On the first Sunday of September every year since 1936, Zundert—a small town in the Netherlands that is the birthplace of Vincent van Gogh—puts on the world’s largest volunteer-run flower parade, with a raft of over-the-top floats made from local dahlias. This year's floats did not disappoint. [more inside]
...is but one of over 400 plants held in the poet's digitally-accessible herbaria [NYT slideshow] "Her first assembled collection was not, as one might expect, a collection of writing, but a collection of [pressed] plant specimens." The collection is available for digital access through Harvard's Houghton Library: "The digital edition also notes corrected identifications when Dickinson got the plants' names wrong. That wasn’t an uncommon occurrence. Fair enough—she was only 14." Cannabis Culture has its own set of opinions about 14 year old Emily's herbaria: "It’s quite possible that she was content with her life of seclusion because she was having daily mystical experiences, aided by psychotropic plants she grew in her garden, or found in the woods."
Video for Run The Jewels' “Love Again” featuring Gangsta Boo on Vimeo and YouTube. (NSFW: super-explicit lyrics but SFW visuals unless "....You Work With Entomologists.")
In the Victorian Era, "the language of flowers" (floriography) was all the rage. According to The Smithsonian Gardens History in Bloom summary (and activities sheets) for The Language of Flowers (PDF), "Nearly all Victorian homes would own at least one of the guide books dedicated to the ‘language of flowers.’ The authors of these guidebooks used visual and verbal analogies, religious and literary sources, folkloric connections, and botanical attributes to derive the various associations for the flowers." But where did it come from? (Google books preview) Istanbul in the Tulip Age (PDF, first chapter of Crime and Punishment in Istanbul: 1700-1800), and Turkish love-letters and harems ... somewhat. [more inside]
In the aftermath of the attack in Paris, a small boy & his father are interviewed. Together they remind us that even in the darkest hour there is light and hope.
The ‘driest place on Earth’ is covered in pink flowers after a crazy year of rain. The Atacama Desert in Chile, known as the driest place on Earth, is awash with color after a year’s worth of extreme rainfall. (SLWaPo, plenty of pics, not a slideshow)
A photo of deformed daisies taken near Fukushima has recently gone viral. As serious as the Fukushima disaster is (previously), these particular deformities were probably not caused by radiation, and similar mutations have been found in a variety of plant species all over the world. The condition is known as fasciation or cristation, it has a number of potential causes, and it can look pretty cool. In some plants it's even a desired trait: the cockscomb celosia, aka "brain flower", is deliberately cultivated for its fasciated blooms.
Discogs user gatogato makes lists of record covers with elements in common. If you've ever wanted to see 716 covers that feature chairs, 254 showing the Eiffel Tower, 98 depicting flowers next to instruments, 645 with cats of all kinds, or 335 picturing people standing by the ocean, you've found your Mecca.
"Neill was hosting a special flower show at his shop called 'Passion for Peonies' as part of Chelsea Fringe. The Peonies he had on display were absolutely breathtaking ~ take a look." [more inside]
In January, one of the last remaining specimens of a nearly extinct water lily was stolen from Kew Gardens. Collectors and nursery owners continued to beg Magdalena for the plant. “All the time,” he said. “All the time.” He sensed that people were willing to break the rules. “When there is no way of getting it, people grow sick and obsessed.” When the water lily was taken from the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Magdalena wasn’t shocked in the slightest. “What surprised me is that it took so long,” he said.
Flower Beards. Fuck Yeah Flower Beards! Street Test: "I’m getting a lot more eye contact than I usually do." Will It Beard?
From 1851 to 1858, Henry David Thoreau noted a number of natural occurrences in detail, including the first flowering dates for over 500 species of wildflowers in Concord. Additionally, Alfred Hosmer, a botanist in the same area, had recorded the flowering dates of over 600 species of wild plants in 1878 and from 1888 to 1902. With that data, Richard Primack, a biology professor at Boston University, and fellow researcher Abraham Miller-Rushing spent years aligning old plant names with current names to study the change flowering patterns from the recorded past to present. Their phenological study concluded that plants in Concord, on average, are now flowering 10 days earlier than they were in Thoreau's time (full article for the journal BioScience). [more inside]
Tomorrow, the 2013 Ashes series (England verses Australia) begins with the start of the first match at Trent Bridge (Nottingham). Though England and Australia have battled since 1861, the Ashes were first contested in 1882. Australia lead England 31-30 in series victories. England start as strong favorites with the bookmakers. Glenn McGrath cautiously predicts a 2-1 Australia series win, whilst Ian Botham predicts a 10-0 wipeout for England over the two series. The 2013 Ashes will be streamed live to 53 countries over YouTube. With Britain in the grip of unusual summer weather (sun), much play is likely. [more inside]
Harvard chemists induce microscopic crystal "flowers" to grow on the edge of a razor blade with beautiful results.
The state of Washington has filed suit against Arlene's Flowers, whose owner, Barronelle Stutzman, refused to provide flowers for the wedding of regular customers Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed. [more inside]
Stunning floats from holland, made of flowers. Scroll down and click on an image for a photo montage of these great designs. The scale of them! [more inside]
Frost Flowers: "...they are made of such thin sheets of ice, they will melt away as the sun rises higher in the sky. You may get frost flowers again the following day, but unless the conditions are just right the chances are your first glimpse may be your last."
32,000 years ago, a squirrel buried some fruits from a flower related to the narrow-leafed campion in a riverbank in Russia. Either the squirrel forgot, or got eaten itself, and the buried cache of fruits stayed, preserved by the permafrost. This year, Russian scientists discovered the cache, recovered the fruit, and thawed it out to see if they could recover the seeds. Some of the seeds did indeed germinate - and this winter, millennia after first growing on their parent plant, those seeds bloomed.
The Life of Flowers is a timelapse of blooms opening put to music. It's simple and lovely.
Brendan Fitzpatrick took x-ray photographs of flowers that can be magnified by clicking on them.
In 2003 a building housing the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (MMHC) was slated for demolition to make way for updated facilities. Artist Anna Schuleit was commissioned to memorialize its rich history. Schuleit: The concept for Bloom came to me as a site-specific installation to mark the transition of the life and history of the institution toward its closure, from its physical state to the remembered with 28,000 potted flowering plants. More images available here.
Cedric Laquieze is a sculptor specializing in unusual creatures like fairy flowers and goddesses made from organic materials.
Hanano Puzzle is a puzzle game about flowers, stones and gravity. Its author announced it recently on the TIGsource forums. Caveat: there is only a Windows version.
Richard Fischer's floral sculptures are photos of extraordinary detail and beauty. Experts believe many of the flowers he has photographed will become extinct within our lifetime.
(warning: opens with sound) [more inside]
(warning: opens with sound) [more inside]
In 1772, at the age of 73, Mrs. Mary Delany invented a new way of depicting flowers: with hundreds of small pieces of paper carefully cut out and placed. This method - which she called "paper mosaicks" and which later became known as (paper) collage - enchanted her friend Lady Portland, King George III and his queen, and natural historians, artists, collectors, and friends alike. They look like botanical paintings, but are constructed out of paper. Browse the British Museum's collection. [more inside]
This is a game about breeding flowers. Each flower's traits are determined by its genes. Pick two flowers and their genes combine to create new variations. There is no aim in this game... Feel free to set yourself one. -- Rare Breeds: Petunia. (Flash.) [more inside]
During the past 4 days, the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science has stayed open 24 hours to accommodate the record crowds filing into the museum at all hours. Why? A rare Amorphophallus titanium, aka “Corpse Flower,” named Lois is finally about to bloom. Now, Lois is not your average, run-of-the-mill stinky plant. Only 28 Corpse Flowers have bloomed in the US, so Lois has become a local celebrity with her own blog, Flickr feed, live webcam and cupcakes. She even has her own playlist, with songs such as “That Smell” by Lynyrd Skynrd, “I’m Comin’ Out” by Diana Ross and the classic “Smelly Cat” by Phoebe from Friends. And like any trendy Corpse Flower, Lois also has her own Twitter account. She's also a bit of a diva. Yet despite predictions, Lois still hasn't bloomed as of Wednesday morning. In response, Lois makes excuses, bad jokes, complaints and snarky comments.
Botanical Drawings for the Digital Age "Macoto Murayama can spend months on one of his botanical illustrations, and when he’s done, the plant looks like something that blossomed in outer space."
Brian Valentine takes 3D macro images of flowers and insects. (How do I view them?) He discusses his macro methods here; a more general guide for making your own (not necessarily macro) 3D images can be found here. More 3D goodness at the Flickr Stereophotography (and stereovideography!) pools. Via EMRJKC'94. [more inside]
Microworld by Licht. More of Paul's macro droplet shots can be seen at his Flickr gallery and others' macro droplet shots in the Refractions in Liquid Drops group pool.
Top Events USA lists their top 20 events across the USA, the top 10 events and festivals for each of the United States, and lists of the best annual events and festivals by category or theme. [more inside]
The opportunity of having a whole glorious season of flowering daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths indoors during winter is a reality. A bright floral display and fragrant aroma is always welcome when snow is on the ground and bundling up to keep warm outside is a must. [more inside]
Summer has arrived! It's the perfect time to experiment with flowers. Begonias, pansies, roses, violets, lavender and more are all edible. Throw some color in your salad and enjoy! Careful, though!
They are members of the olive family, among the earliest flowering plants imported to the United States. Planted near the front doors of flat, bare early Colonial house facades, they helped to create "dooryard gardens," which softened and brought beauty to a rough-hewn early America. Jefferson planted them; at Monticello, some of those bushes still bloom.. They gave Pan his pipes. They are employed as evocative symbols in American literature, song, and poetry, where they symbolize the sensuousness of love in its earliest stages. Festivals celebrate their blooming, and NOAA tracks the earliest leaves and flowers for evidence of climate change. The inability to smell it may be an early indication of Alzheimer's disease. No wonder people like to steal them.
With Mother's Day fast approaching, you may want to consider a gift of Orchidaceae. Orchids belong to the most diverse family of plants known to man. There are over 880 genera, 28,000 species and well over 300,000 registered cultivars currently documented. First, choose one you would like to cultivate. Then, learn how to buy your first orchid. Finally get the scoop on growing them yourself. Mom will give you a hug, 'cause everyone needs a hug.
Everyone knows hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds. So how do you extend this to more than four suits? Stars are a natural choice, although they sort of ruin the red/black symmetry. You could appeal to gaming history by making a six-suited deck with crowns and anchors. Or you could just double everything and come up with a whole four extra suits.
Flowers are losing their smell. The discovery could be one of several factors in the "colony collapse disorder" that is wiping out honey bees around the world. Even a brief glance at the titles of the news articles on Wiki reads a bit frighteningly, as do the previous mentions here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.
Blooming is booming. Whether you prefer DIY or professionals, knowing what to plant and when can be daunting...unless you've got some really excellent websites on your side. And you do! Plantwire will help you find plants through conventional search, tags, or even by colour. Fine Gardening Magazine's site has much to offer: how-to section with videos, design ideas, and a fabulous plant guide. Garden Simply can help you achieve sustainable, organic gardening. Garden and Flower has several convenient guides on how to achieve gardening nirvana - including butterfly garden essentials! [more inside]
Payback is a b*tch. Former presidential scandal Gennifer Flowers is putting the tapes of her recorded conversations with Bill Clinton -- which she was previously offered $5 million for -- up on the auction block. [more inside]
..."imagine a painter who could, like Vermeer, capture the quality of light that a camera can, but with the color of paints...scanned with an ordinary office scanner"....Katinka Matson is cofounder of the brilliant and very readable ezine, Edge. Her digital art is featured there. Thumbnails of her 40 flowers. 12 flowers. Five flowers. Red anemone.
The glass flowers of Leopold Blaschka were created to provide enduring botanical teaching models. During his lifetime 4,000 models were created; a selection of 17 specimens are currently on display at the Corning Museum of Glass. MeFi has previously been treated to the splendor of the Blaschka marine invertebrates.
Make your own Jackson Pollock. Also, your own snowflake, your individual barcode, a weird vessel/flying disk, and flowers.
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