Diana Kupke Writes

Twentieth Archive
Items from 2017, 2018 and even 2019

Very big bee

Very big bee.

Go to Indonesia to see Wallace's giant bee which was missing for more than forty years. Megachile pluto was discovered by Alfred Wallace, a British naturalist in 1858. The jaws of this bee are the size of a human thumb!

Interesting picture frame.

Now we move to Zabeel Park in Dubai where an enormous picutre frame, made up by two towers connected by a glass bridge, rises 150 metres into the air. A gold pattern on the glass bridge celebrates the 2020 Expo.

Concert hall with mirrored walls.

This amazing concert hall has exterior walls which are made of mirrors. The scenery on all four sides is reflected back at the viewer. Yhis is the Maraya Concert Hall in Saudi Arabia which sits amidst the ruins of a Unesco world heritage site.

A newly discovered frog

Newly discovered tree frog in Ecuador.

This tree frog was recently discovered in Ecuador. The area, Cordillera del Condor, is only now being checked out by scientists. For many years they were unable to access the area due to border disputes and inaccessibility.

This snake doesn't appear to be concerned about being used by cane toads who want an easy ride to their destination. Perhaps the snake slithers faster than the toads can hop.

Installation by Julien de Casabianca.

This installation, by Julien de Casabianca, is on an abandoned building in the grounds of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. It is part of a mission by the artist to bring paintings from museum walls into the open air.

Lemur

Pretty lemur.

Lemurs come from Madagascar and can weigh as little as 30 grams, or as much as 9 kilograms. There are almost 100 species.

And here is a Nudibranch

Pretty Nudbranch.

These creatures live in the deep reaches of the sea, all over the world, but very little is known about them. They are related to the garden snail. This one was found recently off the coast of California and Mexico.

Pretty snail preserved in amber.

The photograph above is of a perfectly preserved snail which was found in a piece of 99 million year old amber from Myanmar.

Missing

Plane discovered beneath the sea.

With the news that a WW2 plane has been found off the coast of New Guinea, I wonder if the remains of the kitty hawk, in which my uncle, Ulva Dudley, died, will one day be found. His parents and siblings died still wondering what had happened to him.

Police support gay pride

Police Pride badge.

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has launched specially designed patches to again demonstrate its support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) youth throughout Queensland through its involvement in this year's Wear it Purple Day.

Wear it Purple Day was established to demonstrate to young people that there is hope, that there are people who support and accept them, and that they have the right to be proud of who they are.

To demonstrate their support, officers will wear wear purple laces on their boots and they will also wear the newly developed LGBTI Load Bearing Vest (LBV) patch on Wear It Purple Day.

Pretty kennel

Beautiful dog kennel.

The coolest dogs have kennels designed by architects!

Beautiful spider

Peacock spider.

Who wants a peacock when they can have a peacock spider? These spiders are tiny, five millimeters long, but have rainbows on their thoraxes. They are found in Western Australia and are right into dancing, especially where mating is concerned.

Ello Diana

Pretty kitchen not white goods

Pretty kitchen white goods.

White is boring. White stoves are boring. White refrigerators are boring. The items above would make the dreariest kitchen sparkle. Dolce & Gabbana and Smeg have joined together to present the Divina Cucina collection.

Pretty trucks!

Pretty trucks in Japan.

Dekotora drivers go wild for colour in Japan. 600 drivers belong to the Utamaro-Kai charitable association and their truck interiors boast every d├ęcor idea imaginable.

Pretty place to play

Pretty French basketball court.

I am bored by all sport but this basketball court caught my eye.

Queenie with a frog

Diana Kupke's cat Queenie.

Queenie rarely went outside, her own choice, but one bright day she tottered down the stairs and posed next to my giant concrete frog.

Happy birthday

Nutmeg the cat is 31 years old

This is Nutmeg who adopted a family in Gateshead in the United Kingdom. All cats are girls, therefore she is believed to be the oldest cat in the world.

Grass roofs designed by Nagata

If you stand at the top of this hill and look down, all you see is a swathe of green. There are five dwellings and each one has a garden which forms the roof of the home below it. The greenery provides insulation which means the homes have a stable temperature. The scheme was designed by Keita Nagata Architectural Element.

Cat on a vinyl record

Must be a record of sorts.

The Last Universal Common Ancestor

Luca stands for the Last Universal Common Ancestor

Scientists have generated Luca which stands for the Last Universal Common Ancestor which lived some four billion years ago. Luca was a single celled bacterium like organism. The New York Times says "The nature of the earliest ancestor of all living things has long been uncertain because the three great domains of life seemed to have no common point of origin." The bacteria, the archaea, and the eukaryotes (all plants and animals) are the domains.

Gold Star Service

I can absolutely recommend Alex Farrell of NQ Power Up Electrical in Mackay. He appeared magically at my doorstep only minutes after I had rung him and did an excellent job.

Excellent electrician Alex Farrell from NQ Power Up in Mackay

Beautiful Spider

One good reason to be a president is because new creatures are named after you. Here is the beautiful Obama trapdoor spider. Scientists have named nine species after him, more than any other president. Jason Bond, a biologist at the Auburn University in Alabama, revealed 33 new trapdoor spider species and named one Aptostichus barackobamai because he said the departing president was a true statesman.

Obama trapdoor spider

Only in Australia

A seal lying on a car in Australia

This could lead to a very interesting insurance claim. A seal wandered into a suburb of Launceston, in Tasmania and decided to use a car as a chair. As this area is around 50 kilometres from the sea is is unclear how the animal managed to travel so far.

When is a tree not a tree?

The highest tree here is made from fibreglass, plastic and acrylic and is really a tower for mobile phone coverage.

A seal lying on a car in Australia

Colombia Coloured In

Pretty street in Colombia

Photographer Jessica Devnani has captured a very pretty place in the Colombian town of Guatape. This small town in the Andes is home to about 5000 people. The buildings are decorated with three dimensional relief drawings of food, political events, and clothing.

One death led to a future for many

Indian women care for trees

A young girl died and, as a result, back in 2006, her father and villagers planted 111 trees to celebrate the birth of each female baby. When the parents planted the trees they signed an affidavid to say their daughters would not be married before she turned 18 and would be given a full education. The trees are planted on the common and are cared for by the villagers. The residents and the parents of the girls contribute money to a fixed deposit account for each girl to provide for her through adulthood.

And what is this?

Mangalica domestic pig

This is an Hungarian Mangalica domestic pig which is the only living pig breed with a long coat. The breed came about after two species of domestic pigs were crossed with the European wild boar and a Serbian hog breed. The pigs can now be found in the UK and in USA.

Caring chimp

Chimp care for disabled offspring

Christina the chimp took on the care of her baby who had the equivalent of Down syndrome, a hernia, and spinal problems. The mother carried her child, sometimes allowing an older sister to help, but no other chimp was allowed to hold the infant. The baby lived for 23 months in the wild.

Amazing Customer Service!

Excellent customer service from Uncle Bills Australia

It takes a lot to amaze me but the online importers, wholesalers and distributors, Uncle Bills, did just that today. Excellent and very prompt customer service. Highly recommended.

Catalogue Newsletter

Wasps

have built a rainbow nest

Wasps make a rainbow nest from coloured construction paper

Thanks to biology student, Mattia Menchetti, these wasps have built a rainbow nest. She provided coloured construction paper to Polistes dominula, the European paper wasp and they got busy with lots of saliva to build the prettiest nest ever.

Farewell Kevin

Kevin Burgemeestre who illustrated Diana Kupke's book, The Secret of the Tower Room

Many years ago artist Kevin Burgemeestre illustrated my children's book, The Secret of the Tower Room and a few years ago we connected on LinkedIn. I was saddened to learn of his recent death. During a thirty year career he illustrated dozens of books for children and recently wrote and illustrated his first novel, Kate.

The Secret of the Tower Room by Diana Kupke

SUPER NOVA

Nova gabezo in New York

Photograph by Alan Tansey

This brightly coloured gazebo, made of aluminium and covered with acrylic laminated with 3M dichroic film, is called the Nova pavilion and can be found in New York. It was designed by SOFTLab and won a competition run by the Van Alen Institute.

Wonderland

Marcel Kalberer's willow tree dome.

Back in 1998, architect Marcel Kalberer, came up with the idea of using willow trees which have grown, and been trained, to become this beautiful living creation. It took ten years for the trees, at Auerworld Palace in Aeurstedt, Germany, to grow to look the way they do today.

Not such a drongo after all

The spangled drongo which visits Diana Kupke in Mackay

I first met the spangled drongo (Dicrurus bracteatus) many months ago when a pair began visiting me and my cat on my deck. Some time later they arrived with their offspring, the noisiest baby I have ever come across. Both parents fed him with barely time to eat themselves. Now he is larger than them and the three continue to visit as a family group. Both parents build the nest, incubate the eggs, and care for the young. They are so noisy I can have the house shut up tight and still hear them clearly.

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This page was updated by Diana Kupke (Diana Mann) on 10 August 2019