The name ‘Takashi Amano’ has become synonymous with the Nature Aquarium and aquascaping. Takashi Amano was born in 1954 in Niigata, Japan. Mr Amano started his career as a famous Japanese landscape photographer in 1975.
Takashi Amano: World Class Photographer
After visiting the world’s largest tropical rainforests in the Amazon, Borneo, West Africa and the pristine forests of Japan, Mr Takashi Amano produced a range of stunning photographs entitled ‘Untouched Nature”.
As a photographer, Takashi Amano works with iconic large format cameras to capture the minute, intricate details of nature. This ability to appreciate nature’s fine detail is expressed clearly in Mr Amano’s famous quote – ‘To know Mother Nature, is to love her smallest creations’.
Takashi Amano and the Nature Aquarium
Mr Amano’s work has been exhibited across the world, and his appreciation of nature has been internationally celebrated. It is this unusual insight into the natural world that led Mr Amano to develop the concept of the Nature Aquarium, which is now so popular across the world. Mr Amano’s abilities to study and recreate the natural world allowed him to realise that the addition of CO2 to the aquarium environment would allow nature to be recreated as it existed in the wild. Mr Amano’s technique of recreating nature became known as the ‘Nature Aquarium’ style.
As Mr Amano’s love of the Nature Aquarium grew, he began to experiment with new ideas, techniques and technologies, and Aqua Design Amano Co was born. Aqua Design Amano, otherwise known as ADA, specialises in researching, creating and developing technologies to allow everyone to create their very own Nature Aquarium easily and successfully.
ADA now provide an entire range of items, from the famous ADA Aqua Soil, to their beautiful high clarity ADA Cube Garden aquariums, a comprehensively researched, easy to use fertilization system and all the elegant accessories you need to achieve Mr Amano’s original vision: a cube of floating water, a porthole to nature’s world, an underwater garden.
ADA thoroughly research, develop and test all of their products, to the standards of Mr Amano himself, so you can have complete confidence in everything that is ADA.
Roughly 3,500 years ago—right about the time the Ancient Phoenicians were hitting their stride—a tiny cypress tree, no bigger than a fist, sprouted in the swamplands of Central Florida. 3,500 years later, in 2012, that very same cypress burned to the ground.
Known as “The Senator,” this majestic, 118-foot tall tree was one of the oldest organisms in the world. Over the course of its long life, it survived hurricanes, disease and logging sprees, serving as a landmark for Seminole Indians, a tourist attraction for curious Victorians, and a spiritual epicenter for pilgrims hoping to bask, literally, in the shade of history. Investigators later charged a 26-year-old woman with setting the fire.
Here are some of the world’s oldest and most amazing trees that remain.
1. OLD TJIKKO (SWEDEN)
2. METHUSELAH (CALIFORNIA)
The world’s oldest known living tree sprouted sometime during the last Ice Age, roughly 9,550 years ago. This 16-foot spruce in the Dalarna province of Sweden may look more like a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, but don’t be fooled: this little guy’s root system got started back when the British Isles were still connected to Europe by an ice bridge. According to Wired, geologist Leif Kullman, who discovered the tree, named it after his dead dog.
Methuselah, a bristlecone pine tree from California’s White Mountains, is thought to be almost 5,000 years old—and the oldest non-clonal tree in the world. The exact location of the gnarled, twisted Methuselah is a Forest Service secret, for its protection (that might not be it above). In 1964, a slightly older tree by the name of Prometheus was accidentally felled by a scientist who didn’t realize the tree was as old as it was.
3. LLANGERNYW (NORTH WALES)
Llangernyw, a lush, 4,000-year-old yew tree, was inducted into a list of 50 Great British Trees by the UK Tree Council in 2002, which, as far as tree honors are concerned, is a pretty big deal. Llangernyw was planted in what is now a North Wales churchyard way back when the Egyptian Pyramids were still considered a new development.
4. ZOROASTRIAN SARV (IRAN)
The Zoroastrian Sarv, a tree in central Iran, is an Iranian National Monument. The 4,000-year-old cypress took root right about the time ancient people in Central Asia were inventing wheels with spokes, and over the course of its long life, witnessed the advent of modern human civilization.
5. FITZROYA CUPRESSOIDES (CHILE)
Fitzroya Cupressoides, a type of tall, skinny evergreen in the Andes Mountains, are some of the oldest trees in the world. Known commonly as the Alerce, many of these soaring evergreens have been logged in the last two hundred years, but scientists have been tracking and protecting one specific tree, which is thought to be more than 3,600 years old.
6. THE TREE OF ONE HUNDRED HORSES (SICILY)
The Tree of One Hundred Horses, this enormous chestnut near the Mount Etna volcano in Sicily, is thought to be between 2,000 and 4,000 years old. Its inimitable name comes from an old legend where 100 drenched knights and their sopping steeds sought refuge from a thunderstorm beneath the tree’s protective branches. It’s almost believable: This truly massive tree holds the world record for girth, clocking in at 190 feet in circumference—nearly the length of a hockey rink.
Why It's Important to Clean Your Gutters Annually.
Many homeowners wait to get their gutters cleaned until they notice a problem. Unfortunately, this is like waiting to lower your cholesterol until you have a heart attack.
By Robert MacKerron (Open Post)Updated March 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm
Gutter cleaning is an integral part of maintaining your home. As a busy homeowner myself, I know gutter cleaning is probably at the bottom of your list of things you want to think about.
The problem is, many homeowners wait to get their gutters cleaned until they notice a problem, or so much debris has collected the gutter is tearing from the roof. Unfortunately, this is like waiting to lower your cholesterol until you have a heart attack.
Clogged gutters can wreak havoc with the natural drainage of water away from your home. This can result in damage to fascia, soffit, roofing, or even begin leaking into your home. Additionally, water damage can ruin the very foundation of your home – something you NEVER want to happen.
Some of the many benefits of gutter cleaning include:
Black Ice: How to Spot This Winter Driving Danger
By Kristen Rodman, AccuWeather.com Staff WriterNovember 17, 2014; 5:24 AM ET
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Winter brings many dangers for motorists, with one of the most threatening being slippery and hard-to-spot black ice.
"The biggest danger [with black ice] is that you are at the mercy of your vehicle and the ice until your car passes over it," Vice President and National Director of AARP Driver Safety Julie Lee said.
Black ice forms when the air is at 32 degrees or below at the surface and rain is falling, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Andrew Mussoline.
The ground temperature causes the precipitation to freeze upon impact, thus creating ice. Sleet and the refreezing of snow or water can also generate black ice.
This type of ice gets its name from its ability to blend in with its surroundings.
"It's called black ice because it tends to look like the rest of the pavement on the road, but it's actually clear," Lee said.
The complexion of black ice makes it extremely difficult to spot, but using a car thermometer as an initial gauge can be helpful in determining the road conditions.
A car thermometer, like any digital thermometer, tries to find the air's ambient temperature. So, if a vehicle's thermometer is close to freezing, the car driver should be cautious on the roads.
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While the sensors themselves are usually very accurate, their placement on a vehicle can make them less reliable.
Located outside the car, behind the front bumper, these sensors sometimes pick up heat from the car's engine, resulting in a higher temperature reading, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Frank Strait.
In addition, these thermometers can also read lower if rain water hits the sensors and evaporates while the car is at a higher speed.
Overall, car thermometers give relatively accurate readings, but for various reasons they can be incorrect, so they should not be used as the absolute authority, Strait said.
Due to the restrictions of a car's thermometers, the best way to know if roads are icy before heading out the door is to be aware of when, where and how black ice forms.
The prime times for the development of this ice are around dawn and in the late evening, when temperatures are typically the lowest.
During the day, the best thing to do before getting in a vehicle is to take a look at the pavement.
"If the pavement is dry but you are seeing spots of pavement that look dark and glossy, that is probably going to be black ice," Lee said.
Before getting on the roads at night, drivers should be informed of the area's weather conditions, as black ice is hardest to see in the dark, according to Lee.
The most common locations for the emergence of black ice are shaded or tree-covered parts of driveways and roadways due to the lack of sunlight and bridges and overpasses because of their ability to freeze quickly.
While driving on black ice is similar in some regards to driving on snow, the biggest difference between the two is the amount of traction the vehicle retains.
"With snow there its still some traction, whereas on ice there is no traction and that's where it becomes very dangerous," Lee said.
Due to the lack of traction a car has on ice, the basic rule for driving on black ice is to stay calm and let the vehicle pass over it, according to Lee.
Tips to Stay Safe While Driving on Black Ice:
1. Do not hit the brakes, instead keep your steering wheel steady.
2. Lift your foot off the accelerator.
3. Do not overcorrect your steering if you feel your car sliding.
Larry Caplan: Benefits of Fall Garden CleanupLarry Caplan9:13 PM, Oct 11, 2014
lifestyle | larry caplan | health and fitness | home and garden
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - After the last of the harvest has been brought in, it’s time to start cleaning up the garden. While not as fun as growing the plants, it’s an important job that will make next year’s gardening easier.
All dying or dead plants should be removed from the garden. This removes a source of food and shelter for various garden pests. For example, squash bugs and Colorado potato beetles overwinter as adults in plant debris. Various fungal diseases, such as early blight leaf spot of tomato or black spot of rose, can also overwinter on dead leaves and stems.
Be sure to rake up and remove all rotten fruit at this time. Not only will insect and disease organisms overwinter on these, but the seeds can become a source of volunteer plants next year. Most of the garden vegetables we plant are hybrids, and don’t breed true from the seed of the harvested fruit. These volunteer plants can make it confusing to figure out which plants are the ones you meant to grow, and will need to be treated as weeds next year.
Garden tools should be cleaned of all dirt before putting them away for the winter. This helps prevent rust, extends the life of your tools, and prevents reintroducing disease organisms into the garden next year. Shovels, hoes and rakes can be cleaned with a wire brush and hose. Allow them to air-dry, and then coat all metal parts with a light treatment of oil (such as 3-in-1) to prevent rust.
Disease organisms can survive on plant cages and stakes. If you store these outdoors, the sunlight and weather will kill most of the spores; however this shortens the useful life of these tools. If you store them inside a shed or garage, you should wash them off and then disinfect them with a bleach solution. Mix one part laundry bleach with nine parts water in a spray bottle, and then spray them down. Allow the cages and stakes to air dry before storing.
Lawn mowers and other power equipment should be winterized according to the owners’ manuals. Briefly, though, use up the gasoline in the tank, to avoid water accumulation or fuel line clogging. If you can’t completely drain the gas tank, then add a gas treatment (such as Sta-Bil or similar products) and run the engine for a few minutes.
Sharpen and balance mower blades, and check all belts and moving parts for wear. Replace the spark plug and all fluids, including oil. Scrape off dry grass and dirt from the undercarriage of mowers and tillers, and any accumulated sawdust from chain saws. Doing this now means your equipment is ready to go next spring.
Don’t forget: this Saturday is the Ohio Valley Garden Conference, sponsored by the Southwestern Indiana Master Gardener Association. For more information on the conference, or winterizing your garden, contact the Purdue Extension Service at 812-435-5287.
Larry Caplan is an extension educator-horticulture with the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, Vanderburgh County/Southwestern Indiana. Email him at LCaplan@purdue.edu.
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