How the geometry of ancient habitats may have influenced human brain evolution | Ars Technica

There's a pivotal scene in the 2012 film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins, and a company of dwarves are chased by orcs through a classic New Zealand landscape. For Northwestern University neuroscientist and engineer Malcolm MacIver, the scene is an excellent example of the kind of patchy landscape—dotted with trees, bushes, [...]

The Kerguelen Islands in the Indian Ocean • Earth.com

Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features an astronaut view of the Kerguelen Islands in the southern Indian Ocean. On the western side of the islands, winds were pushing low-lying clouds against the shore. At the same time, ship wave clouds appear rippling over  smaller outlying islands.  In the bottom if the image, [...]

Overblown and under-loved: wind farms at the edge of beauty | Aeon Essays

In The Great Animal Orchestra, Bernie Krause defines soundscape by breaking it down into ‘geophony’ — the sounds made by the physical environment (wind, water, etc); ‘biophony’ — the sounds made by animals, birds and insects; and ‘androphony’ — the sounds made by human activities. A soundscape is the interaction and balance of these factors, [...]

Humans coexisted with three-tonne marsupials and lizards as long as cars in ancient Australia

When people first arrived in what is now Queensland, they would have found the land inhabited by massive animals including goannas six metres long and kangaroos twice as tall as a human. — Read on theconversation.com/humans-coexisted-with-three-tonne-marsupials-and-lizards-as-long-as-cars-in-ancient-australia-138534

Inside Deep Undersea Rocks, Life Thrives Without the Sun | Quanta Magazine

... it’s possible that life might have gotten its start on the surface of the Earth, where it found creative ways to survive and spread, including to deeper environments. But it’s also possible that life began underground, at some fortuitous juncture between rock and water — eventually also making its way to the surface and [...]

The Man Who Saw the Pandemic Coming – Issue 83: Intelligence – Nautilus

Dennis Carroll doesn’t mean to sound callous when he says the coronavirus outbreak was predictable. And he doesn’t. He sounds sympathetic to people frightened by the outbreak. He has been an eyewitness to people around the world suffering from similar viruses. Most of all, Carroll sounds authoritative. For decades, Carroll has been a leading voice [...]

Garden of Painterly Delights | The New York Review of Books |

During World War I, when soldiers thought longingly of home, their minds often turned to the garden. Indeed, they made small gardens in the trenches, planting bulbs in empty brass shell-casings. In a catalog essay, the Garden Museum’s director, Christopher Woodward, quotes Ford Madox-Ford’s No Enemy: A Tale of Reconstruction (1929), on the soldier’s dream [...]