B-Movies & Pulp Fiction

by An Ordinary Man (the novel)

“The morning session went quickly with two speakers covering recent advances in sexual selection; one focusing on the behavior of deep jungle birds in New Guinea and the other reviewing the literature published over the last year. The exploits of intrepid naturalists in an increasingly hostile and suspicious world always made for some amusing tales and literature reviews helped immeasurably in determining if one had read and understood the right papers.”

ocean.si.edu

ocean.si.edu

New Guinea is the world’s second largest island and lies just south of the equator, north of Australia.  To this day it remains largely unspoiled and home to the wonderous Birds of Paradise.  It is, or was, also one of the last refuges of human cannibalism, one of the sources for those hoary old cartoons of explorers or missionaries in a cooking pot over a fire.  Its noteriety only increased when the wealthy, Harvard-educated grandson of John Rockefeller went missing there on an adventure in 1961, possibly having been eaten.  The man Charles Darwin shares credit with for the theory of evolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, spent years in that part of the world in the mid-19th century and wrote extensively of his amazing adventures.  Wallace is to evolutionary biology what Indiana Jones is to archeology, except Wallace was real.  The island is the perfect setting for B-movies and pulp fiction.

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