The Story of the Most Common Bird in the World | Science | Smithsonian
The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a bird of the sparrow family Passeridae On Sparrows and Man: A Love-Hate Relationship. 83 quotes from The Sparrow (The Sparrow, #1): 'I do what I do without hope of reward Mary Doria Russell, The Sparrow "They've all been named George Edwards but, believe me, the man who is tags: identity, love, marriages, relationships to believe that God is vicious, then at least I have the solace of hating God. On Sparrows and Man: A Love-Hate Relationship Hardcover – 31 Dec Of all the wild birds, none are more closely associated with man than the sparrows. In this book, his fifth on sparrows, Denis Summers-Smith sets out to explore this relationship from both sides: how the birds.
House sparrow - Wikipedia
Prima ballerina Dominika Egorova Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the school with shattered dreams and a shattered leg. Actually, the leg shattering happens first -- her male partner does a pirouette right onto her freaking leg -- and the shattered dreams quickly follow. With unpaid bills mounting and a sick mother who needs medical insurance, Dominika accepts a 'generous' job offer from Russian Deputy Director Vanya Egorov Matthias Schoenaertswho just happens to be her uncle.
Yes, nepotism is still alive and well, though it doesn't usually involve this much rape and throat slitting. Director Francis Lawrence veteran of several The Hunger Games features, including Mockingjay — Part 1, and Mockingjay — Part 2, adapts the first half of Jason Matthews' successful spy novel for maximum impact. This includes a beautifully edited sequence that intercuts Dominika's grizzly ballet mishap with a botched meeting of spies in Gorky Park.
It's a bravura sequence that portends Dominika's fall from the spotlight into the shadowy murk of espionage. This is followed by the film's undeniable highlight; Dominika's training at the Sparrow School. Here, Jennifer Lawrence bears all for the camera, giving us the 'Full Monty' both physically and psychologically. It's unlikely that Lawrence and her acting comrades stripped down to their naughty bits in a freezing warehouse, but the filmmakers keep everything suitably cold and dispassionate.
Recruits are classily berated by Headmistress Matron Charlotte Ramplingwho urges them to ditch their "sentimental morality" in favor of "love on command". Rampling is masterful in this role, oozing menace and sexual ruthlessness as she guides her students through a litany of unsavory scenarios.
This includes dealing with sexual predators like pedophiles and domestic abusers with a stomach-churning modicum of respect. After Dominika graduates from "whore school" as it's affectionately known in the intelligence communitythings become decidedly more pedestrian. Besides for some genuinely unsettling torture scenes, one involving an especially close shave on a victims back, there's not much action to keep you engaged.
'Red Sparrow' Indulges in the Dark Side of Sex
There are superficial attempts to establish a relationship between Dominika and the enterprising but goodhearted Nash, but there isn't enough room for love in a story cluttered with seemingly mandatory plot points.
More interesting is the complicated relationship between uncle Vanya and Dominika, which brims with an uncomfortable sexual tension more befitting the perversity of Red Sparrow.
The double-crosses and twists may be unconvincing throughout, but there's nothing half-hearted about the sexual elements in Lawrence's story. Flesh and blood co-mingle with consistently unsettling results that still manage to be erotic. These are wild ones, hunter-gatherers that find everything they need in natural places. But theirs has proven to be a far less successful lifestyle than settling down.
Maybe we would be better without the sparrow, an animal that thrives by robbing from our antlike industriousness.
If that is what you are feeling, you are not the first. In Europe, in the s, local governments called for the extermination of house sparrows and other animals associated with agriculture, including, of all things, hamsters. In parts of Russia, your taxes would be lowered in proportion to the number of sparrow heads you turned in. Two hundred years later came Chairman Mao Zedong. They began to nest in our habitat, in buildings we built, and to eat what we produce. The sparrows flew until exhausted, then they died, mid-air, and fell to the ground.
Courtesy of The Fat Finch Mao was a man in control of his world, but not, at least in the beginning, of the sparrows. The sparrows in China are tree sparrows, which, like house sparrows, began to associate with humans around the time that agriculture was invented.
Although they are descendants of distinct lineages of sparrows, tree sparrows and house sparrows share a common story. At the moment at which Mao decided to kill the sparrows, there were hundreds of millions of them in China some estimates run as high as several billionbut there were also hundreds of millions of people. The sparrows flew until exhausted, then they died, mid-air, and fell to the ground, their bodies still warm with exertion.
Sparrows were also caught in nets, poisoned and killed, adults and eggs alike, anyway they could be. By some estimates, a billion birds were killed.
These were the dead birds of the great leap forward, the dead birds out of which prosperity would rise. Of course moral stories are complex, and ecological stories are too. When the sparrows were killed, crop production increased, at least according to some reports, at least initially. But with time, something else happened. Pests of rice and other staple foods erupted in densities never seen before. The crops were mowed down and, partly as a consequence of starvation due to crop failure, 35 million Chinese people died.
The great leap forward leapt backward, which is when a few scientists in China began to notice a paper published by a Chinese ornithologist before the sparrows were killed.
The ornithologist had found that while adult tree sparrows mostly eat grains, their babies, like those of house sparrows, tend to be fed insects. In killing the sparrows, Mao and the Chinese had saved the crops from the sparrows, but appear to have left them to the insects. And so Mao, inordered sparrows to be conserved replacing them on the list of four pests with bedbugs. It is sometimes only when a species is removed that we see clearly its value. When sparrows are rare, we often see their benefits; when they are common, we see their curse.
When Europeans first arrived in the Americas, there were Native American cities, but none of the species Europeans had come to expect in cities: Even once European-style cities began to emerge, they seemed empty of birds and other large animals.
In the late s, a variety of young visionaries, chief among them Nicholas Pike, imagined that what was missing were the birds that live with humans and, he thought, eat our pests. Pike, about whom little is known, introduced about 16 birds into Brooklyn.
On Sparrows and Man: A Love-hate Relationship - J. Denis Summers-Smith - Google Livres
They rose from his hands and took off and prospered. Every single house sparrow in North America may be descended from those birds. The house sparrows were looked upon favorably for a while until they became abundant and began to spread from California to the New York Islands, or vice versa anyway.
Injust 49 years after the introduction of the birds, a survey was sent to roughly 5, Americans to ask them what they thought of the house sparrows. Three thousand people responded and the sentiment was nearly universal: The birds were pests. This land became their land too, and that is when we began to hate them. Because they are an introduced species, now regarded as invasive pests, house sparrows are among the few bird species in the United States that can be killed essentially anywhere, any time, for any reason.
House sparrows are often blamed for declines in the abundance of native birds, such as bluebirds, though the data linking sparrow abundance to bluebird decline are sparse.
The bigger issue is that we have replaced bluebird habitats with the urban habitats house sparrows favor. So go ahead and bang your pots, but remember, you were the one who, in building your house, constructed a house sparrow habitat, as we have been doing for tens of thousands of years.
As for what might happen if house sparrows became more rare, one scenario has emerged in Europe. House sparrows have become more rare there for the first time in thousands of years.
The Sparrow Quotes
In the United Kingdom, for example, numbers of house sparrows have declined by 60 percent in cities. As the birds became rare, people began to miss them again. In some countries the house sparrow is now considered a species of conservation concern.