May 19, 2010

Shopping and Bees

Posted in environment tagged , at 3:28 pm by silivalilife

I usually have a routine walk route around a huge shopping mall. Starting this winter I noticed a bee colony choose  a crack in the wall to build a nest. This is a busy place with a lot of people getting back and forth and I am surprised nobody pays attention.

I was very cautious at first, I still am. I know they can be aggressive in defending their colony if they feel threatened. But then I noticed how careful they are in avoiding me. Those which return back are loaded and it is easy to notice them flying heavily.  The wind sometimes ushers them making difficult to get in and out. They still manage to avoid me. I am not trying to be on their way, no. I am afraid of them. But the ease they change their trajectory amazed me so much I checked some information about them on the web.

The flight of the bee was considered a mystery and early 20th century scientists famously calculated that it is aerodynamically impossible because the flops of the wings of hefty bugs cannot keep them aloft.

In recent years the scientists have figured out honeybee flight by the help of the high-speed digital photography, to snap freeze-frame images of bees in motion, and a giant robotic mock-up of a bee wing.

The smaller the insect the faster is flaps for staying afloat. As the aerodynamic performance decreases with size, the smaller insects have to flap their wings faster, for example mosquitoes flap at frequency of over 400 beats per second. The bees expect to flap their wings slowly and to sweep them across the same wide arc as other flying insects, whose wings cover nearly half the circle. But instead the bees’ wings beat over a short arc of about 90 degrees, at the speed of 230 beats per second. Fruit flies which are 80 times smaller flap their wings 200 times a second. When the bees are loaded, they increase the arc of their wing strokes, but keep flapping at the same rate. This also puzzled scientists as aerodynamic efficiency would require not how far they flat their wings, but how fast. This is one mystery to solve yet.

Flight of a bee in slow motion

Another fact we still need to realize, one-third of our food depends on honey bees for pollination.

I noticed the exterminator car by the nest a couple of days ago and thought they will destroy the colony. But they didn’t, I do not know why. Maybe they thought it is dangerous to do anything while people is around and will come later. The nest is still there after two weeks. I hope they decided to relocate  the little workers we depend so much on.


May 14, 2010

To My Old Friend

Posted in Life, memories at 12:14 am by silivalilife

Thank you for being by me for so long.

Thank you for sharing with me memories of good and bad times. For knowing my strengths and weaknesses from the time past, for not sharing them with anybody now, when I learned to disguise them. For telling me about other our friends lost in time and distance. For having your children to be trusted friends to mine. For understanding me without words. For being so forgiving to my mistakes.

If I knew from the beginning how much I will be afraid to lose you, I would have dome something then. I am afraid to see a new wrinkle, hear about your failing health.

Nothing warms heart like an old friend. I hope you feel the same to me.

May 12, 2010

Dream Number 2

Posted in Random, thought tagged , , at 12:28 am by silivalilife

I named this post dream No 2 as I already have another post about a dream. Feeling extremely real sometimes but easily forgotten, I feel I need to record them, just for myself.
This night before going to sleep I read the Freshly Pressed blogs, some were so good and informative, no wonder I had a dream about them. I was sitting face to face with the authors and telling about each of them, listing what I liked or disliked there, quite a friendly and pleasant encounter. I was dying to ask what they were thinking about my posts, and they all started shaking heads. One said, oh, those random, absurd posts, they are so boring! Well, I guess I need to work harder…

May 6, 2010

Pleasant stuff

Posted in Random tagged , at 12:13 am by silivalilife

Better late than never. Better now than later. No, better later than now. Ok, maybe not better but easier. Because today it is too hard to do. For some reason when thinking about it and planning was much easier. 

Procrastinating is a pleasant thing by definition. The work is hard thing on other hand. The completed work is satisfying, procrastination is not, but it is easy and pleasant.

I am trying, trying to do the work, not procrastinate, but always get back to it, to the pleasant stuff.

Here is one result of procrastination.

Or like this:

Happier than the first one

May 3, 2010

The Story of Her Hands

Posted in portraits, Random, thought tagged , , , at 11:48 pm by silivalilife

Her hands are the first thing one can see in her whole tired figure. Red and rough from constant contact with cold water, they must belong to someone who worked all her life. One would think a long one.
Then you look up at her face and realize how young she is.

Modigliani captured her  relaxed immediately after concluding her hard work. She contrasts with the other women portraits he used to paint, whether nude, or just beautiful. But it seems to me he put more love into this one.

Amedeo Modigliani. Young Woman Of the People

May 2, 2010

About the Importance of Grades

Posted in Life, thought tagged , , at 1:05 am by silivalilife

You start getting them in elementary school. Middle school ones are not that good usually. High school ones become important. Then more, and more, the more the merrier. Usually they are not fair.
Grading becomes even more unfair at workplace. Bosses are not as liberal as teachers and professors.
Over years the grading and all the feelings connected to it becomes a routine.

The grades stop causing inconvenience, or let’s say the worry becomes less bothering once the ladders of success becomes longer and higher. Grading those on lower level feels fine, though it is not confessed.

At one point there is a feeling of freedom from grades.  And right on time when the height of the ladders seems comfortable enough to not be afraid of falling down, a reminder comes. Not from the below but from someone situated at the same comfortable level. A reminder that the grading is still there and being a loser is as actual as in college. And whole lot if people starts discussing that, more than in college.

Not pleasant huh?

Courtesy of Cultural China

Courtesy of Cultural China:

April 30, 2010

Relax on Weekend

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:01 pm by silivalilife

I hope tmorrow will be as good of a day as this one to enjoy

April 28, 2010

The Beautiful Ironmongress

Posted in portraits tagged , , at 11:44 pm by silivalilife

She is known as La Belle Ferroniere. Her real name is lost in history, her painter’s identity as well. It is attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci, or his circle, and as with everything connected to his name, this portrait is also surrounded by mystery, secrets and legends. Whether she is a king’s lover and her name is a wordplay, as assumed, or just a pretty wife of an ironmonger, her whole appearance shows that she does not care how the world is judging her. Her impression of hostile caution makes me think she is a non conforming, proud person who does not expect much approval from the world. Why is that? It is the secret between her and her painter.

La belle ferronnière

1490-1496, Musee du Louvre, Paris

April 25, 2010

Arichokes, anybody?

Posted in food tagged , , at 2:17 am by silivalilife

If someone said they come hanging on huge trees, I would believe it. If someone said they are growing deep in the soil, I would believe it too.
I like the taste, but I have no idea how to cook them. And there was that deal, 6 for 99c, so I decided to take a risk. All the online recipes I found are mostly for huge ones, not baby artichokes.

Anyways, I tried to search a bit for info on how it looks like in its environment and found a nice blue flower of it. So they bloom when they are not eaten, nice.

The link to it is huge, oh well…

Update: they were rough from outside but tender at heart. Just like most of us.

April 23, 2010

Not Fair

Posted in Random, thought tagged , , , at 12:35 am by silivalilife

 The toothache. I get them checked and cleaned twice a year, I clean and floss them. And what? The whitest of them start aching right in the middle of the night and all day long! And the day turns to be quite important one. Not fair.
Could happen to anyone?  I have suspects the writers are often silent of those facts in regard of their heroes. Take D’Artagnan for example. Let’s say you have a schedule – a deed a day. You think you would have time to brush your teeth in between a fight, confrontation with  cardinal, executing a super-lady, saving a queen and befriending a lord? Most likely you would lose the toothbrush in the course of action. 

Each time my dentist finds out there is a cavity he makes a sly face, I can notice that under his mask, and asks, – are you flossing regularly? Frankly, I cannot imagine D”Artagnan flossing every time after having foie gras with D”Anjou wine. The fact that he was having toothache is hushed, a big mistake by the author, his hero would have gained sympathy and popularity and as a result sales would have doubled.  Not bad for two centuries. Maybe it did not happen when he was traveling to London, but during the siege of La Rochelle, for sure. He seemed to be going white frequently then.

And that is not only D”Artagnan, it could have happened to the others too, Porthos, Aramis, Athos.

 Milady, she was already missing a tooth.  BTW, do you smell some sexism here?

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