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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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Cheer Up, Folks: It Ain’t So Bad

Posted by Richard Conniff on April 4, 2020

by Richard Conniff

For all of you who need cheering up in the time of plague (and apologies to those who have lost family or friends and are beyond cheering): I was randomly listening to Spotify when I heard someone named John Craigie singing, and this lyric leapt out, from the song “Dissect the Bird.”

It fits the moment:

So when the candle flickers, when the days get dark
They call them first world problems but they still break your heart
When the universe feels like it’s against you
Just take a minute to realize all it took to make you
Your parents had to meet, as random as that was
And hang out long enough at least, to make some love
And make a baby, and give it your name
And all your ancestors had to do the same
Exponentially backwards to the start of life
So much had to happen just exactly right
Sparks had to catch, oceans had to freeze
Billions of cells had to survive endless disease
Civilizations had to crumble, wars had to be fought
Bad presidents had to get elected, good presidents had to get shot
People had to leave, hearts had to get broken
People had to die so your eyes could open
The universe is not against you
The universe is not against you
It went through a lot just to give you a chance
It must have wanted you pretty bad
No pressure, though
No pressure, though
The universe went through a lot but no pressure, bro
You don’t gotta be perfect
You don’t gotta be a saint
Just don’t waste it
This was not a mistake

 

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