Biodiversity has produced the world as we know it. Our lives would not be the same at all without it. In a time when biodiversity is threatened, awareness, mindfulness and careful stewardship of biodiversity is essential to the future of life on Earth.
- Peter Roberts and Shirley Evans, The Book of Fungi: A Life-Size Guide to Six Hundred Species From Around the World (University of Chicago Press, 2011).
- Sunil S. Amrith, Crossing the Bay of Bengal: The Furies of Nature and the Fortunes of Migrants (Harvard University Press, 2013): how countries bordering the Bay of Bengal “have . . . been home to a cosmopolitan world that ‘is strangely familiar from the vantage point of the early 212st century – a world of polyglot traders and cross-cultural marriages, a world in which long-distance travel is a common experience.’”
Technical and Analytical Readings
- Elizabeth Kolbert, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Holt & Company, 2014): “In lucid prose, she examines the role of man-made climate change in causing what biologists call the sixth mass extinction – the current spasm of plant and animal loss that threatens to eliminate 20 to 50 percent of all living species on earth within this century.”
The edifice has a thousand stories. Here and there one beholds on its staircases the gloomy caverns of science which pierce its interior. Everywhere upon its surface, art causes its arabesques, rosettes, and laces to thrive luxuriantly before the eyes. There, every individual work, however capricious and isolated it may seem, has its place and its projection. Harmony results from the whole. From the cathedral of Shakespeare to the mosque of Byron, a thousand tiny bell towers are piled pell-mell above this metropolis of universal thought. At its base are written some ancient titles of humanity which architecture had not registered. To the left of the entrance has been fixed the ancient bas-relief, in white marble, of Homer; to the right, the polyglot Bible rears its seven heads. The hydra of the Romancero and some other hybrid forms, the Vedas and the Nibelungen bristle further on.
Nevertheless, the prodigious edifice still remains incomplete. The press, that giant machine, which incessantly pumps all the intellectual sap of society, belches forth without pause fresh materials for its work. The whole human race is on the scaffoldings. Each mind is a mason. The humblest fills his hole, or places his stone. Rétif de La Bretonne brings his hod of plaster. Every day a new course rises. Independently of the original and individual contribution of each writer, there are collective contingents. The eighteenth century gives the _Encyclopedia_, the revolution gives the _Moniteur_. Assuredly, it is a construction which increases and piles up in endless spirals; there also are confusion of tongues, incessant activity, indefatigable labor, eager competition of all humanity, refuge promised to intelligence, a new Flood against an overflow of barbarians. It is the second tower of Babel of the human race. [Victor Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris, or, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831), Volume I, Book Fifth, Chapter II, “This Will Kill That”.]
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
- Messiaen, Catalogue d'oiseaux, pour piano (Bird Catalogue) (1958)
- Kapustin, 24 Preludes in Jazz Style, Op. 53
- Jeff Albert Quartet, “Similar in the Opposite Way”
- Hamiet Bluiett, “The Clarinet Family”: every kind of clarinet joins in this collaboration (here is a performance in Berlin, 1984)
Music: songs and other short pieces
- Emily Bear, “Diversity”