Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jellyfish are Complex Creatures

Though jellyfish have no brain, intelligence is built into their bodies. They appear to act on instinct to changes in the environment. Whether they have consciousness is not known.
They swim better than any other creature. Swimming against the tide is their forte. Detecting the direction of currents was thought to be impossible without sight, yet jellyfish do it.

Rhythmically moving their heads and forcing water out from their bodies, they are a jet-propelled swimming machine. Most believe that jellyfish just drift. This is not the case, They head straight for their destination, for example, usually in groups.

Somehow they know that there are others of their kind with them, though they do not have eyes. Perhaps the animal uses the Earth's magnetic field as well as ocean currents to know where they are. Some scientists have suggested they use infrasound.
Science by Ty Buchanan
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dancing Cats

"You idiots!"
 
 ✴ Funny Animal Photos by Ty Buchanan 
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Mass Extinction Has Begun

You may stop fearing an asteroid colliding with the Earth. Man himself could be the cause of the next mass extinction. People who harp on about climate change being a religion and an article of faith are like those who ignored Noah.
Remember that humans got down a few hundred individuals in the past. We are very lucky to be here today. Of course the world would have gone on without us: it would be a very different world. There would be no pollution anywhere.

Ebola is out of control. Antibiotics are failing. A world-wide plague could be on the cards. Danger to Man is not the only issue. Twenty five per cent of mammals could soon disappear. Forty per cent of amphibians are at risk.

Because species are already dying off, a mass extinction could have already begun. The hottest decade on record shows that life is declining. When animals die off the food supply for other creatures also goes. So the path of extinction of predator species becomes real as well.

Carbon is the major cause of extinctions. It is in most things and when pumped into the air it warms up the planet. Seemingly mundane thing also pollute. Coke is fizzy due to carbonic acid. This is getting into the oceans, changing the pH level and destroying life.
Science by Ty Buchanan
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Friday, January 23, 2015

Tool Use Began Millions of Years Ago With Pre-humans

Australopithecus africanus were much like humans. They had evolved to use their hands to do intricate thing. It would have been possible for them to turn a key or hold a hammer. Coming down from the trees "caused" manipulatory advancement. The most useful attributes spread to more of their number due to longer survival and breeding capability.

While anthropologists are not sure that they used the advanced abilities, it is highly probable that they did otherwise the traits would not have become dominant. This pushes tool use way, way back to 3 million years ago.

How do scientists know that Australopithecus had complex skills? Trabeculae which is inside bones in the hands shows how hands were used. Humans, for example use the fingers and thumb region more than chimpanzees. Our friendly relations mainly use their fingers.

The supposition that tool use began millions of years ago was only theory: now it is proven.  Culture must have been passed on to offspring as well.  Tool use is a skill that must be taught.  Humans are capable of learning all their lives.  Chimpanzees can learn how to break nuts using a rock when they are young.  If they watch this being done when they are adults they never learn how to do it.
Science by Ty Buchanan
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Kittens See

"Look at that.  Can you believe it?"
 
 ✴ Funny Animal Pictures by Ty Buchanan 
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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Too Big Seal - Feet

"Are my feet too big?"
 
 ✴ Funny Animal Photos by Ty Buchanan 
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Teaching Compuuter Coding in Schools Could be Redundant

There is so much pressure on children to learn coding. Governments keep pumping money into new schemes. However, this could all be a waste of money. Remember when governments invested all that money into providing PCs to schools. Then the laptop came along and they had to change to making the new tech available. After this came tablets followed by large mobile phones. Chasing new technological developments is a fool's game.
Most parents don't want government money. They want to choose what their children "need" at at school. Years ago the Mac was pushed as the "must have" to do drawing work. It was encouraged for what is now called Graphics in school. It used to be called technical drawing or drafting. Schools adopted Autocad for Windows and Macs were redundant. Furthermore, PCs were the machine of choice in most schools for class work and at university
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There are many kinds of computer languages. Specializing in one leaves you in a corridor with no way out. Software programs are out there that get rid of the need for coding knowledge. Once written developers are only needed for maintenance. Any Tom, Dick or Mary can use the "What You See Is What You Get" programs.

Personally, I believe that the future does not lie in creating a population of coders. Really good entrepreneurial managers will always be needed. Coders need to be employed by someone else. Probably in a business started by an entrepreneur. The real problem is the lack of understanding in Maths. Let this go too far and you will have no coders and no entrepreneurs.
Science by Ty Buchanan
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Beer Animal

"This is good stuff."
 
 ✴ Funny Animal Pictures by Ty Buchanan 
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Fish Sperm is Useful in Industry

Pollution is a big problem, particularly from industry which pumps unwanted metals into the soil just about everywhere in the world. Getting rid of this had been an issue looking for a solution for decades. The answer could be at hand from a very weird source.

Fish sperm has a property making it ideal for the purpose. It literally hoovers up the metal particles. The sperm contains high amounts of DNA. This contains phosphate which strongly attracts metals. The metal/phosphate compound can be taken out with neodymium magnets consisting of trivalent iron, dysprosium and neodymium.

In Italy herring sperm was first identified as being useful in cleaning up the environment. With salmon being bred commercially, it is seen as a better source of fish sperm. The substance has been thrown away as waste until now.
Science by Ty Buchanan
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