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Exploring Lake Baikal | JSTOR Daily
The nature of the lake itself lends it to great diversity. For one thing the lake is at least 25 million years old. It is also extremely deep, and unlike many deep lakes, all depths contain plenty of dissolved oxygen. Under such conditions, organisms have the entire lake in which to speciate. Species can differentiate at opposite ends of the lake, or in the same location but at different depths. Several river systems drain into Baikal, so additional organisms have the opportunity to colonize the lake. Some of these species remain as they are, adding to the diversity, while others evolve in the lake into even more unique creatures.
lake  baikal  russia  mongolia  nature  climate  animal  ecosystem 
april 2019 by aries1988
Laisky's Blog

非常不错的科普读物,通过对大量历史事件和研究的对比分析,介绍了纵跨整个人类文明史的农耕演进, 并且对当前的农业现状和前景发出了警示,值得一读。

苏美尔农业面临的关键问题,是河流丰水期与作物生长期不重合。在春季,来自北部山川的融雪汇入底格里斯河和幼发拉底河,使其进入丰水期;而河流流量最低的夏末初秋,却正值作物需水量最大的时候。集约农业需要通过蓄水以应对夏季飙升的气温。高温使大量灌溉入田的水还未来得及被作物吸收就已蒸发,而这又使更多的盐分在土壤中累积。
agriculture  farming  history  china  explained  nature  degredation  soil 
march 2019 by aries1988
Bear Cam’s Captivating, Unedited Zen

Apart from that, the feed is unedited. And so even watching on a computer screen has the serendipitous feeling of catching a glimpse of wildlife out the window, rather than the on-demand control of queueing up the next episode of guaranteed glamorous sightings. Apart from that, the feed is unedited. And so even watching on a computer screen has the serendipitous feeling of catching a glimpse of wildlife out the window, rather than the on-demand control of queueing up the next episode of guaranteed glamorous sightings.

One day, I opened the cam and saw blond cubs napping and nuzzling in the sun on the riverbank—the delight took on a duller cast as soon as I realized I’d navigated to the “Highlights” feeds, and was not watching live footage.
usa  animal  live  video  summer  fishing  fun  nature  wildlife  zen 
august 2018 by aries1988
The origin of the thesis; Charles Darwin in his time – TheTLS
Science (which really only means “knowledge”) is a developing conversation and a negotiation with the changing world. What Wilson seems unable to grasp is that science is as much about locating the right question as finding the “right” answer, and it does now seem irrefutable that Darwin’s “tree of life” was the right tree to be barking up.

the fittest of the “survival of the fittest” are not “strong” but rather well adapted to their environment. Wilson’s misapprehension is a serious one because it allows him to elide Darwin’s theory of natural selection with the worst aspects of Social Darwinism and to go dizzily spinning down a track which ends with the Nuremberg Laws, which he says were “all based on bogus Victorian science, much of which had started life in the gentle setting of Darwin’s study at Down House”.
book  review  darwin  nature  biology  evolution 
february 2018 by aries1988
How the Index Card Cataloged the World

Carl Linnaeus, the father of biological taxonomy, also had a hand in inventing this tool for categorizing anything. An Object Lesson.

The index card was a product of the Enlightenment, conceived by one of its towering figures: Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist, physician, and the father of modern taxonomy.

The Swedish scientist is more often credited with another invention: binomial nomenclature, the latinized two-part name assigned to every species.

species, genus, family, order, class, phylum, and kingdom.
enlightenment  tool  nature  knowledge  epistemic  botany  research  history 
december 2017 by aries1988
Letter of Recommendation: iNaturalist - The New York Times

Most of us are oblivious to this winged panoply, even in our own backyards, because our perception is circumscribed by our ecological illiteracy. Learning the names of our many wild neighbors is an exercise in perspective and empathy, transforming the outdoors from a pastoral backdrop into a world of parallel societies inhabited by diverse creatures, each with its own character and career.
nature  love  apps  life  knowledge  howto  tool  opinion  earth  epistemic 
december 2017 by aries1988
The Sucker, the Sucker!
Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life by Peter Godfrey-Smith Collins

octopuses – and to some extent their cephalopod cousins, cuttlefish and squid – frustrate the neat evolutionary division between clever vertebrates and simple-minded invertebrates. They are sophisticated problem solvers; they learn, and can use tools; and they show a capacity for mimicry, deception and, some think, humour.

Consciousness – the possession of an ‘inner’ model of the ‘outer’ world, or the sense of having an integrated, subjective perspective on the world – is, on his view, just a highly evolved form of what he calls ‘subjective experience’.

the Medawar effect: natural selection tends to weed out mutations whose harmful effects appear early in an animal’s life, but it is less likely to weed out mutations whose harmful effects manifest later on.
instapaper_favs  animal  ocean  intelligence  human  sea  biology  nature  book 
october 2017 by aries1988
After 150 years, are the days of grouse shooting numbered?

For a century and a half, passionate sportsmen — and, increasingly, sportswomen — have flocked to Scottish moors in their tweeds for the Glorious Twelfth, the August 12 start of the grouse-shooting season. In recent decades the appeal has gone global, with enthusiasts from all over the world angling for places on the best shoots and buying some of Scotland’s finest estates.

Employing dedicated beaters instead meant that a whole hillside’s population of grouse could be driven toward a prepared line of concealed positions.

It is the expense of driven grouse shooting that makes for one of its strongest justifications: few other activities can attract such free-spending landowners and visitors to the remote upland areas of the UK, with resulting year-round employment.

Successfully maintaining a moor’s population requires the burning of heather in rotation to ensure that a given environment offers both young shoots for the grouse to eat and older growth in which they can hide. He also has to distribute medicated grit to deal with parasitic threadworms that infest grouse guts. And then keepers have to shoot or trap predators such as foxes, crows, stoats and weasels.

It is red grouse’s unpredictability and the speed of its flight — sometimes exceeding 100kmh — that give it its sporting lustre. Lagopus scoticus is an attractive bird from all points of view, wrote one admirer in 1910. He is interesting to behold; beautiful in plumage; graceful in movement; devoted and courageous in defence of his young; while, as an object of sport, he has no equal in this country among the feathered tribes.
hunting  debate  animal  tradition  scotland  nature 
august 2017 by aries1988
Travels in Siberia—II
INSECTS Eleven days from St. Petersburg, Sergei Lunev, Volodya Chumak, and I were well into the swampy flatlands of western Siberia. It was the summer of 2001,…
instapaper_favs  russia  siberia  travel  life  nature 
june 2017 by aries1988
Dizzying view of orangutan hunting for figs wins photo prize | New Scientist
Rudi Sebastian
The sand canvas
Winner of Details category
It helps to understand the scale of this image when you know it was taken from above, with the photographer in a small aeroplane. It captures the strange patterns of sediment and algae that are left behind on the white sand of Brazil’s Lençóis Maranhenses National Park after the rains come. In the dry season, sand from the coast is blown by powerful Atlantic winds to create giant crescent-shaped dunes up to 40 metres high. But when it rains, lagoons form and streams carrying sediment from the distant rainforest decorate the sand with brown and black streaks.
photo  nature  dune 
october 2016 by aries1988
BBC - Earth - Organisms might be quantum machines
This is the same kind of resonance you might experience when you sing in the shower – certain notes sound a lot louder and fuller than others. Hitting the right radio wave frequency will make the electron vibrate more vigorously in the same way.

Vanillin smells of vanilla, but eugenol, which is very similar in shape, smells of cloves. Some molecules that are a mirror image of each other – just like your right and left hand – also have different smells. But equally, some very differently shaped molecules can smell almost exactly the same.“

Olfaction requires a mechanism that somehow involves the actual chemical composition of the molecule,” he says. “It was that factor that found a very natural explanation in quantum tunnelling.”

Making use of quantum effects in biologically inspired photovoltaic cells, for instance, could give solar panels a huge boost in efficiency. “At this very moment there is quite a lot of activity in organic photovoltaics, to see whether with natural or artificial structures one can have an enhanced efficiency that exploit quantum effects.”
photosynthesis  photovoltaic  energy  biology  machine  quantum  physics  nature  future 
august 2016 by aries1988
Who Is Polluting Rio’s Bay?
A major part of Rio’s winning Olympic bid was a plan to capture and treat 80 percent of the sewage that flows into Guanabara Bay, something organizers now admit will not happen — certainly not by August, if ever.

Guanabara Bay was discovered by Portuguese explorers on Jan. 1, 1502 — hence the name Rio de Janeiro, or River of January, for the settlement that grew on its shores.

As it slows and widens, the Rio Sarapuí passes thousands more homes and several factories and refineries, all of which see the river not as a waterway for beauty and enjoyment but as a back alley, a channel to carry away their unwanted waste.
rio  brazil  2016  river  nature  city  crisis 
august 2016 by aries1988
From Pokémon Red to Pokémon Go, How Nintendo's Video Game Franchise Captured the Experience of Leaving Home - The Atlantic
The original Pokémon (first released for the Game Boy in 1996) is a bildungsroman, or coming-of-age-story, disguised as a bug-collecting challenge.

It works because it captures the original game’s spirit of exploration, even if its players said goodbye to their childhood home years ago.

The way Tajiri describes his childhood in that interview alludes to the game’s bildungsroman quality, that of a child learning about the world around him by physically grappling with it. “If I put my hand in the river, I would get a crayfish. If there was a stick over a hole, it would create an air bubble and I'd find insects there,” he said. “In Japan, a lot of kids like to go out and catch beetles by putting honey on a piece of tree bark. My idea was to put a stone under a tree, because they slept during the day and like sleeping under stones. So in the morning I'd go pick up the stone and find them. Tiny discoveries like that made me excited.”

it’s still managed to turn its fans into a nation of Dr. Bugs, even if we aren’t turning over stones or baiting trees with honey. At its best, it can evoke a little wonder in the mundane world around us—or force us to realize the world we live in was never mundane in the first place.
game  children  iOS  animal  insect  discovery  nature  nostalgia  city  essay  neighborhood 
july 2016 by aries1988
10 Months, 45 National Parks, 11 Rules - NYTimes.com
I knew I would learn from every moment and every mile, but only if I paid attention to what was happening around me. So I adopted a series of daily practices — I called them my roadtripology rules — to force myself to be as deliberate as possible about the trip.

I rarely felt the temptation to accelerate. I made peace with my pace, accepting that I would get there when I got there.

When I permit myself to follow that blue line, I sometimes lose track of where I am and forget the bigger picture. I was not going to let that happen on this trip.

It was one of the most memorable detours of my entire trip, but the blue line of a digital map would have ignored it.
story  usa  nature  park  camping  howto  driving  tips  car  advice  discovery  travel 
july 2016 by aries1988
What can Ansel Adams’s enduring photography teach us in the age of Instagram? | Aeon Videos
With an oeuvre that’s both innovative and enduring, the US photographer Ansel Adams is almost universally regarded as a master of his craft and a pioneer in photographic art. Because his black-and-white landscapes have become so ubiquitous – commonly found on postcards, computer backgrounds and doctor’s office walls – it’s easy to take the beauty of his images for granted. But as Evan Puschak (also known as The Nerdwriter) shows in this video essay, there’s perhaps never been a better time to re-examine the careful, deliberate approach Adams took to his work.
photography  photo  nature  light  art  b&w  eye  best  visualization  technique  creativity  photographer  craft 
may 2016 by aries1988
Jeremy Paxman on Europe’s last wilderness - FT.com
https://www.instapaper.com/read/722133131
Romania may not be the envy of the European Union for many things, but in one it should be: the mountains of Carpathia house the last great wilderness of this prosperous, crowded continent.

Walk through the arboreal gloaming — where the air is pungent, the ground is strewn with fallen branches or thick with dried needles and leaves, and feldspar pebbles glitter silver in the streams — and you feel reconnected with some primeval sense of how the continent was before the Habsburgs and Napoleon, before even Greece and Rome.

While forests are embedded deep in the Romanians’ sense of themselves, the Carpathian Mountains marked the boundary between Transylvania and Wallachia, which held very different concepts of ownership in the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires. It took years but, by the early 21st century, restitution was under way.

The history of the European continent is one of relentless exploitation of the land: civilisations have risen and fallen, leaving their mark in how they tamed the world. In the elegant explanation of the historian Sir Keith Thomas, uncultivated land meant uncultivated men.

what struck a chord with almost everyone was his talk of the tonic of wildness. In 1864, President Lincoln signed the first order creating a protected wilderness, in Yosemite, California. The patron saint of the American conservation movement, the Scots-American John Muir, wrote: Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilised people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.

This is the last place in Europe where all wildlife and forest components are present, says Promberger. Walking through these forests makes you understand your place in nature and it has become my purpose in life to safeguard them from the greedy timber mafia.

The Fundatia Conservation Carpathia, founded by Barbara and Christoph, hopes for more philanthropists, nursing an ambition to create in Romania a Yellowstone or Serengeti for Europe, in the words of a British supporter, Paul Lister. One day, they dream, the country might become the Costa Rica of Europe.
forest  nature  europe  communism  business  east-europe  timeless  instapaper_favs 
may 2016 by aries1988
Alone in the Alps

I’ve been hiking the Via Alpina on and off for a decade, often without realizing that I was on it. Five interlocked trails crisscross all eight countries of the Alps: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Slovenia, and Switzerland.

It’s one of the distinctive pleasures of Alpine hiking. The glamorous vast multiplicity, all made up of differences, mediaeval, romantic differences, D. H. Lawrence wrote, in Mr. Noon, his semi-fictional account of crossing the Alps with Frieda Weekley after their elopement.

In the Alps, it’s still present in the shifting styles of church towers, village fountains, sheepcotes, hay barns. It’s there in the odd bits of language that filter through even if you’re an incurable monoglot like me. (How nice it is to learn that the German word for the noise cowbells make is Gebimmel, and that the Swiss-Romanche word for boulder is crap.) It’s there in the restaurant menus: daubes giving way to dumplings, raclette to robiola; and in the freshly incomprehensible road signs, which in Slovenia are clotted with impenetrable consonant clusters, as if vowels were an indulgence. Somewhere between Strmec and Cmi Vrh, I ate a pršut (prosciutto) sandwich.

That linkage across time—the sense of being led by the tracks of others who were there before you—is reassuring, especially in the more remote places.

It was as if a second hike, joyous and invigorating, had begun to superimpose itself on the one I thought I’d taken. I’d experienced this alchemy before—the day’s accumulated fretfulness and discomfort turning into pure exhilaration, though seldom this intensely.

Via Alpina was waiting for a prophet to acclaim it.

When I look at the footage now, it seems the perfect emblem of that place: wild and dreamlike and marvellous.

I then headed north into Austria, and resumed following the Purple trail. One stretch of it passes near the Altaussee salt mine, where the Nazis hid some of their stolen art. I dropped down from pristine meadows—still emerald green in August—and looked at the old railbeds, with salt crystals glittering along the tunnels and a subterranean chapel dedicated to St. Barbara, the patron saint of miners. Years-old swags of fir hung on the walls, smelling as if they’d just been cut, the salt air keeping them unnaturally fresh.
travel  rando  alpes  story  moi  self  hostel  idea  sleep  fun  animal  mountain  europe  diversity  thinking  nature 
april 2016 by aries1988
Man of the world
Why a Prussian scientific visionary should be studied afresh
nature  scientist  deutsch  biology  idea  earth 
november 2015 by aries1988
Sex, Death and Mushrooms - The New York Times
Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi that live as networks called mycelia, made up of tiny branching threads. Some are parasitic, others feed on decaying matter and many are mycorrhizal, growing in and around plant roots and sharing nutrients with their host. Picking a mushroom doesn’t kill the fungus; in a sense, you’re merely plucking a flower from a hidden, thready tangle which may be vast and very ancient: One honey fungus in Oregon covers almost four square miles and is at least 2,400 years old.

A mushroom can contain more than one kind of toxin, and the toxicity can change according to whether it has been cooked, how it has been cooked, whether it has been eaten with alcohol or fermented before ingestion.

Many toxic fungi closely resemble edible ones, and differentiating each from each requires careful examination, dogged determination and the inspection of spores stained and measured under a microscope slide.
explained  mushroom  nature  fun  story  forest 
november 2015 by aries1988
This Land Is Our Land - The New York Times
Wilderness trails constitute a rare space in America marked by economic diversity. Lawyers and construction workers get bitten by the same mosquitoes and sip from the same streams; there are none of the usual signals about socioeconomic status, for most hikers are in shorts and a T-shirt, and enveloped by an aroma that would make a skunk queasy.
Fortunately, America’s visionaries back then didn’t think that way. People like Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot who helped preserve our wild places were personally wealthy and could afford country estates. But they understood the importance of common ownership of some of America’s natural heritage, so that access didn’t depend on wealth or breeding.
usa  park  nature 
august 2015 by aries1988
Human nature: Being scientific - New Scientist
Crucially, this understanding allows us to use what we have learned in one domain to make causal predictions in another – so, for example, we can predict that something that goes "bam!" will sink, whereas something that goes "click" may well float. Our nimbleness at abstract causal reasoning is tied up with our facility with language and probably underlies many of our other social skills, such as rituals and rules of behaviour, too. Povinelli believes this is what really sets humans apart from even the brightest apes.
science  discovery  nature  animal  comparison  analysis 
august 2015 by aries1988
Getting an Early Start -- Beijing Review
As opposed to other young people in Beijing who choose to relax after a week's tedious work by going out for dinner, watching a movie or going to karaoke bars on Friday night, Luo Hao and his friends have opted for another way to spend their evenings. They take more than 20 children aged 4 and up on a nature discovery adventure in Beijing's Olympic Forest Park north of the iconic Bird's Nest stadium every Friday night. Each child is charged 200 yuan ($32.2) for a trip. The group tours through the woods and along a river with flashlights in hand, arousing curiosity from those taking a walk or enjoying the cool in the park.
beijing  life  nature  children 
august 2015 by aries1988
The Heart-Stopping Climbs of Alex Honnold
Even if you have perfect confidence in your climbing ability and perfect emotional control in the face of danger, as Honnold appears to, most climbers fear the unexpected: the handhold that suddenly breaks, the bird that erupts from a hidden nest.
risk  death  sports  nature  fear  gravity 
april 2015 by aries1988
In France, a Visit With the In-Laws (Finally) Becomes a Vacation

On every trip we spent hours at the large independent bookstore Librairie Sauramps, next to where Fabrice went to high school. One time I watched him, after goofily flipping through comic books, as he sidled up to the manager, a smug former classmate of his, and mentioned, casually yet defiantly, that he now lived in New York City and waited for a reaction.
france  montpelier  travel  nature  baby 
april 2015 by aries1988
The Lucy Kellaway Interview: Bear Grylls - FT.com
What might be more relevant to telly viewers is programmes that told them how to survive on the minimum wage, deal with ugly divorces, dementia and that sort of thing.
manhood  adventure  nature  animal  interview 
march 2015 by aries1988
为什么宫崎骏早就该拿终身成就奖了?
上述的小物体系在一定程度上是这个齐物论的延伸,因为对于万物的尊重,才给了各种物平等的、应该一视同仁地被强调的地位。来到动画的世界,也就成了“万物有灵论”的重要实践;这是有别于西方的人本主义,因而即使同样让物化为可与人类沟通之灵,西方倾向于将物给拟人化,宫崎骏的作品则基本上是赋予了它们独立的人格,只是多与人沟通上的便利而已。

然而齐物论当然最出名是来自庄子的提倡,我们自然无法推测到底宫崎是否有受庄子影响,无论有无,宫崎的作品同样在强调放开既定的观念,以开展不同的视野。就像庄子的修辞术,也是让人们从观念的牢笼中解脱,所以那条长逾九万里的“鲲鱼”,其实是我们日常中看都不会注意看的小鱼仔。同样地,在《金鱼姬》里头,叫“胆小林克斯”的鱼也是一条巨大的古代生物——随着波妞滥用法力而被释放出来。
analysis  animation  nature  japanese  Miyazaki  Hayao 
december 2014 by aries1988
【西安名人堂】叶广芩:一个作家眼中的秦岭
在三官庙喝老乡的鸡汤,那种别有一番的滋味让人难以诉说。我问老乡,你这放了什么了?他说,我放了细辛了,整棵的细辛。现在山里人煮汤还是要放细辛的。细辛的味道很难以用语言来描述清楚,它不是大烟壳的味道,但是非常美妙的一种味道。他们送了我一些细辛,我把它送给其他朋友,朋友吃完了以后,让我再弄点,我说这个不能随便弄的,保护区是禁止挖这些东西的。你吃上隐了,我再没处去弄了。他说我到药铺去买,于是就到同仁堂去买细辛去了。同仁堂不卖给他,说细辛是毒药,这个有毒,最多卖你三钱十克。于是就买了十克细芯,拿到手里打开那小包一看,跟我们所煮鸡汤的细辛完全不一样,它是那种白根像小虫一样,有白须须的那种根,这个还能提味么?确实是可能不能提味了。

刚才蔡老师说了在山里不能直呼人的名字,这个确实是有这种忌讳的,山妖是一个很有意思很爱开玩笑的一个人物,那么山妖的仆人举着这样的灯在山林里奔走着,你在山林里走,迎面过来几个树叶做围裙,豹皮做披挂的这么一个人,确实是也觉得不奇怪啊。山里面忌讳大声呼唤人的名字,据说山妖听到人的名字之后,晚上就会找这个人去,山里的人很相信鬼神,也很相信很多的忌讳。

保护区的同志告诉我,我们的大熊猫和四川的大熊猫不一样,我们的大熊猫脸是圆的,它更接近于猫,四川的大熊猫嘴是长的,它更接近于熊,所以秦岭的大熊猫你看了就有种想抱一抱的感觉。
china  nature  animal  folklore 
june 2014 by aries1988
看,天上有朵奇怪的云 - 自然控 - 果壳网 guokr.com
看,天边一朵云,那是何等引人入胜的画面呵:积雨云、飞碟云、乳房云,还有在吐烟圈的云! http://www.instapaper.com/read/322419108
instapaper_favs  photo  nature  cloud 
september 2012 by aries1988
笔记大自然
四季更替,草木荣枯,于我是重要的事。这里有花鸟虫鱼的一切。
nature  art  drawing 
august 2012 by aries1988

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