Echinopsis cactus flowers explode in a riot of colors in this beautiful timelapse work by YouTuber EchinopsisFreak. In the example above, blooms somehow synchronize their brief appearance to maximize the chance of pollination. Read the rest
The Japan Federation of Landscape Contractors' Kei Truck Garden Contest challenges people to transform the beds of their miniature pickup trucks into lovely mobile gardens. From Spoon & Tamago:
Other than using the kei truck there are very few limitations and landscapers have incorporated everything from benches and aquariums to elements of lighting into their designs. Judges then rank the entries based on planning, expression, design, execution and environment.
In the cosmology of bureacratic evil, United Airlines is the prince of Hell.
Minutes before departure, already buckled into her seat, she was ordered to leave the plane. The gate agent told her that her reservation had been canceled. Traveler Help Desk, the online agency that sold the ticket, had rescinded it because the landlord made a change directly through United — even though United had assured the landlord that it was not a problem to do so.
Unable to fly, Ms. Amrich drove through the night, not stopping even to use the bathroom. Her sister, in the hospital room, held a phone to their mother’s ear, and Ms. Amrich begged her to hold on.
She was still driving when her cellphone rang again. Her mother was dead.
I can just see the agent's smile when they told her that “nobody flies for free.”
When she complained, United called her landord, to get her address, to send her flowers.
Previously: • Watch bizarre video: United Airlines employee pushes 71-year-old to floor, leaves him motionless • Fecal rampage grounds international United flight • TSA says it doesn't know why United thought comics were banned from checked Comic-Con luggage Read the rest
In Madagascar, botanist Anton Sieder recently discovered an orchid with huge flowers that smell of champagne. Royal Botanic Gardens researcher Johaan Hermans confirmed that the plant, now named Cynorkis christae, is new to science. From The English Garden:
“It is quite a find,” said Johan, who saw the orchid in the flesh in January this year after travelling to the mountains with a team from Kew and Paris. “One of the most noticeable traits of this new orchid is its sweet scent, which one of our team likened to smelling like champagne,” he added.
Cynorkis christae also has enormous flowers, with a 5cm (2in) wide lip and a 16cm (6in) spur. Most of the flower is pure white, while the top petals have distinctive maroon markings...
The plant was named after Anton’s wife Christa, hence Cynorkis christae.
Artist Makoto Azuma thought to himself, “if flowers symbolize Earthly beauty, how can I push nature’s boundaries? How can I transport beauty to where it doesn’t currently exist?” Answer: By tying them to balloons! Read the rest
Diphylleia grayi, the "skeleton flower" is normally opaque white but when it rains, the petals become transparent until the flower dries. Nanotechnologists are developing new materials inspired by the flower's structure that could lead to the likes of new underwater goggles that repel oil. From Mother Nature Network:
Skeleton flowers are native to wooded mountainsides in the colder regions of Japan, and they bloom from mid-spring to early-summer in shady conditions. The plant might be easier to spot if you look for its large, umbrella-shaped leaves. The pearly white (or clear, if it's raining) blossoms top the leaves in small clusters...
A related species, Diphylleia cymosa, can be found in the deciduous forests of the Appalachian Mountains here in the United States.
(via Daily Grail)
From Tallahassee, Florida's Lofty Pursuits who offer these "handmade artisinal candies" at $6 for a 2.75oz bag:
A new technique for a new effect in our image candies. These Crystal Roses are formed from nothing but hot sugar, and flavors. This is the first in a series of candies using this kind of design.
Japanese researchers demonstrated how a tiny remote-controlled drone could help bees pollinate flowers in areas where bees populations have been reduced due to pesticides, climate change, and other factors. Eijiro Myako and his colleagues at the Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology hope that eventually robotic bees could handle their share of the work autonomously. From New Scientist:
The manually controlled drone is 4 centimetres wide and weighs 15 grams. The bottom is covered in horsehair coated in a special sticky gel. When the drone flies onto a flower, pollen grains stick lightly to the gel, then rub off on the next flower visited.
In experiments, the drone was able to cross-pollinate Japanese lilies (Lilium japonicum). Moreover, the soft, flexible animal hairs did not damage the stamens or pistils when the drone landed on the flowers...
“We hope this will help to counter the problem of bee declines,” says Miyako. “But importantly, bees and drones should be used together.”