Tag: animals

Ihmisten eläinkirja. Muuttuva eläinkulttuuri [The people’s book of animals. Our changing relationship with the animal kingdom]

22 April 2010 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Ihmisten eläinkirja. Muuttuva eläinkulttuuri
[The people’s book of animals. Our changing relationship with the animal kingdom]
Toimittaneet [Ed. by]: Pauliina Kainulainen & Yrjö Sepänmaa
Helsinki: Gaudeamus Helsinki University Press. 235 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-570-786-4
€ 31, paperback

This book adopts a multidisciplinary approach in its examination of the relationship between humans and animals, highlighting historical, ethical and philosophical connections. The authors include humanists, theologians, anthropologists and artists. They address issues such as animal and nature conservation, animal breeding and husbandry, attitudes towards animals in myth and religion, and depictions of animals in Finnish art. Humans’ relationship to animals can hardly be said to have been consistent: in some religions, certain animals were worshipped as gods, whereas others viewed them as symbols of evil. We treat our pets as members of the family, while livestock animals are subjected to more and more cost-effective production methods. The architect Juhani Pallasmaa introduces readers to the master architects of the animal world and their highly refined, diverse architectural solutions, from which people have learnt a great deal.

Too beautiful

2 July 2009 | Extracts, Non-fiction

Illustration: The Universal Dictionary of Natural History (Paris, 1849)

Illustration: The Universal Dictionary of Natural History (Paris, 1849)

Extracts from the collection of essays Kutistuva turska ja muita evoluution ihmeitä (‘The shrinking cod and other evolutionary marvels’) by Hanna Kokko & Katja Bargum

Who cannot but stand in awe of the genius of various parasites’ nervous system manipulations or of how beautifully the orchid ensures its pollination? The astonishingly precise adaptations of organisms are the starting point for the idea of Intelligent Design. According to Intelligent Design, such adaptations are too perfect to be products of evolution – rather, they reveal the actions of an intelligent designer. It’s a fascinating idea, write Hanna Kokko and Katja Bargum – but is it science? More…


14 June 2009 | Reviews


Zzzzzzz! In the grey seal kindergarten babies take a nap after dinner. – Photo: Seppo Keränen

Taskinen, Juha
Paluu Saimaalle

[Return to Lake Saimaa]
Helsinki: WSOY, 2009. 204 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-0-33745-5
€ 38.90, hardback
Keränen, Seppo & Lappalainen, Markku
[The seals]
Helsinki: Maahenki, 2009. 151 p., ill.
ISBN 978-952-56-5266-6
€ 45, hardback

Helsingfors: Söderströms, 2009.
151 p., ill.
Swedish translation: Annika Luther
ISBN 978-951-52-2603-7
€ 45, hardback

The private life of the species of seal that lives only in Lake Saimaa has been carefully investigated lately. Almost everything about this highly endangered species has been revealed, thanks to technological devices such as transmitters that can be glued to their backs…

STOP! WARNING:  as I realise that not everybody wants to know what pinnipeds do in their spare time, I suggest you quit reading now, if you aren’t interested in the lives and fates of an obscure group of about 260 mammals that live in a lake in the remote west of Finland.