"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."Naturalis Historia
was written by Pliny the Elder
between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian
, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum
, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Dec 16, 2013 -
, by Nadav Bagim
, is a lovely macro-photo series which turns a kitchen counter into a miniature fantasy-land using household objects, and various critters as models.
posted by quin
on Dec 24, 2011 -
Ants are one of the most abundant groups on earth, but, curiously, not a lot of things eat them. Yes, there are anteaters (who also eat a lot of termites), and some lizards specialize on ants, but the little critters are full of noxious chemicals and pheromones that put them way down on the list of predators’ preferred foodstuffs.
Because of this, many other insects and arthropods have evolved to mimic ants, taking advantage of the aversion of predators to anything antlike.
These mimics are called myrmecomorphs, and they’re the subject of a really nice eponymous feature in this week’s Current Biology.[via]
posted by AceRock
on May 12, 2011 -
A (mostly) vegetarian spider:
"A small jumping spider has taken to hunting plants instead of bugs. Bagheera kiplingi dodges throngs of aggressive ants to feast on the leaf-tip morsels of acacia shrubs, making it the first mostly vegetarian spider known to science."
posted by dhruva
on Oct 13, 2009 -
All hail 70s-era Shatner! He began his career with some rather prestigious projects, appearing in The Brothers Karamazov
and Judgment at Nuremberg
, as well as some rather high profile appearance in Twilight Zone
and Alfred Hitchcock Presents
. But even then, there were hints of exploitation, such as 1961's The Explosive Generation
, in which Shatner played a teacher whose job is endangered when she speaks candidly to kids about sex
. And there was 1962's The Intruder
, a Roger Corman film from 1963 in which Shatner played a carpetbagging racist inciting violence in a southern town
) And, of course, there was Incubus
from 1965, a horror film in Esperanto
.) But, after Star Trek
, at the start of the 70s, something went haywire. [more inside]
posted by Astro Zombie
on Nov 16, 2007 -
I clicked this link today
while perusing this MSNBC blog
(which is occasionally amusing). It seems that ArticleBot's hackles have been raised, and they are on the defensive against mainstream media
). I'm not exactly sure what their point is, but I really hate it when people "overuse" the "quotation" marks in their "unique content". I would have totally left it alone if they had not called attention to themselves by responding in this manner. Plus the assistance they are offering reminds me a little of these MIT geniuses
(previously discussed on MeFi here
) except designed to spider search engines. I'm sure it's completely legal, but the ethics are questionable to say the least.
posted by shoppingforsanity
on Apr 26, 2005 -
The Itsy-Bitsy Spider.
I was looking online to try and identify the freaking huge spiders I saw today (possibly wolf spiders), and I came across this hand spider identification chart. Slightly unnerving when the spiders randomly wiggle. Perhaps more so if you have a problem with spiders.
posted by kayjay
on Aug 8, 2003 -