Sunday, June 26, 2016

Britain Not So Great - EU Referendum

David Cameron regrets the day he entered politics.
The Queen is tough. She will seemingly live forever. However, there is one thing that could diminish her driving force to continue ruling. That is the independence of Scotland. She will have one man to thank for that - David Cameron. Her Highness was pleased when the referendum two years ago favored Scotland staying in the UK. Indeed, Mr Cameron was praised by the Queen in a private audience.
The Queen stands over David Cameron like she made Maggy Thatcher wait
The Queen stands over David Cameron like she made Maggy Thatcher wait
Things are much different now. Shame on the Prime Minister for even offering the Scottish referendum and the poll on separation from the EU. He did it just to save his political life. That is selfishness indeed. He will go into history as the man who caused the breakup of the United Kingdom. Just as Tony Abbot will be known as the PM who killed Australia's Holden car. If they were both in the same room, there would be a terrible smell!

The first Scottish referendum did not have to take place. David Cameron could have overridden his ruling party and said no to talks with the Scottish Government to have a referendum. The Scots would have thought that such a challenge to the Kingdom was a bridge too far: after all there was the Queen to consider. No, David Cameron was so "up himself" that he thought he was invincible.

Now, the cows have come home and the pigeons have come home to roost as well. After putting the country into the sewerage pit Cameron is taking the easy way out and resigning. The incoming prime minister will have to clean up the mess, and it will not be easy. Scotland and perhaps Northern Ireland will get independence - Eire should not hold out for a united Ireland and heaven help us if Cameron has started another war.

The quota to call another referendum has topped the three million mark: they only needed 100,000 signatures. If the next referendum on EU membership goes the other way there will be a tit-for-tat call for a poll, yet again! The Queen will try to hand over power to Prince Charles before the coming Scottish referendum as she will want to retire as the last ruling monarch of the greater United Kingdom.

There is doubt that the British public will not allow Charles to be king. He is very hot on the nose with just about everyone. Some say he is too old and others hold that he is stupid. It is clear that any attempt to place the crown on his head will result in majority calls for Prince William to be king. Remember, Price Edward was forced to abdicate because he married a divorced commoner.

David Cameron has to be knighted for services to his country. After all it will be easier to govern, being so much smaller. Oh, we can now drop the "Great" in GB. Furthermore, without Wales the "United" can be dropped as well. We will have to wait to see what Wales does, maybe this maybe that. Wales would save the epithet "United".
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CAMERON CREATES LITTLE BRITAIN
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Fish Die in Poor South Australian Environment

Dead fish on South Australian beaches gives bad conservation image.
When marine animals wash up on the shore dead what does a state government do about it? It tries do deny it and cover it up! Maybe it will stop in time - unfortunately it continues. The thousands of small fish dead on the beaches are bad enough, but dolphin corpses are found as well, even some penguins.
Dead fish on beach Port River Adelaide.
The location is on the South Australian coast near the Port River, Adelaide.  Recently, a grieving female dolphin was seen nuzzling her dead baby, a terrible sight. A concerned PHD student, Nikki Zanardo, is investigating the issue. There is a worrying mystery here. Why has the state government sent dolphin samples to New Zealand? Tests could have been done in South Australia. If herbicides or industry poisoning is at fault, it will all come out eventually. You cannot hide anything today.

It is not right that consumers are allowed to eat seafood when there is a possibility that dangerous biological toxins are the cause. If dolphins can die so can humans. We are both mammals after all. Apparently test results will take up to a month. Tests should be done on fresh fish at the markets immediately to make sure it is safe to eat. The South Australian government will be liable in the event of a medical emergency.
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DEAD FISH
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Important Meteorite Crashes in WA - science

Science: the latest meteorite give insight into formation of the solar system
Scientists are interested in a space rock. The meteorite crashed into the Australian outback a year ago and has unique features. It is currently in London undergoing tests and will eventually be returned to the Museum of Western Australia.
Western Australian Meteorite
The meteorite is small, only as big as a tennis ball. Because its trajectory was tracked its origin is known. This is unusual: of the 50,000 meteorites that have hit the Earth over the last 200 years  the sources of only 10 have been ascertained.

Tracking of the meteorite was carried out by Curtin University, London's Imperial College and the Ondrejov Observatory in the Czech Republic. The point of impact was only 100m from the projected point. Meteorites are the oldest rocks being 4.5 billion years old. Critical information about the formation of the solar system will be gained.
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SPACE ROCK ILLUMINATES
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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Genetic Modification in for Health Out for Food

Genetic modification is favored in health but not for food.
Convincing people to eat genetically modified food still has a long way to go to gain majority acceptance. Yet, just about everyone is in favor of using gene technology to treat health problems. This is a strange anomaly. Gene manipulation of any kind will change the world we live in. Once a change has been made and it spreads through the environment it is there forever.
The case against genetically modified crops, GMCs
Drug companies admit they have lost the war in Europe. There is no way that GM food will ever be accepted there. It is largely an emotional decision, not scientifically based. Possibly, in the near future, Europe will ban DNA experimentation in health as well. This will be counter-productive. If money is invested in nations that welcome gene science then the environment will change anyway because we all live in the same world.

There is a major problem looming, however, on the real future of genetically modified crops. To be profitable farmers must use Monsanto's Roundup. This is losing its effectiveness, particularly in Western Australia which has recently relaxed laws restricting GMCs. The cart isn't much use without the horse. Even crops modified to be resistant against non-selective glyphosate could become weeds in the future.  Unless a new effective herbicide is developed soon the industry will not attract investors - potential profit drives everything

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GM YES AND NO
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Genetics Shows LIncoln Red Cattle to be Good "New" Breed

Lincoln red cattle are genetically strong, ideal for farmers.
Lincoln Red cattle are large. They provide a lot of meat. However, many consumers have never heard of the breed, mainly because investment in marketing has been minimal. A marketing program is planned. In many ways the meat is superior to the much vaunted Angus.
Lincoln Red cattle
Admittedly, only a thousand head are produced each year in Western Australia. If consumers knew of the quality meat more could be ready for market very quickly. The breed comes from the cold and windy east coast county of Lincolnshire in England. There true origin is the Bos urus cattle of Scandinavia.

While not currently popular with consumers in Australia, they have "taken-off" in Europe. It has pluses for farmers. It efficiently converts feed to meat and grows rapidly. Crossbreeds in particular grow very fast. Unusually for meat animals they make good milkers as well.
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LARGE CATTLE
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Monday, June 13, 2016

Law Enforcement Uses Faulty Drug Testing Equipment

testing EquipmentLaw: Police drug testing equipment so faulty they do not stand up in court.
You can trust the police. Can't you? Sure, even if the equipment they use to convict you for drug use do not work accurately, or not at all! Draeger Drug Test 5000 machines are the malfunctioning equipment.
Draeger drug test machine
Furthermore, a third of saliva testing kits (STKs) go strait in the bin when they do not work. The kits should turn blue, but nothing happens. Even an investigation into quality control has not solved the problems.

If you are charged with drug taking using the equipment any solicitor worth his salt will get you off scot-free. Moreover, the test for cannabis has never worked. This is like the mine detectors sold to the Afghan government that were found to be just a plastic casing with nothing inside. Draeger is pulling a fast one and getting away with it. State police departments or state governments, who do the purchasing, must be stupid.
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FAULTY DRUGS TESTING
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Thursday, June 09, 2016

Animal Biology Sheds Light on Bearded Dragon Sex Determination

The sex of central bearded dragon hatchlings is determined by the prevailing temperature during incubation. Some females carry male genes and behave like males. They are more confident and active than other females. The "tomboys" also have more offspring.
Australian central bearded dragon
Australian central bearded dragon
Of great interest is how genetic and climatic factors affect gender. In lab test incubation, if the temperature was over 32 degrees females with male chromosomes hatched as females. Below 32 degrees the dragon expressed its genetic disposition and hatched as males. High temperature females were larger than males which is normal for the species.

It appears that male type behaviors of these females is genetically determined. Some of the females were even bolder than normal males. Male chromosomes affect the brain which is driven to express male traits. Only one other animal has the feature of environmental and genetic factors determining sex - the skink.

Other animals use either temperature or genes for gender disposition. It is possible that they did have both mechanisms early in evolution. but one was lost. If the climate changes and becomes warmer animals who one use temperature would produce only males and could become extinct. The two remaining animals who use both features would survive whether the climate changed or remained the same.
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BEARDED DRAGON SEX
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Sunday, June 05, 2016

Culture Affects Impulse Buying

Culture: we buy on impulse with east credit and fast pay.
We are all guilty of it. What is it? Impulse buying of course! It may not be for major purchase - we usually have a think about them before making a decision. Well most of us do. Minor things like snack bars and quick coffees are usually done on a whim. A site like eBay where thing are cheap but generally of low quality is also a vehicle for fast shopping.
Impulse buying on credit
Some people purchase "quickie" items more than others. It all depends on ones personality. Even being out with others affects buying behavior. Having money to buy is less of a factor because easy credit is available. A person's prevailing mood also has an effect: happiness drives impulse buying.


Advertising is perceived differently by individuals. "Buy one and get one free" is a trap for some. Indeed, Westerners seem to be particularly prone to buying things with little thought, people in Eastern cultures not so much. Culture does determine behavior to some extent. This could be changing for Asians. Culture does change over time. The British, for example, are not so conservative as they once were.

The Internet has impacted on societies throughout the world. It is so easy to buy things now. You can purchase things you don't really need while sitting down at home. Impulse buying is generally thought to occur only when we are at the shops. This is not the case. Easy credit and easy pay have
put a gap between budgeting and spending.
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QUICK BUY
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Thursday, June 02, 2016

Fake Cat Mummy a Blow to Anthropology

Anthropology: Cat mummy in Western Australian Museum a fake.
It is known that ancient Egyptians made counterfeit mummies, particularly of birds and cats who were given as offerings to the gods. In 1982 an X-ray of a cat mummy showed that it was a fake, probably made in the early 20th century. Staff of the Western Australia Museum who were custodians of the "mummy" were shocked and disappointed by the discovery.

A recent CT scan of the "mummy" highlights a human femur broken in the middle then molded to take the shape of a cat. The scan has been sent to Cairo for further study. To solve this problem once and for all a determination of its real age needs to be done. Why waste time looking and re-interpreting?  The WA Museum is still so ashamed of the issue that is has never released a photo of the fake cat mummy nor will show the X-ray or scan to the public.
Genuine fake cat mummy from Saqqara in  Egypt
Genuine fake-cat mummy from Saqqara in  Egyp
Genuine mummies are on display today at the WA Museum with the Afterlife: Magic Mummies and Immortality in Ancient Egypt exhibition brought over from the British Museum. Let us hope that tests to verify age has been done on these ancient wrappings.
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FAKE PUSSY CAT
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Monday, May 30, 2016

The Case of the Hairy Lobster

Biology: Red reef lobster caught in Western Australia.
It is common knowledge that lobsters do not have hair. We all know this. However, hairy lobsters do exist and one has been caught in Western Australia. The red reef lobster is common in the waters of Madagascar, Hawaii, and African countries. Finding it off WA is a real surprise.
Red reef lobster
The fisherman who caught it has never seen anything like it in his life. It seemed to be a prawn, lobster, scampi hybrid. The hairy red is much different from Australian lobsters: it has crab-like claws.

Biologists do not believe that it came all the way from Africa, at least not in recent times. They hold that it has been here all along living and breeding in a localized, remote spot. The one caught probably strayed away from its locality. Obviously, its normal range must be reasonably close. Being elusive, scientists are not going on a hunt. The creature will be left alone.
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HAIRY LOBSTER
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