Category Archives: Environment

The Contented Zoologist: Mid Feb 2017

My MS degree from Auburn (just after the last Ice Age) was in Vertebrate Zoology. I would have been just as happy--if not happier--if it had been in Invertebrate Zoology since there are a gazillion times more animals without than with backbones. And they have had oodles (another highly scientific word) more time to show up with bizarre, worthwhile and "clever" adaptations to life on Earth. And it has never been easier for an armchair BoZo (I go both ways, botanical and zoological) to explore the world of animal wonders. How could I possibly keep from sharing from time to time? ► This … Continue Reading ››

A Pill Bug By Any Other Name

So what do you call them? And if you say you've never seen them before or held one (or a couple of dozen) in your hands as a child, well--the pity. We called them roly-polies. You might have called them pill bugs or sow bugs or wood lice, but they are not bugs nor lice, and they are not even insects. They are more closely related to shrimp and lobsters, and are Crustaceans living on land--the only ones fully capable of doing so. And judging from the widely-divergent and varied names they have been given, you can assume that these innocuous detritivores are globally … Continue Reading ››

Let There (NOT) Be Light

Yo, Fragments regulars or those much  more numerous who, according to my site statistics,  came here round-about from the oddest search results you can imagine (those details for another time)... I will be, at least for while, posting primarily on medium.com that perhaps has more potential readership and greater credibility as a fact source than the fuzzy world of blogs. Today's post has not gotten much love there, so my thought that DARKNESS  and a pertinent map would be an interesting topic for my sky-watching neighbors has not borne out. I continue to have my finger somewhere other than on the pulse … Continue Reading ››

Matter of Scale

Do aggregates of humans  in business suits lose their soul beyond a certain number under the same corporate roof?  Does the myopic quest for efficiency and profit to the exclusion of all other common good turn proper intention toward the dark side? Can we survive in the era of BIG?  Those were the questions rising in the steam from my first cup of coffee this morning. And so my morning pages took the shape of the following screed (also posted to Medium.com for a potentially wider audience than you, mom. TLDR. But that's okay. I feel better now.) BIG IS KILLING US

John … Continue Reading ››

Nature Deficit Disaster: Vanishing Species

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/video-why-should-humans-care-about-biodiversity-loss-180961708/ There was a time when we could pretend to not know it was short-sighted to let tongueless buffalo carcasses rot by the millions. Or shoot passenger pigeons for sport. Or wipe out all top predators because we had the notion the world would be a better place without them. There was a time when humankind could depend on business, more or less, as usual, over the long term of our short history. That long calm was called the Holocene--the term that geologists use for that period of 15 to 20 thousand years after the last … Continue Reading ››

The Technosphere: The World We Have Created

Earth's 'technosphere' now weighs 30 trillion tons -- ScienceDaily "The word technology comes from two Greek words, transliterated techne and logos. Techne means art, skill, craft, or the way, manner, or means by which a thing is gained." And so, over the not-so-many millennia of our species' thumb-and-brain-powered rise to power, we've used our art and dexterity to shape the natural world of bone and sinew, fiber and ore, fire and fuel into over a billion different forms of future techno-fossil: 30 trillion tons of man-stuff. Most of this will outlive our civilization, buried in the strata of the unknown future. It … Continue Reading ››