My Digest

August 14, 2009 at 9:43 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
Say you watch a YouTube video and you love the audio for so much that you absolutely have to have it. It could be a spoken-word bit that you really want to take with you on your music player, or an artist posts music to YouTube for free with a static image over top of their songs; either way, it’s difficult to find an app that can download just the audio from a YouTube video in high quality. Enter
AppScout 1 hour ago
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia This is my totally loveable kitty Pollyanna, who has stolen my heart. She is so smart and loves to play hide and seek with me. She also retrieves a ball that I throw for her and when I tire of it, she gives a big bossy mew which means, ” You have to keep playing with me!” For a little kitten she has a really loud purr and sneaks under my blankets at night
The Daily Kitten 2 hours ago
Image by kevindooley via Flickr The goal of every manager should be to create and maintain an environment in which employees feel respected, fairly treated and that their needs are being met. What are employee needs? Believing their work is appreciated and valued Being “in on things” Appropriate help with personal problems Security Money Fair working conditions Satisfying work Tactful discipli
Ian’s Messy Desk 3 hours ago

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Rarest Insect

August 14, 2009 at 9:12 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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In a world of dwindling resources and ever-increasing extinction rates it is always remarkable to see an exception to the rule – particularly one composed of a series of chance happenings and involving one of the strangest species and off-the-map locations on Earth: an odd insect that has survived only under one bush, on one bare rock face, hundreds of feet in the air and miles from other land.

rare strange insect

Ball’s Pyramid is a towering 2,000-foot spire that shoots up from the waters of the Pacific Ocean, essentially bare, desolate and isolated – except that it is home to what might be the most endangered insect on the planet.

rare amazing insect species

This remarkable little stick insect was thought to have died out after their single largest habitat – the adjacent Lord Howe Island – was the site of a shipwreck that spread black rats (which ate the insects) nearly a hundred years ago.  Since their rediscovery scientists have brought sample populations back to shore in order to breed them in captivity.

Auto-Tune the News

August 14, 2009 at 9:09 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
This has been going around, you may have seen it but if not it’s pretty cool.
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Auto-Tune the News #6

The End of Everything

August 14, 2009 at 9:04 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
End of Cosmology – 3 trillion years from now.

End of Stars – 100 trillion years from now.

The End of Regular Matter – 10 to the power of 30 years from now.

End of Black Holes – 10 to the power of 100 years from now.

The End of Everything – 10 to the power of 100 years and beyond.

Perhaps there will be another Big Bang someday. Perhaps the Universe is cyclical and the whole process will start up again.

Perhaps it won’t, and this bleak future of a cold, dead Universe is all that awaits us. It’s not happy, but it’s awe inspiring to consider the long future ahead, and helps us appreciate the vibrant age we live in today.

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The End of Everything

Let’s really think big, stare forward in time, and think about what the future holds for the Universe. Look forward millions, trillions, and even 10100 years into the future. Let’s consider the end of everything.

The Dark Ages, not a single star shines anywhere in the Universe.
End of Humanity
The vast majority of every species that has ever lived on Earth is now extinct. To think that humans can avoid the fate of every other creature is arrogant. Like all life on Earth, our time is limited. How long will we last?
There’s no way to know, but there’s a calculation that can help. It’s called the Doomsday Argument
10,000 years
there’s a 95% chance that humanity will have ended by the year 11,000.
End of Life – 500 million years – 5 billion years
That’s because the Sun is slowly heating up.
Over the course of the next few billion years, evolution will seem to go reverse. The largest organisms and least heat tolerant animals will die out, leaving hardy insects and bacteria.
End of the Earth – 7.5 billion years

Red giant Betelgeuse. Image credit: Hubble Space Telescope
End of the Sun – 7.5 billion

Ring Nebula. A vision of our Sun

Artist impression of a disk of material around a white dwarf star. Image credit: Gemini Observatory

Toucans Of Costa Rica

August 14, 2009 at 8:44 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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There are 42 species of Toucans found throughout the world. Six of
them live in Costa Rica.

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Scientists aren’t sure why toucans have developed such a large beak.
But it certainly makes them easy to point out in a crowd.

Why flamingoes stand on one leg

August 14, 2009 at 8:24 pm | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
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Matt Walker

Editor, Earth News

Galapagos race of Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber ruber) standing on one leg
It is one of the simplest, but most enigmatic mysteries of nature: just why do flamingoes like to stand on one leg?

Now after conducting an exhaustive study of captive Caribbean flamingoes, two scientists believe they finally have the answer.

Flamingoes stand on one leg to regulate their body temperature, they say.

Matthew Anderson and Sarah Williams are comparative psychologists based at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, US who are interested in the studying the evolution of behaviour.

“Flamingoes captured my attention for a variety of reasons,” says Anderson.

“Scientifically speaking, their highly gregarious nature makes them an ideal species for investigating social influences on behaviour.

“Aesthetically speaking, they are large, beautiful, and iconic.

“Perhaps most importantly, I was very surprised to discover how little systematic, hypothesis-driven empirical research had been conducted on flamingoes.”

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