Varguld- Hunters

Hunting and trapping has gone back as far as the Varguld species go. Perfectly designed for the hunt they followed game through the seasons from fertile valleys and cold harsh mountain ranges. Hunting territories were the main reason for the numerous squabbles between the clans and still are to this day.

Spears are the favored weapon of a hunter, however since the wars they have become excellent bowmen as well. Both can be used with devastating accuracy from either on foot or on the back of a Valhune, which is often the preferred weapon in that case. Most hunters prefer smaller re-curve bows, but large war-bows are still used to bring down large game by those strong enough to wield them.

The garb of a hunter tells an important story about them and the quarry they stalk. The earliest armor worn by Varguld can be dated back to hunting clothes worn in order to combat the wild and dangerous prey. Animals such as merop, vasgal (a large boar animal) and boluc’to (a huge bear species) requires for the hunter to not only outsmart the animal but also to protect against it outsmarting them.

To this day hunters are held in high esteem by the population as they provide a variety of food in lean times. As well as bringing in luxury goods in the form of bone, ivory, and furs. Many hunters claim to be the only remaining true Varguld who carry on the ancient lifestyle and pass down legends and secret hunting spots to their progeny.

New cuttings! Pitaya cutting on the right! This is the cactus dragon fruit comes from. This particular kind produces the bright pink variety. They’re supposed to be extremely easy to grow and you can get cuttings online for dirt cheap! Anyone know the species of the aloe on the left? I’m too lazy right now to look through the 500 aloe species online.


The Most Influential Popular Science Books, part one

Here’s the first part of the legendary books on scientific discoveries and ideas that changed the world: true classics that are recommended for everyone.

Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems by Galileo Galilei (1632): The most proximate cause of Galilei being brought to trial before the Inquisition. Using the dialogue form, a genre common in classical philosophical works, Galileo masterfully demonstrates the truth of the Copernican system over the Ptolemaic one, proving, for the first time, that the earth revolves around the sun. Its influence is incalculable. The Dialogue is not only one of the most important scientific treatises ever written, but a work of supreme clarity, remaining as readable now as when it was first published. 

The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin: The publication of this book in 1859 marked a dramatic turning point in scientific thought. Selling out its first edition on its first day, The Origin of Species revolutionized science, philosophy, and theology. Darwin’s reasoned, documented arguments advance his theory of natural selection and his assertion that species started with a few simple forms that mutated and adapted over time.  

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (1988): How did the universe begin—and what made its start possible? Does time always flow forward? Is the universe unending? What will happen when it all ends? Told in language we all can understand, A Brief History of Time plunges into the realms of black holes, quarks, antimatter, the big bang and a bigger God. Stephen Hawking brings us closer to the ultimate secrets at the very heart of creation. 

Cosmos by Carl Sagan (1980): Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, and the list goes on.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962): The marine biologist’s documented indictment of DDT led both to a U.S. ban on the insecticide and to the birth of the modern environmental movement. Carson argues that DDT not only indiscriminately kills insects, but also accumulates in the fat of birds and mammals high on the food chain, thinning eggshells and causing reproductive problems.

Relativity: The Special and General Theory by Albert Einstein (1916): In the early 20th century, scientists began to interrogate the Newtonian model of Physics that posits absolute time, intrigued by the possibility of a dimension in which space and time overlap. This text is Einstein’s philosophical explanation of the idea that changed the way we understand the physics of space and time.

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Never underestimate man’s drive to make a buck.

Poachers using science papers to target newly discovered species

Academic journals have begun withholding the geographical locations of newly discovered species after poachers used the information in peer-reviewed papers to collect previously unknown lizards, frogs and snakes from the wild, the Guardian has learned.

In an age of extinctions, scientists usually love to trumpet the discovery of new species, revealing biological and geographical data that sheds new light on the mysteries of evolution.

But earlier this year, an announcement in the Zootaxa academic journal that two new species of large gecko had been found in southern China contained a strange omission: the species’ whereabouts.

“Due to the popularity of this genus as novelty pets, and recurring cases of scientific descriptions driving herpetofauna to near-extinction by commercial collectors, we do not disclose the collecting localities of these restricted-range species in this publication,” the paper said.

Goniurosaurus kwangsiensis, is a new species of gecko discovered in China. Photograph: Yang Jian-Huang and Bosco Chan Pui-lok/Kadoorie Conservation China


200 new species were found in the Himalayas 

Asia’s Himalayan Mountains are home to more than 200 previously unknown plant and animal species, including a “noseless monkey,” a frog with blue eyes and a fish that can walk and live on land for up to four days, according to a new study released Monday. The report, however, was more than just a photo collage of exciting new species. 

Small Shark With Light-Up Cells Discovered

A new and special species of shark, called the Ninja Lanternshark, has been newly discovered and lives off Central America. Its name came from four children who noticed that the shark has jet-black skin, bulging eyes and cells that make it glow in the dark.

Its scientific name is a hat-tip to Peter Benchley, who is the author of Jaws and a shark-lover. It is called Etmopterus benchleyi.

 (Photo : Pacific Shark Research Center)

When I hear a government saying, “Let’s not worry about going to Mars right now when we still have so many problems right here on Earth”—it sounds to me like a person saying, “I’ll worry about my health later when I don’t have so many bills to pay.” There will always, always be important problems to address on Earth, but if we allow what’s urgent here to prevent us from addressing what’s important in the big picture, we’re allowing ourselves to take a huge existential risk.
—  Tim Urban of Wait But Why (from the post Musk’s Mission)

The Shadowhunters Chronicles: Downworlders species: 

Downworlders are supernatural beings and hybrid creatures who inhabit the Shadow World. Downworlder is the widely used term to refer to beings that are said to be part human and part demon, and are even said to be the demonic counterpart of Shadowhunters, who are part human and part angel. They include werewolves, vampires, warlocks and faeries.

Although demonic in origin and nature, Downworlders possess human souls and are counted as members of the human race by the denizens of Heaven. After the Mortal War, Downworlders get four seats at the Nephilim Council.

First comprehensive tree of life shows how related you are to millions of species

Over the past 3 years, about 35 people from 11 U.S. labs have spent about 100,000 hours scouring the scientific literature for family trees. They had to resolve naming issues—sometimes a species would have multiple names, and at one point a spiny anteater shared the same moniker with a moray eel, confusing the computers. “There is no single database of accepted names, so the group had to come up with one,” says co-author Douglas Soltis, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

He and his colleagues expected that knitting together these different family trees—which often disagreed—would be the hard part. But what stumped them the most was the dearth of digitized data. Of 7500 trees published between 2000 and 2012, only one in six were computerized. Ultimately, the team used about 500 smaller trees to build one large one, says Karen Cranston, an evolutionary biologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, who helped coordinate the effort. With this relatively small sample size, the draft tree, released online this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “does not summarize what we know,” Cranston says.

This circular view of the comprehensive tree of life doesn’t include all the tips, just branches that have at least 500 species associated with them.