Posts Tagged ‘books’

Seahorse with dangerous underwear

We’re celebrating our first year of Seamonstering and I want to get things started with my very first post from April 16th last year, featuring one of my favourite seahorse illustrations. A seahorse with underpants decorated in hand grenades? Another with a shi shi hairdo? Well no. These cartoon seahorses are in fact festooned in [...]


Demon Fish gets the Book Hook treatment

To launch Seamonster’s brand spanking new Book Hook, I chat with journalist, author, and shark enthusiast Juliet Eilperin about her recent book Demon Fish. In it she explores the world of sharks, the fishers who catch them for food and for fun, the campaigners trying to persuade people to kick the shark-fin habit, and the scientists [...]


When Scientists were Poets. And artists.

Ah, those were the days. Back when scientists were not just technicians tickling keyboards and gingerly thumbing pipettes filled with tiny volumes of nucleic acids — but the Poets of Nature. Like the ancient druids, our forebears in the profession were often consummate Renaissance Men (indeed, they were mostly men in those benighted times, though [...]


Holy Mackerel!

[. . . I'm tempted to add "Batman!", but that would really show my age.] Where on earth do such expressions come from? I can’t answer that, but at least we can now sleuth out the evolution of the word mackerel itself, thanks to some crack detective work by Jim Gleick in his new book [...]


Causing explosions crustaceanologically

Marine biologists generally aim to publish research in fancy-pants journals read by other science geeks. And that’s all good. But what a thrill to see our favorite critters — from bone-eating worms to eviscerating sea cucumbers to narwhals — in a book of poetry! I’ve just received this wonderful new book of poems for all [...]


World without fish

Another book on my to-read list (so no, this isn’t a review, just a suggestion). Mark Kurlansky has written lots of books about fish (Cod is still a bestseller after more than a decade – quite rightly) but this is the first one aimed at getting the message across to the younger generation that we [...]


Rime of a modern mariner

Illustrator and political cartoonist Nick Hayes has transformed Coleridge’s haunting tale into a beautiful graphic novel, The Rime of a modern mariner, featuring oceans of plastic waste and strangled seabirds. This is definitely on my to-read list. I flipped through a copy the other day at the wonderful Lutyens & Rubenstein bookshop in Notting Hill, after reading [...]


Global change, big animals, and how marine ecosystems work

[Here's my review, recently published in the Quarterly Review of Biology, of an excellent new book on the complex structure and dynamics of marine ecosystems and their responses to ongoing climate change. ] The scarcity of large vertebrates in graduate oceanography curricula has long perplexed new students and other naifs, given the centrality of fishing [...]


The Silent World

A few months ago I happened to pick up a copy of Jacques Cousteau’s classic first book, The Silent World, less from a burning desire to read it than for the mysterious and evocative cover photo, and out of a sense of comradely solidarity with this pioneer submariner. It gathered dust on my bedside table [...]