An attempt to provide an ethereal, peaceful place to rest; springy, airy mattress support provided by cambered wooden slats.
This Wood Species series of entries comes to us from guest writer Rob Wilkey, an Atlanta-based woodworker and industrial designer whose expertise is in small home goods, furniture, and large installations.Over the next few articles, we'll be analyzing a number of common North American wood species. Also, I would like to add that, within tone woods, the high wood density of Maple resonates the high register especially well. There are some exceptions of course, although these instruments will likely be so heavy that it will be uncomfortable to use over a longer period of time. The most talented creative minds can draw connections between seemingly unrelated things—like diapers and a field of crops--in order to produce new solutions. In an earlier post, I commented on how Japanese children at the school where I worked were taught to pitch in with recycling.
Land plant fossils, both macro and microscopic, are ubiquitous and precise paleoenvironmental indicators - the forams of the land.
One pervasive technical difficulty: Plants tend to shed parts while living and to fall apart on death.
We must revisit an issue that we took up at the beginning of our survey of the diversity of fossil forming organisms: Endosymbiosis.
Plastids: A family of organelles of photosynthesizers, including chloroplasts, responsible for photosynthesis. Secondary endosymbiosis: The incorporation of photosynthesizing eukaryotes by endosymbiosis has enabled several distinct eukaryote lineages to become photosynthesizers. In order for plants to colonize the land, they had to overcome the challenges of retaining water, exchanging gasses, supporting their bodies, and reproducing out of water. Stomata, controllable microscopic openings allowing gas exchange (right) through the impermeable cuticle. Gametes no good for dispersal on land, hence dispersal through spores with durable walls to resist desiccation. The need for the sperm to reach the ova under their own power imposed a powerful constraint on the earliest embryophytes: Their gametophyte generation had to grow in moist environments. Conventionally, we site the appearance of unambiguous plant macrofossils in the Early Silurian as the start of the land plant record. The absence of other early body fossils testifies to the problematic fossil record of basal non-woody embryophytes. Embryophyte phylogeny: Apparently, in the ancestral embryophyte, the gametophyte generation was emphasized and the sporophyte generation was relatively ephemeral.

As the name implies, they are characterized by vascular tissue reinforced by lignin, a durable substance contributing to vascular tissue and call walls. In all but the most primitive, leaves increase the amount of sunlight that can be captured. In basal embryophytes, simple diffusion transmitted nutrients from the soil and the glucose derived from photosynthesis to be delivered to the entire plant. Members of this group possess narrow pointed leaves that are vascularized by a single strand of vascular tissue. Earliest representatives of lycophyte lineage may be Zosterophyllopsida, (Zosterophyls) resembling rhyniophytes but with alternating sporangia on stem.
One monilophyte group has only recently been found to group within "ferns" - the Sphenopida or "horse-tails. Seeds: The second great radiation of land plants occurred during the Late Paleozoic, and was associated with the evolution of the seed. Some fossil as well as some recent non-seed bearing plants, display a dimorphism of between megaspores and microspores, which specialize in developing into gametophytes producing either ova or sperm, respectively and which resemble them in size dimorphism. When we pick up this trend again, it is in plants that retain the female gametophyte inside special reproductive structures.
Wood: A second major evolutionary novelty was the ability of seed plants to lay down secondary tissue. Medullosales: (Late Paleozoic) Superficially fern-like plants bore distinct ovules (one per theca) and pollen organs on separate leaves. Corytospermales: (Permian - Paleogene) Includes Dicroidium (right) a major component of Triassic Gondwanan flora. Seed plants did well enough with separate pollen organs and ovule-protecting fruiting bodies for the late Paleozoic and most of the Mesozoic.
I'm interested in guitar woods and here in Guyana we have an abundance of hardwoods.Can you recommend the best woods that can be used in guitar construction? This makes maple an excellent addition to the somewhat darker sounding but excellent tone wood mahogany, which most wooden instruments consist of. That's how Mexican chemical engineer Sergio Jesus Vaelasco created Solid Rain, a highly absorbent polymer scientifically known as potassium polyacrylate. But I failed to mention a rather strange counterpoint, emblematic of that country's bewildering contradictions: One day a horrific smell wafted over the campus. It called for a towering structure filled with trees, to scrub the surrounding air of carbon dioxide.

Gametophyte broad and lobate as in liverworts, however incorporates extracellular space for cyanobacterial symbionts, giving blue-green color. The evolution of specialized vascular tissue in tracheophytes emables the distribution of these things inside a much larger plant body. The form taxon Umkomasia - short branches terminating in ovule-bearing cupules - appears to be the fruiting organ of Dicroidium. Hard Maple is the maple of choice for most woodworkers due to its density and structural stability, although the softer maples make a fine substitute in less demanding applications. Well, it turns out there's a very common manmade material that, with the right tweak, could serve a similar function and literally kill pollution. Soft Maple is also cheaper, partly due to the fact that the softer species tend to grow faster, but also because many of the harvestable Sugar Maples are reserved for the production maple syrup.Maple is a pale cream color when first cut, but will darken to light yellow or pale reddish brown with exposure to sunlight. Modern representatives, the "club mosses," (right) are a sad remnant of a once mighty radiation.
Post-paleozoic tree ferns seem to be monophyletic, but there were paleozoic ferns that separately evolved the tree-fern form. Note: Forests of Archaeopteris and its kin lined the banks of waterways inhabited by the likes of Acanthostega. Many guitars, violins, basses, and other stringed instruments are constructed with maple necks and bodies.
Slabs that feature continuous 'flame' figure are often selected for the back or front of these instruments for the unique chatoyant effect it creates, as seen on the electric guitar below. The dense wood of the Sugar Maple is used in a myriad of applications, including cabinetry, flooring, furniture, cutting boards, baseball bats and even recurve bows.
Its abundance, low price, and favorable working characteristics make it one of the most important commercial lumbers in North America.
Maple also burns easily when exposed to high-speed tools, so be careful around routers, saws, and power sanders. To get the best appearance, I'd recommend finish sanding maple by hand, and applying several coats of finish to pull out the reflective grain of the wood.

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