In the mid-1860s, grapevines in southeastern France inexplicably began to wither and die. Jules-Émile Planchon, a botanist from Montpellier, was sent to investigate. He discovered that the vine roots were covered in microscopic yellow insects. What they were and where they had come from was a mystery. The infestation advanced with the relentlessness of an invading army and within a few years had spread across Europe, from Portugal to the Crimea. The wine industry was on the brink of disaster. The French government offered a prize of three hundred thousand gold francs for a remedy. Planchon believed he had the answer and set out to prove it. Gripping and intoxicating, The Botanist and the Vintner brings to life one of the most significant, though little-known, events in the history of wine.
From medieval bestiaries to Borges’s Book of Imaginary Beings, we’ve long been enchanted by extraordinary animals, be they terrifying three-headed dogs or asps impervious to a snake charmer’s song. But bestiaries are more than just zany zoology—they are artful attempts to convey broader beliefs about human beings and the natural order. Today, we no longer fear sea monsters or banshees. But from the infamous honey badger to the giant squid, animals continue to captivate us with the things they can do and the things they cannot, what we know about them and what we don’t. [more inside]
Even when the floors are sparkling clean and the house seems silent, our domestic domain is wild beyond imagination. In Never Home Alone, biologist Rob Dunn introduces us to the nearly 200,000 species living with us in our own homes, from the Egyptian meal moths in our cupboards and camel crickets in our basements to the lactobacillus lounging on our kitchen counters. You are not alone. Yet, as we obsess over sterilizing our homes and separating our spaces from nature, we are unwittingly cultivating an entirely new playground for evolution. These changes are reshaping the organisms that live with us--prompting some to become more dangerous, while undermining those species that benefit our bodies or help us keep more threatening organisms at bay. No one who reads this engrossing, revelatory book will look at their homes in the same way again.
Helix: Densho Season 2, Ep 4
The CDC team continues to not get off the island of Brother Michael and his scary disciples, insisting that they have to find the source of the virus that turns people stabby. Alan, the team's former leader, doesn't care much as he has own reasons for pretending to be a member of the cult. In the future, Hatake tries to bond with his daughter Julia, but she'd prefer her mummy. This continues to anger her dead brother. Sadly, Doreen from season 1 remains dead.
Helix: San Jose Season 2, Ep 1
There's a pandemic on an island with virtually no communications. Let's go there right now! And wander around! Oh, there's a cult there, that's going to go well.
Orphan Black: By Means Which Have Never Yet Been Tried Season 2, Ep 10
In which Sarah makes a sacrifice for her daughter, Kira learns about Science! Cosima and Scott try to help Sarah and Rachel see eye to eye, a new dimension of the conspiracy behind Dyad is revealed, and the Clone Club has a dance party. Season finale.
Orphan Black: Governed as It Were by Chance Season 2, Ep 4
Sarah investigates Mrs. S's mysterious past while Cosima investigates the mysterious photograph, and Alison and Helena each awaken to find themselves under someone else's control.