January 14, 2004 |
DOES the titular sus domesticus -- a free-foraging, ocean-bathing sow much treasured by her suburban Auckland neighborhood -- "sing" in the human sense? And if so, is she consciously serenading the moon? These are only two of countless questions about animals' subjective lives that arise then are mostly left open to speculation in "The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals."
June 14, 1994 |
I've been trying lately to figure out who among the people I know has been abducted by aliens, meddled with and put back. I have a wide circle of friends. I don't think I boast when I say that my friends are the sort of people aliens would find interesting.
August 25, 1989 |
To some historians, Huey Long was a demagogue with a lust for power and aspirations for the presidency that ultimately led to his assassination in 1935. But to Michael Eugene Fairman, the U. S. senator from Louisiana was merely a "footnote in history." At least, that's what Fairman thought until he found himself in graduate school at the University of New Orleans in the mid-1970s. "You can barely walk around the place without running into a Long this or a Long that," Fairman said.
March 16, 1988 |
Much of what passes for research in education is not particularly useful, even in the view of those who do it. True, educators say, new theories in education have resulted in some real improvements, notably in new techniques for teaching reading and writing and explaining science and mathematics to children.
April 16, 1991 |
In 1978, three years after the publication of "Sociobiology: The New Synthesis," its author, Edward O. Wilson, was confronted at a meeting of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) by a host of agitators, one of whom poured ice water over Wilson's head. Sociobiology, needless to say, had polarized a large part of American biology. But the British welcomed Wilson's hypotheses about the way biological factors determine behavior in species as diverse as bees and elephants.
June 16, 2003 |
For centuries now, the debate has raged between those who believe human beings are born with certain innate qualities and those who believe we are the products of what we experience. Even before modern scientists began arguing the conflicting claims of heredity and environment, philosophers and theologians engaged in disputes about determinism versus free will, pitting the idea of an unchangeable human nature against that of the human mind as a blank slate to be formed by its experiences.
December 20, 1993 |
Unlike their mightier cousins, TV and radio, most nonfiction books published in America tend to be charmingly offbeat. A haven both for those wisely rejected by mainstream culture and those bravely ahead of their time, they have become our samizdat , as free-thinking as most public discourse in America is parochial. "Punished by Rewards" is a particularly fine example of how good publishing's bad timing can be.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2008 |
Astrophysicist Robert Jastrow, who played a key role in developing NASA's program of lunar and solar system exploration but was much better known as a television commentator who explained space science in clear and understandable language, died Feb. 8 at his home in Arlington, Va., from complications of pneumonia. He was 82.
January 26, 1989 |
Is your best friend an obsessive people-pleaser? Does she have trouble controlling her chewing, jumping and barking? No 12-step recovery program has been developed for dogs, and they can't join Barkers Anonymous, but sending them to a trainer can eliminate most types of dysfunctional behavior. Choosing a trainer for your dog may be akin to choosing that first day-care center for your child. Will anyone give as much love as you?
July 10, 2011 |
An 18th century novel doesn't seem like an obvious inspiration for a documentary about a chimpanzee in a modern scientific experiment, but that's part of what influenced James Marsh when he made "Project Nim. " Like Henry Fielding's sprawling epic, "Tom Jones," Marsh says, his film about a charismatic primate who learns to use sign language "holds up a mirror" to the world around his protagonist. That mirror is not always flattering to the well-heeled bohemians, student idealists and researchers who came into Nim Chimpsky's orbit starting in the 1970s.