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The Elements of Typographic Style

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

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Entries in Myanmar (139)


Rattan Growth in Northern Myanmar

Have recently returned from Sagaing Region, Myanmar where I re-measured 120 rattan plants that I had marked the year before to determine their annual growth. Image above shows Su Pan (left, WCS Research Assistant) and Kyaw Zin Aung (right, Ranger, Myanmar Forest Department) stretching a tape to see how much the yamahta kyein (Calamus palustris) individual had grown [NOTE: The white paint mark on the stem above and to the right of Kyaw Zin Aung's hand was the location of the last leaf in 2016].

The results from this fieldwork for yamahta kyein are shown below. There appears to be a good relationship between size and growth rate for this species, i.e. taller canes usually have access to higher light levels, and some of the larger canes grow almost 2.0 meters/year. As far as I know, these are the first quantitative data on rattan growth from Myanmar. This is the type of information that is needed to define a sustainable harvest of wild rattan populations (see Growth Data for Wild Rattans).


Structure No. 1410

There are so many stupas and temples at Bagan. Many don't have names, only numbers from the Ministry of Culture, Department of Archaeology. Of the 3,000 or so structures that cover the plain of Bagan, most people visit only three or four of the most well-known temples. But with bikes, you can find structures that no one is visiting. And you can walk inside, by yourself, and explore and see a beautiful Buddha statue.

And find a stairway covered in bat guano that clearly no one has climbed up in a while. Or, maybe you are not supposed to climb up this passage. But how can you resist?  Bagan is an amazing place.

[NOTE: I am struck that Structure 1410 looks a little bit like the Alamo].



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!!


Making a Plant Drier

Still life of the tools and nails and sheet metal and boards needed to make a plant drier at the Htamanthi Forward Station (see Sorting Specimens). [NOTE: My sketch of what the finished product should look like is on the paper to the right of the box of nails].


Specimens on Display

Beautifully-pressed specimens of historical collections on display at the Forest Research Institute Herbarium at Yesin (see Forest Herbarium). Nice to pull these out of the cabinet and present the artistic side of plant systematics


Buddhist Art of Myanmar

Saw a beautiful exhibition of Buddist art from Myanmar this weekend at the Asia Society. Seventy pieces, including stone, bronze and wood sculptures, textiles, paintings, and lacquer ritual implements, from the 5th through the early 20th century. Was the first time that most of the objects had been outside of Myanmar. Go here for a nice video of the restoration process involved in getting the pieces ready for travel to the exhibition. [NOTE: Photos weren't allowed, but I purchased the exhibition catalogue and will try to scan and post some images at some point. Really amazing stuff]. 


More Kayin Buddhas

An auspicious gathering of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas at the base of a majestic limestone mountain in Kayin State, Myanmar. Go here for a close-up of one of these beautiful statues. [NOTE: The statues are just sitting out in a field along the side of the road. And it was drizzling rain and misty. I did a little bow and took lots of pictures]. 


U Linn Zaw and I

Really like this picture. U Linn Zaw, a villager from Nam Sabi, acted as my assistant/helper during all of the fieldwork setting up the Village Management Area (see Nam Sabi VMA). He carried my pack most of the time, helped me across the streams and up the steep slopes, and generally did whatever needed doing without having to be asked. Which I couldn't have done anyway because he speaks no English. Really a wonderful man and a dear friend. [NOTE: Photo by Sein Day Li (thx)].     


To Nam Sabi

Ranger from Htamanthi Forward Station piloting us to Nam Sabi village (see More Pressing Plants). Something about the focus and skill, the seriousness, of the people who drive the boats in northern Myanmar. Very photogenic. Like the ferryman here.   


Flowers at Mahamuni

Flower offerings for sale at the entrance to Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay.