Category Archives: Uncategorized

Native plant gardening for species conservation

Declining native species could be planted in urban green spaces. Researchers from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), Leipzig University and other institutions describe how to use this great potential for species protection. In their most recent study, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, they recommend practical conservation gardening methods in a bid to restructure the horticultural industry and reverse plant species declines.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1449240174198-2’); });

Despite global efforts to protect biodiversity, many plant species are still declining. In Germany, this includes 70 percent of all plant species, with almost a third (27.5 percent) threatened, and 76 species are already considered extinct. Much of this loss can be attributed to the decline in natural habitats, in part due to increasing urbanization. Ten percent of the total area of Germany, for example, is settlement area.

However, it is precisely these settlement areas that hold enormous—albeit untapped—potential for nature conservation. After all, these areas include millions of private gardens, balconies and green roofs, as well as parks and other public green spaces. Researchers from iDiv, the Universities of Halle and Leipzig and other institutions propose using these potentially available areas for conservation gardening.

Source: Native plant gardening for species conservation

Quantum magnets in motion

The Kardar-Parisi-Zhang universality combines classical everyday phenomena such as coffee stains with quantum mechanical spin chains in a surprising way. Credit: Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics
The behavior of microscopic quantum magnets has long been a subject taught in lectures in theoretical physics. However, investigating the dynamics of systems that are far out of equilibrium and watching them “live” has been difficult so far. Now, researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching have accomplished precisely this, using a quantum gas microscope. With this tool, quantum systems can be manipulated and then imaged with such high resolution that even individual atoms are visible. The results of the experiments on linear chains of spins show that the way their orientation propagates corresponds to the so-called Kardar-Parisi-Zhang superdiffusion. This confirms a conjecture that recently emerged from theoretical considerations.

Heart progenitors spontaneously regenerate cardiac muscle via a tight junction ‘honeycomb’ in salamanders

However, investigating the dynamics of systems that are far out of equilibrium and watching them “live” has been difficult so far. Now, researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching have accomplished precisely this, using a quantum gas microscope. With this tool, quantum systems can be manipulated and then imaged with such high resolution that even individual atoms are visible. The results of the experiments on linear chains of spins show that the way their orientation propagates corresponds to the so-called Kardar-Parisi-Zhang superdiffusion. This confirms a conjecture that recently emerged from theoretical considerations.

Reading

This week I’ve been reading

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Panic Fables

The Locked Room by Maj Sjöwall, Per Wahlöö with Paul Britten Austin (Translator)

Also

Rotten by John Lydon (Johnny Rotten)

and A Paradise Built in Hell by Rebecca Solnit

Those last two are bit on the back burner while I read the enormous Panic Fables which I must say started as a bit of a slog, as did The locked Room, which is a murder mystery/procedural that was recommended by someone. It was gotten more interesting in the third act, but I don’t think I’ll read any more in the series. The Panic Fables is just plain crazy. A weekly strip done for about 6 years I think–conceptual comics.

Rotten is about John Lydons life, and Paradise is “A startling investigation of what people do in disasters and why it matters.”

Listening is at least half of playing

…a quote from Laurie Anderson’s Norton Lecture No. 1

This echos something Pat Metheny said in an interview I read recently about listening being the most important part of playing music.

Listening is important in life. You need to listen to understand. Sitting an listening is an important zen concept. It is important in art. Listening to your inner thoughts/feelings. Being motivated by music and sounds. New sounds are new experiences.

These are, basically, half formed thoughts while I’m trying to figure out where I’m going with this.