500 Years of Women In Art In Less Than 3 Minutes (and Other March Madness)

Spring arrives on Tuesday, when the Sun shines straight down on the equator and we receive the same number of hours of daylight and darkness. In honor of the extraordinary changes that come with the new season—the transformation of larvae into insects, of caterpillars into butterflies, of bare branches into leafy trees—here are three videos filled with transformations from the worlds of art and nature. How many of the paintings, actresses and living creatures shown in them can you name?

Now, on to actresses:

And finally, through some lovely drawings, nature:

Why Writer E.B. White Once Said Of His Beloved, Adopted State, "I Would Really Rather Feel Bad In Maine Than Feel Good Anywhere Else"

Just to illustrate how the Sun's position is changing (and show you how beautiful Maine is, as E.B. White knew), here's a shot of yesterday's sunrise at our house. Back in December, the Sun rose on the far side of that tree and those mountains on the right.

March Madness

For you fans of the NCAA college basketball tournament, that crazy event in which lesser teams can suddenly transform themselves into giants, I feel obliged to mention that my brother, Brian, went to Lehigh University, which shocked the sports world in the opening round by upsetting powerhouse Duke. Lehigh, despite being set in the middle of an old steel-making city, gets its name from nature. Lehigh is the name of a Pennsylvania river whose name derives from Delaware Indian words meaning "where there are forks." Sadly for my brother's alma mater, I don't think one of those forks is going to lead to the national basketball championship.

Answers to the Last Puzzlers

1) It's true that minerals are made of substances that were never alive but not true that they're never found above ground.

2) A barred owl gets its name from the bars of light and dark on its feathers.

Today's Puzzlers

1) The grackle (above) gets its name from:

a) gracula, the Latin word for the European jackdaw
b) krakssen ekol, a Swedish term for "corn thief"
c) growe ceal, old English for "many-colored flock"

2) Who spoke this famous line: "All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind."

a) Johnny Appleseed, the Massachusetts-born nurseryman whose actual name was John Chapman
b) Marie Curie, the Polish physicist and chemist who (among many other achievements) came up with the theory of radioactivity and was the first person to win Nobel prizes in two different sciences
c) Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. President