Sunday, September 16, 2012

The power of simplicity . . .

SOMETIMES, REALLY SIMPLE THINGS can change the world. Esther Inglis-Arkell has a fascinating article on io9, "How a Simple Glass Case Terraformed the Entire World" that is worthy of contemplation.

How do you keep an orchid alive on a ship that exposes it to salt spray, blazing sun, tropical gales, northern storms, and barely any fresh water for months at a time? You don't. Although botanists traveled the world for centuries, taking clippings, collecting seeds, and stowing plants on ships, they were lucky if anything ever made it back alive. Plants grew where they grew, and if you wanted what they could produce, you dealt (often unpleasantly) with the people who lived there.

And then Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward put a moth chrysalis in a sealed glass case to preserve it.

And the world was never the same.

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