There's no simple answer to the philosophical and perhaps even moral question of whether in removing risk we also remove meaning from our brief, potential-filled time on this planet. I don't share my habitat with crocodiles or elephants or tigers, or even boar. But I do know that the eye of that reef shark will be etched forever in my mind, and that I can't bear the thought of a world where no creature could ever make me afraid.
Foxes divide opinion more deeply than any other native British mammal. Some see them as beautiful, adaptable animals who provide a connection to the fast disappearing natural world. Others - generally those who kill foxes for pleasure or profit - claim they are pests whose numbers need to controlled.
It was a battle hard fought but hunting wild animals with dogs for sport was eventually banned in England and Wales in 2004. This is a fantastic achievement. However, what a lot of people perhaps don't realise is that despite this ban, hunting continues more than ever before. We may have won the battle, but the war is far from over.
This Boxing Day is the tenth since the Hunting Act was passed by Parliament. It came into force six months later. For hunting, and for many people in the countryside, this was the lowest moment, but hunting still thrives despite all the fears and the dire predictions. How is it that an activity that was outlawed after an epic and bitter political campaign has survived?
In four and a half billion years of existence there have been no creatures more dramatic or scarier. Whether they would be as popular if they existed today and were stomping down the high street, I don't know, but they're perfect for films because they are more spectacular, more awesome than most animals today, more like monsters, and yet they are real.
It isn't just that Family Guy is a rival series that makes this move so emblematic of The Simpsons' slide. Al Jean, one of the few remaining staff writers who has been with the show from the beginning (albeit off and on), has referred to Family Guy as "derivative", and numerous sly accusations of plagiarism have made their way into recent episodes.
Many have claimed that the show has lost its sharp edge with repetitive storylines and a lack of real danger in later seasons. Season seven rejuvenated the show with the revelation that Dexter's sister Deb discovered her brother's deepest, darkest secret. Here are the eight top things we want to see from season eight.
Lauren Oliver is the best-selling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy. The final book in the latter series - Requiem - has just been released. It wraps up the story of Lena, a plucky young woman who lives in a future America where love is classified as an illness and young people are "cured" of the disease.
Veronica Mars. These two words prior to March 13 were synonyms to failure amongst US TV executives. Not only was that assumption stupid, it was just shallow. Not only has Warner Bros been able to gather up preproduction positive publicity, it has put Veronica Mars in a position and an international limelight in a way no other movie has experienced.