Wednesday, December 03, 2008

3quarksdaily

One of the more interesting blogs to which Wahydra subscribes through the Bloglines.com RSS newsreader is 3quarksdaily: An Eclectic Digest of Science, Art and Literature, whose primary editor is Abba Raza.

Raza and his colleagues provide what they call a "one-stop intellectual surfing experience." They do this by culling good stuff "on a daily basis, in the areas of science, design, literature, current affairs, art, and anything else we deem inherently fascinating."

The 3quarksdaily posts are usually a few paragraphs and an image from a larger piece, to which the blog then links.

Lots of interesting, sometimes sacredly weird stuff!

Walhydra is touting the blog today because of two items:

Pareidolia Revisited

In "The Virgin of Hollywood, Florida," Walhydra spoke about the phenomenon of pareidolia—especially religious pareidolia—in which "a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) [is] perceived as significant" to the human observer.

Well, today's 3quarksdaily points us to an image posted by Dean Terry of Our Strange World:

False head photoDean Terry writes:
At first this photo seems to be a couple with a large head floating between them. But look again - things aren’t always what they seem.

Most people who look at this old photograph will probably see a large bearded head between the two figures. It looks like an image of Jesus.

You’ll probably think it’s just a crude hoax from bygone days. But look again, carefully. This is not a hoax at all. What the photo actually shows is a child sitting on the man’s knee.

Block out the head’s “hair.” That’s just a collection of foliage in the background. The “eye” is the face the child, shadowed by a large white bonnet. The “nose” is the sleeve of the child’s shirt. And the “mustache” is the child’s arm, bent at the elbow.

Be patient. It may take you awhile to see this.
Actually, to Walhydra it looks more like a side view of Rasputin, but you get the point...or you will eventually.

"Acorn Watchers Wonder What Happened to Crop"

That first item was interesting, but the second is distressing and recalls Walhydra's 2007 post, "The Birds and the Bees."

Brigid Schulte of the Washington Post reports:

Flying squirrel with acorn
The idea seemed too crazy to Rod Simmons, a measured, careful field botanist. Naturalists in Arlington County couldn't find any acorns. None. No hickory nuts, either. Then he went out to look for himself. He came up with nothing. Nothing crunched underfoot. Nothing hit him on the head.

Then calls started coming in about crazy squirrels. Starving, skinny squirrels eating garbage, inhaling bird feed, greedily demolishing pumpkins. Squirrels boldly scampering into the road. And a lot more calls about squirrel roadkill.

But Simmons really got spooked when he was teaching a class on identifying oak and hickory trees late last month. For 2 1/2 miles, Simmons and other naturalists hiked through Northern Virginia oak and hickory forests. They sifted through leaves on the ground, dug in the dirt and peered into the tree canopies. Nothing.
The article assures us that the oaks of Washington, DC, are not themselves in danger. Rain last spring washed much of the pollen away, rather than letting it fertilize oak blossoms...but the oaks can try again next spring.

"But," Walhydra wonders, "what about the poor squirrels?!"

Maybe the soup kitchens will add squirrel feeders.

And so it is.

Bless├ęd Be.

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