Mar 4 2009

Population Explosion

I remember back in the seventies (world population then was around 3.6 billion) everyone was talking about the urgent dangers of overpopulation.

Then, suddenly, the subject disappeared. For around 30 years. Looks like the discussion’s finally starting up again.

Estimated world population now: 6.7 billion.

Why does this happen all the time? What causes this cyclic collective amnesia?

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Mar 2 2009

From the Afghan archives…

Profound regret that I couldn’t toddle off to this exhibit. Thank you BBC for the lovely slideshow!

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Feb 28 2009

Saharan cheetahs

The first camera-trap photographs of the cheetah, taken as part of a systematic survey of 1,750 square miles of the central Sahara, are providing scientists with information on population numbers, movement and how it interacts with its environment.

…and their precise expressions at the exact moment of stepping down on something funny and unexpectedly triggering flood lights and a whirring, clicking camera machine.

Seriously though, it’s an interesting little article, and a lovely cat. Don’t miss the second photo — you have to hit the teeny “next” above the first one.

If the thought of another dwindling species threatens to immobilize you with despair, do something! Give Panthera (a wonderful wildcat conservation organization) your pocket change! And enjoy the gorgeous photos on their website.

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Feb 22 2009

From Petrarcha’s Trionfo del Tempo

Your triumphs and your pomp transpire,
The nobility passes and kingdoms crumble,
Time brings low all mortal things;
And what he reaps from those less good, he does not pass to those more worthy:
And not only the superficial things are laid waste by time,
But also your eloquence and works of genius.
Thus sped along, the world moves with him;
He takes no time to rest; neither does he stop nor turn from his appointed course,
Until in the end he has transformed you back to your essence: a bit of dust.

–Francesco Petrarca, Trionfo del Tempo (The Triumph of Time), v. 112-120 (S.H. transl.) (ca. 1352)

Swiped from Harper’s - visit and see the wonderful detail from a tapestry illustrating the poem

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Feb 1 2009

Irresistible Headlines

You just have to click on it:  Man trapped by sofa sipped whisky
By the way 19 stones = 266 pounds = 121 kilos. I can’t believe the media showed up to interview him for this. How embarrassing. Not what you’re hoping for from your 15 minutes of fame!

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