Archive for March 28, 2013

Tattoos & trances at ‘Magic’ festival

Posted in SCIENCE, GEOLOGY,HEALTH, INVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY,ANTHROPOLOGY, ARCHAEOLOGY, with tags on March 28, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1825

Tattoos & trances at ‘Magic’ festival

Believers from across Thailand travel to Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Pathom province, a monastery near Bangkok, to attend Thailand’s Magic Tattoo Festival, to have their bodies adorned with tattoos and pay their respects to the temple’s master tattooist. They believe the tattoos have mystical powers, ward off bad luck and protect them from harm.
A Buddhist monk uses a traditional needle to tattoo the body of a man at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Pathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 21, 2013. Believers from across Thailand travel to the monastery to have their bodies adorned with tattoos and to pay their respects to the temple’s master tattooist. They believe the tattoos have mystical powers, ward off bad luck and protect them from harm. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND – Tags: RELIGION)
A Buddhist monk uses a traditional needle to tattoo the chest of Salut at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Pathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 21, 2013. Salut, a 26 year old from Bangkok’s Klong Thoey slum who had his first tattoo at age of 17, believes tattoos protect him from danger and give him self confidence. Believers from across Thailand travel to the monastery to have their bodies adorned with tattoos and to pay their respects to the temple’s master tattooist. They believe the tattoos have mystical powers, ward off bad luck and protect them from harm. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND – Tags: RELIGION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY SOCIETY)
A Buddhist monk uses a traditional needle to tattoo the body of a man at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Pathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 21, 2013. Believers from across Thailand travel to the monastery to have their bodies adorned with tattoos and to pay their respects to the temple’s master tattooist. They believe the tattoos have mystical powers, ward off bad luck and protect them from harm. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND – Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)
A Buddhist monk uses a traditional needle to tattoo the chest of Salut at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Pathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 21, 2013. Salut, a 26 year old from Bangkok’s Klong Thoey slum who had his first tattoo at age of 17 believes tattoos protect him from danger and give him self confidence. Believers from across Thailand travel to the monastery to have their bodies adorned with tattoos and to pay their respects to the temple’s master tattooist. They believe the tattoos have mystical powers, ward off bad luck and protect them from harm. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND – Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)
A girl gets a tattoo as a Buddhist monk performs a ceremony with others at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Pathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 21, 2013. Believers from across Thailand travel to the monastery to have their bodies adorned with tattoos and to pay their respects to the temple’s master tattooist. They believe the tattoos have mystical powers, ward off bad luck and protect them from harm. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND – Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)
A devotee in a state of trance is calmed by volunteers during the annual Magic Tattoo Festival at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Prathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 23, 2013. Thousands of believers from across Thailand travel to the monastery to attend the annual tattoo festival to have their bodies adorned with tattoos and to pay their respects to the temple’s master tattooist. They believe the tattoos have mystical powers which ward off bad luck and protect them from harm. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND – Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)
Devotees in a state of trance mimic the creatures which are tattooed on their bodies during the annual Magic Tattoo Festival at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Prathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 23, 2013. Thousands of believers from across Thailand travel to the monastery to attend the annual tattoo festival to have their bodies adorned with tattoos and to pay their respects to the temple’s master tattooist. They believe the tattoos have mystical powers which ward off bad luck and protect them from harm. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND – Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
A devotee in a state of trance mimics a creature tattooed on his body during the annual Magic Tattoo Festival at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Prathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 23, 2013.REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND – Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)
A devotee with a tiger tattoo attends the annual Magic Tattoo Festival at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Prathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 23, 2013.
Devotees wait to be sprayed with holy water during the annual Magic Tattoo Festival at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Prathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 23, 2013.
Devotees wait to be sprayed with holy water during the annual Magic Tattoo Festival at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Prathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 23, 2013.
Devotees in a state of trance mimic the creatures which are tattooed on their bodies during the annual Magic Tattoo Festival at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Prathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 23, 2013.
A devotee in a state of trance mimics a creature tattooed on his body during the annual Magic Tattoo Festival at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Prathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 23, 2013.
A devotee in a state of trance is calmed by volunteers during the annual Magic Tattoo Festival at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Prathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 23, 2013.
Devotees reach for food and flowers given by Buddhist monks during the annual Magic Tattoo Festival at Wat Bang Phra in Nakhon Prathom province, about 80 km (50 miles) from Bangkok March 23, 2013. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj (THAILAND – Tags: RELIGION SOCIETY)

IMAGE OF THE DAY

Posted in THE UNIVERSE & SPACE SCIENCE with tags on March 28, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1824

IMAGE OF THE DAY

by Tom Chao, SPACE.com Producer
Don’t Get Me Wrong
Don’t Get Me Wrong
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA; Acknowledgement: Josh Barrington
Wednesday, March 27, 2013: Jonckheere 900 or J 900, a planetary nebula, consists of glowing shells of ionized gas pushed out by a dying star. Astronomer Robert Jonckheere discovered the dusty nebula in the early 1900s. J 900 is small but fairly bright. J 900’s nearby companion star, in the constellation of Gemini, often causes problems for observers because under poor viewing conditions it appears to merge into J 900, giving it an elongated appearance. Astronomers have also mistaken these two objects for a double star.
Get Down
Get Down
Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov
Monday, March 25, 2013: The Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft lowers into place March 22, 2013, during encapsulation into the third stage of a Soyuz booster rocket, at the Integration Facility of the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Soyuz will launch March 29 (Kazakh time), carrying Expedition 35/36 Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy of NASA, Soyuz Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin to the International Space Station for a 5-½ month mission.
Twist and Crawl
Twist and Crawl
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
Friday, March 22, 2013: The Hubble Space Telescope captured galaxy IRAS 23436+5257, which lies in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia. The twisted, worm-like structure of this galaxy most likely resulted from a collision and subsequent merger of two galaxies.
Mimas & Saturn
Mimas & Saturn
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute
Thursday, March 21, 2013: Saturn and its north polar hexagon appear to dwarf Saturn’s moon Mimas, floating over the planet’s limb. Saturn’s A ring also appears on the far right. Mimas stretches 246 miles (396 kilometers) across. Cassini spacecraft took the image on Nov. 28, 2012.
The Galaxy With the Hole in the Middle
The Galaxy With the Hole in the Middle
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt
Monday, March 18, 2013: Galaxy Zw II 28 possesses a mysterious ring shape. Researchers believe ring galaxies form when one galaxy slices through the disc of another, larger, one, though without much destruction as might be expected, as galaxies mostly contain empty space. This disruption should redistribute the material in both galaxies to form a dense central core, encircled by bright stars, iintensely forming new stars in the outer ring. The pink and purple loop of Zw II 28 does not represent a typical ring galaxy due to its lack of a visible central companion. However, a companion may lurk just inside the ring. Image released March 11, 2013.
The Endless Plain
The Endless Plain
Credit: Clem & Adri Bacri-Normier (wingsforscience.com)/ESO
Friday, March 15, 2013: Chajnantor Plateau stands at an altitude of 16,000 feet (5000 meters) in the Chilean Andes, home of the array of ALMA telescope antennas. The large antennas span a diameter of 40 feet (12 meters), while 12 smaller antennas with a diameter of 23 feet (7 meters) make up the ALMA Compact Array (ACA). On the horizon, stand the peaks of (right to left) Cerro Chajnantor, Cerro Toco and Juriques. This photo was taken in December 2012, four months prior to the ALMA inauguration on March 13, 2013.
In With the In Crowd
In With the In Crowd
Credit: NASA/Chris Gunn
Thursday, March 14, 2013: A full-scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope model went on display March 8-10, 2013, at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. The telescope stretches a tennis court in length, and stands as tall as a four-story building, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will succeed Hubble, and JWST represents the largest space telescope ever built.
Space and Time
Space and Time
Credit: Randy PaylorWednesday, March 13, 2013: Astrophotographer Randy Paylor sent in a photo of Comet Pan-STARRS. He writes: “Taken on the campus of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, March 11th [2013], with the school’s Memorial Tower clock in the foreground. [The photo] was shot across a big open quad to get the tower in the distance and near the horizon.” [See full gallery.]
Slowly Unravels
Slowly Unravels
Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona
Tuesday, March 12, 2013: Astronomer Adam Block, of the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter located north of Tucson, AZ, sent in a photo of spiral galaxies NGC 3169 and NGC 3166. He writes: “This 27-hour cumulative exposure photograph shows just how strongly these two galaxies are interacting. Shells, plumes, arcs of stars and even shared dust lanes are some of the features that highlight this very deep image. NGC 3169 on the left appears to be literally unraveling before our eyes. Perhaps the arc of star clumps below the pair are the remnants of a smaller galaxy that orbited both of them. I am happy to have completed this image just before the flood of comet Pan-STARRS images begin to show up … “ Image submitted March 9, 2013.
Minimum-Maximum
Minimum-Maximum
Credit: NASA/SDO
Monday, March 11, 2013: This year, 2013, marks the peak of the 11-year sunspot cycle. Yet solar activity remains relatively low. This image shows the Earth-facing surface of the sun on February 28, 2013, as observed by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. Only a few small sunspots appear, although many spots usually riddle the sun’s face during peak solar activity. Researchers recognize that the cycle does not repeat at precise 11-year intervals, taking from 10 to 13 years to complete, and varying in amplitude. Solar physicist Dean Pesnell of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center points out that we may be experiencing a double-peaked maximum, with the sunspot count jumping in 2011 and dipping in 2012. Says Pesnell: “I am comfortable in saying that another peak will happen in 2013 and possibly last into 2014.”
Curl Up
Curl Up
Credit: ESA/NASA/SOHO
Friday, March 8, 2013: Five coronal mass ejections (CMEs) blasted from the sun, Feb. 26-28, 2013. Caught by the SOHO spacecraft’s LASCO C2 coronagraph, the CMEs show considerable variation in shape and structure. In particular, the one at the right of the image shows a bright, elongated center, likely part of a solar filament, with an interesting shepherd’s crook (or bishop’s crosier) shape. In the image, the white circle represents the sun, and the red disk blocks out the sun and part of the corona.
When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pisa Pie
When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pisa Pie
Credit: Giuseppe Petricca
Thursday, March 7, 2013: Astrophotographer Giuseppe Petricca sent in a photo of the last quarter moon over Pisa, Italy, taken on March 2, 2013. He writes: “The scenery was wonderful, with the last quarter moon slowly climbing above the horizon, hiding briefly behind some thin clouds…. Really an enjoyable view, to say the least!”
Linger On, Your Pale Blue Lights
Linger On, Your Pale Blue Lights
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, acknowledgement: S. Meunier
Wednesday, March 6, 2013: Part of spiral galaxy IC 5052 seen in this image shows speckles of blue, white, and yellow light. This barred spiral galaxy lies side-on to us in the constellation of Pavo (The Peacock), in the southern sky. Bursts of pale blue light gleam across the galaxy’s length, partially blocked by lanes of darker gas and dust. The blue light marks pockets of extremely hot newborn stars.
Evil Eye?
Evil Eye?
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA. Acknowledgement: J.-C. Lambry
Tuesday, March 5, 2013: The Hubble Space Telescope shows planetary nebula ESO 456-67 glowing like a giant eye in space. A planetary nebula arises when a dying Sun-like star flings its shells of dust and gas into space. (A planetary nebula has nothing to do with planets, but the misleading nomenclature resulted from the confusion of early astronomers using weak telescopes.) ESO 456-67 lies in the southern sky. in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer).
Mysterious Traveller
Mysterious Traveller
Credit: G.Hüdepohl (atacamaphoto.com)/ESO
Friday, March 1, 2013: ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) tested a new laser on February 14, 2013. The laser will make up a vital part of the Laser Guide Star Facility (LGSF), which allows astronomers to correct for most of the disturbances caused by the constant movement of the atmosphere. A special celestial visitor also appears in this photo. Right of center, just below the Small Magellanic Cloud in this photo, a green dot glows with a faint tail stretching to its left. This is recently discovered Comet Lemmon, currently moving slowly through the southern skies.
Image of the Day Archives

Image of the Day ArchivesCredit: NASA, ESA and Orsola De Marco (Macquarie University)For older Image of the Day pictures, please visit the Image of the Day archives. Above: NGC 2467.

Volcanic Lightning: How does it work?!

Posted in SCIENCE, GEOLOGY,HEALTH, INVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY,ANTHROPOLOGY, ARCHAEOLOGY, with tags on March 28, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1823

Volcanic Lightning: How does it work?!

By Robert T. Gonzalez

VOLCANO LIGHTNING. The fusion of flash with ash! Say the words aloud, together, and it sounds impossible – the kind of thing a six-year-old might think up. And yet, volcanic lightning is very real. But how does it happen?

Few phenomena can compete with the raw beauty and devastating power of a raging thunderstorm, save for a particularly violent volcanic eruption. But when these two forces of nature collide, the resulting spectacle can be so sublime as to defy reason.

The photograph above offers some important insights into the formation and study of volcanic lightning. It was taken late last month by German photographer Martin Rietze, on a visit to Japan’s Sakurajima volcano. Only very big eruptions, he tells us via email, can generate major thunderbolts like the ones seen here.

Smaller eruptions tend to be accompanied by more diminutive storms, which can be difficult to spot through thick clouds of ash. What’s more, lightning activity is highest during the beginning stages of an eruption, making it all the more challenging to capture on film. Photographing a big volcanic event at any stage is hard enough as it is; if you’re not nearby when it happens, says Rietze, “you will always arrive too late.”

It turns out the same things that make volcanic lightning hard to photograph also make it difficult to study. The first organized attempt at scientific observation was made during Iceland’s Surtsey eruption in 1963 (pictured above). The investigation was later recounted in a May 1965 issue of Science:

Measurements of atmospheric electricity and visual and photographic observations lead us to believe that the electrical activity is caused by the ejection from the volcano into the atmosphere of material carrying a large positive charge.

Translation? Volcanic lightning, the researchers hypothesize, is the result of charge-separation. As positively charged ejecta makes its way skyward, regions of opposite but separated electrical charges take shape. A lightning bolt is nature’s way of balancing the charge distribution. The same thing is thought to happen in regular-old thunderstorms. But this much is obvious, right? So what makes volcanic lightning different?

 

Close to 50 years have transpired since Surtsey exploded in November 1963. Since then, only a few studies have managed to make meaningful observations of volcanic eruptions. One of the most significant was published in 2007, after researchers used radio waves to detect a previously unknown type of lightning zapping from the crater of Alaska’s Mount Augustine volcano in 2006.

“During the eruption, there were lots of small lightning [bolts] or big sparks that probably came from the mouth of the crater and entered the [ash] column coming out of the volcano,” said study co-author Ronald J. Thomas in a 2007 interview with National Geographic. “We saw a lot of electrical activity during the eruption and even some small flashes going from the top of the volcano up into the cloud. That hasn’t been noticed before.”

The observations suggest that the eruption produced a large amount of electric charge, corroborating the 1963 hypothesis – but the newly identified lightning posed an interesting puzzle: where, exactly, do these charges come from? “We’re not sure if it comes out of the volcano or if it is created just afterwards,” Thomas explains. “One of the things we have to find out is what’s generating this charge.”

Since 2007, a small handfull of studies have led to the conclusion that there exist at least two types of volcanic lightning – one that occurs at the mouth of an erupting volcano, and a second that dances around in the heights of a towering plume (an example of the latter occurred in 2011 above Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caullevolcanic complex, as pictured here. (Photograph by Carlos Gutierrez/Reuters.) Findings published in a 2012 article in the geophysics journal Eos reveal that the largest volcanic storms can rival the intensity of massive supercell thunderstorms common to the American midwest. Still, the source of the charge responsible for this humbling phenomenon remains hotly debated.

One hypothesis, floated by Thomas’ team in 2007, suggests that magma, rock and volcanic ash, jettisoned during an eruption, are themselves electrically charged by some previous, unknown process, generating flashes of electricity near the volcano’s opening. Another holds that highly energized air and gas, upon colliding with cooler particles in the atmosphere, generate branched lightning high above the volcano’s peak. Other hypotheses, still, implicate rising water and ice-coated ash particles.

“What is mostly agreed upon,” writes geologist Brentwood Higman at Geology.com, “is that the process starts when particles separate, either after a collision or when a larger particle breaks in two. Then some difference in the aerodynamics of these particles causes the positively charged particles to be systematically separated from the negatively charged particles.” He includes the diagram seen here [click here to see it enlarged].

The exciting thing about this process is that these differences in aerodynamics, combined with various potential sources of charge (magma, volcanic ash, etc) suggest that there may actually be types of volcanic lightning we’ve yet to observe. As Martin Uman, co-director of the University of Florida Lightning Research program, told NatGeo back in 2007: “every volcano might not be the same.”

Why you should avoid ‘black henna’ tattoos

Posted in SCIENCE, GEOLOGY,HEALTH, INVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY,ANTHROPOLOGY, ARCHAEOLOGY, with tags on March 28, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1822

Why you should avoid ‘black henna’ tattoos

GEORGE DVORSKY

Those temporary black henna tattoos may look super cool, but they could seriously mess up your skin. Because they may not actually be made from henna.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert on Monday saying that the temporary tattoos, when made from “black henna,” could result in adverse reactions.

The FDA explains what’s going on and what “black henna” is really made of:

You may be familiar with henna, a reddish-brown coloring made from a flowering plant that grows in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and Asia. Since the Bronze Age, people have used dried henna, ground into a paste, to dye skin, hair, fingernails, leather, silk and wool. This decoration—sometimes also known as mehndi—is still used today around the world to decorate the skin in cultural festivals and celebrations.

However, today so-called “black henna” is often used in place of traditional henna. Inks marketed as black henna may be a mix of henna with other ingredients, or may really be hair dye alone. The reason for adding other ingredients is to create a tattoo that is darker and longer lasting, but use of black henna is potentially harmful.

That’s because the extra ingredient used to blacken henna is often a coal-tar hair dye containing p-phenylenediamine (PPD), an ingredient that can cause dangerous skin reactions in some people. Sometimes, the artist may use a PPD-containing hair dye alone. Either way, there’s no telling who will be affected. By law, PPD is not permitted in cosmetics intended to be applied to the skin.

Reactions can include blisters, redness, sensitivity to sunlight, raised red weeping lesions, and permanent scarring.

According to MedWatch, there have been numerous reports from people who have reacted poorly to the tattoos, including a case involving a 5-year old girl who developed extremely severe reddening two weeks after:

“What we thought would be a little harmless fun ended up becoming more like a nightmare for us,” the father says. “My hope is that by telling people about our experience, I can help prevent this from happening to some other unsuspecting kids and parents.”

More at the FDA here and here.

Images: Shutterstock/Olena Zaskochenko; FDA.

Think your sex life is complicated? Imagine having 7 sexes.

Posted in SCIENCE, GEOLOGY,HEALTH, INVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY,ANTHROPOLOGY, ARCHAEOLOGY, with tags on March 28, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1821

Think your sex life is complicated? Imagine having 7 sexes.

GEORGE DVORSKY

No, this isn’t something out of an Octavia Butler novel. It’s Tetrahymena thermophila — a single-celled organism that goes way beyond male and female. It has seven different sexes to choose from. Now a new study published in PLOS has finally made sense of its bizarrely complex and seemingly random sex life.

T. thermophila are egg-shaped unicellular eukaryotes that can be found in freshwater. But unlike their asexually reproducing single-celled brethren, these organisms have a rather unique sexual stage to their life cycle that works to increase their reproductive chances.

Here’s how it works.

First, any T. thermophila can mate with any other mating type except its own. So far so good.

But here’s where it starts to get a bit complicated. After two cells mate, the offspring can be one of seven different sexes. Each of these cells has two genomes, and each of them are contained within their own separate nucleus. The researchers, a team led by Marcella D. Cervantes and Eduardo Orias, liken this genome to our ovaries or testes. They contain all the genetic information required by the offspring, while the “working” genome controls the operation of the cell (including its sex).

It’s at this point that I’ll let Stephanie Pappas from LiveScience take over:

When two Tetrahymena fuse in their version of single-cell sex, they produce a gamete nucleus, which is the protozoan equivalent of a fertilized egg in humans. This fertilization nucleus starts making copies of itself, some of which are destined to become germline nuclei and some of which are somatic.

It is during this step that the mating type is chosen, the researchers found. Each germline nucleus holds an array of incomplete gene pairs ― one for each of the organism’s seven sexes. The cell joins and completes one of these gene pairs randomly, thus setting the cell’s mating type. The rest of the incomplete gene pairs are thrown out.

Which is really wild. So basically, each of the seven sexes is capable of “completing” any one of the other six sexes — and it does so purely by chance. According to the researchers, seven mating types makes it more likely for T. thermophila to run into a cell they can reproduce with when they meet in a pond.

The entire article is available for free at PLOS.

Image: nih.gov.

The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop

Posted in THE ART with tags on March 28, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1820

The Amazing World of Photo Editing Before Photoshop

VINCZE MIKLÓS

Today, manipulated or ‘shopped photos are common in the media and in our everyday life, but that wasn’t the case for most of photographic history. Here are some of the most interesting trick photos and image manipulations made before the first version of Photoshop was released in 1989.

Sealed Power Piston Rings, by John Paul Pennebaker, 1933

Pictured above.

(via Stylestation)

William H. Mumler’s spirit photos, 1860s-1880s

Mary Todd Lincoln’s portrait with the ghost of her husband, Abraham Lincoln was taken in the early 1870s.

SEXPAND

Left: “Master Herrod (a young medium) in a trance. His Spiritual Body Withdrawn and Appears Behind.”, ca. 1868 Center: “Mrs. French of Boston with Spirit Son”, ca. 1868 Right: Moses A. Dow, Editor of Waverley Magazine, with the Spirit of Mabel Warren”, ca. 1871

(via Wikimedia Commons and Photography Museum)

Man Juggling His Own Head by a French artist, around 1880

(via Baidu)

Double-exposure portraits from the late 1800s

SEXPAND

Left: Mr. Mansfield, circa 1895
Right: Barber And Customer, circa 1885

(via Photography Museum)

Headless gentlemen from the Victorian era

SEXPAND

(via The Sun)

Tall Tale photographs

SEXPAND

I’ve written about this century-old photographs before.

(via Culver Through The Years)

Cottingley Fairies (1917-1920)

SEXPAND

SEXPAND

The series of five photographs were taken by two young cousins, Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths between 1917 and 1920. These were used by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to illustrate his article about fairies. This made the pictures world-famous. In the early 1980s, the old women confessed they’ve used cardboard figures.

(via Blue Red Porter and Wikimedia Commons 1 – 2)

Man On Rooftop With Eleven Man In Formation On His Shoulders, from an unidentified American artist, around 1930.

SEXPAND

(via Dias of Diaz)

The equator – photographed for the first time in history, 1930s

 

 

 

 

 

SEXPAND

(via The Oddment Emporium)

Skiing in Egypt, 1938

(via Dark Roasted Blend)

The Commissar Vanishes, 1940

Nikolai Yezhov was one of Stalin’s most powerful officials, but in 1939 he was arrested and executed in 1940. The top photo is from the mid 1930s, and the other is from 1940. It’s the best-known example of the Stalin-era image manipulation.

(via gandul and 163)

Stocking repairing little beetles

SEXPAND

(via Dark Roasted Blend)

The most heroic portrait of Benito Mussolini, 1942

SEXPAND

The handler was removed to create a more heroic look.

(via Col. Milquetoast’s Blog)

Alcohol on a Soviet-German meeting? The Soviets said no, 1971

The German newspapers showed a photography about Chancellor Willy Brandt and Leonid Brezhnev with three bottles, but the Soviets altered the picture.

(via tvnet)

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants

Posted in SCIENCE, GEOLOGY,HEALTH, INVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY,ANTHROPOLOGY, ARCHAEOLOGY, with tags on March 28, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

Post 1819

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants

http://homes.yahoo.com/photos/a-dozen-of-the-deadliest-garden-plants-slideshow/a-dozen-of-the-deadliest-garden-plants-hydrangea-photo–1383495362.html

Your garden may be a relaxing retreat, but it’s not a place to let your guard down, especially when it comes to small children and your family’s pets. Some popular plants you prize for their ornamental beauty can turn into toxic killers within minutes if ingested, whether consumed out of curiosity or by mistake. With this list you’ll know what flowers, shrubs and berries to warn young, inquisitive minds about and which bushes and flowers to keep out of paw’s reach. You’ll also learn the symptoms of poisoning because—after prevention—rapid treatment is the only defense against death. | By Danielle Blundell, This Old House Online

 

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants rhododendron

Rhododendron (Rhododendron ponticum)

Why we grow it: Give them moisture and shade, and rhododendron shrubs offer showy red, white, pink, or purple flower clusters in spring and thick, glossy leaves that thrive into the winter. (There’s a reason that This Old House declared rhododendron one of the best foundation plants for curb appeal.)

Deadly parts: The entire plant.

Toxic toll: Who knew both West Virginia and Washington’s state flower was a silent killer? Swallow any part of this plant, and you’re going to look as bad as you feel. While drooling from the mouth and teary-eyed, you’ll begin vomiting violently, just as your pulse slows down and low blood pressure sets in. Death can occur shortly after falling into a coma or during a violent seizure.

Photo by Flickr user Ryan Somma

 

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants lily of the valley

Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis)

Why we grow it: Low to the ground with spires of tiny, white bell-shaped flowers, lily-of-the-valley packs a potent, sweet-smelling scent despite its small size. It’s also an excellent groundcover in shady settings. (See more about groundcovers on This Old House.)

Deadly parts: The entire plant, particularly the leaves.

Toxic toll: Sure, they make for an attractive flower arrangement, but even the water you place cut lily-of-the-valley flowers in contains deadly traces of convallatoxin, which intensifies the heart’s contractions. Just a bite causes headaches, hot flashes, hallucinations, and irritability, not to mention red blotches on cold, clammy skin. The heart will also slow down, potentially leading to coma and death.

Photo by Flickr user Stadtkatze

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants hydrangea

 

Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)

Why we grow it: The large, pink, blue, or white flower clusters on these shade-loving shrubs perk up any landscape, blooming at the start of summer and into the fall. (See tips for growing gorgeous hydrangeas on This Old House.)

Deadly parts: The entire plant, especially the flower buds.

Toxic toll: Swallowing hydrangea is like popping a cyanide pill. The present poison, hydragin, is a cyanogenic glycoside, meaning it will cause shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, and a rapid pulse, along with a drop in blood pressure that can cause convulsions and death.

Photo by Flickr user Mauricio Mercadante

 

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants narcissus

Poet’s Narcissus (Narcissus poeticus)

Why we grow it: Also known as poet’s daffodil, these pretty white bulb flowers, with a yellow center cup much smaller than the common daffodil’s, stand up to deer, rabbits, and voles better than other blooms, making them a prime choice for adding a bit of cheer to your beds.

Deadly parts: The entire plant, especially the bulbs, which are potent emetics, inducing vomiting.

Toxic toll: If the scent of a narcissus bouquet in a closed room is strong enough to cause a headache, just imagine what eating an entire bulb might do. Think severe nausea, convulsions, fainting, paralysis and eventual death. Still want to plant them? Watch any open wounds you may have while tending to them—coming into contact with their bulb secretions has produced staggering, numbness, and heart paralysis.

Photo by Flickr user AnneTanne

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants foxglove

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)

Why we grow it: With purple, pink, and white bell-shaped blossoms growing in tall, tower—ing spires, it adds drama and height to your garden.

Deadly parts: The entire plant, especially the leaves of the upper stem, which are rich in digitalin, digitoxin, and digitonin—chemicals, that while used medicinally, are deadly in high doses.

Toxic toll: The same thing that makes these lookers toxic to deer won’t sit well with your—or the family pet’s—digestive tract. Twenty minutes after a little nibbling, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea set in. Depending on the amount ingested, untreated poisoning leads to death by bradycardia (lowered heart rate) or ventricular fibrillation (a rapid, irregular rhythm in the lower heart chambers). Keep in mind, however, that children have died just from sucking on a part of the plant.

Photo by Flickr user Kristian Thy

 

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants larkspur

Larkspur (Delphinium consolida)

Why we grow it: Part of the buttercup family of flowers, larkspur adds a high-impact, low-maintenance dose of color to your garden with its clustered blooms and colorful petals, typically ranging from white to blueish purple.

Deadly parts: The entire plant, though the young leaves and the mature seeds contain the highest concentration of toxic alkaloids.

Toxic toll: These enticing blue growers are definitely just for looking—not eating. Immediately after ingestion, nausea, burning in the mouth, vomiting, and slowing of the heartbeat set in. Seek treatment right away, because six hours is all it takes for this flower to become lethal.

Photo by Flickr user Alwyn Ladell

 

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants oleander

Oleander (Nerium oleander)

Why we grow it: Its fragrant white buds and thick, dark green leaves make it a popular ornamental shrub for gardens across the country.

Deadly parts: The entire plant, including its nectar and sap.

Toxic toll: Think twice about growing one of these babies in your yard, especially if you have little ones: A single leaf contains enough toxins to be lethal to an infant or small child. Like other poisonous plans, ingesting it first affects the digestive system with vomiting and diarrhea, then poisoning progresses into life-threatening circulatory problems. If your heart’s still ticking after that trauma, oleander can also deal a fatal blow to your central nervous system, causing seizures, tremors, and coma that can lead to death.

Photo by Flickr user Hovic

 

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants poinsettia

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)

Why we grow it: If you live in a warm, subtropical area like southern California, you might add the leggy poinsettia shrub to your yard. But most people bring the potted variety into their homes during the holiday season to deck out wreaths, dining room centerpieces, or fireplace mantles with its bright red leaves.

Deadly parts: 
The milky sap found in the veins of the plant.

Toxic toll: 
Despite its toxic reputation, poinsettias will never top the list of most poisonous plants, as there’s only been two documented cases of them causing human death. But you’ll want to teach kids not to touch or consume the plant, nonetheless. And as far as cats and dogs are concerned, keep poinsettia plants out of reach—unless you want to clean up after pet vomit and diarrhea. Take extra precautions if you have elderly, ill, or young pets.

Photo by Flickr user Mauricio Mercadante

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants belladonna

Purple Nightshade (Atropa belladonna)

Why we grow it: Though rarely cultivated, the curvy, greenish-purple blooms are sometimes grown for their upright habit and eye-catching, shiny berries. Native to Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia, it has naturalized in parts of North America, favoring shady, moist locations with limestone-rich soils.

Deadly parts: The entire plant, particularly its berries, roots, and leaves.

Toxic toll: Don’t mess with this one—pop a handful of berries in your mouth, and you’ll physically be unable to call for help. After you lose your voice, respiratory complications, intense digestive disruption, and violent convulsions begin, the combination of which has proven fatal.

Photo by Flickr user peganum

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants mountain laurel

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)

Why we grow it: A close cousin to azaleas and rhododendrons, mountain laurel is a shrub with large, round flower heads ranging from a reddish pink to white in color. It grows in tall thickets that also cover a large area of ground, making it a choice foundation plant to boost curb appeal. Deadly parts: Leaves, twigs, flowers, and pollen.

Toxic toll: Mountain laurel parts are full of andromedotoxins, which go to town on your gastrointestinal tract. Watering of the mouth, eyes, and nose are common, as is shortness of breath and slow heartbeat. Kidney failure can occur, as well as convulsions, paralysis, coma, and death.

Photo by Flickr user James Gaither

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants mistletoe

Mistletoe (Phoradendron flavescens)

Why we grow it: A parasitic plant that grows out in the wild, you might spot some in your yard using a black poplar, ash, sycamore, or hawthorn as a host tree. A bough of mistletoe, with its sticky, white berries, has long been used as a traditional decoration indoors during the Christmas season.

Deadly parts: All parts, especially the berries.

Toxic toll: Munching on a couple of leaves, berries, or shoots—or drinking mistletoe-flavored tea—will cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Cases where mistletoe ingestion were fatal involved gastroenteritis (an inflammation of the stomach and small intestine), followed by cardiovascular collapse. The berries are particularly potent when it comes to pets, so mind your cats and dogs around this plant.

Photo by Andrew Dunn

A dozen of the deadliest garden plants water hemlock

Water Hemlock/Spotted Parsley (Cicuta maculata)

Why we grow it: An unintended but not uncommon garden trespasser—with its small, white flowers growing in umbrella-like clusters—this perennial doesn’t look too menacing. It may be growing on the edges of your property, especially if you live near a meadow, pasture, or stream.

Deadly parts: The whole plant, especially the roots of early growth.

Toxic toll: This wildflower has been dubbed “the most violently toxic plant that grows in North America” by the USDA. True to its killer reputation, water hemlock can strike you dead within 15 minutes of ingestion. The poison cicutoxin wastes no time in attacking the central nervous system, causing severe seizures and convulsions that turn deadly as a result of asphyxia and cardiovascular collapse.

Photo by Flickr user Fritz Flohr Reynolds