In her comprehensive and carefully crafted book, Gisela Kaplan demonstrates how intelligent and emotional Australian birds can be. She describes complex behaviours such as grieving, deception, problem solving and the use of tools. Many Australian birds cooperate and defend each other, and exceptional ones go fishing by throwing breadcrumbs in the water, extract poisonous parts from prey and use tools to crack open eggshells and mussels. The author brings together evidence of many such cognitive abilities, suggesting plausible reasons for their appearance in Australian birds. Bird Minds is the first attempt to shine a critical and scientific light on the cognitive behaviour of Australian land birds. In this fascinating volume, the author also presents recent changes in our understanding of the avian brain and links these to life histories and longevity. Following on from Gisela’s well-received books on the Australian Magpie and the Tawny Frogmouth, as well as two earlier titles on birds, Bird Minds contends that the unique and often difficult conditions of Australia's environment have been crucial for the evolution of unusual complexities in avian cognition and behaviour.
Through a hundred short vignettes accompanied by stunning avian portraits, Bird Brains takes a look at the antics, behaviors, and idiosyncrasies of wild birds from the viewpoint of a professional wildlife biologist and award-winning wildlife photographer. Titlow understands the often wild and wacky lives of birders--those who are always ready and willing to drop everything at a moment’s notice and "twitch off" to some exotic locations just to add another checkmark to their life lists. His engaging stories, complemented by vivid images, provide a fascinating compendium of wild bird lore perfectly suited to the 65-million-plus birders across the United States.
Becoming a telepath was hard. Being a telepath is harder. Eighteen-year-old Amber is the youngest of the five telepaths who protect the hundred million citizens of one of the great hive cities of twenty-sixth century Earth. Her job is hunting down criminals before they commit their crimes, but this time her team arrive too late. Someone is already dead. Someone that Amber knows. Amber is determined to catch the murderer, but she doesn’t realize who she’s up against, or the true danger of opening her mind to the thoughts of others. Defender is the second book in the Hive Mind series.
How and when does music become possible? Is it a matter of biology, or culture, or an interaction between the two? Revolutionizing the way we think about the core values of music and human exceptionalism, Hollis Taylor takes us on an outback road trip to meet the Australian pied butcherbird. Recognized for their distinct timbre, calls, and songs, both sexes of this songbird sing in duos, trios, and even larger choirs, transforming their flute-like songs annually. While birdsong has long inspired artists, writers, musicians, and philosophers, and enthralled listeners from all walks of life, researchers from the sciences have dominated its study. As a field musicologist, Taylor spends months each year in the Australian outback recording the songs of the pied butcherbird and chronicling their musical activities. She argues persuasively in these pages that their inventiveness in song surpasses biological necessity, compelling us to question the foundations of music and confront the remarkably entangled relationship between human and animal worlds. Equal parts nature essay, memoir, and scholarship, Is Birdsong Music? offers vivid portraits of the extreme locations where these avian choristers are found, quirky stories from the field, and an in-depth exploration of the vocalizations of the pied butcherbird.
We're all hypocrites. Why? Hypocrisy is the natural state of the human mind. Robert Kurzban shows us that the key to understanding our behavioral inconsistencies lies in understanding the mind's design. The human mind consists of many specialized units designed by the process of evolution by natural selection. While these modules sometimes work together seamlessly, they don't always, resulting in impossibly contradictory beliefs, vacillations between patience and impulsiveness, violations of our supposed moral principles, and overinflated views of ourselves. This modular, evolutionary psychological view of the mind undermines deeply held intuitions about ourselves, as well as a range of scientific theories that require a "self" with consistent beliefs and preferences. Modularity suggests that there is no "I." Instead, each of us is a contentious "we"--a collection of discrete but interacting systems whose constant conflicts shape our interactions with one another and our experience of the world. In clear language, full of wit and rich in examples, Kurzban explains the roots and implications of our inconsistent minds, and why it is perfectly natural to believe that everyone else is a hypocrite.
This book explores how humans in the Renaissance lived with, attended to, and considered the minds, feelings, and sociality of other creatures. It examines how Renaissance literature and natural history display an unequal creaturely world: all creatures were categorized hierarchically. However, post-Cartesian readings of Shakespeare and other Renaissance literature have misunderstood Renaissance hierarchical creaturely relations, including human relations. Using critical animal studies work and new materialist theory, Bach argues that attending closely to creatures and objects in texts by Shakespeare and other writers exposes this unequal world and the use and abuse of creatures, including people. The book also adds significantly to animal studies by showing how central bird sociality and voices were to Renaissance human culture, with many believing that birds were superior to some humans in song, caregiving, and companionship. Bach shows how Descartes, a central figure in the transition to modern ideas about creatures, lived isolated from humans and other creatures and denied ancient knowledge about other creatures’ minds, especially bird minds. As significantly, Bach shows how and why Descartes’ ideas appealed to human grandiosity. Asking how Renaissance categorizations of creatures differ so much from modern classifications, and why those modern classifications have shaped so much animal studies work, this book offers significant new readings of Shakespeare’s and other Renaissance texts. It will contribute to a range of fields, including Renaissance literature, history, animal studies, new materialism, and the environmental humanities.
In this controversial culmination of a lifelong quest, Alexander F. Skutch, a well-known ornithologist who has studied birds for more than sixty years, makes a case for "believing that birds' mental capacities have been grossly underestimated." Lacking hard scientific proofs of what birds think and feel, we are left, Skutch argues, with inferences gleaned from observation of their behavior. His intimate, six-decade study of tropical and north temperate birds and his wide survey of the literature inform this remarkable review of the psychic life of birds. Although varying widely by species, many birds have a striking ability to recognize as individuals not only other birds of their own kind (which all look alike to humans), but also familiar humans, even after a long absence. They have good memories and give indications of forethought. Only humans take more elaborate care of their offspring than most birds do, and few animals of any kind live in such closely united families as those of cooperatively breeding birds, which carefully avoid incest. The diverse play of birds suggests their capacity for enjoyment. They can be taught to count up to eight, and some are known to use tools. The tastefully adorned constructions of bower birds and the songs of many other species also point strongly to an aesthetic sense. The journeys of migrants between known breeding and wintering territories separated by thousands of miles speak of memory and navigational skills that baffle human observers. True, Skutch concludes, inferential evidence only suggests hypotheses and cannot offer scientific proof. Nonetheless, his carefully gathered and documented observations, delightfully reported, accord with the strong intuition of many bird lovers that birds are not unfeeling automata but sensitive creatures, aware of what they do. Birders and behaviorist ornithologists alike will find Skutch's work provocative and rewarding–no more easily dismissed than the apparently purposeful behavior of the birds he describes. A timely and useful contribution to the debate on animal intelligence, this book offers--with precision, force, clarity, and a wide range of examples--a challenge to the longstanding mechanistic view of nonhuman life.
Have you ever wondered why anyone in his or her right mind - including you - Would pick a book with the title BIRD BRAINS UNLIMITED? One with an obviously, confused looking BIRD on the cover? Well perhaps you are a unique person? One that possesses an amazing spark of life - A spark that allows you to occasionally take a little stroll off the beaten path, and dare to be different. Well good for you! Because these very unusual short stories certainly are different. Or perhaps you are fortunate enough to have nurtured your childlike spirit - That free, unfettered spirit which is always there to remind you to not take yourself too seriously - A spirit that allows you the freedom of thinking outside of-the-box, having fun, and fully enjoying your wonderful gift of life.
Millions of people read weekly supermarket tabloids. Yet little serious effort has been made to understand why so many Americans make a valued place for these papers in their lives. Instead, the tabloids are dismissed as the epitome of "trash"--sensational, gossipy, stereotyped, ephemeral. Libraries shun them. As the papers are "trashed" by critics, so by extension are their largely working-class readers, who are viewed as unworthy of consideration. This book, the first full-length analysis of the tabloids within their historical and cultural contexts, examines the interplay among tabloid writer, text, and audience. Drawing on anthropology, communications, folklore, and literary theory, Elizabeth Bird argues that tabloids are successful because they build on and feed existing narrative traditions, much as folklore does. Men and women, to judge from letters and interviews, read the tabloids from different perspectives. And while people buy the papers for various reasons, readers tend to be alienated from some aspects of the dominant culture. The tabloids are popular precisely for the reasons they are despised: formulaic yet titillating, they celebrate excess and ordinariness at the same time. After beckoning readers into a world where life is dangerous and exciting, the tabloids soothe them with assurances that, be it ever so humble, there is no place like home. Thus, while readers are active, playful consumers, we cannot assume that the papers offer a real opportunity to resist cultural subordination.
Eighteen of the world's most eminent philosophers of recent years tackle central questions of philosophy in this collection of the prestigious annual lectures given at the Royal Institute of Philosophy in London. The line-up of authors is stellar: Simon Blackburn, Ned Block, Tyler Burge, David Chalmers, Noam Chomsky, Jerry Fodor, Jurgen Habermas, Anthony Kenny, Christine Korsgaard, John McDowell, Alasdair MacIntyre, Thomas Nagel, Derek Parfit, T. M. Scanlon, John Searle, Sir Peter Strawson, Bernard Williams, and Mary Warnock. There are six pieces on questions to do with mind, perception, and action; four on reason and morality; six range over freedom, identity, religion, and politics; and the last two take a step back to look at philosophy itself and how it works. The best way to learn about philosophy is to read philosophy at its best: that is what this fascinating anthology offers.
„Ich schreibe so lange, wie der Leser davon überzeugt ist, in den Händen eines erstklassigen Wahnsinnigen zu sein.“ Stephen King Während der Genesung nach einem schweren Unfall schreibt Stephen King seine Memoiren – Leben und Schreiben sind eins. Ein unverzichtbarer Ratgeber für alle angehenden Schriftsteller und eine Fundgrube für alle, die mehr über den König des Horror-Genres erfahren wollen. Ein kluges und gleichzeitig packendes Buch über gelebte Literatur. »Eine Konfession.« Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Der Roman zum Netflix-Film mit Sandra Bullock in der Hauptrolle! Öffne deinen Augen, und du bist tot! Dieses Mantra hat Malorie ihren beiden Kindern von Geburt an eingeimpft. Sie verlassen das Haus so selten wie möglich und wenn doch, dann nur mit verbundenen Augen. Denn irgendetwas ist dort draußen, dessen Anblick jeden in den Wahnsinn treibt. Da klingelt das Telefon, und der unbekannte Anrufer bietet ihr einen sicheren Ort, nur ein paar Meilen den Fluss hinab. Kein weiter Weg, wenn man ihn sehen kann. Doch mit verbundenen Augen unmöglich. Dennoch steigt Malorie mit den Kindern in ein kleines Boot, der Hoffnung entgegen – oder dem Tod! Dieser Roman ist auch bereits unter dem Titel »Der Fluss« beim Blanvalet Verlag erschienen.
Der Spiegel-Bestseller Der Tod ihres Vaters trifft Helen unerwartet. Erschüttert von der Wucht der Trauer wird der Kindheitstraum in ihr wach, ihren eigenen Habicht aufzuziehen und zu zähmen. Und so zieht das stolze Habichtweibchen Mabel bei ihr ein. Durch die intensive Beschäftigung mit dem Tier entwickelt sich eine konzentrierte Nähe zwischen den beiden, die tröstend und heilend wirkt. Doch Mabel ist nicht irgendein Tier. Mabel ist ein Greifvogel. Mabel tötet. »Um einen Greifvogel abzurichten, muss man ihn wie einen Greifvogel beobachten, erst dann kann man vorhersagen, was er als Nächstes tun wird. Schließlich sieht man die Körpersprache des Vogels gar nicht mehr – man scheint zu fühlen, was der Vogel fühlt. Die Wahrnehmung des Vogels wird zur eigenen. Als die Tage in dem abgedunkelten Raum vergingen und ich mich immer mehr in den Habicht hineinversetzte, schmolz mein Menschsein von mir ab.« Helen Macdonald Ein Buch über die Erinnerung, über Natur und Freiheit - und über das Glück, sich einer großen Aufgabe von ganzem Herzen zu widmen. »[Macdonalds] anschaulicher Stil – verblüffend und außerordentlich präzise – ist nur ein Teil dessen, was dieses Buch ausmacht. Die Geschichte vom Abrichten Mabels liest sich wie ein Thriller. Die allmählich und behutsam anwachsende Spannung lässt den Atem stocken ... Fesselnd.« Rachel Cooke Observer * New York Times Bestseller * Costa Award für das beste Buch des Jahres 2014 * Samuel Johnson Prize
Every year on January 1, a quirky crowd of adventurers storms out across North America for a spectacularly competitive event called a Big Year -- a grand, grueling, expensive, and occasionally vicious, "extreme" 365-day marathon of birdwatching. For three men in particular, 1998 would be a whirlwind, a winner-takes-nothing battle for a new North American birding record. In frenetic pilgrimages for once-in-a-lifetime rarities that can make or break their lead, the birders race each other from Del Rio, Texas, in search of the rufous-capped warbler, to Gibsons, British Columbia, on a quest for Xantus's hummingbird, to Cape May, New Jersey, seeking the offshore great skua. Bouncing from coast to coast on their potholed road to glory, they brave broiling deserts, roiling oceans, bug-infested swamps, a charge by a disgruntled mountain lion, and some of the lumpiest motel mattresses known to man. The unprecedented year of beat-the-clock adventures ultimately leads one man to a new record -- one so gigantic that it is unlikely ever to be bested...finding and identifying an extraordinary 745 different species by official year-end count. Prize-winning journalist Mark Obmascik creates a rollicking, dazzling narrative of the 275,000-mile odyssey of these three obsessives as they fight to the finish to claim the title in the greatest -- or maybe the worst -- birding contest of all time. With an engaging, unflappably wry humor, Obmascik memorializes their wild and crazy exploits and, along the way, interweaves an entertaining smattering of science about birds and their own strange behavior with a brief history of other bird-men and -women; turns out even Audubon pushed himself beyond the brink when he was chasing and painting the birds of America. A captivating tour of human and avian nature, passion and paranoia, honor and deceit, fear and loathing, The Big Year shows the lengths to which people will go to pursue their dreams, to conquer and categorize -- no matter how low the stakes. This is a lark of a read for anyone with birds on the brain -- or not.
"We are shown this captivating Australian species in completely new and even unexpected ways. We learn that tawny frogmouths are very affectionate, have close bonds with lifelong partners, scream like prowling tomcats when distressed, fight with lightning speed and defend nest sites from reptilian predators by mobbing and spraying pungent faeces at these dangerous opponents. Uncompromising male fights are contrasted with a touching gentleness of males as fathers." "We also learn how resilient and unusual tawny frogmouths are in the way they cope with heat and cold, sit out danger, do without drinking for most of their lives, and can use a large variety of food items." "The developmental stages of nestlings and juveniles are illustrated with a number of stunning visual images accompanying the text, most of which have never before been described or seen." --Back cover.
Warum gibt es so oft Missverständnisse selbst zwischen guten Freunden? Warum wissen die wenigsten Ehemänner, was ihre Ehefrauen wollen – und umgekehrt? Warum scheitern Verhandlungen, obwohl sich alle Beteiligten optimal vorbereitet haben? Nicholas Epley hat sich intensiv mit den Fallstricken der menschlichen Kommunikation auseinandergesetzt. Wir alle glauben, uns selbst gut zu kennen, so Epley – und irren uns meist gewaltig. Der nächste fatale Fehler: Wir schließen von uns selbst auf andere. Wir müssen lernen, unsere Empathie zu nutzen. Wie das funktioniert, wie wir eigene und fremde Motive und Bedürfnisse ergründen können, erläutert der Autor anhand von aktuellen wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnissen. Eine Gebrauchsanleitung für erfolgreiches Mind Reading in jeder Lebenslage – beruflich wie privat.
A young brother and sister try to rehabilitate their father on their own after he slips into a drug-induced coma and then emerges suffering from brain damage, in a novel that addresses the crisis in authority and faith in American families. Original.