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Blog Posts by Subject: Biology

March Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

A new approach to health care reform ... 20 years of Harlem Street Portraits ... humanist architecture ... The Extreme Life of the Sea ... New York City's unbuilt subways ... mothers ... the power of storytelling ... a century of candy ... New York's lost amusement parks ... the public library ... 11 missing men of WWII ... great city planning.Read More ›

August Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

What is it like to be a convicted murderer just released from prison? What company was the Apple of the 1960s and 70s? Can you forage for edible plants in New York City? How much do you know about life in

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July Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

Dangers of the 'foodopoly'... secrets of the original West Village... how Manhattan became capital of the world... a survey of time in love, war, crime, art, money and media... the spectrum of

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Where Are All The Cicadas?

I have been anticipating for a long time the arrival of the cicadas that were laid as eggs in the year 1996. I can still remember the wall of white noise that their parents produced 17 years ago. Most people complained that it sounded like a jet engine revving up for takeoff but to me it sounded like a gorgeous and intricate symphony.

I was ecstatic to learn that the cicadas would be returning this year and filling the air with a 7 kHz mating buzz. Predictions stated that cicadas would outnumber people 600 to 1. I couldn't be happier. As time passed though I 

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Booktalking "Wild Horse Scientists" by Kay Frydenborg

Horse reproduction! I never thought that I would learn so much about this subject by reading a book about wild horse scientists, but I guess that it makes sense. After all, managing the numbers of wild horses on islands, especially publicly protected land in which predators are few and far between, is a challenge.

And what to do with the excess 

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English Nature Writers: Charles Waterton

Charles Waterton by Charles Willson Peale oil on canvas, 1824 ©National Portrait Gallery, London. Creative Commons BY-NC-NDMost recently discovered, just last week, is Charles Waterton (1782–1865). I've not read enough to evaluate him as a writer (of which all authors tremble in dread), but he certainly led an interesting life. Of a very ancient Catholic family including St. Thomas More and Margaret of Scotland among his ancestors, he became interested in nature in 1804 

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English Nature Writers: Richard Jefferies

"Why, we must have been blind all our lives; here were the most wonderful things possible going on under our very noses, but we saw them not." —Walther Besant.

Richard Jefferies (1848-1887), though a novelist, is more known as a nature writer. His childhood was spent on a farm in Wiltshire (now a museum), during which he began his observation and awareness of nature and people within it. At the age of 9, he was already an adept at tracking and hunting, and perhaps not surprisingly, left school at the 

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English Nature Writers: Gilbert White

I'm a literary Anglophile. There — I've confessed and we can move on. One of their really cool genres is nature writing. They do it in such a quiet and smooth style, as if they've lived in field and woods all their lives. (Dah!)

Perhaps the most famous, or at least the most referred to, is

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This Is Your Brain @ the Library

The month of May brought with it the end of the TV series House, M.D. as well as the publication of the book Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow. In the series send-off, the producers highlighted the similarities between the show's characters, House and Wilson, and the fictional characters of

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The Importance of Earthworms: Darwin’s Last Manuscript

Charles Darwin died 130 years ago today, leaving an intellectual legacy which has profoundly influenced the general course of Western thought. He is best known for his work On the Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871), both of which 

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Special Library in Focus: The American Museum of Natural History Library

Background Info on the Museum & Library: Luckily for me, I was able to visit the library of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) with a staff group. I did not realize that their library is open to the public, and I was not aware of the amount of empirical research that goes on in the museum. The museum is focused on the natural sciences, the earth and animals. There are about 200 scientists that work for the museum, and the library is a METRO member. The 

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LIVE from the NYPL, Richard Holmes: Post Event Wrap-Up

The LIVE from the NYPL program featuring Richard Holmes in conversation with Paul Holdengräber was off to a rocky start last night; the technology controlling the microphones kept malfunctioning. Mr. Holmes joked that it probably had "something to do with homeland security." This prompted a few chuckles from the crowd. When the microphone started acting up again twenty minutes later, Richard commented, "this gives new meaning to [part of] the subtitle of the book; ‘the Beauty and Terror of Science.'" At this point, he had the audience roaring with laughter. 

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Lorenzo Lorraine Langstroth and Bee Space

Although I don’t keep bees, I’ve lately found myself being drawn into their curious world—looking into New York City’s beekeepers; investigating honeybees in history, literature, design, and in the kitchen; even incorporating the 

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Looking at Biology

With new technologies that can make images of molecules, biology has been returning to its origins as a visual science, according to Moselio Schaechter, writing on his blog Small Things Considered. Biologists can now “see” how an enzyme works or how macromolecules interact with molecules large and small, and the revolution is leading to a specialist field called Structural Biology. The visual origins of biology are abundantly illustrated in the holdings of The New York Public Library, including 

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