Shells of Wisdom

Shells of Wisdom

Jerry Fletcher commented on my previous buzz very eloquently. He wrote β€œAgain, cogent and contained but not comfortable. This multi-layering idea also occurs in nature in the formation of pearls which I've likened to the development of personalities and lives in speeches. You've answered for me why I like baroque or fresh water pearls as they are not formed with equal layer but tend to bulge and sprawl out, still the same nacre but not concentrated in a sphere...much like a story that meanders rather than being predictable”.

The comment of Jerry kept etching my head. A pearl is formed when a microorganism, such as mollusks, is intruded by a microbe. Unable to kick out the microbe, the microorganism tries to isolate the microbe by covering it with layers of a protective shell consisting of limestone (mainly the aragonite form which has honeycomb arrangement). To stick the layers together and to keep the microorganism moving freely the microorganism uses glue and proteins. This process may take years resulting in a shell with unique light reflecting character. This is the precious pearl that we evaluate with admiration. The thinner and more numerous the layers in the pearl are, the finer the luster as successive layers break up light falling on their surfaces.


The hierarchical arrangement of the layers adds strength to the shell up to 3000 times that of the brittle limestone.

Is this the formula for building strength from weaknesses: layering and thoughtful arrangement so that the weak may turn strong, shining, reflective and exhibiting a butterfly effect on the strength of the individual?

Jerry mentioned why he prefers the layering arrangement of pearl coming from sweet waters. Their layering is unpredictable and therefore keeps wondering what comes next. The luster of pearls from sweet water is less than that of pearls. This tempts me to say:

From salted waters of experiences come the pearls of magical colors
Ali Anani, PhD

Shells of wisdom

Not all shells are the same, but they may generate where they are the least expected. It is surprising that unicellular organisms such as diatoms and slime molds produce silica shells that stand the test of time. How come these organisms which can’t be seen by naked eye can form enduring silica shells that don’t break? Just trouble a diatom of a microorganism to irritate it. The response is the microorganism shall start building layers of silica that are so skillfully arranged to allow the enclosed microorganism to grow. It is bewildering that these silica shells are efficient converters of sunlight to energy. In fact the arrangement of silica layers are so precise that scientists are trying to duplicate them to make power from sunlight. Attempts include making a coating of a thin layer of these organisms to cover a sunlight absorbing material.

Marine diatoms produce all sorts of different shapes of silica shells. The paradox here is that silica is heavy and may make the diatoms too heavy to keep floating. They need to float to have exposure to sunlight and convert it to electricity inside their bodies. How could they solve this problem? By having a porous structure and have a thin coating of oil and numerous appendages to help them stay afloat.

The arrangement of layers is so intricate that researches now are directed also towards copying these structures to generate electricity from photovoltaic cells. Amazingly, oome of the layers of the shell are held together by hexagonal cylinders with very light, thin walls. Again, the honeycomb arrangement appears as in mollusks with hexagonal shapes. Is this a coincidence?

Researchers are experimenting with producing bio-music from the electrical energy of slime molds.


It is amazing what tiny creatures can teach us. We build inefficient hierarchical pyramids from layers; microorganisms teach us how to build the same to produce electricity, music and light if we know how to layer our actions properly.


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Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#48
IJerry Fletcher Oh my friend I wish this hope would come true soon

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

1 year ago #44

Dr. Ali, Perhaps when this Pandemic runs its course we can find a way to meet over dinner with some of our friends among the Bees for an evening of wide-ranging conversation and coffee suited to the country where we meet. 'Twould be wonderful. And so it goes.

Lisa Vanderburg L

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #43

#46
Oh yes - me and Deb \ud83d\udc1d Helfrich are good buddies and Gary & I go back a-ways too. Love your comment #45 , delightful Louise Smith!

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

3 years ago #42

#45
Thank you Lisa Vanderburg ? They write about Parkinson's. A wobbly pearl is still a pearl and is beautiful as it is different to the perfect shape. Killing the pearl bearer is a downside, I agree, but sometimes things which provide beauty are sacrificed as the pearl out rates the oyster.In money and beauty. It's a bit like the chicken and the egg, isn't it?

Lisa Vanderburg L

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #41

#44
lol...no, I have a need to 'step out' now and then Think: serenity and passive tolerance in one instance to rabid cupboard monster the next : ) We have to move quickly & I have a husband with Parkinson's for 18 years and WILL NOT stay in his moving box! But I love your comments #34 #37! Naturally my pearl would be very wobbly indeed, and of course, we have to kill the pearl-bearer!

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

3 years ago #40

#32
Lisa Vanderburg Sorry I misunderstood this to mean when my reply was up but I think you mean when my Pearl buzz is up !

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

3 years ago #39

#42
Thank you Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee You are too kind Louise

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#37
Louise Smith- you are a "wisdom extractor". I read your comment thoughtfully and I myself couldn't extract the main ideas like you did. You are gifted and know where to focus your attention. You have a unique skill. You can listen to others and them extract the main issues I bit. I admire your comment as much as I admire your skill.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

3 years ago #37

#36
Please do Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee I am honoured.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

3 years ago #36

#35
I am glad you accepted this Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee I write it because it's true. I think many others agree.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#37
Well- I need a little time to respond adequately to your comment. Will do later today

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

3 years ago #34

#32
Be tagged Lisa Vanderburg !

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

3 years ago #33

#23
MY NEXT LAYER It also occurred to me that from reading your buzz Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee that the addition of something foreign (microbe) into the oyster has a gloriously unexpected result. The formation also reminds me that just as the layers of nacre build up the pearl to be both strong and beautiful, so too the experiences I have both good and bad can do/have done the same for me. This is what makes a "unique light reflecting character". And "The thinner and more numerous the layers in the pearl are, the finer the luster as successive layers break up light falling on their surfaces." represents that ageing is a positive refining process if we are open to it. Which agrees with "From salted waters of experiences come the pearls of magical colors" "It is bewildering that these silica shells are efficient converters of sunlight to energy." So we can use our personal traits and talents, those raw materials and convert them to energy, polish them up to do or create something worthwhile for ourselves and others. "The honeycomb arrangement appears as in mollusks with hexagonal shapes. Is this a coincidence?" No it is not. The hexagonal shapes are strong building blocks even if light that bear weight well and fit together to make a strong structure. They are found often in nature like beeswax ! Yes we can learn a lot from Nature. Thank you for an intriguing buzz. ( I also applaud you of your choice of Nat Geo Wild - Broome Australia video. Down Under we have pearls to rival the best. They are bought by the Royalty of UK and Japan ! )

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#34
"While I was reading your buzz, it occurred to me that pearls are like people or situations - different on the outside but similar on the inside". Great thought and I would expand on it and publish a buzz. It is worthy Louise Smith. Please tag me if you do.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#33
This is one of the most pleasing and rewarding comments that I received in my life span. Thank you Louise Smith and I am lost of words except to say thank you

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

3 years ago #30

#23
MY UNDER LAYER (NOT BELLY !) I understand why you like baroque and freshwater pearls Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee They are formed the same way but look more natural. I have worn pearls since I was 16yo when I inherited my Grandmother's. I didn't care if they were in fashion or not. I love them. But I started out wearing the perfect shaped pearls. This reflected that I was brought up in a very conservative family. With time, growth and acceptance, I have now come to love the difference of shape and colour of baroque and freshwater pearls. So pearls are a great symbol for me of my life journey and the variety of shape, colour and acceptance of difference I have come to believe in. While I was reading your buzz, it occurred to me that pearls are like people or situations - different on the outside but similar on the inside.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

3 years ago #29

#23
Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee I also really liked Jerry Fletcher's comment in your previous buzz β€œAgain, cogent and contained but not comfortable." It's very intriguing because it's exactly how I feel about most of your buzzes. Especially the "not comfortable" part. This is what makes your writing so interesting Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee. It's a bit edgy which makes the reader focus and concentrate to understand the content. Usually I read them twice and sometimes I have to read them 3 times to be sure I have understood each component and how they fit together. I like your use of metaphor, simile and narrative intertwining.

Lisa Vanderburg L

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #28

#31
Don't hold back Louise Smith - tag me when it's up! :)

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

3 years ago #27

#26
I like the pearls in a necklace too ! In fact pearls are my fav jewellery and I have 3/4 of a post written about them.

Lisa Vanderburg L

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #26

#22
Come on down Louise Smith...add a layer!

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#28
I have already tagged you my dear Lisa Vanderburg The buzz link is: https://www.bebee.com/producer/@ali-anani/breaking-off-for-a-reason

Lisa Vanderburg L

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #24

#21
Why, thank you kind Sir Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee! I am humbled! Please tag me at your next buzz - I'm always eager to learn from you!

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#25
Pascal Derrien- yes, the treasures hidden in the depth of sea are the hidden adaptations to life, the creative solutions to meet challenges and the fascination with which little creatures solve their problems. We are still far behind in our knowledge of what we can learn from marine algae, diatoms and the like.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#24
Thank you Asesh Datta and I support fully your concern. The real pearls are in what pearls teach us and not in making necklace. Absolutely correct you are.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #21

The Bio Music video is impressive personally I prefer Pearl with Jam it can be electric too :-). Seriously I am out of my depth big time on this topic but the micro world is fascinating and I guess we have only scratch the surface on this

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#22
Pear of a buzz with a question mark. Dear Louise Smith I would love to know what you genuinely think of the buzz!

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

3 years ago #19

#21
Yes a Pearl of a Buzz it is, Lisa Vanderburg ?

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

I am stunned by your comment my dear Lisa Vanderburg. I need a shock treatment. This is because you wrote "To form something so exquisitely precious requires a change that is most likely painful or irritating; an altered state, if you will. But is that not like life itself"? I picked up on this word to start drafting my next buzz. Animals irritate themselves by losing some parts of their bodies. Eagles break their peak to renew their lives and live longer. I have already collected few more examples to explain exactly what you wrote "The best comes from hardship, mistakes, pain". Yes, building a shell of layers as you described in your comment is a lesson for us all. I thank you for your quick response that paralyzed me with joy. Is this a paradox? From pain comes joy.

Lisa Vanderburg L

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #17

I am honored my dear Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee to be tagged...now to find my mind! :) I find it interesting that no one has picked up on the word 'irritant.' To form something so exquisitely precious requires a change that is most likely painful or irritating; an altered state, if you will. But is that not like life itself? The best comes from hardship, mistakes, pain (think childbirth) - this is how we fashion our own scars, our own build-up of resilience and fortification that hones us to become more durable and often, more 'human.' Nothing like a little trial-by-fire! Our scars are our this rite of passage that we can choose to augment upon to afford such depth of understanding. Add to it a good layer of selflessness and we can be as durable and precious as the perfect pearl. Fabulous read, my friend! I love Jerry's statement 'β€œAgain, cogent and contained but not comfortable.'

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Lisa Vanderburg- this is the first time I tag you because I need your mind

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

to become wise and grow wisely we need associates of your caliber Franci\ud83d\udc1dEugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

Another excellent read offering pearls of wisdom from Ali Anani. I enjoyed reading this Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee. All of your posts are educational, interesting and artfully crafted. Thank you.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#14
You know of my high opinion of my friend Tricia Mitchell and this time your comment is so assuring that I am lost of words to express my gratitude to you.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#13
Thank you Joyce \ud83d\udc1d Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee for expressing so clearly your opinion. The shell of ideas grows so that you and I as well as all bees may grow in an expanding shell.

Joyce 🐝 Bowen Brand Ambassador @ beBee

As usual--completely thought-provoking. You, Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee, have produced another pearl. "The response is the microorganism shall start building layers of silica that are so skillfully arranged to allow the enclosed microorganism to grow." And so grows Ideas.

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

3 years ago #10

#9
Beautifilly written Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee. Thank you.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#10
The buzz elaborates on what small things can affect our lives. You say your small idea, but its effect is profound and expansive dear Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

Jerry Fletcher

3 years ago #8

Ali, I'm always amazed a how you can turn a comment into a column. thank you for expanding on my small idea in such a profound way.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#8
I know of your love of natural music dear Sara Jacobovici. It is the music coming from the musical arrangement of layers that I am interested in. Like the music from the waterfalls to the music generated by tree leaves in windy days. More, the singing sand that sing because it has the right arrangement and the shape of a conical loudspeaker. Yes, go natural.

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

3 years ago #6

#4
Dear Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee, you are right to think that I would have found the biomusic of interest. I do. But I must confess, I am a snob. I am can't accept everything that is recorded and digitally manipulated as music. I find it fascinating that we can hear the vibrations of lifeforms at the microscopic level, just as I am fascinated to see life forms at that level. Thanks for sharing Dr. Ali.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#6
thank you so much dear for your confidence in me. More in your reference to the Peter Principle and its relevance to the buzz-. You are correct. We mus not confine our learning from nature to msking products with superor qualities. More to maturing our managerial skills

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#3
Kevin Baker- I am in full agreement with you

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#2
thank you dear Sara Jacobovici for your support is unstoppable. What a vreat thought to see pyramida as bio-mimicry. You kame me think again. Biomusic is what I expected you to comment on but you surprised me with the pyramid idea

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

3 years ago #2

Your work always opens our eyes to what lies outside of our ability to see Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee. This is a fascinating buzz and continues to reinforce how we learn from the architects of nature; bio-mimicry. I am going for a stretch now to make a point. You mention the word pyramids. I wonder if the mystery of the building of the ancient Pyramids of Egypt would be solved if we looked to see them as being an architecture of bio-mimicry?

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

Jerry Fletcher- you are mentioned in the buzz

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