Thursday, July 09, 2020

A train wreck of biblical proportions

Words cannot describe how President Bone Spurs screwed the pooch regarding COVID-19, something any competent person could have handled given the resources a president has at his or her disposal. Unreal as the chief executive can get the best of the best in terms of filling cabinet posts with people who actually know what the hell they are doing and, like FDR, listen to the advice of said persons residing in the cabinet. A CF comes to mind here and people far more versed in pandemics than yours truly agree.

A train wreck of biblical proportions indeed.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

Social Distancing ... Lobster style

Seems insects, lobsters, fish, birds and primates socially distance themselves whenever any of their brethren catch a disease threatening their well being, something not being done by a significant portion of the population risking possible death while bitching about losing their inherent freedom to be stupid by not social distancing or wearing a mask while spreading said disease to others as seen in the COVID-19 debacle in the good ole USA.

On a shallow reef in the Florida Keys, a young Caribbean spiny lobster returns from a night of foraging for tasty mollusks and enters its narrow den. Lobsters usually share these rocky crevices, and tonight a new one has wandered in. Something about the newcomer is not right, though. Chemicals in its urine smell different. These substances are produced when a lobster is infected with a contagious virus called Panulirus argus virus 1, and the healthy returning lobster seems alarmed. As hard as it is to find a den like this one, protected from predators, the young animal backs out, into open waters and away from the deadly virus.

The lobster’s response to disease—seen in both field and laboratory experiments—is one we have become all too familiar with this year: social distancing. People’s close interactions with family and friends have been cut off to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It has been extremely hard. And many have questioned the necessity. Yet despite how unnatural it may feel to us, social distancing is very much a part of the natural world. In addition to lobsters, animals as diverse as monkeys, fishes, insects and birds detect and distance themselves from sick members of their species.

Any questions?

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

29 Days ...

From the Strawberry Moon to the Buck, 29 days have passed as we move further into summer. 

C ...

We are made of stars, or more accurately, the remnants of stars as nature recycles everything but we already knew that. right? Now, scientists know the prime source of Carbon, the most versatile element in the universe and ... when our sun dies, it may become part of the carbon-producing entity known as white dwarfs ... 5 billion years from now.

The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, suggests that WHITE DWARF STARS are the main source of carbon atoms in the Milky Way, a chemical element known to be crucial to all life.

White dwarfs are hot, dense stellar remains with temperatures that reach 100,000 Kelvin. Over time, billions of years, these stars cool and eventually dim as they shed their outer material. However, right before they collapse, their remains are transported through space by winds that originate from their bodies.

These stellar ashes contain chemical elements such as carbon.

Carbon is the fourth most abundant chemical in the universe and is a key element in the formation of life as it is the basic building block to most cells.

Addendum ...

The analysis of white dwarfs observed by the team gave a surprising result: the masses of these stars were notably larger than expected, putting a ‘kink’ in the initial-final mass relation for stars with initial masses in a certain range.

“Our study interprets this kink in the initial-final mass relationship as the signature of the synthesis of carbon made by low-mass stars in the Milky Way,” Dr. Marigo said.

In the last phases of their lives, stars twice as massive as our Sun produced new carbon atoms in their hot interiors, transported them to the surface, and finally spread them into the interstellar medium through gentle stellar winds.

The team’s detailed stellar models indicate that the stripping of the carbon-rich outer mantle occurred slowly enough to allow the central cores of these stars, the future white dwarfs, to grow appreciably in mass.

Analyzing the initial-final mass relation around the kink, the researchers concluded that stars bigger than 2 solar masses also contributed to the Galactic enrichment of carbon, while stars of less than 1.5 solar masses did not.

In other words, the mass of 1.5 solar masses is the minimum mass for a star to spread carbon-enriched material.

Sol might not make after all. 

Dave lives ...

Monday, July 06, 2020

Center of Mass ...

Center of mass on physical things interests me. From sitting on teeter-totters to level them out to building tall towers liable to fall at any minute with my granddaughter, it's fun to see how to balance things like these, especially with a laughing four-year-old. 

It's fair to say planets orbit the Sun, but that's not 100% true. The Sun holds 99.8% of the Solar System's mass, Jupiter contains most of what's left (Saturn a distant 2nd), and in this vid you'll see how Jupiter plays tug of war with the Sun. Everything orbits a center of mass!


Sunday, July 05, 2020

Evolution 101 :)

Frogs, cannibals to the max, also have another amazing trait, skull variability based on the type of prey they hunt and the kind of defense they use against predators who eat them.

Evolution 101 without question. :)

Saturday, July 04, 2020

In just 3.5 years ...

In just 3.5 years, The Donald has turned America into a shithole. From raging nationalism, juiced by jesus & racism, to his disastrous handling of COVID-19, this empty man did the impossible, turning this once great nation into the laughing stock of the world.  We are in such trouble, the likes of which this country has not seen since the Civil War. He must go ... NOW.

Any questions?