A Tortoise Isn’t a Billboard, Except in Aspen

A well-appreciated spurred tortoise accepts a slice of sweet potato at the American Museum of Natural History in New York earlier this year (photo: C. Safina)

By  Carl Safina The Aspen Art Museum might be doing tortoises a favor but probably isn’t. In a new exhibit linked to the opening of a $45-million new facility, an artist named Cai Guo-Qiang, who was born in China and lives in New York, has glued iPads to several African spurred tortoises. They wander around an enclosure […]

How to Be Important After Graduation

Graduation is always a joyful time. For the students, a lot of hard work has paid off. And for many parents, a lot of hard paying off has worked. So I’d like to share a few commencement remarks. As a marine biologist who has earned three degrees, working toward a degree has always seemed like […]

In Praise of Inefficiency

This blog originally appeared in Huffington Post on 2/21/12: A recent announcement about a giant new fishing boat boasted that its automation would be capable of baiting and setting 17,000 hooks per day http://bit.ly/zm2l7B. I put the announcement on my Facebook page, adding a disparaging, “We need this?” [http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=597114862&ref=name] Although dozens of people agreed with […]

Salamander Meander

Andy Sabin and Tiger Salamander

Andrew Sabin’s business involves recycling precious metals used in specialized industrial processes. But his nickname is the Salamander Commander. Last night I met him, plus Frank Quevedo who heads the South Fork Natural History Museum, and a friend of Andy’s from California named Maurice, who’d brought a friend from Hawaii named Jim. Maurice and Jim […]

Enough Duck Shooting

  Original blog on Huffington Post: This morning, I went for a walk on the beach. And from the bay, mere moments later, the muffled crack of guns. Three months of the twelve-month year, the shooting is a near-constant feature of being near the shore. The noise, which reaches into each room of my home, […]

A Dovekie For New Year’s

Dovekie headed to shore

Patricia and I and our new puppy Emmi were strolling and birding along the bouldery beach at Montauk Point, Long Island, on New Year’s Day.  Mostly I was looking for seabirds. And there were thousands of ducks like scoters and eiders out feeding in the tide rips, plus many gannets over the ocean. Some Common […]