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Archive for the ‘nature’ Category

 

Nature’s gifts each life-form adapts in context to its environment. A tree being immobile or man who can flee or fight in case of danger shall create whole lot of adjustments that make world of each distinct. This potential to give is drawn from nature owing to something beyond its control in all aspects. Man who is given to abstract thinking might tag thus his context. God is for him defines a Being whose absolute control gives the inchoate external circumstances a one to one context.

By same token of rational thinking cannot another make God as a reality hidden in the very interplay forces that impinge on his world? Cannot God with his omnipresence hide in the interplay of events?

In Japan traditional houses are oriented and windows are placed in such manner to frame pleasant features of the landscape. The Japanese call it ‘borrowing scenery’ from Nature. In controlling Nature in a manner most advantageous to us are we not similarly working on an idea that is purely our own? Man may dominate other life forms and even quote convenient verse to justify his actions. Gen.1:28

benny

 

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‘Make hay while the sun shines’ so goes the old saw. For a plant it is just vital to photosynthesize while the sun is up.

A plant in terms of nature holds similarities with man in that it has adapted for its stationary position. Consequentially roots, leaves instead of fingers are required to multi-task.
Water is drawn from soil and sent along the trunk, by means of capillary action. A stream goes the crown and also goes down like human circulatory system. In this we need to consider the mysterious cases of trees bleeding, redness which has nothing to do with actual blood our vessels carry.
Thrift is a human character which in case of plants is sending the sap to its roots before winter sleep. Of course a plant has no bank account but before winter a plant will send unwanted sap to its roots. How easy it is to distinguish a man according to his wealth in the bling bling he can afford. Of course no man has excelled in the sheer exuberance and fulness of red gold livery each tree can put out to show it has taken care of its surplus.
As David Attenborough in his popular BBC program The Life of Plants says, “”To find water a plant has to position its roots with just as much precision as it arranges its leaves… If moisture is in very short supply, it may have to drive a tap root deep into the ground to reach the water table.” Some desert plants may develop root systems that are far deeper than they are tall and extend laterally. Even if the environment is well-watered, a plant may still need to compete…, so it positions a network of roots closer to soil surface so when rain falls they could have the first fill.”In its farsightedness not to miss the action when it comes reveal nature has compensated life forms adequately and survival depends not so much as the outcome of a decisive battle where casualties exceeds millions and many more wounded or maimed in actions. Whether such strategy of nano corrections steadily applied to maximize the gains from changes in environment is more effective than of man whose policies run a gamut of feigned friendliness, treaties and cultural exchanges between peoples with intent to destabilize one another and saber rattling and conflict? Man’s outlay in achieving efficiency is with an eye to his complex social life where profits at the cost of decimating one another must percolate from nation building to line the pockets of those who thrive in conflicts.
Plants are no different in their needs, but being immobile their defenses tend to take a different form than they do in animals.
Plant defenses are grouped into three broad categories: chemical, physical, and co-optive.
In chemical defense plants may produce toxins and with pungent aromas, for example, poison ivy.What is repellant to other animals and meant as chemical defenses we consume with great relish, many of our foods and spices.Physical defenses are the most obvious to us, especially when they come in the form of thorns and barbs. Plants may defend itself by co-opting animals for defense. Ants are probably the animal most often co-opted by plants. Like humans, plants can manipulate-,via bribes, misrepresentation orchids tricking bees into trying to mate with the flowers is an example.

<(Ack: writing for nature. wordpress.com/2013/12/03/plant-defenses-myriad-strategies)

benny

 

 

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Reading makes a full man;…and writing an exact man.

Between reading and writing is a black hole where mind must take over.

In my youth I found so many traits homegrown, also in the great lives I read; there were similarly many cultures I could lay claim as my native soil. Is it possible? I read Aesop and I could write in same style some animal stories that steadily improved with life experience.  Conclusion: Mind is all.

I presume there is Cosmic mind to which our mind cannot be strangers. Each of us taps from mother lode what one may. Some extract gold some, copper so on. Mind provides template for our experience.

How one puts his experience real and imagined must provide clues to some inner dynamics. Style is how and why is yet another.

Memory

If one were to write using Aliens as characters, memory from Mind is recalled (imagination) which life experience gives semblance of truth.

Dreams are not alien to universal mind where experience of human race must deposit as silt in a winding river. Unconscious mind devises symbols.

During REM sleep eyes move, which must alert us brain activities are of different kind. What can the dreamer see with eyes closed but Mind?

Flame of a candle will go out if O2 isn’t present. When came this knowledge but a virtual consciousness in material world?

Nature would be impossible if it did not establish order where both prey and predator observe ground rules so species may thrive.

Nature instills balances and checks to keep continuity of life not for its glory. It merely paraphrases from Mind certain home truths.

Will

Where order is created from calamities, chaos, plague and war Nature is letting a Will that is beyond it to comprehend.

Life means exercise of consciousness of mind that may run on superimposed layers virtual to cosmic consciousness.

By superimposed layers of consciousness, prophets are transported to the throne of God or converse with Archangel Gabriel.

It is where conscious mind of man applies what he wants to read these superimposed layers of consciousness he develops serious flaws. For examples schisms and sects in religions of the world.

Mind of man can grasp Cosmic Mind in certain symbols and signs. Error is when he applies it to a particular case than as a whole.

As in the analogy of black hole between reading and writing, error of man is to miss the true nature of Mind.

Each prophet secures followers for his special revelations drawn from Mind. One lays blessedness in obedience and another on charity etc.,

Science teaches us that black holes are complemented by white holes as matter as anti-matter. We divide Mind, which is whole, an error.

Tailpiece:

If there is nothing new under the sun for that matter in cosmos by way of ideas whose idea am I quoting; or you for that matter?

Between Spartacus and Spartacists of 1919 Germany there is centuries of social history to give the movement its distinctive flavor. I am subject to time and space while Cosmic Mind (with Memory) is freed from time-space constraints

benny

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Thomas Malthus (1766-1834)

If impact of any one is based on influence he had over shaping the thoughts of number of people (who are movers and shakers in their own time,) Malthus deserves a pre-eminent position as the shaper of modern world. Where would be  VI Lenin if there was no Karl Marx to begin with? Karl Marx certainly owes much to this unassuming English cleric. So do Charles Darwin and Arthur Russell Wallace.

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Malthus became widely known for his theories about change in population. His An Essay on the Principle of Population observed that sooner or later population would be checked by famine and disease. He wrote in opposition to the popular view in 18th-century Europe that saw society as improving and in principle as perfectible. Naturally he had no use for Rousseau’s woolly ideas of noble savage. Nature was a battle- front where life forms marshaled their energies to get an edge over others in the ever dwindling resources. There was nothing noble but hard-nosed reality of survival.

Malthus wrote:

That the increase of population is necessarily limited by the means of subsistence,

That population does invariably increase when the means of subsistence increase, and,

That the superior power of population is repressed, and the actual population kept equal to the means of subsistence, by misery and vice.

Malthus was interested in everything about populations. He accumulated figures on births, deaths, age of marriage and childbearing, and economic factors contributing to longevity. His main contribution was to highlight the relationship between food supply and population. Humans do not overpopulate to the point of starvation, he contended, only because people change their behavior in the face of economic incentives. (Perhaps the reason for fall in child births globally after the 2008 must point out to the validity of this point.b)

Noting that while food production tends to increase arithmetically, population tends to increase naturally at a (faster) geometric rate, Malthus argued that it is no surprise that people thus choose to reduce (or “check”) population growth. People can increase food production, Malthus thought, only by slow, difficult methods such as reclaiming unused land or intensive farming; but they can check population growth more effectively by marrying late, using contraceptives, emigrating and so on.

It could be argued that war is also part of Nature’s game plan*.

Trivia: Thomas Carlyle in 1849 coined economics as “dismal science.” It was to demean John Stuart Mill, and often erroneously thought to refer to Malthus’s contributions to the economics of population growth.

 

*Tailspin:

 Hitler’s lebensraum  was one way of cutting the ground off from under the feet of National Socialism. Is it not nature’s way of getting rid of evil geniuses? Nature works with chains of events that are most likely to be beneficial to maintain open societies where new technologies shall be put to use for creating health and all around well-being of  global population. Consequently ethnic cleansing of minorities, gypsies, Jews adopted by Nazi Germany as a state policy was counterproductive. Stalin would cause some 22 millions to perish under his personality cult. Where did that leave Soviet bloc? Did it not go out of business by its own immoral governance? Nature has a role if we were to follow Malthusian thought  further into the fall of empire-states. (Ack: wikipedia, Lauren F. Landsburg)

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Web of life is such complex relationship where species drawing benefits from realities of life (of which death is but one) can go on along the line to support many other. For example a felled Douglas fir serves a purpose just as it alive would have done.

A Douglas fir alive would have held insects in check because of its sap; but when dead invites marauding insect- armies which turn it into a spongy mass. Even at this stage it can soak up moisture and store it away. In the process it renews forest soil.

A felled log has its uses considering the number of small organisms that live therein. Douglas Fir in a temperate climate holds immense colonies starting with folding-door spider, which builds its nest along the cracks in the bark to its centre where a black heart rot fungi will have a continual feast on the heartwood; meanwhile prowlers like centipedes, earwigs and pseudo-scorpions scavenge among loose bark for a meal or two.

Logs that fall into streams instead on the forest ground are not wasted. Logs rot in water and create pools retard erosion and enrich fisheries. Logs thudding into streams create condition for Coho salmon and steelhead that drop in attracted by cool oxygen-rich water. They also find plenty of aquatic insects that thrive in the clean water.

 

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When we speak of  web of life it would also mean all  the  conditions and circumstances that support life. It could be from elements spewed out at the death of stars; it could be in the formation of  atmosphere and from interaction of land mass, ocean and atmosphere. Earth is a living planet and many systems are created in the process of its stabilization to make life appear as it did. Our planet occupies an intergalactic node but it also have many lateral webs of which the role of fungi is as vital as trees or plants..

Discovery

Associations of fungi with the roots of plants have been known since at least the mid-19th century. However early observers simply recorded the fact without investigating the relationships between the two organisms. This symbiosis was studied and described by Franciszek Kamieński in 1879–1882. Further research was carried out by Albert Bernhard Frank, who introduced the term mycorrhiza 1885.

 Mycorrhiza is a association between a fungus and the roots of a vascular (relating to water  or nutrient carrying ) plant. The fungus sends out network of  filaments  connecting with the host plant’s roots. It serves a vital purpose enriching soil life and its chemistry. In turn these filaments or hyphae transfer soil nutrients to host plants. In woodlands owing to the abundance of trees fungi have a wide host range. Fungi have been found to have a protective role for plants rooted in soils with high metal concentrations, such as acidic and contaminated soils.

Fungus Laccaria bicolor has been found to lure and kill springtails to obtain nitrogen, some of which may then be transferred to the mycorrhizal host plant. In a study by Klironomos and Hart, Eastern White Pine inoculated with L. bicolor was able to derive up to 25% of its nitrogen from springtails.

 

 Nutrients can be shown to move between different plants through the fungal network. Carbon has been shown to move from paper birch trees into Douglas-fir trees thereby promoting succession in ecosystems.

These filaments have shown ability to sense the presence of other filaments. Mycorrhizas are present in 92% of plant families studied 80% of species.

The point to remember is that not a single species stand by itself and its survival depends on many other branches in the web of life.(ack: wikipedia,National Geographic Magazine)

benny

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Nature has allowed two way communication whereby the user and the used benefit in a manner beneficial to both. Alas, man seems to think taking is the mark of a man on the go, while giving makes him a wimp. He takes natural resources of the earth as though he may cash them with impunity, but when severe drought stalks the land while the seasonal rains are expected, he knows it is a signal for the end times. There are things he can give to the world to his profit, and take lessons of Nature with all due humility that before laws of Nature he is of equal weight as humble bees and earthworms. 

“The co-evolution between flowers and bees has a long and beneficial history, so perhaps it’s not entirely surprising that we are still discovering today how remarkably sophisticated their communication is,” Professor Daniel Robert, from the University of Bristol team concludes after studying their interaction and the research was published in the month of February,  online edition of the journal Science.

Some of the points are as follows:

Plants are known to emit weak negatively charged electric fields, and bees acquire a positive charge of up to 200 volts as they fly through the air.

How do the bees and the plants communicate? They communicate by electric signals.

As a charged bee approaches a flower, the difference in electrical potential is not enough to produce sparks, but can be felt by the insect.

The researchers investigated the signals by placing electrodes in the stems of petunias.

They found that when a bee landed on a flower, the plant’s electrical potential changed and remained altered for several minutes.

This could be a way of letting a bee know it is landing on a flower that has already been visited and lost its nectar, the scientists speculate. Surprising fact is bumblebees also have this ability .They also can detect it from change in color.

How bees detect the fields is unknown, but the researchers suspect the electrostatic force might make their hair bristle. A similar hair-raising effect is seen when placing one’s head close to an old-style TV screen.(ack: the Guardian,21 Feb,2013)

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landscape with water

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