The Murmuration Is The Flock Itself, The Susurrus Is The Sound It Produces


Videos of starling murmurations are numerous yet always enchanting. However, but this clip from Jan van IJken’s documentary short film The Art of Flying is exceptional because of the sound. From the video’s youtube page:

We know a lot of factual information about the starling—its size and voice, where it lives, how it breeds and migrates—but what remains a mystery is how it flies in murmurations, or flocks, without colliding. This short film by Jan van IJken was shot in the Netherlands, and it captures the birds gathering at dusk, just about to start their “performance.” Listen well and you’ll be able to hear how this beautiful phenomenon got its name.

corpse flower

A Fetid Phenomena

As if 2016 hasn’t already been strange/horrible enough, now we have to contend with all of America’s Corpse Flowers mysteriously blooming at once. Over seven Corpse Flower in the US have bloomed within months of each other. Even the Denver Botanic Garden’s own “Little Stinker” made a showing this past Saturday (but has since closed up).

This is extremely unusual since there have only been 157 recorded corpse flower blooms ever between 1889 and 2008. This year in the US alone, at least seven flowers have bloomed. Typically the flowers only bloom about once every six years.

One of the most popular explanations for the rampant blooming is because US greenhouses and botanical gardens share seeds with one another, meaning most of the corpse flowers that are currently blooming are likely related (think: cousins). Or maybe this is just the stinky harbinger of events to come…

Penny And The Quarters – You And Me

The song “You And Me”, featured in the new film “Blue Valentine”, is of mysterious origins. All that is known is that the archival label Numero Group (which is an absolutely brilliant label that researches, recovers, remasters and repackages obscure pop gems that are no longer distributed) discovered the rehearsal tape at an estate sale in Columbus, OH. It was labeled only as ‘Penny and the Quarters’,

Directors at Numero have played this recording to over 100 movers and shakers from the time and no one has a clue who originally sang it or where it came from.

Regardless of its unknown origins, or popularity from the movie, the song is gorgeous. I think you should give it a listen:
Penny and the Quarters – You and Me