Webcam of two Bonelli’s eaglets

March 27, 2007 at 7:58 pm | Posted in A Better World | 2 Comments

A couple of weeks ago two Bonelli’s eagle chicks hatched in the Natural Park of El Garraf , near Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain. Thanks to a webcam in the nest, you can watch the two chicks 24 hours a day. The noise when they see their mother appearing with food is quite incredible and apparently people’s cats who can hear the speakers go wild!! It’s quite fascinating watching how these two chicks are growing stronger and larger day after day. Although I’m told that usually only one of the chicks survives, I’m hopeful that if they’ve both lasted this long they might both make it through to adulthood. They’re starting to teeter around the nest now, so I do hope their mother is keeping a good eye on them, although so far they haven’t gone anywhere near the edge of the rock in which the nest is built.

Bonelli’s eagle Hieraaetus fasciatus), is a vulnerable species, according to the World Conservation Union. It is a bird of prey that needs open spaces to live and feed in. In Catalonia there are 65 pairs, of which 3 live in the Natural Park of El Garraf. The Diputació de Barcelona, The Department of Animal Biology of the University of Barcelona and the Spanish Ministry of the Environment are all involved in the project, with the collaboration of the Rural Agents of the Catalan Government and the company that runs Barcelona Airport (AENA).

At the following website you can:

See the live webcam (webcam en directe), see a selection of recorded videos (filmacions enregistrade), listen to an interview or read more or less what I have written above!!

The Park’s website also has recorded videos of genet (gat mesquer), wild boar (senglar), marten (fagina) and fox (guinea) over to the left of the page, under webcam.

Good for them for doing such a wonderful job at helping to protect and increase the population of endangered species!!

Neuroscience Unlocks Secrets of Zen Garden

March 25, 2007 at 5:23 pm | Posted in A Better World | Leave a comment


ryoanji

Originally uploaded by Spanish Moon.
Neuroscience Unlocks Secrets of Zen Garden 500-year-old rock pattern suggests a tree to our subconscious. 26 September 2002 KENDALL POWELL The beauty of one of Japan’s most popular Zen gardens has long eluded explanation. Now neuroscientists have found that its minimalist design suggests a pleasing picture to our subconcious.The 500-year-old Ryoanji Temple garden in Kyoto contains five outcroppings of rocks and moss on a rectangle of raked gravel. Using symmetry calculations the researchers have discovered that the objects imply an image of a tree in the empty space between them that we detect, without being aware of doing so1. The finding suggests that Japanese garden designers – originally priests – “balanced forces from visual science,” says study leader Gert Van Tonder of Kyoto University. The trunk of the hidden branched tree lines up with the preferred garden-viewing spot of ancient temple floorplans, Van Tonder found. Repeating the calculations with random rock groups failed to generate any similar patterns. Earlier work by Ilona Kovács, a visual scientist at Rutgers University in Piscataway, New Jersey, showed that the human brain uses similar symmetry lines, like those of a child’s stick figure, to make sense of shapes2. “In the Zen garden you have even less to go on with just the best points, or rocks, along the symmetry lines,” says Kovács. She suggests the brain may recognize the tree during meditation and other Zen states.Through the years people have come up with various interpretations for the rock clusters themselves: a mother tiger herding her cubs across a river, mountaintops poking through the clouds, and strokes of Chinese characters. These logical descriptions miss the point, says Philip Cave, a London-based Japanese garden designer. He thinks the suggestive symmetry explanation fits the Zen mind better.”It’s always been thought that the priest-gardener’s layout was something that didn’t come from the conscious mind, but from a deeper level,” says Cave. “They could have easily intuitively developed that kind of [tree] layout.”The garden, like Mona Lisa’s smile, has intrigued visitors for centuries. Tour guides bringing visitors to the ‘best’ spot to view the garden stop exactly where the symmetry lines converge.

References:1. Van Tonder, G., Lyons, M.J. & Ejima, Y. Visual structure of a Japanese Zen garden. Nature, 419, 359, (2002).2. Kovács, I. & Julesz, B. Perceptual sensitivity maps within globally defined visual shapes. Nature, 370, 644 – 646 (1994).

Source: http://www.nature.com

My Motto

March 25, 2007 at 5:02 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally wornout and screaming “WOO-HOO – What a ride!!”

Theme Time Radio Hour with Bob Dylan

March 25, 2007 at 4:47 pm | Posted in Dylan | Leave a comment

Originally uploaded by Spanish Moon.
What a talented guy he is!! His latest venture is DJing and he has done an excellent job of it. For the last 46 weeks Bob has chosen a “theme” and then spent an hour talking about and playing songs related to that theme. He chose some amazing music, not your usual run-of-the-mill stuff. He has obviously done a lot of research into each programme and one gets the impression that he has probably had great fun doing it. Quite a lot of what he plays is from “before my time” so I don’t know it, but it’s fascinating to hear what Bob must have been hearing as he grew up and what, therefore, must have influenced his own music in one way or another.

The programme was originally broadcast on http://www.xmradio.com/bobdylan/. The BBC at http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/shows/bob_dylan/ are still offering the programmes but you can download them from the http://www.expectingrain.com page too.

Peace and quiet

March 25, 2007 at 3:53 pm | Posted in General | Leave a comment


Zen3

Originally uploaded by Spanish Moon.
I haven’t written anything in my blog for a very long time now. Lots of changes have happened in my life, but things are gradually returning to normal. One of the changes is that I’ve moved house!!

To start off this new lease of life on my blog I’ve decided to share some pictures of a little corner I’ve made in the front garden for sitting and meditating. I have some photos of gorgeous Zen gardens in Japan and I find them just wonderful and restful, so I decided to make my own little Zen corner. I have a wooden bench so I can sit and just enjoy it all, which is under a huge palm tree which always has birds coming and going. I’ve also got a sort of fountain, although it’s more like a granite monolith sitting on some stones and, thanks to a pump, water trickles down the monolith into the stones and down into a trough where it goes back into the pump again. The sound of the water trickling down the granite and then splashing onto the stones is so relaxing. Behind the bench and in the shadow of the palm tree, I have planted a Japanese Acer which is just starting to produce this year’s leaves. What a gorgeous shade of red they are! Then, in a corner I have placed some white stones to act as a border for containing the gravel, into which I have sat some stones. I took a long time finding just the right stones. Compared to the “real” Zen gardens, mine is pathetic, but it works for me. It is my little haven. I’ve tried to screen it off a bit with some plants. At the moment it all looks terribly “new” but I shall enjoy watching it mature over the years.

I do believe that we all need to find or create our own special place where we can get in touch with ourselves and be at peace. Somewhere that feels “sacred”. Five or ten minutes meditating in my little corner renews me completely.

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