12 abril 2015

Sentinels of the Arctic



Who guards the north? Judging from the above photograph, possibly giant trees covered in snow and ice. The featured picture was taken a few winters ago in Finnish Lapland where weather can include sub-freezing temperatures and driving snow. Surreal landscapes sometimes result, where common trees become cloaked in white and so appear, to some, as watchful aliens. Far in the distance, behind this uncommon Earthly vista, is a more common sight -- a Belt of Venus that divided a darkened from sunlit sky as the Sun rose behind the photographer. Of course, in the spring, the trees thaw and Lapland looks much different.



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sci-universe: 54 years ago today (April 12), Yuri Gagarin, a...













sci-universe:



54 years ago today (April 12), Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut, became the first human to travel into space and return safe, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth.


On April 12, Gagarin, who turned into an international celebrity and hero, is being commemorated for paving the way for future space exploration by the International Day of Human Space Flight (also Cosmonautics Day and Yuri’s Night).


My favourite thing about this historic event is probably the landing to an unplanned site: A farmer and her daughter observed the strange scene of a figure in a bright orange suit with a large white helmet landing near them by parachute. Gagarin later recalled, “When they saw me in my space suit and the parachute dragging alongside as I walked, they started to back away in fear. I told them, don’t be afraid, I am a Soviet citizen like you, who has descended from space and I must find a telephone to call Moscow!”


Happy International Day of Human Space Flight!



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The read more on the Igboo Women Campaign post is not working. I'm not sure why it's not working, but I would really love to learn more.

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Did Neurons Evolve Twice? Comb jellies are ancient marine...









Did Neurons Evolve Twice?


Comb jellies are ancient marine predators whose comb-like cilia refract light as they swim. Biologists are intrigued by their highly unusual nervous systems.


When Leonid Moroz, a neuroscientist at the Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience in St. Augustine, Fla., first began studying comb jellies, he was puzzled. He knew the primitive sea creatures had nerve cells — responsible, among other things, for orchestrating the darting of their tentacles and the beat of their iridescent cilia. But those neurons appeared to be invisible. The dyes that scientists typically use to stain and study those cells simply didn’t work. The comb jellies’ neural anatomy was like nothing else he had ever encountered.


After years of study, he thinks he knows why. According to traditional evolutionary biology, neurons evolved just once, hundreds of millions of years ago, likely after sea sponges branched off the evolutionary tree. But Moroz thinks it happened twice — once in ancestors of comb jellies, which split off at around the same time as sea sponges, and once in the animals that gave rise to jellyfish and all subsequent animals, including us. He cites as evidence the fact that comb jellies have a relatively alien neural system, employing different chemicals and architecture from our own. “When we look at the genome and other information, we see not only different grammar but a different alphabet,” Moroz said.


When Moroz proposed his theory, evolutionary biologists were skeptical. Neurons are the most complex cell type in existence, critics argued, capable of capturing information, making computations and executing decisions. Because they are so complicated, they are unlikely to have evolved twice.


But new support for Moroz’s idea comes from recent genetic work suggesting that comb jellies are ancient — the first group to branch off the animal family tree. If true, that would bolster the chance that they evolved neurons on their own.


The debate has generated intense interest among evolutionary biologists. Moroz’s work does not only call into question the origins of the brain and the evolutionary history of animals. It also challenges the deeply entrenched idea that evolution progresses steadily forward, building up complexity over time.


The First Split


Somewhere in the neighborhood of 540 million years ago, the ocean was poised for an explosion of animal life. The common ancestor of all animals roamed the seas, ready to diversify into the rich panoply of fauna we see today.


Scientists have long assumed that sponges were the first to branch off the main trunk of the animal family tree. They’re one of the simplest classes of animals, lacking specialized structures, such as nerves or a digestive system. Most rely on the ambient flow of water to collect food and remove waste.


Later, as is generally believed, the rest of the animal lineage split into comb jellies, also known as ctenophores (pronounced TEN-oh-fours); cnidarians (jellyfish, corals and anemones); very simple multicellular animals called placozoa; and eventually bilaterians, the branch that led to insects, humans and everything in between.


But sorting out the exact order in which the early animal branches split has been a notoriously thorny problem. We have little sense of what animals looked like so many millions of years ago because their soft bodies left little tangible evidence in rocks. “The fossil record is spotty,” said Linda Holland, an evolutionary biologist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.


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movie: The FBI warning in the movie Fight Club was actually a...





movie:



The FBI warning in the movie Fight Club was actually a message to the audience from a character in the movie, Tyler Durden. More movie facts



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Reblog this it could save a life



great now i feel million times less safe with a deadbolt



Reblogging for the comment



Guys, deadbolts aren’t totally safe. This is just one of several ways I’ve seen them opened (via YouTube videos). If you really want to be safe, consider investing in a flip-latch.


You can pick them up at ACE hardware (or any other hardware store), and you install them on the inside of the door on the doorframe. They flip and lock really tight (you typically have to lean your weight into the door to secure it) and they can’t be opened from the outside as far as I know.



Another reason I will never sleep easy in a hotel for the rest of my life.



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(From National Foundation for Infectious Diseases)

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April 12th 1961: Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in spaceOn...



Vostok 1 blasts off





Newspapers around the world reported on the achievement





Vostok 1 descent module after landing





Gagarin touring Warsaw, 1961



April 12th 1961: Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space


On this day in 1961, the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into outer space. Gagarin, a fighter pilot, was the successful candidate for the mission, being selected by Russian space programme director Sergei Korolev. Russia already had a lead in the Space Race, having launched Sputnik 1 in 1957, which was the first satellite in space. On April 12th 1961, Gagarin left Earth aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft, famously declaring ‘Poyekhali!’ (which means ‘Let’s go!’ in Russian). He spent 108 minutes completing an orbit of the planet. Upon re-entering the atmosphere, Gagarin executed a successful ejection and landed by parachute in rural Russia, to the consternation of locals. Yuri Gagarin became famous worldwide and a Russian hero, being awarded the nation’s highest honour - Hero of the Soviet Union. Gagarin died in 1968 when the training plane he was piloting crashed; his ashes were buried in the walls of the Kremlin.



“Don’t be afraid, I am a Soviet citizen like you, who has descended from space and I must find a telephone to call Moscow!”

- Gagarin to some stunned farmers when he landed



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jimmij93: Bored/Need A Laugh?Your Inner Child Will Love These...

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The Arab Conquest of Spain





The Arab Conquest of Spain


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(From Johns Hopkins Bloomber School of Public Health)

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Via: http://www.all-about-psychology.com VISIT TODAY for free...





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