Posted tagged ‘Pigeons’

Heads Up! — Pigeons on the Loose at So Simple A Beginning

March 23, 2009

It’s not just this blog that has suffered a bad case of the slows lately; so has So Simple A Beginning a group-ish effort to blog against The Origin of Species in anticipation of that books 150th anniversary coming up this November.

But now I’m pleased to report that we’re finally getting on to Chapter one, starting off with a wonderful post by science writer Courtney Humphries.  Humphries, a graduate of America’s Finest™ Graduate Program in Science Writing — that at mine own institution,  MIT — is the author the acclaimed book on pigeons in all their glory, Superdove, published last year.  Check out what she has to say about Darwin’s use of the descendents of the humble and ubiquitous rock pigeon, Columba livia.

Image:  Anonymous, “Young Woman in Oriental Dress with Pigeon Post.” 19th century.

Good Times In Cambridge Tomorrow: Great New Science Writer/Pigeon Love Edition

October 29, 2008

A great big shout out to Courtney Humphries, pride of the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing, class of ’04, who is reading from and taking questions about her wonderful new book, Superdove on the MIT campus.

All those of you in the area who want to (a) hear some very cool stuff about one of the most effectively opportunistic of our fellow creatures and (b) watch a very talented science writer (and writer, full stop) spread her wings (sorry, inevitable) in the early stages of what will be a great career should show up in MIT building 32, room 141, tomorrow, Thursday, October 30 at seven p.m.

Interactive map here.  Hint:  Building 32 is also known as the Stata Center, and it is the Gehry building (aka the melted building) on Vassar St. near its intersection with Main St.

Come if you can.  Courtney’s the real deal, and there are few pleasures to match that of seeing one of the good guys making their debut in the big leagues.

NY Times review of Superdove here, if you aren’t willing just to take my word for it.

Image:  J. J. Audubon, Plate 17 from Volume IV, Audubon’s Birds of America. Pictured are Carolina Pigeons (Turtle Doves), Columba carolinensis, on a flowering bush of Stewartia malacodendron.

Book Notes: “Boids…

August 31, 2008

...filthy, disgusting boids” edition.

One of the pleasures of being a teacher is seeing the success of students.*

So check out this review in today’s New York Times of Courtney Humphries’ new book on pigeons, Superdove:  How the Pigeon Took Manhattan…and the World.

(Self-serving alert here.)  With this impressively positive review Courtney  becomes the latest advertisement for the MIT Graduate Program in Science Writing, from which she received her MS in 2004.

I can’t yet comment myself on Courtney’s work yet, but the reviewer, Elizabeth Royte gives it a rave, and as soon as the looming semester gets past the first flurry of insanity, I’ll read and report.  In the meantime — check it out yourselves, and remember:  new good authors need even more reader love than the writers you already know you like.   Take a flyer on this (heh).

*Sadly, my pride in Courtney is entirely institutional; she graduated from our program the year before I arrived here.  But pride it is — it is always great to see good young writers from one’s own shop do well.

Image:   Jiang Tingxi, “Eleven Pigeons.”  Source:  Wikimedia Commons.