Flora of Indonesia

The flora of Indonesia consists of many unique varieties of tropical plants. Blessed with a tropical climate and around 18,000 islands, Indonesia is a nation with the second largest biodiversity in the world. The flora of Indonesia reflects an intermingling of Asian, Australian and the native species. This is due to the geography of Indonesia, located between two continents. The archipelago consists of a variety of regions from the tropical rain forests of the northern lowlands and the seasonal forests of the southern lowlands through the hill and mountain vegetation, to subalpine shrub vegetation. Having the second longest shoreline in the world, Indonesia also has many regions of swamps and coastal vegetation. Combined together, these all give rise to a huge vegetational biodiversity. There are about 28,000 species of flowering plants in Indonesia, consisting 2500 different kinds of orchids, 6000 traditional medicinal plants used as Jamu., 122 species of bamboo, over 350 species of rattan and 400 species of Dipterocarpus, including ebony, sandalwood and teakwood. Indonesia is also home to some unusual species such as carnivorous plants. One exceptional species is known as Rafflesia arnoldi, named after Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles and Dr. Arnold, who discovered the flower in the depths of Bengkulu, southwest Sumatra. This parasitic plant has a large flower, does not produce leaves and grow on a certain liana on the rain forest floor. Another unusual plant is Amorphophallus titanum from Sumatra. Numerous species of insect trapping pitcher plants (Nepenthes spp.) can also be found in Borneo, Sumatra, and other islands of the Indonesian archipelago.

Spanking Goals & Toe Pokes

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 August, 2008, 12:00am
 

Spanking Goals & Toe Pokes

by Tommy Martin

Proverse Hong Kong, HK$98

With the Beijing Olympics upon us and football part of the event, non-native English speakers may find it handy to have Spanking Goals & Toe Pokes close to hand. Written by football coach Tommy Martin, who hails from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the slim volume aims to decipher the sometimes opaque language used by football commentators describing play. Many of the 800-plus sayings, however, are not exclusive to the sport, which makes this reference book equally useful in non-football-related situations employing British slang and jargon. Some may even surprise readers whose mother tongue is English. This reviewer can admit to being baffled by 'a jinking run', 'nutmeg' used as a verb and 'a fancy-dan shape', which, rather than coming from the name Dan, may be an abbreviation of dandy, according to several internet sites. The book does not provide the provenance of sayings included, however, which is unfortunate because this would undoubtedly help students of English. Still, there is much to learn from the volume, which borrows language from warfare ('taking scalps') and animal behaviour ('mauling') as well as other types of human activity. If footy's your game but you watch it on mute, this may provide a reason to turn up the volume.

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