Joseph Henry Maiden was advised to take a long sea voyage for his health when he was 21 years old. He left London for New South Wales (on the east coast of Australia) and stayed there for the rest of his life making a career as a botanist studying Australian Floral; he died in 1925 at the age of 66. There are quite a few of his publications available on Internet Archive. I particularly enjoyed illustrations in The Forest Flora of New South Wales (available here). The forest plants of Australia are often very different from North America….even though there are some that have been brought to places in North America where they could thrive (eucalyptus, for example).
Shirley Hibberd was one of the most popular and successful gardening writers of the Victorian Era. The name caught my eye on a list of authors of botanical books from the 1800s that were supposedly ‘Women in Natural History.’ I quickly discovered (via Wikipedia) that the author was a man! It reminded me of a choir director I’d known in my teenage years – also a man named Shirley. Following the tangent thought about Shirley as a first name – I found that Charlotte Bronte is the one that transitioned the name from male to female with her novel (Shirley) published in 1849.
Back to Shirley Hibberd - there are quite a few books available by Hibberd on Internet Archive (list here); some I had looked at years ago and some I found in June. My favorite of the June books was New and rare beautiful leaved plants published in 1870 and available on Internet Archive here.
Lots of ideas of house plants in this book. I was impressed by the variety of shapes, textures and colors.
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.
Older forests resist change, climate change, that is -- ScienceDaily - A study from the University of Vermont. But there are a lot of other changes in the forest too – the advent of non-native diseases like emerald ash borer and the explosion of deer populations so that there is a lot less understory in the forest (and few young trees). Is the net still that old forests resist change more effectively than younger ones?
Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: June – National Geographic Society Newsroom – The always beautiful series of bird pictures.
Expanding the temperature range of lithium-ion batteries ScienceDaily – I’ve noticed the battery in my Prius Prime does not last for as many miles in the winter as it does in the summer. It’s one of the issues I want improved before I buy my next EV.
Chattanooga Becomes First U.S. Airport to Run Entirely on Solar – YaleEnvironment360 – Congrats to Chattanooga on this milestone. Evidently the first airport to do it was Cochin International in Kerala, India which went 100% solar powered in 2015. I’ve noticed a lot of US airports have fields of solar arrays…but maybe they haven’t also installed batteries to make the airport 100% solar powered.
You Can Now Tour the Tunnels Beneath Rome’s Baths of Caracalla – Smithsonian – A little Roman history linked to a place where tons of wood were burned per day to keep the fires going so that the caldarium would have hot water…where 18.5 gallons of water per second were consumed…copper tanks and lead pipes.
Timed release of turmeric stops cancer cell growth – ScienceDaily – Part of the search for gentler treatments for children with osteosarcoma.
A Tale of Contrasting Rift Valley Lakes – NASA Earth Observatory – Lake Tanganyika and Lake Rukwa as viewed from NASA’s Aqua satellite. Deep and shallow. Salty and fresh. Brown and Blue.
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument: Holding History in Your Hand – National Parks Traveler – I had to look up where Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is located. It’s in the panhandle of Texas, north of Amarillo. I might go someday…on the way to somewhere else. The route would probably pass through the small western Oklahoma town where I was born.
Grand Canyon will soon be a dark sky park – Smithsonian – The park service has retrofitted lights to make it happen. This could be a good reason to camp in this national park!
What does the dust in your home mean for your health? – The Conversation – Thought provoking post. About one third of the ‘dust’ is created inside by ourselves and our pets, food debris, fibers from carpet/fabrics, particles from cooking plus chemicals like flame retardants. Are they toxic? There is ongoing research. Re outdoor sources – lead is the one of most concern.
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.
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.
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.
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 royal tombs of Ur reveal Mesopotamia's ancient splendor – From National Geographic - Leonard Woolley’s excavation of Ur in the 1920s.
Astronomers Worry New SpaceX Satellite Constellation Could Impact Research | Smart News | Smithsonian – Are telescopes on the surface of the earth doomed? Will we only be able to study the universe from space?
Americans May Be Ingesting Thousands of Microplastics Every Year | Smart News | Smithsonian and Hawaii’s newest black sand beach already contains plastic pollution – Plastics everywhere...and there is growing evidence that it is negatively impacting life on our planet. What are we doing about it?
Image of the Day: Hot Stripes | The Scientist Magazine® - Did you know that zebras can raise the black stripes separately from the white stripes!
Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Communication – National Geographic Society – Birds…never can resist including a wild bird photo collections.
BBC - Future - How modern life is transforming the human skeleton – The way we live – written in our bones.
New Jersey 100% Renewable Energy Plan -- More Fiber, Less Fluff | CleanTechnica – Hurray for New Jersey….having a tangible plan to use zero carbon energy by 2050.
Eliminating packaging is a good start – but here's what supermarkets should do to stop harming the planet – I’ve made it a point to reduce the amount of packaging when I shop; I am way past the easy things…and up against the way groceries operate in my area. I buy local produce through my CSA for 5 months of the year (a good way to eliminate packaging, eat seasonally, and reduce food transportation costs) but the other 7 months of the year, I’m back to the typical grocery store for produce.
How old are your organs? -- ScienceDaily - To scientists' surprise, organs are a mix of young and old cells: Scientists discover cellular structures with extreme longevity, leading to insights for age-associated diseases.
Tropical Cyclones are Stalling More – Hurricane Harvey (Texas)….Tropical storm Fay (Florida)…Hurricane Florence (North Carolina) – All three storms caused a lot of damage to the coasts when they lingered over the coastal area becoming prolific rain producers. Is this the new normal for Atlantic Hurricanes?
Two members of the Sowerby family (British family of naturalists and artists) did the illustrations for the 12 volumes of the 3rd edition of English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants: James de Carle Sowerby and John Edward Sowerby. The volumes were published between 1858 and 1886 and are available on Internet Archive:
Look a every volume…or just pick one. They all include gorgeous botanical images.
There are two sample images from each volume below.
Now I am looking for other ‘Sowerby’ works….probably will discover some more botanical print books that I haven’t seen previously.
I found out about this author from a National Geographic Article: 'Lost' book of exquisite scientific drawings rediscovered after 190 years --- and the 3 volumes are available on Hathi Trust here. The author died young (46 years old) in 1828 and her work was not finished so it is in manuscript rather than published form. It had still been referenced a few times in the 1800s and those references are what started the search for it. Eventually, it was determined that the manuscript had been given to Cornell University in 1923 by a faculty member that was a descendant of the author. It had been in Cornell’s Rare and Manuscript Collection since! These volumes are well worth browsing. I’ve included sample images below…..but there are many more in the volumes to look at online.
27 new books were added to the collection this month bringing the total of botanical print books I’ve found to over 1,600 - available free of charge on the Internet. The whole list can be accessed here. The list for May 2019 is below the sample images. I’ll be posting about several of the books in more detail in subsequent blog posts.
The flora sylvatica for southern India: containing quarto plates of all the principal timber trees in southern India and Ceylon V2 * Beddome, Richard Henry; Bentham, George * sample image * 1869
Specimens of the plants and fruits of the island of Cuba V1 * Wollstonecraft, Anne Kingsbury * sample image * 1826
Specimens of the plants and fruits of the island of Cuba V2 * Wollstonecraft, Anne Kingsbury * sample image * 1826
Specimens of the plants and fruits of the island of Cuba V3 * Wollstonecraft, Anne Kingsbury * sample image * 1826
English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V1 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1863
English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V2 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1864
English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V3 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1864
English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V4 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1865
English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V5 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1866
English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V6 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1866
English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V7 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1867
English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V8 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1868
English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V9 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1869
English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V10 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1873
English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V11 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1872
English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V12 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1886
Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V1 no 2 2007 * Botanical Research Insitute of Texas * sample image * 2007
Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V2 no 1 2008 * Botanical Research Insitute of Texas * sample image * 2008
Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V1 no 1 2007 * Botanical Research Insitute of Texas * sample image * 2007
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.
Flu virus' best friend: Low humidity -- ScienceDaily – Yet another reason to have a good humidifier in our homes during the winter.
Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Seabirds – National Geographic Society Newsroom – I saw a few of these during the Cape May trip in May: American Oystercatcher, Northern Gannett, Laughing Gull, and Forster’s Tern.
Novel 5-minute workout improves blood pressure, may boost brain function -- ScienceDaily – Preliminary results….have to wait to see if it holds up. It would be great to have another option than medication (that often has side effects).
More Megalithic Jars Mapped in Laos and A Singular Landscape - Archaeology Magazine – Plain of Jars in Laos. The jars were created 1,500 to 2,500 years ago. Excavations are revealing a bit more about the people that created them.
Common food additive found to affect gut microbiota: Titanium dioxide nanoparticles E171 may impact human health -- ScienceDaily – It’s a whitening agent used in foods and medicines in high quantities. I checked the jar of mayonnaise in my refrigerator and it didn’t list it on the ingredients list but evidently some brands do contain titanium dioxide. Maybe I will cut back on the mayo.
Solar System and Beyond Poster Set | NASA Solar System Exploration - Beautiful posters suitable for printing in 11x17 format.
Ancient Egyptians Enjoyed Sweet Watermelons - Archaeology Magazine – All melons in ancient Africa were not the bitter cucurbitacins found wild in Africa today!
Walnuts may help lower blood pressure for those at risk of heart disease -- ScienceDaily – Walnuts are tasty too.
The Bird Conservation Program You’ve Never Heard Of (And the Birds It Saves) – Cool Green Science – Going beyond the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to improve neotropical habitat the birds require during their annual migrations.
Escaped pet parrots are now naturalized in 23 US states, study finds -- ScienceDaily – 25 species! They are not native to North America, but many are thriving, and those populations become critical to the survival of their species.
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.
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!
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.
Epic Proportions - Archaeology Magazine – Standard measures of Stonehenge and other Neolithic monuments?
Potassium: Soaps and radioactive bananas | Compound Interest – Potassium regulates blood pressure and transmission of nerve impulses in our bodies!
Colorful Birds and Terrestrial birds – From the National Geographic Society. Still catching up on the backlog. I enjoy birding – and seeing birds in action…and photographs of birds taken by others. That’s why these photographic collections show up on my gleanings list.
BBC - Future - The princess who transformed war medicine – A little medical history not widely known from the early 1900s.
Ancient secrets of medicinal mint -- ScienceDaily – There are so many members of the mint family. This article is about the DNA sequencing from a plant…learning how to more rapidly tap the therapeutic benefits of that plant and the mint family at large.
Four Out of 10 Americans Breathe Unhealthy Air - Yale E360 – That’s 141 million people…up 7 million since last year….partly due to impacts of climate change on air quality. So – we need to find ways to clean up air better than we do now either by reducing emissions or cleaning them out once they are produced.
Aging gracefully: Study identifies factors for healthy memory at any age -- ScienceDaily – The good news is that some of the factors are things we can control - engaging in more social activities, more novel cognitive activities, losing excess weight, and living with others.
What is a Naturalized Outdoor Learning Environment? -The National Wildlife Federation Blog – Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) program….daily access to the outdoors for young children. When I was growing up, we were outdoors most days but that is not happening consistently these days. I applaud the initiatives that are honing ways to get children outdoors more.
Your Questions About Food and Climate Change, Answered - The New York Times – A hefty article on the topic…with pull down details.
Medical guidelines may be biased, overly aggressive in US -- ScienceDaily – Thought provoking. How is a patient to know when a doctor recommends a test or procedure that it is truly in the best interest of the patient when the doctor has a financial interest in the recommendation, or the doctor is so specialized that they always think their specialty is the best solution?
While I was Texas, we made a trip to Sherman to visit my sister and lunched in downtown Sherman. We parked on Courthouse Square and then walked about a block to the restaurant – past some wall art on one of the old buildings. I liked the colors and curves.
The building the restaurant was in (Fulbelli’s) was in from the 1870s and has been restored for use by small shops and eateries. The light wells bring light from above down through the building – as intended when the building was initially built before electric lighting. The restaurant is on the second floor and we were taken up (and back down) on the antique elevator by an attendant – an adventure in elevator history!
After lunch we browsed through the hallways (Sherman history pictures on the walls) and small shops.
I found some interesting earrings made by a local artist from leather and metallic paint. I’m going to try wearing them to my next Wings of Fancy shift…see if the blue morphos are attracted to them. The blue looks the same in certain light, but it tends to shift toward green in certain light and the blue morphos shift toward pink; they are both a structural color probably but not the same.
All three picks for this month are groups of items rather than just one – two magazines and the last one a series of volumes from the late 1700s of plants and animals. So many freely available books…so little time!
Shadowland (magazine). New York City: M. P. Publishing Company from 1919 – 1923. Most issues available from Internet Archive here. Shadowland was an American monthly magazine about art, dance, and film. I particularly enjoyed the covers by A. M. Hopfmuller. The sample image I choose to include with this post was one that reminded me of a Zentangle pattern….a very stylized ‘tree.’
Sunset (magazine). San Francisco: Southern Pacific Company. Issues from May 1898 – 1923 from Hathi Trust here. The magazine has morphed many times and continued to be published after these fully available online issues (expired copyright); check the Wikipedia info here for the history. I have perused the issues to 1904 so far. I was intrigued by the picture of oil production in Los Angeles from the year one of my grandfathers was born.
Shaw, George. The naturalists' miscellany : or Coloured figures of natural objects. London: Nodder & Co. 1789. 24 volumes available from Internet Archive here. The sample image I am including for these books is a cecropia moth; I’ll be starting my volunteering at the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens soon and hope we have cecropia caterpillars again this year!
It’s been more than 8 years since my grandmother died – but there are still many plants in the garden at my parents’ house that she started. The pink preference sage all came from a plant from her sister’s garden.
The oxalis was something she saw first in her sister’s garden then ordered some from a catalog (we think). It is growing so profusely these days that some of the plants are being potted to be part of the floral decorations for my niece’s wedding.
The bees like the flowers too.
The evening primrose is self-propagating around a rose bush my grandmother got as a birthday present (the rose bush must be over 20 years old now) and she planted the primrose seeds at its base.
I’m not sure where the daisy-like flowers came from, but they’ve been in the garden for a long time. These days they bloom in enlarging clumps in the front yard garden under the big mulberry and beside the red yucca.
The continuity of plants – passed between family members and through generations. Remembering her…in her garden.
People who feed birds impact conservation -- ScienceDaily – A study of the impact people have on birds….and the impact feeding birds has on the people!
Bird Species Impacted By Cutthroat Declines At Yellowstone – Colonial water birds have declined as the lake trout have increased (and cutthroat trout had decreased) in Yellowstone Lake. There could be other reasons for the decline of the pelicans, Caspian terns, and cormorants….more study needed.
Medicinal Uses of Mint: IBS, Itching, Nausea, and More | Berkeley Wellness - Human studies of peppermint in enteric-coated capsule form….confirming some of the benefits of peppermint oil. I like the peppermint flavor…so like fresh mint in salads and hot/cold water…the smell and the flavor are wonderful, so the other positive actions mint may have are just ‘icing’ on an already appreciated cake.
In ancient oceans that resembled our own, oxygen loss triggered mass extinction -- ScienceDaily – Oceans are big but they have reached tipping points in the past. This study looks closely at the Silurian Period…the conditions then and what happened with those conditions…making comparisons to the oceans of today.
What An Aging Population Means For The Future Of The Internet – The average age in many countries is trending older…how does that trend ripple into how the internet is used/misused?
Deciphering the walnut genome: Findings could lead to new walnut varieties -- ScienceDaily – Creating hybrids of English walnuts (the most widely sold form of walnuts sold in the US for human consumption) with native Texas Black Walnuts that have better resistance to soil borne pathogens currently impacting the crop.
Why Is Cancer More Common in Men Than in Women? | The Scientist Magazine® - Studying cancer-linked cellular differences between males and females.
Çatalhöyük, Turkey's Stone Age settlement that took the first steps toward city life – Only 4% of the site has been excavated….still a lot to learn.
To build the cities of the future, we must get out of our cars – Letting nature into the core of the city.
A Colonial-Era Cemetery Resurfaces in Philadelphia - The New York Times – Teasing out the history from remains of a cemetery that was supposed to have be moved years ago…but maybe wasn’t entirely.
Dodge, Natt N. 100 Desert Wildflowers in Natural Color. Southwest Monuments Association. 1963. Available from the Project Gutenberg here.
Natt Noyes Dodge (1900-1982) was the regional naturalist for the Southwest Region of the National Park Service from 1935 to 1963. He was also an author and photographer – both of which are shown in this book along with his knowledge of the region. The version available from Project Gutenberg is from the third printing in 1967 which was a revision from the original in 1963.
I’m glad that the copyright holder has allowed this book to be available online....easy to enjoy the photos of desert wildflowers.
I had bought several of Dodge’s books is national parks when traveling to New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado from our home in Dallas in the 1970s, but I didn’t have this one.
Whitehouse, Eula. Texas Wildflowers in Natural Colors. 1936. Available from Project Gutenberg here.
This was my favorite botanical book for March….and maybe beyond that too. Eula Whitehouse lived from 1892-1974 and spent the latter part of her career in Dallas – working at Southern Methodist University from 1946 until her retirement; her books and collections are the core of what became BRIT (Botanical Research Institute of Texas). She assisted in organizing the Dallas County Audubon Society in 1954.
The book was self-published first in 1936 and remains a favorite among many Texas botanists. It was published privately and distributed through the Texas Book Store in Austin and then, in 1948, through Cokesbury Bookstore in Dallas. The version available online at Project Gutenberg shows both dates. I’ve included a few sample images below.
I grew up in Texas and found myself wondering why the nature day camps I attended during my elementary and middle school summers didn’t use her book as a reference as we tried to learn about the wildflowers we saw around us.
Eula Whitehouse published a study on the evolution, or succession, of plant communities at Enchanted Rock (in Texas) as part of her doctoral research at the University of Texas in the 1930s. In the late 1970s, Lady Bird Johnson urged The Nature Conservancy to purchase Enchanted Rock to be set aside for posterity. I like that there is a linkage via Enchanted Rock between Eula Whitehouse and Lady Bird Johnson – two women that were deeply involved in preserving wildflowers of Texas.
Spring Outlook: Historic, widespread flooding to continue through May | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – Check out the map about 1/3 of the way through the article. It looks like quite a few areas along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are going to have moderate or major flooding through May. Almost the whole eastern part of the US is going to have some flooding during that period.
How Chromosomes X and Y Got Their Names, 1891 | The Scientist Magazine® - A little history. It all begins in the late 1800s.
C. R. PERCIVAL’S MICROSCOPE SLIDE COLLECTION | Ingenium – Browse through some of the images made of slides created in the early/mid 1900s. Click on the larger image to get a magnifier that can be moved over the image.
Food Trends 2019: Fermented Foods, Blueberries, Coconut Products, and More | Berkeley Wellness – How many of these are you already eating?
What oil leaves behind in 2.5 billion gallons of water every day in US -- ScienceDaily – Wouldn’t it be nice to not have oil polluted water injected underground…and sometimes into aquafers? Water is already in short supply in some areas of the country (mostly in the west). We need technologies to never contaminate water in a way that it cannot be consumed by plants and animals…and ourselves.
In Germany, Consumers Embrace a Shift to Home Batteries - Yale E360 – Half of the orders for rooftop solar panels are sold with a battery storage system too in Germany. I wonder when the US will catch up.
Butterfly numbers down by two thirds: High-intensity agriculture reduces number of butterfly species in adjacent areas -- ScienceDaily – It’s not just butterfly numbers that are down either. Agriculture research needs to hone practices that are productive in the short term…and the long term. In other words – all agriculture needs to become sustainable for humanity and the rest of the organisms that inhabit the Earth.
Nitrogen pollution's path to streams weaves through more forests (and faster) than suspected -- ScienceDaily – Nitrate is one of the abiotic tests we do for water quality assessment with high school students. This is a new finding to think about and incorporate in to the analysis of readings after heavy rains. The nitrogen might be moving so fast that the forest can’t absorb it!
Missouri Making Hyperloop Plans - News | Planetizen – A hyperloop between Kansas City and St. Louis! What a boon to the two cities and probably easier to build since there is not the heavy population between the two cities like the route that was originally talked about in California.
China Isn't Recycling Tons of U.S. Plastic Trash Anymore: Goats and Soda: NPR – We’re going to have to show some innovation in dealing with plastics – mostly single use – that we dutifully put in our recycle bins and assumed they would be recycled. Now a lot of them are going to landfills or polluting our waterways. With a little thought, my family has reduced some….but the next step is tough. Some products we need are only available packaged in plastic.
In some months it’s hard to pick just three books to feature for the monthly eBooks post. March 2019 was one of those. I cheated a little and picked a periodical…with lots of issues available online…for the first one.
Baer, Casimir Hermann. Moderne Bauformen. Stuttgart: J. Hoffman. 1902-1923. Hathi Trust has volumes for each year here. A German periodical about architecture and interior design with many illustrations – some in color. It’s a slice of history of the period. Many of the interiors look modern…others dated. I realized again how appealing I find glass bricks, window seats, alcoves with benches and sometimes a table or a wall of windows and comfy chairs for reading, and curtains to divide a large room into segments. There were quite a few ideas I’ll use in Zentangle tiles as well.
Trouvelot, Etienne Leopold. The Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings. 1882. A slide show of 15 drawings is available from Internet Archive here. Trouvelot was well-known for his astronomical drawings made from observations at the Harvard College Observatory and the US Naval Observatory. Unfortunately, he also is the person that introduced the European Gypsy Moth into North America.
Day, Lewis Foreman. Nature in Ornament. New York: Charles Scribner’s sons. 1892. Available from Internet Archive here. Lots of ideas for Zentangle patterns in this book. I particularly liked the different stylized peacock feathers.
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