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These have fascinated me since I was a child. I had one I used to look at for hours, but we lost it when we moved.

Click on this link to see a big zoomed in pic of two beautiful geodes. The purple one has amethyst, and the blue one has quartz. So lovely!
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Isn't it a lovely smell when you dig and smell the earth? It smells so good, so right somehow. I think this scent resonates deeply with my soul.

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This link has some really beautiful pictures of amazing places on Earth that I really enjoyed looking at. :)
melluransa: (bill and birds)

This guy takes pictures of animals. Really close up face shots. It's so cute! I loved the buffalo one. He or she is like "Hey. You looking at me?"
melluransa: (bill and birds)
It's a natural part of all life. We don't like the idea of it. We hunt for youth, try to look younger, feel younger, lie to ourselves that we're not aging. There's a thing in Japanese culture that I really liked and respected. I think it was from some monks. They strive to fing beauty and acceptance in every stage of life. A sprouting seedling is just as beautiful to a wilting one, running its natural course.

That's the idea behind this. Instead of using unnatural preservatives to treat her dead body, this lady wants to wear a suit with mushroom spores. The mushrooms will decompose her body naturally.

It's admirable to me. She won't have a traditional funeral and the preservatives won't pollute the soil. Plus, there's a kind of beauty in it; her death sustains life for other organisms. Here is her website. It's an interesting idea! I always wanted to have someone plant a tree for me somewhere, rather than getting a tombstone.
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melluransa: (bill and birds)
So apparently, there are precious stones in sand. Just goes to show that even the mundane, ordinary, and plentiful -- like sand -- is really quite special once you take the time to learn about it and appreciate it. The most gorgeous pictures are at the link.
melluransa: (bill tom epic best of shoot TWIN POWER)
2010 was the most extreme weather year on record.
Most melted sea ice
Most receded glaciers
Most severe shift from la nina to el nino,
Hottest year on record
Most extreme arctic wind circulation
Wettest year over land
Amazon rainforest in a drought
A couple of the strongest regional storms in U.S history
Monsoons and flooding worldwide
Heat wave in Russia

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melluransa: (bill tom epic best of shoot TWIN POWER)
That's fascinating! It's crazy how bug huge things are made of tiny things. We're so big in relation to quarks, yet so small in comparison to planets and stars.
melluransa: (bill meh)
There are many many languages in the world, and the more obscure indigenous languages die each year as the generation that speak them pass away. The people at National Georgraphic see that as a very bad thing, and I can see some of their points.

Why it's bad:
-Language lost
-Study of that language lost (like classifying it in a certain family)
-Culture lost
-Tradition lost
-Anthropology, sociology, psychology, linguistic, and history people miss the change to study and chronicle it

But then I have some counter arguments. They are devoting a lot of people, money, and energy to chronicling these dying languages. What's the use? Latin is a dead language, what use is it to us? Not much. We've named plants and animals in Latin, and "e pluribus unum" is printed on our pennies. What for? Why do we have a foreign language printed on our coins? I think it means "the public united," but why can't that be said in English?

Why it's not the worst thing in the world:
-The world is changing and language is evolving to reflect that
-People still express themselves with language anyway
-It costs time and money to save them
-Dead languages are not very useful, if useful at all
-Often, not many people speak the indigenous languages anyway. What are you gonna do after saving it, force people to use it? Fat lot of good you've done.
-There are other things for anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, linguists, and historians to study that are more pertinent to the times... like...
-Major languages. They are major for a reason. Study major languages, cuz there's still stuff we don't know about language. Like language development. There are several major theories to it but we still don't know. Why study obscure languages while we don't even fully understand how our brains use the major ones? That's like jumping in the deep end of a swimming pool without knowing how to swim.
-In the end, what's the use? What's the functionality? Are they gonna do something useful with the saved languages? Or are they archiving them just for the sake of archiving them. What's the use of all that?
-They say why it's so bad, and one of the phrases is "we lost a piece of how to figure out how our brains work" or something. Come again? Language is language. I can say cat in spanish, english, and cherokee; it's all "cat." Reasons like that are too vague, shaky, and speculative for me to support.

I am sad that languages die. But there are worse things. There are better things to save. There are still a bajillion active languages people use daily, and we've not exhausted studying those. Regardless, their project is still interesting to read about for a language-holic like me.
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The ocean water would migrate to the poles, and one huge continent would stretch like a belt all along the equator. The article is here. It's alright, but not the best to me because they seemed to say the same thing a few times.

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Each culture has colors associated with certain ideas. To us, black means death but to Chinese, might mean "party!"

more here
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Image overload. So many are so so pretty. There's ones of nature, ocean, sky, explosions of color, storms of color, hypnotizing fractals, air, the awesome face, convolutions of color, and angels.

It's a lot. It's a feast for the eyes. Many many more here.
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They look so ethereal, like one's own personal chunk of sun. Here are more.

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If it looks as jaw-droppingly gorgeous as this, I want to go.
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Something about clouds of volcanic ash and particles of magma make lightning. That's crazy! Craziness.