The Overstory

Na túto knižku treba trpezlivosť. Začína koreňmi – krátkymi akoby poviedkami, ktoré postupne predstavia ľudské postavy (môže mať kniha deväť hlavných postáv?). Potom príde kmeň, kde sa príbehy postáv poprepletajú, vyrastú do koruny. A na koniec padajú semená. A celý čas sú tam ešte stromy, veľa stromov.

Nálada je taká optimisticko-pesimistická. Teda pre ľudí vpodstate len pesimistická a trúchlivá. Ale na stromy, aj keď to v čase príbehu nie je veľmi ružové, čaká budúcnosť. 

Understory je po anglicky lesný podrast – všetko to, čo rastie v lese pod korunami stromov, v knižke sa viackrát spomína. Overstory – koruny stromov, je priamo len v názve knihy a aj to pravdepodobne kvôli slovnej hračke. Všeliakých viac-či-menej zjavných referencií sa nájde tiež dosť: na Loraxa, ktorý hovorí za stromy, na Annu Kareninu a (ne)šťastie rodín, na Wohllebenov Secret Life of Trees… veľa som si určite ani nevšimla. 

Kniha o stromoch a čase, ktorá je vlastne o ľuďoch, taká, čo dáva viac otázok ako odpovedí. Miestami trochu pátosu, miestami príliš hustý podrast, ale celkovo veľmi dobre napísaná. 

Your kind never sees us whole. You miss the half of it, and more. There’s always as much below ground as above. That’s the trouble with people, their root problem.

thoughts he doesn’t know how to have.

‘When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago.’
‘When is the next best time? Now.’

The greatest flaw of the species is its overwhelming tendency to mistake agreement for truth. Single biggest influence on what a body will or won’t believe is what nearby bodies broadcast over the public band.

Other creatures—bigger, slower, older, more durable—call the shots, make the weather, feed creation, and create the very air.

I hear myself best when I’m sleeping.

What do stories do? They kill us a bit and make us change.

Righteousness makes Mimi nuts. She has always been allergic to people with conviction. But more than she hates conviction, she hates sneaky power.

You’re studying what makes some people take the living world seriously when the only real thing for everyone else is other people. You should be studying everyone who thinks that only people matter.

The best arguments in the world won’t change a person’s mind. The only thing that can do that is a good story

She could tell them about a simple machine needing no fuel and little maintenance, one that steadily sequesters carbon, enriches the soil, cools the ground, scrubs the air, and scales easily to any size. A tech that copies itself and even drops food for free. A device so beautiful it’s the stuff of poems. If forests were patentable, she’d get an ovation.

Say the planet is born at midnight and it runs for one day. First there is nothing. Two hours are lost to lava and meteors. Life doesn’t show up until three or four a.m. Even then, it’s just the barest self-copying bits and pieces. From dawn to late morning—a million million years of branching—nothing more exists than lean and simple cells. Then there is everything. Something wild happens, not long after noon. One kind of simple cell enslaves a couple of others. Nuclei get membranes. Cells evolve organelles. What was once a solo campsite grows into a town. The day is two-thirds done when animals and plants part ways. And still life is only single cells. Dusk falls before compound life takes hold. Every large living thing is a latecomer, showing up after dark. Nine p.m. brings jellyfish and worms. Later that hour comes the breakout—backbones, cartilage, an explosion of body forms. From one instant to the next, countless new stems and twigs in the spreading crown burst open and run. Plants make it up on land just before ten. Then insects, who instantly take to the air. Moments later, tetrapods crawl up from the tidal muck, carrying around on their skin and in their guts whole worlds of earlier creatures. By eleven, dinosaurs have shot their bolt, leaving the mammals and birds in charge for an hour. Somewhere in that last sixty minutes, high up in the phylogenetic canopy, life grows aware. Creatures start to speculate. Animals start teaching their children about the past and the future. Animals learn to hold rituals. Anatomically modern man shows up four seconds before midnight. The first cave paintings appear three seconds later. And in a thousandth of a click of the second hand, life solves the mystery of DNA and starts to map the tree of life itself. By midnight, most of the globe is converted to row crops for the care and feeding of one species. And that’s when the tree of life becomes something else again. That’s when the giant trunk starts to teeter.

Life has a way of talking to the future. It’s called memory.

Víkendové surfovanie

aby ste videli túto stránku, musíte byť offline

The truth behind Facebook AI inventing a new language (píše môj bratranec)

Nothing scary, shocking or even note-worthy happened. Just a regular day with a regular scientific experiment. And then all hell broke loose as wanna-be journalists posted one doomsday article after another. Shutting down a chat bot when it stops showing a reasonable outcome is about as ominous as changing a faulty light bulb.

video recepty v štýle slávnych režisérov

Don’t trust what the fake news media says about Cersei Lannister (aj na u nás sa píše na tieto témy), a ešte v tejto súvislosti: Hey, Black America, Let’s All Ditch Our Slave Names

A century-and-a-half after the end of slavery and I’m still identifying with the name of the slave-owner who once owned my family. That’s my house. Their house. That sucks. That’s a bone deep pain, one hidden and held in the letters of my last name.

beauty of low margins

s deťmi sme pozerali zatmenie (mňa ešte viac zaujalo Path of curiosity

ešte na podobnú tému Voyager’s 40th Anniversary (dobré obrázky)

we react differently to our sons and daughters 

The participants included 52 fathers of toddlers (30 girls and 22 boys) in the Atlanta area who agreed to clip a small personal digital assistant equipped with the EAR software onto their belts and wear it for one weekday and one weekend day. The fathers were also told to leave the device charging in their child’s room at night so any nighttime interactions with their children could be recorded. The device randomly turned on for 50 seconds every nine minutes to record any ambient sound during the 48-hour period.

rozhovor s Pavlom Čekanom (ach, tie slovenské súťaže o eurofondy … určite ste už čítali, ale keby náhodou nie, tak tu)

Tech’s damaging myth of the loner genius nerd (h/t Ondrovi za linku)

kresky 

Measuring accuracy of latitude and longitude (nemala som byť prekvapená, ale trochu som bola)

badass trees a ešte malé stromy (moja veľká slabosť… jeden som mala, ale neprežil, kým som bola na konferencii, tak teraz ich len takto platonicky obzerám a hovorím si, že snáď ma raz prejde túžba nejaký mať… nepomáha, že máme bonsajové štúdio len pár metrov od domu)

19 Women Leading Math and Physics

Women’s fashion in every year from 1784-1970

WHO creates controversial ‘reserve’ list of antibiotics for superbug threats

Víkendové surfovanie

čo sa deje v noci v kníhkupectve:

súboj klavírov (od Mirečka):

zvláštnosti angličtiny

kde sú stromy (v USA)

kampaň na prevenciu znásilnení zameraná na mužov – konečne niečo iné, ako hovorenie ženám, že sa nemajú vyzývavo obliekať, príliš piť, flirtovať, chodiť samy, …

Žena žaluje hotel za to, že na recepcii dali kľúč od jej izby mužovi, ktorý povedal, že je jej manžel – a ten potom prišiel na izbu a tam ju obťažoval. Moje dve otázky: nikde v článku som si nevšimla, že by niekto žaloval aj daného obťažovača? A potom to vyjadrenie, že chyba hotela bola, že neskontrolovali, že chlapík je naozaj jej manžel. A keby aj bol?? Pokiaľ nie je zaregistrovany na pobyt s ňou v jednej izbe, tak manžel-nemanžel, nemajú právo mu dať kľúč od jej izby bez toho, aby sa jej najprv opýtali!

Pripútaná nahá žena so zapchatými ústami, ku ktorej sa blížia nože – nevadí. Oblečená žena, ktorá kojí dieťa – vadí.

vtipné odpovede na oznamy, značky, atď

koľko míňa USA na armádu v porovnaní s inými krajinami – príliš veľa; somewhat related: roboty vo vojne

Mali by si noviny overovať fakty? Naozaj? Toto sa pýtajú v New York Times?

prečo nie som vydatá

zaujímavý obrázok

na Aljaške majú toľko snehu, že sa sánkujú zo striech

Well, I’ve changed the course of music five or six times, what have you done?

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