One of my favorite lines of yours is “Bear awoke and found that the world needed to begin again.” That phrase simultaneously feels like an opening from a fairy tale and a spiritual aphorism. We have all had days when we woke up and felt like the world needed to start over.
In an episode of Friends, Monica asks Phoebe, “Do you think that your favorite animal says much about you?” Phoebe replies, “What? You mean behind my back?” If the prairie dog was Phoebe’s favorite animal, then the joke is on us, because prairie dogs appear to be doing just that: talking about us “behind our backs.”
Most artists create art with the expectation that it will be around for awhile. But ice artists aren’t like most artists. They know their creations will eventually turn back into water and seep into the earth or evaporate into the air. This was true about the ice sculptures created by artist Tim Linhart, until he started carving instruments from ice. Now, his ice art turns into something else before it melts: music.
Humankind has always had a soft spot for dolphins, no doubt because these sleek, athletic marine mammals are social, playful and seem to genuinely like people. And then there are the stories about dolphins guiding ships to safety, assisting fishermen, playing with children and saving people from drowning.
Goats have remarkable memories and are known to never forget a favor. Help a doe out of a tangle of fencing, and she’s likely to lick your hand in gratitude whenever she sees you. Goats also never forget a face, and studies have shown that they are capable of remembering more than 50 different faces over a span of several years.
So how do scientists estimate bird populations? And how do they know if a species is healthy or in decline? This is where citizen science comes in. Citizen science—also known as crowd-sourced science—is scientific research conducted, at least in part, by non-scientists.