, agnostics and secular humanists.

You know what to do: Post your book suggestions here.

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Looks interesing. One I may have to add to my list.

 

The Book of Fungi: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species from around the World

 

Oohhh, another one that may be fun: Eruptions that Shook the World
Looks interesting indeed
I like those kinds of books.


Why Look at Animals? by John Berger

 

Part of Penguin's Great Ideas series, this slim book brings together seven of John Berger's essays from 1971-2001, a poem, a drawing and a new story. Apart from the final piece - a moving memoir on the death of Austrian intellectual Ernst Fischer - the theme is the marginalisation of animals. The title essay (1977) explores the ancient relationship between animals and humankind: an "unspeaking companionship". But today the caged creatures in zoos have become "the living monument to their own disappearance" from culture. In all these pieces, what concerns Berger is the loss of a meaningful connection to nature, a connection that can now only be rediscovered through the experience of beauty: "the aesthetic moment offers hope." Berger's writing is wonderfully physical, with a powerful sense of how things look, smell, feel. At his best he shows how everyday experiences - a swallow straying into a room, the performances of primates in a zoo, a peasant carving - hold the aesthetic key to unlock the true order of things.

This is not a book suggestion, I just want to know if anybody has read Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity by Bruce Bagemihl and if it is any good. It would be an interesting book if it was accurate at all and based on empirical evidence.

 

 

If my question doesn't belong here I'll delete my post, just let me know.

I have not read it. What do the reviews say? Any luck finding any online?

I have found mainly positive reviews, but I was interested if anybody here read it because I have difficulties believing everything I read online.

 

This part is really sad:

Bruce Bagemihl writes that Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity was a "labor of love." And indeed it must have been, since most scientists have thus far studiously avoided the topic of widespread homosexual behavior in the animal kingdom--sometimes in the face of undeniable evidence. Bagemihl begins with an overview of same-sex activity in animals, carefully defining courtship patterns, affectionate behaviors, sexual techniques, mating and pair-bonding, and same-sex parenting. He firmly dispels the prevailing notion that homosexuality is uniquely human and only occurs in "unnatural" circumstances. As far as the nature-versus-nurture argument--it's obviously both, he concludes. An overview of biologists' discomfort with their own observations of animal homosexuality over 200 years would be truly hilarious if it didn't reflect a tendency of humans (and only humans) to respond with aggression and hostility to same-sex behavior in our own species. In fact, Bagemihl reports, scientists have sometimes been afraid to report their observations for fear of recrimination from a hidebound (and homophobic) academia. Scientists' use of anthropomorphizing vocabulary such as insulting, unfortunate, and inappropriate to describe same-sex matings shows a decided lack of objectivity on the part of naturalists.

http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/201105/slideshow-nests/slide1a.jpg

http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/201105/slideshow-nests/images/slide1b.jpg

 

Few people would feel up to the task of constructing a home from scratch, using only the materials they could carry. But birds possess an innate ability to build delicate nests from grass, twigs, or mud that regularly pass the most difficult test for any species: they cradle and protect the next generation.

 

Photographer and author Sharon Beals visited the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley, and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology to photograph the nests featured in Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them (Chronicle Books, March 2011). This slideshow features some of our favorites.

 

Photography by Sharon Beals

Illustrations by Laurie Wigham
Captions by Della Watson

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