China Fences In Its Nomads, and an Ancient Life Withers Photo MADOI, China — If modern material comforts are the measure of success, then Gere, a 59-year-old former yak-and-sheep herder in China’s western Qinghai Province, should be a happy man. In the two years since the Chinese government forced him to sell his livestock and move into a squat concrete house here on the windswept Tibetan plateau, Gere and his family have acquired a washing machine, a refrigerator and a color television that beams Mandarin-language historical dramas into their whitewashed living room. But Gere, who like many Tibetans uses a single name, is filled with regret. Amazing Places Preachers Rock, Preikestolen, Norway Blue Caves - Zakynthos Island, Greece Skaftafeli - Iceland This 390-year-old bonsai tree survived an atomic bomb, and no one knew until 2001 Moses Weisberg was walking his bicycle through the National Arboretum in Northeast Washington when he stopped at a mushroom-shaped tree. The first thing he noticed was the thickness of the trunk, estimated at almost a foot and a half in diameter. And then there was the abundance of spindly leaves, a healthy head of hair for a botanical relic 390 years old. But it was only when he learned the full history of the tree, a Japanese white pine donated in 1976, that he was truly stunned. The tree, a part of the Arboretum’s National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, has not only navigated the perils of age to become the collection’s oldest, but it also survived the blast of an atomic bomb, Little Boy, dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II. “For one, it’s amazing to think that something could have survived an atomic blast,” said Weisberg, a 26-year-old student at the Georgetown University Law Center.
The adorable “sea bunny” - a nudibranch It’s round, and fluffy and has wiggly little ears! Sort of. These little sea creatures, affectionately dubbed “sea bunnies” have recently become social media celebrities. They’re actually sea slugs, and belong to the wild group of mollusks called nudibranchs. The bunny slug species is Jorunna parva, and was first described by the renowned Japanese marine biologist Kikutaro Baba. The fluffy white sea bunnies are primarily found off the coast of Japan. Morin khuur The morin khuur (Mongolian: морин хуур), also known as horsehead fiddle, is a traditional Mongolian bowed stringed instrument. It is one of the most important musical instruments of the Mongol people, and is considered a symbol of the Mongolian nation. The morin khuur is one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity identified by UNESCO. Name
Rare White Whale Makes Surprise Appearance in New Zealand Scientists got a special thrill this week when they got to experience an unexpected encounter with a rare white humpback whale who made a surprising appearance off the coast of New Zealand. A research team with the New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) were out conducting an annual survey of humpback whales in Cook Strait to see how they are recovering after commercial whaling was banned in 1964. The whale they spotted is believed to be Migaloo, which is aboriginal for ‘white fella,’ who was first spotted off the coast of Australia in 1991 and has continued to make appearances there every year. According to a statement from the DOC, two whales were first spotted before the team realized one of them was very much not like the other. “I thought, wow that whale is white, that is amazing!” said John Gibbs, the boat’s skipper, in a statement.
Tree Encyclopedia Trees have three principle features that distinguish them from all other plants. First, they have a woody stem, roots and branches which do not die back in winter, but continue to grow year after year. From the moment of its germination, a tree remains visible; from the tallest Sequoia to the smallest garden fruit tree, this principle of growth remains constant. Second, trees live longer than any other organism on earth. Trees commonly live more than 1,000 years, and many grow considerably older. A bristlecone pine, Pinus longaeva, at Schulman Grove in California has been documented both by core drilling (a pencil-thin core is taken from the tree's trunk, and the rings are counted) and by carbon-dating as being 4,700 years old.
This is How Super Smart Octopuses Are The cephalopod’s genome reveals how the creatures evolved intelligence to rival the brightest vertebrates. We humans think we’re so fancy with our opposable thumbs and capacity for complex thought. But imagine life as an octopus … camera-like eyes, camouflage tricks worthy of Harry Potter, and not two but eight arms – that happen to be decked out with suckers that possess the sense of taste. And not only that, but those arms? They can execute cognitive tasks even when dismembered. And on top of all that razzmatazz, octocpuses (yes, "octopuses") have brains clever enough to navigate super complicated mazes and open jars filled with treats.
Traditional Instruments and Music of the Mongolia people - text in English The traditional Mongolian Folk music is influenced by the large variety of tribes, having been united for the first time in the 13th century under the rule of Genghis Khan with Turkish tribes in order to establish the Mongolian people. The nomad shepherds in Mongolia, like other nomads in Central Asia, use to play string and wind instruments. Percussion instruments, though, were only played in connection with Shamanism and Buddhism, the origins of which can be found in Tibetan Lamaism, as well as with the "Tsam dance", which was performed in Mongolia for the first time in the 8th century. - khuuchir - yoochin - yatga - Vocal music - Urtyin duu (long song) - melismatic and richly ornamented, with a slow tempo, long melodic lines, wide intervals and no fixed rhythm.
Nudibranchs - The Flamboyant Sea Slug nicoboxethai/CC BY 2.0 Nudibranch, or what we usually call sea slugs, blow my mind. Ever since spotting one for myself during a tide pool trip about a year ago, I've been fascinated with these creatures. I think of them as the drag queens of the sea: flashy stand-outs that are always dressed to the nines.