Friday, 25 November 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/nov/24/emulate-christ-tribunal-cheek-slapped?INTCMP=SRCH). He doesn't seem to appreciate, in his Chancellorocentric view of the natural world, that the snake only bites people and their animals when they pick it up or tread on it (it's a waste of its hard-generated venom as the snake can't swallow them). Vipera berus is an important part of the ecology of many areas, as it largely feeds on rodents with the potential to show population explosions. The snake's loss from areas is generally a sign that the environment has suffered from intensive agriculture or urbanisation. The adder is actually a beautifully adapted little beast with the largest geographical range (southern Italy to the high Arctic) of any reptile. It's a good job that Alexander doesn't live in India or Australia as the tiger or the shark would be respectively doomed.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/nov/22/night-flowering-orchid-discovered?INTCMP=SRCH). This suggests that it must be pollinated exclusively by some nocturnal agent (a moth?). Unfortunately, the island is scheduled for logging activity.
Saturday, 19 November 2011
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15726717). The claim is that, without a clear understanding of the species we currently have, we will never know what we have lost to climate change, pollution events and urbanisation etc. It is clearly felt that relying on spore patterns produced by fruiting bodies only gives a partial picture. The fungi are incredibly important in natural recycling of carbon etc. The wax-caps are first on the agenda but it sounds as if the tiny soil fungi are not due for study any time soon.
Friday, 18 November 2011
Thursday, 17 November 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/nov/17/gourmet-salt-health-celebrity-chefs?INTCMP=SRCH) has confirmed that both are equally bad for you. You probably only rarely need to add salt to processed foods. The manufacturers have leaped in with arguments that the 'trace elements' in sea salt etc are of benefit but they are present in tiny amounts and are variable impurities.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/16/amphibians-terrifying-extinction-threat). The first two of these factors seem, in many parts of the globe, to be additive whereas chytridiomycosis seems to strike more locally and sporadically. I personally think that the loss of these fascinating beasts would be awful as well as having 'knock on' effects on the ecology of regions. Urgent action is needed! Hop to it!
Sunday, 13 November 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/13/warm-autumn-wildlife-oddities?INTCMP=SRCH). This is largely based on seeing seasonal oddities. I don't think that too much should be read into them as strange timings for insects and flowers are not that uncommon. Locally, Orange hawkweed (Pilosella aurantiaca) is late in flower and the bushes in my garden are flowering for the third or fourth time.
Saturday, 12 November 2011
Monday, 7 November 2011
Sunday, 6 November 2011
Friday, 4 November 2011
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/oct/31/population-growth-buddhist-reincarnation). Buddhists apparently do not believe that reincarnation is a matter of 'one out -one in' where which a permanent 'soul' persists but prefer to talk in terms of rebirth.
There is a somewhat odd finding that highly toxic Pumpkin toadlets from Brazil apparently cannot hear their own mating calls ( https://w...
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It is always sad to hear of problems occurring at places you have used for teaching and the outbreak of h5n8 avian influenza at Abbot...