archiemcphee:

From the Department of Awesome Natural Wonders come these mysterious patterns on the ocean floor off the southern coast of Japan. Japanese scuba diver and photographer Yoji Ookata, who has spent the last 50 years exploring and documenting his underwater discoveries off the coast of Japan, spotted these beautiful and puzzling patterns in the sand, nearly six feet in diameter and 80 feet below sea level, during a dive near Amami Oshima at the southern tip of the country.

So what happened next? Are these rippling geometric patterns the equivalent of crop circles on the seafloor? Not quite, but the answer is still a good one. Colossal explains:

“He soon returned with colleagues and a television crew from the nature program NHK to document the origins what he dubbed the “mystery circle.”

Using underwater cameras the team discovered the artist is a small puffer fish only a few inches in length that swims tirelessly through the day and night to create these vast organic sculptures using the gesture of a single fin. Through careful observation the team found the circles serve a variety of crucial ecological functions, the most important of which is to attract mates. Apparently the female fish are attracted to the hills and valleys within the sand and traverse them carefully to discover the male fish where the pair eventually lay eggs at the circle’s center, the grooves later acting as a natural buffer to ocean currents that protect the delicate offspring. Scientists also learned that the more ridges contained within the sculpture resulted in a much greater likelihood of the fish pairing. To learn more about the circles check out the full scoop over on Spoon and Tamago, and you can see two high resolution desktop photos courtesy of NHK here.”

Busy little pufferfish boys wooing potential mates by sculpting the sand with their bodies. As far as we’re concerned, that’s pretty awesome!

[via Colossal]

BEAUTIFUL!

allcreatures:

lickystickypickywe:
REPRODUCTIVE TRICKS OF THE “LESBIAN LIZARDS”
As if being able to re-grow a tail isn’t cool enough, some species of whiptail lizards (genus Cnemidophorus) have another trick: They can clone themselves. These species actually consist completely of females able to reproduce by parthenogenesis.
The original sexless females, known as parthenogens, come from the hybridization of two separate lizard lines. The parthenogen has one copy of chromosomes from its mother, and one analogous but slightly different copy from its father. It can give rise to offspring that are their exact clones, without their two genetic copies recombining.
Asexual whiptails have a special trick for making spermless reproduction work: The egg cells in other animals first double their choromosomes once and then divide twice, leaving them as haploid cells, with half the normal number of genetic material. But the whiptails’ egg cells first double their chromosomes twice and then divide twice, leaving them with the normal number of chromosomes and rendering a sperm cell unnecessary.
Pairs of female whiptails sometimes engage in mock sex, which led to the nickname “lesbian lizards” and seems to encourage the production of egg cells. But they do seem to have some interest in the opposite gender: Sometimes these parthenogens are mate with males of different species, creating a species with 50 percent more genes than normal.

The animal kingdom upstaged humans this time……..


AWESOME.

allcreatures:

lickystickypickywe:

REPRODUCTIVE TRICKS OF THE “LESBIAN LIZARDS”

As if being able to re-grow a tail isn’t cool enough, some species of whiptail lizards (genus Cnemidophorus) have another trick: They can clone themselves. These species actually consist completely of females able to reproduce by parthenogenesis.

The original sexless females, known as parthenogens, come from the hybridization of two separate lizard lines. The parthenogen has one copy of chromosomes from its mother, and one analogous but slightly different copy from its father. It can give rise to offspring that are their exact clones, without their two genetic copies recombining.

Asexual whiptails have a special trick for making spermless reproduction work: The egg cells in other animals first double their choromosomes once and then divide twice, leaving them as haploid cells, with half the normal number of genetic material. But the whiptails’ egg cells first double their chromosomes twice and then divide twice, leaving them with the normal number of chromosomes and rendering a sperm cell unnecessary.

Pairs of female whiptails sometimes engage in mock sex, which led to the nickname “lesbian lizards” and seems to encourage the production of egg cells. But they do seem to have some interest in the opposite gender: Sometimes these parthenogens are mate with males of different species, creating a species with 50 percent more genes than normal.

The animal kingdom upstaged humans this time……..

AWESOME.

mindbabies:norbertnews:



Baby Elephant Enjoys the Beach


Baby Elephant Faceplant.

mindbabies:norbertnews:

Baby Elephant Enjoys the Beach

Baby Elephant Faceplant.

The thing about getting engaged is that suddenly, inexplicably, everyone around you seems to develop a laser-like focus on The Stuff. From the moment you utter the happy news, the stuff questions commence and will not stop: “What does the ring look like?” “What are you going to wear?” “What are your bridesmaids’ colors?” “What’s your wedding style?” And on and on and on. And the problem is, the stuff is really pretty. The stuff is really fun. And in our quest to find just the right stuff, it’s easy to lose track of the fact that on your wedding day — well, the stuff doesn’t actually matter very much.

I mean, look: I’m not anti-consumer. I don’t think any of us who hang around on Etsy are. I love a well-made dress by an independent designer. I want to gaze at that lovingly handcrafted artisan jewelry. I want to fondle that well-designed letterpress invite, thank you very much. So I’m not saying we shouldn’t buy stuff for our weddings. I’m not even saying that we should feel guilty buying things for our weddings (No More Guilt! That’s the independent wedding planning woman’s motto!). In fact, during my wedding planning, I had a realization that I was privileged to use my wedding budget as a personal independent-artist-and-business-owner stimulus plan. I realized that how we spend our money is more important than how much we spend.


So I’m not telling you not to buy stuff. (Fact: if you’re inviting more than four people to your wedding, chances are you’re going to have to buy stuff.) What I am saying is that the stuff is not what really matters. Not by a long shot.

When I look back on our wedding day, the first thing I think of is not my (amazing) vintage cocktail dress, or my handmade hair flower, or even our artisan wedding rings. What I think about is the pure overwhelming emotion of the day. I think about the dizzying feeling that accompanied waiting to walk down the aisle. I think of the gritty hyper-present-ness of the ceremony. I think about the joy that radiated from our friends, which felt as though it lifted me off the ground. I think about crying on my husband’s shoulder as we danced. I think about the laughter. And then, when I stop for a minute, I might think about the dress. (Because it was a really great dress.)


So as you dive into shopping for your wedding, focus on what you’ll really remember (and it’s probably not what the wedding industry is selling you). I wrote a sum of of what I learned about money planning my wedding, but these are my very best tips:

Spend your money to support your values. You might not have a wedding budget amount of cash again for a long time, so support businesses and values that really matter to you. Trust me, it will make a world of difference to those artists and business owners.
Make it yours, and then let it go. You probably want to make your wedding look and feel like who you both are. But once you’ve achieved that on a basic level, stop stressing. Trust me when I say that no one is going to remember your escort cards and table numbers anyway.
Spend your money on things you care about, and cut the rest. I remember the potluck wedding with the 1940s-style big band as “the one with the happy couple and the amazing dancing.” I don’t remember what I ate, because it didn’t matter.
And write this on your fridge or hand: “I will not remember what my wedding looked like. I will remember how it felt.” Because at the end of the day, even really cool stuff is just that: stuff. It’s the love you share, the people who hold you up, and those precious moments of bliss and joy that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. And none of that is for sale.

—  Meg Keene, the founder and executive editor of A Practical Wedding & Reclaiming Wife. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Ideas for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was released in January 2012. 
jayparkinsonmd:

I took a trip to Philadelphia yesterday to take a tour of Eastern State Penitentiary. It was built in 1829 and became known as the most influential prison in both design and strategy in the entire world. It was the first large building in the United States to have central heating and running water. Of course, neither worked really well— toilets were flushed by the guards only a few times a week. One guard could see down all seven of the hallways at one time due to it’s hub and spoke design and mirrors. It looks like a castle and was built 2 and a half miles outside of Philadelphia’s city center at the time. The spooky castle on a hill was designed to intimate the population into behaving well.
It housed 250 prisoners in 250 cells, in solitary confinement for typical sentences of 2 to 6 years. The most common crime was horse theft. The root word of penitentiary is penance. It was thought that if you put criminals in solitary confinement in a church-like setting, they will have nothing else to think about but remorse and Jesus. They also taught the criminals a trade, like boot-making, so when they got out they could be productive members of society. It even had its own hospital. Contraband was typically smuggled in from outsiders throwing hollowed out baseballs over the walls.
As time went by the penitentiary suffered from overcrowding, riots, disease, and encroachment by the city. It was finally shut down in 1971.
The designers of this prison tried to solve multiple societal problems— how to rehabilitate criminals, how to design a physical place that would foster rehabilitation, and how to prevent criminality. The person that designed this was a genius— not because of his theories on criminality, but because he actually got this thing built. The White House in 1829 didn’t even have running water. But the prison on a hill for 250 criminals outside Philadelphia did. Imagine the politics of that simple statement.
It’s almost 200 years later, and our solution is to throw 3% of our population in privatized prisons and expect that they’ll just get better. In 1829, the entire state of Pennsylvania had 1.35 million people. And only 250 people in its state prison, most doing time for horse theft. Given today’s rate of 3%, they should have built a prison for 40,500 people.
The issue that hit me the hardest was that in 1829 criminologists were dealing with the exact same issues as we are today— how best to rehabilitate criminals. We’ve got the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, but have very little idea how to fix crime. It’s a big fat hairy problem. And 200 years later, we’re really no closer to the solution than we were in 1829. In fact, it’s worse. The rates of criminality needing rehabilitation are astronomically higher.
How many other problems in our society will we be no closer to the solution 200 years from now? How to deliver equitable healthcare to a population of diverse people? How to educate our children? As an optimistic curmudgeon, I’ve always believed in humans’ ability to solve problems. But what if the last 20% of big fat hairy problems are unsolveable because they’re politically motivated human behavior problems? 
The real issue is that these issues can’t be solved with theories. They can only be moved along every so often with politics and cultural changes. Two hundred years, on the grand scale of things, isn’t that long. It’s a few generations. We, hopefully, all play our part in helping society progress. But our lives are just so, so short. I recently talked with someone who said, if you’re an entrepreneur, you should find an idea, build it out, and spend at least 5 years fully dedicated to that idea. At the end of five years, if the idea is working or not working, move on to the next big one. That means, if a typical person works 45 years, they have nine ideas they will work on in their lifetime.
Nine. It isn’t that large of a number. And of those nine, how many of your ideas will truly impact society for the better?  

jayparkinsonmd:

I took a trip to Philadelphia yesterday to take a tour of Eastern State Penitentiary. It was built in 1829 and became known as the most influential prison in both design and strategy in the entire world. It was the first large building in the United States to have central heating and running water. Of course, neither worked really well— toilets were flushed by the guards only a few times a week. One guard could see down all seven of the hallways at one time due to it’s hub and spoke design and mirrors. It looks like a castle and was built 2 and a half miles outside of Philadelphia’s city center at the time. The spooky castle on a hill was designed to intimate the population into behaving well.

It housed 250 prisoners in 250 cells, in solitary confinement for typical sentences of 2 to 6 years. The most common crime was horse theft. The root word of penitentiary is penance. It was thought that if you put criminals in solitary confinement in a church-like setting, they will have nothing else to think about but remorse and Jesus. They also taught the criminals a trade, like boot-making, so when they got out they could be productive members of society. It even had its own hospital. Contraband was typically smuggled in from outsiders throwing hollowed out baseballs over the walls.

As time went by the penitentiary suffered from overcrowding, riots, disease, and encroachment by the city. It was finally shut down in 1971.

The designers of this prison tried to solve multiple societal problems— how to rehabilitate criminals, how to design a physical place that would foster rehabilitation, and how to prevent criminality. The person that designed this was a genius— not because of his theories on criminality, but because he actually got this thing built. The White House in 1829 didn’t even have running water. But the prison on a hill for 250 criminals outside Philadelphia did. Imagine the politics of that simple statement.

It’s almost 200 years later, and our solution is to throw 3% of our population in privatized prisons and expect that they’ll just get better. In 1829, the entire state of Pennsylvania had 1.35 million people. And only 250 people in its state prison, most doing time for horse theft. Given today’s rate of 3%, they should have built a prison for 40,500 people.

The issue that hit me the hardest was that in 1829 criminologists were dealing with the exact same issues as we are today— how best to rehabilitate criminals. We’ve got the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, but have very little idea how to fix crime. It’s a big fat hairy problem. And 200 years later, we’re really no closer to the solution than we were in 1829. In fact, it’s worse. The rates of criminality needing rehabilitation are astronomically higher.

How many other problems in our society will we be no closer to the solution 200 years from now? How to deliver equitable healthcare to a population of diverse people? How to educate our children? As an optimistic curmudgeon, I’ve always believed in humans’ ability to solve problems. But what if the last 20% of big fat hairy problems are unsolveable because they’re politically motivated human behavior problems? 

The real issue is that these issues can’t be solved with theories. They can only be moved along every so often with politics and cultural changes. Two hundred years, on the grand scale of things, isn’t that long. It’s a few generations. We, hopefully, all play our part in helping society progress. But our lives are just so, so short. I recently talked with someone who said, if you’re an entrepreneur, you should find an idea, build it out, and spend at least 5 years fully dedicated to that idea. At the end of five years, if the idea is working or not working, move on to the next big one. That means, if a typical person works 45 years, they have nine ideas they will work on in their lifetime.

Nine. It isn’t that large of a number. And of those nine, how many of your ideas will truly impact society for the better?  

Reblogged from Dr. Jay Parkinson
allcreatures:

Photo by Randy Harris for The New York Times
In Ohio, Eddie Miller and two of his Jacob sheep, Panda and Nerd, walk to their truck after a mowing job. Customers pay $1 per sheep per day.
(via Sheep Lawn Mowers, and Other Go-Getters - NYTimes.com)

allcreatures:

Photo by Randy Harris for The New York Times

In Ohio, Eddie Miller and two of his Jacob sheep, Panda and Nerd, walk to their truck after a mowing job. Customers pay $1 per sheep per day.

(via Sheep Lawn Mowers, and Other Go-Getters - NYTimes.com)

allcreatures:

Horses stand in the shadows of a gigantic wooden table and two chairs during mild autumnal weather in a meadow near Doellstaedt, central Germany
Picture: Jens Meyer/AP (via Pictures of the day: 2 November 2011 - Telegraph)

allcreatures:

Horses stand in the shadows of a gigantic wooden table and two chairs during mild autumnal weather in a meadow near Doellstaedt, central Germany

Picture: Jens Meyer/AP (via Pictures of the day: 2 November 2011 - Telegraph)

etsy:

(via Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones | The Etsy Blog)

On my to-do list for this week.

etsy:

(via Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones | The Etsy Blog)

On my to-do list for this week.

Reblogged from Etsy

photojojo:

“Godspeed,” photographs of fireflies by Katrien Vermeire. No words to describe how amazing this is. 

via Booooooom.

Awesome.

Reblogged from Photojojo ♥'s Tumblr
Tags: photography