RSS Feed

Professor’s Records: Muslimgauze

Posted on

mg-damascus

Beginning today, I would like to start a new series: Professor’s Records. This series will focus on various musicians that I have found interesting and worthy of note. Many of them will bring a bizarre innovation or creative novelties that cannot be found in any other music. The first of such artists is the English, experimental/noise artist: Muslimgauze.

Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

King of Herrings

Posted on
800px-King_of_herrings

An illustration from the 1895 “Oceanic Ichthyology” by Tarleton Bean and George Goode

The King of Herrings is neither a king, nor a herring. It is not even a close relative to herrings. However, it is a rather large fish also known as the Giant Oarfish (or Regalecus glesne).

Read the rest of this entry

Processing Cashews for Edibility

Posted on

There is a reason why you cannot buy cashews in the shell. Cashews are poisonous if they aren’t processed properly. That’s no big surprise considering they are in the same family as poison ivy. In fact, its toxin, urushiol, is the same allergen that gives poison ivy its itch.

Illustration from “Dictionnaire Pittoresque d’Histoire Naturelle et des Phénomènes de la Nature”

Cashews are grow as a hanging nut underneath a false fruit (false fruit having their seeds on the outside) sometimes referred to as “apples”. These apples grow in trees that can reach around 30 feet tall.

First image of a cashew tree (drawn by French explorer André Thevet)

After being picked, the cashews are roasted to release the poisonous fluid. This leaves a wrinkled and dried skin on the cashew which is then removed.

Cashews ready to be peeled

The “cashew nutshell liquid” is sometimes collected and used in things like varnish and even fungicides.

Louis Boutan

Posted on

Louis Boutan, the first underwater photographer began his work in 1893. Read about him in my new Faded & Blurred article here!

A photo of Boutan underwater

Helike: the True Story of Atlantis

Posted on

Helike was a city founded in the Bronze age of Greece. It had colonies in Southern Italy and Turkey, and, according to Homer, even sent a ship in the Trojan War. And although Helike had all this plus its own language and currency, it was wiped from the map one winter night in 373 BCE.

A coin with Poseidon on the face

Read the rest of this entry

Edible landscaping

Posted on

In Walt Disney’s vision of the future, public landscaping utilized only edible plants. This idea claimed that no one would go hungry due to the foods freely available in the public space. Tomorrowland demonstrates this concept by mostly using edible plants for landscaping. There are lavender hedges, pepper trees, and more throughout that area of the park; a monument to Disney’s vision.

More recently, a group decided to implement a similar idea in their city. One of them, Pam Warhurst, explained the concept and process at TED.

I personally hope that more cities will participate in such a plan!

The Year the Earth Turned Dark

Posted on

From 535-536 CE, crops around the globe refused to produce. People from many cultures wrote of that year having droughts and strange weather. It was the year the Sun was darkened by volcanic dust.

Read the rest of this entry