Sunday, March 13, 2011


Before Pavarotti, before Bocelli, before Gigli, the extraordinary Enrico Caruso set the template for the massive-lunged, cavern-throated, fat-but-romantic Italian operatic tenor that became a 20th-century archetype. His significance lies not just in his uniquely powerful-but-lyrical voice (he could hit top C, even late in life) but his embrace of modern recording and communication systems.
One of the first classical singers to be recorded on the new phonograph, he was the first to sell 1m copies of a record – "Vesti la giubba" from Pagliacci, in 1907. Through RCA Victor his appeal went transatlantic. He was leading tenor at the New York Met for 18 consecutive seasons.
He appeared in newsreels, commercial movies, even an experimental film by Thomas Edison. And he remained rudely Italian: in 1906 he was fined $10 for pinching a woman's bottom in the monkey house of Central Park Zoo.

Friday, March 4, 2011


Study of life along the seashore, which became known as marine biology by the twentieth century, was first developed and institutionalized in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century. Two distinct traditions contributed to its modern disciplinary form.
First to emerge was marine biology as a summertime educational activity, chiefly designed to instruct teachers of natural history about how to study nature within a natural setting.
The second tradition was European, where several marine stations operated by 1880, most notably the Stazione Zoologica in Naples. This marine biology laboratory was founded by Anton Dohrn in 1872. The "Mecca for marine biology," as Naples was soon known, attracted scholars from throughout the world.