Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Life in the Undergrowth

If you're quick, you can hear a short interview with David Attenborough that was broadcast last night on Radio 4's Front Row (this link will take you directly to the programme for the next seven days). He had some interesting things to say about using computer effects in documentaries and about the 'intelligent design' debate.

Sir David was promoting his new series about terrestrial invertebrates, Life in the Undergrowth. This would ordinarily be one of the few times when I regret not having a television. But in this case, the
DVD is coming out in a couple of weeks, so we'll be able to watch it on our computer while the series is still being broadcast on telly.

I've already read the
book, in which Attenborough describes the bizarre, beautiful and horrifying lives of his tiny subjects with the ever-fresh enthusiasm of your favourite teacher at school. It's not everyone who can write affectionately about water bears (although Martin Mach also manages it in a delightful article for Micscape magazine).

My only complaint is that the book is full of typos and punctuation errors. I've been noticing this more and more in new nonfiction books (with Simon Sebag-Montefiore's Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar being the worst offender so far). Can't publishers afford proofreaders any more?

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