Archive for September, 2013

Along came a spider

This past weekend, my youngest child saw a brown spider about the size of a nickel sitting in the kid’s toy food down in our basement and therefore ran to me for help. With it resting quietly inside their toy blender, I took a piece of cardboard, placed it on top and did the old catch and release outside.

Now while I don’t think it was the ever popular Brown Recluse, I also didn’t take the time to fetch my guidebook to look it up.  The reason being I didn’t want to end up getting bit like Jack Landers in his story over at the New York Times entitled “Dancing with Black Widow Spiders” and not that I would have, I’ve just never been that fond of spiders.


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The relatives came

Now while that’s the title of a great picture book by Cynthia Rylant the kids and I have enjoyed many times, it also takes me back to a time when I was much younger. Unfortunately, we never saw our relatives all that often. After all, they were not only much older (as my mom was the youngest of three) than us, they also lived up in the small town of Dows, Iowa while we were down in the big city of St. Louis, Missouri.

Now why we may have been as different as city and country folks, I have to say that I never would have dreamed that Tuna and Seahorses are also cousins. Check out the article “Surprising Fish Cousins: Tuna and Seahorses” by Becky Oskin over at LiveScience . Do you see the similarities?


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Buckminster Fuller & icosahedrons

I have to say until I started reading The Mathematics of Life (which I’m half-way through) by Ian Stewart and in particular, chapter 10 entitled Virus from the Fourth Dimension, I can truly say I’d never heard of Buckminster Fuller nor a Icosahedron (a 20 sided solid).

According to Ian Stewart, it has always played a role in pure mathematics. I guess for me, the only time that I can recall where I’ve seen this shape is the Climatron at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

I’ve also since learn that there is at least one other one, this one down in Oklahoma. I went to the University of Oklahoma at Norman so I guess there’s a connection there. You can read about it in the article “Buckminster Fuller-Inspired Gold Dome To Be Preserved As Historic Site in Oklahoma“by Julie M. Rodriguez at Inhabitat.

Now believe it or not, there is also an annual Buckminster Fuller Challenge which you can read about in this article, also over at Inhabitat, entitled “The BFI Announces the 2013 Semi-Finalists for the Buckminster Fuller Challenge” by Morgana Matus.



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Howling at the moon

Okay, so if I started howling at the moon, you would know that I’m not a wolf but if you heard a wolf howl, would you recognized who it was? We’ll, according to this story over at LiveScience entitled “Computer Identifies Individual Wolves’ Howls” Marc Lallanilla, there is a way to do that.

Even with all of the variables, like the number of wolves or the weather, they are still able to identify the wolf over 97 percent of the time. That is truly amazing.



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Wolves around the world

It  seem that no matter where you live, the battle between man and wolf exists. As they continue to face an uphill battle for existence here in the United States, the latest story of their struggle can be found half-way around the world in the French Alps. This according Scott Sayare over at the New York Times with this article, “As Wolves Return to French Alps, A Way of Life is Threatened“.

Meanwhile, like many others, I will continue to support them. Just today, I found this awesome Red Wolf t-shirt over at Lands End. You can see a picture of it here.  To learn more about Red or Mexican Gray wolves, check out the Endangered Wolf Center website or visit them out in Eureka, Missouri, just west of St. Louis.

Howling into the Night!


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Just below the surface

So apparently scientist have been looking a little deeper these days and have come up with what could be considered two really BIG discoveries.

This first article, “Scientists Discover a 400 Mile Canyon Below Greenland Ice Sheet” by Lori Zimmer over at Inhabitat, talks about a canyon twice the length of the Grand Canyon. The one limiting factor for scientist however, is the fact that it’s located under a glacier nearly two miles deep.

The other article, “Largest Volcano on Earth Lurks Beneath Pacific Ocean” by Becky Oskin over at LiveScience, is about exactly what it says, the largest volcano on earth.  You know it’s big when it’s in a class by itself.



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Migration is just around the corner

As we move from Summer to Fall, migration is on the minds of many of natures creatures and as we mentioned earlier, one of those with a multi-generational migration is the Monarch butterfly.

It’s probably one of the most studied as well but apparently we don’t know all there is to know as evident in this article, “Monarch Butterfly Migration Study Tracks Generations” from Ryan Norris at the University of Guelph via the Environmental News Network and courtesy of Eureka Alert.

Fluttering onward!


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