Friday, 10 October 2008

Still alive ...

... but panicking because I've got an awful lot of work to get through over the next few days.

In between all the writing (and procrastinating) and illustrating and lecturing and completing paper-work and counselling students and swearing at the global emails and face-palming at their contents, I'm still managing to do the rounds of my favourite blogs — even if I'm not contributing to my own. I'll get back to that soon. I promise.

I have a backlog of books to get through too. My evolutionary biologist friend Menno Schilthuizen sent me a copy of his latest work, The Loom of Life, which has gone straight to the top of the pile. I'll review it here. It's the wittiest ecology text I've ever read and I wish I'd looked at it before I gave my community ecology lectures this year. I would have stolen all the one-liners and passed them off as my own.

... I have presented the pyramid as made up of flat polished layers: primary consumers eat only producers and nothing else; secondary consumers only eat members of the primary layer and never touch a plant. Yet nature is not so neat: omnivores get their energy at several different trophic levels and it is sometimes a Clintonian judgment call whether a species has trophic relations with another species if it only occasionally consumes it.

6 comments:

sarala said...

I want to read Your Inner Fish--he is a colleague of my husband. Book sounds interesting too.

Snail said...

Your Inner Fish is still in my 'to read' pile. Rave reviews everywhere and I haven't even got around to opening it. Where does the time go?

Duncan said...

Witty indeed!

Anonymous said...

Here's a list with a few unknowns for you to link mine when the rush is over. Or when you feel like procrastinating. Whichever comes first.

http://tinyurl.com/3sgjr8

d****

Lulu Stader said...

Delighted you're plugging Menno's book: it's well worth it!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Sounds like a good read: books are the treasure troves of the 21st century. I'm vaguely concerned that online-ism of our modern culture will make the good ones shine that much more. And yes, the best books you have to read over and over, and keep finding new things. Like a good movie (but read the book first).