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Under a Microscope

In Review: The Leafcutter Ants: Civilization by Instinct

There are few spectacles of nature as fascinating as a long line of leafcutter arts marching along a well-beaten trail, each of them carrying a piece of a leaf many times their own size, making a tight and well ordered column of…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – May 24, 2013

US Fisheries Service to Expand Dolphin Safe Tuna Certification Requirements

Proposed rule seeks better verification of dolphin safety during tuna fishing, addresses WTO’s concerns about uniform standards

The US National Marine Fisheries Service proposed a new rule last Friday that would extend current protections for dolphins to tuna fisheries around the world. By doing so, the rule would improve reporting on dolphin safety and help resolve a bitter World Trade…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – April 9, 2013

Counterculture Scientists Who Dared to Explore Areas Where Physics and Philosophy Converge

Book Review: How the Hippies Saved Physics

That “long strange trip” of the 1960’s was even stranger than you thought.  For many, it was a time of frivolity, protest against war, free love, and trying a galaxy of new drugs. But David Kaiser, in his entertaining and enlightening book…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – October 5, 2012

Cove Monitors Arrive in Taiji, Japan to Document Dolphin Hunting

Days are long for the team committed to protecting dolphins

Last weekend Ric O’Barry, star of the Oscar-winning documentary film The Cove, arrived in Taiji, Japan to help with monitoring the annual dolphin hunt that takes place there. All photos by Mark PalmerMasako Maxwell (in purple shirt) translates for our Japanese Dolphin…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – September 7, 2012

Captive Time Bombs

Death at SeaWorld: Shamu and the Dark Side of Killer Whales in Captivity
by David Kirby,
St. Martin’s Press, 2012, 469 pages

Author David Kirby has written a shocking exposé of the SeaWorld marine parks and the dangers that wild animal captivity poses to both SeaWorld trainers and the orcas that perform there. Death at SeaWorld was inspired by the tragic death of SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010, when a captive male orca, Tilikum, grabbed her and pulled her into the tank with him. She died from blunt force trauma. Orcas in tanks…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – Autumn 2012

Uncertainty About Our Climate’s Future is No Excuse for Inaction in Dealing with Global Warming

Book Review: Climate Matters: Ethics in a Warming World

In dealing with the dangers of global warming of our planet, what is the best way to consider our responses, both as individuals and as a society? Ethicist John Broome walks us through this process in his new book Climate Matters, a…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – August 31, 2012

Stop South Korea’s Whaling Scam

Nation Proposes to Continue Whaling via Trumped-up “Scientific Research” Program

At last week’s International Whaling Commission in Panama, the government of South Korea surprised member states with an announcement that they would shortly start killing whales under scientific permit, much like Japan does now. Photo by Blake MaybankMinke Whale off Tadoussac, Quebec.…
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by: Mark J. Palmer – July 13, 2012

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