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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Thrown Out by the Missus

"When did your missus throw you out?"
 
 Funny Animal Pictures by Ty Buchanan 
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Physics Not for Females - Women Say!

More women are moving into academia every year. This is the overall picture. Some areas are still sparsely populated by women. Physics is such a sector of learning. Name a woman physicist - any woman! Few recognise that maths is easier for men, but this is true. There is something about the male hormone that creates this state. Just like women are better at using words.

Notably female physics students at the University of Melbourne have admitted that most women do not have the capacity to master physics. There will always be a few exceptions. However, the reality is that generally, women find study in this specialty difficult. Many female students who try physics ultimately end up in chemistry. They do feel more comfortable there.

The survey of first year females showed more than 50 per cent had a negative outlook of their chances of succeeding. This makes one wonder why they are in the course. However, some were studying physics as a requirement of other degrees.  Oddly, some said they enjoyed studying physics.

As a positive, fourteen students were studying advanced physics at the University of Melbourne and were ambitious to achieve their goal. They are definitely thin on the ground with all the males. Another issue is that women do not see physics as a career path. You cannot get work in finance or banking with a physics degree, for example. Research and teaching are just about the only sectors for employment.

High school is where all this begins. A good start in maths in essential. Giving students the choice to do only standard maths must be changed. All student need to do some higher maths, particularly in this computer age. It is human nature to choose an easier option. There is something wrong with the Australian education system: women dominate Italian advanced maths departments.
Education by Ty Buchanan
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

You Cannot See Me

"You can't see me."
Funny Animal Pictures by Ty Buchanan 
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Newly Identified Stem Cell Raises Hopes for Treatment

There seems to be a scientific breakthrough every minute. You go onto the Internet and a new claim appears. Some of course is recycled old news. However, new discoveries are made all the time. Despite spending cutbacks in some countries, science seems to be leaping ahead.

You would think that just about everything is known about the body. Nevertheless, a new stem has been found. A four continent research enterprise called Project Grandiose has identified the new cell which has been put into the "F-class": the cell has a fuzzy body when viewed on a microscope.

It is hoped that the cell can be used in the treatment of injuries and illnesses. The days of using stem cells from afterbirth material are long gone. Adult cells can now be modified for treating various health problems, but this is early research. The only successful treatment to date is for macular degeneration.

Targeting modified stem cells is the main problem. They are like tumours and in the wrong place they can cause damage. The new cell indicates that it could treat diabetes. Producing them on a large scale is the next big issue for the third class of pluripotent cells yet discovered.
Science by Ty Buchanan
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Friday, December 12, 2014

What is That Kitten

"What in the world is that?"
�� Funny Animal Photos by Ty Buchanan ��
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Australians Love Smart Phones but Still Use PCs

A survey on Australians has brought to light some very interesting results. While we are addicted to mobile phones the PC is not dead. Given a clear choice of having either a smart phone or PC, 61 per cent said they would prefer a mobile phone. This leaves a significant 39 per cent still choosing their PCs. The market for PCs is stable. With PCs lasting a long time and manufacturers selling new systems with old chip versions there is still profit in the long term.

Obviously, people would like to have their smart phones and computers. Significantly, 70 per cent of respondents said they would still choose their cars over smart phones. Car addiction is still paramount. In a choice between phones, desktops and tablets, 50 per cent said they preferred their smart phones while 34 per cent chose their computers. Tablets got 16 per cent.

Australians do take their mobile phones everywhere, and I mean everywhere. Going to bed with a mobile is common as is taking it to the loo. People would have their smart phones on board when leaving the house on any trip. The figure of 34 per cent of users having the mobile as their main phone is really not that high. Note that a broadband connection needs a landline and most Australians still leave their household phone connected.

To do shopping, the majority said the mobile was not good on the Internet. The PC was more efficient and faster. A whopping nine out of ten said they had purchased goods on a PC. The tablet was also quite handy with seven out of ten buying online.

Despite companies pushing personalization of ads, a third of those surveyed said that did not like personal ads on their mobile. This is a dream option as ads provide the funding for the Internet generally. Like with free apps the ads are a nuisance but necessary.
Technology by Ty Buchanan
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Feed the Birds

"What do you mean we've got to feed you?"
�� Funny Animal Photos by Ty Buchanan ��
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Tony Abbott Interferes in G20 Statement

There isn't much doubt that Tony Abbott the Australian prime minister is an ardent capitalist - odd for a person who calls himself a Liberal. This goes to show how Australian Political parties do not follow the international norm. Like most things in Australia our political system could be seen as unique with ardent conservatives forced to join the Liberal Party to secure power.

Tony Abbott is being accused of interfering with the G20 statement, taking out "fair" and "inclusive" in the description of desired economic growth. Apparently, he blatantly left in “promote economic growth and jobs growth by strengthening the private sector”, highlighting this. Australia has been told that it has left the moral high ground of previous G20 meetings.

Inclusive growth" is interpreted as a free for all in economies. Just getting there is important. Whether you run roughshod over the rights of people or not is not important in Tony Abbott's eyes. This follows the way he has behaved in domestic politics since the Coalition gained power - but only in the House of Representatives. He seems to have no understanding at all of negotiation. Being pig headed and putting the boot in is his manner.

Social cohesiveness is not important at all in the eyes of the Prime Minister: typical ultraconservative behavior. Not caring about anyone else it typical. Considering most right wing conservatives have inherited economic wealth, one could not expect them to feel otherwise. If you are born with a silver spoon how can you understand the hurt that others are experiencing? I feel that I am justified in calling Tony Abbott an ultraconservative.
Politics by Ty Buchanan
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Sunday, December 07, 2014