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UnDisciplined: Drunk Flies And Stoned Dolphins

If you started your day with a cup of coffee, kept it going with a cup of cola, or ended it with a glass of wine, you are part of a long human tradition of spicing up your life with intoxicating substances. As a species, we have been getting drunk and stoned for a very long time. But, like so many other things, it turns out we aren't all that unique in this way. Animals were getting blitzed long before we were. Oné Pagán is a professor of biology at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. His new book is called "Drunk Flies and Stoned Dolphins."

Matthew LaPlante has reported on ritual infanticide in Northern Africa, insurgent warfare in the Middle East, the legacy of genocide in Southeast Asia, and gang violence in Central America. But a few years back, something donned on him: Maybe the news doesn't have to be brutally depressing all the time. Today, he balances his continuing work on more heartbreaking subjects by writing books about the intersection of science, human health and society, including the New York Times best-selling Lifespan with geneticist David Sinclair and the Nautilus Award-winning Longevity Plan with cardiologist John Day. His first solo book, Superlative, looks at what scientists are learning by studying organisms that have evolved in record-setting ways, and his is currently at work on another book about embracing the inevitability of human-caused climate change with an optimistic outlook on the future.