Gleanings of the Week Ending July 20, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Conceal – National Geographic Society Newsroom – Starting out with bird images this week. The first picture in this series … a little owl … is my favorite.

Ghost orchid pollination revealed for first time in incredible photos – I heard about ghost orchids at the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival…so enjoyed this article (includes a video)

Centennial E7 - Night of the Killer Smog - Third Pod from the Sun - AGU Blogosphere – A little history of air pollution events that spurred the Clean Air Act of 1970.

Biomedical bleeding may impact horseshoe crabs' spawning behavior and movement -- ScienceDaily – My interest in horseshoe crabs has increased since the Cape May Birding Spring (birding) Festival.

BBC - Future - The poisons released by melting Arctic ice – Observations of a warming Arctic….some surprising even to scientists that study the area.

When Will Renewable Energy Prices Stop Dropping? | CleanTechnica – The question becomes…where the tipping point is when almost everyone is using renewable energy for just about everything….at home…on the road…at work.

How Much Nature Is Enough? 120 Minutes a Week Doctors Say | Children & Nature Network – The study included data from 20,000 people in England and was conducted from 2014-2016. 120 minutes a week was the answer. I wonder what factors might make it different – age, culture, environment, etc.

Clouds and Rain Carry a Menagerie of Photosynthetic Microbes | The Scientist Magazine® - Life in the atmosphere.

Are doctors treating more thyroid cancer patients than necessary? -- ScienceDaily - New research may help change treatment practices for patients diagnosed with low risk thyroid cancer. Sometimes doctors opt for maximum treatment and the treatment ends up being worse than the disease would have been.

Monarch Butterflies Born in Captivity Have Trouble Migrating South Study Says: NPR – I like that the schools in my area are getting their Monarch caterpillars (or eggs) from the wild to raise in the classroom and then release. These Monarchs will migrate!

3 Free eBooks – June 2019

There was quite a variety of books to pick from in my book list for this month…difficult to pick just three. I realized that I have started gleaning from my book list for other posts beyond this monthly one. I feature the botanical books in a separate post and I’ve started collecting images to use for Zentangle pattern prompts (i.e. images that are easily decomposed into patterns and used to create Zentangle tiles) which I will probably become blog posts occasionally too!

Pennell, Joseph; Pennell, Elizabeth Robbins. Two pilgrims’ progress; from fair Florence to the eternal city of Rome. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. 1899. Available on Internet Archive here. This husband and wife team travelled between Florence and Rome on an odd ‘bicycle built for two.’ He was the artist and she was the writer. I enjoyed their other books available online too.

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Jammes, Andre; Sobieszek, Robert A.; White, Minor. French Primitive Photography. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Art. 1969. Available on Internet Archive here. A little history not only of photography but for the subjects of the photographers as well. There are quite a few images from Egypt in the mid-1800s of famous monuments before the sand was moved from the lower portions…or had just been removed.

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Perkins, Lucy Fitch. The Belgian Twins. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1917. Available on Internet Archive here. The author wrote a whole series of books about twins from around the world between 1911 and 1934. Evidently, she interviewed someone that had grown up in each country to gain understanding of children’s lives there. She also incorporated aspects of history; World War I was woven into this book about Belgium published in 1917 and the book about French twins published in 1918. Many of the books are available on Internet Archive. The sketch type illustrations are the aspect of these books I enjoyed the most.

3 Free eBooks – May 2019

There are so many books to browse through – or read – online. I am always fascinated with the perspective of history from books of a time period. It’s the closest we come to talking to the people that lived the events before our time.

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Newell, Peter. The Rocket Book. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1912. Available from the Library of Congress: intro to the collection here and the book in slideshow mode here. The upward course of a rocket from the basement up 20 floors of apartments! Yes – it’s dated (keep in mind the copyright date) but it is fascinating to notice what the author thought people would be doing in their apartments…and that he was thinking about rockets!

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Menpes, Mortimer (with text by Dorothy Menpes). World’s Children. London: A & C Black. 1903. Available from Hathi Trust here. Menpes was an Australian born British painter, author, printmaker and illustrator. He was a developer of techniques to produce colored art works in book form. His daughter, Dorothy, wrote the text for some of those books. The sleeping baby was one of my favorites from this book.

Sunset (magazine). San Francisco: Southern Pacific Company. Issues from May 1898 – 1923 from Hathi Trust here. I pointed to this magazine last month as well. I am still working my way through the magazines up to 1923. The one to look at this month is V31 from 1913. There are lots of colorful pictures – like this one of Mt. Hood in Oregon. Soon the years of World War I would cause the magazine to be produced with only the cover and a few ads in color.

Gleanings of the Week Ending March 16, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Wind Cave, In the National Park, Is 150 Miles Long...And Counting – About 2 miles are surveyed annually and there are about 3,000 unexplored openings that haven’t been checked.

Climate of North American cities will shift hundreds of miles in one generation: New web application helps visualize climate changes in 540 North American cities -- ScienceDaily – The article includes a link to the interactive map. Baltimore Maryland will be like Cleveland, Mississippi in 60 years!

Southern California Will Soon See Another Booming Superbloom | Smart News | Smithsonian – Much better than burn scars and mud slides.

The Obelisks of Heliopolis - Archaeology Magazine – Obelisks taken from the city…a project to understand where they originally stood and the role they played.

In Era of Drought, Phoenix Prepares for a Future Without Colorado River Water - Yale E360 – Living on the edge when it comes to water supply. It’s not just South Africa that has the challenge.

BBC - Future - How Japan’s ancient trees could tell the future –Teasing out how much rain fell in Japan over the past two and half millennia by looking at the preserved wood of ancient forests.    

The soaring cost of US child care, in 5 charts  and Paid family leave is an investment in public health, not a handout – Thought provoking…families coping in the modern world.

Utilities are starting to invest in big batteries instead of building new power plants – Shifts in the way big utilities are structuring themselves for the future – it not all about new power plants.

New molecules reverse memory loss linked to depression, aging -- ScienceDaily – Maybe in the future we’ll be able to treat some types of cognitive decline better than we can now.

The Future of Universities | What's Next: Top Trends – 7 Cs: Critical thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Curiosity, Character and Compassion

Gleanings of the Week Ending December 29, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

From High Above, A New Way of Seeing Our Urban Planet - Yale E360 – Cities – growing and growing. It is mind boggling that urban population has grown from 751 million in 1950 to 4,200 million today.

How changing labs revealed a chemical reaction key to cataract formation: Researchers studying eye lens find a new function for a protein previously thought to be inert -- ScienceDaily – Learning more about the chemistry behind cataract formation….not a treatment yet but better understanding can be the path toward slowing or more targeted treatment of cataracts.

Curious Kids: What are some of the challenges to Mars travel? – A series from The Conversation (in Australia) for children…but interesting to adults too. Kids ask the best questions!

A DOZEN WAYS FAMILIES CAN #OPTOUTSIDE EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR | Children & Nature Network – I’m on a role with the child focused gleanings right now…I would add to the list: find easy access natural spaces (near where you work or live) and visit them as often as possible.

VIDEO: We Hope Your Day Is As Great As This Snow-Loving Panda’s: NPR – Pandas are such a visual treat. This is Bei Bei at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo back in November.  My husband and I missed the snow (we were in New Mexico).

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Owls – National Geographic Blog – 2018 was my first sighting of barn owls in the wild…awesome.

Ragweed Is on The Move – National Geographic Blog – Not such a big change in the south….in Kansas City the season is prolonged by 23 days. For those people allergic to ragweed…that is a miserable trend.

Some health related posts: Blood pressure: Early treatment advised by US guidelines has no survival benefits -- ScienceDaily and Your heart hates air pollution; portable filters could help -- ScienceDaily – At least the second one was actionable; I now have a portable filter in my bedroom and I think it is reducing my cat allergy – maybe more.

Aerial photos of U.S. national parks from space – I love national parks. Everyone I have been to has had something spectacular to offer. It’s sad that they are all mostly closed (if the bathrooms and visitor centers are not open….they are closed) for this week (partial government shutdown).

How do different light bulbs work? – in C&EN | Compound Interest – Light bulbs have changed a lot during my lifetime. Hopefully now we are on track to have bulbs that are closer to the natural sunlight spectrum so that the light does not cause eye or sleep problems.

3 Free eBooks – December 2018

I always am challenged to pick just three books from the eBooks I’ve found during the month. There is a lot of variety in my selections this month….from archeology to typewriter art to a story book. Enjoy!

Savill, Mervyn. Pre-Inca Art and Culture. London: Macgibbon & Kee. 1960. Available at Internet Archive here. There are many books that are from the Archaeology Survey of India that are now available on Internet Archive. This one is from 1960. Some of the art looks very exotic but these three busts of rulers look very human indeed.

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Riddell, Alan. Typewriter Art. London Magazine Editions. 1975. Available Internet Archive here. I can remember making banners on continuous feed printers in the 1970s! I don’t think I ever made anything as elaborate as this cityscape, but this book brought back the memory.

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Olfers, Sibylee von. The Story of the Root-Children. 1906. The English version was published by Floris Books, Edinburgh in 1990 and the 5th impression is available from Internet Archive here. The illustrations are interesting. Wikipedia has a short biography of the author. She was a German art teacher and nun that created her picture books for her younger sister in the early 1900s. I wish all of her books were available on Internet Archive…even if they were the German editions…since I am most interested in her illustrations.

Gleanings of the Week Ending November 17, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

1.8 Million Clean Energy Workers Employed in Top 50 American Metro Areas | CleanTechnica – Jobs that are future leaning rather than in anchor industries like fossil fuels.

USDA Approves Edible Cotton | The Scientist Magazine® - Edible? I wonder if many people will have digestive problems with the seeds even if they are approved for human consumption.

The rise of sponges in Anthropocene reef ecosystems – Coral is impacted by higher temperatures and acidification more than sponges and there are already some ‘reefs’ that are dominated by sponges rather than coral. These reefs function differently and are expected to become more prevalent.

Study explores infant body position and learning -- ScienceDaily – I am always fascinated about studies with babies…observational but trying to be objective.

$31 Billion Hurricane Protection Plan Proposed for Texas - News | Planetizen – A hefty price tag…and who will pay for it? Would it work for very much of the area if they had another Hurricane like Harvey?

A Day in The Park: Hot Springs National Park – I visited this park years ago…before many of the more recent renovations. Maybe it’s time to see visit again.

'Wildlife Photographer of the Year' awards: Here are the best animal photos of 2018 – Great photography…nature…art. My favorite was the last one – the treehopper guarding her family.

Passive Radiative Cooling Moves Out of The Lab & Into the Real World | CleanTechnica – Cooling without consuming massive amounts of electricity….but is it really ‘out of the lab’ yet.

The Armchair Photography Guide to Bryce Canyon National Park – Part 2, Inspiration Point to Rainbow Point – There seem to be several articles in my feeds that are prompting thought of future travel. This is another place I’d like to go. The last time I was in Utah, the Federal government was closed so the national parks were not open!

Infographic: Exercise’s Effects on the Brain – Understanding the molecular mechanisms that connect exercise to cognitive benefits.

Gleanings of the Week Ending May 26, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

The Secret Science of Shell Seeking – Shells and Sanibel, Florida. Hopefully the sea will not become so acidic that shellfish become less numerous over time.

Old sea ice continues disappearing from the Arctic Ocean | NOAA – Quite a difference in the amount of old sea ice between 1984 and 2018. It’s tough to be a polar bear or any other creature that depends on sea ice.

The secret to honing kid’s language and literacy -- ScienceDaily – Children need enough sleep, playing games, and time without distractions in the background as well as having books read to them…to encourage language and literacy development.

Compound Interest - The chemistry behind how dishwashers clean – The post didn’t address why glass becomes etched by dishwashers over time…so I was a little disappointed. Otherwise, seemed to cover the bases.

Twin Satellites Map 14 Years of Freshwater Changes: Image of the Day – Analysis of observations from multiple satellites to determine where freshwater is changing on Earth. One of the sources of data was GRACE (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment) that collected data through 2017. The follow-on was launched this past week (on May 22) - Meet NASA’s New Dynamic Duo: A Pair of Climate Change-Tracking Satellites | Smart News | Smithsonian

Fox Photos Capture the Diverse Personalities of the Wild Animals – We occasional see fox around – entering or leaving the forest behind our house. I’ve never managed to photograph one.

BBC - Future - Pain bias: The health inequality rarely discussed – I’m glad I am healthy….but wonder what will happen if I ever do need medical attention. This post is part of series from BBC Future about how men and women experience the medical system differently.

Climate change broadens threat of emerald ash borer -- ScienceDaily – Here in Maryland, our ash trees are dying now. Many have been cut down this year.

Buyer beware: Some water-filter pitchers much better at toxin removal: Study finds some purifiers remove twice the microcystins from risky water -- ScienceDaily – Evidently the slower filters (and often more expensive) do a better job.

Thomas Jefferson and the telegraph: highlights of the U.S. weather observer program | NOAA – A little history of weather observations in the US….the earliest being in the 1640s. Thomas Jefferson bought his first thermometer about the time he wrote the Declaration of Independence and his barometer about the time he signed it….and maintained records until 1816. George Washington also took regular observations….the last entry being the day before he died.

Gleanings of the Week Ending January 13, 2018

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Cache of Newly Digitized Travel Photographs Will Transport You to 1900s California | Smart News | Smithsonian – A little California history. I couldn’t figure out how to browse photographs almost like a slideshow. The interface seems to only provide one-at-a-time viewing.

With wrist-worn gadget, researchers capture real-life sleep for the first time -- ScienceDaily – I wondered how this differed from my Fitbit Alta HR tracker. I assume it has more detail and that raw data is processed with more sophisticated algorithms.

The National Gallery of Art Releases Over 45,000 Digitized Works of Art – Wow! Follow the link to the NGA images and enjoy!

BBC - Future - The labs that protect against online warfare – Even with the labs….is seems like we are not doing enough. Governments are serious about the problem from a military standpoint…not necessarily about infrastructure or healthcare.

Habitat on the Edges: Making Room for Wildlife in an Urbanized World - Yale E360 – A good summary of some things that appear to be working to increase and/or preserve wild life habitat even as human populations increase. The habitat is gerrymandered…and different that the original, but may be almost the only path forward.

A Floating House to Resist the Floods of Climate Change | The New Yorker – It seems far fetched that whole neighborhoods would be built like this – but it is appealing to think about non-traditional approaches now when extreme storms seem to be more common.

Deep learning sharpens views of cells and genes – Using a neural network to look at retinal images and determine the likelihood of heart attack…and other applications of high end computer algorithms for improving understanding of medical images.

Badlands National Park – It’s been 20 years since I visited the park. I enjoyed it…think I would appreciate it more now.

National Park Service Begins Roof Replacement, Masonry Repair at Lincoln Memorial – Something going on in DC. The memorial will be partially open during the work.

US childhood mortality rates have lagged behind other wealthy nations for the past 50 years: Leading causes of death are prematurity and injuries -- ScienceDaily – Very sad. We have a system that is expensive and not very effective. Infants in the US were 76% more likely to die than in other economically similar countries.

Gleanings of the Week Ending August 12, 2017

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Map of Play – A non-profit that not only builds playgrounds all over the US but also maps the ones they build and others (here). What a great way for families with children to explore the parks where they live….and when they travel!

Could a Bus with Sleep Pods Replace Airplanes? – Right now it only operates between LA and San Francisco…but it has the potential to be a less stressful way to travel than through an airport. What would it be like to take buses overnight and touring cities during the day…gradually moving cross country?

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #99 – Two pictures of peafowl! A male sitting with the tail feathers bunched behind and the head of a peahen!

The Chemistry of Giant Hogweed and how it causes skin burns – Awful plant! We were warned about this plant in Master Naturalist training since there have been some found in Maryland.

5 health benefits of beets – I’ve been enjoying beets from the CSA this year. Instead of always making fruit beety with them, I’ve be using them one at a time: raw in salads, in soups with potatoes (adds color!), and slivered for stir frying with other veggies. I like them well enough, I’ll buy them at the grocery store after the season for them via the CSA is over!

Illustrated timeline presents women’s fashion every year from 1784-1970 – A little history. I remember from the late 50s onwards and was making many of my own clothes from the mid-60s…so the styles for those years look familiar. I made a dress for myself that looked very similar to the 1966 dress about 1967!

The animals thriving in the Anthropocene – A study done by a team based near where I live in Maryland! Mosquitos, cockroaches, rats, deer, house sparrows…a few of the organisms are thriving while others are declining…or even becoming extinct.

Medieval Manuscripts are a DNA Smorgasbord – Much can be learned from the debris scraped away during cleaning of old manuscripts: DNA from bookworms and humans plus the animals that became parchment. So – we learn history from the physical aspects of manuscripts as much as well as from the words on the pages!

Magnificent Photos of Canyons Carved over Millions of Years –  Antelope Canyon and Canyon X…in Arizona. My husband already wants to plan a vacation to the place.

Ancient DNA used to track Mesa Verde exodus in 13th century – Another item in the gleanings for this week about a place near Antelope Canyon…Mesa Verde. When I visited years ago, the mystery of where the people went was unresolved although many assumed they came part of the Pueblo peoples in New Mexico. This study used DNA of turkeys! Evidently the Mesa Verde people raised turkeys for feathers and food…and they took the turkeys with them when they migrated to the Northern Rio Grande area north of Santa Fe, NM.

Flower Glow

Sometimes the light is just right…the flower bloom is at the right stage…it seems to glow from within.

It happened last week at Brookside Gardens. The hibiscus flower was in partial shade but the wind was blowing and the top part of the inner flower got direct sun for a few seconds. There were several fleeting opportunities to take pictures…the one I am including in this post is my favorite.

As I looked at the on the larger screen, I wondered if people glow and concluded that when I think of people glowing it isn’t from light…it is from something within. Looking back at people that came through the Wings of Fancy exhibit – it seems like the people I noticed ‘glowing’ were either young (preschool) or very old.

For the children, the glow came from seeing so many butterflies around them. They don’t appear overwhelmed or overly excited; they just stand and follow the butterflies with their eyes…a little smile on their face…their hands together.

For older people, it is a little different but sometimes the expression is the same. There was a 90-year-old woman in a wheel chair whose family had brought her to the exhibit to celebrate her birthday; she didn’t say very much but the look of her face was one of pure joy of being in that place at that time watching butterflies flutter around her. Another older lady – probably in her 80s – was more animated; she talked about when she was young and loving butterflies around where she lived but being afraid of caterpillars…not finding out until many years later than the caterpillars became butterflies. While she talked, she followed butterflies with her eyes; she was savoring her life – present and past.

The other people in the exhibit may not always glow but the happy voices and expressions on just about everyone’s face certainly makes the volunteer shifts enjoyable. The Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens in my universal happy place this summer!