Jane Goodall Then And Now


A preview of the film. By NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC on Publish DateOctober 18, 2017.Image courtesy of Internet Video Archive. Watch in Times Video »

Several of us contributing to this platform have had the opportunity to meet her, and can attest to what Melena Ryzyk says below. There really are not sufficiently powerful words to describe her, but we link out to those stories that try.  It may be that photography or film offer the best medium for understanding and more fully appreciating her work. Click above for the trailer, or click the title below to read the review of this film, high on our list for viewing:

Jane Goodall’s Unparalleled Life, in Never-Before-Seen Footage

If you ever meet Jane Goodall and well up with overwhelmed joy, you won’t be alone. “I make everybody cry,” said Dr. Goodall, the primatologist and conservationist. “The Jane effect.” Continue reading

Top Shelf Infographics For 128 Years


Thanks to the fancy-fine publisher, Taschen, for collecting this particularly powerful informative art form into one book:

A History of Knowledge

The best infographics from the National Geographic archives

Back in the days when the information age was a distant dream and the world a more mysterious place, National Geographic began its mission to reveal the wonders of history, popular science, and culture to eager audiences around the globe. Since that 1888 launch, the world has changed; empires have risen and crumbled and a galaxy of information is today only a click away. But National Geographic endures; its calm, authoritative voice is as respected as ever amid the surfeit of data in our daily lives. Continue reading

A Random Walk Into Science


This title of the book to the left, and of the podcast interview (“Trading Pom-Poms For Field Boots”) on the National Public Radio (USA) series called “My Big Break”–and even the opening line belowgive the false impression that this may be a dilettante story; but not at all. It is about discovering science in a classroom and coming to love it thanks to a deep experience in nature:

Mireya Mayor’s life plays out like an adventure film.

She’s a globe-trotting anthropologist, primatologist, wildlife expert and conservationist. As the first female wildlife correspondent for the Ultimate Explorer series on National Geographic Channel, she’s gone diving with great whites, she’s rappelled down cliffs and she was even charged by an angry silverback gorilla.

But some of her fans might be surprised by what Mayor was up to before she trekked around remote regions of the world. Continue reading

Forests Need People

The premise underlying entrepreneurial conservation is that there are good economic reasons to preserve natural and cultural heritage.  And when such good reasons present themselves, opportunity dances with need. With natural heritage in particular, in the interest of introducing the dance partners with neither too much fanfare nor scowling, we have taken a light approach to the concept of biophilia, making reference from time to time.

Click the photograph above, by Raul Touzon, to go to National Geographic‘s online coverage of forests under threat, which we link to with entrepreneurial intent.  A bit of fanfare (just look at that creature!) and a hint of scowl are inevitable when you read the sampling in this series: Continue reading

October Air

National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 1

There must be something in the air.  Some Universal Energy of Inspiration that touches down in October, if not annually, then biannually for a brief moment in time. Or is it just coincidence that two events of such simple, yet great significance should have happened on the same date?

What had begun as an elite club for academics and wealthy travel enthusiasts was reorganized in January 1888 into  “a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge.”  The National Geographic Society was incorporated a few weeks later and the first issue of the magazine was published as its official journal on October 1st.

William Morris Davis, often called the “father of American Geography” was an early member and contributor who wrote the introduction to Vol.1 of the newly minted magazine.

History became a science when it outgrew mere narration and searched for the causes of the facts narrated; when it ceased to accept old narratives as absolute records and judged them by criteria derived from our knowledge of human nature as we see it at present, but modified to accord with past conditions.

The society’s historic mission has continued for well over a hundred years, extending beyond the specifics of geography to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge while promoting the conservation of the world’s cultural, historical, and natural resources.”

And so we come to conservation.  Continue reading

Nature’s Art

Our relationship with the natural world has shifted considerably along with our technological advances.

The drawings in Lascaux morphed into Egypt’s hieroglyphs; into Greece’s elaborately painted frescos and urns; into the Renaissance’s Nature morte. 

Photo by Milo Inman

But the more precise the depiction became, the more likely it was that the animal in question had to meet its demise in order to be immortalized. Continue reading