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Science and nature / A question about ants...and bees...
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on Today at 12:35:08 PM »

I am fascinated by ants and bees and how they organise their communities. I was merrily digging in the garden yesterday when I disturbed some very irate ants. That was then it hit me...

There are soldier ants, worker ants, some ants with wings and some without wings. Some become ‘slave’ ants and take care of the eggs and look after the growing baby ants, some become leaf-cutter ants collecting food for the colony. And others become specialists at building and re-building the anthills.

The same pretty much goes for bees in their hives.

My question is this...Presumably all these ants are born to the same queen – so how do all these various ants and bees become so specialized into such specific jobs?

Are they born already different?

Why and how do some ants, for example, grow wings and others not?

Are they all originally born the same - and then physically somehow ‘made’ to fit their new jobs?  Or is more like with us humans where some form of psychological development and training that leads some chosen ants and bees to live their lives dedicated to separate and very specialised jobs?

Who (or what) decides which ant or bee does what?

Miscellaneous / Cash? Or Gold?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on Today at 12:14:40 PM »
Over years of inflation and deflation, would I have been better off hoarding gold - or hoarding cash?

For example, over the last 40 years? Or say since 1945? How about since even earlier?

Which would I have been 'better off' saving - Gold or cash?

Art and literature / Re: Art or not?
« Last post by Duffield1 on Today at 10:43:43 AM »
I'm with PK on this one - I think it is art, but whether it is good art or not is hugely subjective.  My personal view is that I think it is quite poor for many of the reasons PK said, and though I love some pieces in this style, I really don't like this.  If you look at the shapes as a whole, there's no symmetry or accuracy in their outlines.  Wider lines that could connect different sections don't achieve this, which makes it feel unbalanced.  The wonky lines are almost a child-like recreation of a style.

I'd be disappointed to see this on a wall in MacDonalds, let alone in a gallery.  However, if my child had painted it, I would love it.
Art and literature / Re: Art or not?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on Yesterday at 09:41:50 PM »
I suppose some people would say it depends on whether the colours match your curtains or not.  And others would say it depends on whether this piece of art reaches out to you and moves you in some way.

That 'reaching out to the viewer' and impacting on them is (to me) the minimum requirement for any work of art (be it music, poem, prose or painting). It must first and foremost move me in some way before it can be said to be a piece of art.

For my money, as far this piece goes, I can only say it only has a minimal impact on my reactions, thoughts and emotions. It is therefore (to me) decorative rather than a powerful evocative image.

This painting, for me, isn't bad, it is just a near miss.
I personally do not like the clash between the pale blue and the harsh yellow shapes. I presume (seeing as the artist deliberately chose these colours) that they are meant to symbolise something. But to me the clash is ugly and evocative of nothing worthwhile I can get my soul round.

Then there are the various shapes in the picture. To me (and I am only speaking of me when appraising this picture) the shapes are simply geometric and everyday and therefore do not evoke much response from me.

That only leaves the brushwork - and, from what little I can see, the brushwork has been applied with very little sensitivity or expressiveness.

I do not think this is a great creative work of art - but it is not a failure either.

Unlike a piece of truly great art, this painting only holds my attention very briefly. I could not stand for hours in front of this painting letting its message wash over me, changing my thoughts and emotions. I am simply not affected by the painting.

5 out of 10 I'd give it - but then the person right next to me could love it to bits and have a totally different view. This is the great advantage (or con) about abstract art...the message isn't narrative, it is within you. And if a work of art fails to create a narrative within you or me then that is possibly our fault rather than the artist's.

I just think it is a pretty lame, derivative piece of work that does nothing for me whatsoever whereas similar abstract works by say Paul Klee or Mark Rothko do hold my attention and evoke a response from me...that is the difference between great art and this mere wall hanging.

You do not have to take my word for it though.
Art and literature / Art or not?
« Last post by siasl on Yesterday at 08:07:12 PM »
Spotted in a gallery - I'd be interested in opinions on quality of work as modern art is not my thang ...  :o
Science and nature / Re: When is the next total solar eclipse in the UK?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on Yesterday at 06:45:38 PM »

Click to make it big enough to read the text

According to my highly mysterious sources at 'Astronomy Now' you will have to wait a good 73 years to cop a look at a total eclipse of the Sun over Britain...set your alarm clock for half past 5 on September the 23rd 2090 in fact. (That's a Saturday Siasl, so no probs about getting time off work.)

For more info on the next total eclipse over the UK, and plenty of stuff on upcoming partial eclipses over the UK, check out my eminent and mystical source at 'Astronomy Now' for yourself...


PS If you really can't wait until 2090 you could pop on a plane and catch an eyeful of the next total eclipse on 3rd September 2081 - it is visible from the Channel Islands. (Info from the above weblink.)
Science and nature / When is the next total solar eclipse in the UK?
« Last post by siasl on 21 August, 2017, 10:30:24 PM »
The USA has fallen dark today, when will it do the same in the UK next?
That would make Wiki right and me wrong. I am quite OK with that and will stop banging on about it now. Thanks Siasl for the eureka moment and the video.
Well, no matter how many were killed (or even just accused), it was pretty crappy to be on the receiving end.
Here's QI's take on the matter

I think I stand corrected. I can quite imagine that we British were far less blood-thirsty than other European nations and consequently bumped of far fewer witches and reprieved far more.

Going back to the video clip for a moment...While we have no source for Stephen Fry's low claims, I can also imagine that the BBC's researchers for QI were very thorough and I tend to believe them.

That would make Wiki right and me wrong. I am quite OK with that and will stop banging on about it now. Thanks Siasl for the eureka moment and the video.
Here's QI's take on the matter
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