Editor's Note from March 31, 2016

Issue 45: The fun in naming, how pyrite changed the world, and why it’s fine that piratebush didn’t change much of anything. /

I’ve been thinking of starting a game on our subscribers’ page on Facebook: the person who identifies the best theme tying together the issue’s articles wins. We really don’t plan many theme issues here. They just kind of happen. (There are exceptions: We’ve got a great theme issue in the works.) In this issue, there’s a strong motif of exalting the lowly: Seth Ratliff celebrates the rare and obscure piratebush, I take a look at the value of fool’s gold, and Rebecca Randall wonders about the millions of organisms we haven’t even named yet.

There’s another theme: Names. When I read Seth’s pitch, I was most excited that the plant was called piratebush. (I love pirates, at least the imaginary, Long John Silverish kind.) Meanwhile, pyrite’s epithet is the focus of my article.

I’m curious about what other constellations you’ll find in this issue. But speaking of names: As I write this, Behemoth subscribers are in the final hours of naming our Facebook group. Meanwhile, the things subscribers are sharing—news about prehistoric Siberian unicorns, book recommendations, nature photos—are so much better than my News Feed. The emerging theme there isn’t hard to spot: It’s joy in discoveries that beg to be shared. If you haven’t joined yet, come on over.

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Also in this Issue

Issue 45 / March 31, 2016
  1. Our First Mission Isn’t Finished

    There’s plenty left to name in the sometimes silly, always vast field of taxonomy. /

  2. The Surprising Riches of Fool’s Gold

    Pyrite, the stone rejected as an imposter, is the cornerstone of the modern world. /

  3. Let Us Now Praise Obscure, Useless Plants

    God and I delight in piratebush like he delights in me. /

  4. Fetal Heartbeat

    “like the wings of millions of monarchs returned” /

  5. Wonder on the Web

    Issue 45: Links to amazing stuff.

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