Simulated Silence

Leaf Venation Networks And Simulated Damage

Luke Mander & Hywel T. P. Williams | Royal Society Open Science | 1st May 2024

Trees began to grow branching veins in their leaves about 340 million years ago. Then, around 20 million years ago, a new "loopy" vein pattern evolved in some plants. Why? By inflicting hypothetical damage to fossilised leaves, the authors of this paper posit the plausible answer that, in between, insects evolved that eat these leaves, and so the trees developed veins that resist the damage (5,500 words)

Variations On The Theme Of Silence

Jeannette Cooperman | Common Reader | 26th March 2024

Stellar opening to a piece about kinds of silence: not all of them are soothing. "My boyfriend was a moody architect who wore black leather jackets and blared Nine Inch Nails. I worked for a broke little magazine so stressful the production manager threw her phone at the floor and screamed 'fuck' every afternoon at three, clockwork. About to turn thirty, I was beginning to hate my life" (4,600 words)

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