This headline seen on Google News has to be a joke...
Humans can detect 1 trillion smells
I could probably count to 10,000, but certainly will not live long enough to make it to on trillion. So, how can someone differentiate between things he or she cannot even enumerate? I am a fan of science, but such claims cause even a believe to wonder if I can take these people seriously. And, 90% of those odors are probably unpleasant, so who wants to even try to detect them?
This is not about a movie, but rather about villains worse than any found on film...
If you want to become angry--why not, we all lead such pleasant lives?--watch the first segment of the attached Daily Show. It is sad that it takes a humor show to highlight the worst ills of the US government and media, I mean Republicans and Fox News.
While we’re on the subject of hunger...
I can imagine how Fox News “experts”, evangelical idiots, Republican wingnuts, and talk radio blowhards would comment on this article...which I find interesting, credible, and frightening for my descendants.
When reading articles about science or watching television programs on scientific subjects, I am reminded of my limited intelligence and learning. Still, they fascinate me, and I enjoy learning something new or trying to understand a complicated subject. I am happy to have my horizons expanded.
One example is a BBC program called What Happened Before The Big Bang? How’s that for an unanswerable question? Of course, too many people in America think that the Earth is the center of the universe (or they are), but the extent of the universe is a mystery. Like adjacent puddles, is ours merely one of many? If the universe is moving through space, where did it come from, where has it been, and where is it headed?
Fortunately, I do not have to understand all this to enjoy the short bit of total time that I spend on this Earth, in this universe, in this...whatever. But, when I think about it, the most-amazing aspect of life is that an animal has evolved on a rock floating through infinite(?) space that is able to ask questions and figure some of the answers. Sadly, stupid people, who become politicians, have also evolved (just not in intelligence)...
The following headline caught my attention. The accompanying article, although disturbing, is not surprising. This explains why wingnut politicians, talk radio blowhards, and Fox News idiots find so much traction with voters.
I have no hope that these numbers will improve. On the contrary, dumbing down will continue, as if this were a government policy. If not the entire government, then the Republican bits.
Science deniers do not know or do not want to know that coral is an animal, even though it looks like a plant/flower; they want to remain stupid.
Unlike plants, which are soft, coral is extremely hard from the limestone it secretes.
Once the organism dies, the limestone--which looks and feels like rock--remains to aggravate ships and humans foolish enough to bump into it.
With time, wind and weather and waves work their usual wonders...
to reduce the former home of millions of animals to something resembling stones...
and then sand (with nasty surprises for anyone barefoot)...
to the final result: nice beaches and turquoise waters for tourists.
I noticed several articles about scientists’ discovery of “Earth’s twin”. Subheads made me question this claim, so I decided to read one article further.
I am not a scientist, but I would argue against calling a planet a twin of Earth that has a “thick, gaseous atmosphere”, “orbits a red dwarf star”, is “60% larger than Earth”, and has surface temperatures “as high as 104C”.
My understanding of the word twin is that a certain similarity is required. Perhaps, scientists use a different definition...or do not learn or care about words.
Warning: I’m going to bore you again with ranting about a science program. This one is called Wonders of Life. I watched the last of five episodes. I do not know what amazes me more, discoveries made by humans or the ability of humans to make such discoveries.
There was a bit about the Monarch butterfly, which I recall seeing as a child in Massachusetts. I learned that they migrate from many parts of North America to a particular forest in Mexico. Being used to stories about drug wars in Mexico, I was surprised by the idyllic nature of the region shown. The butterflies’ round trip is over 2000 miles and takes three generations. That’s correct: three generations! How can that be, you ask? It seems that the information is stored in their DNA, like a natural GPS system.
This sparked a memory of reading about Australian Aborigines. They have something called “songlines”, which sounds a lot like what the Monarch butterflies do. There is a good book by Bruce Chatwin (all his books are good!) on this subject. No one knows the truth, but the tale of a simple butterfly suggests that DNA might play a role in the unique aspects of the Aborigines...which other humans seem to have lost or never had.