Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Owl in flight

Brilliant photo and wonderful design by Mother Nature.

h/t clusterflock


Moscow’s Metro dogs

I saw lots of stray dogs when we were in Moscow a couple of years ago. I never saw any on the Metro.

…there are some 500 strays that live in the metro stations, especially during the colder months, but only about 20 have learned how to ride the trains. This happened gradually, first as a way to broaden their territory. Later, it became a way of life. “Why should they go by foot if they can move around by public transport?” he asks.

“They orient themselves in a number of ways,” Neuronov adds. “They figure out where they are by smell, by recognising the name of the station from the recorded announcer’s voice and by time intervals. If, for example, you come every Monday and feed a dog, that dog will know when it’s Monday and the hour to expect you, based on their sense of time intervals from their biological clocks.”

The full, and very interesting, article is here <link>

Hat tip Kottke




Bradley Wiggins has made public his blood profiles to prove that his performance on the Tour wasn’t enhanced in any way. You can get them here.

Brilliant. I’m no scientist and can’t tell you what they mean but I applaud the transparency.

The Tour de France is a great event that I thoroughly enjoy. This year the emergence of Bradley Wiggins was a real highlight. I urged him up the Ventoux. For me this information release caps a complete performance by the Brit. Well done.

noctilucent cloud

Clouds so high that they remain sunlit after the sun has set or before it has risen. All you need to know about noctilucent clouds here <link>.

(I suppose the name is a bit of a giveaway when you think about it)


Slate discusses the environmental pros and cons of using charcoal or gas to fire your barbeque <link>.

The conclusion? Don’t worry. “Barbecue emissions account for 0.0003 percent of our nation’s (America’s) annual carbon footprint.”

Subtitle: New Zealanders are eating the wrong food.

The New York Times and The Economist have both used recent OECD data to correlate time spent eating, drinking, sleeping and obesity.

The Times first <link>


“…the French spent the most time per day eating, but had one of the lowest obesity rates among developed nations.

“There does seem to be some correlation (although, as we all know, correlation is not causation). And note, of course, where America lies on this chart.”

The Economist makes a different correlation <link>


“Enjoying a leisurely meal or just getting enough sleep can seem like luxuries. But not so in France, where people spend more time dining, imbibing and snoozing than anywhere else in the mostly-rich countries of the OECD.”

New Zealanders seem to spend lots of time eating and sleeping AND end up high on the obesity scale. 

Look ing across the two graphs, the different BMI result recorded by New Zealanders and the French  who match us on time spent eating and sleeping., suggests New Zealanders are eating & drinking the wrong food. The only remaining variable seems to be what we put in our mouths.

Both articles draw comments, 80 and 45 respectively and are worth reading.

The cover says it all. Buy one here <link>

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