Archive for the ‘nature’ Category

image

“Rudolph Zallinger’s painting of cynognathus for the Brooke Bond tea card album

Photos from Alan Friswell’s post in Vintage Dinosaur Pictures

This group gets some pretty cool art posted to it. The kind of superb stuff that graced the books of my youth, assuring a never ending love of ancient life.

Carl Jung – Face to Face [BBC – 1959]:

From brainpickings.org

I found this fascinating. On many levels. This man is awesome. I was actually quite impressed with the interviewer, too. They don’t make ’em like that anymore.

I often contemplate the nature of living things in their powerful desire to keep living at all costs insofar as that is the way it should be, as it were.

I think about it because a lot of the time I do not feel that feeling or force or whatever it is. It is troubling. And frequent.

I wish I could talk to this guy.

I no longer think my mind can be sorted, though. Like my eyes, it is far too late.

I may add more to this, we’ll see.

Peace.

A Tyrannosaurus rex skull. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 David Monniaux

A Tyrannosaurus rex skull. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 David Monniaux

A new smaller breed of the world’s best known dinosaur is thought to have once roamed the Arctic.

Dating back 70 million years, this new pygmy tyrannosaur is smaller but otherwise extremely similar to its larger sub-tropic counterpart. Palaeontologists had initially believed that a specimen unearthed in 2006 was simply a juvenile until further research later revealed that it was in fact a fully matured adult of a different species.

While the regular Tyrannosaurus rex can grow up to 40ft in length and weigh 4 tons, this new smaller species, known as Nanuqsaurus hoglundi, measures only 25ft and weighs 1,000lbs.

“The ‘pygmy tyrannosaur’ alone is really cool because it tells us something about what the environment was like in the ancient Arctic,” said study co-author Anthony Fiorillo.

“But what makes this discovery even more exciting is that Nanuqsaurus hoglundi also tells us about the biological richness of the ancient polar world during a time when the Earth was very warm compared to today.”

Source:

Pygmy Tyrannosaurus Rex Discovered

Their Source:

Unexplained Mysteries

And Their Source:

The Register

Ah, the stuff we don’t know… I like it.

Also digging the fact that this fella lived in the Arctic. Can you imagine how warm the Earth was back then? Gosh, think of the Equator! WhooHoo!

I often wonder what it’d be like to venture back to those days in a Tardis… I think I would love it… but at the same time there’s always the nagging fear of opening the door only to greet a 9-foot eurypterid or something… and being dinner is, um, not good!

Peace.

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Published on Dec 10, 2013

When NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew past Earth on Oct. 9, 2013, it received a boost in speed of more than 8,800 mph (about 7.3 kilometer per second), which set it on course for a July 4, 2016, rendezvous with Jupiter.

One of Juno’s sensors, a special kind of camera optimized to track faint stars, also had a unique view of the Earth-moon system. The result was an intriguing, low-resolution glimpse of what our world would look like to a visitor from afar.

The cameras that took the images for the movie are located near the pointed tip of one of the spacecraft’s three solar-array arms. They are part of Juno’s Magnetic Field Investigation (MAG) and are normally used to determine the orientation of the magnetic sensors. These cameras look away from the sunlit side of the solar array, so as the spacecraft approached, the system’s four cameras pointed toward Earth. Earth and the moon came into view when Juno was about 600,000 miles (966,000 kilometers) away — about three times the Earth-moon separation.

During the flyby, timing was everything. Juno was traveling about twice as fast as a typical satellite, and the spacecraft itself was spinning at 2 rpm. To assemble a movie that wouldn’t make viewers dizzy, the star tracker had to capture a frame each time the camera was facing Earth at exactly the right instant. The frames were sent to Earth, where they were processed into video format.

The music accompaniment is an original score by Vangelis.

The full image caption for this movie is available at:http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/cata…

600,000 miles away.

Damn, no wonder it’s so small.

Adds a humbling perspective to things.

Don’t it?

Peace.

Seriously! It has been officially reported! And here as well.

But wait, aren’t we firmly in the grip of the 21st century? I do believe so… One might think that we’d’ve gotten our own anatomy down pat. I guess not! Ha! Sigh.

This is especially intriguing since this new part is a ligament in the knee. There are, after all, quite a lot of knee surgeries on the books.

Although having said that, it would appear that a French fellow got suspicious back in 1879 and put forth the idea that this ligament existed. Didn’t go on to prove it, though.

new ligament!

An image of a right knee after a full dissection of the anterolateral ligament (ALL). (Credit: University Hospitals Leuven)

S1 – What’s that gross-looking thing in the picture up there? Oh, just a newly discovered part of the human body, no big deal. Two surgeons at University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium have found and named a new ligament in the knee, which they dubbed the anterolateral ligament, or ALL.

S2 – Despite successful ACL repair surgery and rehabilitation, some patients with ACL-repaired knees continue to experience so-called ‘pivot shift’, or episodes where the knee ‘gives way’ during activity. For the last four years, orthopaedic surgeons Dr Steven Claes and Professor Dr Johan Bellemans have been conducting research into serious ACL injuries in an effort to find out why. Their starting point: an 1879 article by a French surgeon that postulated the existence of an additional ligament located on the anterior of the human knee.

As has been noted here by Rewey in a forum thread about this find, the part seems to have been illustrated in textbooks for a good long while now. It‘s just been simply falsely classed as being a part of a ligament it appears to connect to. No one noticed that it doesn’t really do that. Except that French guy. Now that is odd.

In Rewey’s reply he says:

lateral collateral ligaments… when I look at this image below, it refers to the lateral collateral ligaments – as in plural. It seems to show the LCL as reaching down in two separate strands, hence why maybe it’s referred to in plural form. This seems like exactly what is shown as the ‘new’ tendon in the photos in the OP.

In the pic below, one strand of the LCL joins to the outer top edge of the tibia, and one to the outer top edge of the fibula. I think the photo in the OP shows the same thing – it’s just that the tibia and fibula in the photo are still joined by tissue and cartilage, and therefore maybe it isn’t as clear?

I think this seems less a matter of discovering a NEW ligament, and more along the lines of realising that it performs a slightly different function to what we assumed, and therefore have given it another name?

Seems legit.

Peace.

Galaxy MACS0647-JD

Source PUBLISHED: 06:09 EST, 16 November 2012 | UPDATED: 07:11 EST, 16 November 2012

Researchers have identified the furthest ever galaxy discovered in space – a staggering 13.3 billion light-years from Earth.

The galaxy was observed around 420 million years after the Big Bang when the universe was just 3 per cent of its current age.

Astronomers have calculated the galaxy is a 13.3 billion light-years from Earth with a single light-year representing 5,878,625 million miles.

It was spotted using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and one of nature’s own natural ‘zoom lenses’ in space.

Scientists say the object is in the first stages of galaxy formation with analysis showing it is less than 600 light-years across.

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is 150,000 light-years across with the Solar System a third of the age of the newly discovered galaxy.

Dan Coe, from the Space Telescope Science Institute, said. ‘This object may be one of many building blocks of a galaxy.

‘Over the next 13 billion years, it may have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of merging events with other galaxies and galaxy fragments.’

Coe and his collaborators spent months ruling out alternative explanations for the object’s identity – such as red stars, brown dwarfs, and red galaxies – to conclude it was a very distant galaxy.

The object, named MACS0647-JD, is the latest discovery from a programme which uses natural zoom lenses to reveal distant galaxies in the early universe.

The Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH) is using massive galaxy clusters as cosmic telescopes to magnify distant galaxies behind them, an effect called gravitational lensing.

Rychard Bouwens, from Leiden University, Holland, said: ‘While one occasionally expects to find an extremely distant galaxy using the tremendous power of gravitational lensing, this latest discovery has outstripped even my expectations of what would be possible with the CLASH program.
“The science output in this regard has been incredible.’

It is such a good feeling when things like this are found. Things so old the mind can hardly comprehend it. I’m not a fan of the Big Bang, though. It’s a nice theory, I guess, but it remains just a theory, regardless of it usually being presented as if it is fact. All of these astronomers seem to take it as if it were a fact… I sometimes find that a little disturbing.

I often wonder what they’ll do when an object is found that calculates out to 15 billion years. Hehe. And I am quite certain that if they point a scope at some dark spot and let the shutter go for a couple of months that that will happen.

Interestingly, the above article was published in 2012 and then just recently we find the one below. With a very similar title. But I always thought that 13.3 was farther than 13.1. Perhaps they forgot about the older one.

Anyway, this next one’s cool too.

galaxy z8_GND_5296. Photograph by V. Tilvi (Texas A&M), S. Finkelstein (UT Austin), the CANDELS Team, and HST/NASA

Galaxy z8_GND_5296. Photograph by V. Tilvi (Texas A&M), S. Finkelstein (UT Austin), the CANDELS Team, and HST/NASA

Andrew Fazekas

National Geographic

Published October 23, 2013

Astronomers have found a galaxy 13.1 billion light-years from Earth, making it officially the most distant object ever detected.

A faint, infrared speck of light from this ancient galaxy, called z8_GND_5296, was spotted using the Hubble Space Telescope and one of the world’s largest ground-based telescopes, a ten-meter telescope at Keck Observatory at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Light from this baby galaxy began its journey when the universe was about 700 million years old and just emerging from the cosmic mist left over from its birth, said Casey Papovich, one of the lead authors of the study and an astronomer at Texas A&M University in College Station.

The former record holder is a fellow youngster, an ultra-faint galaxy about 100 million light-years closer to Earth.

Past claims of galaxies at these extreme distances were mined from deep field images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. But many of these would-be candidates turned out to be much closer than previously thought, according to Papovich.

How Far Back Can We Go?

Can we push the record back even further, closer to the Big Bang?

Richard Ellis, an astronomer not connected to the study, says it is definitely possible. But we do not yet have telescopes powerful enough to do the job.

“We have the capability, in principle, to push to redshifts of ten and beyond, corresponding to a time when the universe was only 350 million years old, or only 3 percent of its present age,” said Ellis, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
national geographic

Wow, good stuff, eh?

I wonder what these things look like now… or even if they still exist!

Peace.

image of a hydrogen atom

What you’re looking at is the first direct observation of an atom’s electron orbital — an atom’s actual wave function! To capture the image, researchers utilized a new quantum microscope — an incredible new device that literally allows scientists to gaze into the quantum realm.

Source: io9
Primary Source: Phys Papers

Fabulous! Whoa!

This new quantum microscope is going to be a significant tool for discovery and enlightenment… I can just feel it!

It is not a photograph, in reality, it’s not an actual picture of an atom. What it is is a composite of millions of experimental results, as normally a wave function will collapse leaving only the electron… this shows the cumulative tracks the electrons take… and of course it is in just to dimensions.

See the links above for the details (it’s not long) but basically…

The researchers finally twigged how to make an image of it by bouncing other electrons off the field millions of times, eventually building up a suitable image using the accumulated data.

After zapping the atom with laser pulses, ionized electrons escaped and followed a particular trajectory to a 2D detector (a dual microchannel plate [MCP] detector placed perpendicular to the field itself). There are many trajectories that can be taken by the electrons to reach the same point on the detector, thus providing the researchers with a set of interference patterns — patterns that reflected the nodal structure of the wave function.

Go science! Quantum Microscopy!

Peace.

Planetfall, Enceladus, vents

Space.com – Enceladus vents water into space from its south polar region. The moon is lit by the Sun on the left, and backlit by the vast reflecting surface of its parent planet to the right. Icy crystals from these plumes are likely the source of Saturn’s nebulous E ring, within which Enceladus orbits. Mosaic composite photograph. Cassini, December 25, 2009.
CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Michael Benson/Kinetikon Pictures. © All rights reserved.

From Saturn Moon Enceladus Eyed for Sample-Return Mission at Space.com:

SAN FRANCISCO — Scientists are developing a mission concept that would snag icy particles from Saturn’s moon Enceladus and return them to Earth, where they could be analyzed for signs of life.

The spacecraft would fly through the icy plume blasted into space by geysers near Enceladus’ south pole, then send the collected particles back to our planet in a return capsule. Enceladus may be capable of supporting life, and the flyby sample-return mission would bring pieces from its depths to Earth at a reasonable price, researchers said.

“This is really the low-hanging fruit” of sample-return missions, said study leader Peter Tsou of Sample Exploration Systems in La Canada, Calif., who presented the idea here Wednesday (Dec. 5) at the annual fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. “It would be a shame not to pick it.”

[]

If the mission is approved, it could probably be ready to launch by 2020, Tsou added. Samples from Enceladus’ plume would make it to Earth about 14 years later.

Enceladus is a great candidate for sample-return, Tsou said. Its geyser-blasted particles are fresh, having come right out of the moon’s subsurface ocean. The mission can be done without landing on and re-launching from another world, two costly and complicating extra steps. And Enceladus seems to have all the ingredients necessary to support life.

“That doesn’t mean life is there,” Tsou said. “But we want to find out.”

Well, dang, doc, I want to find out, too!

I mean, just think… !

Enceladus is an awesome place. Seriously, I have always had a gut feeling that there are critters there.

Too bad it will be so far off, man, seven long years… but

It would be awesome if a base could be established, robotic, no doubt, that would bore through the ice to the ocean below… and have streaming video. Should be able to sort out the streaming part by then, eh?

There’s a strange old post here from October ‘09 called The Critters Of Enceladus,

Ha! That was a fun one.

Here’s a pic…

Resident of Enceladus? image N00121336(crop) NASA/JPL

Resident of Enceladus? image N00121336(crop) NASA/JPL

shocking

Yes, indeed, Enceladus is a fine place to get real and tangible material to study.

Peace.

P.S. This was a draft from way back in January… sigh.

 

Strange Trees

Posted: February 20th, 2013 in biology, life, nature
Tags: , ,

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Trees are cool.

So… above are a few rather strange trees from around the world. My favorite tree of all time is shown… yay… if you guessed that it’s the one that looks remarkably like a young lady dancing in glorious happiness… you’d be right. That one is just way too cool.

See even more good weirdness at 10 Strangest-Trees On Earth, The “crooked forest” of Gryfino (Poland) – updated and at xinhuanet.

There’s the thread called Strangest Trees On Earth which was the impetus for this post.

Although things are better every day and preparations to transform into something or other are underway, I still haven’t been feeling 100% right in the head after the incident. Hence the lack of posts. Saw this surfing ATS and figured this’d be an entertaining quickie to hold WATT over until I can regroup and start up properly again.

More coming soonest…

Peace.

Check this out…

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On Christmas Day, an article was posted online called Warmer Arctic Waters Sprout Frost Flower Meadows. It had been posted before, on the 19th of December to the NPR website as Suddenly There’s A Meadow In The Ocean With ‘Flowers’ Everywhere.

Here’s a tantalizing little taste:

“I was absolutely astounded,” he says. They were little protrusions of ice, delicate, like snowflakes. They began growing in the dry, cold air “like a meadow spreading off in all directions. Every available surface was covered with them.” What are they?

“Frost flowers,” he was told. “I’d never heard of them,” Jeff says, “but they were everywhere.”

Whoa. I’ve never heard of them, either!

Nature is just amazing. These form when the water is warmer than the air and at the surface the conditions are such that these are sort of drawn out of the water carrying the salt with them forming delicate structures with three times the salinity of the water.

Also fascinating is that the team found that these little ‘flowers’ are teeming with life! Which they did not expect. Each one is a home for one million bacteria! One million!

Read the article! Either one, for the full story.

Gives more hope for finding critters in other unexpected places… places like moons and planets!

Let the search continue!

Peace.

And now, ladies and gentlemen… meet… the Lady Hobbit!

Face of the Hobbit, reconstructed.

She’s just awesome, no? She looks so friendly…

This, I’m pleased to say, is a properly executed scientific facial reconstruction of Homo floresiensis, also known as Flores Man and of course Hobbit as well, a recently discovered and rather diminutive species of man. Naturally the species status has been under attack from the start, but, that sort of thing is to be expected whenever something radically new pops up.

The following snippet is from none other than Scientific American; and yes, I heard about it at Face to Face With The Real Hobbit! An Unexpected Revelation! on ATS.

Reconstructed Face of Extinct “Hobbit” Species Is Startlingly Humanlike

Once upon a time a tiny human species with large feet shared the planet with our own kind. It hunted giant rats and miniature cousins of the elephant, defended its kills from monstrous storks and dodged fearsome dragons. This is not the plot of a lost Tolkien book. This really happened. I’m referring, of course, to our extinct relative Homo floresiensis, which lived on the island of Flores in Indonesia as recently as 17,000 years ago and has for obvious reasons been dubbed the hobbit. It turns out that despite the species’ small size, it may have looked rather familiar, according to a scientific reconstruction.

The Flores hobbit is known best from a relatively complete skeleton of an adult female known as LB1 who stood roughly a meter tall and possessed a brain less than a third of the size of our own.

One intriguing theory holds that the hobbits may indicate that human ancestors left Africa far earlier than previously supposed. Conventional wisdom holds that the australopithecines never made it out of the mother land, leaving it to taller, larger-brained Homo to colonize the rest of the old world. But maybe, some researchers have suggested, the hobbits were a remnant population of australopithecine that made it out of Africa early on.

I like hobbit.

And I like that they are upsetting apple carts. Bravo, hobbits!

There is so much we know nothing of regarding the origins and history of humanity. Homo floresiensis is but a puzzle piece within it, but an important one for true understanding.

Peace.

The Tasmanian Tiger – Extinct, Episode 6

Published on May 14, 2012 by 

I Dont Own Any Material In This Clip Belongs To Respective Owners. Broadcast In 2001 By Channel 4 With Wall To Wall. This Final Episode Looks At The Tragic Extinction Of The Thylacine Or Tasmanian Tiger.

Is it? I don’t know. I would certainly like to think that it’s not and will readily admit to having a gut feeling that the critter’s still around in limited numbers. There is a lot of intriguing, yet fleeting, evidence of sorts that makes one think.

My opinions don’t mean anything in the real world, of course, but, it’s a good thought. I just like the little buggers.

Fortunately some serious folks are keeping an eye out for any new findings. Perhaps the fellows introducing themselves in the video shown below will make a breakthrough one day… let’s hope so.

Extinct or Extant? – Thylacine (Tasmanian tiger)

Published on May 25, 2012 by 

Zoologist Chris Coupland from the Thylacine Research Unit or T.R.U. talks about the possibility of the continued existence of the Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger

Peace.

At an admittedly odd pitch, but yes, they do mimic human speech. Very unlike the songs whales normally sing in their own language. I wonder about the possibilities for the future… and about how much they could teach us!

Published on Oct 22, 2012 by  A US Navy-trained beluga whale named NOC can imitate human speech. Wild belugas have long been informally called “sea canaries.”

And this…

Published on Oct 19, 2012 by  A new paper published by the National Marine Mammal Foundation in the scientific journal Current Biology sheds light on the ability of marine mammals to spontaneously mimic human speech. The study details the case of a white whale named NOC who began to mimic the human voice, presumably a result of vocal learning. “The whale’s vocalizations often sounded as if two people were conversing in the distance,” says Dr. Sam Ridgway, President of the National Marine Mammal Foundation. “These ‘conversations’ were heard several times before the whale was eventually identified as the source. In fact, we discovered it when a diver mistook the whale for a human voice giving him underwater directions.” As soon as the whale was identified as the source, NMMF scientists recorded his speech-like episodes both in air and underwater, studying the physiology behind his ability to mimic. It’s believed that the animals close association with humans played a role in how often he employed his ‘human’ voice, as well as in its quality. Researchers believe NOC’s sonic behavior is an example of vocal learning by a white whale. After about four years, NOC’s speech-like behavior subsided. “When NOC matured, we no longer heard speech-like sounds, but he did remain quite vocal,” Ridgway said. “While it’s been a number of years since we first encountered this spontaneous mimicry, it’s our hope that publishing our observations now will lead to further discoveries about marine mammal learning and vocalization. How this unique ‘mind’ interacts with other animals, humans and the ocean environment is a major challenge of our time.” Ridgway co-authored the paper published this week with Drs. Donald Carder, Michelle Jeffries and Mark Todd. Dr. Ridgway has 48 years of experience in marine mammal medicine and research. Colleagues often call him the “father of marine mammal medicine” because of his development of dolphin anesthesia, medical technology, and discoveries aiding marine mammal care. Dr. Ridgway has served on the Scientific Advisory Committee to the Marine Mammal Commission, on four different committees of National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, and was elected a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America for his studies on hearing of marine mammals and as a fellow of the American College of Zoological Medicine for his work on marine mammal medicine. How this unique “mind” interacts with other animals and the ocean environment is a major challenge of our time. The National Marine Mammal Foundation has a mission to improve and protect life for all marine mammals, humans, and our shared oceans through science, service, and education. The Foundation’s vision for the future is to revolutionize the way we think about marine mammals. By embracing the partnership created between human and marine mammal, we can create a sea change in our global approach to scientific exploration, ocean conservation, and public education. More about the National Marine Mammal Foundation can be found at www.NMMF.org

Yowza. Simply fascinating.

Sorry I have not been active, there is a life changing situation going on here and there is not a lot of time available. I will try to do more quickies like this one for you all. I appreciate you being there.

…from the album Mystery to Me.

Uploaded by  on Jul 31, 2009

from the CD “Mystery to Me”, by fleetwood Mac.
pics and video clips taken here in Oregon

Enjoy, yes, indeed do that thing!

I haven’t posted a tune in a while, so we’re due, but this thread didn’t start out in the usual way. You all know that I’m always lurking on ATS for the latest in high strangeness and conspiracy; I saw a thread entitled North Carolina’s strange, strange pond. by member ColeYounger, which as you might imagine is right up my alley, so of course I had to click it.

In it was the following very cool story and the reference to this song, along with this YouTube music video. Two birds, one stone for WATT, eh? Ha!

On the discussion board, there was an old post by a guy who said he grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Apparently, the guy had been checking out the online discussions about strange power spots, vortexes and ‘Earth anamolies.’ [sic]

He said that one day in 1969, he and three friends were riding dirt-bike motorcycles in a large forested area near Winston-Salem. He described it as thick forest with bike trails worn through the woods. Deep in the middle of the forest was a large clearing. They had ridden their bikes there many times before, but on this day, when they reached the clearing, they were shocked to see a huge, perfectly round depression in the ground that was probably 80 – 100 feet in diameter . He said it was as if a giant iron ball had been pressed into the ground, buried halfway, and then lifted out. The dirt in the indentation was ‘smooth as glass’. There was not a bump or a ripple anywhere. Of course they thought that it had somehow been man-made…dug out with bulldozers or something. But there was no machinery anywhere. There was no way to get any machinery there! There were no roads, just bike trails. They got really spooked and got the hell out of there. From what the guy said, all four of them were pretty spooked.

They went back to town and told some friends. A couple other guys went there shortly thereafter and they saw it too. The weird depression was gone within a few days, as if it was never there.
Now this is weird! ….supposedly someone took some photos, but never gave them to any news people, reporters, etc. The story became quite a local legend. I’m surprised it’s not really famous. Maybe because the “mystery circle” was there and gone so quickly?

A couple years later, Fleetwood Mac released their song “Hypnotized”. Some of the lyrics definitely sound like the Winston-Salem circle, although the term “pond” is used.

Cole then wonders just exactly how Bob Welch, Fleetwood Mac’s guitarist and songwriter at the time, came up with the lyrics in question…

Well… In FleetwoodMac.net’s The Penguin Q&A Sessions section, ATS researcher Pauligirl found this quote regarding this very happening from the guy who wrote the song, Bob Welch, August 4 – 17, 2003:

Hey Bob! In Hypnotized you talk about a strange pond in North Carolina. What’s the story behind it, and where’s it supposed to be? A curious North Carolinian… (Louie Golden, Charlotte, NC, USA)

A guy that I used to work with from Winston-Salem told me the story of he and some friends riding dirt bikes 20 miles or so out in the woods when they came upon a strange “crater” in the ground with smooth sides like melted glass. It was a “pond” in the sense that there was some rainwater in it I guess.There were no access roads or caterpillar tracks so it wasn’t a construction site. I think the location must have been near Winston-Salem. They all immediately got the feeling they should get out of there. Maybe it was a meteor impact ? I just liked the imagery for the song.

So, Bob actually met and talked with one of the guys who experienced this first-hand. Seriously, how cool is that? What are the odds? Spock?

Needless to say that this is one heck of a mystery. The ‘smooth as glass’ nature of the depression is particularly fascinating. As is the fact that it ‘repaired itself,’ so to speak, after just a few days. Weird! Groundwater rising and falling within a water cave has been suggested, which I suppose is reasonably plausible, but what about the glassy smooth effect? Not a common sinkhole feature that I know of.

And in this reply, posted after I started writing, this feature, or a remnant of it, may have been located! Only those who were there could verify that, of course, but it is certainly intriguing. Maybe they’ll show up and clarify things! It’s happened before. But them Gol darn odds are agin’ us. It would be fabulous if the photos mentioned were to turn up!

I just love how utterly strange our world can be. I really do.

And,  it turns out, much to my delight, that Bob Welch is a big fan of various Fortean subjects, most notably UFOs. I like that and wonder if this incident helped trigger off his interest in the unexplained. If you read the interview with him at the Fleetwood Mac site you will see several questions relating to UFOs and the like. Such as this one…

Hi Bob and thank you for doing another Q&A for your devoted fans ! My questions are….

Since you are into the paranormal like me, who are your favourite authors on the subject ? (i.e. John A. Keel, Stanton Friedman, and Jenny Randles) (Arizona Ranger, Cranford, NJ, USA)

Jacques Vallee, Ingo Swann, Gary Schwartz (the Afterlife Experiments), David R. Hawkins MD (The Eye Of The I), Stephen Greer(Disclosure Project). The ones you mentioned (Freidman etc.) are also good. There are many more…John G White “The Unobstructed Universe” comes to mind. I’m planning to put a list of all the authors I like on my website.

Shame about Greer being in there, really… hopefully Bob has seen the light on that matter. It’s one I fell for initially, too, back in the day, so I can relate and I’m sure all’s well.

May strangeness befall you.

Peace.

Watch the bouncing droplet

Uploaded by  on Jun 7, 2009

I saw this on the TV show Time Warp and thought that I could do that. Well it turns out that Noah and I could do it! I was a little surprised at how small the parameter space was to achieve a good series of bounces. Near the end of this clilp, you can see waves entering from the lower right. I think these are reflections of a low frequency sloshing modes set up by the initial droplet. The smallest droplet bounces off these waves and start moving off to the side. In any case it is pretty cool. The only issue is that there was some dust on the sensor (dark spots that don’t move). The camera is a Vision Research Phantom v7.3 high speed video camera.

It is fascinating (and beautiful) to see water behave this way in such detail and I thought you all might think that this is as cool as I do.

It seems bizarre as what is revealed goes against our innate impression of what water is, how it should act and what it can do.

Great food for thought, too. There are so many things in nature that happen all the time and right before our very eyes… all forever unnoticed due to size or speed or both. Although a poster on the forum claims to see this regularly with his unaided eyes and has called it the “Anti Bubble” effect. … hmmm.

Here is another video of the phenomena:

Cascade Coalescence

Uploaded by  on May 31, 2010

High speed video of a droplet coalescence at the surface of deionized water. Filmed at the Laboratory of Porous Media and Thermophysical Properties.
www.lmpt.ufsc.br

And here is a great article that appears on the io9 site, with a hat-tip to this ATS article for providing the lead:

High speed video reveals the bizarre physics of an ordinary water droplet

The video is of an effect known in fluid dynamics as the coalescence cascade, which can be observed (provided you have access to a video camera with a sufficiently high frame rate) when a drop of liquid is deposited very gently onto the surface of a layer of the same liquid. Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics explains:

When a droplet impacts a pool at low speed, a layer of air trapped beneath the droplet can often prevent it from immediately coalescing into the pool. As that air layer drains away, surface tension pulls some of the droplet’s mass into the pool while a smaller droplet is ejected. When it bounces off the surface of the water, the process is repeated and the droplet grows smaller and smaller until surface tension is able to completely absorb it into the pool.

Pretty awesome, right? In the video shown up top, the effect manages to repeat itself four times (in what scientists who study fluid mechanics call “events”) before the viscous properties of the resting pool become too strong for the smallest drops to withstand coalescing completely.

And while the highest number of events I’ve been able to find anywhere else is five (see the video on the left), MIT’s John Bush claims to have observed as many as seven such events in a row. I just wish he’d included a video of it…[Spotted on Fuck Yeah Fluid Dynamics]

Enjoy Mother Nature. She’s a beautiful girl.

Peace.

Yep, it is true, my friends…

A Scrub Jay

I am not really all that surprised, actually.

The following is excerpted from an article on the BBC website…

Birds hold ‘funerals’ for dead

By Matt Walker

[…] The revelation comes from a study by Teresa Iglesias and colleagues at the University of California, Davis, US.

They conducted experiments, placing a series of objects into residential back yards and observing how western scrub jays in the area reacted.

The objects included different coloured pieces of wood, dead jays, as well as mounted, stuffed jays and great horned owls, simulating the presence of live jays and predators.

Alarming reaction

The jays reacted indifferently to the wooden objects.

But when they spied a dead bird, they started making alarm calls, warning others long distances away.

The jays then gathered around the dead body, forming large cacophonous aggregations. The calls they made, known as “zeeps”, “scolds” and “zeep-scolds”, encouraged new jays to attend to the dead.

The jays also stopped foraging for food, a change in behaviour that lasted for over a day.

[…]

(the article closes with these lines…)

Other animals are known to take notice of their dead.

Giraffes and elephants, for example, have been recorded loitering around the body of a recently deceased close relative, raising the idea that animals have a mental concept of death, and may even mourn those that have passed.

Birds have clearly shown themselves to be of very high intelligence. They use tools efectively and are able to solve complex conceptual problems with ease. I am of the opinion that all animals and plants are to one degree or another sentient and conscious and are possessed of emotion, also to one degree or another. Just like us. Anyone who has spent time with animals surely must be well aware of this.

What really struck me from the study was that the jays stopped eating for over a day. That is significant. I will repeat it, in bold, even – the jays stopped eating for over a day. Capiche? That is clearly mourning. Got to be.

A lot of people think of animals as just mindless eating machines that do little else. That assumption is just so very wrong. Have they no eyes, no senses, no thought processes or logic? Such a reality makes me have some rather sad feelings regarding my own species. It does! I do not understand it.

It does bother me that scientists are only now starting to ‘get with the program,’ as it were. Sigh. Well, at least they’re starting. A good thing, surely.

To nicely illustrate the point, I’ll present to you now a reply from the ATS thread on this matter, member phroziac posted this very poignant tale:

Ever had a conversation with a bird? Theyre extremely intelligent, and i have no doubt whatsoever they have emotions… and non speaking species are just as intelligent as speaking ones. Small birds are just physically incapable of speaking because of the size of their uhmn…voice box. Ive caught mocking birds attempting to speak though, lol…..

However, its a similar intelligence to a young child. Not an adult human. Do children understand death? not really.

I owned a male and female cockatiel. The female got sick and died with basically no warning at all….very common for birds…they hide that theyre sick. The male cuddled up with her before she died and stayed cuddled up with her for hours after she died.  he got really depressed and quiet and eventually we had to give him away to a friend that had cockatiels to try to help.

He would always whistle the andy griffith song when he was happy lmao….i never heard him do it again after his lady died……

So, birds do have an emotional response to other birds dying. But im not sure they understand death.

And there you go… Reality. Poor bird.

Also available should you desire it is the research paper that was used as BBC“s source, published at Science Direct and titled Western scrub-jay funerals: cacophonous aggregations in response to dead conspecifics. As with most science journals, you can read the abstract, but you have to buy the paper (for $31.50) to read the actual research. Here’s the start of the abstract:

All organisms must contend with the risk of injury or death; many animals reduce this danger by assessing environmental cues to avoid areas of elevated risk. However, little is known about how organisms respond to one of the most salient visual cues of risk: a dead conspecific. Here we show that the sight of a dead conspecific is sufficient to induce alarm calling and subsequent risk-reducing behavioural modification in western scrub-jays, Aphelocoma californica, and is similar to the response to a predator (a great horned owl,Bubo virginianus, model). Discovery of a dead conspecific elicits vocalizations that are effective at attracting conspecifics, which then also vocalize, thereby resulting in a cacophonous aggregation. Presentations of prostrate dead conspecifics and predator mounts elicited aggregations and hundreds of long-range communication vocalizations, while novel objects did not. In contrast to presentations of prostrate dead conspecifics, presentations of a jay skin mounted in an upright, life-like pose elicited aggressive responses, suggesting the mounted scrub-jay was perceived to be alive and the prostrate jay was not. There was a decrease of foraging in the area during presentations of prostrate dead conspecifics and predator mounts, which was still detectable 24 h later. Foraging returned to baseline levels 48 h after presentations. Novel objects and mounted jays did not affect foraging. Our results show that without witnessing the struggle and manner of death, the sight of a dead conspecific is used as public information and that this information is actively shared with conspecifics and used to reduce exposure to risk.

Peace.

Ice Age Flower Blooms after 32000 Years – photo by anemoneprojectors (Peter O)

Ice Age Flower Blooms after 32000 Years – photo by anemoneprojectors (Peter O)

Gosh and Wow!

Beautiful, isn’t it?

From American Live Wire, via, as usual, an ATS thread, we read…

Ice Age Flower Blooms after 32000 Years

Nature is a wondrous beauty as the ice age flower blooms after 32000 years of being non-existent.

According to Discover Magazine, Russian scientists announced that they had unearthed the fruit and brought tissue from it back to life. after the seeds were buried over 32000 years ago. The discovery was made in northwestern Siberia, where the winter team of Russian scientists found the seeds of the flower and regrew it. The plant breaks the previously held record of the oldest tissue to give life to healthy plants, which was previously held by the Israeli date palm seed.

In 1995, researchers studying and working with ancient soil composition in an exposed Siberian riverbank found 70 fossilized Ice Age squirrel burrows, some of which stored up to 800,000 seeds and fruits. With the help of the permafrost, the narrow-leafed campion plant tissue was preserved well enough for the team at the Russian Academy of Sciences to culture the cells to see if they would grow. The team, led by team leader Svetlana Yashina, were successful and re-created Siberian conditions in the lab and watched as the refrigerated tissue sprouted buds that developed into 36 flowering plants within weeks.

Wow, I say again. Finally something credible from out of Russia – and it’s pretty darn exciting.

OLD DNA A plant has been generated from the fruit of the narrow-leafed campion. It is the oldest plant by far to be grown from ancient tissue.

OLD DNA A plant has been generated from the fruit of the narrow-leafed campion. It is the oldest plant by far to be grown from ancient tissue.

I am impressed by the seemingly short recovery and growing time, although do note that I am lacking in horticultural knowledge and skills. It makes you wonder what it was like back then, probably verdant and lush like we can only imagine. Then again they had #loads of really big bugs back then, so probably scary at times, maybe all the time, but you’d go in a heartbeat in a time machine, wouldn’t you?

Hell Yeah!

From the New York Times (nice article):

Dead for 32,000 Years, an Arctic Plant Is Revived

By 
Published: February 20, 2012

Living plants have been generated from the fruit of a little arctic flower, the narrow-leafed campion, that died 32,000 years ago, a team of Russian scientists reports. The fruit was stored by an arctic ground squirrel in its burrow on the tundra of northeastern Siberia and lay permanently frozen until excavated by scientists a few years ago.

This would be the oldest plant by far that has ever been grown from ancient tissue. The present record is held by a date palm grown from a seed some 2,000 years old that was recovered from the ancient fortress of Masada in Israel.

Seeds and certain cells can last a long term under the right conditions, but many claims of extreme longevity have failed on closer examination, and biologists are likely to greet this claim, too, with reserve until it can be independently confirmed. Tales of wheat grown from seeds in the tombs of the pharaohs have long been discredited. Lupines were germinated from seeds in a 10,000-year-old lemming burrow found by a gold miner in the Yukon. But the seeds, later dated by the radiocarbon method, turned out to be modern contaminants.

[…]

What happened in Arctic regions so long ago? It has always been a fascination. Discoveries like this living yet dormant seed and the undigested meals in the stomachs of perfectly preserved mammoths among so many others… whatever it was, it was instantaneous… and that intrigues me no end. What on earth could do such a thing?

Permafrost… holder of mysteries, countless mysteries. Imagine what else could be found within it. Should dig it all up and find out!

Enjoy…

Peace.

Trogloraptor spider.

Meet Trogloraptor, fearsomeness incarnate. The creature more than lives up to its name—it is, in fact, an eight-legged showcase for scientific novelty. The spider somewhat resembles the brown recluse, famed for its flesh-necrotizing venom—but at four centimeters, Trogloraptor is about twice as large. In fact, this spider is an entirely new critter—just look at those legs, each ends in a curved, scythelike claw. Citizen scientists and arachnologists have uncovered these spiders in the caves of southwestern Oregon and old-growth redwood forests. As they report in ZooKeys, the discovery of Trogloraptor is a taxonomic wonder that establishes a new family, genus and species in the spider family tree.

Troglo’s story begins with citizen scientists in the Western Cave Conservancy who spotted the strange spider in Oregon’s caves. They sent specimens to researchers at the California Academy of Sciences where entomologist Tracy Audisio, a research fellow at the California Academy of Sciences, puzzled over the new find. After approaching every member of the arachnology lab, she and Charles Griswold, the academy’s curator of arachnology, took the finding to arachnologists around the country. They combed through comparative anatomy, fossil records and genetic analyses in their efforts to place the new spider, only to conclude that the cave dweller has a totally unique lineage. […]

Daisy Yuhas

learn more, read the rest of it!

Cool, no? Weird, too. Just doesn’t look right… It’s the stance, the way the body is jutting forward from where the legs attach… dunno… just looks quite odd. Then there are those teardrop antennae and of course… the feet, er, claws! Claws?! Yep, eight of ‘em. Yikes. Good thing it’s not all that big.

It is always a treat when creatures are discovered that necessitate the rewriting of established ‘facts.’ It shows that we know so very little about the totality of the world around us. There is so much to find, so much top see, so much to learn, on every level, in every field of study… everywhere.

Let the search continue.

Peace.

Sweet!

I was delighted to learn that this is not a new phenomenon and I am even more satisfied in the knowledge that the kids have learned how to do it. While the traps are not intended for them, gorillas do get maimed and killed by the infernal things, so it is mostly for self-preservation that they do it, but I wonder if their concern extends to other creatures.

Betting it does, as some primates are known to kidnap puppies to raise as pets to guard their families and groups.

Believing that animals are beneath us is simply ignorance at its finest.

The following text and picture is an excerpt from the source article at the GrindTV Blog…

Young gorillas disarming traps.Two days after a young mountain gorilla was killed in a poacher’s snare trap in Rwanda, two juvenile gorillas were observed deactivating two similar snares.

It is the first time since African gorilla field research began more than 50 years ago that juvenile gorillas have ever been witnessed destroying snare traps, which are indiscriminately injuring and killing mountain gorillas.

“We knew that gorillas do this, but all of the reported cases in the past were carried out by adult gorillas, mostly silverbacks,” Veronica Vecellio of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International wrote on the fund’s blog.

“Today, two juveniles and one blackback from Kuryama’s group worked together to deactivate two snares, and how they did it demonstrated an impressive cognitive skill.”

According to Vecellio, field data coordinator John Ndayambaje of the fund’s Karisoke Research Center spotted a snare in the path of some gorillas and moved to disarm it. But Silverback Yuba “pig-grunted” a warning to him, as if to say, “Stay away, we’ve got it covered.”

At the same time, juveniles Dukore and Rwema, along with blackback Tetero, “ran toward the snare and together pulled the branch used to hold the rope. They saw another snare nearby and as quickly as before, they destroyed the second branch and pulled the rope out of the ground,” Vecellio wrote.

Unfortunately, the gorillas and trackers don’t find all the snares. In her blog, … [read more]

Peace.

When I hear the word Lotus, my mind immediately goes to thoughts of the wonderful mechanical creations of Anthony Colin Bruce Chapman, CBE, but this is a bit different and not about those clever devices at all.

Indeed, it is about a mysterious event on the Lotus River in Lotus County, China, where on two recent occasions slicks of something appeared on the river and morphed in the shape of a lotus flower. Some were more perfect than others. They’re quite pretty, really. But I do hope they’re not dangerous, as…

They look rather like some sort of pollution, a leakage or seepage of some oil-based compound from under the ground, what with the rainbow patterns and colorful disappearing central discs. Indeed, an intrigued member of the ATS forum spoke of his related experience thusly… “I remember when I was younger and was repainting a dock on the water, I would see similar patterns form when drops of the paint would drip into the water. The shapes and colors created were stunning.”

Interesting that the event happened twice and in such a localized manner. Interesting also that apparently this has occurred in the past as well.

I am not aware of any tests being done to provide us with any sort of definitive answer.

Well, there’s not much more to say at the moment, so, see what you come up with…

Published on Jul 23, 2012 by 

貢井區蓮花鎮鎮政府門前的河岸邊站滿了當地居民,路過附近的居民們也紛紛只住了腳步,居民們的雙眼死盯著腳下只有五六米寬的河面。這麼多人站在河邊看什麼呢?原來一出奇特­的景象正在居民們的腳下發生——河水中開出了「蓮花」。

流傳:因為鎮上河中會開出「蓮花」所以先輩們將鎮名取為「蓮花鎮」

「我活了這麼多年了,這還是頭一次看到這種景象。」84歲的當地居民盧楚雲感嘆道,「那麼難得遇到的景象,我居然看到了,真是有幸啊!」盧楚雲說,之前他聽自己的長輩說起­過,在很久以前,河中曾出現過開「蓮花」的景象,但他的長輩們也從來沒有親眼見到過。「由於流傳著河中開『蓮花』的傳說,所以,我們的長輩們把從鎮上流過的這條沒有名字的­河稱為:蓮花河。」

57歲的當地居民肖發君告訴記者,他也聽自己的父親說起過,河中開「蓮花」一事,「那可是一百年不遇的喲!」肖發君說,父親在十多年前已經離開了人世,「要是我父親還在世­的話,現在已經有100多歲了。」肖發君的父親曾給其講起過關於蓮花鎮的由來,「我父親告訴我,就是因為鎮上的河中會開出『蓮花』,所以先輩們才將這個地方取名叫『蓮花鎮­』。」肖發君補充道,「是不是真的,如今已經很難考證。但經過今天我親眼所見後,我相信了關於蓮花鎮的傳說。」

解密:目前還沒能得出科學解釋

對於,蓮花河中開出「蓮花」現象的科學解釋,記者諮詢了不少當地居民,但居民們都不知道具體原因。隨後,記者帶著疑問,諮詢了相關部門,在相關部門中也未能得到具體的解釋­。關於蓮花河中開出「蓮花」現象的科學解釋。
——————————————————————————-
In Sichuan province, these lotus flower patterns began appearing in a river on July 13th. They seem to grow out of nowhere, but every few minutes, they form these distinct lotus flower shapes — complete with white petals. The remarkable phenomena happened again six days later (19.07.2012).

Interestingly enough, this river is called Lotus River, and the town — you guessed it, Lotus County. Apparently the river was known for producing these lotus flowers in ancient times.

The incredible “lotus flowers” have baffled locals. Some say they’re simply oil patches in the water, others say it’s nothing short of a miracle.
——————————————————————————-

蓮花是佛的象徵。
朵朵蓮花從河底上升到河面,寓意眾佛從最髒的底層已經達到潔淨的高層。
河中的蓮花最初的形狀是圓形,象徵歸源,表示回到生命源頭的地方。
然後蓮花的形狀從圓形變成了蓮花形狀,寓意生命回到源頭時將會成佛。
眾多蓮花逐一出現,寓意有許多生命將會成佛。
蓮花鎮,蓮花河 開出「蓮花」
巧合嗎?非也。
是神的特意安排。
蓮花鎮,蓮花河 開出「蓮花」寓意三花碰頭。
碰頭也叫聚首。首為人的頭部,也即頂部。
三花聚首,即三花聚頂。
三花聚頂是世間法修煉的最後一個過程,之後就是出世間法的狀態。
此現象寓意眾佛即將出世。
蓮花顯現後,保持一段時間最後消失了。
象徵眾佛離開人間,功德圓滿,成就正果。

http://blog.boxun.com/hero/201207/morishenpan/7_1.shtml

And also watch this English language news report.

Published on Jul 26, 2012 by 

In traditional Chinese culture, lotus flowers are symbols for purity. They grow out of muddy waters yet maintain their beauty. But very rarely do we see this kind of lotus flower.

In Sichuan province, these lotus flower patterns began appearing in a river on July 13th. They seem to grow out of nowhere, but every few minutes, they form these distinct lotus flower shapes — complete with white petals. The remarkable phenomena happened again six days later.

Interestingly enough, this river is called Lotus River, and the town — you guessed it, Lotus County. Apparently the river was known for producing these lotus flowers in ancient times.

The incredible “lotus flowers” have baffled locals. Some say they’re simply oil patches in the water, others say it’s nothing short of a miracle.

Peace.