Pigeon Feathers and Other Stories by John UpdikeThe first few stories in this collection bored me silly. They seemed like experiments at some kind of creative writing workshop. Pretentious, wilfully obtuse, the polar opposite of sexy. I couldnt get a handle on any of them. The jacket told me that, as a reader, I would come away with new insights. I didnt. There were a couple of stories later in the book I enjoyed - a story of three girls entering a supermarket bare-footed in bikinis was the first one I understood as a story and not some self-indulgent prose poem which began and ended in mid flight. Now and again I did suspect it might help to be American to appreciate Updike. I got bored with the same stifling small town setting of every story.
Sometimes when reading books I get a feeling about the author as a person, as if Ive caught a glimpse of him in his study. Every time I get a glimpse of Updike I see someone I dont much like. Probably, along with John Banville, hes the author Id least like to be married to. Why hes miles more famous than James Salter is a mystery Ill take to the supermarket with me. Certainly as a husband Id choose James Salter any day.
Feathered foot pigeon
Pigeons for sale in North
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University of Utah scientists identified two genes that make some pigeon breeds develop feathered feet known as muffs, while others have scaled feet. The same or similar genes might explain scaled feet in chickens and other birds, and provide insight into how some dinosaurs got feathers before they evolved into birds. The study found that in pigeons with feathers on their hindlimbs or feet, a hindlimb-development gene named Pitx1 is less active than normal, while a forelimb-development gene named Tbx5 is active in the feet, where it normally is not. Rather, components of the leg are more winglike, including feathers and a larger leg bone. An English trumpeter breed of domestic pigeon with very large foot feathers, known as muffs. Shapiro and colleagues found that the Pitx1 and Tbx5 genes themselves are no different in breeds with and without foot muffs. The two genes were previously known in all vertebrate animals, and they are linked to limb and other defects in people.