Tag Archives: life

“Among the most frequent inhabitants of the boundaries of the artwork was a black fungus…”

Ancient rock art’s colours come from microbes

A particular type of ancient rock art in Western Australia maintains its vivid colours because it is alive, researchers have found.

While some rock art fades in hundreds of years, the “Bradshaw art” remains colourful after at least 40,000 years.

Ancient rock art’s colours come from microbes,” December 27, 2010, BBC News

What’s clear is that nothing escapes our influence. Nothing is untrammeled. The human signature has been scribbled across the planet with absolute comprehensiveness. So let’s not argue that we shouldn’t tamper with the Earth. We’ve already tampered with it. We’re tampering with it right now. Every time we dress, every time we drive, every time we eat, every time we plug something in, or touch a thermostat, or buy a toy, or send an email, we are geoengineering.

Anthony Doerr, “Planet Zoo,” The Morning News, September 15, 2010

Among Slime Molds

The site of the soul is the verb, not the subject. We, as passers-by, drift briefly through the predicate. And it ensouls us as we go.

When deciding, we are decisioned. When passing, we are passed by “to pass.” When writing, we are written by “to write.” No souls but predicates inhabit us, actors as we go. We are these and they are we, foragers in a grammar that enacts us.

Core As Process

What I like most about this is the sense that the entire conventional notion of a “core” is subject to revision, not as unmoving, but at its own core, a dynamism.

Once the world is seen as a set of cycles rather than of things it is easier to imagine interesting ways for them to mesh like cogs…

Sufficient, perhaps, just to stop and think how strange it is that the inner core, imperviously locked away since the creation of the world, may yet be added to the long list of other solid-looking things, such as the Himalayas and the Atlantic Ocean and the planet itself, that are in some ways better understood not as places, but as processes.

The unsolid Earth,” The Economist, August 5, 2010 

It’s also just fantastically written.


So fascinating!

ScienceDaily (July 1, 2010) — The discovery in Gabon of more than 250 fossils in an excellent state of conservation has provided proof, for the first time, of the existence of multicellular organisms 2.1 billion years ago. This finding represents a major breakthrough: until now, the first complex life forms (made up of several cells) dated from around 600 million years ago.