Precious opal is formed when a solution of silica seeps through cracks in a rock very slowly : at a rate of one centimetre thickness every five million years. Under pressure, spheres of silica 150-300 nanometers wide, deposit in crystalline arrays. This regular packing, spaced close enough to the wavelength of light, has the effect of a diffraction grating, and the scattered light can be described by Bragg's Law. Nearly all the earth's supply of precious opal comes from Australia, formed in the Cretaceous period, more than a hundred million years ago.
Eric the Pliosaur: Now imagine a massive thick necked beast that once cruised through the Late Jurassic oceans, with a jaw four times stronger than T. rex and 10 times more powerful than any living creature. 150 million years later, our pliosaur has been "opalized" to an iridescent sheen, his fragments discovered by a lucky miner in Australia's Coober Pedy and sold for $250,000 USD to a wealthy businessman who subsequently lost his fortune. Christened Eric the Pliosaur by a mischievous archaeologist who was asked to put the bones together, after Monty Python's Eric the Half a Bee, the fossil turned out to have a fish inside its belly, fittingly named Wanda. After a public campaign, Eric was eventually purchased for display by the Australian Museum. What a thrilling journey for Eric.
► Musical accompaniment: Monty Python - Eric the Half-a-Bee (1972)
Half a bee, philosophically, must ipso facto half not be .
But half the bee has got to be, vis-à-vis its entity - d'you see?
But can a bee be said to be or not to be an entire bee
when half the bee is not a bee, due to some ancient injury?
► Pliosaurus: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pliosaurus
► Opalized Fossils: http://www.australianopalcentre.com/fossils.php
The discovery of a law governing the growth of cities means that future urban populations can now be forecast in advance
A fluorescent coral under fluorescent lighting conditions. This image was taken by Justin Marshall, head of the Sensory Ecology Laboratory at the Vision, Touch, and Hearing Research Centre, University of Queensland, Australia. Marshall researches fish and invertebrate color vision, color communication, and visual ecology of coral reefs and other habitats.
The periphyton community (sessile organisms that live attached to surfaces projecting from the bottom of freshwater aquatic environments) in Lake Hovsgol contains hundreds of diatom species.
● Heart Beats Again
"A newly beating heart is part-mouse, part-human. For the first time, a mouse heart has been made to pulse again by stripping it of its own cells and rebuilding it with human ones (see video above)."
"To create the hybrid heart, Lei Yang at the University of Pittsburgh and colleagues took the heart from a mouse and, in a process that lasted 10 hours, removed all its cells. The remaining protein scaffold was then repopulated with human heart precursor cells – stem cells that had differentiated into the three types of cell required for a heart. After a few weeks, the organ started to beat again. "Our engineered hearts contain about 70 per cent human heart precursor cells, which provide enough mechanical force for contraction," says Yang."
Mouse heart uses human cells to beat again
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● Tags: #ScienceEveryday #StemCells
North Carolina State University researchers are using video game technology to remotely control cockroaches on autopilot, with a computer steering the cockroach through a controlled environment. The researchers are using the technology to track how roaches respond to the remote control, with the goal of developing ways that roaches on autopilot can be used to map dynamic environments – such as collapsed buildings.
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Granite discovery off Brazil may be evidence of hidden continent – video
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Δίνουν δάνεια στην Ελλάδα με αντάλλαγμα αγορές όπλων
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Where do Christianity and Nonduality meet? - Father Richard Rohr
This is an excerpt from the interview with Father Richard Rohr (Franciscan friar ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church) at
The World Bank and the Health of Nations | Endless Innovation | Big Think
For nearly 70 years, the World Bank has been an institution led by bankers, economists, technocrats and politicians - until now. Obama's