Grapevine: Australian Elephants, Natural Diversity, Chinese Secrets, Blue Balls, Homeless Goats, Kahlil Gibran

Such kind creatures. Click image for an elephantine tear-jerker

– “I think we should let elephants loose in Australia”
Ecologist David Bowman of the University of Tasmania in Hobart, Australia, argues that large herbivores including elephants should be introduced to Australia to bring balance to a country ravaged by uncontrolled wildfires and non-native animals that have gone feral.   New Scientist

– Rabbits, mice and prickly shrubs help establish natural diversity
The establishment of scrub is an important process that leads to greater variation and diversity in a landscape. Prickly shrubs such as blackthorn and hawthorn provide a valuable safe haven for many plant and animal species. The thorns protect these plants and animals from grazing by large mammals.   Science Daily

– China seeks to unlock secrets of herbs, roots
In the quest for better and newer drugs, scientists in China are re-examining traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) — roots and herbs that have been used for thousands of years — to find and reproduce the active ingredients so they may be made into drugs that can be easily manufactured and consumed.   News Daily

– Mysterious blue balls fall from sky in England
A man in Dorset, England, recently found about two dozen mysterious clear blue gel balls in his backyard, setting off an international mystery. Steve Hornsby claimed that the globules, each about an inch in diameter, fell into his garden during a brief rainshower last week.   Live Science

– Homeless goats in the city
As urban homesteading continues its rise, city backyards are booming with agrarian dreams: chickens peck near privacy fences, milk-producing goats bleat greetings to overflying airplanes, and tomato and pea plants stretch toward the smoggy sun. But coupled with these well-intentioned back-to-the-earth efforts is a dark side, says E Magazine’s Jodi Helmer, as the farm animals we bring to the city get short shrift.     Utne Reader

– On the Recent Publication of Kahlil Gibran’s Collected Works
Most poetry is crap. Now and then, something smells like violets:
“Expansive and yet vacuous is the prose of Kahlil Gibran,
And weary grows the mind doomed to read it.
The hours of my penance lengthen,
The penance established for me by the editor of this magazine…”   First Things

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