Can Do!

I just wanted to let everyone know about this upcoming event. It’s at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It sounds really interesting and if I was going to be in town I would definitely go. I’m leaving tonight to head offshore for a couple of weeks. Yeah!

Today’s prompt for Just Jot It January is: humiliate. I’m not sure I’ll get a chance for another post today or not, so enjoy this one. Maybe it’ll interest you enough to check out some history. The story of the Glomar Challenger (photo below) is really pretty cool, but even more interesting is the saga of the companies other ships, the Glomar Explorer. 😉

Lecture – Can Do! A History of Texas Leading the Way in Energy by Paul Mattingly

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 – 6:30 PM

Running Time: 2 hours

An innovative cast of characters have lead the way in the energy industry–Harry Wiess, Herman Brown, Howard Hughes, Herbert Hunt–and established Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast as the epicenter of the international energy industry. Author and historian Paul Mattingly will tell the fascinating, little-known stories behind the biggest projects of their time and explain the numerous interconnections including the Glomar Challenger, Apollo program robots, Texas Instruments and the proving of theory of plate tectonics.

Mattingly will conclude with how Texas continues to lead the way in new sources of energy for the future. A book signing of “From Orange To Singapore: A Shipyard Builds a Legacy” will follow the presentation.

Members $12, Tickets $18

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Meet the Adorable “Sea Bunny” Taking Over the Internet

I started a series I was calling ‘Wild Wednesdays’ a while back. It’s been a long time since I’ve had the time to look for any interesting creatures to post about there. This one just popped up in my email one day recently and I thought- how perfect for a Wild Wednesday post! Too bad I’ve been too busy to make the post on Wednesday.

Not actually getting anything done, but busy as hell regardless. So, it’s late but I hope you enjoy it. I think it’s cute. 😉 Despite its cute and cuddly appearance, this little sea creature is actually a kind of slug.

Source: Meet the Adorable “Sea Bunny” Taking Over the Internet

Cool Stuff

I was working in Houston on Monday. We finished up pretty early, so I decided to stop at the Museum of Natural Science on the way home.

I’m a member, so it’s free if I don’t go to the special exhibitions. This time they had one on the Virgin of Guadeloupe. I wasn’t really very interested in that, and by the time I got there it was after 3, so I just wandered around the regular exhibits. There’s plenty to see for free. 🙂

I spent a lot of time this time in the exhibit on ancient Egypt. I always thought all that stuff about mummies was pretty cool, and I really love the old stories about gods, goddesses, etc. They had a lot of that kind of thing on display. Quite a few mummies and they explained all about it. I liked how they set up the exhibit too. When you entered, it really put you in the right frame of mind. 😉

Here’s a photo of a mummy case, inside and out.

 

I spent most of my time in this exhibit this week, but I did take a quick look at the section on the Amazon, the rocks/minerals (the gem vault was still closed), and the shells. Here’s a nice shot of some gypsum.

I loved this thing! It’s called a ‘sandstone concretion’. I just think it’s beautiful, the way it twists and turns, spirals around, shades of gray. I could do a lot with photos of this thing. 🙂

I know I’ve been posting a lot of gloom and doom lately. It’s been hard for me to try and come up with cool stuff to write about when my life has been so screwy lately. I do still find things to keep me going, just not nearly as much as when I’m working. I hope you’ll stick around till things get more interesting. 🙂

How Much Roundup Are You Eating?

Too much! The US really ought to ban this stuff, it’s terrible! Read more from ‘The Awakening’ blog below…

Worker spraying strawberry fields with pesticide PHOTOGRAPH BY PAUL GREBLIUNAS/GETTY By Leah Zerbe June 19, 2015 Pesky weeds popping up in your yard? Here’s what to not reach for—Roundup. While the active ingredient in the popular weed killer, glyphosate, has been marketed as safe and even “biodegradable,” the science is pouring in, and the results […]

via How Much Roundup Are You Eating? And six more disgusting facts about this popular weed killer. — 2012 The Awakening

Nine Days?

“A cockroach can live for nine days without its head.”

 

I was sitting on the pot reading the Wildlife magazine from the Houston Zoo and this quote caught my eye.

I wondered what the heck were those cockroaches doing for those 9 days without a head?

I had always assumed that they spent most of their time looking for food. But if they don’t have a head, then how are they going to eat? So, do they still spend all their time looking for food? Is that really what they did before they lost their heads?

I wonder it they don’t have a head, how do they find their way around? I mean, they have eyes and antennas on their head for that, but once the heads gone then what do they do? Do they just lie there like they’re dead (but they’re not dead) for 9 days?

Or do they wander around trying to find out what happened to their head? Do they miss it? I guess they must not miss it all that much if they can go without it for 9 days.

I wonder is this some kind of survival trait? They don’t go around looking for food while they’re headless, they go around looking for sex? How would that work?

I mean really, they’ve been around FOREVER.

Maybe having a head isn’t as important as we’ve been led to believe?

I wonder just how many headless cockroaches are running around? I have to admit I’ve seen a lot of cockroaches in my life and have yet to see a headless one, dead or alive.

I wonder, did they do some kind of study on this? Did they just happen to find a headless cockroach running around and say, “Hey, I think we need to investigate this, how long can a headless cockroach survive?”.

Did they just find a bunch of headless roaches to study? Or did they actually pull the heads off enough roaches to make a valid study? Just how many headless cockroaches does it take to prove the statistic that they can survive for 9 days? Is just one enough?

How many died immediately? How many only lasted 1 day? 2 days? etc?

They didn’t mention how long a cockroach could live with a head. I have to assume it’s quite a bit longer than 9 days.

Oh well, just a few thoughts to start the day. 😉

 

PS- I got curious enough later to actually google it and yes, it’s true. They explain a lot of my questions in this article.

 

This Year’s Best Photographs Taken Through the Lens of a Microscope

This Year’s Best Photographs Taken Through the Lens of a Microscope | Smithsonian Magazine.

These are just some absolutely stunning photographs. These are some of the top 20 entered into the Nikons annual Small World Competition. These are the winners from 2013. I’ll be looking forward to this for 2014!

Our Fossil-Fueled Future – Environment

Our Fossil-Fueled Future – Environment – Utne Reader.

Love the picture they start this off with. Right off the bat they make out Exxon as the cause of all the worlds suffering. Yeah, riiiighht…

OK, for the record, I do NOT think we need to stop using fossil fuels! I do NOT think we need to stop the rest of the world from developing up to first world standards. In fact, I think that will be one thing that could help solve everything.

OK, I bet some people are pretty skeptical…

First point: rising incomes = lower birth rate. Lower birth rate + rising incomes = more resources to give a shit about something other than bare survival. So, the first thing we should do if we want to ‘save the planet’ is to help everyone in the world move up the economic ladder asap.

Second point: all of this increase in productivity and rising incomes (time/effort/money spent on other things than energy) depends on CHEAP energy. At this point in time, alternative energy (sources other than fossils) are NOT cheap. They are not anywhere near as efficient and they are not practical (yet). (I DO agree with technology like solar ovens replacing wood burning stoves- that is a GREAT use of solar power in the developing world and a great example of how solar will be able to help)

Third point: they talk about how the entrenched energy companies (meaning fossil fuel companies) earn “staggering profits”, which makes them somehow evil and so they should be either nationalized (BAD idea) or have their ‘profits’ stolen “for the better good” (another really bad idea).

First of all, they don’t make anything like what I would call staggering profits. They only sound like that because of the way they are reported. Which is intentionally to make you feel like something is wrong with it. They are manipulating you to make you want to punish those ‘evil’ corporations. Please read this article to get a more balanced perspective… http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/10/20/big-oil-isnt-as-profitable-as-everyone-thinks/

And to end my review of this article, I would like to point out my personal favorite way to ‘save the world’ with the least pain and anguish for everyone (and everyTHING) on the planet… start using BIRTH CONTROL!!!

If you really think about it, almost every problem you can come up with is minimized if you cut down the amount of people running around the planet. Global warming for instance. If you say that global warming is caused by the actions of people, then it could easily be solved by reducing the amount of people acting. Right?

YES! So, wouldn’t it be better to just use some birth control rather than kill off the people that are already here (through starvation, disease, war, pollution)???

China has done the world a great service with their one child policy (the only problem is their use of force instead of persuasion). If everyone around the world would think about this and resolve to just have one child voluntarily, it would solve a LOT of our problems. War, hunger, pollution, would all be just about eliminated, or at least minimized to the greatest possible extent.

Yes, it would take a while. But in the same time period they’re talking about 2040, we could make a huge, lasting impact, especially if people really came to value the rest of the planet instead of only humanity.

Personally, I would LOVE to see the use of non-polluting alternative energy sources grow to overtake the use of fossil fuels. I DO value this beautiful earth and all the other creatures living here with us.

I would be happy to use wind, solar, ocean current, fuel cell, or anything else that can match fossil fuels in price and efficiency. I am hoping they will come up with new technology that will allow me to make that choice sometime soon. So far, that day has not come. I’m doing what I can see as feasible in the meantime. No, I’m not going to be a martyr.

 

Science Confirms: Politics Wrecks Your Ability to Do Math

Science Confirms: Politics Wrecks Your Ability to Do Math | Mother Jones.

Well, this is a different kind of article but I still found it interesting. Remember, I did manage to get a degree in math so it might not be interesting to many of you 😉 I think its interesting since it seems to show that the better you are at math, the more you’ll let your political views skew your outcomes to other problems, even math. I think some of the comments below the actual article come up with some other results.  I do think this sort of study could be useful. I definitely think people need to question EVERYTHING they are told by the so-called experts. Especially when those ‘expert’ opinions are going to be used to dictate how the rest of us are going to be able to live our lives. It’s worth paying attention to how they design their studies and so how they get their results.

These Patterns Move, But It’s All an Illusion | Collage of Arts and Sciences

These Patterns Move, But It’s All an Illusion | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

These are really cool. It makes me happy to look at things like this. I love this kind of art. I especially liked the one here with the little bubbly things and the one with the circles on the blue background. I just like the designs of these things and the fact that they appear to be moving is an extra perk 🙂

A Last-Second Surge of Brain Activity Could Explain Near-Death Experiences | Surprising Science

A Last-Second Surge of Brain Activity Could Explain Near-Death Experiences | Surprising Science.

Interesting article 😉

Cosmic Portraits Created From Hubble Space Telescope Images | Collage of Arts and Sciences

Cosmic Portraits Created From Hubble Space Telescope Images | Collage of Arts and Sciences.

This is  a pretty cool way to create interesting artworks. I thought some of the pictures reminded me of Salvador Dali’

For the First Time in 35 Years, A New Carnivorous Mammal Species is Discovered in the Americas | Science & Nature | Smithsonian Magazine

For the First Time in 35 Years, A New Carnivorous Mammal Species is Discovered in the Americas | Science & Nature | Smithsonian Magazine.

Good news in the world of nature for once 😉