Friday, February 26, 2010

Rambling Again

There’s a new orchid. So new it has yet to be named. Discovered by Lou Jost in a cloud forest high up on a mountain in Ecuador. It was lurking among the roots of another orchid he brought back to his greenhouse, he’s an ecologist with a plant-conservation foundation. What’s so amazing about this new variety since all orchids are amazing in their own way? It was in full bloom when he found it and the blossoms, green and so thin they were nearly transparent, measured less than a quarter of an inch across. Yes, the picture is greatly magnified.

When I’m ready to die, I’m moving to Tibet. There you can have a sky burial. As a final act of charity, corpses are tossed out on the mountain top and left to be picked apart by vultures. I like the thought of that, don’t you?

In case you’ve ever wondered how snakes slither, I’ll tell you. Friction created by their scales drives the forward as they undulate from side to side. Also, some snakes will lift their bodies as they’re moving to reduce areas of unwanted friction and increase pressure at the proper points to keep them going in their chose direction. That’s a whole lot of coordination! Yeah, I love to watch snakes move.

Did you know that tropical storms might help prevent major earthquakes? The latest study shows that there are often very slow, long lasting quakes that coincide with typhoons. Though they register on geological equipment they are not generally notice by inhabitants of the region. When there are no typhoons for a lengthy period of time, destructive earthquakes occur. The theory is that the pressure imbalance from typhoons somehow triggers a slow, gentle shifting of surface plates thus relieving pressure gradually and preventing the sudden jarring of massive quakes.

Global cooling throughout history aided in the development of sophisticated human brains. Yes, that’s correct. The colder it is, the more intelligently evolved our species is becoming. Higher temperatures hinder metabolic activities, one being brain function. In other words, stop bitching about winter. It’s beneficial in yet another way. So there! And you thought there was no point to this ramble, didn’t you?

Happy weekend!

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