Best American Science Writing 2003

Wired News reviews Best American Science Writing 2003, the latest installment in a brilliant, must-read series. This year's edition is edited by Oliver "Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat" Sacks, and promises to be fantastic.
An omnivore, yet selective, a sort of filter-feeder, I will extract intellectual nutrients from the articles as I extract nutrients from my dinner," Sacks writes in the introduction. "Every so often, however, I am arrested by an article because it contains not just new information but a highly individual point of view, a personal perspective, a voice that compels my interest, raising what would otherwise be a report or a review to the level of an essay marked by clarity, individuality, and beauty of writing..."

"Crows and their cousins in the corvid family, ravens, jays and magpies, have spent hundreds of thousands of years taking advantage of our inventions," Nijhuis writes. "They've been known to perform pitch-perfect imitations of explosions, revving motorcycles and flushing urinals."

The crow population in and around Seattle has increased tenfold over the last two decades, encouraged by a growing food supply as the area's human population has grown. University of Washington wildlife biologist John Marzluff has moved his studies to the suburbs to glean lessons from counting crows.

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