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All Quotes by author - Diane Ackerman
" All relationships change the brain - but most important are the intimate bonds that foster or fail us, altering the delicate circuits that shape memories, emotions and that ultimate souvenir, the self. "
" Artificial intelligence is growing up fast, as are robots whose facial expressions can elicit empathy and make your mirror neurons quiver. "
" As a species, we've somehow survived large and small ice ages, genetic bottlenecks, plagues, world wars and all manner of natural disasters, but I sometimes wonder if we'll survive our own ingenuity. "
" As people flock to urban centers where ground space is limited, cities with green walls and roofs and skyscraper farms offer improved health and well-being, renewable resources, reliable food supply, and relief to the environment. "
" Because we can't escape our ancient hunger to live close to nature, we encircle the house with lawns and gardens, install picture windows, adopt pets and Boston ferns, and scent everything that touches our lives. "
" Brain scans show synchrony between the brains of mother and child; but what they can't show is the internal bond that belongs to neither alone, a fusion in which the self feels so permeable it doesn't matter whose body is whose. "
" For better or worse, zoos are how most people come to know big or exotic animals. Few will ever see wild penguins sledding downhill to sea on their bellies, giant pandas holding bamboo lollipops in China or tree porcupines in the Canadian Rockies, balled up like giant pine cones. "
" Hurricane season brings a humbling reminder that, despite our technologies, most of nature remains unpredictable. "
" I don't want to be a passenger in my own life. "
" I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well. "
" I'm fascinated how often and with what whole-heartedness people will risk their lives to perform acts of courage, sacrifice, and compassion for total strangers. "
" It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between. "
" Just as our ancient ancestors drew animals on cave walls and carved animals from wood and bone, we decorate our homes with animal prints and motifs, give our children stuffed animals to clutch, cartoon animals to watch, animal stories to read. "
" Look in the mirror. The face that pins you with its double gaze reveals a chastening secret. "
" Love is the best school, but the tuition is high and the homework can be painful. "
" Nature is more like a seesaw than a crystal, a never-ending conga line of bold moves and corrections. "
" Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountains. "
" On some summer days in New York City, the air hangs thickly visible, like the combined exhalations of eight million souls. Steam rising from vents underground makes you wonder if there isn't one giant sweat gland lodged beneath the city. "
" The further we distance ourselves from the spell of the present, explored by our senses, the harder it will be to understand and protect nature's precarious balance, let alone the balance of our own human nature. "
" The more we exile ourselves from nature, the more we crave its miracle waters. "
" Touch seems to be as essential as sunlight. "
" We live on the leash of our senses. "
" We're dabbling in eugenics all the time, breeding ideal crops to replace less aesthetic or nutritious or hardy varieties; leveling forests to graze cattle or erect shopping malls and condos; planting groves of a few familiar trees that homeowners and industries prefer. "
" We're losing biodiversity globally at an alarming rate, and we need a cornucopia of different plants and animals, for the planet's health and our own. "
" We tend to think of heroes only in terms of violent combat, whether it's against enemies or a natural disaster. But human beings also perform radical acts of compassion; we just don't talk about them, or we don't talk about them as much. "
" What a lonely species we are, searching for signals of life from other galaxies, adopting companion animals, visiting parks and zoos to commune with other beasts. In the process, we discover our shared identity. "
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