The Cork Oak, a Millenary Tree May 09, 2016 15:34

The cork oak (Quercus suber L.) has green leaves all year round (it is an evergreen tree) and has a very special bark – the cork.

It is included in the oak genus (Quercus spp.), a group of species with common affinities and origin. The cork oak belongs to a small sub-group that embodies European and Asian species– the group Cerris. The first trees identified as cork oaks occurred millions of years ago. Since then, several episodes of climatic change have taken place affecting the vegetation. Particularly interesting is the period that began around 1.8 million years ago –

the Pleistocene Age - characterized by alternating periods of extreme cold (glacial eras) with warmer inter-glacial periods. These events decisively influenced the geographical distribution and the genetic diversity of the cork oak. The cold forced the cork oak to take refuge in more benign climatic areas. At the end of the last glacial period, around 10,000 years ago, the cork oak colonized its present distribution area. Currently, cork oak occurs typically in the Western Mediterranean region, i.e., in the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain), south of France and the west coast of Italy, as well as in North Africa (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and the Mediterranean Islands (Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia). The total area occupied is currently around 1.44 million hectares in Europe and 0.70 million hectares in Northern Africa. More than half of this area is located in the Iberian Peninsula (Figure 1, Chart 1 and 2).

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The Dress: 100 Iconic Moments in Fashion May 27, 2015 13:16

A collection of the greatest moments in fashion history, beautifully illustrated by Megan Hess.

Fashion is an ever-changing, ever-inspiring beast; but there are certain dresses that capture a moment in history, the spirit of a generation and the indefinable energy of a fashion icon. "The Dress: 100 Iconic Moments in Fashion" is a collection of Megan Hess's illustrations of the most iconic dresses throughout fashion history that will continue to resonate with audiences and viewers in decades to come.

From the elegant, such as Audrey Hepburn's simple black shift or Princess Di's never-ending wedding dress, the quirky, such as Björk's Swan Dress or the Liz Hurley safety-pin dress, to the simply unforgettable—such as Marilyn's famous moment in white in "The Seven Year Itch". Interspersed with historical anecdotes, famous quotes, and scene-setting landscape illustrations which enlighten the reader of the social themes surrounding the fashion moment in question, this book is an elegant and immersive introduction to the moments that shaped fashion—and how fashion, in turn, shaped our lives.

Megan Hess is an international fashion illustrator who works with some of the most prestigious fashion designers and luxury brands around the world, such as Chanel, Dior, Cartier, Montblanc, and Tiffany and Co. She is the official illustrator for Bloomingdale's and completed the cover artwork for all of "Sex and the City" author Candace Bushnell's books and recently a private commission for Michelle Obama.