Vertical ‘Pinkhouses:’ The Future Of Urban Farming?
How bad science could have changed the world…or at least the Father of Evolution: Physiognomy
We all know the basic course of the development and dissemination of the theory of natural selection. A young Charles Darwin embarks on the second voyage of the HMS Beagle, visits the Galapagos islands, collects countless specimens, and writes extensively about his theories of natural selection and evolution. Prompted by a similar (if much simplified) paper being written and refined by Alfred Russel Wallace, Darwin presented his own theory to the Linnean Society of London in 1859.
At the end of 1859, Darwin published On the Origin of Species, which expounded upon his original paper, and was the cornerstone of evolutionary biology, genetics, paleontology, and ethnology (for better or for worse) for the next several decades. Alfred Russel Wallace was much less interested in publishing his own theory (which was very similar to Darwin’s, if not as in-depth) than collecting and documenting the plants, animals, and peoples of the Amazon and other tropical regions.
If Darwin had not been as interested as he was in explaining his theories to his colleagues (and staying in Europe with his wife instead of exploring more), all of the aforementioned fields would have been set back decades, possibly until Wallace actually published his own complete works - and possibly even later, as Wallace didn’t have the clout that Darwin did by the end of his life.
But why would Darwin have not been able to develop his theories?
You know how most of his theories were really fleshed out and how he began to really understand how biogeography and speciation occurred when he analyzed the finches and tortoises of the Galapagos?
Darwin was almost denied the position upon the HMS Beagle - because of the shape of his nose.
Captain Robert FitzRoy knew that Charles Darwin fit all of his requirements for a ship naturalist and personal companion. He was ready to accept him - until he saw Darwin in person.
As FitzRoy was an adherent to the theories of Johann Lavater, the Father of Modern Physiognomy, he strongly believed that the nose of Charles Darwin meant he had a serious “lack of determination”. Along with the less-important (to these men) difference of FitzRoy being a Tory, while Darwin was a Whig, the young naturalist was lucky he was not turned away at the door.
After spending a week together and finding each other agreeable, FitzRoy and Darwin negotiated a contract, set sail, and made history.
Despite being in vogue well into the 20th century, phrenology, and its partner physiognomy, have been proven time and again to have no basis in science. While certain facial or skeletal features can occasionally lead doctors to diagnose certain conditions (such as Down syndrome or hydrocephaly), there is no link between facial or cranial structure and personality.
Top and Middle: Young Charles Darwin. Wikimedia Commons
Bottom: Charles Darwin’s head. Judged to be strong in “preceptive”, “semi-precetptive" (indicating intelligence), and weak in "combatativeness" and "willfullness" (not violent or determined?).
How to Read the Human Head and Face. H. Ellis Foster, 1903.
"in 2009, i planned to become a guest of 31 secluded and visually unique tribes. i wanted to witness their time honoured traditions, join in their rituals and discover how the rest of the world is threatening to change their way of life forever. most importantly, i wanted to create an ambitious aesthetic photographic document that would stand the test of time, a body of work that would be an irreplaceable ethnographic record of a fast disappearing world. i didn’t start this project anticipating that i could stop the world from changing. i purely wanted to create a visual document that reminds us and generations to come of how beautiful the human world once was." - jimmy nelson
the tribes seen here (in only ten of the over 500 photos found in his book) are: (1) the peoples of the vanuatu islands, which are south east of the solomon islands; (2) the samburu of nothern kenya; (3) the maori of new zealand; (4) the kalam of eastern new guinea; (5) the huli of the new guinea highlands; (6) the maasai, who live in kenya and tanzania; (7) the karo who live on the eastern banks of ethiopia’s omo river; (8) the himba of the kunene region of northern namibia; (9) the kazakhs of western mongolia; (10) the yali of the baliem valley region of papua indonesia.
Because everybody needs Tom Baker spying on them through a trapdoor.
If I did this properly, it ought to be transparent, so you can put Tom anywhere!
Starting this November, German parents will be able to select male, female, or “indeterminate” when filling out their newborn’s birth certificate. This means that parents won’t have to label their baby’s gender, thereby allowing those born with intersex characteristics to make a decision later in life. Or not.
The new law, which goes into effect on November 1, was passed back in May, but has only now started getting widespread attention — a mere six weeks after Australia became the first country in the world to introduce legal guidelines on gender recognition. Back in July, the country added “intersex” and other gender designations to official documents, like passports.
An intersex person is someone who has a variation in sex characteristics, including chromosomes and genitals that don’t allow them to be identified neatly as either male or female. (via Germany is the first European country to recognize a third gender)
Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2008
I am become sheep.
Cool Video of Sea Slug Dance Reveals Primitive Learning
by Stephanie Pappas
An attempt by one slug species to eat another ends in a flamboyant dance by the potential prey — and in a learning experience for the hungry predator.
A new video shows this interaction, which reveals that the predator sea slug, Pleurobranchaea californica is cleverer than previously believed. The slug, which generally eats anything it can get its mouth around, can learn to avoid nasty prey, according to new research published online in May in the Journal of Experimental Biology.
“If you’re a generalist like Pleurobranchaea, it’s highly strategic and advantageous to learn what’s good and what’s not good so you can decide whether or not to take the risk of attacking certain types of prey,” study researcher Rhanor Gillette, a physiologist at the University of Illinois, said in a statement…
(See video and read more: Live Science)
Aaaaah it’s Hermissenda! Dance away, little slug!
I love nudibranchs.