The winter solstice is upon us this weekend. While it’s far too soggy outside for the bonfire I had half-considered, I’ll still probably tip a glass of rum later tonight to the…

cricketsVia Enpundit the unsettling realization that the sound of insects resembles our singing, if you know how to listen:

Composer Jim Wilson has recorded the sound of crickets and then slowed down the recording, revealing something so amazing. The crickets sound like they are singing the most angelic chorus in perfect harmony.

The recording contains two tracks played at the same time: The first is the natural sound of crickets played at regular speed, and the second is the slowed down version of crickets’ voices.

“I discovered that when I slowed down this recording to various levels, this simple familiar sound began to morph into something very mystic and complex……..almost human.”

A neat photo gallery at Survival International, with text by Joanna Eede: For many tribal peoples, continuous immersion in nature over thousands of years has resulted in a profound attunement to the…

Did humans discover the components of ayahuasca by observing animals? And when large cats go on a psychedelic trip in the jungle, what do they see? The Daily Grail reveals:

A jaguar in the Peruvian rain forest eating the Banisteriopsis caapi vine, one of the major constituents of the shamanic brew ayahuasca. (The jaguar seems to be affected somewhat by the vine.)

To make things doubly interesting, one of the most commonly reported elements in ayahuasca visions are…jaguars! And these visions even seem to transcend cultural and geographical boundaries. Chilean psychiatrist Claudio Naranjo administered harmaline to 35 white, urban volunteers, without telling them the substance they were taking nor the expected effects. He was surprised to note that “strangely enough, tigers, leopards or jaguars were seen by seven subjects even though big cats are not seen in Chile.”

This certainly looks like the end of the world. The last time a swarm of a similar magnitude occurred was 2004, causing massive crop damage across the country. The prevalence of locust mega-outbreaks is expected to increase with global warming:

In Cairo, residents burned tires to create a black fog to keep the locusts from settling in the city. Swarms were also reported to have reached Egypt’s Red Sea city of Zafarana, some 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Cairo. The Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture issued a statement saying it had set up task forces to deal with the locust plague.

From the writers and activists network Dark Mountain Project, the manifesto of Uncivilisation, a response to the alleged coming unraveling of modern society: We reject the faith which holds that the converging…

Via New Scientist:
In order to better understand how human bodies decompose in the ocean, Simon Fraser University forensic scientist Gail Anderson tracked the decomposition of a pig. The pig’s body was caged (to prevent larger predators like sharks from swimming away with it) and then submerged. Time lapse photography documents the pig’s remains as they’re consumed to the bones by sea lice and other small scavengers.