Enjoy this webcast of the awards ceremony from a journal we can all respect for the quality of its investigative research, its creative approach to choosing prize winners, and most of all its capacity to produce laughter:
BIOLOGY PRIZE [SWEDEN]:
Susanne Schötz for analyzing variations in purring, chirping, chattering, trilling, tweedling, murmuring, meowing, moaning, squeaking, hissing, yowling, howling, growling, and other modes of cat–human communication.
REFERENCE: “A Comparative Acoustic Analysis of Purring in Four Cats,” Susanne Schötz and Robert Eklund, Proceedings of Fonetik 2011, Speech, Music and Hearing, KTH, Stockholm, TMH-QPSR, 51. Continue reading →
It’s a rare occasion that we republish one of our posts on this site – but April 1st is a special day, is it not? And as the weather warms, a little bit of lighthearted Spring frolicking won’t go amiss.
It was unlike me to have missed acknowledging the Vernal Equinox last week but please note that it wasn’t forgotten. In much of the northern hemisphere spring began sprouting all over the place, sometimes unseasonably early, and the first day of spring was observed in all its glory in Crist’s Holi series.
So I’m being careful not to miss April 1st and in the spirit of that celebration am sharing some of artist Ken Brown‘s collection of turn of the century (the 19th to the 20th that is!) French fantasy postcards that celebrate “Poisson d’Avril”, the French equivalent of April 1st or April Fools’ Day. Continue reading →
I first became aware of the amazing Amorphophallus titanum 4 years ago during a “bloom watch” of a Kenneth Post Lab Greenhouses specimen at Cornell University. At the time the concept of a “Greenhouse Cam” was completely new to me, and I followed it, and the science behind the study of the plant, with fascination. Despite the rarity of the flower, a handful have bloomed within the past several years, the most recent being at the New York Botanical Garden.
All that said, the Corpse Flower by nature is the botanical version of a “comedic straight man” in the set up of story-based jokes. (For example, the scientific name means “giant misshapen phallus”.)Continue reading →
Speaking of birds, we love playing around with examples of creativity in the animal kingdom. There was a time when scientists claimed the use of tools was what set humans apart from animals. Continue reading →
It’s been scientifically proven that people respond emotionally to color and light. The artist Vincent van Gogh was a master of both, and the vibrant, intimate paintings of his bedroom in Arles are evocative examples.
Not only have the curators at the Art Institute of Chicago brought together the artist’s three versions of the room, they’ve created an installation that invites the viewer into a 3-dimensional experience of the iconic painting.
This exhibition is the first to truly delve into the fascinating history of these three paintings and explore the motif of home and its significance to Van Gogh—as haven, creative chamber, and physical reality. The show features approximately 36 works by the artist, including paintings, drawings, and illustrated letters, as well as a selection of books and other ephemera known to have been in Van Gogh’s possession. Continue reading →
We appreciate the sentiment from Mark Twain’s 1897 lesser known but ever interesting Following the Equator and feel obliged to show some India quotes that we can relate to, or at least smile at, as a recommendation for your reading pleasure while joining Raxa Collective in India sometime this year:
…So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or Nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his round…
…This is indeed India! the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, Continue reading →
Stephen Brusche is someone who clearly enjoys playing with his food, and scrolling through his gallery it was close to impossible to choose favorites from over 200 fabulously creative examples, crafted with a wink and smile at both the sacred and the profane. We settled on 2 of our iconic Kerala fauna above, but be prepared to lose yourself in the images when you visit his site. Continue reading →
When we find ourselves absolutely overwhelmed by the complexities, demands, and irrational expectations surrounding field work, it’s really nice to remember the simple things – and within them, find peace of mind, stability, and renewed strength.
Waking up early enough so as not to have to rush through a French-press filled with Blue Mountain coffee is a must. It’s 10 minutes of tranquility, when one can sit with friends, contemplate the day’s tasks, and appreciate the scenery you’ve missed while rushing from one place to the next.
And what about those incredibly infrequent times that the birds come to you? Continue reading →
The holiday season is about giving and the classic song quantifies the largess. The American Museum of Natural History is home to many happy childhood memories and I embrace their scientific form of expressing holiday cheer. Not everyone can claim their “True Love” is a “Science Geek” – but kudos to AMNHNYC for helping us all be Science Lovers!
On the first of the twelve days, a partridge in a book of taxonomy.
On the second day of taxonomy, we give you two scorpions!
On day number three My true love sent to me A turtle in a 16th century book of taxonomy!
No calling birds here! Day four of the Twelve Days of Taxonomy is wasps.
On the fifth Day of Taxonomy my true love gave to me…white, feathery wings!
Day number 6, we bring you these beautiful Narcomedusans
Day seven of the 12 Days of Taxonomy is surprisingly scandalous!
On the eighth Day of Taxonomy My true love sent to me An ornate cuscus in a tree!
What is an anoplotherium? Why, it’s number 9 in the 12 Days of Taxonomy!
Lords A-Leaping! The 10th Day of Taxonomy includes a toucan and a bitter science rivalry.
On the eleventh Day of Taxonomy My true love sent to me A wooden bird from Papua New Guinea!
On the twelfth Day of Taxonomy My true love sent to me A riotous display of sea anemones!
As we continue to work on plating and food trials for 51 at Spice Harbour, the concept of deconstructing a typical Kerala dish often makes it into the conversation. During these conversations with Indian colleagues the subject of “typical American food” frequently comes up. Like India, there’s no one “American cuisine” (don’t get me started on the horrors of our fast food exports), but a Thanksgiving meal comes close.
In the collaborative spirit of preparing and plating a meal that’s meant to be shared, multi-media artist Hannah Rothstein deconstructed the classic Thanksgiving meal of turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce and “sides” with a nod to 10 artists with the most distinctive of painting styles, with the acception of Cindy Sherman, a photographer best known for her conceptual portraits. Continue reading →
Ever in search of the best produce for our vegetarian menu items, we are frequently on road trips to farms where we hear the vegetables are tastiest. We bought some organic carrots from a roadside stand in the Western Ghats, and little did we realize then who it was selling to us. He gets around.
When Seth and Milo Inman heard that Roger would be in India, and that he wanted suggestions on what he would be missing given his short time available, they thought he might be interested in visiting some of Raxa Collective’s stomping grounds in the south of the country. He would be able to get back to nature, and in an authentic way.
Seth has worked in Kerala, and Milo lived and worked here for two years. During that time, Milo took the photo above, not realizing until today that he had captured an image of Roger moonlighting as a mahoot. We hope Roger will return to show us his best moves.
Thanks to the BBC we learn that Roger Federer will be in India soon. He has not made reservations at any Raxa Collective properties yet, but we await his arrival and the opportunity to learn his moves:
Swiss tennis ace Roger Federer has run into a problem familiar to most people who travel on business – he’s going to India later this year but won’t have time to see the sights. So he has asked fans to help him. Continue reading →
Reporting monkey raids, Sharma says, residents complain that ” ‘they’ve just taken away my clothes,’ or … ‘they have opened the fridge’ … and ‘they’ve taken out the food.’ “
The monkeys have also been known to intimidate fruit vendors and get intoxicated on stolen whiskey. Sharma says when they fail to find food, they can raise a rumpus.
You can read more in depth at the original article here. Initially, there were people who were hired to train Langurs because they were able to frighten off the smaller Rhesus monkeys. That practice was recently banned due to animal rights concerns. Now, there are 40 men hired to mimic the calls of the Langurs to scare them away. Continue reading →