By Robert M. Sapolsky
Publish yr note: First released in 2001
In the culture of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey, Robert Sapolsky, a most advantageous technological know-how author and recipient of a MacArthur Genius furnish, tells the spell binding tale of his twenty-one years in distant Kenya with a troop of Savannah baboons.
"I had by no means deliberate to develop into a savanna baboon whilst I grew up; in its place, I had regularly assumed i'd turn into a mountain gorilla," writes Robert Sapolsky during this witty and riveting chronicle of a scientist's coming-of-age in distant Africa.
An exhilarating account of Sapolsky's twenty-one-year examine of a troop of rambunctious baboons in Kenya, A Primate's Memoir interweaves critical clinical observations with wry remark in regards to the demanding situations and pleasures of residing within the wilds of the Serengeti—for guy and beast alike. Over 20 years, Sapolsky survives culinary atrocities, gunpoint encounters, and a surreal kidnapping, whereas witnessing the encroachment of the vacationer mentality at the farthest vestiges of unspoiled Africa. As he conducts remarkable physiological examine on wild primates, he turns into evermore enamored of his subjects—unique and compelling characters of their personal right—and he returns to them summer time after summer time, till tragedy ultimately prevents him.
By turns hilarious and poignant, A Primate's Memoir is a magnum opus from certainly one of our preferable technological know-how writers.
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Additional resources for A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons
When I pulled those two outer gloves off, the skin on my hand and my arm immediately froze solid, even underneath that third expedition-weight glove. The shooting pain of instant frostbite so startled me that I lost my grip on the glove in my left hand, which the wind grabbed—whoooooosh—and sent into outer space. There was another pair of gloves in the pack on my back. But they might as well have been under my bed at home. In such a storm, there was no way I could take off that pack, put it down and rummage through it.
One day he emerged from his tent wearing a sombrero and a red-and-white outfit that looked like a striped sock. He looked more like a cartoon character than a climber. The Sherpas nearly fell out of their boots laughing. If you can wear a getup like that, I guarantee that you’re pretty sure of yourself in the company of other men. Once we were all fully acclimated to altitude—just before our final summit push—Taske supervised a Harvard two-step physiology test for our group. We were curious to see how members of the expedition would handle brief periods of intense effort.
There were also theme-night dinners, when the food and its preparation and everyone’s dress were supposed to complement one team member’s salient characteristic. I’d brought with me several pounds of bodybuilding powder, which I consumed daily to help keep my weight up. So at my theme dinner, the crowd showed up looking like drug dealers. For table decoration, someone produced a mirror and did lines of my powder on it. By far the predominant physical feature of Base Camp is the great Khumbu Icefall, which begins just a quarter mile away and stretches up the mountain for two miles and almost two thousand vertical feet.