Stories tagged awsome

Birthday of Edward Drinker Cope

by Anonymous on Jul. 28th, 2014

Edward Drinker Cope: 19th century cabinet card photo
Edward Drinker Cope: 19th century cabinet card photoCourtesy Public domain via Mark Ryan
Today marks the anniversary of the birth of Edward Drinker Cope, American naturalist and paleontologist born 174 years ago in Philadelphia. A child prodigy, Cope had little formal training in the natural sciences yet became very noted in several fields including herpetology, paleontology, and comparative anatomy. He published over 600 scientific papers during his lifetime, and described and named over 1000 prehistoric species, including several dinosaurs. Cope and his former friend, Yale paleontologist Othniel C. Marsh, became bitter rivals and were the principal generals in the famous "Bone Wars" that took place in the field of vertebrate paleontology from the late 1870s until their deaths in the late 1890s. Cope's huge 1000 page and wonderfully illustrated tome, The Vertebrata of the Tertiary Formations of the West is known as "Cope's Bible".

Cope biography by H. F. Osborn
Cope on Strange Science
Cope on Wikipedia
More Cope info

Siberian tiger: New legislation deals with private ownership of large cats.
Siberian tiger: New legislation deals with private ownership of large cats.Courtesy Mark Ryan
According to the World Wildlife Federation there are now literally more tigers in captivity in the United States than exist in the wild. That's about 5000 captive tigers versus 3200 wild ones. You might think, well sure, that's not surprising, there are a lot of zoos in America. But tigers held in zoos aren't even included in the estimate. The WWF is referring to tigers as exotic pets, held in American backyards, urban apartments, sideshows, truck stops and private breeding farms.

The "Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act HR 1998" is new legislation introduced on May 15, 2013. The bill would prohibit private possession and breeding of not only tigers but also lions, cheetahs, cougars, leopards and other large, dangerous cats that could threaten public safety. The bill would not affect public zoos or wildlife sanctuaries, and would allow current private owners to keep their cats provided they register them with the US Department of Agriculture.

SOURCE
WWF story

Jul
19
2011

What would it be like to have a "Spidey sense"? Or radar senses just like superhero Daredevil, who could acrobatically find his way through a small area full of traps ready to kill, despite the fact that he's totally blind? Dr. Bradley Voytek, U.C. Berkeley neuroscientists, believes it wouldn't be far outside the bounds of normalcy, as human beings have potential super senses that they seldom spend time creating.

According to a post on NewsType.com,

We need to work on them

There are super abilities that human beings can acquire, according to U.C. Berkeley scientist Dr. Voytek. He said humans have always had access to them. The power of the human mind is extraordinary, Voytek reminds us. Our perceptions are facilitated by receptors that enable us to see and hear. Our senses work with and from our conscious awareness. The degree of sensitivity is not basic by any means.

Voytek sees potential beyond standard senses

According to Voytek, our abilities are remarkable. The upper and lower thresholds are much farther away than we realize. As few as two photons in the retina can be seen by humans. With the right landscape and weather, it is possible for a human to see a candle flame from miles away.

A human should be able to focus and hear the random movement of atoms in particle theory, called Brownian motion, although it is commonly considered to be from 20 Hz to 20,000 kHz.

As few as 30 molecules of something can be smelt by a human. That is another great thing.

The reason why 'super senses' aren't regularly used by human beings

Too much attention is needed to use mega sense which is why humans do not use them, according to Voytek. That much focus is too much for many people. People don't want to have to focus like that. Human beings are required to focus intensely on one sense, ignoring the others, when testing the physical limits. You have to tune out senses consciously. This is how you get a hold of super-human senses. It is essential to focus on perception. The longer we focus, the more 3-D images could be created.

Examples around

This idea points to an age-old belief that if you lose one or more senses, the remaining abilities become hyper-acute. Ben Underwood and Terry Garrett are examples. They're both blind. Underwood is able to get around however he likes with echolocation as a teenager. He can even roller blade and skateboard. His brain is able to work together to create a sonar sense with clicking, just like a bat or dolphin. Both Garrett and Underwood are able to use sound to play video games also.

Dr. Voytek and other scientists will not give up until they have developed the understanding they need of the brain and the brain's senses. We will continue to move forward until we know exactly how to acquire these super human abilities.

Citations

CBS News

cbsnews.com/stories/2006/07/19/earlyshow/main1817689.shtml

Oscillatory Thoughts

blog.ketyov.com/2011/05/we-are-all-inattentive-superheroes.html

Wikipedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownian_motion

Wired

wired.com/gamelife/2011/04/blind-gamer-plays-zelda-by-ear/

Ben Underwood has overcome his blindness without surgery

youtube.com/watch?v=G1QaCeosUmw

Jul
09
2009


ValleyFair VS. Nickelodeon Universe: “ Oh my gosh, here it comes. Ahhhhhhh. Whaooo look how fast that goes. It’s super fast. It’s like one glance and it’s gone. Look at all those other rides that we can go on. And look at that price, mom can we go to the Amusement Park”? Valleyfair and Nicke

“ Oh my gosh, here it comes. Ahhhhhhh. Whaooo look how fast that goes. It’s super fast. It’s like one glance and it’s gone. Look at all those other rides that we can go on. And look at that price, mom can we go to the Amusement Park”? Valleyfair and Nickelodeon Universe are the two largest amusement parks in Minnesota. Let's start out with our first option, the outdoors amusement park. After many, many years of investing money into Valleyfair, it is what it is today.
Valleyfair is an amusement park located in Shakopee, MN. It was opened in 1976 and was originally themed as a Coney Island styled turn of the century amusement park. Valleyfair is the largest amusement park located in the Midwest. It has over 75 rides, and 8 roller coasters. The most famous rollercoaster at valleyfair is the “ Wild Thing”.
The Wild Thing features a 200-foot, 60-degree drop and it runs 74 mph making it the fastest rollercoaster in the world. It was design as a out and back steel coaster with two "S" curves, one tunnel and 360-degree spiral, tubular steel tracks. The Wild Thing is home to the one of the longest low-gravity zones of any coaster in the world. Also the soak city water park is located in Valleyfair where you can go swimming. There is also a challenge park that is separate from the other rest. You’ll pay extra and requires Valleyfair admission to participate. The daily price is $37.99 per adult, $16.99 per senior (i.d is required); it's free for 2 year old and younger. Admission to the park is $10.00. You are free to go on any rides once you are in the amusement park. Most rides you would need to be 48’ tall to be able to go on it. Valleyfair opens seasonally from mid-May through September. The time when it opens or close depends on which day you are going. But then in the summer it is mostly open at 10:00a.m till 10:00p.m.
Enough about an outdoor amusement park, how about an indoor amusement park. It was first named Camp Snoopy, and then the Park of MOA and now it is named Nickelodeon Universe. It is an indoor amusement park located inside of the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN. They build new rides, and replaced it with some of the older ones. They have over 27 rides and 5 roller coasters. The most famous ride at Nickelodeon Universe is the “Spongebob Sqaurepants Rock Bottom Plunge”.
This rollercoaster is the first rollercoaster themed to Spongebob Sqaurepants. It is the shortest rollercoaster to date, standing only 67 feet tall; yet it has a 97degree drop. This rollercoaster ride is based on the Spongebob Sqaurepants episode
“Rock Bottom”. Spongebob Sqaurepants Rock Bottom Plunge is known as the world's tallest indoor freefall roller coaster. The daily price for a Nickelodeon Universe wristband is $29.95. Admission to the park is free. Rides and attractions require varying numbers of points. Because it's indoors, the park is open year-round whenever the mall is open, which is pretty much all the time. It is open at 10:00a.m – 9:30p.m on Monday thru Thursday. 10:00a.m -10:00p.m. on the weekends.
Valleyfair and Nickelodeon Universe both have the excitement that everyone wants to feel. No matter big or small there is always a ride for you. Many peoples enjoy both Valleyfair and Nickelodeon Universe because these amusement parks have the excitement and thrills that make you want to raise your hands, and get your mind twisting, and yet make you want to scream.

Feb
01
2006


Groundhog: a groundhog coming out of it's burrow

A furry little rodent crawls out of its den, is scared by its own shadow, and that means we'll have six more weeks of winter? Sounds like silly superstition, doesn't it? But several parts of the Groundhog Day legend do in fact have a basis in science and careful observation of nature:

Astronomy: Before calendars came into widespread use, Europeans divided the year into four parts, using the Winter Solstice (the shortest day of the year, around December 21), the Summer Solstice (the longest day, roughly June 21), and the Spring and Fall Equinoxes (days when night and day are exactly equal, March 21 and September 21) as signposts. The days halfway in-between these four milestones are called cross-quarter days.

February 2 lies midway between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Some ancient Europeans considered it the first day of spring (a bit early, if you ask me!) Romans held a purification festival called Februus at this time, to prepare their fields for planting. (The festival's torchlight parade later evolved into the Christian feast of Candlemas.) The Celts of Ireland celebrated Imbolc on this day, a fertility ritual associated with ewes preparing to give birth.

Animal behavior: Ancient peoples observed animal behavior for clues to changes in the weather. The reappearance of hibernating or inactive animals like badgers, hedgehogs and even bears was a sign of winter's end. When German settlers came to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, they chose the groundhog as the local harbinger of spring.

Even today, we watch for animals to indicate the change of seasons. Geese flying south is a sure sign of fall. In the Midwest and Northeast, we wait for the first robin of spring. Californians wait for the swallows to return to Capistrano. And Ohio residents know it's spring when the buzzards come back to Hinkley.

Meteorology: Ever notice how bright, clear winter days are often very cold? That's because they are caused by high pressure systems. Areas of high pressure pull cold air down from the north. They also sweep away any clouds that might have provided insulation.

Farmers in ancient Europe noticed this relationship, and developed various legends and practices around it. Some of the most noteworthy involved February 2, the old cross-quarter day. An old Scottish poem says:

If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be two winters in the year.

Other cultures have similar sayings. Of course, the weather on one particular day won't determine the weather for the next six weeks. But, in general, if winter has had a lot of cold, sunny days, one can expect the pattern—and the chilly weather—to continue.

So, Groundhog Day merges three elements of pre-scientific knowledge. It takes a sign of spring — animals emerging from hibernation — and a sign of winter — clear, cold days — and combines them with a date that has astronomical significance.

Unfortunately, each of these elements works better as a general rule of thumb than as a concrete prediction. Put them together in a specific way, and you end up with a superstition: there's no evidence of winters being any harsher or milder after the groundhog sees his shadow. However, each of these elements individually is a testament to ancient people's ability to carefully observe their environment and recognize patterns — which is pretty much what science is all about.

(Researching this entry, I came across a lot of fun sites related to Groundhog Day. The Punxsutawny Groundhog Club has a page on the history of the holiday. Stormfax Weather Information has some interesting information. And The Holiday Spot has lots of links you can follow. Different sites sometimes give different information -- but with a holiday as old and widespread and changeable as this one, there are some things we may never pin down for sure.)