All posts by lukk

The Hidden Life of Trees

what they feel, how they communicateDid you know:

1.Many trees have pretty shady parenting techniques (literally). Their offspring grow up closeby, under the shadows of their parents, so they can spend hundreds of years under their parents’ thumbs. It’s for their own good, of course, and in tree years, a hundred or so years isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things.

2.Trees can send out messages to one another via airmail (e.g. “DANGER! GIRAFFE ALERT! GIRAFFE ALERT! Inject your leaves with bitter tasting compounds!” or something along those lines – I don’t speak tree.)

3. Humans micromanaging the growth of new forests in order to allow them to become old growth forests in the future does more harm than letting nature do its course, the way we do it. (This appears to me rather obvious.)

AND SO MUCH MORE (under the cut).

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Stiff

The Curious Lives of Human CadaversCADAVERS! Have I got you yet?

Mary Roach sure did! If you ever had any doubts about approaching this potentially daunting subject, let Roach sweep away all your doubts: she makes what might be an otherwise unsavory subject (for some, not all) into one from which you can’t quite tear yourself away. From discovering how much the average ribs can compress before the organs they protect are no longer exactly protected (2.75″, if you’re interested, p.88) to knowing all the different uses a cadaver might serve (apart from the aforementioned) and what took their place before (hello pigs! hello dogs! hello monkeys! to name a few. Though animal substitutes still serve in our place, sometimes alive rather than not. Take that how you will), Roach takes you through human cadaverhood in possibly the most approachable volume you’ll read. She litters the entire book with smart quips and witty remarks, both in the main text as well as in the copious footnotes, which I strongly advise you not to overlook, and renders the lives – if they may be referred to as such? – of human cadavers into stories in their own right, taking them through adventures where their physical safety is imperiled or allowing them to find a nice plot of land in which to decay under varying conditions, entertaining the living every once in a while to show them how they’re faring. There’s never a dull moment as a human cadaver! Have I got you now?

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Hausfrau

by EssbaumSimilarly to how Heather noted that A Long Way Down is not about suicide, Hausfrau is… well. I mean. It’s not. Truly.

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