posted 30 Jun 2012, 21:06
The flowers are not just beautiful, they are also inteligente. The origin of the angiosperms (flowering plants) has long been considered one of the great unsolved questions of biology.
Flowers are almost everywhere, but the origins of flowering plants are far from clear: Charles Darwin called the problem an “abominable mystery.”
Flowering plants, are thought to have evolved around 130 million years ago from gymnosperms, the prevailing land plants when dinosaurs reigned in the Cretaceous and Jurassic eras. Angiosperms have become the dominant plants on Earth today.
But this blog is not about the evolutionary problem of the "sudden" appearance of flowering plants on Planet Earth but the clever ways this beautifiul living organisms found out to be so well successful, regardless, in same cases, their fragil appearances.
The case of Heliconia and the Slave Hummingbird
This flowering plants are native to the tropical Americas and the Pacific Ocean islands west to Indonesia. Many species of Heliconia are found in rainforests or tropical wet forests of these regions. They are quite beautiful, but good looks are not enough to guarantee survivor. Because they have very small flowers peeping out from the bracts, they need a specific polinizer: an insatiable bird with a long beak and tongue. Hummingbirds are already the main pollinators of Heliconia flowers in many locations. But the female Purple-throated Carib hummingbird is the perfect slave of the Heliconia. By dosing the amount of sweet nectar available turns the bird into an addict: it never leaves the flower, visiting frequently for another dose, fights away all potential competition and is a permanent polinizer always available.
The case of the Saguaro Cactus and the Nectar-feeding bats
The magnificent Saguaro Cactus, the state flower of Arizona, can reech great height and weight. A dense group of yellow stamens forms a circle at the top of the tube. The sweet nectar, together with the color of the flower, attracts nectar-feeding bats that get their protein from pollen.
The Saguaro has more stamens per flower than any other desert cactus but not all of the flowers on a single Saguaro bloom at the same time. Instead, over a period of a month or more, only a few of the up to 200 flowers open each night, secreting nectar into their tubes, and awaiting pollination. These flowers close about noon the following day, never to open again. If fertilization has occurred, the fruit will begin to form immediately.
The saguaro cactus flower is held out at just the right angle for a hovering the only two species of bat to access. The flowers are just the right size for a bat to put his face in. In fact, the bat tongue is just long enough to be able to access the nectar in a saguaro flower. As they move from flower to flower the bats pollinate the saguaro flowers.
The case of the Dragon's Blood Tree: specialized in water retention
A dragon's blood tree grows on Socotra, a small group of islands in the Indian Ocean. This tree has a unique and bizarre appearance, its upturned, densely-packed crown having the shape of an upside-down umbrella. The dragon's blood still mantles the high plateaus and the misty valleys, hidden between the crags of the Hajhir Mountains, that are the highest mountain range in the eastern, inhospitable and dry Arabian peninsula.
Each branch of the tree is made up of a series of sausage-shaped sections of part of the large, dense crown thereby forms to minimize evaporation, acting like a funnel that redirect the water to the center of the tree. Also the waxy leaves is reminiscent of a sword minimizes the lost of precious water.
It gives shade and channels humidity from dew, mist and rainfall down the branches and trunk and into the ground for dissolved nutrient uptake by tree roots. The shade and the anti-evaporation measures help both the tree and the tree’s seedlings which often grow beneath their parent, that benefit of each drop of precious water that fall in the grownd.
The case of Australian Red Mangrove: the perfect salt filter
The Red Mangrove (Rhizophora stylosa), grow more often in north-eastern Australia are evergreen trees or shrubs, often with conspicuous aerial roots easily distinguished from other species by tangled, reddish prop roots. Leaves are oval-shaped, small, creamy-white bisexual flowers occur in branching pairs while the leaves are arranged in opposite pairs on the stem.
Mangroves are uniquely adapted trees and larger shrubs that inhabit the tidal sea edge.
Stout, large arching prop roots are characteristic of the species, which support the main trunk and contain numerous lenticels (air pores) on their surfaces. The lenticels are air-filled spaces that connect with underground root structures. Aerial roots growing from the tree's limbs also help the plant breathe. Mangroves eliminate salt at their roots as water is taken up. Excess salt that finds its way into the plant is stored in the leaves, and removed from the plant when the leaves die and fall from the tree.
Red mangroves serve as feeding, breeding, and a nursery for different fish, birds, and other wild life. They also trap mud therefore increasing the soil around them.
The case of Number One success
The most successful plants on Earth are not the flowers or the specialized three. That place belongs, by right, to the simple gramineous like corn, rice and wheat, the cereal grains and the central role they played in getting civilization off the ground.
Their dessemination were directly responsible for the human population explosion, and even today, the planet couldn’t support most of its inhabitants without them.
Several articles and pictures available on internet.
posted 23 Jun 2012, 17:24
Chachapoyas means "people of the clouds" in the ancient language. The Chachapoyas were a pre-Hispanic people that lived in the Andean cloud forest region of Peru. Their culture is thought to have developed from 800 AD. They were conquered violently and become overpowered by the Incas in the 15th century, shortly before the arrival of the Spanish in Peru.
The Chachapoyas had a very close relations with their dead not only preserving their mumified bodys in specific buriel sanctuarys but also emboss the bones in the walls of their homes. They also preserve the mummies in cave-like niches set in a cliff areas almost unaccessible.
A cache of more than 200 mummies was found in Peru in late 1996 by machete wielding grave robbers (they cut through the cloth wrappings, looking for jewelry and other treasures).
Some of the very well preserved mummys can be seen in the Leymebamba Museum, Peru.
The anthropomorphous sarcophagi resemble imitations of funeral bundles provided with wooden masks elements of funeral architecture observed throughout the Andes.
The architectural model of the Chachapoyas is characterized by circular stone constructions as well as raised platforms constructed on slopes. Their walls were sometimes decorated with symbolic figures such as the Lepard; they belive shaman could use the bravery of this animal to protect the village, the crops and the spirits of the ancestors.
The Chachapoyas people built the great fortress of Kuélap, with more than four hundred interior buildings and massive exterior stone walls reaching upwards of 60 feet in height, possibly to defend against the Huari around 800 AD. Referred to as the 'Machu Picchu of the north,' Kuélap receives few visitors due to its remote location.
La Fortaleza de Kuelap is the biggest of the pre-inca Perú. This citadel lost in the Peruvian jungle still awaits to be fully discoverd.
Archaeological sites in the region include the settlement of Gran Pajáten, Gran Saposoa, the Atumpucro complex, and the burial sites at Revash and Laguna de los Condores (Lake of the Condors), among many others.
That proximity and cult to the dead in architectural and mortuary variability do suggest social inequality, and early documentary evidence intimates that demonstrated prowess in warfare and sorcery, as well as heredity, provided routes to leadership status. In reality, the archaeological evidence for local and regional Chachapoya socio-political development is paltry, and open to various interpretations because there is yet a lot to discover about this people.
Another group of Chachapoya mummies was recently discovered (late 2006) by a farmer in a burial cave complex some 82 feet below the earth's surface (the cave is known as Iyacyecuj, or enchanted water, by local people). According to an article in the London Daily Mail, the "walls near the mummies in the limestone cave were covered with paintings of faces and warrior-like figures which may have been drawn to ward off intruders and evil spirits."
The mummies were not made accidentally, but a detailed analysis has not been released of the mummification methods they used.
They were placed in a flexed (fetal) sitting position and bundled in cloth. According to one account, a face was stitched onto the cloth over the head. Most of the bundles were placed in a two-room two-level stone mausoleum built against the back wall of the cliff overhang (entry was through the roof only). Elite burials appear to have involved coffins made from cane. The Chachapoya also ensured preservation (whether knowingly or not) by choosing a dry, well-protected site covered by a ledge.
The Cachapoya were also called the "Warriors of the Clouds". Before they were defeted by the Incans, they were fierce fighters who took the skulls of victims as trophies and were believed to also eat their hearts. They worshipped mainly pumas, eagles and snakes, with a mummified jaguar found in a royal tomb and images of these animals depicted in their art and constructions. Animal and human sacrifice were also performed at the temple in the ruins.
The citadel bilt by the Chachapoyas people was never taken by force because of it's incredible design. The only entry points through the high walls were two gates, one on either side of the complex. The gap in the wall starts wide then narrows as it ascends the steep stairs, like the shape of a pizza slice.
Many attacking soldiers could charge in together but would get jammed as the passage narrowed, and the top was wide enough for only one person to pass at a time. This single soldier would be met by a wall of spears and other weapons, and both sides of this gauntlet would be defended by soldiers slinging down rocks and other instruments of harm. Even to reach the outer wall you needed to charge 1.2 kms vertically up from the river below. At 3000 m altitude, this is no easy feat by itself. Furthermore, there was a guard tower at the top of the complex that had a direct line of sight to the fire or smoke signals of the three nearest villages, providing an advanced warning signal for attack.
The citadel was never taken but, instead, it was sieged for about 20 years - cutting off access to outside food and water - until they eventually surrendered. They survived off huge stockpiles, some farming within the fort, but mainly by their intense hatred of the Incans. Only 60 years later the Spanish invaded. Even with the advantage of arms and other technology, they could not take the citadel by force either. However, due to the highly infectious Small Pox brought over by the Spanish, this siege of the now Incan held fort took a little under a year.
This civilization, that ruled over a large area for almost 1000 years, didn't fear death and most houses had tombs for deceased relatives at the door for the believed protection it provided from evil spirits.
General web articles and pictures
posted 14 Jun 2012, 12:52
Sometimes the banality can became quite beautiful at least to my eyes that can't stop to see the beauty of this blessed planet and the junk stuff we all overfill it.
The perfect cold crystal
He picked up his glasses
that sliped thru the tip of the nose
get them close to the eyes
and looked at me
something in that glaze
told me it was time to go
The cold of the winter outside
reminded me that I never get enought cloths on
the perfect crystal snow
choose the freckles of my nose
to die on
distracted me from my meaningless thoughts
my footsteps echoed as I went along
sounded like heels in the muffled sond
but could not be mine
never use heels
A hot cup of tea two minuts after
took me back to reality
that one that I keep forgeting to remember
that one with smiles in the wrong places
like a fire swallowing the green of a forest
remember suddenly that I forgot my book
at his place
what the hell now he could keep it!
I never lend books to anyone
they are like family to me
might as well lost this one
I'll think of a proper obituary later
like it was a lost distant cousin
the bar was closing and I was back
in the arms of the winter
making love with the cold wind
and the dying snow in my face
The light of the lamps near the river
acted like a magnet
had to seat there for a while
in the wet balcony
take my gloves off to touch the small ponds of water
that formed in the irregular surface
couldn't stop the gesture of
liking the gelid water from my finger
that turned blue in the meantime
I get up, it was to much cold
even for me
had to be somewhere
can't remember where
maybe present in my life, maybe that...
but that could wait
I had to get myself numb again
and now I feel to much alive
in that cold snowy winter
blame the cold
that keep freezing bodys alive.
poem by D.
posted 09 Jun 2012, 10:39
The time is a villain, people say. It's like a bucket full of memories, the old at the bottom and the fresh on the top, they keep messing with each others up as time goes by, one pulling the others like a string made of beads, while we touch bead by bead, the comeout is a smile or a tear, maybe a bit of anger or desapointement, some regret, perhaps.
Nevertheless it is a certainty of life: we all have time; what we do with it marks the path we go thru.
The 17th-century English poet Robert Herrick wrote something beautiful about making the most of the the time we have.
To the Virgins, to make much of Time
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying:
And this same flower that smiles today
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer,
But being spent, the worse, and worst,
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry:
For having lost but once your prime,
You may for ever tarry.
Time, has weight and meaning and many shapes, or no shape at all, but the first thing that we remember when we think about time is it's more usual shape: a clock.
Time pulled a string of my hair
it was a white rose at the end
fresh with tender petals
sliped from my hands
and became a river
the rapid stream pulled a string from my dress
it was a bird at the end
rainbow collered feathers
but it flown away
nothing but a trace of smoke in the sky
the wind blow a waft of air
and I fly away pulled by a white string
it was from a cloud
it had anothers person hand at the end
I grab the hand
it had a heart at the end
the heart was made of a white rose
a bird with collered feathers
had the shape of a cloud fluttering with the wind
but there was a storm and the hand sliped away
losted the heart with the collered feathers
with the shape of a white cloud
the rose had a torn
that get tangled in a string of my hair
reach for it but there were no more strings to pull
no more feathers, no more collered clouds
lied down to rest on the spring of water
but it was to late to float
my skin was my cloud
and my dress was my long hair
time wad flooded my bed
it was the day to sleep way
and, as I look around,
hundreds of beautiful strings with unimaginable colours
was floating very slowly along my side
like a maiden eyes going to sleep
poem by D.
posted 07 Jun 2012, 19:58
Nothing plays more with the very deep in our selfs than looking at a landscape. Our eyes see the long and wide picture but is our heart that makes the travel across the dimensions . A landscape was many times a refuge for our feelings, a lonely place to cry, an emptiness when and where to purge our fullness, the secret hiding place to consume or assume love.
Each soul has it's landscape where to escape, a place to be numb and dissolve it's thoughts, to be small but united with the universe, a place where only each and every one of you know is there.
If the green in your hand
becames the red of my lips
could the ice melt
could the winter go?
You set your dark curly head in my lap
a soft whisper of a song
that escapes from your lips
turns the blue, and the white, and the brown
an only shape, an only flower, an only leaf
a unique whisper in two equal drops of water
When we set apart
will this trees remember the song
that softly flown from your lips?
will the water remember the shape
of our hands together
will the willow remember the embrace?
the soft kiss upon my sholder...
poem by D.
posted 06 Jun 2012, 05:03
I like B/W digital photography so much because they'r versatility, subtlety of tones, no distractions on colours, the artistic variety, the deep emotional and imediate response of all our senses deprived from colour, they transmit me feelings like honesty, personality, flexibility, absolute beauty and photograph something in B/W make it more than a simple document.
I choose the Cityscape because Cityes numb us and many of our senses, but in a way that nakedness can provide awareness of many other sensibilities.
You who are not here
You who are missing in my body
Holes in my body
Places like holes
Like bullets made
Patches of agony
From my feet
To my hands
You who are gone
Missing from the place you lived in me
Instead of blood
The groin is locked
The missing part of me
poem by Sam Shepard
posted 01 Jun 2012, 02:33
Some natural events or otherwise never cease to amaze humanity. The source of this blog is this site▼16 comments
atlasobscura.com, you can vist to more complete informations.
Those events I choose were randomly within the line of my own personal interests without scientific purpose whatsoever.
Between 1946 and 1962, the US military conducted 105 atmospheric nuclear tests over the Marshall Islands and several other nearby South Pacific atolls. In the late 1970s, in an effort to clean up the radioactive debris left by those explosions, the US government dug up 111,000 cubic yards of soil from the Bikini and Rongelap atolls and deposited it on Runit Island.
The result: an enormous, foot-and-a-half-thick, 100,000-square-foot dome consisting of 358 gigantic concrete panels. Despite signs warning off visitors, it is still possible to make landfall on Runit and stomp across the Cactus Dome. Bring a Geiger counter.
In the Coyote Buttes ravine, some 5,225 feet above sea level, stands Arizona's Wave Rock with a remarkable undulating appearance resulting in one of the greatest geological formations began to take shape, 190 million years ago.
Many describe walking through the dunes as an intensely strange experience, surreal and vertigo inducing, or in several cases, described as being like a drug induced walking dream. The rock is certainly a photographer's delight.
MONTICELLO DAM MORNING GLORY SPILLWAY
Located at the Monticello Dam at Lake Berryessa in Northern California, this gigantic drain acts as the lake's spillway, technically known as the Morning Glory Spillway it is locally, somewhat more colorfully, known as "The Glory Hole." When the dam reaches capacity, the spillway swallows water at a rate of 48,800 cubic feet per second, emptying about 700 feet away through an enormous concrete pipe.
THE GURDON LIGHT
Unlike other mysterious lights, the Gurdon Light is reported to always be present, but only visible at night. The lights have been chronicled by the television show Unsolved Mysteries and remain a Halloween favorite for locals. Local legend has it that the light is the lantern of a railroad worker who fell on the tracks and was beheaded, or in another variation the light of a worker who was killed in a brawl on the tracks.
The possible explanation for the Gurdon lights being that quartz crystals underground the area are under constant stress and cause an electric reaction that glows.
A mysterious light floating in the trees of Gurdon, Arkansas, may be a piezoelectric effect, generated by materials, such as certain ceramics and crystals, which when bent or squeezed generate electricity and sparks.
EYAM THE PLAGUE VILLAGE
A small Anglo-Saxon village nestled in the hills of Derbyshire, Eyam has become known as the 'plague village' due to a decision made by the whole village, during an outbreak of the Black Death in 1665. According to reports, the plague was brought to the village from London in a bundle of cloth ordered by the local tailor that die within a week.
Fewer than a quarter of the village population survived, but the stoic decision of this little village in self-imposed quarantine did, however, successfully contain the spread of disease.
Every year on Plague Sunday (the last sunday in August) a memorial service is held in the nearby hollow of Cucklett Delf, in homage of the deceased.
THE GREAT GUATEMALAN SINKHOLE
On Sunday, May 30, 2010, an enormous hole, 60 feet wide and 30 stories deep, opened up in the middle of Guatemala City, swallowing a three-story building, a home, and at least 100 people.
Guatemala City has had experience with sinkholes before but no one was prepared for anything like this.
Generally, sinkholes are caused by underground rivers or stores of water which erode bedrock and cause the ground above to collapse. Guatemala City is largely built on weak materials such as volcano pumice, however, and as such its sinkholes open extraordinarily quickly, leaving little time for escape.
posted 28 May 2012, 13:12
My hometwon was, for many decades in the earlier 20th century, a huge industrialized spot, receiving raw material and exporting to the country and the world the manufactured products. The cork transformation industry came mainly from there.
That small urban town are shapped in dark corners with crumbled, faded walls, beautiful solitary abandon places, wavy smoke of some few facturies, old timer industrial arquitecture and railway tracks, all over the place, like someone finger nails on the attempt of crawl out from there, furrowed the land.
I know very well that magical feeling about abandoned railway tracks, like veins in the land.
Every leaf of grass had a story to tell, every nettle made an imprudent hand hurt, the undiscribable bugs that come under those heavy bars of iron, made be often step back and them forward with curiosity, to follow their speedy but rather instable run.
Still come to mind, closing my eyes, the mixed smell of rosemary and rust, the joy to see the thistle exploding in green and purple, the red dots of the poppies and the yellow of the dandelion, floating away so high when got their transparent body and cotton little feet, dancing round and around, in an invisible dance floor, heading to an unrevealed destination.
It was a portal leading to adventure... even today some of the tracks are there, others gone away leaving behind their straight scars of mud and grass like little crooked rivers when the rain come, unveil wounds that have not yet healed.
But near the river all changes, the white explodes like a diamond field; here and there the sea tide mills brings us back in time.
The boats, dancing in the waves, in their incessant ant like life, sail the radiant blue playing with the sun and the foam, or with the lead of a stormy clowdy day, always carry people from here to there, never asking way things are the way they are.
Rain drops, season goes one after the other, the fog still leads you to a world made of cold and wet cotton candy, on the winter mornings, making you walk like in smog trails.
Occasionally, the heavy rain after giving you chills and a running cold nose, a raiwbow is there when you lift your eyelashes, it's a gift that make you forget the rest.
Sudenlly is May, and is June and the dandelion are fleeting away with their cotton feet, the poppies teach you what red is all about, the vibrante thistles make you think about tiny wedding fairys bouquets, and all the songs that you want to sing.
The layers of the dusk colors make you hate the dark, but the smeel of pine wood, and rosemary tangled in the river breeze, take you to the land when dreams are waiting for you.
And all this sensations catapul your soul into so many feelings, like when light defracts as a caleidoscope, pulling your eyes into every litlle detail.
You always remember that perfect feeling, when you fall asleep in the warm sun in the beach and open your eyes and the world is made of pure bright blue.
And that feeling makes you wish you never have to grow old.
posted 27 May 2012, 08:09
From a Railway Carriage
Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches,
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and grazes;
And there is a green for stringing daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!
poem written by: ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
Along the wind-swept platform, pinched and white,
The travellers stand in pools of wintry light,
Offering themselves to morn’s long slanting arrows.
The train’s due; porters trundle laden barrows.
The train steams in, volleying resplendent clouds
Of sun-blown vapour. Hither and about,
Scared people hurry, storming the doors in crowds.
The officials seem to waken with a shout,
Resolved to hoist and plunder; some to the vans
Leap; others rumble the milk in gleaming cans.(...)
poem written by: SIEGFRIED SASSOON
To a Locomotive in Winter
(...) Fierce-throated beauty!
Roll through by chant with all thy lawless music, thy swinging lamps at night,
Thy madly-whistled laughter, echoing, rumbling like and earthquake rousing all,
Law of thyself complete, thine own track firmly holding,
(No sweetness debonair of tearful harp or glib piano thine,)
Thy trills of shrieks by rocks and hills returned,
Launched o’er the prairies wide, across the lakes,
To the free skies upent and glad and strong.
poem written by: WATT WHITMAN
(...) And nearer, nearer rolls the sound,
Louder the throb and roar of wheels,
The shout of speed, the shriek of steam;
The sloping bank,
Cut into flashing squares, gives back the clank
And grind of metal, while the ground
Shudders and the bridge reels—
As, with a scream,
A rage of smoke, a laugh of fire,
A lighted anguish of desire,
Of gold and iron, of sound and flight,
Tumultuous roars across the night.
The train roars past—and , with a cry,
Drowned in a flying howl of wind,
Half-stifled in the smoke and blind,
Shaken, exultant, unconfined,
Rises, flows on, and follows, and sweeps by,
Shrieking, to lose itself in distance and the sky.
poem written by: JOHN REDWOOD ANDERSON
Skimbleshanks: The Railway Cat
(...) Oh it’s very pleasant when you have found your little den
With your name written up on the door.
And the berth is very neat with a newly folded sheet
And there’s not a speck of dust on the floor.
There is every sort of light—you can make it dark or bright;
There’s a handle that you turn to make a breeze.
There’s a funny little basin you’re supposed to wash your face in
And a crank to shut the window if you sneeze.
Then the guard looks in politely and will ask you very brightly
‘Do you like your morning tea weak or strong?’
But Skimble’s just behind him and was ready to remind him,
For Skimble won’t let anything go wrong.
And when you creep into your cosy berth
And pull up the counterpane,
You ought to reflect that it’s very nice
To know that you won’t be bothered by mice—
You can leave all that to the Railway Cat,
The Cat of the Railway Train!
poem written by: T.S. ELIOT
posted 21 May 2012, 15:44
- Hi... you are so weired didn't know what to bring you... - he sayd.
- Oh, that is a lovely strange flower - she kinda smiled, her eyeslashes smoothly downed to admire his gift.
- Let's go outside, see the ocean, it's beautiful - his eyes glowed with the misty moon light.
- The ocean... - in her pale cheeks a light colour of pink was slightly visible - I can smell the breeze from here...
- Come with me outside... - his heart made the sound of his voice hopefull.
- But I can't... it's not my world... you go insted of me, for me - her voice ended the words in meerly a sad murmur.
He stepped out of the shadow. It was almost down.
Was alone again. Felt the slow cold of the teardrops rolling down his face.
In this hospital of souls only some hearts heal with love.
Others get home alone.