Sunday, November 22, 2009

modern vs. ancient times

As these examples of how global warming is affecting our world, continue to build I wonder what the point of the book is. I can honestly get the main points of the chapters just by skimming. Although the curse of Akkad was interesting I did not find it pertinent...

Thinking about civilization and how CO2 was at one point higher than it was today is interesting...and gives us an idea as to how life may really change if we do reach those levels from ancient times, when dinosaurs did roam. Maybe one day Plattsburgh will be buried under years of earth, for aliens to find 400,000 years from now.

I don't think floating houses are a genuinely innovative idea in the long-run. I mean how many people can get by in this manner. I think that Kolbert tries to provide interesting examples, but sometimes they are out of sequence. This book is also, not very pro-active. At least at this point. I mean she gives us an abundance of situations but tells nothing of how to cure these problems, when it will be too late to turn it all around and what is the single best solution, or some of the options both technologically and politically that could change her observations.

As a new-comer to the lingo and geographically spellbinding world of global warming it is hard to comprehend how everything is connected when Kolbert does nothing to weave a similar strand or go back on previous discussion to show how two events relate.

I think, as well as most students, that the book has an interesting writing style that is not appropriate to science writing. Especially a topic that is so timely, to talk about it in a manner so casual as that of a cafe conversation is not effective, for me (someone trying to grasp the large idea with a look at alternatives, ideals, and a pursuance of action).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Butterfly and the Toad

Chapter 4:
-I thought, once again, that Kolbert's writing makes a very interesting divide between people who are living in rural areas, and the more native land dwellers that rely more on nature. In this chapter, she makes the point that most of us live in urban areas where it is hard to observe biological changes. At the same time, her descriptions of the rest of the world makes us realize that while grander observations await us, we can still see change within our own backyard. Here she gives the example from Ithaca, NY.
-It is important to think about the fact that Kolbert could not have sat in an office in the middle of a city to get the information she writes about. She had to trek and search through the wilderness and the history of the environment through archives and academics to get this information. For example, she talks about the Lepidoptera Distribution Maps Scheme. I was blown away by this. It is interesting that people muster up enough enthusiasm on such a technically detailed research area.
She goes out of her way to tell us what the butterfly is called in other languages.
-Global Warming can be observed on the small scale too. It's not just about Glaciers and mass climate change but its about invasive species and how different animals are affected by these changes...beyond that of "phenotypic plasticity" the point of driving evolution.
-I thought this chapter gave very vivid examples of how other life, beside our own, is disrupted by global warming...for the average person reading...this book opens your mind to a lot of different ways of looking at global warming.
-Her language is really effective. Amongst the scientific terminology her descriptions are creative and work to enhance the readers experience.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Science gone Awry

-It is always a question to me as to what the purpose of science is supposed to be. It seems that observations should lead to predictions which should lead to preventative measures. It seems that science should be able to save and protects us from our shortcomings. In the case of global warming I am puzzled as to how we could not have foreseen the effects centuries ago. Not that it would have stopped industrialization but maybe it could have yielded suburban sprawl or pollution and waste. Science is kicking us in the ass these days...threatening us to clean up after ourselves. This is why I appreciated chapter two for discussing earlier scientists who made observation, invention and phenomenal identifications. Even then, people were spreading the word on glacial movement and the greenhouse effect.
-I like that the author identifies recordings like the Keeling Curve and places like Swiss Camp, giving background and information about why these are strong connections and of noteworthy importance.
-One thing to discuss in class could be the fact that this sort of journalism allows, amidst the scientific descriptions, the space for profiles of important people that are dedicating their lives to the field of global warming...inspiring change and hopefully helping people to realize that it takes more than just a few ambitious individuals.
-Also I think it is important to include sort of "outsiders of a civilization"like the Inuit hunter, a fisherman, herders and people living in Greenland, people who don't have alcohol out of strict necessity, people who are close with the earth and are observing its changes in their daily lives.
-Another discussion could be about how you can make journalism creative by using interesting metaphors. For example Kolbert calls the antenna "bristling with equipment, like a high-tech Christmas tree.
-Also, when is the best time to report on certain issues? Kolbert is arriving in the middle of the Global Warming debate, arriving when climate has gone through immeasurable ways we probably have not yet noted. Perhaps this is what gives her writing so much substance.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Field Notes

First of all I like the fact that Kolbert mentions that the book evolved from writing three articles for the New Yorker Magazine. It is good, in journalism, to think about where stories can take you. Often times journalists find themselves upon ground breaking research gaining insight into the most pertinent of current events...and eventually you get good enough to be the authority on it! It's funny where inspirations are born. To me this is where real journalism is born. An individual, experiencing and documenting a worldly concern with the most reliable and hands on approach. This woman is literally investsigating for herself, becoming part of the problem and going distances to live the truth of the information.

"In the same way that global warming has gradually ceased to be merely a theory, so, too, its impacts are no longer just hypothetical," this quote really lays to rest the point the author is making. We have come a long way in research and it is not the time to pretend that global warming is just a conspiracy. The writing is clearly authoritative, and I like the anecdotal flow where the author throws in bits of what she has learned through experiencing another culture. So at the same time that the writing is scientific, it seems like travel writing!

The last quote really set in the element of fear. People truly do need to consider other perspectives when it comes to issues like this. There is no real inititative to change, but maybe, just maybe fear could drive people to save themselves.

I guess it just seems that by the time scientists finish researching and figuring just how and what effects global warming it will be too late.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Fear of Women/Fear of Men- Gynophobia/Androphobia
Fear of Islam- Islamaphobia
Fear of homosexuality- you guessed it homophobia.

Some phobias seem like a mechanism to exploit a minority or an excuse to get yourself off the hook. Ya know... some weird guy asks you out on a date just tell him you have Androphobia, or if your a terrorist plead mentally ill and tell the judge you were only holding those Muslims hostage because you have Islamaphobia.

The truth is, true phobias are considered an anxiety disorder and are psychological. The sufferer is a victim to the fear. The reason they can be treated is becasue the fear is a strong but irrational fear of something of something that poses little or no danger. Fear is a normal response to danger, but with a phobia it is excessive.

If you become anxious and extremely self-conscious in everyday social situations, you could have a social phobia. Other common phobias involve tunnels, highway driving, water, flying, animals and blood.

People with phobias try to avoid what they are afraid of. Otherwise a person can experience anything from panic and fear to trembling or a strong desire to get away. Medicines, therapy or both are treatments that help most people with phobias.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a method that says, by confronting rather than fleeing the object of fear, the person becomes accustomed to it and can lose the terror and dread he or she once felt. Medications can control the anxiety and panic.

The amygdala, an area of the brain located behind the pituitary gland is responsible for the secretion of hormones that control fear or agression. When a response is initiated the amygdala releases hormones so your body goes into an alert stage generally referred to as the flight-or-fight response.

Phobias arise from a combination of external events and internal predispositions.Many specific phobias can be traced back to a triggering event like a traumatic experience at an early age. Social phobias and agoraphobia have more complex causes that are not entirely known. It is believed that heredity, genetics, and brain chemistry combined with life-experiences play a major role in the development of anxiety disorders, phobias and panic attacks.

Try these out...Answers proceed descriptions

1) fear or dislike of strangers or the unknown, sometimes used to describ
e nationalistic political beliefs and movements. It is also used in fictional work to describe the fear or dislike of space aliens
Fear of ventriloquist's dummies, animatronic creatures, wax statues - anything that falsly represents a sentient being.
Fear of having committed an unpardonable sin or of criticism.
4)Fear of seeing, thinking about or having an erect penis.
5)Fear or hatred of poetry.
6)Fear of the figure 8

7)Fear of phobias or the fear of fear
fear that originated from the Biblical verse Revelation
13:18 which indicates that the number 666 is the Number of the Beast, linked to Satan or the Anti-Christ.


8)Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia ( WOW)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Q. How does a plane takeoff and fly?


Check left and right fuselage, remove gust lock, secure antennae, check left and right wing tires/breaks, landing light on, breaks set, traffic check, full open throttle, ROLL AND LIFTOFF!

"You look like a nervous wreck," these were the first words my piloting teacher spoke to me. There I am face to face with a handsome pilot who will guide me through my first lesson and all I can do is quiver at the possibilities I am faced with. I sit down and we go through a question and answer period, then its out to the Vintage 1967 Cessna Skylane, red and white, 2-man cockpit and guess who's in the driver's seat? ME!?!?!?!

I guess if flying were as easy for pilots as it is for birds then more people would do it; permitted their eyesight is in tip-top condition. Besides the drive that lures dreamers to the craft of flying the mechanical concepts behind it are just as important to know. Birds are flying their own bodies and rely on flying as a means of survival. For them it isn't second nature, its just plain nature. To become the intuitive mind behind the machine, a pilot can learn how to develop the skills to fly faster, stronger and further than any cookoo-bird in the skies.
Strap on your bomber cap people, your in for a lesson in the physics of flight.

In 1665 Sir Isaac Newton proposed his three famous laws of motion. These four forces explain the reason why these laws were created.

Lift is upward and perpendicular to the wind
Drag is down and backward, parallel to the wind
Weight is downward and works with mass and gravity
Thrust is forward and produced by the engine

So, add these four together, start the engine and imagine the rest. You see, all you really need to fly is air. It is essential to flight. Air pressure is created by moving molecules which gives air its weight which also gives it the power to push and pull. So, it is not that these forces are created by an object. Instead it is the effect of an object in motion within a state of gravity.

Airplane wings are an extremely important part in understanding how a body of these dimensions gets the proper aerodynamic form to propel it off the ground. The wings are curved at the top which helps air move faster on top and slower underneath. The slow air pushes up from the bottom while the fast air pushes down as it flows over the curve, toward the ground. This literally FORCES the wing off the ground. With the correct weight ratios a plane has the ability to fly using these dynamics.

Over the years we have developed precise and technical blueprints and models for air flight. But there is obviously something to say for vintage dreams. The Wright brothers are my idols, my fascination in piloting is an easy one. It's one I don't have to build because curious and intelligent people before me have prepared the world with great inventions. Although a pilot does not need to directly be aware of key forces during a flight it is still a up to the masterminds to understand these concepts. If there weren't smart physicist on the job, we wouldn't have the ability to fly in the first place!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Q. What is the Scientific Revolution??

A. After advances that were pushed from the middle ages the scientific revolution was a break from Christian dogma. That's a big weight. The 17th century laid the road for modern science and because ]superstition and fear was lifted, there was a renaissance of reason and knowledge by many scholars. People like Newton, Galileo and Bacon became interested in the world around them beginning to formulate theories about it. The field of abstracted human knowledge was subdivided into separate fields of thought and science was one of them. Large changes in the way people experienced, perceived and viewed the world began to shift.

The revolution didn't just pick up and begin at a certain date, it is said that people like da Vinci and Copernicus prepared people for a new direction by guiding the field with major scientific works and inventions. The fact that these people, da Vinci for example, lived under extreme law and were faced with things like treason or conspiracy make it even more remarkable to view their works. There was no single "Great Idea", instead the scientific revolution is said to be marked by the following:

-The replacement of the Earth by the Sun as the center of the solar system
-The replacement of the Aristotelian theory that matter was continuous and made up of the elements Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and Aether by rival ideas that matter was atomistic or corpuscular or that its chemical composition was even more complex
-The replacement of the Aristotelian idea that heavy bodies, by their nature, moved straight down toward their natural places; that light bodies, by their nature, moved straight up toward their natural place; and that ethereal bodies, by their nature, moved in unchanging circular motions with the idea that all bodies are heavy and move according to the same physical laws
-The replacement of the Aristotelian concept
that all motions require the continued action of a cause by the inertial concept that motion is a state that, once started, continues indefinitely without further cause
-The replacement of Galen's treatment of the venous and arterial systems as two separate systems with William Harvey's concept that blood circulated from the arteries to the veins "impelled in a circle, and is in a state of ceaseless motion"
See Wikipedia.

This period of time offers a lot of insight and research possibilities into the scientific world, it is also encouraging when giant leaps are taken in the history of mankind and should be observed carefully.

Stephen Hawking's Lifetime in Astronomy


Obviously some things are far fetched (like those conspirators who huddle together in bomb shelters stocking and frantically preparing for the big nothing), while other facets of our knowledgeable pursuits are simply put--heroically genius and nobly renowned.

Let alone the way Stephen Hawking can eloquently address topics that are beyond construction to most populations, take a look at his deliverance. Thoughts about the universe begin to take shape in my mind only to fall in bits and pieces, collapsing like a pair of rickety stilts. I'll tell ya what, I consider Astronomy a leisurely hobby of mine just for the sheer fact that its awesome and just reading it makes my mind feel stronger. Plus I get to formulate answers to ideas that we are all curious about without doing all the work. To have people like Hawking around really make things accessible and understandable. I know this is not a book review, but A Brief History of Time was not only fascinating it was easy to read!

I enjoyed the lede on this article because it gave a greater image on the aura and reputation that Stephen Hawking has. I can imagine the cheering audience from here! HOORAH! As whispers form words amongst the curious crowd, waiting for Hawking to deliver his first words. I liked the line, "Retiring is no more of an option for Hawking than ceasing to think would be". Well, this man isn't giving up any time soon despite the recent paradigm shift that has scientists wondering and conjuring on the nature of black holes.

To be honest, I don't really appreciate articles that tend to speculate. Towards the end the article did that. Basically it is telling us what's in the works. I would rather let Hawking do his thing and think and research without the rest of the world budding in. But that's a dead idea ain't it!? In any case, Hawking is to me the Einstein of our generation and I will follow and respect his work with growing interest as time infinitely grows at large. For subject matter and follow through, Ill give this paper an A.

I think often about how scientists and scholars really make our world a better place. While they are busy thinking up the next big theories, following trends and corresponding with foreign countries, I sit in a dorm room reading articles to write articles about articles and then write articles on the people in those articles and probably never get published. But atleast I get to bury my head in some interesting resources from those so high above me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Check it oooooout

ONE of my favorite ledes in Discovery Times:

After September 11, 2001, David Heydon was a dreamer in need of a dream, an entrepreneur in search of an enterprise. A native of Brisbane, Australia, he had transplanted himself to New York during the dot-com boom and had tried to flog a new kind of customer-relations software to airlines—an idea that did not survive the post-9/11 travel slump. Heydon slunk back to Brisbane. There he reconnected with Julian Malnic, an old friend from his student days at the University of New South Wales, and unexpectedly found himself on a whole new path.

This comes from a story titled: Can Giant Robots Successfully Mine the Mile-Deep Seafloor?

I like this lede because, it is at the same time informative and really quite separate from what the story is actually about. So in a sense, it really does "lead" up to a story about a man who really is just looking for an opportunity. And it is interesting that the lede switches off, just like the mans life does; it takes a whole new spin. At one moment he's pursuing dot-comes the next he's got $266 million dollars in a mining company, building a boat to tap mineral resources a mile into the deep blue.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Here he here he! There is a wild all year!

Cattail Casserole

To Prepare:
Scrape the bud material from the core of two large cattail, mix with a few other ingredients and bake for 25 minutes. A guaranteed hit for nature lovers, just be sure to brush off the bugs before hand. The truth is our tastes tend to be a little eccentric. In Morocco they eat camel and herbs from the desert, in Japan they hunt whale and the Chinese like dog. Eyeballs and brain are a delicacy all across the world and people have conventions where nothing but bugs are spiced and sampled!! For cryin out loud don't tell me a little cattail casserole has your panties in a bunch. But, Ill be shocked if grandma ever made ya that recipe!

Well, the truth about nature is a that there are so many great secrets to be discovered. The thing is, none of it is really a secret; we just don't tend to know about the great possibilities nature offers in the field of sustenance! Instead, we only have time for grocery store runs that offer long-lines, Doritos and a bad headache. Maybe just once trying some teas made from Mullein or pine needles could show you the benefits of free and wild food products.

So those large cigar looking plants actually have many uses. Considering that it is a distant relative of corn could explain its The US has two types, the thick cattail, called Typha latifolia and the thinner species Typha augustifolia. It was a staple for the Native Americans for its high nutritiousness and ease to harvest. The heart of the cattail can be used by peeling the shoot. It can be added to salads, soups or stirfrys adding a surprisingly fresh crunch.
The flowery head of the male is a hearty and filling green that can be sauteed or steamed in any way that pleases you. It is one of the greatest sources of protein and calories for vegetarians.
When the flowers ripen they produce a pollen that is a great energy, protein, enzyme and mineral source. People pay top-price for small bottles of the stuff from health food stores, when really you can take a Sunday drive in the right season and harvest some of your own.
The fur has been used to line clothing materials and pillows, like down. The Native Americans used it to start fires, make diapers and provide bedding. Today we have used it to fill life vests.
The rootstock can be used to increase urination, and turned into a jelly that is good for surface inflammations, sores, wounds and burns.
This is one plant that leaves much to the curious researcher. It's definitely worth dippin your nose into the nature shop every once in a while. She stores everything from hallucinogens to spices. And its a great place for windowless shopping and browsing. It'll only cost you time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

noura's favoritest favorite lede...ever!

Most are easily seduced by the mysterious. Pair this with a lede about a 100-yr old book bound in faded leather with golden scripted letters that glaze at the gripping spine; I am destitutely enslaved to the words that follow. These bookish images smear in scarlet images across my mind as I yearn to hold the dusty object against my chest. I would run into a secret forest where I could open the hard cover and observe the text endlessly, recycling the words over and over again.
Ehem, pardon the fantasy but I am an English major with a passion for anything old and filled with well-thought ideas. This is my way of conversating with some of the greatest minds in history. The story is the NY Times is called The Holy Grail of the Unconscious and it deals with Carl Jung who was not only influential in the field of spiritual psychology but is also studied by literary critics across the map.
The lede is not bland and filled with scientific weight, it holds anecdotal information and foreshadows the rest of the story just enough to get a person formulating ideas and speculating on what is to come. I like how it doesn't beat around the bush. The first line states, "This is a story..." and it is; it goes on for 10 pages. I highly recommend it.

Nature Blog!

On a walk through the blue trails I stumbled past the usual Queen Anne, the roving fern and even some lambs ear that retreated from swallowing the brown dirt path that dipped and dwindled far off into the thick. After following for about 10 minutes there appeared a bog of sorts on my right...around the bog were a variety of grasses and other furry weeds. The lack of wild animals created a quietness amongst the bright light that trickled between the tree trunks falling upon the low brush to be divided and scattered once again.
There, at my foot was an interesting, almost insect looking patch of erect stems. It looked like a gathering of if you could just drink up the swampy water that had devoured the tree trunks and decapitating brush that were decomposing into the watery abyss...bogtail anyone? It looked like reed and i picked one and tore it open on the hypothesis that it was hollow inside. It was. The faded green outer skin peeled off to reveal a fibrous and wet middle layer, streaked with white veins. The outer skin is noticeably cut into sections, divided by contrasting rounded grooves .
Horsetail- otherwise commonly known as scouring rush is classified as Equisetum arvense / EQUISETACEAE; Horsetail family. I have heard of horsetail and was aware that it was used for many herbal remedies but never had taken the time to view it in person or even in a photograph. This perennial grows in moist or sandy soils of the North American continent as well as in similar climates in Europe and Asia. I tugged another piece from the ground, this time being sure to uproot it and not just tear it from its lifeline. The roots hung in long scraggly sack-like strings. It takes its name from this creeping rootstock.
There is no other plant that contains the silica content that horsetail holds. Silica is also an important element for the body that helps connective tissues form. by aiding in the process of protein binding, horestail can help form strong hair, nails, our skin as well as bones and teeth. It has proven to be a great aid in a wholesome and youthful appearance. Collagin which acts as body glue is made from silicon. This plant is widely used as a dietary supplement and is prescribed for athletes with sprains or dislocated joints as well as people with osteoporosis. It is used topically, on wounds as well as a diuretic to treat bladder and urinary conditions. The herb has poisoned livestock and must be taken in the correct dosage by humans as a tea or in powder form...a safer alternative is to use it in the kitchen. Traditionally, scouring rush was used to scrub pots and pans! The abrasive silicates on the stems are great for "rushing" metal. In Japan rough horsetail is boiled and dried as a finish for woodcraft, giving it a smoother look than any sandpaper. Otherwise, the leaves are used as a dye.
In terms of evolution, equisetum came from the Paleozoic era and could be found as large trees reaching 30 meters. Because of this it is known as a living fossil. Today they are more modest in size, reaching up to 1.5 meters in length. This plant reproduces by spore rather than seed. It is a relative to ferns and club mosses.
The horsetail asthetically adds to any natural environment. The way it gathers in groups makes it jump out against even the most camaflouged of backgrounds.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Deeper into Aster

Aster comes from the family Asteraceae (Daisies), there are about 180 species within. Certain types, like the New York Aster and the New England Aster look quite similar and hard to determine the differences. One interesting thing about the plant is that it is able to grow in all hardiness zones. The lowest zone, 1, on the Hardiness Scale able to withstand temperatures of -51 degrees celcius. This area typically sees a hardiness zone around 4, which goes to -35 celcius.
The New England Aster is an herbaceous perennial which basically means the plant will die into the ground, but the roots remain plentiful bringing new growth in the spring.
Some folk names for the plant are China Aster, Michaelmas Daisy and Starwort.
I found a website that shows much interesting background information in terms of ancient uses and such.
This is a quote from the website on New England Aster
"Aster was employed in decoction internally and a strong decoction was used externally for eruptive skin diseases and also for poison ivy.The Chippewa smoked the root in a pipe to attract game.The Mohawk used an infusion of the entire plant combined with root of Lady Fern for mothers who had a fever in their intestines.New England aster, along with blur and panicled asters, were used in infusion for treatment of fever.New England aster was used as a fumigating agent by Native Americans and possibly early settlers.The root tea was used by Native Americans for fevers and diarrhea."
Because of its attractive properties, such as color and light grace that it brings to a greenscape, the flower has been introduced to many gardens. Used as a flattering compliment to a homeowner or gardener's land. As are most wildflowers, its ease of maintenance also makes it attractive. Keep it in the sun, because it does not tolerate strong shade!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nature blog

This weekend, I camped at Marcy Dam...without a tent, without a lean-to. Heart lake offered comfort enough; providing me with a scenic rest. Nestled amongst the foothills of Mt. Colden I found a grassy plateau to sleep upon. The area was about the size of a small room, completely grassy and without much root. Trees encircled the patch of flat land, leaving an opening in the middle, to the sky. The fresh cold air was kept at bay by the small fire I built upon the lakeside. Before trekking 3 miles on bike to take my nights rest, I was sure to snap some shots of the outdoors. On my drive down, I took note of some different wild flowers including queen Anne, green fern, cattails(bulrush), as well as those large cob-web hanging moth nests that make you itch on sight (picture on bottom). Then I found and photographed what I believed at first to be fleabane but have changed my mind, and settled on Aster. The lavender and feathered flower pictured on the top is a native wildflower common in late summer and fall. They attract bees and are a nectar source for Monarch butterflies. And, the name comes from an ancient Greek word meaning star!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In Taming Dogs, Humans May Have Sought a Meal

"There is a long tradition of eating dogs in southern China, where dog bones with cut marks on them have been found at archaeological sites." This is a direct quote from a Times article by Nicholas Wade. Because this point was made, in an article that actually deals with the way wolves became domesticated, i would like to expound on an animal rights issue that this brings out. Fur Farms in China, and perhaps other countries that I am currently unaware of, are responsible for making products from the hair of cats and dogs. They are starved, trucked to market, disemboweled, bashed/beaten, then hung on a wire and skinned ALIVE. Around 9 years ago the US stopped importing products made from cats and dogs, unfortunately we still import many products because of mislabeling which is done intentionally. Here is a link to a video that shows what I am talking about.
“Domestication was really the lever by which civilization was able to organize into communities larger than those of foraging families,” Dr. O’Brien said. This quote really describes what the article is trying to get at. It is interesting to think that the companions we know and love today came from wolves. The article states that the reason these animals were originally domesticated was for the purpose of eating their meat! Around the time of hunter-gatherers when human settlements aroused things such as garbage dumps. After spending enough time around these areas the wolves would become easier to handle and capture, eventually leading to their domestication.
The wolf became so useful and is thought to have been bred for the table. As their domesticity and evolution set them into what the article calls "less demeaning roles," dogs were spread around Eurasia for other reasons, such as guards or for their ability to pull sleds...eventually leading to their modern yet humble role as pet, carpet-friendly and collar-included. You can even take your dog for an MRI these days.
Lets look at something most people don't know. Chickens of all things used to be wild. It seems that most people would assume that Noah, by order of God, let the golden egg off the ark so that we could all have scrambled eggs every Saturday. Well lets try and imagine a more rustic scene. One where chickens run wild, maybe in Eastern Asia where they were originally domesticated in sometime B.C.; they would fly and be much more colorful.
So, similar to dogs, chickens were domesticated for their meat and eggs. I believe that because there are many more wild dogs, than there are wild chickens this has led to their mistreatment by large. In the time of cave men, it was a question of survival today its a question of how much money a country can make producing plastic toys with hair labeled synthetic when really its stained with the criminal act of torture and animal abuse.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Tuesday 2

REALLY? - The Claim - Chamomile Can Soothe a Colicky Baby

Nature can create diseases but she can also soothe and heal our bodies. While you may be allergic to dairy I may use the products as part of a healthy diet, and while you enjoy the perks of sweet sugars another could suffer from diabetes. When things were simpler and the range of resources we had as humans was based on our intuitive skills for survival, individuals used herbs and related remedies. The best thing to note, is the fact that not much research has gone into certain areas of herbal remedy. Are you the type who would choose prescription chemical drugs over herbal myth?
In an article published last week in Science News- The New York Times the discussion is based around the benefits chamomile holds on the choleric child. Babies are known for their strenuous and relentless crying. Home remedies a plenty have been passed since the times of Old Mother Hubbard; from the old-fashioned housewife to the modern day miss independent. But, it sure is funny how the old lessons are learned the best.
The article explains that this choleric behavior is caused by gastrointestinal discomfort. According to the the statistical research within the paper, 57% of the babies who were given chamomile were relieved while the another 26% was relieved from a placebo tea, without chamomile.
Believe it or not the word is that chamomile works. Try some research at home and, as the article states chamomile allergies can be tested by rubbing the skin with the herb. If redness occurs, its a bad sign. And no, it doesn't mean your terribly unnatural or may be a mutant. Even more interesting is how some people seem invincible to such things as allergies while others cant even go outside without taking preliminary precaution!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Article 1 titled "How the Nose Copes With Nostril Rivalry "

Have you ever heard of nostril rivalry? If not perhaps youve questioned why smelling black pepper makes you sneeze or why wasabi seems to make your nerves go numb. Our nostrils become sensitized and desensitized to different scents as well as learning to become habituated to smells we are exposed to for long periods of time.
We can understand this by thinking about and comparing performance in our sense of smell to our sense of sight. A link on the Current Biology website discusses binocular rivalry. Basically if two images are placed in front of us our focus will flip-flop from one to the other, never wholly focusing on both at the same time. Just as we have two eyes that battle for sensory dominance, we have two nostrils that battle for olfaction (the sense of smell) in a similar manner.
The New York Times article discusses how the nose processes two scents at one time. Say for example you are given the crunchy scent of Granny Smith Apples in your left nostril and at the same time offered the warm spice of cinnamon at your right. The smells would not blend, and you would not be reminded of fresh apple pie just out of the oven. Instead the nose would alternate between odors.
Another experiment discussed in the article describes the way we become habituated to a smell. Lets say you are exposed to the smell of apple for three minutes, long enough to become habituated, later on after being exposed to the same scent a second time the smell would be weaker in both nostrils.
Although the article did not discuss anything further, i would go out on a limb to say that after habituating yourself to the Apple scent another experiment could be performed where you would smell both the Apple and the cinnamon at the same time. Maybe there would be dominance in the scent of cinnamon because you were not habituated to it?
If interested, the field of study that this article and its findings have opened up is called Human Olfactory Perception.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


JOU 409

first story: Do Bears Think

fuzzy wuzzy was a bear
fuzzy wuzzy had no hair
fuzzy wuzzy wasnt fuzzy was he?

yellow yellow was a bear
yellow yellow took a dare
yellow yellow isnt really yellow is he?

-will be edited at a future date