This reminds me, we’re almost upon my favourite nights of the year: The Perseids Meteor Shower ! This year, the peak night (August 11) falls on a Saturday, so I am going to make special plans to spend it out in the dark of the night. Hopefully the weather will co-operate.
A Twisted Meteor Trail Over Tenerife
Credit & Copyright: Juergen Rendtel (AIP Potsdam), IMO
I’m Sharing an “Open Letter to the World” from a Canadian that cares about science and the environment
It was already happening in 2008. The stories were leaking out, slowly, but steadily. This letter’s author, Naomi, has courage to come out with this letter and I hope people take the time to read it.
It’s more than the environment, it’s Canada’s culture, history, education, immigration, the very fabric of what has come to define Canadian values - those things that made this country a beacon for so many for so long. But let’s face it, when people think about Canada, it’s our environment and our environment-related activities that come to mind, from our resources, to our parks, to our sports. When I think of Canada, the Tar Sands are not what I want to picture, but are becoming an embarrassment on a global level. Arctic sea ice depletion might make international shipping easier, but it spells disaster on a massive environmental scale. Oil pipelines running through extremely sensitive ecosystems to feed the needs of other countries at the expense of ours is short sighted. Repealing controls on resource gathering and manufacturing industries leaves me nervous. And it should make you nervous, too.
Sometimes the “bottom line” isn’t the best interest and sometimes investment and profit aren’t about money.
Excerpted from Naomi’s letter:
During one of my contracts, I was manager of a large, public database set. Contact information for all database managers was available for anyone. I knew what was going on with the information and could answer questions immediately and personally. During this time, I noticed that the media team started asking me “What would I say” to certain questions. I answered unwittingly. After a certain period of time, I noticed that all contact information had been removed from the internet –eliminating the opportunity for a citizen to inquire directly about these public data sets without contacting the media team. The Conservatives effectively removed another board from the bridge between science and the public, and I had inadvertently helped.
Since then, the Conservative government has been laying off thousands and thousands of full-fledged scientific employees that have been performing research for decades at Environment Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and Parks Canada (e.g. http://tinyurl.com/8xtkaro , http://tinyurl.com/7gvzc7r, http://tinyurl.com/clgn97u ), shutting down entire divisions and radically decimating environmental protection and stewardship in a matter of a couple years.
This is both beautiful and creepy at the same time. I think the creepy out-weighs the beauty, though. I mean, did they have to make the eyes open? Are they trying to pretend the model is conscious?
“Oh, yes, go right ahead and expose my brain, sirs, I wasn’t using it anyway.”
“Well, you might feel a bit of stinging as we saw through your cranium.”
The layers of this wax anatomical model of a human head have been peeled back to reveal the underlying structure of the brain and the meninges (the protective covering of the brain). The model may have been used to teach medical students the anatomy of the brain or have been made for medical exhibitions open to the general public.
Find and use this image on Wellcome Images.
Oh how I <3 those trilobites !
Early Cambrian Trilobites - The first trilobites
When: Appear in the early Cambrian ~ 526 million years ago
What: Trilobites are arthropods. Trilobites appear suddenly in the early Cambrian, and are almost immediately found worldwide. They are one of the major players in the Cambrian Explosion. Their apperance is so consistant that the presence of these animals defines the start of a subperiod within the Cambrian. The first records of trilobites include members of all nine orders (major subclades within Trilobita), meaning that they had to be present for some time before their first appearance in the fossil record. It is important to note that it is only shells that are preserved at first, so the lack of a record previously could be due to the previous lack of a mineralized external skeleton for trilobites. however, this interpretation has its own problems - as it implies the nine orders independently developed hard shells. Another possible explanation is that previous to 526 million years ago the water chemistry was such that preservation of the shells was impossible. The photo and reconstruction above are probably of the early genus Paradoxides. This early trilobite, like most of the first ones to appear, was capable of swimming but mostly crawled along the bottom, searching for minute food particles in the surface sediments.
As stated before trilobites are arthropods. This massive group includes animals with a hard external skeleton, such as lobsters, insects, spiders, etc. The placement of trilobites in this group is not debated. What is much more contentious is their placement within the clade. At first they were placed as the sister-group to the crustaceans (lobsters and crabs, for example) but now it is thought that the horseshoe crab is their closest living relative, far removed from the rest of Arthropoda.
Why Do Leaves Change Color?