A new study of 1,024 mammal species has determined which animals are the most vicious killers of their own kind. Killer whales perhaps? Pit bulls maybe? For the answer, just look in the mirror.
(First published on BrainFacts.org )
The last time I was on Boylston Street it was to give a lecture in November at a scientific meeting in the Weston Hotel. Today, Sunday, I’m looking out onto an empty street, barricaded. An eerie modern-day ghost town festooned with yellow police tape rippling in the cold Boston wind. I look across an enormous pile of fresh-cut flowers, teddy bears, helium balloons, baseball caps, candles, and hand-written notes. American flags spout from the mound like brilliant poppies. Grief, still raw, is slipping away, drifting as if carried helplessly on a current, and transforming into something else. Defiance, but shaken with bewilderment. Tourists gather now, out of sorrow and the need to understand. “Do we have anything to give?” a woman asks her companion desperately. “Do we have anything to give?” she repeats, and turns back to survey the makeshift shrine empty handed. It must have begun with a single bouquet. Now it has grown into a mountain.