There was an error in this gadget

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Legend of Betta


Historically speaking, Betta Fish are said to have gotten their name from an ancient clan of Asian warriors called the "Bettah." They were given these warriors' names because about 150 years ago people enjoyed participating in a popular sport that involved the fighting of two of these warrior fish. (In fact, the sport was so popular that it was regulated - and taxed - by the King of Siam!)

One interesting note about Betta fish fighting is that, unlike cock or dog fighting in the west, at Siamese fighting fish tournaments, the actual fight was more to test the bravery of the fish, rather than a fight to see how much damage would be inflicted, or a death match.

Spectators bet on how long a particular fish would fight, and which one would give up first. (In fact, most fish would only fight once or twice, and then live out the remainder of their lives being pampered and used for breeding.)

Natural Habitat
A Betta fish's natural habitat is in shallow, tropical water. This is because they need to be able to surface frequently, in order to breathe air. They can be found in nature in rice paddies, drainage ditches, slow moving streams and fresh water ponds. Betta fish have even been known thrive in large puddles! Their natural food source is insects and mosquito larvae.

How Breeding Began
According to historical accounts, a close friend of the King of Siam, Dr. Theodore Cantor received a pair of breeding Bettas from the king in 1840. The doctor bred them and studied them for several years, and then wrote a scientific paper about them, giving them a Latin name of "Macropodus Pugnax." However, shortly after his paper was published, Dr. Cantor discovered that a species by that name already existed, and so the fish were renamed "Betta Splendens."
Several breeding pairs of Bettas where sent to Germany in 1896 and then in 1910, Mr. Frank Locke of San Francisco California imported several Bettas to the U.S.A.

One of the fish that he received had unusual red fins - and he excitedly thought he had discovered a new species, and named it "Betta Cambodia." In reality, he had one of the first of the Betta splendens that had naturally developed new colors and characteristics through breeding.

Since that time, breeders have been able to develop Bettas with all of the vibrant coloring and varied fin shapes that we find today. Betta breeding has become a profitable and ongoing passion for many people today, many of whom started with just one or two Bettas in a small aquarium.

~ Michael Worthington, EzineArticles.com

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Water Legends

In Greek mythology, Scylla (pronounced /ˈsɪlə/,sil-uh; Greek: Σκύλλα, Skulla)[1] was a monster that lived on one side of a narrow channel of water, opposite its counterpartCharybdis. The two sides of the strait were within an arrow's range of each other—so close that sailors attempting to avoid Charybdis would pass too close to Scylla and vice versa.

Scylla was a horrible sea monster with six long necks equipped with grisly heads, each of which contained three rows of sharp teeth. Her body consisted of twelve tentacle-like legs and a cat's tail and with four to six dog-heads ringing her waist. She was one of the children of Phorcys and either Hecate, Crataeis,Lamia or Ceto (all of whom may be various names for the same goddess). Some sources, including Stesichorus cite her parents as Triton and Lamia.

Traditionally the strait has been associated with the Strait of Messina between Italyand Sicily, but more recently this theory has been challenged, and the alternative location of Cape Scilla in northwest Greece has been suggested by Tim Severin.[2]

The phrase "between Scylla and Charybdis" (popularly reworded "between a rock and a hard place") has come to mean being in a state where one is between two dangers and moving away from one will cause you to be in danger from the other.



Nils Johan Olsson Blommér
(1816–1853) was a Swedish painter. Blommér's best known works are based on
Norse mythology and folklore.
Näcken och Ägirs döttrar (
The Water-Sprite and Ägir's Daughters)1850.

Water plays an important role in many legends and myths. There are mythological water beings and gods, stories of heroes that have something to do with water, and even stories of isles and continents lost below the surface.



Fosse grim
According to Scandinavian mythology, Fosse grim was a water spirit that played enchanted songs on the violin, luring women and children to drown in lakes and streams. However, in some stories he is depicted as a harmless creature, simply entertaining men, women and children with his songs. According to myth Fosse grim even agreed to live with a human that fell in love with him, but he supposedly left after some time because he could not live away from a water source too long.


Dragon Kings
Dragon Kings were believed by the Chinese to consist of four separate dragons, each of which ruled over one of the four seas in the north, east, south and west. These Dragon Kings could shape-shift to human form, and lived in crystal palaces guarded by shrimps and crabs.

Kappas
Kappas are presumably intelligent water spirits in Japanese mythology. They are monkey-like creatures with saucer-shaped heads, long noses, and a yellowish-green skin. Kappas are said to lure children to the water and pull them under, feeding on their blood. Their main weakness is that their heads are filled with water, and when this is spilled they lose their powers.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Water Sprites & such

A water sprite (also called a water fairy or water faery) is a general term for a legendary creature, an elemental spirit associated with water, according to alchemist Paracelsus. Water sprites are said to be able to breathe water or air, and in some cases, can fly. They are mostly harmless unless threatened.

These creatures exist in mythology of various groups. Ancient Greeks knew water nymphs in several types such as naiads or nyads, which guarded the fresh water bodies for the gods, while Slavic mythology knows them as vilas.

In elemental classifications, water sprite should not be confused with other water creatures considered to be "corporeal beings" such as selkies and mermaids.


An elemental is a mythological being first appearing in the alchemical works ofParacelsus. Traditionally, there are four types:[1]

The exact term for each type varies somewhat from source to source, though these four are now the most usual. Most of these beings are found in folklore as well as alchemy; their names are often used interchangeably with similar beings from folklore.[2] The sylph, however, is rarely encountered outside of alchemical contexts and fan media.

The basic concept of an elemental refers to the ancient idea of elements as fundamental building blocks of nature. In the system prevailing in the Classical world, there were four elements: fire, earth, air, and water. This paradigm was highly influential in Medievalnatural philosophy, and Paracelsus evidently intended to draw a range of mythological beings into this paradigm by identifying them as belonging to one of these four elemental types.


Some mythical creatures, such as the dragon and griffin have their origin in traditional mythology and have been believed to be real creatures. Often mythical creatures are hybrids, a combination of two or more animals. For example, a centaur is a combination of a man and horse, the minotaur of a man and bull, and the mermaid, half woman and half fish.

Selkies (also known assilkies or selchies) are mythological creatures that are found in Faroese, Icelandic, Irish, and Scottish folklore.

They can shed their skin fromseals to become humans. The legend apparently originated on the Orkney and Shetland Islands, where selch orselk(ie) is theScots word for seal (from Old English seolh).

Selkies are able to become human by taking off their seal skins, and can return to seal form by putting it back on. Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. Other times the human will hide the selkie's skin, thus preventing them from returning to seal form. A selkie can only make contact with one particular human for a short amount of time before they must return to the sea. They are not able to make contact with that human again for seven years, unless the human is to steal their selkie's skin and hide it or burn it. Examples of such stories are the ballad, The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry and the movie The Secret of Roan Inish.

One folklorist theory of the origin of the belief is that the selkies were actually fur-clad Finns, traveling by kayak. Another is that shipwrecked Spaniards washed ashore and their jet black hair resembled seals.[2] As the anthropologist A. Asbjorn Jon has recognized though, there is a strong body of lore that indicates that selkies "are said to be supernaturally formed from the souls of drowned people".


Believe