Patterns are everywhere in nature. Where does this order and regularity come from? It creates itself. The patterns we see come from self-organization. Whether living or non-living, scientists have found that there is a pattern-forming tendency inherent in the basic structure and processes of nature, so that from a few simple themes, and the repetition of simple rules, endless beautiful variations can arise. From soap bubbles to honeycombs or delicate shell patterns, Phillip Ball (science-writer) explains how these patterns are self-made and why similar shapes and structures may be found in very different settings, orchestrated by nothing more than simple physical forces.
Philip Ball – Shapes
Rembert Dodoens (1517–1585) was a Flemish physician and botanist, also known under his Latinized name Rembertus Dodonaeus. He is best known for his herbal Cruydeboeck (more precisely: Cruijdeboeck, as the title is printed on the title page), written in old Flemish and published in 1554.
A few years later, in 1557, a French translation of this work appeared, made by Carolus Clusius: Histoire des plantes. A revised edition of the Cruydeboeck was published in 1563.
Between 1561 and 1580 four smaller botanical works written in Latin became available, which later were incorporated in the well known Latin edition of the herbal: Stirpium historiae pemptades sex sive libri XXX (1583). The final edition of this opus magnum, Dodonaeus’ last work, was published posthumously in 1616. Based on the Latin editions of the Herbal three poshumous editions in Flemish were published, entitled: Cruydt-Boeck, in 1608 (first edition), 1618 (second edition) and 1644 (final edition, again revised and expanded).
Several botanical works of Dodonaeus are available on the internet. The (Dutch) website “Plantaardigheden” has made two of these accessible for the general public by means of a special navigation, with complete contents (enumeration of the titles of the parts, books and chapters): the Cruydeboeck or Cruijdeboeck from 1554 and the Cruydt-Boeck from 1644.
The image above is a drawing of the Vitex agnus-castus, the Chaste tree or Monk’s pepper – a meditterenean middlesized tree blooming late summer and autumn and thus providing a good end-os-season foraging for the honeybees. Below a link to the pages Dodoens’ dedicated to this tree in his Herbarius or Cruydt-boeck of 1644: http://caliban.mpiz-koeln.mpg.de/dodoens/high/01213.html
Part 3 of the Cruydt-boeck is dedicated to the medicinal herbs. The introduction, in old-flemish, goes as follows: “Van der wortelen, medecynale cruyden, ende quaden hinderlijcke ghewassen, fatsoen, naem, natuere, cracht, werckinghe ende hindernisse. Duer D. Rembert Dodoens”.
Everyday we set a different topic for discussion in our connected OpenGreens exchange corner, at Changing Tents during Burning Ice#4.
monday 17.01.11 – building the hexayurts
tuesday 18.01.11 – the economic value of the honeybee
wednesday 19.01.11 – compost – recycle day, spring cleaning
thursday 20.01.11 – the connected OpenGreens database
friday 21.01.11 – gift economy, the Kanal euro – complementary currency
saturday 22.01.11 – bee monitoring, enhanced beehives
sunday 23.01.11 – collaps
You can download the connected OpenGreens catalog (v.1.0):
The catalog will function as a basis for discussions at the OpenGreens corner.
Where is the litterature which gives expression to Nature? He would be a poet who could impress the winds and streams into his service, to speak for him; who nailed words to their primitive senses, as farmers drive down stakes in the spring, which the frost has heaved; who derived his words as often as he used them – transplanted them to his page with earth adhering to their roots; whose words were so true and fresh and natural that they would appear to expand like the buds at the approach of spring, though they lay half smothered between two musty leaves in a library – aye, to bloom and bear fruit there, after their kind, annually, for the faithful reader, in sympathy with surrounding Nature.
Henry David Thoreau – Writing the Wilderness
From ‘Walking’ (1862), in Essays and Other Writings
Ed. Will H. Dircks, London: Walter Scott Ltd, 1895.
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In 1954, when I went to Europe, I no sooner arrived in Paris than I noticed that the city was covered with posters publicizing a mushroom exhibition that was being held in the Botanical Gardens. That was all I needed. Off I went. When I arrived, I found myself in a large room filled with many tables upon which were displayed many species of fungi. On the hour from a large centrally-placed loudspeaker a recorded lecture on the deadly poisonous amanitas was delivered. During this lecture, nobody in the hall moved or spoke. Each person’s attention was, so to speak, riveted to the information being given.
A week later, I was in Cologne in Germany attending a concert of electronic music. There was also an audience and a large loudspeaker. However, many in the audience were dozing off, and some were talking to their neighbors.
John Cage, Indeterminacy
The Barefoot Beekeeper is a revolutionary book about ‘sustainable’, chemical-free beekeeping.
The author strips away all unnecessary complication and confusion, demonstrating that ‘modern’ beekeeping methods are largely to blame for the poor state of health of the honeybee and that the commercialization of beekeeping marked the start of the disease and parasite problems that honeybees have been trying to deal with ever since.
The author advocates small-scale, sustainable beekeeping, with minimal disturbance to the bees and more time spent observing and learning from them. This book shows how you can make everything you need to keep bees yourself, using recycled materials and simple tools: you do not need to buy any additional equipment at all, nor do you need synthetic medications or other chemicals.