June 2010

Mindblowing Butterfly Research!

157-green_birdwing_butterfly

With all the recent talk about sustainable energy , our species is causing the extinction of up to 30,000 other species per year.  This article from today’s Los Angeles Times should have been front page news.

Here’s are some short excerpts from this fascinating and important research.

“Butterfly wings are so synonymous with bold color that few people may wonder what makes them that way. But Yale University researchers studying the green color on the wings of five butterfly species say they have found the source of that striking color — three-dimensional crystals known as gyroids…….”

“The gyroid is the most challenging thing to describe in this research,” said Prum (senior aythof of the study). “I’m still mystified myself. It really is mind-bending.”

Vinodkumar Saranathan, coauthor of the study, took a stab: “Imagine a maze of these pinwheels, hundreds of thousands of pinwheels connected in all directions.”

“…….gyroids respond to light much like wires transmit electricity, so the potential technological applications could be enormous.”

Worth the read, and some serious contemplation of what we lose each time a species is extinguished.

Wonder and Radical Amazement

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Therapy

Those of you that have been reading my blog are aware that I have been deeply affected by the Gulf oil disaster.
I have been playing with ukulele designs and came up with this fantasy. If only oil rigs could be washed away and magically replaced by wind turbines and solar collectors!

Tsunami Uke

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No Blue No Green

Ocean Researcher Sylvia Earle shares astonishing images of the ocean and
shocking stats about its rapid decline as she makes her TED Prize wish: that we will join her in protecting the vital blue heart of the planet.

If you are a parent or grandparent or simply love a child in your life, please take the time to view this video.

Sustainability

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Black Death

Black Death

I was born in Florida and am very intimate with the sensitive flora and fauna of an estuary.
It is with great grief in my heart that I have watched the BP oil disaster unfold.

Crude oil
70,000 barrels or
nearly 3 million gallons per day.
A slow-motion tragedy
thick as Louisiana bean soup.

We all go on with our daily lives
I head to Starbucks.
Tall caramel macchiato, skinny,
No whipped cream, extra caramel.
And as I drink my coffee,
Turtles head for beaches to lay eggs.
Birds head for marshes to nest.
Fish head for estuaries to spawn.
The Gulf’s flora and fauna,
innocent and unsuspecting victims of circumstance,
go about their customary days and nights while headed
towards aquatic Armageddon.

In the 5 minutes it takes to finish my cup of coffee,
another 10,000 gallons of crude has erupted from the ocean floor.

Scientists speculate on the cumulative impact of oil.
What is the cumulative impact of heartbreak?

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