My youthful reading naturally gravitated to history. In fact, I cannot remember when I didn’t have three of four history books in some stage of completion. Now, armed with a Kindle and an iPad, my consumption has eclipsed what is possible ingesting only words on paper. I am awash in digital history.
My preferences are for world periods that I know little about, and for American conservation history. At the moment I am reading Reston’s Defenders of the Faith. Are you curious about the origins of conflicts between the Christian and Islamic world, between Charles V and Suleyman the Magnificent? Reston is an encyclopedic source. As for American conservation history, I rarely leave the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Roosevelt, Dock, Pinchot, Bird, Rothrock, McFarland, and Lacey inevitably suck me into their vortex.
The doves are power cooing the windows out of their frames. How did doves and lost love become synonymous? The only sadness I feel is for lost sleep. The main chorus consists of white-winged and Eurasian collared-doves. Both are immigrants. White-wings were limited in my childhood to a few scattered through oaks around the court house. Collared doves were unknown. Now both blanket the city, and I often see droves lined shoulder-to-shoulder, wingtip-to-wingtip, along the telephone wires. This morning the crowds have apparently chosen my yard for their caroling. Cucurrucucú, paloma, ya no le llores.
Are there sentient peoples that have walked this planet and not known them? Not the Inuit, with streams of murres, guillemots, and puffins cascading across their arctic landscape. Certainly not the ancient Egyptians, who balanced their deification of the cat with heiroglyphical cranes, geese, and falcons. There are prehistoric stone sculptures of echidnas from New Guinea, quetzals from the ruins at Chichen Itza, and sea eagles atop Alaskan totems. To breathe, to open one’s eyes and ears each morning, is to know birds.
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler—Albert Einstein
The third principle of the Culture of Conservation is to keep the message simple. Effective marketing is little more than simple messages and images repeated endlessly. Remember the earlier quote that 93% of American children can recognize McDonalds by the golden arches? I wonder what the percentage is now for the Japanese?
McDonalds sponsoring the Osaka sumo basho
Simple messages and images rise above the cacophony that is modern life. Simplicity and volume (both amplitude and amount) help messages battle through the noise. Doubt this? According to the Associated Press, BP’s been spending more than $5 million a week on advertising since the blowout. Remember BPs original simple message? Beyond Petroleum.