Carboniferous forest scenes by Heinrich Harder, Bruce Horsfall, & W. C. Smith
The Carboniferous is a panoply, an exhibition, a theater of increasing complexity, a demonstration of verdant braggadocio in which amphibians lurk and arthropods achieve hallucinatory measurements. The animals sing and chirp and croak and bellow, splash in the water and feed on each other, they grow and mate and fight and die, but their part in the forest is only a fraction of the symphony here. The green kingdom has its own drama, its own conflicts, kinships, and hymns; it is not passive. Its members also grow and mate and fight and die, but at speeds an animal cannot see and with means an animal cannot notice. Instead of songs, the plants communicate with chemicals—three thousand of them—in a vocabulary unknown and unsensed by eyes and ears, but felt on the tongue when leaves turn bitter or saps run toxic, invisible messages made of methanol, formaldehyde, tannins, caffeine, and terpenoids released into the air to dissuade herbivores, attract plant-eater predators, or alert the forest in a botanic siren that spreads between leaves and branches, roots and buds—a system of communication without sight or sound, where compounds are signals and chemicals are words.
“I’ve been accused of being cold, snobbish, distant. Those who know me well know that I’m nothing of the sort. If anything, the opposite is true. But is it too much to ask to want to protect your private life, your inner feelings? Lots of things touch me and I don’t want to be indiscreet.”
Circa 1931, a British-made Cierva Autogiro flies over Manhattan Island. The brainchild of Spanish aeronautical engineer Juan de la Cierva, the autogyro was developed in the early 1920s. Source (via tentaclii).
The way a real New Yorker gets around.
The jungles of the Peten are hot and sweaty. Most of the best places for archeology are. Field seasons are especially hot, since they are always during the driest time of year so that the site doesn’t get flooded. Howler monkeys boom from the parched trees, which barely twitch during the…
“True, the Nazis were trying to find the Ark of the Covenant so they could destroy the world,” Canuto says. “But methodologically and legally they were in the right.”
*angrily waves fist at modern day Belloq*
One day delay.