Watching this video, I immediately realized this is what I need to spend the rest of my life doing. And hey, it was only 600 hours work. Think what I could do with decades.
It would be tough to find a more bizarre and interesting creature. This is the Glaucus atlanticus. It is a nudibranch, a type of mollusk that has no shell. If that wasn't enough, this animal EATS VENOMOUS JELLIES LIKE THE DEADLY PORTUGESE MAN O' WAR! But there is more sciency goodness to this. This beautiful mollusk swims by inflating a bubble in its belly and floating wherever the sea takes him. How zen is that? But there's even more. The pointy parts of its body are an organ that stores the venom from venomous jellies. As it digests the tentacle pieces, the stinging cells are stored in the cerata, those pointy leg-like things. The Glaucus atlanticus can even concentrate the poison so it is more venomous than the creature whose stinging cells it stole.
Below is a video of a close relation to the above nudibranch. In the video, two Glaucilla marginata swim/float around adorably nibbling a creature named a blue button. Which is oddly cute for us, but perhaps the blue button would see it differently. Enjoy!
This post may be slightly off topic, but I do think creativity is an important skill in science and life in general. If you have spent any time on the intertubes, you know about Caine and his arcade. If you don't know about Caine, click on that previous link or watch the YouTube video below.
Watch, enjoy and be inspired.
National Geographic has some great photos of extreme environments in the world.
The picture I posted is from the series and it is of chinstrap penguins riding on an iceberg in the South Sandwich Islands.
Check them out at NG's website.
Photograph by Maria Stenzel
Check out this fantastic, animated history of genetics. It is explained in simple terms and beautifully narrated by the entertainer, Tim Minchin.
The brightest thing found in nature is the pollia condensata fruit from Africa. Unlike most other things in nature, this plant gets its colour from the structure of its cells. Most plants and animals use pigment to give them their colour. Because of the structure of the cellulose, light is reflected in particular wavelengths.
Read more at the Phys-Org News page.
Those of you that know me know I love strange, interesting science facts. The Discovernator from Discover magazine has a page with strange science facts and you can refresh it to get new ones. How will I get any work done now?
I should mention that not every fact is completely family friendly. Use your discretion.
Oops. I forgot to link to the Discovernator!
Did you know that there are ten times as many bacterial cells than there are human cells? That's right. Your own cells are outnumbered by the germ cells that make up your body. Most of your cells ARE NOT YOU according to Carolyn Bohach, a microbiologist at the University of Idaho. In fact, there are estimated to be over 500 different species of microbes or germs living in the average adult's intestines.
But these bacteria can help us. Some produce chemicals that help us get energy and nutrients from our food. The bacteria in our gut also helps to protect us from other bacteria that cause diseases.
Even though the human cells (the ones that really are you) are much larger than the bacterial cells, it is still kind of disturbing that most of our cells are not us.
For more details,
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto)
All the credit for this idea, the video and even the title go to Jenna Kim Jones, a comedian and Daily Show with Jon Stewart staffer.
Japanese astronaut, Akihiko Hoshide, and American astronaut, Sunita Williams, spent six and a half hours doing a space walk yesterday trying to fix a key power system on the International Space Station. Today they went back out and used a toothbrush and a wire cleaner unstick the bolts. NASA must have forgotten WD-40.
Read more at space.com. Or read this article at The Atlantic with much more detail. The article in The Atlantic has a picture of the toothbrush that saved the ISS.