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  1. What are tropical rainforests? Part I: TROPICAL RAINFORESTS OF THE WORLD Tropical rainforests are a world like none other; and their importance to the global ecosystem and human existence is paramount. Unparalleled in terms of their biological diversity, tropical rainforests are a natural reservoir of genetic diversity which offers a rich source of medicinal plants, high-yield foods, and a myriad of other useful forest products. They are an important habitat for migratory animals and sustain as much as 50 percent of the sp...
  2. WINE AND CHEESE PAIRING GUIDE Pondering the age-old question, so you want some cheese to go with that wine? Perhaps no, but whether you're hosting a grand soiree, a simple gathering or the casual impromptu get-together with friends and family, you may want to rely on some much needed 'cheesy' advice to help you put together a fantastic menu (no pun intended). If your mission is to provide your guests with warm hospitality, lively conversation and a delectable spread of well thought out food and drink choices; ...
  3. Sharks contaminated with plastic are ‘cause for concern’ There are trillions of microplastics in the ocean — they bob on the surface, float through the water column, and accumulate in clusters on the seafloor. With plastic being so ubiquitous, it’s inevitable that marine organisms, such as sharks, will ingest them. A new study in Scientific Reports investigated microplastic ingestion in four species of demersal sharks found in the North Atlantic Ocean, which were captured as bycatch by a local fishery in Penzance, U.K. A team of six researchers, f...
  4. Crown-of-thorns infestation is eating away at the reef he coral reef surrounding the resort island of Boracay, which the Philippine government wants to reopen to tourists, is under attack from a crown-of-thorns starfish infestation. Local officials receiving reports of a possible outbreak weren’t able to confirm for four months because of the COVID-19-related lockdown, and were only allowed to dive in early July. A similar outbreak occurred in 2018, which prompted officials to tap volunteer divers to help collect the crown-of-thorns. But with the...
  5. Photographs of a Falling Cat Certain scientific circles of the nineteenth century were home to a rather unexpected preoccupation: the dropping of cats. While at university in Trinity College, Cambridge, James Clerk Maxwell, who would go onto become arguably the greatest theoretical physicist of the nineteenth century, was reportedly well known for the activity. In a letter to his wife reflecting on this reputation he'd earned, Maxwell wrote, "There is a tradition in Trinity that when I was here I discovered a met...
  6. Women at Work during World War I Last year marked two significant centenaries: the cessation of fighting in the First World War and the passing of legislation that expanded the electoral franchise to include women for the first time (at this point limited, however, to property-owning and degree-educated women over thirty). Historians have long connected these two events. The war, after the mass conscription of men to the front line, allowed women to enter the public sphere in unprecedented capacities, both in terms of work a...
  7. Sourdough Starter There are as many methods for making sourdough starter as there are bakers. Classicists say flour and water is enough to begin fermentation. Others—like Peter Reinhart of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, who inspired this recipe—suggest adding fruit juice to kick-start things. Mostly, it’s the environment that matters: Measure liquids to solids carefully, use filtered water, and use room-temperature ingredients to help bacteria and yeast flourish and multiply. Ingredients 2 cups whole wheat f...
  8. Nature Through Microscope and Camera A selection of photo-micrographs created by Arthur E Smith and featured in the book Nature through Microscope & Camera (1909) by Richard Kerr. Little information is given about Arthur E Smith but we do know that the photographs featured in the book "were exhibited at the Royal Society's Annual Conversazione, May 13, 1904", so Kerr tells us in the opening chapter, and "done on 12 by 10 plates directly through the microscope and camera combined as one instrument" with th...
  9. Colorised Stereographs of The Russo-Japanese War A selection of colorised stereographs depicting Japanese soldiers and camp life during the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905. A result of a rivalry between the Russian Empire and the Empire of Japan over the control of areas in Manchuria and Korea, the war would introduce a number of features that came to define 20th-century politics and warfare. It was on its battlefields that many technological innovations of the Industrial Revolution first became used in warfare on a mass scale - including m...
  10. Smithsonian and Creative Commons The Smithsonian—the world’s largest museum and research institution—announced yesterday Smithsonian Open Access, an initiative that removes copyright restrictions from 2.8 million digital collection 2D and 3D images and nearly two centuries of data. Signup to Receive our Blog in a weekly email This major initiative uses CC0—Creative Commons’ public domain dedication tool—to make millions of images and data freely available to the public. “Our goal for Smithsonian Open Access is to make the ...
  11. Google’s Art Transfer: How to Make Your Photos into Works of Art Google’s Art Transfer: How to Make Your Photos into Works of Art What if your life was painted by Vincent van Gogh or Rembrandt? The dream-like imagery of the Surrealists and staccato brushstrokes of the Impressionists help us find beauty and meaning in ordinary moments, from the sun gleaming on a bowl of fruit, to children digging in the sand at the beach, to a lively street fair. This begs the question: how would an artist like Vincent van Gogh have interpreted scenes from today? What abou...
  12. The Metropolitan Museum of Art makes 375,000 images of public domain art freely available under Creative Commons Zero The release, which covers images of the great majority of the museum’s holdings, will enable anyone, anywhere to freely access, use, and remix photos of some of the world’s most well-known works of art. Today, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, known by many as the Met, announced that it is placing more than 375,000 images of public-domain works in the museum’s collection under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) dedication. The release, which covers images of the great majority of th...
  13. UNESCO Upgrades the status of MesoAmerican reef in Belize Lighthouse Reef: Photograph Copyright Schmidt Fine Art Gallery UNESCO has announced that the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, which it added to the World Heritage List in 1996, has been removed from its list of ‘sites in danger.’ The system’s seven sites are a significant habitat for threatened species, including sea turtles, manatees, and marine crocodiles. The area is also a popular tourist destination and global hotspot for diving. The site was added to UNESCO’s list of sites in danger...
  14. Photographing Architecture: An interview with Chris Edwards Photographing Architecture: An interview with Chris EdwardsWhy photographing buildings is very different from photographing people Chris Edwards photographs the interior of the Berlin Philharmonic, 2017. Photos: Emily Pugh Chris Edwards is good with people but hates photographing them. Instead, he shoots buildings. For nearly a decade, he made a career out of immortalizing them on film, so he knows that architectural photography—long thought of simply as documentation—is an art. Capt...
  15. Techniques for Creating Light and Shadow Techniques for Creating Light and Shadow Signup to Receive our Blog in a weekly email In the establishing shot for the video “Drawing with Charcoal: Historical Techniques of 19th-Century France”—filmed on the grounds of the Getty Center—artist Timothy Mayhew prepares to begin a landscape drawing. The newest exhibition at the Getty Museum, Noir: The Romance of Black in 19th-Century French Drawings and Prints, explores artists’ use of light and shadow to evoke mood and create depth in drawin...
  16. The Vatican Gardens with the St Peter's Basilica in the Backdrop – A Beautiful Must-Have The Vatican Gardens with the St Peter's Basilica in the Backdrop – A Beautiful Must-Have Do you love fine art? How about having a piece of Vatican gardens – with the St Peter's Basilica in the background? Yes, you can get this beautiful piece available in the Schmidt gallery and you will love it. Whether you are a catholic or not, this piece of art will amaze, charm and impress you. Why is this a must-have piece from the Schmidt collection? Signup to Receive our Blog in a weekly e...

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