Beauty is

being in harmony...

...with what you are( Peter Nivio Zarlenga). Or, as Paul Cezanne put it, "Art is Harmony Parallel with Nature." I know more than a few biologists/ scientists who do music on the side. co-incidence?
I think not...

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Music, Harmony, Life & Science

We are led to believe that being prone to analytical thinking (as most scientists are), typically a left-brain task, would preclude an affinity for the arts but it ain't necessarily so...

A surprising number of the biologists and other scientists that I know are also musicians. Apparently, the popular conception of left-brained logic, organization and step-by-step analysis vs. right-brained intuition, artistry and gestalt-processing doesn't hold as much water as we were led to believe. Maybe it's not as far-fetched as it would otherwise seem for scientists to also be musicians if one considers the mathematical precision inherent in music, but most (if not all) of the biologist-scientist-musicians that I know are good musicians, that is they elevate the music they play far beyond arithmetical rigidity. Maybe it's the timekeeper in us analytical types?

Similarly, left-brained people are supposed to be sequential processors, that is they tend to work through procedures step-by-step, but that can't explain the simultaneous processing inherent in spur-of-the-moment musical harmony that is evident in many of the biologist-scientist-musicians that I know. Apparently, creativity, the conceptual vanguard of the right-brained, need not be limiting to us analytical types if we can fight our way out of the envelope and see the potential in taking a risk.

In fact, I would posit that it is precisely because of these qualities that good musicians tend to make good scientists. Those who can intuitively leap beyond the logical steps, visualize the whole as more than the sum of parts, and make lateral connections between disparate facts, are the "movers and shakers" of the scientific world, the innovators and the advance guard. Life's funny like that.

Standing on Guard...

I like to watch.

Behaviour, that is. Rather than searching out an elusive species to add to some personal "I've-seen-that" list, I'm much happier watching what organisms do. And even humdrum, run-of-the-mill, species do some very intriguing things.

For example. watching a male Canada Goose stand guard over mate and nest poses some interesting questions about ourselves. Everyone has a personal space, a territory, that they hold inviolate, and many organisms, even such seemingly unsuited ones like butterflies and fruit flies, are quite adept at guarding territory.

Whether it is for some resource, some particular space, or some presumed ideological difference, territoriality is one of the driving forces of all life. Humans are no different, though our ideological differences seem to form too large a part of our territorial acquisition urges. Still, guarding is one of those recognizable behaviour sources that answer the interesting "why" questions.

Other behaviours to watch for include those associated with foraging, whether it be for sustenance or for mates, and those associated with predator escape mechanisms (such as the abilty to choose matching backgrounds and be perfectly still).

Foraging behaviours can be incredibly varied and intriguing such as the penchant for butterflies to visit wet sand or mud along roads or stream sides for mineral salts. Even insects need salt licks!

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