Tropaeolum, commonly known as nasturtium (literally “nose-twister” or “nose-tweaker”), is a genus of roughly 80 species of annual and perennial herbaceous flowering plants. It was named by Carl Linnaeus in his book Species Plantarum and is the only genus in the family Tropaeolaceae. The nasturtiums received their common name because they produce oil similar to that of watercress (Nasturtium officinale). The genus Tropaeolum, native to South and Central America, includes several very popular garden plants. One of the hardiest species is T. polyphyllum from Chile, the perennial roots of which can survive the winter underground at altitudes of 3,300 metres (10,000 ft). Tropaeolum was first imported into Spain by the Spanish botanist Nicolás Monardes, who published an account in 1569 entitled Joyful News out of the Newe Founde Worlde in which he described, among other things, the plants and animals discovered in South America. Plants in this genus have showy, often intensely bright flowers and rounded, peltate (shield-shaped) leaves with the petiole in the centre. The flowers are bisexual and zygomorphic, with five petals, a superior three-carpelled ovary, and a funnel-shaped nectar spur at the back, formed by modification of one of the five sepals. Credit: Wikipedia.
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- James 1:2-3 Sunday, 20 January, 2019“[Trials and Temptations] Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The best portion of a good man’s life is his little nameless, unencumbered acts of kindness and of love. William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850).
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THE HUMAN BRAIN: More than 100,000 chemical reactions happen in the human brain every second.
- Watch - Yellow Fever in Nigeria Friday, 18 January, 2019A large, ongoing outbreak of yellow fever in Nigeria began in September 2017. The outbreak is now spread throughout the country. Travelers going to Nigeria should receive vaccination against yellow fever at least 10 days before travel and should take steps to prevent mosquito bites while there.
- Alert - Ebola in Democratic Republic of the Congo Thursday, 17 January, 2019There is an outbreak of Ebola in the North Kivu (Kivu Nord) and Ituri provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
ASTRONOMY PICTURE OF THE DAY: Tentacles of the Tarantula Nebula. Credit: ESO; Acknowledgments: J. Alves (Calar Alto), B. Vandame, and Y. Beletsky (ESO); Processing by B. Fosbury (ST-ECF). The largest, most violent star forming region known in the whole Local Group of galaxies lies in our neighbouring galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud, is the Tarantula Nebula. Also called 30 Doradus, the red and pink gas indicates a massive emission nebula, a supernova remnants and dark nebula. The bright knot of stars left of centre is R136 and contains many of the most massive, hottest, and brightest stars known.
- NASA Astronaut, Crewmates Return to Earth After 197-Day Mission in Space Thursday, 20 December, 2018Three members of the International Space Station’s Expedition 57 crew, including NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, returned to Earth Thursday, safely landing at 12:02 a.m. EST (11:02 a.m. local time) in Kazakhstan.
- NASA's InSight Takes Its First Selfie Tuesday, 11 December, 2018Two new image mosaics detail the lander's deck and "workspace" — the surface where it will eventually set down its science instruments.
- Remembering nature poet Mary Oliver Friday, 18 January, 2019In memory of Mary Oliver, a renowned nature poet.Olivia DeSmit
IMAGO DEI: The Maranao are the largest of the Muslim cultural-linguistic groups of the Philippines. They live around Lake Lanao on the southern island of Mindanao, and rice farming is their main livelihood, along with metalworking and woodworking handicrafts. Land is owned by the clan and controlled by local leaders known as datus. The customs of marriage and the family are Islāmic. The languages of all the Muslim groups are closely related to the Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian) family of languages.
- Haiti - Level 3: Reconsider Travel Friday, 18 January, 2019Last Update: Reissued with updates to U.S. government restrictions on personnel. Reconsider travel to Haiti due to crime and civil unrest. Protests, tire burning, and road blockages are frequent and unpredictable. Violent crime, such as armed robbery, is common. Local police may lack the resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents, and emergency response, including […]
- Venezuela - Level 3: Reconsider Travel Wednesday, 16 January, 2019Last Update: Reissued after periodic review with updates to information on consular access and neighborhoods within Caracas. Reconsider travel to Venezuela due to crime, civil unrest, poor health infrastructure, and arbitrary arrest and detention of U.S. citizens. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory. Do not travel: On roads after dark outside […]
THE FLAG OF PALAU: The flag of Palau was adopted on 1 January 1981, when the island group separated from the United Nations Trust Territory. Blue represents the ocean and the nation’s place within it. The off-centre disc represents the moon, a symbol of peace, love, and tranquility.
- USA Friday, 18 January, 2019Latest update: Summary - revised information on the partial Federal US government shutdown; some airports and forms of public transport are affected by the partial shutdown, while others continue to operate as normal; you should check before you travel; Summary and Natural disasters section - removal of information on previous hurricanes and wildfiresGOV.UK
- Zimbabwe Friday, 18 January, 2019Latest update: Summary - update to information and advice on widespread disruption in many areas of Zimbabwe in the week beginning 14 JanuaryGOV.UK
WORK OF ART: This ancient Byzantine Nativity picture, Mosaics of the Capella Palatina in Palermo, Sicily, has survived as a fresco made from coloured glass and stone fragments, on a high wall, and hence not subject to damp or vandals. Dated 1150 AD, the artist is simply labelled as Master of the Palace Chapel. Mary and Jesus are central in this composite picture, surrounded by singing angels, shepherds with gifts, the Three Wise Men, a perturbed Joseph waking from his dream of danger, and Salome and the midwife.
- have your head in the cloudsIf someone has their head in the clouds, they are out of touch with the everyday world and can be unrealistic or naive as a result.