Various Articles

… i read a bit of the news, since i haven’t been watching any… mostly about Afghanistan, a fiasco that couldn’t be avoided, a fiasco that could have been handled better…

… onto a really interesting article about slime mold in which i encounter this paragraph:

Throughout their lives, myxomycetes only ever exist as a single cell, inside which the cytoplasm always flows—out to its extremities, back to the center. When it encounters something it likes, such as oatmeal, the cytoplasm pulsates more quickly. If it finds something it dislikes, like salt, quinine, bright light, cold, or caffeine, it pulsates more slowly and moves its cytoplasm away (though it can choose to overcome these preferences if it means survival). In one remarkable study published in Science, Japanese researchers created a model of the Tokyo metropolitan area using oat flakes to represent population centers, and found that Physarum polycephalum configured itself into a near replica of the famously intuitive Tokyo rail system. In another experiment, scientists blasted a specimen with cold air at regular intervals, and found that it learned to expect the blast, and would retract in anticipation. It can solve mazes in pursuit of a single oat flake, and later, can recall the path it took to reach it. More remarkable still, a slime mold can grow indefinitely in its plasmodial stage. As long as it has an adequate food supply and is comfortable in its environment, it doesn’t age and it doesn’t die.1

… and this…

Taxonomy has evolved in the centuries since Haeckel and Linnaeus, but much of their thinking still remains. Even if science no longer views humans as divided into different and unequal species, we continue to refer to “race” as if it were a natural, biological category rather than a social one created in service of white supremacy. The myth that humans are superior to all other species—that we are complex and intelligent in a way that matters, while the intelligence and complexity of other species does not—also exists in service to white supremacy, conferring on far too many people an imagined right of total dominion over one another and the natural world.2

03 Seals and Sharks

… one of my favorite places on Block Island is at the narrow tip at the north end of the island… It’s a somewhat wild place, home to seaguls and a colony of seals… seals are the preferred food of great white sharks, and where there are seal colonies, there are likely to be great whites, or there eventually will be… the seal colony is a more recent thing… this morning i read this article about an attack last summer in Maine… from what i gleaned it can be assumed that these sharks have generally always been around… fortunately, attacks on humans are rare…

10 Walking

… Pocket Road trail today… the climb is relatively easy, two stops to let my heart slow down, my health app tells me i have climbed the equivalent of 33 flights of stairs…

… the trees are well leafed out and it is dark at some points along the trail… the sounds of water as it flows over, around, under rocks… this stream of water comes from the reservoir up above… i am sitting about half way up, at the point where the trail crosses the stream, my stopping point most of the time… this is what is in front of me…

… i feel the happiness of a body that has exercised itself to the point of endorphin rush, satisfied that i can do it with relative ease… happy to be in the woods with only the sounds of the stream, birds, insects… so calming…

04 Hungry Mouths

… the bird feeding has begun, the sounds of scrapping in and out of the metal fascia, the hungry chirping of the fledgelings… not as raucous as yesterday, maybe not going full bore yet?…

02 Xuebing Du, Flower Photography

… i had an internal debate about sharing this photographic work, it isn’t what I normally glom onto… i make natural light flower blossom photos, but mostly turn them to black and white… also, i like a little intellectual content to photo projects, this seems more straightforward appreciation of beauty in nature, still, there is something about the softness of these images, they almost seem computer generated, is that a good thin?, i don’t know…

Xuebing Du, via Colossal

… i find her instagram account, that she is a her was not apparent until i got there… she has 28.5k followers and is only following 733, enviable fellowship stats if you are into that sort of thing… i try not to be but don’t always succeed…