20 April 2012

Tardinrades, the original E.T. ?

Water bears, known formally as tardigrades, are speck-sized things, less than 1.5 millimeters long. The invertebrate creatures endured 10 days in space, and upon return to Earth, scientists found that even some of those exposed to solar radiation had made it through.

19 April 2012

Neanderthals ~ a life not unlike our own, explored

There has been a great deal of news about Neanderthals over the past few weeks. Firstly, I noticed a few articles on the Neanderthal diet and then it was the imagination inspiring National Geographic's special the Neanderthal Code that intrigued me. So, with interest and imagination bursting from the seams of my consciousness, I started dreaming. Dreaming of a day in which I could have said, Hi- to my fellow man... A day in which our people would not be able to boisterously exude superiority over all other life, as someone could have argued their case. I can feel the reality of a day when a fellow 'success of evolution' shared my path and was possibly so close an evolutionary cousin that we could have bred. It is so stimulating to read about Neanderthal's and their affiliation or integration with Homo sapiens. With each new discovery, more questions are raised. Thankfully, others are just as passionate and the information is beginning to flow. The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and 454 Life Sciences are the facilitators of the Neanderthal Gene sequencing project. ; Through the discovery of a rarely well preserved femur bone that was luckily full of wonderfully dense Neanderthal DNA, we may soon have more answers than we were looking for…

13 April 2012

Alcohol & Perception ~ Computing Fractions Naturally ~ Known Protein Found in New Profession

Interesting article from Scientific American about the affects of moderate alcohol on ones perception and the psychological aspects of behavior in social situations under these conditions.

Thought provoking article on the natural capacity of the mind to compute fractions.

An intriguing role for a well known protein has recently been discovered to have a significant effect on cognitive function; could lead to treatments for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.


07 April 2012

Intelligence Among Species, White Brain Matter, Glial Cells

What do you think about when pondering the intellectual capacity of brains in other species? An article in Scientific American discusses how the brain of a Sperm Whale is larger than the brain of a Human; it is nearly five times the size of ours. Does size reflect intellectual capacity? Or, is it the complexity of the brain's structure? If it's complexity, how might you go about making judgments; perhaps through tests that might reflect activity or firing of neurons? hmmm.

I have thought on this significantly prior to reading this article . and have independently come to the conclusion that different species have different types of intelligence. Whereas our intelligence has lead to advances in our social applications; like communication and expression and we have the biological ability of fine motor skills; I think that other species have abilities and strengths that we lack. I certainly witness intellectual capacity in my two cats that after some affiliation is obvious. It is apparent in other species as well; like Elephants, Big Cats, Bears and Monkeys. Dogs have a social intelligence factor as well, in my opinion, in their abilities to interact so successfully.

But, past the assumptions and on to the facts; there are different ratios to take into account in this thought process; absolute size (or weight) and brain size vs. body size ratios. "The lemming. (Kicrostonyx groenlandicus), for example, has a higher ratio than man." American Naturalist. And, "The brain of a sperm whale is about 60% larger in absolute mass than that of an elephant. Furthermore, the brains of toothed whales and dolphins are significantly larger than those of any nonhuman primates and are second only to human brains when measured with respect to body size." Plos one.

There was an error in this gadget

I've Thought...

03.09 ~ I am but human, in my thoughts and desires- in my inconsistencies. It makes my opposing decisions no less real, no less quantitative... confusion is but the eye of truth, beckoning reason. ~ 03.12 ~ Time. It's existence is action progression, regression, reflection and projection. What in time is solidified and carried to another time is my choice. In one choice you lose all others; as an atom appreciates when the observer decides. It's a blue ocean of intrigue and a wave of contentment- that I am lost in, whilst, carried by. ~ 03.23 ~ That we are all part of one pulsing energy of life.. ~ 3.28 ~ There is no greater power, than the power of words. In speech we pass each other in halls, ride in elevators and embark in the great adventure that are words - with all of their beauty and intrigue. There are no wrong words spoken, only wrong interpretations and implications. Honest words are organic, true and expressions of what we are; existing autonomously and innocently, regardless of what others may think of them. 3.30 ~ That, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. It certainly doesn't help being in the company of those who have succeeded in accumulating far more knowledge than I. Is the differentiation between intelligence and knowledge simply the accumulation verses the ability to learn/understand? Or, are the two interchangeable. I feel as though time is passing faster than my ability to accumulate... do other people share this conundrum, I wonder... 4.02 ~ That, "It is what it is" isn't exactly accurate. "It is what I make it" is more so... 4.08 ~ That, "it's not time that matters... it's that mattering is what makes time." 4.12 ~ I watch and wonder... think and ponder... about it. Should I find that I have analyzed to much, to little; or that the quandary was all for not, I'll not know till the applicable time has passed.I hereby instill time as my guide, innocently and fully without disposition and without angst. (4.17) ~ Though random, we should not ignore paths crossed. Just as, we should not entirely exclude emotion from our conclusions. (4.26) ~ That I dispise my lack of control over my own intentions and wonder why I am so weak in this regard. (4.27) ~ That I have opened doors, I wished to open, while simultaniously putting other doors at risk of closing. It's not with resistance I contemplate, it's with anxiety. (4.28) That, I should take a break. Time to simply be, for a bit. (5.01) Its hunger drives decent of rational, a battle of wit and need. Like rain pouring down, wisped by winds, settled by gravity, I’m drawn to it ~ KAS

Easy Chess

Carpe Diem