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The Elements of Typographic Style

Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Pullover

Minding the Earth, Mending the Word: Zen and the Art of Planetary Crisis

North Face Base Camp Duffel (Medium)





Back in Yangon (with Luke)

Luke and I arrived in Yangon about 9:30 this morning after a grueling 21 hour flight. To shake off the jetlag we walked over to Shwedagon Pagoda. And then a nice lunch of noodles. Good to be back. And I'm looking forward to a nice sleep this evening.

Crosscut Saws

There is a small museum of old – some really old – tools at the Villa Carolotta Botanical Garden in Tremezzo on Lake Como (see Palms and Plane-trees). Love the display of the two crosscut saws. Leaving for Myanmar, thinking of Italy. The post-modern condition? Hope the election on Sunday goes well.  


About Planet Earth

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"]. 


Beth Moon

Beth Moon takes some of the most beautiful and evocative images of trees that I have ever seen. Her book of gorgeous tree art is Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time. [NOTE: Image above is "Kapok" (Ceiba pentandra (L.) Gaertn.)]. 



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!!


Are Cats Domesticated?

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].


Thambuddhei Paya IV

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 IIThambuddhei Paya III, and Tiger Balm). Buddhas and pagodas, and more Buddhas and pagodas, and glorious blue skies. Can't wait.


Greenland Is Melting Away

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].


The Seed

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 


Otomi Papermaker

Image shows Otomi woman using strips of jonote (Trema micrantha (L.) Blume) bark to make a sheet of paper (see Papel Amate) in San Pablito, Puebla. Note softened bark fibers hanging in the background, and the rectangular, flattened stone, or muito, used for pounding the bark fibers together. This picture was taken in 1984, was scanned from a slide and grayscaled, and it will be used as a verso page header for Chapter 2 of Managing the Wild (see Sigh of Relief).