Eerie & Beautiful: How Natural Science Works

Worn out by the draining combination of Sandy (11 days and counting without power) and the presidential election, I sought comfort and distraction at Audubon Magazine’s website, one of my favorite stops on the World Wide Web (and one of the rare sites that actually features content from around the world).

As usual, there was a lot to choose from, including this gorgeous slideshow of birds in Nebraska. But what I want to recommend is A Glorious Enterprise, a gallery of photographs from a new book about “the making of American Science.”

An eerie and beautiful bird skeleton, poised for flight in a splash of sunlight; a drawer full of dead Tibetan Rosefinch specimens, each one tagged; a box of American flamingo skulls–the strange and exotic images tell the story of how science works, and of our insatiable hunger for knowledge. They capture the touching, perhaps futile, human desire to catalog and understand everything about the world around us. We may never get there—as Sandy proved, we remain at the mercy of nature—but we’ll never stop trying.

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.