Safari in the Micro-Zoo@Micropia, Amsterdam

20150927_163308Metroid??


Hello people,
the previous weekend a good friend of mine who is crazy about museums & exhibitions visited Amsterdam (yes, the same guy that suggested to visit the Atomium in Brussels) and had the idea to visit Micropia, the world’s first Museum of Microbes! On Sunday, the weather was so good to stay at home, and we thought:”It’s warm, it’s hot, instead of going to the park with beers, let’s go watch some Microbes!”.


We entered Micropia, located inside Amsterdam Artis (the right building before Artis’ entrance). The visit started with a 30 seconds tour inside a slowly-ascending-to-the-first-floor elevator, while a voice inside the elevator was informing us about Micropia & its content (i didn’t get anything, i don’t know dutch).


After escaping the elevator’s voice, we just arrived in the museum’s first floor, which is the exhibition’s “serious” floor. One of the main subjects of the floor, is that particular group of tiny plants, the Algae, which live in the water, fresh or salty.

They are basically plants, they photosynthesize & produce oxygen, allowing them to produce oxygen that can be used by fishes in order to breath underwater. Some algae species can also swim, thus, algae is something between plant & animal, that consists of the favorite meal of some fishes & crustaceans (like shrimps & crabs for example). Damn, i captured them in a very nice pose through the microscope, check them out!

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These guys are actually doing something useful, providing oxygen & free meals for the fishes, nevertheless the human factor & the waste that is dropped at the sea has terrible impact to their increase of population & growth. Have you ever been to the beach where the water is green & it is prohibited to swim? Well, its due to these guys explosive growth.. When usually are eaten by the fishes, in water where their is way too much waste, the algae population is way too high, resulting in blinding the fishes that at some point are unable to see their prey (not all fishes it algae, usually the ones in the bottom of the pyramid) & die from starvation. The same happens to the fishes that belong in the upper level of the pyramid and so on….

Diatom
is a particular type of microalgae, that is one of the most important producers of oxygen in the planet.
Well, these guys have developed a way to protect theirselves from their enemies by building a glass indestructible ‘house’ around their cell that is made of silicon.


These fellows are coming in various flavors & look like this:20150927_155703

A neighborhood of diatoms

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Diatom macaron

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Diatom centipede

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Psychedelic diatom triangle of Doom

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Diatom Fiber

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Another macaron


Of course, fungi could not be absent from this lineup of peculiar micro-organisms. These guys carry spores that ensure reproduction that could be spread through the air using the wind to germinate elsewhere. The places that lots of fungi gather together and break loose in an unending party are called mushrooms!

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Bliaaaah!

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OK! Better!

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Reminds me of an almond tree, just its top level

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Another interesting place to live in is the lichen, host of companies of fungi & algae that are living together inside it, in a symbiotic relationship. Both organisms benefit from each other, the algae are protected between the cells of the fungus & the fungus eats the food that the algae produce. Bonus info: lichens grow very slow, in average one centimeter per year.

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The visit of Micropia’s first floor was completed after checking out a wall decorated with organisms inside small plates made of glass that can be found in ordinary household items, such as TV controls, cell phones, your kids’ dolls & toys, pins, toothbrush, the air that can be collected in a room inside the house etc.

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Plaque bacteria living happily in your toothbrush

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The Zoo

After our visit in the first floor, we spent some time in the first floor were we were informed about ordinary & catastrophic viruses that punish the human kind for ages…And basically, this is it about Micropia! I hope you enjoyed the sightseeing tour & the company of these little fellows that live everywhere, even inside us (1.5 kg of bacteria inside our digestive system ?!).

I totally recommend Micropia, a quite special kind of zoo to pay (14) a visit.


Link

Micropia’s page

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Heretoir – s/t

Hello people, it’s been a while since i wrote a review in Tzertzelos blog. Yesterday while having a sunday afternoon coffee, i came across this splendid post black metal band from Germany, Heretoir! I really couldn’t resist to write a review for this work!


This is a review about Heretoir’s self-titled debut album, released during the February of 2011. Heretoir have released after this album, two additional ones in 2012 & 2014 respectively, and they also participate in a split with Thränenkind, another post black metal band from Germany.


Now, let’s leave aside the introductions and proceed with the content! 

One of the first things i’ve noticed is the smooth transitions between slow post rock themes to vengeful black metal in a very natural way, it is impressive how they do it! The vocal style change between Liturgy-like screams to psalms, then whispering, then clean, then pure black metal, showing the band’s skills of expresiveness.
In addition, the bass is not hidden (that is the case typically for black metal) in comparison with the other instruments, accompanying the drums gracefully to provide the rhythm. They also use acoustic guitars frequently along with piano in moments, which effectively enhance the guitars & give emphasis to the melody/main riff. For instance check out “Retreat to Hibernate”, that is an impressive post rock song. Heretoir are not afraid at all to be more post than black metal, and they are doing it magnificently!


One of my favorite tracks are “Fatigue” that shows a variety of different themes that
gradually develop and get combined, forming that magnificent tune, that engulfs the listener to that fantastic experience. Then “Weltschmerz” follows, a cruel, persistent and furious black metal attack that is, along with “Herretoir”, the last track of the album. A very nice post rock finale for this great album.


About the concept behind this release, according to their Bandcamp page “Heretoir’s selftitled debut-album “Heretoir” deals with the topic of loss: A protagonist loses a beloved person and goes through different emotional and psychological phases in order to cope with it. Accordingly, the lyrics reflect the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist and give an insight into the fine line between sorrow, hate and hope”.


The cover art was designed by Fursy Teyssier (Les Discrets, Amesoeurs) and the album artwork was designed by Metastazis, known for his works with bands such as Alcest, Anathema, Antaeus, Enthroned, Forgotten Woods, Gorgoroth, Taake, Immolation, Secrets of the Moon etc. The artwork totally fits with the album’s theme and music, which smoothly & effectively take over the listeners senses until the end of the album. Very nice work, reflecting a vision that once listened, it will challenge the listener to press the “repeat” in order to explore additional aspects of it that won’t be so obvious during the first try. 

In the end, it is an adventurous POST & BLACK METAL work, check it out for sure!!!
Definitely a must for friends of Wolves in the Throne Room, Thränenkind, Agrypnie and fans of post-rock, post/depressive black metal.
Hope you enjoy & cheers!

Heretoir links:
Bandcamp
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