All Ranunculus species are poisonous when eaten fresh by cattle, horses, and other livestock, but their acrid taste and the blistering of the mouth caused by their poison means they are usually left uneaten. Poisoning can occur where buttercups are abundant in overgrazed fields where little other edible plant growth is left, and the animals eat them out of desperation. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea, excessive salivation, colic, and severe blistering of the mucous membranes and gastrointestinal tract. When Ranunculus plants are handled, naturally occurring ranunculin is broken down to form protoanemonin, which is known to cause contact dermatitis in humans and care should therefore be exercised in extensive handling of the plants. The toxins are degraded by drying, so hay containing dried buttercups is safe.
After decades keeping fish and meets cold inside its insulated concrete walls, the Fulton Market Cold Storage Warehouse had developed a thick coating of ice forming a mesmerizing cavern of crystals, icicles, and eerie stalagmites rising up from the floor. As beautiful as the display might be, the ice was not conducive to modern office environments and had to go. Last November, propane heaters were brought in to help melt the ice and clear the site for construction. Check out this time-lapse video of the melting in action.
From Summer Down Under, one of 31 photos. A white shelf cloud caps brownish dirt from a dust storm, or haboob, as it travels across the Indian Ocean near Onslow on the Western Australia coast in this handout image distributed by fishwrecked.com and taken January 9, 2013. (Reuters/Brett Martin/fishwrecked.com)
Chris Maynard is obsessed with feathers. The artist, based in Olympia, Washington, thinks feathers show “life’s perfection,” in the way that they overlap and countour to a bird’s body. “Their complexity as a covering beats any clothing we make,” he writes on his Web site.
Going back a few years, Maynard started by photographing feathers. Then, he arranged them in shadow boxes. But, in his experiments in showcasing feathers, Maynard eventually came up with his own unique art form. The artist creates fascinating, feather-light sculptures, by cutting the silhouettes of various types of birds from actual plumage. - Continue reading atSmithsonian.com.
Paris-based studio Hondelatte Laporte Architectes has recently completed the “Day nursery of the Giraffe” a childcare center located in the “triangle” area between the district of the old Sèvres bridge, accomplished in the seventies, and the Trapeze new district in Boulogne-Billancourt, a suburban area of Paris.