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Creativity Life & Philosophy Nature Poetry Video

Growing is forever

It was very quiet all the time because they needed to focus on their lives. It is not easy to grow so much for so long.

Growing is forever, they whispered.

A poetic take on some beautiful, giant trees.

Onward.

Categories
Books Science

Nature, man and woman

We fail so easily to see the difference between fear of the unknown and respect for the unknown, thinking that those who do not hasten in with bright lights and knives are deterred by a holy and superstitious fear. Respect for the unknown is the attitude of those who, instead of raping nature, woo her until she gives herself. But what she gives, even then, is not the cold clarity of the surface but the warm inwardness of the body—a mysteriousness which is not merely a negation, a blank absence of knowledge, but that positive substance which we call wonderful.

— Alan Watts, Nature, Man and Woman

Categories
Life & Philosophy Nature

Setting sun

telescope science discover world

Whether we establish a route or keep it open-ended, we can discover things along the way.

Constraints produce their own magic. They make us innovate based on what we have to play with. But so too do indefinite destinations.

Out of curiosity blooms everything.

The more we know, the more we want to know

We permit our heuristic temptations to guide the discovery process. The rush to fill ignorance with self-knowledge makes us feel alive.

The world is more like a playground than a camp. We should feel free to try and steal the sun, at least act like it.

The frictionless internet begs us to take more information than we need.

But in borrowing its widgets, we have to reciprocate to ensure what we put out or reinvent comes back to enrich nature itself.

Categories
Nature

Nelder Plots

A top-down image of nelder plots

A Nelder Plot, also called a Nelder Wheel or Nelder Fan, is a systematic planting design in which plants or trees are planted at the intersection of circular arcs and linear spokes. In general, Nelder Plots allow many different planting densities to be examined in a single plot.

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Categories
Books Life & Philosophy Nature

To get lost, on purpose

Nothing is more abandoned than the desert. Yet, there is nothing more stimulating than letting the imagination fill in the empty space.

The blank page work the same way. We fill it in with fiction and truth, recasting observations and thoughts about our surroundings.

Curiosity is the best book. As more land becomes visible, we realize how much more hides away in the distance. 

We’re entertaining ourselves to death

It’s vital to get outside the bubble that is our screen-obsessed culture and get back to the fundamentals: reading and independent thinking. 

Philosophers and poets are the remaining guardians against a plastic society

Jettison the map. It is arbitrary, anyway. As the Polish-American scientist Alfred Korzybski once said, “the map is not the territory.”

We shall explore the world as a desert, as William Atkins writes, “a library whose shelves have never been occupied.” 

The cost of distance is nothing compared to the rich expansion of the mind’s eye.

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Productivity & Work Science

How taking an afternoon ‘nappuccino’ increases productivity ☕💤

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Like most people, my brain starts to fizzle out between 2 and 3pm. According to science, this isn’t due to a lunch hangover but rather a part of our circadian rhythm.

To preempt the inevitable afternoon slothfulness, author Dan Pink proposes to take a nappuccino. He recommends that before you take your 20-minute nap (science shows that more than 20 minutes can make you feel drowsier), you should drink a cup of coffee.

Writes Pink in his new book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing:

The caffeine won’t fully engage in your bloodstream for about 25 minutes, so drink up right before you lie down.

The pre-nap caffeination will give you an extra boost when you wake up. Your brain will be sharper and more focused. You’ll also receive all the benefits of a nap: lower blood pressure and a stronger heart.

You can read more about the nappuccino productivity hack here.

For further tips on optimizing productivity levels and managing stress, be sure to check out the gamut of resources from BetterHelp, the largest online therapy & counseling platform in the world.

Categories
Culture News

Central Park to go car-free this summer

NYC Central Park car-free

New York City’s mayor Bill De Blasio announced today that Central Park will be car-free starting this June.

The artwork says it all: humans are hard-wired for nature.

Categories
Culture Psychology

Human brains are hardwired for rural landscapes

kai-dorner-150694-unsplash.jpg

According to a study done by psychologists at Exeter University, humans are hardwired for rural environments.

An MRI scanner revealed that human brains grow confused at the image of cities. Meanwhile, reviewing photos of the countryside calmed down the mind to a meditative state.

Reports researcher Dr. Ian Frampton:

“When looking at urban environments the brain is doing a lot of processing because it doesn’t know what this environment is. The brain doesn’t have an immediate natural response to it, so it has to get busy. Part of the brain that deals with visual complexity lights up: ‘What is this that I’m looking at?’ Even if you have lived in a city all your life, it seems your brain doesn’t quite know what to do with this information and has to do visual processing.”

Take a walk in the park

We all know the city can make us feel like another rat in a cage. The zoo metaphor isn’t off. Said one Exeter professor: “If you don’t get the conditions right in zoos, the animals start behaving in a wacky way.” To quote novelist John Berger, “the zoo is the epitaph to a relationship.”

Urbanization is not natural, so the brain does its best to adapt to infrastructure and chaos. Catalan artist Arnau Alemany depicts the relationship between the metropolis and the fields. City parks provide an important outlet to human nature.

Despite the chaos, cities work. Like our crazy neurons, there seems to some order in the disorder. The brain is plastic, after all.

Categories
Arts Creativity

Lisa Ericson’s supernatural beings

Bursting onto the art scene for her surreal piece on “mouserflies,” painter Lisa Ericson returns to Portland’s Antler Gallery for the fourth time.

Writes the Gallery on her imaginative take on species as “mobile habitats”:

“Her technical skill is beyond compare. The depth of her feeling really shines through in these gorgeous depictions of supernatural beings which look as though they could be photographs taken on a night safari or deep-dive.”

"Uneasy Truce" by Lisa Ericson

See more of Lisa Ericson’s portfolio on her website.

Categories
Nature Travel Video

What Spring looks like around the world