Store Is Closed
Just posted a gallery of Algonquin Peak photos. The second highest peak in New York State, Algonquin has uninterrupted views of the surrounding Adirondack region, and nearby peaks to explore—all in a day hike.
As of late June, the insects were not bad at all, I found it unnecessary to use bug spray. Overall, the hike was enjoyable, and an excellent warmup to the high peaks of the Adirondacks.
Jun 9 2011 5:14:35 pm EST
Vocal chords share similar qualities to musical instruments in that pitch rises as string length diminishes. The vibration of vocal chords varies inversely as the square root of the linear dimensions of an organism. The larger animal tends to have a deeper bass, whereas the smaller animal tends to have a higher pitch.
From On Growth and Form (52-53):
The vibration of vocal chords and auditory drums has this in common with the pendulum-like motion of a limb that its rate also tends to vary inversely as the square root of the linear dimensions. We know by common experience of fiddle, drum or organ, that pitch rises, or the frequency of vibration increases, as the dimensions of pipe or membrane or string diminish; and in like manner we expect to hear a bass note from the great beasts and a piping treble from the small. The rate of vibration (N) of a stretched string depends on its tension and its density; these being equal, it varies inversely as its ow
Fairyflies are tiny parasitic wasps whose eggs are laid and larvae reared within the tiny eggs of larger insects. Their size varies to less than half a millimeter, to 4 mm. One genus (Alaptus), parasitic on Psocoptera eggs, approaches the record of 0.18 mm.
The required thrust and lift is so tiny proportional to the body that the wings of some fairyflies are made of tiny hairs or bristles instead of a continuous membrane.
Jun 7 2011 9:28:48 am ESTTopics:
The perils of molting, the force of gravity, and the percentage of oxygen in the atmosphere play a role in the practical limit on the size of an exoskeleton.
Unlike an endoskeleton, which allows an organism to grow in small increments, an exoskeleton needs to be discarded to allow the organism to grow—the process of molting. In between the shedding of the old exoskeleton, and the hardening of the new, the organism is vulnerable to predation and the forces of gravity. Too large an organism would take too long molting, and risks collapsing under its own weight.
Similarly, a fully hardened exoskeleton needs to be scaled appropriately to the dimensions of the organism to prevent it from collapsing. Since strength is proportional to the square of the linear dimensions, whereas mass is proportional to the cube of the linear dimensions, the skeleton needs to become ever thicker as size increases. At a certain point, the design becomes impractical.
Since an exoskeleton serves as a r
As I sit under a maple tree, I realize that the tree is a simple program with fractal branching structures holding organic light and CO2 harvesting panels with similar fractal patterns as the branches that hold them.
The program is remarkably simple and adaptive, recursively iterating within its growth parameters, itself part of a larger system of interrelated parts. Everything humans create seems terse and rudimentary in comparison…
Jun 6 2011 7:52:56 am ESTTopics:
Through his studies on swimming, walking, and flight, D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson determined that in every case, speed tends to vary as the square root of the linear dimensions on an animal (Froude’s Law). He also notes that as the length of a limb decreases, its rhythm tends to increase rapidly, due to the simple fact that decreasing the length of a pendulum proportionately increases the rate of swinging.
He extends his observations to all the rhythmic motions of the body, such as heart rate and rate of breathing, noting that as size decreases, the tempo increases. In other words, a mouse’s heart rate and breathing is much faster than ours, while an elephant’s is much slower than ours.
Furthermore, he notes the profound effect gravity has on the form and action of most all organisms, and changing the force of gravity would have a dramatic effect on the growth and form of an organism. Consider the following passage from
Jun 5 2011 9:26:02 am ESTTopics:
Nature has developed many dynamic and efficient solutions to break its ties to the ground. The soaring Bald Eagle circles upwards in thermal updrafts, catching the wind in its long broad wings, gliding from updraft to updraft during migration. The Wandering Albatross repeatedly dives into the valleys of ocean waves, wheeling back up into the air, utilizing dynamic soaring to travel many thousands of miles using very little energy from flapping. Canadian Geese maintain continuous flapping flight in formation to reduce drag. The voracious hummingbird beats its wings anywhere from 8-100 times a second, depending on size, and generates thrust in both the upstroke and downstroke to maintain hovering flight. Not to mention the wonders of insect flight…
However, nature, as man, began with rudimentary evolutionary experiments. As we have refined human technology over hundreds of years, so has nature over hundreds of millions of years.
D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson summari
I found this article in the April 30, 2003 edition of Ballston Journal. It was about a theater group I helped form with Kathleen Dunham. I wrote a play entitled “Whodunnit,” to be performed for Ballston Spa’s “19th Century Day.”
The play was a 19th century comedic murder mystery. The plot took place at the San Souci hotel in Ballston Spa. Kathleen Dunham directed the play, and did a wonderful job.
View Hi-Rez image of article:
The play was very well received, the audience was laughing the whole time. It inspired me to continue my writing, and ultimately publish a novel, just as I hoped for.
The interesting part is that just six days off from exactly eight years, The Ballston Journal wrote another front page article in the same spot about the novel I published. It’s like another chapter i