A wonderful science animation video from Kurzgesagt about living in a thin moist layer on a small wet rock. Yeah, I know that it's 7:21 minutes long, but, trust me, I guarantee that you will be engaged and will learn something (probably many things) about Planet Earth. And will be tempted to watch a couple of their other videos offered here. [NOTE: Kurzgesagt is German for "in a nutshell"].
On my upcoming trip to Myanmar (with son, Luke), after finishing up in Nam Sabi (see Nam Sabi VMA and VMA Inventory) and then spending a few days in Mandalay, we will go visit Bagan (shown above). Thousands of stupas and pagodas stretching back from the Ayeyarwady River over 40 square kilometers. Yippeee!!
This post is a companion to the one about the long history of dog domestication (see Domestication of Dogs). A recent piece in The New Yorker addresses the question that many people with cats (like me) are prone to ask (when their cats don't act like dogs): Are cats domesticated? From the article:
In a study published last year, Wesley Warren and his colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis analyzed DNA from several wildcats and breeds of domestic cat. They confirmed that, genetically, cats have diverged much less from their wildcat ancestors than dogs have from wolves, and that the cat genome has a much more modest signatures of artificial selection. Because cats also retain sharper hunting skills than dogs, abandoned felines are more likely to survive without any human help. In some countries, feral cats routinely breed with their wildcat cousins. “There’s still a lot of genetic mixing,” Warren said. “You don’t have the true differentiation you see between wolf and dog. Using the dog as the best comparison, the modern cat is not what I would call fully domesticated.”
I thought so. [NOTE: Image above shows Colby (see Colby); he is a very accomplished hunter].
My thoughts are turning to northern Myanmar in anticipation of my upcoming trip. Shown above, still another image from the Mohnyin Thambuddhei Paya in Monyin (see Thambuddhei Paya, Thambuddhei Paya II, Thambuddhei Paya III, and Tiger Balm). Buddhas and pagodas, and more Buddhas and pagodas, and glorious blue skies. Can't wait.
Fascinating article in the N.Y. Times about a group of scientists collecting data on the rate at which the Greenland ice sheet, one of the biggest and fasting-melting blocks of ice on Earth, will drive up sea levels in the coming decades. Really well written and super interesting; the drone footage is spectacular. [NOTE: Image by Josh Harner, NY Times].
Lovely, thoughtful words of botanical wisdom:
"The seed is the tree's thought. The seed
is the speech of the tree. The seed is the tree
thinking and speaking its knowledge of trees."
– Robert Bringhurst
Uddālaka, Selected Poems