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Archive for July, 2013

Panda Twins

My latest internet time-waster is the Atlanta Zoo’s Panda Cam and the accompanying blog posts.  These new twin panda babies, born on July 15, are almost as cute as kittens.  I’m especially enjoying reading the intelligent entries on the panda maternal instincts.  The zoo lets the mother, Lun Lun, care for one twin at a time.  Apparently pandas don’t have the bandwidth to care for two; until recently, one of the twins born in captivity always died.  But the Chengdu (China) zoo pioneered the cub-swapping technique, and Lun Lun seems to not even notice she’s got two different cubs.  The voice-over on a recent video of the two babies added that, “When the cubs are switched, they will spend a short time in the incubator together.  This gives Lun Lun some time to finish her sugar cane and possibly drink some water.”  I’m sure she’d really appreciate a few minutes to take a shower or have a nap, too.

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Fireflies

Last year my students and I read one text that we returned to again and again in conversation: William Cronon’s fabulous essay on “The Trouble With Wilderness”.  I’ve written about the essay before and I’m sure I will again.  Its ideas and themes have transformed my work and that of my students.  The essay argues against the  environmental movement’s focus on wilderness areas, because it divides the natural world into small sanctuaries worth saving on the one hand, and everything else, which we feel free to pollute or demolish, on the other. (more…)

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Snails congregating on a garden path in Menlo Park, June 2013

Snails congregating on a garden path in Menlo Park, June 2013

Things have been quiet here because I was in away in California for a week visiting my best friend from college.  I’m still recovering from the trip, somehow—it’s been hard to write or really to do much of anything since I got back.  Maybe it’s because of the constant rain in Washington—rain always makes me slow and sleepy—or maybe the time difference threw me off.  I’ve been dragging, which is too bad, because there are a lot of things I want to write about, including the things I saw on my trip. (more…)

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