The Singing Maestro: Song Thrush
Sunday, 12 February 2023
The pendulum, which is used for sand tracing, recorded the seismic activity during the 6.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Olympia, Washington in 2001. Scientists believe that the squiggly lines traced by the pendulum captured the intensity and duration of the quake's most intense trembles. This demonstrates the ability of a simple instrument like a sand-tracing pendulum to capture and record seismic activity. The information gathered by the pendulum can help scientists better understand the characteristics of earthquakes and improve earthquake prediction and mitigation efforts.
Friday, 10 February 2023
Bees of the genus Tetragonula construct tall nests that spiral clockwise, their geometry astonishing for years. Similar mathematical algorithms appear in how mollusks make nacre (mother of pearl and how crystals form in a spiral. This phenomenon is known as the Fibonacci sequence, which is a series of numbers where each number is the sum of the two preceding ones. This sequence is found throughout nature and is commonly seen in the arrangement of leaves on a stem, the branching patterns in trees, the curve of waves and spirals in shells and pinecones, and even the patterns in hurricanes and galaxies.
The Fibonacci sequence and its associated mathematical patterns are thought to be a result of the optimization of growth and efficient use of available resources in nature. It has been proposed that this pattern allows for maximum exposure to light, efficient use of space, and a reduction in crowding and competition among growing organisms.
Overall, the Fibonacci sequence and its related mathematical patterns in nature are a testament to the elegance and efficiency of mathematical principles in the natural world, and they continue to fascinate scientists and mathematicians alike.
Thursday, 9 February 2023
Juliane Koepcke, a 17-year-old German-Peruvian woman, became famous for her remarkable survival story after the crash of LANSA Flight 508 in 1971. The flight was traveling from Lima, Peru to Pucallpa, Peru when it was struck by lightning and crashed into the Amazon rainforest. Koepcke was the only survivor of the crash and spent 10 days in the jungle before being rescued by local lumbermen. Despite suffering from serious injuries, she managed to survive the jungle's harsh conditions and eventually made a full recovery. Her story has been widely documented and serves as a testament to the power of human resilience and determination in the face of extreme adversity.
Monday, 6 February 2023
Keeping track of up to 100 babies is a daunting task, so scorpions will carry them around on their backs
Keeping track of up to 100 babies is a daunting task, so scorpions will carry them around on their backs. Scorpions are not known to carry baby scorpions on their backs. Scorpions are solitary creatures and generally do not interact with their offspring after they have hatched from their eggs. The young scorpions must fend for themselves and are not carried or cared for by their parents. It is important to rely on scientifically accurate information when making statements about the natural world.
Saturday, 28 January 2023
The Redwing (Turdus iliacus) is a small thrush found throughout Europe and Asia. The redwing's call is a loud, clear, and melodious "tsee-tsee" or "tseep", that can be heard in the spring and fall migration and in the breeding season. The alarm call of the redwing is a sharp, high-pitched "sree" that is given when the bird is disturbed or threatened. This call is usually repeated several times in quick succession.
Tuesday, 24 January 2023
- Peacock: With its vibrant colors and ornate tail feathers, the peacock is considered one of the most beautiful birds in the world. Found in India and Sri Lanka, the male bird, or peacock, has a distinctive blue-green plumage with a long train of colorful "eye" feathers.
- Golden Pheasant: This bird is found in the forests of central China and has a bright red head and breast, a golden-yellow crest, and a long tail of golden and green feathers.
- Birds of Paradise: Found in New Guinea and nearby islands, birds of paradise are known for their colorful plumage and elaborate courtship displays. Some species have elongated tail feathers or head plumes that can be up to several feet long.
- Hummingbirds: These tiny birds are found in the Americas and are known for their brightly colored plumage and ability to hover in mid-air while feeding on nectar.
- Blue Jay: Found in North America, the Blue Jay is known for its bright blue plumage and crest on its head. They can be found in a variety of habitats, from forests to suburban areas.
- Australian King Parrot: Found in the eastern regions of Australia, the Australian King Parrot is a brightly colored bird with a red head and breast, green wings and tail, and a blue back.
- Hoopoe: Found in Europe, Asia, and Africa, the Hoopoe has a distinctive crest on its head and a long, thin bill. Its plumage is a combination of pink, brown, and black.
- American Goldfinch: Found in North America, the American Goldfinch is a brightly colored bird with a yellow head, wings, and tail, and a black cap on its head. They are often seen flitting among thistle and other wildflowers.
- Baltimore Oriole: Found in North America, the Baltimore Oriole is known for its bright orange plumage and black head. They are often seen in wooded areas and gardens.
- Great Egret: This bird is found in many parts of the world, it has distinctive white plumage and black bill, and it is known for its graceful and elegant appearance.
Monday, 3 October 2022
The habit of this species, typically vase-shaped, with branches diverging at 45° angles to the central axis, is similar to that of the American elm (Ulmus americana), but without dignity and grace. Dark green, strongly serrated, 2-to-5-in.-long leaves give way to yellow, golden bronze, and reddish purple fall colors. The brown bark on young trees has a polished, almost cherry-like quality, becoming gray and exfoliating with age, somewhat like that of Chinese elm (U. parvifolia). Adaptable to varied soils and climates. Displays reasonable tolerance to high heat and drought. Resistant to Dutch elm disease and the elm leaf beetle. Makes a fine street and park tree and is now a major player in the shade-tree market from Chicago to Atlanta to the West Coast, a success that in large part relates to the introduction of superior forms. Seedling zelkovas usually grow like a rabbit’s hind legs—crooked and uneven; they are respectable trees, however, if properly pruned. Grows 50 to 80 ft. high, similar spread.
CULTIVARS AND VARIETIESCity Sprite is a compact oval- to vase-shaped outline; 24 ft. by 18 ft. J. Frank Schmidt & Son introduction. A diminutive form for underwire planting. ‘Goshiki’ has irregularly cream-marked, -speckled, and -splashed leaves. A collector’s plant. Green Vase® is a superior cultivar with upright-arching branches, resulting in a more graceful tree than Village Green™. Excellent dark green foliage turns orange-brown to bronzy red in fall. Faster growing than Village Green™. Grows 60 to 70 ft. high, 40 to 50 ft. wide. ‘Musashino’ is upright, narrow columnar- vase-shaped; medium green leaves turn yellow in fall. Early leafing, the first zelkova to leaf at Milliken Arboretum, usually by mid to late March. Estimate 45 ft. by 15 ft. Good choice for tight planting areas. ‘Ogon’ (‘Aurea’, ‘Bright Park’) sports yellow leaves in spring, eventually green, and amber-gold-brown winter stems and trunk; attractive accent. Slow-growing in Georgia trials. Village Green™, one of the first-named selections, is still justifiably popular. The crown is more dense and stiff than that of Green Vase®. The old trees that I observed were equal in height and width. The leathery, dark green foliage may develop a wine-red fall color. At maturity, probably smaller than Green Vase
Wednesday, 10 August 2022
National Geographic’s second president, scientist Alexander Graham Bell, had an estate on Cape Breton Island where he conducted experiments. Writer Catherine Dunlop Mackenzie remarked on the broad range of his research in a 1920 National Geographic article. Among his innovations: were a high-speed hydroplane boat (it went 70 miles/113 km an hour), an outlook tower composed of stacked tetrahedral cells, and special twin-bearing sheep stock.
But perhaps most remarkable, Mackenzie wrote, was Graham’s collection of huge, manbearing kite structures. Graham was an aviation pioneer, fascinated by the idea of mechanical flight since his boyhood. In 1907, he sent one of his giant kites 168 feet (51 m) aloft over Bras d’Or Lake on Cape Breton Island, with U.S. Army officer Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge attached. Though Selfridge survived that experiment, he died just months later in one of Orville Wright’s flying machines, earning him the grim distinction of modern aviation’s first fatality.
Thursday, 5 May 2022
Spirulina is a genus of blue-green algae used as a nutritional supplement. Blue-green algae, microscopic fresh-water organisms, are also known as cyanobacteria. Their color is derived from the green pigment of chlorophyll, and the blue from a protein called phycocyanin. The species most commonly recommended for use as a nutritional supplement are Spirulina maxima and Spirulina platensis.
These occur naturally in warm, alkaline, salty, brackish lakes, but are also commonly grown by aquaculture and harvested for commercial use. Spirulina contains many nutrients, including B vitamins, beta-carotene, gamma-linolenic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium,manganese, potassium, selenium, zinc, bioflavonoids, and protein. Spirulina is composed of about 65%protein.
These proteins are complete, in that they contain all essential amino acids, plus some nonessential ones. In that regard, it is similar to animal protein, but does not contain saturated fats, or residues of hormones or antibiotics that are in some meats. Since spirulina is normally taken in small amounts, the quantity of dietary protein supplied for the average, reasonably wellnourished person would not be significant.
However, it is a good source of trace minerals, some vitamins, bioflavonoids, and other phytochemicals. It also has high digestibility and bioavailability of nutrients. Purpose Spirulina has been used as a source of protein and nutrients, particularly beta-carotene, by the World Health Organization (WHO) to feed malnourished Indian children. The program resulted in a decrease of a type of blindness that results from inadequate dietary vitamin A.
The dose used in this year-long study was 1 gram per day. Description There is a high vitamin B12 content in spirulina. For this reason, it has often been recommended as a supplemental source of the vitamin for vegans and other strict vegetarians, who are unlikely to have adequate dietary vitamin B12. Unfortunately, spirulina is not an effective source of the usable vitamin.
Much of the vitamin B12 is in the form of analogs that are unusable for humans, and may even block the active forms of vitamin B12 consumed from other sources. Gamma linolenic acid (GLA) is present in significant amounts in a small percent of spirulina species. This essential fatty acid can be used in the body to form products that are anti-inflammatory and antiproliferative.
It is potentially useful for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and diabetic neuropathy. It may also play a role in lowering plasma triglycerides and increasing HDL cholesterol. Spirulina is a good source of available iron and zinc. A study done in rats found that those consuming spirulina had equivalent or better absorption than those given a ferrous sulfate iron supplement.
A small human study of iron-deficient women had good response to iron supplementation with spirulina, although the amounts used were large (4 grams after each meal). Similarly, a study of zinc deficient children found that those taking spirulina had a superior response to those taking zinc sulfate, and had fewer side effects. In addition to serving as a source of nutrients itself, spirulina has been used in the manufacture of fermented dairy products to guarantee the survival of the bacteria used to ferment the milk.
A stronger immune system is one claim made by boosters of spirulina. A number of animal studies appear to support stimulation of both antibody and cellular types of immunity. Immune function was markedly improved in children living in the areas surrounding Chornobyl. The measurements were made after 45 days, with each child consuming 5 grams of spirulina per day.
The growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria, including lactobacillus, appears to be stimulated by the consumption of spirulina, based on a study of rats who consumed it as 5% of their diets. The absorption of vitamin B1 was also improved. Cholesterol, serum lipids, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol may be lowered by a small, but significant, percentage by the consumption of spirulina.
One study group of men with high cholesterol took 4.2 grams per day of spirulina, and experienced a 4.5% decrease in cholesterol after one month. Spirulina is also thought to be helpful in the treatment of oral leukoplakia, a precancerous condition that is manifested as white patches in the mouth. It improves experimentally induced oral carcinoma (cancer in the mouth) as supported by studies done in animals.
The evidence for the ability of spirulina to promote weight loss is not very strong. Results have been mixed, and the phenylalanine content does not appear to be an appetite suppressant as is sometimes claimed. Whether other components of the algae are beneficial for weight loss is uncertain and unproven. Spirulina has been recommended to alleviate the symptoms of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), although evidence for this indication is lacking.
Spirulina has the highest concentration of evercetin found in a natural source. It is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that can be used to alleviate the symptoms of sinusitis and asthma. Phycocyanin, the protein that gives spirulina its blue color, has also been shown to relieve inflammation associated with arthritis and various allergies.
Preparations One recommended dose is 3–5 grams per day, but the amount used may depend on the product, the individual using it, and the indication for which it is being taken. Spirulina supplements are available in powder, flake, capsule, and tablet form. These supplements are generally expensive, and have a strong flavor that many people find unpleasant.
Precautions Because spirulina is sensitive to pollutants in sea water, it can be used as a biosensor to measure the toxicity of a given body of water. Unfortunately, this sensitivity means that spirulina grown in water contaminated with heavy metals can concentrate these toxic substances. Mercury levels are of particular concern. Infectious organisms may also be present and contaminate harvested algae, so reputable sources of spirulina should be used.
Phenylketonurics should avoid spirulina due to the potential content of phenylalanine. A number of varieties of blue-green algae, including Aphanizomenon flos-quae and Anabaena, have been found to sometimes produce toxins that may affect the nervous system or the liver. The potential side effects of spirulina are primarily gastrointestinal, and include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Allergic reactions occur rarely, but can cause insomnia and anxiety.