“As the races of man speak in different languages so do the varieties of plants manifest their voices in different ways. They seem to be able to hear and understand us. For the time being, however, we must listen to them through our machines. One day, those machines may be unnecessary.”
Tag Archives | Plants
Our senses provide us with only a small slice of the beauty occurring in the natural world around us. The Data Garden Quartet is music generated by living plants:
… Read the rest
Data Garden presents a live exhibition recording of Quartet, the first plant-generated audio composition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The electronic impulses of four plants, interpreted by humans with the help of computers, has been employed to organize sound into beauty perceivable by the human ear. While the means of producing this beauty can be described in technical terms, the natural creative force generating this experience is less apparent.
We all think we know what nature sounds like. It’s birds chirping, wind through trees, thunder echoing through the valley. These are sounds that come from physical phenomena in nature, producing waves perceivable by the human ear: the need to mate, currents of air and water, static electricity. There are other phenomena in our natural environment, however, that produce information which we cannot perceive through our biological senses.
“I believe that the lost secret of human emergence..the undefined catalyst that took a very bright monkey and turned that species into a self-reflecting dreamer..that catalyst has to be sought in these alkaloids in the food chain that were catalyzing higher states of intellectual activity.” — Terence McKenna
Tony Wright and Graham Gynn are authors of Left In The Dark– the book that presents Tony’s research outlining a radical re-interpretation of the current data regarding human evolution and, they contend, our recent degenerated state we call “civilization”. You can read the book for free here. Despite such a young and extreme proposal positive reactions are growing and include such minds as Dennis McKenna, Stanislav Grof, Colin Groves, Michael Winkelman and many others.
There are many mysterious anomalies about human evolution yet to be adequately explained. These include the human brains rapid expansion in size and complexity, why this accelerating expansion suddenly stalled roughly 200,000 years ago and our brains have been shrinking ever since, and why our rare glimpses of genius goes hand in hand with our species wide insanity.… Read the rest
The chief of research for Fuji Electronic Industries has constructed special instruments which translate the electrical output of plants into modulated sounds, giving voice to a cactus. Relying on her affinity for plants, Mrs. Hashimoto looks forward to actual conversation with her cactus...Convinced it possesses an intelligence, she is determined to teach it the Japanese alphabet.
BLDG BLOG delves into the beauty of how plant life can reflect what is buried in the earth below, and could even be used to find the location of hidden treasure:
… Read the rest
I absolutely love stories like this, and I swoon a little bit when I read them; it turns out that “plants growing over old sites of human habitation have a different chemistry from their neighbors, and these differences can reveal the location of buried ruins.”
The brief article goes on to tell the story of two archaeologists, who, in collecting plants in Greenland, made the chemical discovery: “Some of their samples were unusually rich in nitrogen-15, and subsequent digs revealed that these plants had been growing above long-abandoned Norse farmsteads.”
The idea that your garden could be more like an indicator landscape for lost archaeological sites—that, below the flowers, informing their very chemistry, perhaps even subtly altering their shapes and colors, are the traces of abandoned architecture—is absolutely unbelievable.
Via Wired, Dornith Doherty’s photographs offer a glimpse inside several of humanity’s vital seed-saving facilities, where samples of our planet’s flora are stored and protected in case of future mass extinction (be it due to climate change, nuclear war, astroid impact, or disease epidemic). Perhaps most stark is the Svalbard “Doomsday” Seed Vault, located on an island near the North Pole. One of these tiny outposts could someday be the savior of life on Earth:
… Read the rest
Dornith Doherty’s documentary images of seed-saving facilities capture the logistics — and existential anxiety — behind the elaborate steps now in place to preserve the world’s crop diversity.
Once a traditional, year-to year practice by smallholding farmers to develop sturdy varietals, this simple act of putting seed aside has more and more become the concern of international affairs and corporate policy.
“Seed saving and its role in preserving biodiversity is of utmost importance. We are in an era called the Holocene extinction, which is notable for its decline in biodiversity,” says Doherty.
[disinfo ed.’s note: the following is an excerpt from The Protein Myth: Significantly reducing the Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease, Stoke and Diabetes while Saving the Animals and the Planet courtesy of John Hunt Publishing.]
Current research suggests that death from cardiovascular disease is on the decline. However, the incidence of people who get heart disease remains the same, and risk factors may be increasing.1 (Cardiovascular disease includes stroke, high blood pressure, heart failure, and other conditions like arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, and peripheral arterial disease.) Discoveries that isolate the cause of heart disease and offer cures like the remarkable breakthroughs made by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. and Dr. Dean Ornish should, consequently, excite cardiologists. Yet in spite of the proved effectiveness of these new treatment options, most mainstream cardiologists and cardiovascular treatment facilities have ignored them.
Dr. Esselstyn began a twelve year cardiac disease arrest and reversal trial in 1985.… Read the rest
… Read the rest
Plants don’t get enough respect as sci-fi monsters. Sure, Triffids will always rule, but sci-fi baddies tend to be mutants, zombies, vampires and other altered mammals. This is in ignorance of plants’ amazingly creepy special abilities. To prove it, we’ve dug up six plant skills that freak us out more than Godzilla.
Eating Rats: Okay, here’s the horrifying plot: You’re a missionary near the Philippine Archipelago. While doing your daily missioning or whatever, you wander up to the top of a mountain. Thirsty, you stumble upon what looks like an ornate birdbath filled with nectar. Leaning over to take a sip, you see a dead rat inside … and it’s slowly being digested by the plant.
This is Nepenthes attenboroughii, one of the most badass scary plants on Earth. See, while most pitcher plants stick to eating bugs, Nepenthes attenboroughii prefers to lure in birds and rats by looking as tasty as possible.
Ever wonder how many species are sharing this Earth? Apparently it’s 8.7 million, give or take a few. This takes into account the few thousand plant or marine species we haven’t discovered yet or documented. Via Physorg:
… Read the rest
That is a new, estimated total number of species on Earth — the most precise calculation ever offered — with 6.5 million species found on land and 2.2 million (about 25 percent of the total) dwelling in the ocean depths.
Announced today by Census of Marine Life scientists, the figure is based on an innovative, validated analytical technique that dramatically narrows the range of previous estimates. Until now, the number of species on Earth was said to fall somewhere between 3 million and 100 million.
Furthermore, the study, published today by PLoS Biology, says a staggering 86% of all species on land and 91% of those in the seas have yet to be discovered, described and catalogued.