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JSngry

William J.L. Sladen, Expert on Penguin Libidos, Is Dead at 96

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https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/17/science/william-jl-sladen-expert-on-penguin-libidos-is-dead-at-96.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fobituaries&action=click&contentCollection=obituaries&region=rank&module=package&version=highlights&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront&_r=0

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William Joseph Lambart Sladen was born on Dec. 19, 1920, in Newport, Wales, to Hugh Sladen and the former Catherine Tucker, both career officers in the Salvation Army. His maternal great-grandparents, William and Catherine Booth, founded the Salvation Army....

By studying penguins, which are highly sociable, Dr. Sladen said, researchers could also gain insights into human behavior. For example, he learned that male penguins can initiate and consummate sexual intercourse even in the worst weather, including gales of 60 miles per hour.

“The sexual impulse must be great,” he wrote, “when these acts are performed under such adverse conditions.”...

“Some of my friends have puzzled over my giving up a medical career for studies in conservation and environmental health,” Dr. Sladen wrote in National Geographic in 1975. But he never second-guessed himself.

His response, he said, was, “Wouldn’t they perhaps trade whatever they are doing to witness the spectacle of 300,000 Adélie penguins in Antarctica, to round up thousands of pink-footed geese in Iceland, to sit among harems of fur seals on the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, or to take inspiration from the wandering albatross as it soars majestically above the southern oceans?”

 

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Jim, you of all people HAVE to see the recent documentary "Obit" -- about The NY Times 'obit' department. Saw it here in DC in a theater a month ago, and it was one of the best documentaries I'd seen in a good while.

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Hopefully it gets to Netflix soon enough!

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