From the Stacks 6


My recent foray into the document folder turned up bits of writing from one of my favorite blog events from Aprils past –the A to Z Challenge. They’re pretty interesting, if I do say so myself. I’ll be sharing  a few until life quiets down around here. I hope you enjoy. Scroll back to read earlier From The Stacks posts.
:D

F for Funeral Mementos
Just as Hollywood celebrity inspires fans to go under the knife to look like their favorite stars, and TV shows such as Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous encourage spending beyond one’s means, other periods in history had their own celebrities to emulate. I think it safe to say none had the social impact of Britain’s Queen Victoria . Practically everything the woman did became in vogue. Some of what we do today can be traced back to her. From child rearing to greeting cards to style to Christmas trees, she made an impact.

When typhoid fever claimed the life of Prince Albert that sad December in 1861, Queen Victoria was devastated. In dealing with her loss, she unintentionally set a mode for society. The Queen mourned her husband for 40 years and because of that, death became fashion.  Aside from wearing black every day for the rest of her life, she made sure their home stayed exactly as it was on the day her husband died. This included his clothes set out for the day, his toilette prepared for his shave, his place at the table set, and other sad daily rituals for a husband who was no longer there.

Regarding Victorian death rituals, there were very strict rules to follow: mirrors were covered, buntings hung, certain colors worn at certain times over the length of the mourning period. But it wasn’t enough that morning ritual was prolonged and the lives of the living impacted beyond their grief, a booming death business sprang into being. More than one city and hairtown had the latest embalming techniques advertised in mortician shop windows. Coffins and hearses and cemeteries all reflected the ostentatious Victorian flair.

Another common practice involved weaving your dear departed’s hair into flowers etc either for display  or 2abed9dadf413492922b52a5d0a5688dto be worn as jewelry.

One of the strangest things from the Victorian era occurred when the unusual focus on death partnered with that newfangled  invention photography and gave us The Memento Mori (Latin for remember that you must die)

In my opinion, this was the pinnacle of the death rituals — having life-like photos taken of your deceased as a memento. Elaborate stands and contraptions would hold the body in life-like poses. Eyes were painted on closed eyelids. And often, living family members joined in the photo shoot. I’ve seen dozens of these images and the photos that show the deceased child sitting side by side with a living sibling are the most haunting to me. It’s the confusion in their eyes. Death is hard enough for children to comprehend.

How often do we stumble across old Victorian era photos in antique stores or even in our attics? I’ve seen beautiful sleeping children and had no idea that sleep was eternal. I’ve seen others posing for the camera with staring faces. I’ll look closely next time. I might see the stands that aided the pose and those staring eyes might just be painted on.

The following pictures look like average photographs from the Victorian era, but in fact, they are love tokens — funerary mementos made to capture the life that was. I show them here in tribute to the love behind them.
Picture1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

~*~

F for Fractals and Fibonacci.

Before I go into the work of mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, I’ll begin with a brief explanation of the Fibonacci Sequence. For brevity’s sake, I’ll skip the fine details of this mathematical creation, but I urge to everyone to delve into it. It all starts with a man of the Middle Ages, a mathematician named Leonardo Fibonacci. Once you understand it, it’s utterly fascinating, especially when you see evidence of it everywhere. In my understanding, the Fibonacci Sequence concerns these integers, or whole numbers, laid out like so:
0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89….ad infinitum.

See how that works? 0 + 1 = 1. 1+1=2. 1+2=3. 3+2=5 and all the way to 34+55=89 and beyond. If you worked this formula out on graph paper with squares and rectangles, you’d eventually get what’s known as the Divine Proportion or Golden Mean.

mandlebrotOk, so you have a basic idea of the Fibonacci Sequence. What about Mandelbrot? He’s the modern day mathematician who came up with the mathematical term Fractal, and he’s known for one in particular – the Mandelbrot Set. Suffice to say he used an equation that’s too over my head to explain here, but this is what he did — After entering the math into a computer, he got a computer-generated image that graphically represents the behavior of his  equation. And it had the old Fibonacci Sequence inside of it! To mathematicians, this phenomenon is unexplainable via their notions of how the math works. It’s still unknown as to why the Fibonacci sequence appears in the Mandelbrot Set.

The following video is a long one, but well worth it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LemPnZn54Kw?rel=0

~❋~❋~❋~

RB4U purpleToday’s guest is Author Ellen Gragg. http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~
Our March contest is starting soon.
Authors~ check out our promo services.

~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~

If you enjoy my daily musings, subscribe to get them sent to your inbox, or if your inbox is as packed as mine is, check out the Networked Blogs tab on the right and get all the blogs you follow in one daily notice. A year full of curious and compelling posts awaits!

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Fun Day Sunday & Weekend Happenings


funday smileIf you’ve been here before then you know Sundays on my blog are all about wonder and smiles. In honor of mentally kicking back once in a while, Sundays are Fun Days! Each Sunday, visitors will find a fun, interesting, or unusual something here. I’m a nerd with a complex sense of humor and absurd wit. It could literally be anything.

I’ve always shared my life with pets, furred, feathered, scaled, and more.  I still do. Animals just enrich our lives. I stumbled upon these fanciful little food fests last year. This looks like something my kids would have done when they were young. Very cute.

Take in the looks of yummy bliss on these little faces. I hope you enjoy their smiles and gain one of your own.

Adorable. See the rest of the mini food fests~
http://youtu.be/iieQDN7l_Yw
http://youtu.be/XPHlHuhBVFI
http://youtu.be/LqbYVr5jBVk
http://youtu.be/JOCtdw9FG-s

❋❋❋

My Other Weekend Happenings~

Weekend Writing Warriors
http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

My Sexy Saturday & Sexy Snippets
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Sunday Snippet
**A promo op for you too!**
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

~❋~❋~❋~

RB4U purpleToday is Author Desiree Holt’s blog day.
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~ Our February contest is on.
Two – $50 GIFT CARDS & MORE.

~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~

If you enjoy my daily musings, subscribe to get them sent to your inbox, or if your inbox is as packed as mine is, check out the Networked Blogs tab on the right and get all the blogs you follow in one daily notice. A year full of curious and compelling posts awaits!

all7books-smallSample my scorching love stories for free!


~Coming Soon~

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From the Stacks 5


My recent foray into the document folder turned up bits of writing from one of my favorite blog events from Aprils past –the A to Z Challenge. They’re pretty interesting, if I do say so myself. I’ve been sharing  a few until life quiets down around here. I hope you enjoy.
:D

E for Easter Island Moai

thThe ancestors of the Polynesians reached the far corner of the triangular Pacific island territory that made up their world at about 1000 BCE. These peoples were nighttime seafarers and followed the heavens until they chanced upon a remote land mass and made it their home. We know that land as Easter Island.

It’s said the island once had a thriving population, as many as 15,000 inhabitants. Just 100 years before the Dutch arrived in 1722, the history of the island says two factions –the Short-Ears and the Long-Ears– had a civil war. In 1770 a Spanish expedition found a population of 3000. Just four years later when British navigator Sir James Cook entered the scene, only around 600 men and fewer than 30 women remained. By 1877 only 111 native peoples were left. Were I to guess, I’d say diseases like smallpox contributed to the population’s decline. Any western disease to an isolated population would exact a terrible toll.

Before the Dutch decided to name the island for Easter Sunday, the day of their discovery, oral tradition says one of the island’s names was Eyes looking to the sky. Others use the name Rapa Nui. I think Eyes looking to the sky fits beautifully because of more than 1000 Moai — the famous Easter Island heads.

Surprising fact #1: The familiar heads are actually full-bodied statues buried to their chins in sediment. Recent archeological digs reveal the Moai have arms and wear sculpted clothing. They have tattoos too.

Who knew?


With their heavy brows and chiseled profiles (no pun intended), these enigmatic statues epitomize the mystery of the place. All but seven watch over the land, their backs to the sea. The seven facing the vast blue ocean are thought to wait for their king. No one really knows why they’re there or what was meant in their creation. There’s an assumption that the Moai were made in the likenesses of ancestors. There is also some thought that the bodies housed the essence of the sacred. One of the more interesting bits of information I’ve uncovered has to do with Leprosy. There’s some opinion that the Moai’s severe physical features may indicate the ravages of that terrible disease — that perhaps the Moai were made to ritually undo the effects in the spirit world. (Apparently the afflicted were ostracized on other Polynesian islands.) As I haven’t uncovered more than that regarding leprosy, I’ll take that supposition with a grain of salt.

Another mystery is the complete lack of trees. Islands by nature are fragile ecosystems. By the time of European discovery, this one was deforested. To peoples relying upon the sea for most of their food, lack of wood would mean starvation in the long run. Perhaps this added to their population decline. If you can’t build boats, you can’t fish beyond the shoreline. Were the island’s forests cut down to make transport logs for the 13 ton Moai? That was the prevailing thought for years. But then someone made an brilliant deduction…

Surprising fact #2
Legend says the Moai walked from the places they were carved. That’s right, the 13 foot tall, 13 ton statues carved from volcanic tuff walked to their resting places. The largest statue made of a single block weighs about 82 tons and is approximately 32 feet tall. To see that walking down from the hills must have been a powerful sight.

I can’t explain it better than this. And seeing is believing!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5YR0uqPAI8

More:
Easter Island was made an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.

See the full uncovered Moai
Save the Easter Island Statues

An interesting explanation of the island’s Bird Man Cult

~*~

E for Enterolith.

When Ron Weasley inadvertently drank poison in the novel The Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter saved his life by stuffing a bezoar into Ron’s mouth. A bezoar is an Enterolith — a stone-like formation, or concretion, found in the gastrointestinal tract of certain animals, especially ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats, deer, and giraffes). Just like a pearl forming around a grain of sand inside a mussel shell, enteroliths generally grow around an undigestible irritant such as a stone or piece of twine. They’re mostly comprised of hair and stomach secretions and are really not all that rare. Odd to note, these stones have inexplicably built a reputation as lucky things. Odder still, enteroliths are ground and used as Chinese folk medicine.

The name bezoar comes from the Arabic word badzehr, which literally means antidote. For centuries, enteroliths were believed to cure the effects of any poison, hence JK Rowling’s use of them in the Harry Potter story. This age-old belief was put to a test in 1575, when a cook at King Henry III”s court was caught stealing and was sentenced to death by hanging. It just so happened that Ambroise Pare, surgeon and bezoar skeptic, desired to test the antidote properties of the enterolith that day. Given the choice, the cook agreed to be poisoned rather than be hung. Needless to say, the cook died in agony several hours later. Bezoars are also said to cure animals and people of rabies. This is done by attaching the stone to the wound to suck out the poison.

Considering their historical and modern uses, it’s no surprise that enteroliths are also called Madstones. This makes perfect sense to me. 

bezoarImagine popping one of these beauties into your mouth. *gag* 

Come back tomorrow for my Funday Sunday post!

~❋~❋~❋~

RB4U purpleToday is Author Renee Vincent’s blog day. http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~ Our February contest is on. Two – $50 GIFT CARDS & MORE. Authors~ check out our promo services.

~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~

If you enjoy my daily musings, subscribe to get them sent to your inbox, or if your inbox is as packed as mine is, check out the Networked Blogs tab on the right and get all the blogs you follow in one daily notice. A year full of curious and compelling posts awaits!

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~Coming Soon~

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From the Stacks 4 & Hump Day Happenings


Boy is it cold outside. I heard it was in the 20s down in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Too cold for that far south. I checked our weather for today and see we have a wind chill advisory on. The little dog and I will forgo our midday walk. Neither of us need frostbite. She’s such a high-energy little pup. She needs that brisk walk as much as I do. If only I could get us both on the treadmill together.
:)

I felt the vibration of seasonal discontent the other day — little things like walls needing spackle and paint touch-ups and windowless bathrooms in need of a good bleaching. That vibration means I’ll be spring cleaning soon. I mentioned it to my husband the other morning. His reply — Great. Mind you, “great” must be imagined with the Volga Boatmen song playing in the background. The poor man. I’ve been doing my spring cleaning/annual purge for nearly 30 years. lol

I’ve already started cleaning out my computer. Good lord I save everything..something things more than once! I’ve found bits of writing from my two favorite events from Aprils past– the Authors in Bloom blog hop and the A to Z Challenge. They’re pretty interesting, if I do say so myself. I’ve been sharing  a few A to Z posts lately.
Today it’s D. I hope you enjoy.
:D

 

D for Doggerland

Sometime in the middle of the last century, trawling Dutch fishermen working the North Sea began hauling up things in their nets no one ever expected to see — enormous tusks and bones from wooly mammoths and mastodons, and the bones of giant aurochs, woolly rhinos, and other ice age animals. The story goes that fishermen threw these things back in the water, being set in their opinions of what one should expect to haul from the sea.

Amateur paleontologist, Dick Mol, heard of the unusual findings and persuaded the fishermen to bring their tusks and bones to him along with the coordinates of where they had been found. Imagine his surprise when the captain bought him a well-preserved human jawbone with worn molars. Radiocarbon dating says the jawbone is 9,500 years old and came from a man living in the Mesolithic period (12,000 years ago)

Why would a 9,500 year old jawbone be trawled from the North Sea?

During the last ice age, Great Britain wasn’t a handful of islands, it was the western-most tip of the glaciated European mainland. As much of the earth’s water was tied up in ice, lowlands weren’t submerged as they are today. This low-lying land that tied the UK to the rest of Europe was approximately 18,000 square miles in size. This region is refereed to as Doggerland (named for the Dogger Bank — a large hazardous sandbank). The area is thought to have supported large numbers of Mesolithic people. Among fossilized evidence of mammoths and other mega-fauna and game animals, divers have also found harpoons, flint tools, and suspected burial sites. It would appear people lived on Doggerland until the rising sea swallowed a substantial portion of the landmass and cut the UK from the continent. Exploration is ongoing and researchers expect to find standing stones and burials in addition to settlement areas. Can you just imagine? :D

doggerland

This fascinating video is shown in 7 parts.
Follow the links at the end of each clip
to the next chapter

 D for Dolmen.

Usually, when people think of megalithic construction, the first thing that comes to mind is Stonehenge. The fact is, there are prehistoric stoneworks of all sorts peppered across Europe, the Middle East, parts of Asia, and even in the Americas. The early Neolithic period (4000 to 3000 BCE) saw a lot of this puzzling megalithic construction. One such enigma is the dolmen.

A dolmen, also known as a portal tomb or quoit, consists of large upright stones that support an equally large and flat horizontal capstone. It’s believed they were originally covered with earth and what we see today is actually the skeleton of the structure.

No one knows exactly who built them or what their purpose was. The most widely accepted theory is dolmen are tombs or burial chambers, but there’s little archeological evidence to back that up. The one thing everyone is certain of… they’re old. At least 7000 years old. This means the mysterious builders were contemporaries of the ancient Egyptians.
dolmenOther Wednesday Happenings

Books Hooks
http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

Paranormal Love Wednesday *NEW for me*
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Hump Day Blurb Share
(Open promo opportunity for authors. Readers find great reads!)
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

~❋~❋~❋~

RB4U purpleToday’s guest is Author Nina Pierce
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~ Our February contest is on.
Two – $50 GIFT CARDS & MORE.
Authors~ check out our promo services.

~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~

If you enjoy my daily musings, subscribe to get them sent to your inbox, or if your inbox is as packed as mine is, check out the Networked Blogs tab on the right and get all the blogs you follow in one daily notice. A year full of curious and compelling posts awaits!

all7books-smallSample my scorching love stories for free!


~Coming Soon~

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From the Stacks 3


My son is on the mend and has returned to his own house to finish recuperating from surgery last week. My thanks to everyone who emailed and posted good wishes. You’re the best.
I’m getting back into the swing of things myself. Though my parental fretting shut down fresh creativity for a while, cleaning my document files last weekend got me seeing possibilities again. Yesterday I found myself working on my magnum opus. If it’s your first time here, that’s my enormous 500k-word as-yet-unnamed labor of love I was working on when I decided to take a brief detour as a romance writer. Who knows where that small creative flame may take me today.
:)

So back to that bloated document file of mine…

I mentioned the other day that I’m an info hoarder and my laptop’s document folder is like the ubiquitous junk drawer. You know, that catch-all in the kitchen that holds too many rubber bands, wine corks, and other odds and ends that mysteriously multiply over the course of the year? Some of the things I’ve found are bits of writing from my two favorite events from Aprils past– the Authors in Bloom blog hop and the A to Z Challenge. Until my usual urge to blog over my morning coffee returns, I’ll be sharing some more past A to Z posts. They’re pretty good if I do say so myself.
:D
As I’ve already offered A and B, today it’s C. I hope you enjoy.

C for Cryptozoology.

Fifty-four years ago, Lucien Blancou coined the term Cryptozoology out of a combination of three Greek words: kryptos, zoon and logos, which mean, respectively, Hidden, Animal, and Discourse. By definition, it is the study of unknown animals.

Global exploration expanded when man mastered the sea. New uncharted lands held strange plants and animals never before seen. These native legends, rare sightings, and tales of inexplicable bodies seemingly made of parts, weren’t believed to exist. On this skeptic’s list from the past are creatures we all know today. Here are just a few: giraffe, kangaroo, tapir, beaver, okapi, panda, duck-billed platypus, Komodo dragon, orangutan, and the living fossil fish, the coelacanth.

Then you have creatures on the truly odd list. The most famous is the Loch Ness Monster. Actually many large bodies of water around the world have purported Nessie-ish creatures — Lake Champlain has Champy, and the Congo River has Mokèlé-mbèmbé for example. Then we have the chupacabra, the Sasquatch, and the recently verified Giant Squid (the possible Kraken of mythology.) More often than not, Cryptozoology is dismissed as pseudo-science by conventional fields of study. I think it’s that whole Big Foot thing. :)

Several years ago I came upon a local legend and recently wrote a what if story around it.
Read More: USA Today — The Witchy Wolf and the Wendigo

 C for Cholera in London 1854

Waste and habitation have always gone hand in hand. Humanity’s sloppy habits reveal themselves in our midden piles, cesspits, latrines and the like. Somewhere along mankind’s history someone decided this waste could be washed away by water and so the short-sighted habit of polluting waterways with human excrement began. Woe be to anyone downstream. Unfortunately this out of sight out of mind mentality came with dire consequences — the spread of disease.

In Victorian London of 1854, the prevalent view on disease origins wasn’t on germ theory – that idea that microbes were causes of disease. That would come later in the century with Pasteur and others blaming germs for all manner of ills. Doctors and scientists in the mid-1800s were still going by the erroneous opinions of the Roman empire’s own Greek physician, Galen, who believed disease was caused by air-borne miasma.

Example: It wasn’t the bacteria in the water you drank that gave you a deadly case of diarrhea. The fetid smell of the nearby cesspit was to blame. It sounds rather ridiculous now, but if you think about it there was a sort of truth to that suspicion. We often use our noses to determine if something is spoiled and if presented with a choice, we certainly wouldn’t eat or drink something that smelled bad. I think this long-standing miasma belief was instinctual — a subconscious intuition that bad things could come from foul pools of stagnant water and we should steer clear. Today we know without a doubt that mosquitoes are vectors that transmit many diseases. Mosquitoes breeding in stagnant pools give us Malaria, Yellow Fever, West Nile, Dengue, Filariasis, and several varieties of Encephalitis.

So back to London…
High population and lack of proper sanitary services saw London’s Soho district’s cesspits overflowing that hot August of 1854. It was so bad in fact, the summer was referred to as The Great Stink because of it. As everyone believed bad smells caused disease, what else to do but flush those cesspits right into the River Thames.

choleraJust prior to the flushing, the residents in one area were hit with a small outbreak of profuse diarrhea and vomiting of clear fluid (literally gallons a day until they either recovered or died). After the raw sewage waste of the infected was washed into the river, it contaminated the public water pump and an epidemic began. In a span of a week a full 10% of the very crowded neighborhood perished.

Local physician, Dr. John Snow was a longtime skeptic to the miasma theory. For years he tried, unsuccessfully, to convince his peers cholera was a water-borne disease. Seeing opportunity for answers with this localized outbreak, he teamed up with Reverend Henry Whitehead (a man who knew just about every man, woman, and child in his parish) and began asking questions. They soon discovered the afflicted drew water from one specific pump. Dr. Snow confirmed the contamination by viewing a water sample through his microscope and finding the boomerang-shaped bacterium — the same bacterium present in the bodily fluids of the sick and dying. On a hunch, he lobbied for the pump handle to be removed.

In John Snow’s letter to the editor of the Medical Times and Gazette, he said this:

On proceeding to the spot, I found that nearly all the deaths had taken place within a short distance of the Broad Street pump. There were only ten deaths in houses situated decidedly nearer to another street-pump. In five of these cases the families of the deceased persons informed me that they always sent to the pump in Broad Street, as they preferred the water to that of the pumps which were nearer. In three other cases, the deceased were children who went to school near the pump in Broad Street.

With regard to the deaths occurring in the locality belonging to the pump, there were 61 instances in which I was informed that the deceased persons used to drink the pump water from Broad Street, either constantly or occasionally. The result of the inquiry, then, is, that there has been no particular outbreak or prevalence of cholera in this part of London except among the persons who were in the habit of drinking the water of the above-mentioned pump well. I had an interview with the Board of Guardians of St James’s parish, on the evening of the 7th, and represented the above circumstances to them. In consequence of what I said, the handle of the pump was removed on the following day.

Here’s a TED Talk from an author who wrote a
fascinating book on the subject. I recommend.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvHL0dHj3RM
More:
With the Help of Victims From 1849,
Scientists Decode Early Strain of Cholera

You may ask yourself why anyone would reproduce deadly diseases in the laboratory.
The simplest answer is when you understand how a pathogen works,
you better your chances of fighting it.

Cholera in America’s Old South

~❋~❋~❋~

RB4U purpleToday is Author Jean Hart Stewart’s blog day.
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~ Our February contest is on.
Two – $50 GIFT CARDS & MORE.
Authors~ check out our promo services.

~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~

If you enjoy my daily musings, subscribe to get them sent to your inbox, or if your inbox is as packed as mine is, check out the Networked Blogs tab on the right and get all the blogs you follow in one daily notice. A year full of curious and compelling posts awaits!

all7books-smallSample my scorching love stories for free!


~Coming Soon~

anniv2015

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From the stacks 2


Oh the stuff I hang on to. I mentioned the other day that my laptop’s document folder is like the ubiquitous junk drawer. You know, that catch-all in the kitchen that holds too many rubber bands, wine corks, and other odds and ends that mysteriously multiply over the course of the year? Some things I’ve found are bits of writing from my two favorite events of Aprils past– the Authors in Bloom blog hop and the A to Z Challenge. I’ll be sharing some more past posts this week. As I offered A the other day, today I’ll go with B. I hope you enjoy.

B for Bioluminescence.

Who hasn’t captured a firefly on a warm summer evening? I remember those bug-smelly jars with holes punched in the lids and a handful of grass on the bottom. In my Chicago neighborhood, mobs of children scrambled over lawns at dusk with one thought in mind – to catch the most.

Those summertime flashes are known as bioluminescence – a natural ability of some living organism to emit cold light. In our human experience, light almost always gives off heat: sunlight, firelight, gaslight, electric light, nuclear reaction light. In the animal kingdom, this heat-free process is seen in sea creatures, certain insects and their larvae, worms, and spiders. We also see it in mushrooms and bacteria. From the first time my grubby little hands held a stinky firefly I’ve wondered how it lit up its tail end. Now I know.
:)

The cold light is produced by chemical reaction. One chemical, luciferin** is a substrate – That is, a substance which is acted upon by an enzyme. The other chemical is the enzyme itself – luciferase. Different creatures produce a range of these chemicals, resulting in different colors of light.

Fungi glow bluish-green night and day. This too is a chemical reaction, but the verdict is out on just what the purpose is. Some scientists feel it deters creatures that would eat the fungi, while others feel it’s a way to draw attention and get better spore distribution. And others believe, in some species, this glow attracts beneficial insects that eat damage-causing insects. Bioluminescent bacteria are believed to use their glow to communicate with one another. While fireflies are somewhat yellow, marine life most often produces the color blue. This makes sense because the color blue falls in the high-frequency end of the visible light spectrum, meaning blue light would penetrate the farthest through water.

However it’s used, bioluminescence in the animal world has purpose. In the ocean, bioluminescence can  lure food, attract a mate, and warn off or make your shape visually confusing to predators. There’s a species of shrimp that sends out a cloud of blindingly bright goo in a last ditch effort to get away from whatever is trying to eat them. On the other side of the predator/prey relationship, the angler fish dangles his little lantern like a lure to draw his prey closer to his mouth.

Insects have both uses for their glow too. The nighttime flash of the firefly is meant to attract a mate. This summer, pay attention to how many times the fireflies flash. If a firefly flashes his light twice, it will attract a two-flash species. If a firefly flashes three times, that’s meant to attract a three-flash species. But there’s an interesting tidbit of firefly bioluminescence that’s worth adding here, there are predator fireflies out there who mimic the flashes of other species. They use their bioluminescence to trick, capture, and eat those unsuspecting fireflies who are just trying to get on with the mating business. It adds a whole layer of drama to a warm summer night, doesn’t it? What a wondrous world we live in.

**Luciferin was named for the fallen archangel Lucifer. The name means bringer of light.

More~
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IThAD5yKrgE?rel=0

B for Baghdad Battery

One of the more unusual artifacts discovered on an archaeological dig turned up approximately 20 miles outside of Baghdad, Iraq in 1936. At first glance the finds appeared to be simple clay jars with iron lids and asphalt seals. They stood several inches tall and each had a copper tube with an inserted iron rod down the center. No one gave them much attention at the time.

Three years later, German archaeologist Wilhelm Konig was rooting around the stored antiquities in the National Museum of Iraq. Upon finding these odd vessels he drew a rather startling conclusion. The jars looked like galvanic cells — in other words — batteries.  Residue showed the jars had held slightly acidic liquid.. perhaps wine, vinegar, or citrus juice. The different metals involved would react to the acid and produce a mild electric current. Reconstruction of this odd device proves it generates a current between 0.4 and 1.9 volts.

There is some speculation among people who study such things that the Baghdad batteries could have been use medicinally for pain relief in the same manner electrical current is used today. Another opinion suggests they were used for electroplating. Whatever these inventions were used for, their modern counterpart didn’t come about until 2000 years later.

More~

This explains a likely use for the Baghdad battery.

This offers a peek into the battery assembly should you care to make one
yourself. How cool is that?

 youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR2EsV4yGf8

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RB4U purpleToday our guest is Jim Azevedo, marketing director at Smashwords.
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Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~ Our February contest is on.
Two – $50 GIFT CARDS & MORE.

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Fun Day Sunday & Weekend Happenings


funday smileIf you’ve been here before then you know Sundays on my blog are all about wonder and smiles. In honor of mentally kicking back once in a while, Sundays are Fun Days! Each Sunday, visitors will find a fun, interesting, or unusual something here. I’m a nerd with a complex sense of humor and absurd wit. It could literally be anything.

This one will blow your mind. It’s about Cymatics — the study of visible sound vibration. I’ll be blogging this in depth for the A to Z Challenge in April.

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~My Other Weekend Happenings~

Weekend Writing Warriors
http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

My Sexy Saturday & Sexy Snippets
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Sunday Snippet
**A promo op for you too!**
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

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RB4U purpleToday is Author Fran Lee’s blog day.
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Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~ Our February contest is on.
Two – $50 GIFT CARDS & MORE.

~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~❋~

If you enjoy my daily musings, subscribe to get them sent to your inbox, or if your inbox is as packed as mine is, check out the Networked Blogs tab on the right and get all the blogs you follow in one daily notice. A year full of curious and compelling posts awaits!

all7books-smallSample my scorching love stories for free!


~Coming Soon~

anniv2015

trrbanner

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