Saturday, November 4, 2017


Image result for cork

Edward Hessler

This short film (4 minutes) on the harvesting of cork.

It looks like hot, hard work by very skilled workmen who live on location until the work is done. They must do this without wounding the tree. Like many skilled workers they make it look relatively easy.

Cork can first first harvested when cork oak (Quercus suber) reaches maturity at 25 years. Thereafter, cork can be harvested once each decade. Cork oak is an evergreen, never losing its leaves all at once.

I read credits for several reasons. One is to gain a sense of the work required by many to produce a film. The other, of course, is to read who's who, the players, and I was pleased to see the names of the workers.

This film is a story of exploitation and stewardship.

Cork played a role in the development of biology. Upon viewing a thin slice of cork, Robert Hooke (1636 - 1707) noticed empty spaces surrounded by a wall. He named them cells, after monk's cells. His finding launched one of the important and enduring theories in biology known as cell theory.

This film from Khan Academy describes the process from Hooke's finding to modern cell theory.  I'm not fond of the narration but liked the images. It may remind you of being in school...say it once then repeat, hoping that it sticks. The basic ideas are there and that is what counted for me.

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