Monday, January 23, 2012

Apple #567: Ambergris

In keeping with my previous entry whose subject was inspired by a book I was reading, I thought I'd investigate another topic similarly inspired. I've been reading Moby-Dick. Slowly, about three pages a day, since October. If I had to read many more pages at a time, I'd have given it up long ago. But I'm determined to make my way through it for once.

Actually, I know I'd never have made it this far without the aid of Matt Kish's book of illustrations (pictured above right). I read about three or four pages of the novel at a time and then reward myself by looking at the illustrations that correspond with the pages I've read. My copy of Moby-Dick (above left) is not the edition he used when he drew his illustrations so the pagination is slightly off. But the difference is negligible. I happen to know Matt from my bookstore days, but even if I didn't I would still recommend his book of illustrations as an invaluable aid in reading the original.
(Photo by the Apple Lady)

I recently read the chapter about ambergris. It's such a mysterious substance, and I have to admit, I didn't quite believe Ishmael's explanation or description of it. So I thought I'd find out for myself.

I don't think Ishmael would take this amiss. In fact, I think that looking up the information outside of the narrative would be perfectly in keeping with the book.

Anyway, here are a few facts about ambergris:

  • Ambergris is a waxy substance that originates in a sperm whale's stomach. 

This is a sperm whale mother and her calf. Sperm whales are named for the material in their huge skulls called spermaceti, which is a gooey substance when wet and waxy when dry. Scientists still aren't sure what it's for, but they suspect it helps the whales retain their buoyancy.
(Photo from Amazon AWS)

Males can grow to be 50 meters long and weigh 50 tons. This diagram gives you a good idea of the size of a sperm whale.
(Illustration from National Geographic)

    • Sperm whales eat giant squids. Giant or colossal squids, by the way, happen to live in the very deepest waters and the whales have to dive down to get them. The spermaceti might have something to do with enabling the whales to dive that deep.
    • Squids have beaks. The whales can't digest the beaks, so they stay in the whale's stomach. The beaks are pointy and sharp, and they look remarkably like parrot beaks.

    The beak of a giant squid, up close. The beak functions as the squid's jaws and mouth, the thing it uses to clamp down on its prey. The beak of a colossal squid is about the size of a man's hand.
    (Photo from Te Papa's Blog)

    This fellow is showing the location of a squid's beak. This is not a giant squid but a Humboldt squid, but it keeps its beak in the same place.
    (Photo from KATU News)

    • As the squid beaks get sloshed around in the whale's stomach, they scrape the insides of the stomach. (Cuttlefish beaks have the same effect, by the way.) The stomach's reaction to this irritation is to produce ambergris.
    • I can't find a very good explanation of ambergris' function in the whale's stomach. Is it a protective coating? Something to encourage the whale to expel the squid beaks? I'm not sure. One site says that ambergris is "a cholesterol derivative."
    • That's probably the best answer available. Scientists don't know much about sperm whales in general. Because the whales spend most of their time swimming at such distant depths, it's very hard to study them. So a lot of what we "know" about sperm whales is guesswork at best. Our theories about ambergris are mostly that: theories.
    • Somehow the whales expel the ambergris, either by vomiting or by excretion. It floats around in the ocean until it gets washed up on shore as a black, thick, foul-smelling liquid. Like, run-away-it-stinks-so-bad. Like, pew-that's-cow-manure-plus-something-fishy bad.
    • But once it's dried ("allowed to age" is how it's delicately put) its fragrance changes completely. It's still a bit musky but it also takes on a lighter, mossy fragrance. Altogether, people find the scent of ambergris so velvety and enchanting, they only want to smell it more.
    • Once it's dried, ambergris can be white, ash-gray, yellow, or black.
    • The word "ambergris" comes from the French for "gray amber."

    What black ambergris looks like. This ambergris washed up on shore around or near New Zealand. Looks a lot like regular stones, doesn't it?
    (Photo from

    • The lighter-colored the ambergris, the better the aroma, and the higher its value.
    • Ambergris has been used, most obviously, in perfumes. It is reportedly the slowest of perfume materials to evaporate, which means it holds its scent for an incredibly long time. Queen Elizabeth I used to perfume her gloves with ambergris.
    • Ambergris has also been used as a type of glue. It even used to be used in cooking. Dissolved in wine, ambergris is said to produce a heady aphrodisiac. Louis XV enjoyed foods flavored with ambergris.
    • Trade in ambergris is now banned in several countries to discourage whaling. But people do still find it on shore, and the sale of found ambergris does continue. 

    A few years ago now, this woman found a huge lump of ambergris on South Australia. Ambergris is pretty light-weight for its size, but this hunk is so large, it weighed 15 kg. Its value was estimated somewhere around $300,000.
    (Photo from Laputan Logic, original source unknown)

    • If anyone is selling large quantities of ambergris perfume, chances are they got it commercially, which means they got it from a sperm whale that was killed and harvested.
    • Part of the reason ambergris is so valuable is because it is so rare. Not only is whaling banned in most of the world, which thus reduces the amount of ambergris on the market, but its occurrence to begin with is not all that common. One source says that "approximately 1% of the population" of sperm whales produces ambergris. So even if you did hunt down all the sperm whales, chances are, you wouldn't find ambergris inside most of them.

    [imagine a photo of a small bottle of ambergris here]
    Small bottle of a tincture of ambergris. "Tincture" means it's been dissolved in alcohol. The liquid is a pale gold color. The person who made this says she uses only beach-found ambergris. She sells her ambergris tincture for $85 per 10 ml bottle.
    (I would link to the photo but she says her entire site is copyrighted and she doesn't want anyone to use anything whatsoever from her site. So you'll have to go to her site if you want to see what an ambergris tincture looks like.)

    • Synthetic ambergris scents are used in perfumery today, perhaps most famously as one of the scent components in Drakkar Noir (and in another men's cologne, too: Cool Water). I wouldn't say that synthetic ambergris smells like Drakkar Noir, but it may be one of the notes in that cologne's overall scent.

    Drakkar Noir: a whale of a cologne? Har har har!
    (Photo and cologne available from Amazon)

    • One of the reasons I wanted to do this entry is because I have been wondering, the whole time I've been reading Moby-Dick, how much I could trust Ishmael (or Herman Melville). Has what we know about sperm whales changed a lot since that novel/scientific treatise was written? Am I taking in a lot of outdated, now factually incorrect information?
    • I am happy to report, at least as far as the information about ambergris goes, Ishmael was absolutely on the money. In fact, in some ways, he provided more facts about ambergris than I did. Here are some excerpts about ambergris:
    "Dropping his spade, [Stubb] thrust both hands in[to the dead sperm whale's stomach], and drew out handfuls of something that looked like ripe Windsor soap, or rich mottled old cheese; very unctuous and savory withal. You might easily dent it with your thumb; it is of a hue between yellow and ash color. And this, good friends, is ambergris, woth a gold guinea an ounce to any druggist.
    . . .
    "Though the word ambergris is but the French compoud for grey amber, yet the two substances are quite distinct. For amber, though at times found on the sea-coast, is also dug up in some far inland soils, whereas ambergris is never found except upon the sea. . . . ambergris is soft, waxy, and so highly fragrant and spicy, that it is largely used in perfumery, in pastiles, precious candles, hair-powders, and pomatum. The Turks use it in cooking. . . . Some wine merchants drop a few grains into claret, to flavor it.
    . . .
    "By some, ambergris is supposed to be the cause, and by others the effect, of the dyspepsia in the whale. . . . I have forgotten to say that there were found in this ambergris, certain hard, round, bony plates, which at first Stubb thought might be sailors' trousers buttons; but it afterwards turned out that they were nothing more than pieces of small squid bones embalmed in that matter."
    • Could Ishmael be the world's first Apple Lady?

    Merriam Webster, ambergris
    Lexicus, definition of ambergris
    Online Etymology Dictionary, ambergris, identification 
    Tony Burfield, Ambergris Update, Feb-Mar 2005 
    National Geographic, Sperm Whale 
    Oceanic Research Group, Sperm Whales: The Deep Divers of the Ocean 
    Enchanted Learning, Sperm Whales

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Apple #566: Covering Your Tracks

    I'm reading the Hunger Games trilogy.  At the moment, I'm in the second book.  At one point Katniss said she covered her tracks, literally did something to obscure her footprints so that anyone trying to follow where she walked would have trouble finding her.  This reminded me that, ever since I was a teenager and read such things in books, I have wanted to know, how exactly do you cover your tracks?

    If this guy really wanted to, could he hide or disguise his tracks in the woods well enough that someone wouldn't be able to follow him?
    (Photo from Just This)

    I walk in the woods a lot.  I've also walked on a lot of sandy beaches and snowy roads, and I've realized, it's got to be dang hard to make all evidence that you've just walked past completely disappear.  Yet in so many books and movies, the heroes seem to be especially expert at it, and they are able to foil the bad guys who are trying to catch them.  What do they know that I don't?

    I absolutely loved this book when I was a kid.  Good Luck Arizona Man is about a white boy who grew up with a bunch of Apaches and gets curious about how he came to be there.  There's all sorts of tracking and following and disguising of tracks in this book. And there's a horse race. And gold.
    (Photo and book available through Amazon, though it's a collector's item now and sells for $30)

    • Covering your tracks -- and I don't mean online, I mean in real life -- is referred to as "counter-tracking."
    • The people who are best at counter-tracking are those who are good at tracking. They know what signs people leave behind as they walk through any wild area, so they know how to erase those signs or change them so that they give false information.
    • According to what I've read, it is in fact dang hard to erase your tracks.  The books and movies which make it sound so easy are exaggerating.  To do it right takes a lot of time and even then, a good tracker won't easily be fooled.
    • Think about it. Every time you set your foot on the ground, you're disturbing something.  Grass bends under your feet and because of your weight, it stays that way for a while.  Sand or soil is displaced and you leave some sort of footprint.  Rocks get turned over as you push off so that the darker, moister undersides are exposed. Little branches get broken underfoot.  All sorts of things happen.  
    • To make it truly appear as if no one has walked there, you have to stop and put all those things back into place or else hide and disperse the evidence far and wide.  But even your dispersal can leave marks that may be easily read by a skilled tracker.
    These tracks were made by a grizzly bear, but you can see how the grass gets smashed down with each step. Not so different when people walk through grassy areas.
    (Photo from the Grizzly Bear Blog)

      • One of the common recommendations for counter-tracking is to walk backward in your own footprints for a while.  I tried this once, walking home from school when I was in eighth grade or thereabouts, and the tracks I left were completely obvious to me as the tracks of someone who had walked backwards.  
      • When you walk forward, especially if you're wearing shoes, the bulk of your weight falls on the heel. This makes your footprint deeper at the heel and lighter at the toe.  If you walk backward, most of your weight falls on the toe, so you leave a deeper impression there.  What's more, you're much more awkward going backward, so you tend to kick up a lot of snow (or dirt or sand or whatever medium you're walking in) and the tracks look really messy.  That won't fool anybody.
      This person is walking forward and you can see how the impression at the heel is deeper than at the toe. I couldn't find good photos of backwards footprints, so you'll just have to trust me when I say that walking backwards the impression is deeper at the toe.
      (Photo from Guardian Angel)

        • Some counter-trackers recommend walking in a zig-zag.  Walk in a zig-zag for about 30 meters, then walk in your straight line, then zig-zag some more. This works best on hard-surface areas where you don't leave as many footprints.  If you're in an area of tall grass you'll have to straighten the grass as you go, which is time-consuming.  If you're walking across someplace which is all sand or all snow, the misdirection may not help much at all.  But at the very least, you may be able to confuse a tracker for a while about where you've entered a hard-surface or grassy place and where you've exited.

        • Another method people talk about a lot is brushing out your tracks.  Lots of characters in books or movies take a leafy branch and brush away the footprints, or maybe they use a blanket or a shirt to wipe away the tracks.  
        • But, I thought, don't you leave tracks in the sand or dirt where you've dragged the leaves and branches?  And wouldn't a piece of cloth that gets dragged over the ground leave pretty distinctive marks?  Wouldn't that be obvious?  
        • Skilled trackers say yes.  Brushing out or camouflaging in these ways can leave signs of their own that are pretty clear to trackers. In fact, the main thing you accomplish by doing this is to give your tracker additional information about you, primarily that you're trying to camouflage yourself and you're not doing a very good job of it.
        • There is a more involved method of erasing your tracks. If the soil where you've walked has some substance to it, use a stick to dig out the footprint you've left, stir up the soil, sprinkle more soil over the stirred-up place taking care to use soil that is exactly the same color and texture of the place where you walked, and if any loose debris like fallen leaves or dead grasses are lying about in the area, sprinkle some of that over the place you just walked too.
        • But then, of course, you have to do the same obscuring sort of thing to the place where you were crouching where you were doing all this digging & stirring & sprinkling work, and that quickly becomes an exercise in ad infinitum insanity.
        • Use a stick to fluff up the grass where you've just walked.  You'll want to be careful that the stick doesn't make marks in the dirt or soil as you're fluffing.  Or if you are walking through tall grass, take the time to unbend the grass you've just walked through.  Very time-consuming, this.

        • In general, this one seems to be the most effective. If you happen to have an extra pair of shoes, switch them.  Of course you'll want to do this someplace where it won't be obvious that the tracks of one shoe stops and the other one starts.
        • If you're in an area where other people have walked, switch to the kind of footwear that the locals use.  In this way, your footprints will blend in with others'.
        • The types of shoes that are least likely to leave marks are -- no surprise here -- moccasins or else shoes with soles covered in fur.  I know that most of us don't have shoes like that, but if you can somehow approximate a softer sole, that will help. 
        • The best way to do that is to cover your shoes with some sort of soft material. Tying them in rags or other clothing, or even leaves if you can get them to stay on, will alter the shape of the footprint you leave behind, and the soft material will keep the shoe from making as deep a print in the soil.
        • An additional variant of this is to disguise your tracks. Cover your shoes with some soft material and then walk on your toes. Twist your foot as you walk or flick your toes backward. This will leave an impression that is something like animal tracks. You have to be good at this otherwise you will just look like a person walking funny and it will be just as telling as if you'd stomped around in big fat honkin' hiking boots.
        One option is to hide your tracks among lots of other footprints like these pictured here.  Hide yourself among the crowd, so to speak.
        (Photo from the Snapshot Travel Blog)

        • Try not to flex your foot as you walk but place your foot flat on the ground and pick it up just as flatly. This will disturb the vegetation and the soil much less.
        • Walk on surfaces where you're less likely to leave marks.  Paved roads are best, or else choose big stones or large rocks that won't turn over when you step on them.  Railroad tracks are good too.  This, of course, assumes your shoes aren't muddy and you're not leaving traces of dirt or mud or sand that happen to be stuck to your shoe.  Those kind of footprints are called "transfer prints."
        You might think you wouldn't leave footprints on hard, smooth surfaces like asphalt or linoleum or wooden floors.  But there's still the potential to leave "transfer prints" like these.
        (Photo from Katie Rowland's World Race)

        • Shimmy up fences and walk or scuttle along the tops of them.  Climb trees and go from the canopy of one tree to another.  Of course you may leave behind some broken branches, but if you don't snap off too many of them, a tracker may think those are part of the landscape.
        If you can manage to cross from one tree to the next and the next, you won't leave many tracks at all.  It can't be that hard. Squirrels do it all the time.
        (Photo from Public Domain Photos)

        Well, none of these suggestions is fool-proof.  I'm sort of disappointed that there isn't some special tracks-covering secret that's been lurking out there all these years.  But on the other hand, I'm glad to know I wasn't wrong in thinking that it's hard to cover one's tracks--and as it turns out, a lot more difficult than books and movies would have you believe.

        And this is just the visual stuff.  I didn't even touch on the whole problem of disguising your scent.

        Kim A. Cabrera and Universal Tracking Services, Tracking Glossary, Beartracker's Animal Tracks Den
        Karl, An introduction to Counter-Tracking. . . . The art of the scout, Ranging, Pathfinding, Bushcraft & Survival Notes, March 25, 2011
        Selous Scouts, Tracking and Countertracking
        Joseph Longshore II, Way of the Scout: Counter-Tracking, Wildwood Tracking

        Sunday, January 15, 2012

        Apple #565: Elephant Feet

        Way back before Christmas, I was watching a documentary about elephants.  The elephants were walking along in their slow, rhythmic way, and I was noticing their feet.  When they stepped on the ground, their feet seemed to squash outward, like there was a cushion built in there.  Of course an elephant's feet have to support a lot of weight, so I thought maybe they're built in some special way that gives them extra support. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to know, how is an elephant's foot put together.

        Here is a brief video of an elephant walking to show you a little bit of what I was looking at. Watch the back feet of this young elephant to see most clearly how the feet sort of squash outward with each step.

        • It turns out, elephant feet do come equipped with an interior cushion.
        • The way elephant feet are built, the animals are essentially walking on their tip-toes the entire time.
        This is what the bones of an Asian elephant's back foot look like. If you put your hand tent-like on a table so that only the tips of your fingers touched the table, you'd have a good representation in front of you.
        (Photo from Elephants Encyclopedia)

          • A cushion of "fibrous connective tissue" and "adipose tissue" (which means fat), along with collagen and various other protein-like substances acts as a cushion that sits between the bones of the foot and the outer skin.
          This diagram shows the position of the bones within an elephant's foot. The gray shaded area represents where the cushion of fatty tissue and cartilage supports the bones.  To see a full-color artistic depiction of the same idea, check out Margaret Meintjes' print (she won't allow any reproduction of her image whatsoever or I'd show it to you here)
          (Diagram from The structure of the cushions in the feet of African elephants, Weissengruber et al., Journal of Anatomy, December 2006)

          • The fibers within the fatty tissue give the cushion a little more substance and structure than it would have otherwise. This is one of the things about an elephant's foot that helps it to grip the ground better.
          • The cushion is also why elephants walk so softly -- which is pretty remarkable given what enormous animals they are.
          Here is a whole family of elephants walking past the jeep of the person taking the video. The noise of the wind blowing is louder than the footsteps of the elephants. (By the way, that's Serengeti.)

          • Another thing that gives an elephant's foot traction is the channels or "tracts" on the bottom of their feet.

          The bottom of a healthy elephant's foot. Tracts like these that are clean and distinct help an elephant to maintain traction on slippery ground. And yes, this is the photo from my latest teaser.
          (Photo from The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee)

          • Since elephants also use their feet to push aside vegetation and dirt to make their "sleeping spots," the tracts turn out to be helpful in excavation, too.
          • Elephants have toenails, too, except they're technically not toenails because they're not connected in any direct way to the toes.  The bones of the toe are buried deep within the foot, and the "nails" live independently on the outside of the foot.  The nails are more like protective shields for the front of the foot. "Cornified nails" is the way one site described them.

          Elephant "toenails" technically aren't toenails.
          (Photo from Elephant Information Repository)

          • Like humans' toenails, elephants need to have their toenails trimmed periodically.  In the wild, all the walking around and digging they do along with the mud baths they give themselves--all that activity helps to keep their toenails worn to so that they're even with the bottom of their feet, their tracts stay clean, and the cushion stays tihck and healthy.
          • In captivity, however, elephants don't move around or "excavate" as much.  Because their feet don't get the kind of use they need in order to stay healthy, they tend to have a lot of foot problems.  In fact, 50% of elephant health problems in captivity are related to their feet.  So elephant foot care becomes extremely important.  Lots of sites online have all sorts of instructions about how to give elephants baths and, in particular, how to wash and care for their feet.
          • Apparently, it's much easier to trim an elephant's toenails if the foot is warm and still damp from a bath.
          This is how an elephant gets a pedicure -- with an iron rasp.
          (Photo from the Elephant Encyclopedia)

          These keepers at the Dublin Zoo are doing it the way you're supposed to:  give the elephant a bath first, then trim the toenails and, yes, trim the bottom of the foot too.  Trimming keeps the tracts clean and healthy.

          • Two more interesting tidbits about elephant feet:
          • There are all kinds of variations among elephants in terms of toes and nails. In general, African elephants have 4 toenails on their front feet and 3 on the back, while Asian elephants have 5 on the front feet and 4 on the back. But these numbers aren't true for all elephants. In fact, some elephants have 0 nails on one or more feet. Why this is so, no one is quite sure, except that it might be part of the variations within the species.
          • Bulls make different footprints than females. Bull elephants place their back feet just to the side of where the front feet fall, so their footprints usually show two rounded or ovoid prints side by side.  Females, however, place their back feet in exactly the same spot as the front.

          OK, one last video. This shows Raja (pronounced Rai-ya) getting her nails filed. I don't think the keeper has washed her feet first so this is probably not the best way to do it. But what I like about this video is how Raja keeps sneaking her trunk out through the bars, trying to get more of those carrots.

          Weissengruber et al., The structure of the cushions in the feet of African elephants, Journal of Anatomy, December 2006, 781-792.
          Elephant Information Repository, The Feet
          Elephants Encyclopedia, Elephant Feet, Trimming Elephant Feet
          Elephant Encyclopedia, Feet Hoof Care
          The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, African Ele-Diary 2004 
          Carol Buckley, Captive Elephant Footcare: Natural-Habitat Husbandry Techniques
          Remote Animal Monitoring Solutions, Thermography of the Elephant Foot

          Wednesday, January 4, 2012

          Apple #564: Seattle Facts

          I know I promised you the answer to the latest teaser, but I didn't leave myself enough time to do the full Apple. I'm leaving tomorrow at the crack of ouch for Seattle for several days. So I'll give you a few quick facts about Seattle before I go. Answer to the teaser when I get back.

          Seattle skyline with Mount Rainier in the background
          (Photo from Business Insider)

          • White settlers came to what is now Seattle from Portland. So Portland came first.
          • They originally called their new town "New York." Later they added a Chinook word which means "by-and-by," so that the name became "New York-Alki."
          • Eventually the village was named after a Duwamish (or Suquamish) native leader who befriended the settlers. He was called Sealth.
          • Seattle grew on the industries of first lumber (1850s), then coal (1870s), then gold (1890s).
          • In World War I, its primary industry became shipbuilding. That industry was revived again in World War II.
          • I love that Elvis Costello song, Shipbuilding. Beautiful. Not happy, but beautiful.
          • Boeing set up shop way back in 1916, but it wasn't until the 1950s that it really began to take off (hey, that's a pun). Aerospace is still considered Seattle's primary industry.
          • A 42-story building, the L.C. Smith building, was completed in 1914 and remained the tallest building in the US West until well into the 1950s.

          Space Needle at Night
          (Photo from iPad Wallpaper Gallery)

          • When the Space Needle was built in 1962, that became the tallest building West of the Mississippi.
          • The very tippy top of the Space Needle rises to 605 feet.
          • The Needle was built to withstand all sorts of weather and wind and temperature stresses. On a hot day, the structure expands as much as one inch.
          • In 1965, a 6.5 earthquake shook Seattle. The Space Needle was shaken enough that the water sloshed out of the toilets.
          • The Space Needle's center of gravity is 5 feet above ground.
          • The Needle's revolving restaurant is the second of its kind of the world. The first was in a shopping mall in Hawaii. That one is closed now, but there are all sorts of revolving restaurants around the world.

            Starbucks cups a-plenty
            (Photo from Woman's Day)

            • In 2010, Starbucks had a total of 137,000 employees. This is twice the population of Greenland.
            • This rate has decreased since the recession, but as of 2007, Starbucks added an average of two new stores per day since 1987.
            • The original Starbucks sold coffee in 8 ounce cups. One size only. That size is no longer on the menu, but you can still order it. It's known as the "kid's size."
            • The 30 ounce Trenta holds 916 milliliters. That's 16 milliliters larger than the capacity of most people's stomachs.
            • The owners almost called their business Pequod, the ship in Moby-Dick (once you start reading that book, you see it everywhere).
            • Mount Rainier is the tallest mountain in Seattle, and it's the highest mountain in the entire Cascade Range.
            • It's actually a huge inactive volcano. The last time it erupted was some time in the early 1800s. Geologists do expect it to erupt again at some point.
            • The mountain was originally called Tacoma, which is a Puyallup word meaning "mother of the waters."
            • There are five glaciers at the top and several on the mountainsides. The largest glacier, Emmons Glacier, extends 6 miles down from the summit.
            • While tens of thousands of people try to climb Mount Rainier each year, few succeed because the glaciers make climbing very difficult.
            • During the warm months, the mountainsides are blanketed with wildflowers. It was these flowers that moved John Muir to recommend that the area be designated as a national park. In 1899, President McKinley did just that.

            Mount Rainier wildflowers
            (Photo from Rainier Visitor Guide)

  , Brief History of Seattle
            Visit Seattle, Seattle Facts
            Space Needle Mysteries revealed
            Glass Steel and Stone, The Space Needle 
            Meredith Lepore, 15 Facts About Starbucks That Will Blow Your Mind, Business Insider, March 25, 2011
            Brynn Mannino, 9 Things You Didn't Know About Starbucks, Woman's Day
            Earth in Pictures, Mount Rainier