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Natural history

Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals and plants, in their natural environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history is called natural historian. Natural history is not limited to it, it involves the systematic study of any category of natural organisms. So while it dates from studies in the ancient Greco-Roman world and the mediaeval Arabic world, through to European Renaissance naturalists working in near isolation, today's natural history is a cross discipline umbrella of many specialty sciences; the meaning of the English term "natural history" has narrowed progressively with time. In antiquity, "natural history" covered anything connected with nature, or which used materials drawn from nature, such as Pliny the Elder's encyclopedia of this title, published circa 77 to 79 AD, which covers astronomy, geography and their technology and superstition, as well as animals and plants. Medieval European academics considered knowledge to have two main divisions: the humanities and divinity, with science studied through texts rather than observation or experiment.

The study of nature revived in the Renaissance, became a third branch of academic knowledge, itself divided into descriptive natural history and natural philosophy, the analytical study of nature. In modern terms, natural philosophy corresponded to modern physics and chemistry, while natural history included the biological and geological sciences; the two were associated. During the heyday of the gentleman scientists, many people contributed to both fields, early papers in both were read at professional science society meetings such as the Royal Society and the French Academy of Sciences—both founded during the seventeenth century. Natural history had been encouraged by practical motives, such as Linnaeus' aspiration to improve the economic condition of Sweden; the Industrial Revolution prompted the development of geology to help find useful mineral deposits. Modern definitions of natural history come from a variety of fields and sources, many of the modern definitions emphasize a particular aspect of the field, creating a plurality of definitions with a number of common themes among them.

For example, while natural history is most defined as a type of observation and a subject of study, it can be defined as a body of knowledge, as a craft or a practice, in which the emphasis is placed more on the observer than on the observed. Definitions from biologists focus on the scientific study of individual organisms in their environment, as seen in this definition by Marston Bates: "Natural history is the study of animals and Plants—of organisms.... I like to think of natural history as the study of life at the level of the individual—of what plants and animals do, how they react to each other and their environment, how they are organized into larger groupings like populations and communities" and this more recent definition by D. S. Wilcove and T. Eisner: "The close observation of organisms—their origins, their evolution, their behavior, their relationships with other species"; this focus on organisms in their environment is echoed by H. W. Greene and J. B. Losos: "Natural history focuses on where organisms are and what they do in their environment, including interactions with other organisms.

It encompasses changes in internal states insofar as they pertain to what organisms do". Some definitions go further, focusing on direct observation of organisms in their environment, both past and present, such as this one by G. A. Bartholomew: "A student of natural history, or a naturalist, studies the world by observing plants and animals directly; because organisms are functionally inseparable from the environment in which they live and because their structure and function cannot be adequately interpreted without knowing some of their evolutionary history, the study of natural history embraces the study of fossils as well as physiographic and other aspects of the physical environment". A common thread in many definitions of natural history is the inclusion of a descriptive component, as seen in a recent definition by H. W. Greene: "Descriptive ecology and ethology". Several authors have argued for a more expansive view of natural history, including S. Herman, who defines the field as "the scientific study of plants and animals in their natural environments.

It is concerned with levels of organization from the individual organism to the ecosystem, stresses identification, life history, distribution and inter-relationships. It and appropriately includes an esthetic component", T. Fleischner, who defines the field more broadly, as "A practice of intentional, focused attentiveness and receptivity to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy"; these definitions explicitly include the arts in the field of natural history, are aligned with the broad definition outlined by B. Lopez, who defines the field as the "Patient interrogation of a landscape" while referring to the natural history knowledge of the Eskimo. A different framework for natural history, covering a similar range of themes, is implied in the scope of work encompassed by many leading natural history museums, which include elements of anthropology, geology and astronomy along with botany and zoology, or include both cultural and natural components of the world. The

Chic Lady

Chic Lady is a jazz album recorded by Toshiko Akiyoshi in 1991 and released on the Nippon Crown record label. "My Elegy" – 6:15 "Travelin'" – 4:09 "Sophisticated Lady" – 6:01 "Chic Lady" – 7:30 "Don't be Afraid, The Clown's Afraid Too" – 5:18 "Lady Liberty" – 4:16 "Blue Bossa" – 5:01 "No Due Blues" – 5:04 Toshiko Akiyoshi – piano Lewis Nashdrums Peter Washingtonbass John Eckerttrumpet, flugelhorn Scott Robinson – alto saxophone, baritone saxophone Walt Weiskopftenor saxophone Matt Finderstrombone, bass trombone, tuba Nippon Crown CRCJ-91004 jazzdisco.org

Mary Critchett

Mary Critchett was an English pirate and convict. She is best known for being one of only four confirmed female pirates from the Golden Age of Piracy. Six prisoners - "Edmund Williams, George Caves, George Cole alias Sanders, Edward Edwards, Jeremiah Smith and Mary Critchett" - were transported from England to Virginia in late 1728 to work off their sentences. On 12 May 1729 they overpowered the two-man crew of the sloop John and Elizabeth. Critchett held the prisoners in the ship's hold, they released the pair a few days over Critchett's objections, who feared the two would alert the authorities. The pirates sailed into Chesapeake Bay but before they could raid any other ships, they were captured by HMS Shoreham under Captain Long. Returned to Virginia, they were tried in August 1729 in Williamsburg, convicted of piracy, sentenced to hang. Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Martha Farley, the other confirmed women active in piracy's Golden Age. Women in piracy