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    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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The Lure of Long Distances: Songs for Spacemen

Posted by Richard Conniff on January 8, 2013

The space shuttle astronauts journeyed up to 4.3 million miles on a single flight.  But like all adventurous travelers, they also pined for small reminders of life back home.  Name the artist whose music was at the top of the charts for space shuttle wake-up calls:

a. Elton John, whose hits include “Rocket Man”

b. Aaron Copeland, composer of “Fanfare for the Common Man”

c. Paul McCartney, whose songbook includes “Off the Ground” and “Soggy Noodle.”

d. Dean Martin, who sang “Volare”

And the answer is:

(c) Paul McCartney–with the Beatles, Wings, or solo–has awakened 12 Shuttle crews, and gave a live performance of “Good Day Sunshine” in 2005.  Also popular with Shuttle crews: The Beach Boys (“I Get Around”), U2 (“Vertigo” and “Beautiful Day”), and Louis Armstrong (“What a Wonderful World”).  Dean Martin was a hit on the final day of many flights when he sang “Goin’ Back to Houston.”


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