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February 16, 2015

Drawing On A Grain Of Sand

Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. The composition of sand can be very versatile, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal settings is silica (silicon dioxide, or SiO2), usually in the form of quartz.

The second most common kind of sand is calcium carbonate, an example can be aragonite, which has mostly been created, over the past half billion years, by various forms of life, like coral and shellfish. It is, for example, the primary form of sand apparent in areas where reefs have dominated the ecosystem for millions of years like the Caribbean.

The study of individual grains can reveal much historical information as to the origin and kind of transport of the grain. Quartz sand that is recently weathered from granite or gneiss quartz crystals will be angular. It is called grus in geology or sharp sand in the building trade where it is preferred for concrete, and in gardening where it is used as a soil amendment to loosen clay soils. Sand that is transported long distances by water or wind will be rounded, with characteristic abrasion patterns on the grain surface. Desert sand is typically rounded.

People who collect sand as a hobby are known as arenophiles. Organisms that thrive in sandy environments are psammophiles.

Pictures Of Only Kind Of Jellyfish That Glows In The Dark

Jellyfish (also known as jellies or sea jellies or a stage of the life cycle of Medusozoa) are free-swimming members of the phylum Cnidaria. Medusa is another word for jellyfish, and refers to any free-swimming jellyfish life stages among animals in the phylum. Jellyfish have multiple morphologies that represent cnidarian classes including the Scyphozoa (over 200 species), Staurozoa (about 50 species), Cubozoa (about 20 species), and Hydrozoa (about 1000–1500 species that make jellyfish and many more that do not).

Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea. Some hydrozoan jellyfish, or hydromedusae, inhabit freshwater; freshwater jellyfish are less than an inch (2.5 cm) in diameter, are colorless and do not sting. Large, often colorful, jellyfish are common in coastal zones worldwide. Jellyfish have roamed the seas for at least 500 million years, and possibly 700 million years or more, making them the oldest multi-organ animal.

In its broadest sense, the term jellyfish may also generally refer to members of the phylum Ctenophora. Although not closely related to cnidarian jellyfish, ctenophores are also free-swimming planktonic carnivores, are generally transparent or translucent, and exist in shallow to deep portions of all the world’s oceans.

More specific names for the groups of Cnidarian jellyfish are scyphomedusae, stauromedusae, cubomedusae, and hydromedusae. These may relate to an entire order or class.



Electronic Devices Inspired By Food

Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies. The nonlinear behaviour of active components and their ability to control electron flows makes amplification of weak signals possible and is usually applied to information and signal processing. Similarly, the ability of electronic devices to act as switches makes digital information processing possible. Interconnection technologies such as circuit boards, electronics packaging technology, and other varied forms of communication infrastructure complete circuit functionality and transform the mixed components into a working system.
Electronics is distinct from electrical and electro-mechanical science and technology, which deals with the generation, distribution, switching, storage and conversion of electrical energy to and from other energy forms using wires, motors, generators, batteries, switches, relays, transformers, resistors and other passive components. This distinction started around 1906 with the invention by Lee De Forest of the triode, which made electrical amplification of weak radio signals and audio signals possible with a non-mechanical device. Until 1950 this field was called “radio technology” because its principal application was the design and theory of radio transmitters, receivers and vacuum tubes.
Today, most electronic devices use semiconductor components to perform electron control. The study of semiconductor devices and related technology is considered a branch of solid state physics, whereas the design and construction of electronic circuits to solve practical problems come under electronics engineering. This article focuses on engineering aspects of electronics.








Giant Species Of Insects From New Zealand

Insects (from Latin insectum, a calque of Greek ἔντομον [éntomon], “cut into sections”) are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax, and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae. They are among the most diverse groups of animals on the planet, including more than a million described species and represent more than half of all known living organisms. The number of extant species is estimated at between six and ten million, and potentially represent over 90% of the differing metazoan life forms on Earth. Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species occur in the oceans, a habitat dominated by another arthropod group, the crustaceans. The life cycles of insects vary but most hatch from eggs. Insect growth is constrained by the inelastic exoskeleton and development involves a series of molts. The immature stages can differ from the adults in structure, habit and habitat and can include a passive pupal stage in those groups that undergo complete metamorphosis. Insects that undergo incomplete metamorphosis lack a pupal stage and adults develop through a series of nymphal stages. The higher level relationship of the hexapoda is unclear. Fossilized insects of enormous size have been found from the Paleozoic Era, including giant dragonflies with wingspans of 55 to 70 cm (22–28 in). The most diverse insect groups appear to have coevolved with flowering plants.










Crazy Inventions For Your Kitchen

An invention is a novel composition, device, or process. An invention may be derived from a pre-existing model or idea, or it could be independently conceived, in which case it may be a radical breakthrough. In addition, there is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social behaviors adopted by people and passed on to others. Inventions often extend the boundaries of human knowledge or experience. An invention that is novel and not obvious to others skilled in the same field may be able to obtain the legal protection of a patent. Through the time there has been lots of inventions that make our lives easier. Invention is a creative process. An open and curious mind allows an inventor to see beyond what is known. Seeing a new possibility, connection, or relationship can spark an invention. Inventive thinking frequently involves combining concepts or elements from different realms that would not normally be put together. Sometimes inventors disregard the boundaries between distinctly separate territories or fields. Play can lead to invention. Childhood curiosity, experimentation, and imagination can develop one’s play instinct—an inner need according to Carl Jung. Inventors feel the need to play with things that interest them, and to explore, and this internal drive brings about novel creations. Thomas Edison said, “I never did a day’s work in my life, it was all fun”. Inventing can also be an obsession.












Most Beautiful Species Of Mantis

Mantodea (or mantises) is an order of insects that contains approximately 2,200 species in 15 families worldwide in temperate and tropical habitats. Most of the species are in the family Mantidae. Historically, the term mantid was used to refer to any member of the order because for most of the past century, only one family was recognized within the order; technically, however, the term only refers to this one family, meaning the species in the other 14 recently established families are not mantids, by definition (i.e., they are empusids, or hymenopodids, etc.), and the term “mantises” should be used when referring to the entire order.
A colloquial name for the order is “praying mantises”, because of the typical “prayer-like” stance, although the term is often misspelled as “preying mantis” since mantises are predatory. In Europe, the name “praying mantis” refers to Mantis religiosa. The closest relatives of mantises are the orders Isoptera (termites) and Blattodea(cockroaches), and these three groups together are sometimes ranked as an order rather than a superorder. They are sometimes confused withphasmids (stick/leaf insects) and other elongated insects such as grasshoppers and crickets.
The scientific name Mantodea comes from the Greek words μάντις meaning a prophet, and εἶδοςfor form or shape. The name was coined in 1838 by the German entomologist Hermann Burmeister. The common term mantis is also from the Greek word μάντις for prophet.









Amazing And Unique Pictures Of Space

Space is the boundless, three-dimensional extent in which objects and events occur and have relative position and direction. Physical space is often conceived in threelinear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum known as spacetime. In mathematics one examines “spaces” with different numbers of dimensions and with different underlying structures. The concept of space is considered to be of fundamental importance to an understanding of the physical universe although disagreement continues betweenphilosophers over whether it is itself an entity, a relationship between entities, or part of a conceptual framework.
Debates concerning the nature, essence and the mode of existence of space date back to antiquity; namely, to treatises like the Timaeus of Plato, in his reflections on what the Greeks called khora (i.e. “space”), or in the Physics of Aristotle (Book IV, Delta) in the definition of topos (i.e. place), or even in the later “geometrical conception of place” as “space qua extension” in the Discourse on Place (Qawl fi al-Makan) of the 11th century Arab polymath Alhazen. Many of these classical philosophical questions were discussed in the Renaissance and then reformulated in the 17th century, particularly during the early development of classical mechanics. In Isaac Newton’s view, space was absolute – in the sense that it existed permanently and independently of whether there were any matter in the space.












Strange Airplane Black Boxes

Black boxes are actually small brightly colored boxes, found in aircrafts. Though the size of the box might be small, but it tends to play an extremely important role. The most important function of black boxes is to save details of all the conversations that take place between the pilots. It also stores data concerning the flight internal operation systems and major flight parameters.

Black boxes are normally made out of a special type of material, which is capable of resisting severe kind of damage. The bright color helps to detect the box very easily. When there is a plane crash, investigators, normally first try to hunt for the black box. This is mainly for the reason, that the box will assist them in their investigation, by providing them important information, with regards to what actually caused the plane to crash. Over the years the black box has been able to help investigators to solve numerous plane crash mysteries.

Fake Trees Breath Real CO2

So pretty. When Boston asked for designs that could bring the benefits of real trees to the inner city without all the soil and water and waiting, a Parisian group came up with these Treepods.

NASA Discovered New Life Form

NASA has discovered a new life form, a bacteria called GFAJ-1 that is unlike anything currently living in planet Earth. It’s capable of using arsenic to build its DNA, RNA, proteins, and cell membranes. This changes everything. Updated.

NASA is saying that this is “life as we do not know it”. The reason is that all life on Earth is made of six components: Carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur. Every being, from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale, share the same life stream. Our DNA blocks are all the same.

That was true until today. In a surprising revelation, NASA scientist Felisa Wolfe-Simon and her team have found a bacteria whose DNA is completely alien to what we know today, working differently than the rest of the organisms in the planet. Instead of using phosphorus, the newly discovered microorganism—called GFAJ-1 and found in Mono Lake, California—uses the poisonous arsenic for its building blocks. Arsenic is an element poisonous to every other living creature in the planet except for a few specialized microscopic creatures.

The new life forms up close, at five micrometers.

According to Wolfe-Simon, they knew that “some microbes can breathe arsenic, but what we’ve found is a microbe doing something new—building parts of itself out of arsenic.” The implications of this discovery are enormous to our understanding of life itself and the possibility of finding organisms in other planets that don’t have to be like planet Earth. Like NASA’s Ed Weiler says: “The definition of life has just expanded.”

Talking at the NASA conference, Wolfe-Simon said that the important thing in their study is that this breaks our ideas on how life can be created and grow, pointing out that scientists will now be looking for new types of organisms and metabolism that not only uses arsenic, but other elements as well. She says that she’s working on a few possibilities herself.

NASA’s geobiologist Pamela Conrad thinks that the discovery is huge and “phenomenal,” comparing it to the Star Trek episode in which the Enterprise crew finds Horta, a silicon-based alien life form that can’t be detected with tricorders because it wasn’t carbon-based. It’s like saying that we may be looking for new life in the wrong places with the wrong methods. Indeed, NASA tweeted that this discovery “will change how we search for life elsewhere in the Universe.”

Mono Lake, California. Image by Sathish J — Creative Commons

I don’t know about you but I’ve not been so excited about bacteria since my STD tests came back clean. And that’s without counting yesterday’s announcement on the discovery of a massive number of red dwarf stars, which may harbor a trillion Earths, dramatically increasing our chances of finding extraterrestrial life.

Source - Gizimodo

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