Top Ten Tuesday – Settings I’d Love to See in Books

Image

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly book meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Top Ten Settings You’d Like To See (http://brokeandbookish.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/top-ten-settings-jana-would-like-to-see.html). I only have five of these which probably means I need to expand my horizons a bit!

Image

1) Old Villages

By this I mean Stonewylde style villages. I love that period of time and the characters being that close to nature.

Image

2) Hidden Worlds

I love the idea of the book being set in the real world but with a hidden world inside it. This worked really well with JK Rowling’s wizard world.

Image

3) Totally made up worlds

There is something amazing about fantasy novels where the world is entirely new. It’s something you can emerge yourself in.

Image

4) France

Particularly little french villages like in Chocolat or Amelie. I’ve never been there but I love reading about the country.

Image

5) Circus/Carnivals

I read two amazing books set in a circus last year – Water For Elephants and The Night Circus. They both had a magical atmosphere and were really gripping.

What are your favourite settings? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Harvesting Spider Silk

I watched a video this morning on The Guardian website where a group of people have perfected extracting silk from a spider of the species Nephila edulis. The video can be found here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/video/2013/jan/12/fritz-vollrath-spider-silk-video.

My first reaction to this was disgust as I thought the spider had been killed. It turns out the spider was not dead but just sedated with carbon dioxide. My second question was what possible reason could there be? Fritz Vollrath is the scientist behind these experiments. He says that he would use the silk for medical reasons “for anything from knee replacements to heart transplants”.

My only worry really is that nowhere does it mention whether the spider is in discomfort (which it obviously would be) and what measures have been taken to minimise this. As a Zoology graduate I know that this will probably have been considered and measures will be in place. I think these should be explained in the video or article.

Another thought springs to mind. The number of people who hate spiders means that if these spiders were being treated badly the sympathy level would be extremely low. It seems that animals must be fluffy and cute for people to react to their pain. I myself consider all animals to be of equal importance and think that no animal should be caused discomfort or pain for our benefit.

What do you think? Should animals be used for human benefit or do they deserve more respect?

Cinders

A quick poem I wrote on my way into the shop this morning.

 

This tree looks like fire

How can it bear to let go of its beauty 

As its ember like leaves glide to the floor?

 

The trunk stands up tall

Its dull brown branches reaching into the sky

As soon they will be emblazened no more

 

The frost approaches

And soon the branches will glitter and sparkle

Different beauty but the tree knows the score

 

Then into the spring

The new leaves are not as bold as the old

But will grow strong as they follow nature’s law

 

Back into Autumn

And green transforms into flame like colours

The embers are grown back, soon to be no more

 

The circle of life,

Each generation as brave as the last

But the tree remains as the trusted old core