The Turbid Plaque

Life is complicated

The first time it happened was a hot August day in Maryland, the kind where the nicotine-saturated air inside the tiny, heavily air-conditioned house seemed to vie with the humidity and traffic haze outside, each competing to be more noxious than the other. Late in the afternoon, as I left for my ni...

For a modern reader, the most surprising thing about the Galàpagos Islands chapter in Charles Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle is probably its brevity. Darwin describes the apparently recent volcanic origin of the place, runs through a quick list of its notable species, includes a figure of some finc...