RSSCategory: nature

Snake eats crocodile. No, really.

March 3, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

The BBC has the photos. It’s gruesome and amazing. A snake ate an entire crocodile.

Share

Read More

David Attenborough Describes Curling

February 19, 2014 | By | Reply More

Human animals have many techniques for survival, and curling is apparently one of them. David Attenborough narrates.

Share

Read More

The open views of western Texas

January 29, 2014 | By | Reply More

I miss the open vistas of western Texas, where I was outside for much of the past six days looking at fossil sites. It’s not the same back here in Missouri. You can’t allow your eyes to stretch out for 10 miles in every direction, and there aren’t many spots where you can look way down and way up at mountain tops from the same spot. I took more than a few handheld HDR series in Texas and crunched them on a program called Photomatix over the past couple of days. They are a pretty good reminder of the types of things I was seeing.

IMG_9601_2_3_tonemapped - low res

IMG_9160_1_2_tonemapped - low res

hdr IMG_9246_7_8_tonemapped low res

IMG_9608_09_10_tonemapped-low res

Share

Read More

The magic of starling flocks

November 26, 2013 | By | Reply More

Incredible starling flocking visuals in this video taken in Ot Moor, a few miles to the east of Oxford, in the U.K.

Share

Read More

Robert Sapolsky discusses the alleged uniqueness of humans

November 18, 2013 | By | Reply More

Excellent lecture by Robert Sapolsky. Scientists used to think that humans were unique in many ways when compared to other animals. The number of ways in which we are truly unique is dwindling, however, and that dwindling number is the focus of Sapolsky’s talk. There is at least one way in which we are unique, and that is our ability to entertain a contradiction. Sapolsky, speaking to a graduating class, challenges them to take on this contradiction: They are highly educated and thus privileged human animals who are educated to such an extent that they realize that it is virtually impossible for one person to make a difference in the world. The more clear this becomes that it is impossible to make the world better, “the more you must.”

Share

Read More

What chairs reveal about Type A personality – a story by Robert Sapolsky

November 18, 2013 | By | Reply More

Robert Sapolsky can tell stories about the biological effects of stress as well as anyone. In this short video, he reveals that a chair upholsterer discovered the dangers of having a Type A personality.

Share

Read More

The beginnings of multi-cellularity

October 23, 2013 | By | Reply More

Fascinating story told by Carl Zimmer, illustrated by yeast studies.

Scientists suspect that the first step towards a complex multicellular body like ours is for cells to evolve to live in primitive clumps. There may be a lot of advantages to living this way. It may be harder for a predator to eat you, for example. At the University of Minnesota, a team of scientists led by William Ratcliff and Michael Travisano figured out a way to create this kind of natural selection in a lab. As I reported last year in the New York Times, they were able to get yeast–which normally lives as single cells–to turn into simple multicellular clumps in a few weeks.

Share

Read More

Present day leaves

October 21, 2013 | By | Reply More

One of my photographer mentors advised that I try to shoot SOMETHING every day. And this morning I finished reading Phil Zimbardo’s “The Time Paradox,” from which I learned (for the 800th time) that my perspective is skewed way toward future time orientation, which causes me to miss out on the present, especially ordinary things that are actually quite stunning. Therefore . . . I gave myself an assignment to take photos of leaves from the backside, illuminated from the front by direct sun. I tried to simply enjoy their beauty, but couldn’t help contemplating their incredibly sophisticated function.

IMG_2216 Leaves

IMG_2261 Leaves 2

IMG_2299 Leaves 2

IMG_2321 Leaves 2

IMG_2324 Leaves 2

Share

Read More

Watching the sunset bloom

July 29, 2013 | By | Reply More

Last night, my family and I watched the sunset bloom. None of these photos is processed other than a crop. Pure magic at the World’s Fair Pavilion, Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri. Click on the photos for enlargements.

IMG_4584 Worlds Fair II

IMG_4626 Worlds Fair II

IMG_4687 Worlds Fair II

Share

Read More