Animals never cease to amaze…
The magnificent spectacle of the south coast of Italy & Sicily illuminated by street lights. If ever there was an excuse to turn your lights on and burn some fossil fuel… surely this must be it!
An image from the Hubble Telescope, showing how starlight is slowly destroying the wondering cloud of gas/dust near the star cluster Pleiades.
Quite possibly the proudest goat ever to be photographed.
Amnesic cellist forgets everything, still remembers how to play his own instrument
This is a pretty incredible story. In 2005, a 62-year-old man was diagnosed with herpes encephalitis, an infection of the brain which destroyed his medial temporal lobes, and with them his explicit memory. He was left with retrograde amnesia (forgetting events in the past) as well as anteretrograde amnesia (losing the ability to form new memories). The really fascinating part comes next, though:
Doctors made their discovery when they tested PM’s ability to recall musical information and found he could identify the scales, rhythms and intervals of pieces they played him. The man went on to score normally on a standard test for musical memory.
But it was later tests that surprised doctors most, when the cellist showed he could learn new pieces of music, even though he failed to remember simple information, such as the layout of his flat, who his doctors were and what medicines he should take.
The scientists conclude that musical memory must be stored elsewhere in the brain. This explanation is boosted by cases of Alzheimer’s- or stroke-induced memory loss in which patients could still recall musical memories.
“It was only two years ago that IBM showed us an image of a complete molecule, atomic bonds and all, but today’s news does that one infinitesimally-sized breakthrough better. Ladies and gents, behold the first image of an electron’s path.
Utterly amazing stuff! The IBM breakthrough was amazing enough, but now we have images of the electron’s orbital path around a nucleus! This is good, good news, because until now physicists only had models and hypotheses to work with.
As was the case with the pentacene molecule with IBM (top left in the image), an atomic force microscope was used to capture the electron pathways, presented as darker gray bands in the other two images at center and upper left. As a quick refreseher on AFMs, they’re the microscopes that use atom-sized needles to measure individual atoms that pass underneath the pointy end.
Understand matter and you’ll understand the Universe. Heady stuff!”
The volcanic eruption of mount puyehue after more than 50 years of laying dormant.
British designer Christopher McNicholl has created a “TweetingSeat” , an interactive public bench, which has its own twitter account. One camera is mounted in a bird-eye, which adorns the bench, the second is placed in a tree across the street. Thus, in the field of vision of webcams get people who sit on the bench, and their photos and video broadcast directly to Twitter, working to create a tie between parts of virtual and real life.
Are humans the only animals that keep livestock?
If the best guess of biologists proves toe be true, the answer is a surprising ‘no.’ We already know that ants practice a primitive form of agriculture - collecting leaf fragments to grow tasty fungus - and even cultivate aphids in order to ‘milk’ them of their honeydew, as seen in the above picture. However, an amazing discovery could mean that ants raise other insects for meat in a manner directly analogous to humans raising cattle. Melissotarsus ants share their colonies with ‘scale insects’ that neither secrete milk nor have an edible outer covering. Therefore, scientists suggest that the ants raise the scale insects explicitly in order to eat them, potentially the best example of true domestication outside of humans and crops. The ants are highly secretive, so the carnivorous activity hasn’t been directly observed yet. Even still, this finding offers a tantalizing example of the amazing spectrum of nature’s animal behavior.
The river Nile in northern Africa, taken aboard the ISS.