spacetime coordinates: 19th-century England, Yorkshire > the Amazon and its tributaries > the Andes of Peru and Ecuador
” Pushing against its scientific reputation as downright boring, moss in particular served to create some botanical, aesthetic sense of a setting that allowed for illicit sexual encounters and for primal yearnings. The reasons for this strange dual identity of bryophytes as both mundane and as primal are relatively clear: realistically, moss provided a soft bed for sexual romps that had to take place outside of stuffy Victorian homes. Serving, perhaps predictably, as a slang term for pubic hair, moss was understood to be consistently moist and jewel-like, glittering like emerald colonies under light. (…) Although tropes of sexual encounters occurring in gardens and forests far predated the nineteenth century, both realistically and literarily, these hidden moss grottoes conjured up an image of something semi-religious, some secret refuge from the trials of urban — and overwhelming imperial tropical — life.”
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (Polish: Wiedźmin 2: Zabójcy królów) is an action role-playing hack and slash video game developed by CD Projekt Red for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, OS X, and Linux. The game was released for Microsoft Windows in May 2011, for Xbox 360 and OS X in 2012, and for Linux in 2014.It is a sequel to the 2007 video game The Witcher. Like its predecessor, the game is based on The Witcher series of fantasy novels by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. The player directs the actions of Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter known as a Witcher. The fantasy world in which his adventures take place owes much to Polish history and Slavic mythology.
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS (MINIMUM): OS: Windows XP/Vista/7 // Processor: Intel 2.2 GHz Dual-Core or AMD 2.5 GHz Dual-Core // Memory: 1.5 GB (Win XP), 2GB (Win Vista/Win 7) // Graphics: GeForce 8800 (512 MB) or Radeon HD3850 (512 MB). Resolution: 1280×720. // DirectX®: DirectX 9.29 has to be installed. // Hard Drive: 25GB
Drowning by Numbers is a 1988 British-Dutch film directed by Peter Greenaway. The film’s plot centres on three married women — a grandmother, her daughter, and her niece — each named Cissie Colpitts. As the story progresses, each woman successively drowns her husband. The three Cissie Colpittses are played by Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson and Joely Richardson, while Bernard Hill plays the coroner, Madgett, who is cajoled into covering up the three crimes.The structure, with similar stories repeated three times, is reminiscent of a fairy tale, most specifically ‘The Billy Goats Gruff‘, because Madgett is constantly promised greater rewards as he tries his luck with each of the Cissies in turn. The link to folklore is further established by Madgett’s son Smut, who recites the rules of various unusual games played by the characters as if they were ancient traditions. Many of these games are invented for the film, including:
- Bees in the Trees
- Dawn Card Castles
- Deadman’s Catch
- Flights of Fancy (or Reverse Strip Jump)
- The Great Death Game
- Hangman’s Cricket
- The Hare and Hounds
- Sheep and Tides
In Drowning by Numbers, number-counting, the rules of games and the repetitions of the plot are all devices which emphasise structure and symmetry. Through the course of the film each of the numbers 1 to 100 appear, the large majority in sequence, often seen in the background, sometimes spoken by the characters.
The film is set and was shot in and around Southwold, Suffolk, England, with key landmarks such as the Victorian water tower, Southwold Lighthouse, and the estuary of the River Blyth clearly identifiable.
read “The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe HERE
read Two lectures given by Rudolf Steiner at Berlin and Cologne on Goethe’s Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily HERE
(…) “Now in this chasm lay the fair green Snake, who was roused from her sleep by the gold coming chinking down. No sooner did she fix her eye on the glittering coins, than she ate them all up, with the greatest relish, on the spot; and carefully picked out such pieces as were scattered in the chinks of the rock.
Scarcely had she swallowed them, when, with extreme delight, she began to feel the metal melting in her inwards, and spreading all over her body; and soon, to her lively joy, she observed that she was grown transparent and luminous. Long ago she had been told that this was possible; but now being doubtful whether such a light could last, her curiosity and her desire to be secure against her future, drove her from her cell, that she might see who it was that had shaken in this precious metal. She found no one. The more delightful was it to admire her own appearance, and her graceful brightness, as she crawled along through roots and bushes, and spread out her light among her grass. Every leaf seemed of emerald, every flower was dyed with new glory. It was in vain that she crossed her solitary thickets; but her hopes rose high, when, on reaching her open country, she perceived from afar a brilliancy resembling her own. “Shall I find my like at last, then?” cried she, and hastened to the spot. The toil of crawling through bog and reeds gave her little thought; for though she liked best to live in dry grassy spots of the mountains, among the clefts of rocks, and for most part fed on spicy herbs, and slaked her thirst with mild dew and fresh spring water, yet for the sake of this dear gold, and in the hope of this glorious light, she would have undertaken anything you could propose to her.” (…)
“attentiveness alone can rival the most powerful magnifying lens.”
Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. “Gathering Moss” is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses.
In this series of linked personal essays, Robin Kimmerer leads general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings. Kimmerer explains the biology of mosses clearly and artfully, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us.
Drawing on her experiences as a scientist, a mother, and a Native American, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world.
“the tiny pool of water held in a spoon-shaped leaf is the perfect resting place for a waterbear, as plump and gelatinous as a candy gummy bear. the moisture in a moss mat is as vital to the moss as it is to the waterbear. but, since mosses are non-vascular, their water content fluctuates with the amount of water in the environment. the moss leaves shrivel and contort as water evaporates, leaving them crisp and dry. the waterbears too, simply shrink when desiccated to as little as one-eight of their size forming barrel- shaped miniatures of themselves called tuns. metabolism is reduced to near zero and the tun can survive in this state for years. the tuns blow around in the dry winds like specks of dust, landing on new clumps of moss and dispersing farther than their short waterbear legs could ever carry them.”
Timewatch – The Bog Bodies (2006) on youtube (low-quality)
4000 Year Old Cold Case – The Body in the Bog
“…he possessed a keen intellect; he had a marvellous capacity for work, and his powers of application were enormous. He used to begin to study at night on the Festival of Vulcan, not for luck but from his love of study, long before dawn; in winter he would commence at the seventh hour or at the eighth at the very latest, and often at the sixth. He could sleep at call, and it would come upon him and leave him in the middle of his work. Before daybreak he would go to Vespasian–for he too was a night-worker–and then set about his official duties. On his return home he would again give to study any time that he had free. Often in summer after taking a meal, which with him, as in the old days, was always a simple and light one, he would lie in the sun if he had any time to spare, and a book would be read aloud, from which he would take notes and extracts. For he never read without taking extracts, and used to say that there never was a book so bad that it was not good in some passage or another.” Pliny, Epistles 3.v about Pliny the Elder
The animated documentary Proteus explores the nineteenth century’s engagement with the undersea world through science, technology, painting, poetry and myth. The central figure of the film is biologist and artist Ernst Haeckel, who found in the depths of the sea an ecstatic and visionary fusion of science and art.
Selections from the the film Proteus: