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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

Facts about... environmental writer and humorist Will Cuppy.


CURWOOD: The words funny and environmental seldom see each other's company. It's almost as though they're ashamed of each other. With that in mind, we take note of that rare bird, the funny nature writer. Sixty-five years ago, Will Cuppy published How to Tell Your Friends From the Apes, the first book of his humorous trilogy on natural history. In the second book of the series, How to Become Extinct, Mr. Cuppy wrote, "The dodo never had a chance. He seems to have been invented for the sole purpose of becoming extinct." The success of the third book in the trilogy, How to Attract the Wombat, earned him a short-lived show on NBC radio. Will Cuppy was born in Indiana in 1884. He lived much of his life as a hermit on the then undeveloped Jones Beach of New York. He died in 1949, a suicide. Ironically, the following year his most successful book was published, The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody. In it, Will Cuppy tells you all the stuff that didn't get included in most history books, including the fact that every time Hannibal used his elephants in battle, he lost. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



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