How do veterinary surgeons operate on horses? Wonder no more…

Friday, 17 April, 2015

Horses probably undergo surgical procedures all the time, especially race horses. But how do you operate on an animal the size of full-grown horse? A little differently to a person, that’s for sure.

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Wealth and orange goggles, a better night’s sleep is guaranteed

Friday, 17 April, 2015

There are many ways to enjoy a good night’s sleep, but a couple of new thoughts have come to light. First up, if you’re rich, well off, and generally not short of a dollar, you’ll probably sleep well.

Or, if you wear orange tinted goggles for a couple of hours before turning in, especially if you watch movies on your laptop, or use your smartphone a lot later in the evening, then it seems you also will have a good night’s rest. Yes, that’s right, orange coloured glasses:

Most evenings, before watching late-night comedy or reading emails on his phone, Matt Nicoletti puts on a pair of orange-colored glasses that he bought for $8 off the Internet. “My girlfriend thinks I look ridiculous in them,” he said. But Mr. Nicoletti, a 30-year-old hospitality consultant in Denver, insists that the glasses, which can block certain wavelengths of light emitted by electronic screens, make it easier to sleep.

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Look up Moon phases for the next eight thousand years

Thursday, 16 April, 2015

Moon Phases installation

Here’s an interactive installation that allows you look up the phases of the Moon, as seen in the northern hemisphere, for any date from the beginning of the first millennium, right on through almost to the end of the tenth millennium. Cool, or what?

Talking of the tenth millennium, here are a few astronomical events, perhaps the only things we can be sure may happen, that are scheduled to take place. Regulus, a star in what is still the constellation of Leo, will feature prominently, assuming it is still around in eight thousand years:

  • 5 November 9106, Venus occults Regulus
  • 16 November 9682, Mercury occults Regulus
  • 21 November 9847, Mars occults Regulus

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A Kama Sutra for the micro-apartment generation

Thursday, 16 April, 2015

So called micro-apartments, consisting of a floor area of eighty to one hundred and ten square metres (although those dimensions don’t exactly strike me as being “micro”), might be places many of us end up calling home.

This given the rise of property prices, in some places at least, plus the diminishing availability of land in locations where we wish to reside. But what if you and your partner are dedicated followers of the Kama Sutra? How to partake in what could be relatively confined spaces?

Presenting then the Kama Sutra for the Cramped Studio Apartment (safe for work). How do these suggestions sound then?

  • The Suspended Congress Among the Intertwined Power Cords
  • The Dust Bunny Next to the Milk Crates Under the Bed
  • The Tetris Shuffle in the Postage-Stamp-Sized Closet

I’m sold.

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Artworks from Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” show sold at auction

Thursday, 16 April, 2015

Artworks created by Jon Lomberg for use in Carl Sagan’s 1980 TV show, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, were sold by auction in New York City last week. They would have been quite the keepsakes to score, for hard core fans of the series.

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Oh how do ye stress out? Let us then count the ways

Thursday, 16 April, 2015

According to some recent research, when it comes to sweating the small things, British people are more likely to worry about losing important documents, having nowhere to park, a printer not working, or their phone battery going flat.

Australians of course are not immune from such niggles either, try waiting ten minutes for a take-out cup of coffee when you’re the only customer in the cafe, and you’ll see what I mean.

Otherwise there is no shortage of bothers, and while the Australian list thereof is based on anecdotal evidence, rather than actual scientific study, the inclusions are probably about right:

  • Paying bills
  • Visiting your mother-in-law
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • The dodgy office printer

Interestingly who might, or might not, win the cricket doesn’t seem to rate a mention in either Britain or Australia.

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Oil, water, and paint in motion

Wednesday, 15 April, 2015

Pacific Light, artwork created by Russian graphic designer Ruslan Khasanov through the combination of water, oil, movement, and music.

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Glaciers, our reservoirs of freshwater, are rapidly melting away

Wednesday, 15 April, 2015

Glaciers across the globe are in retreat, or melting away, and if that doesn’t concern you it should, as they form one of the largest reservoirs of freshwater on the planet.

In a bid to illustrate the rate of this retreat over recent decades, Nigerian photographer Simon Norfolk has taken photos of a number of glaciers as they are today, with a line of fire, literally, indicating the former extent of their reach.

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So few meals, so many thoughts of food

Wednesday, 15 April, 2015

We may only eat three meals a day, but that doesn’t stop most of us thinking about food up to two hundred times a day. Many of these thoughts are unconscious apparently – however anyone is supposed to be able to count those, who knows – so I guess that accounts for the seemingly high number.

Research by Brian Wansink, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University and the author of “Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think,” suggests that the average person makes more than 200 decisions about food every day, many of them unconsciously, including the choices made from reading menus.

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The dinosaur formerly known as Brontosaurus is a dinosaur again

Wednesday, 15 April, 2015

What a week it’s been hey? First up news broke that we may soon be able to learn what the lyrics to “American Pie” mean. Then we discovered that the Helvetica font had a rival, Haas Unica, that, for whatever reason, failed to fully see the light of day forty years ago.

Now it seems Brontosaurus, a dinosaur that was previously deemed not to be an actual terrible lizard, is in fact such a creature in its own right, after all.

The change in fortunes for the Brontosaurus came about after Lisbon based palaeontologist, Emanuel Tschopp, began creating a family tree of sorts for Diplodocids, the dinosaur group that Apatosaurus, the creature everyone had mistaken for a Brontosaurus, was part of, and found they actually were two distinct beasts:

Very broadly, their tree confirmed established ideas about the evolutionary relationships among diplodocids. But the scientists also concluded that Apatosaurus and Brontosaurus were different enough to belong in their own genera. Many of the anatomical differences between the two dinosaurs are obscure, Tschopp says, but Apatosaurus‘s stouter neck is an obvious one. “Even though both are very robust and massive animals, Apatosaurus is even more so,” he adds.

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