That Nature Show

That Nature Show

Your Grandma’s A Neanderthal

0 Written by: | Friday, Jun 26, 2015 12:01pm

Portrait of health?

Portrait of health?

This column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose, in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

Waaaaay back before even the mists of Avalon in Europe the ancestors of modern humans were getting it on with Neanderthals, so say anthropologists from their study of DNA extracted from a jawbone found in Romania. “Between six percent and nine percent of the Oase individual’s genome is from Neanderthals – an unprecedented amount. By comparison, present-day Europeans have between two percent and four percent.” I’m one of those present-day European-Americans on the higher end of that average. Call me Crug. I have toe hair. Thanks, Neanderthal Grandma. Read More →

That Nature Show

Still Scary After All These Years: Jaws Turns 40 This Summer

0 Written by: | Friday, Jun 12, 2015 12:00pm

images

In 1975 wunderkind Steven Spielberg directed the movie that defined the summer blockbuster as an American genre. It was Jaws. “Don’t go in the water…” It’ll make your brain’s newly discovered lymphatic system go haywire. Read More →

That Nature Show

It is Brain Science

0 Written by: | Friday, Jun 05, 2015 11:00am

 

Maps of the lymphatic system: old (left) and updated to reflect UVA’s discovery. Credit: University of Virginia Health System

This column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose, in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

The news in brain science is out of the University of Virginia; it is a game-changing discovery that links the Brain and the Immune System through the lymphatic system, through “vessels previously thought not to exist.” It is such a stunning advance (see image above) it could affect how we approach neurological diseases from Alzheimer’s to autism.

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That Nature Show

Fireflies

0 Written by: | Friday, May 29, 2015 12:00pm

fireflies

This column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose, in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

My son, 10, told me what to write about cheetahs. It’s his favorite animal, an animal he loves so much he convinced his grandmother (my mother) to buy him a large cheetah-shaped lamp a la something from Elvis’ Jungle Room. But we don’t have any cheetahs around here, so I’m going to write about fireflies. Mark Twain said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

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Featured, That Nature Show

Could Food Be a Thing of the Past?

0 Written by: | Friday, May 22, 2015 11:13am

soylent-blendedThis column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose, in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

I’m going to Belmont to see if American Pharaoh makes Triple Crown magic. I’m going to wear a gigantic Carmen Miranda-style hat made of fruit because June is the beginning of my favorite season: strawberry and later, stone-fruit season. (Pick-your-own at these local farms.) Read More →

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That Nature Show

The Pull of the Preakness

0 Written by: | Friday, May 15, 2015 10:10am

 

American Pharoah works out in prepartation for tomorrow's Preakness.  Photo via the Preakness Facebook page.

Kentucky Derby Winner American Pharoah works out. Photo via the Preakness Facebook page.

This column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose, in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

The Preakness is tomorrow! I hope you heard that in the squeaky, excitable fangirl voice in which I wrote it.

Like Jimmy Buffet’s fans are referred to as Parrotheads, I’m a Horsehead.  Though I am allergic, married to a science teacher (therefore not rich), and have never ridden a horse in my life, I love horse racing. It is the sport of kings that a plebeian like myself can catch on network TV while enjoying a cold liquor beverage, the ice for which was purchased outside my home because my home ice maker’s ice smells funny. Read More →

Featured, That Nature Show

Prince and The Power of Music

0 Written by: | Friday, May 08, 2015 11:00am

princenew

This column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose: in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

Prince is coming! Prince is coming! He’s like a nature show, no? Remember Raspberry Beret? I, like, wore the aforementioned headgear while singing tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1999 to my dog in 1982.   Read More →

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That Nature Show

Breaking Bread

0 Written by: | Friday, May 01, 2015 12:00pm

Photo via Inhabitat

Photo via Inhabitat

This column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose: in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

Baltimore has a trash-collecting water wheel. Antartica has “Blood Falls,” a seep of brine that is Poe-colored. The Washington Post calls the oozing red waterfall “magnificently creepy” and scientists this week discovered that it contains “strange microbial life”…much like my fridge, is what I thought. How long has that three alarm chili been in there? Read More →

That Nature Show

Vampire Squid

1 Written by: | Friday, Apr 24, 2015 10:00am

vampire-squidThis column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose: in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

Esquire says Baltimore looks like a movie set. All I can say in our defense is “crab cake” and “Preakness” and it’s not like we don’t know we have work to do. We know we have work to do. Read More →

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Alzheimer’s Breakthrough

0 Written by: | Friday, Apr 17, 2015 8:30am

macarons-flavors11_PayardThis column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose: in our backyards, playgrounds and parks!  Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.

My paternal grandmother (I called her Nana) died of Alzheimer’s when I was in college. In the ten agonizing years before her death, she became mentally lost, increasingly drifting like a seaweed and as sentient. It was horrible. Read More →

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