This photo, taken by nature photographer CJ Kale, is of lava hitting the surf off of the main island of Hawaii. The water was filled with volcanic glass and lava bombs; the water vapor is the result of the lava superheating the seawater and evaporating it. Lava cools rapidly when it hits seawater, causing minerals to form and crystallize quickly.
What Gives Summer That Distinct Smell?
As summer approaches us of the southern hemisphere we look forward to the sunny afternoons, the days at the beach and the smell of freshly mown grass - but what is that smell and why is it so relaxing?
When grass is cut, fats and phospholipids are broken down into long chain fatty acids, eg. linoelic acid, these fatty acids are then oxidised and chopped up by enzymes to form an end product that is either a six or twelve carbon chain. The six carbon chain molecule is the one responsible for the smell of grass so we shall focus on it. The molecules have a carbonyl group on the end and a double bond three carbons in from the end, and thus using some high school chemistry we can determine that the name of the organic molecule is cis-3-hexanal. Our noses are fantastic tools for discovering molecules and are particularly good at detecting this one; humans can detect cis-3-hexanal at 0.25 parts per billion. Cis-3-hexanal is very unstable and quickly mutates from a cis to trans - a molecule which is known as trans-2-hexanal. This molecule is known as the ‘leaf aldehyde’ and in part of what makes up commercial odours as ‘green odour’.
Cis-3-hexanal plays a role in many other aspects of life other than the smell of freshly mown grass - is it also important in the smell of strawberries, in the recovery of plants when they are damaged by pests and surprisingly in medicine. Studies have shown that molecules very similar to cis-3-hexanal can have a positive healing effect on the psychological damage caused by stress by activating blood flow in the primary olfactory cortex. So, maybe next time you’re having a rough day, go mow the lawn and spend some time sun bathing on your freshly trimmed grass.
How dare this be on my dashboard as winter approacheth!!
Let us dream hexanal dreams, though.
I mean, how can you not love this.
Adam Bryant interviews Dolf van den Brink of Heineken USA, on Transparency (via stoweboyd)
And vested interests know they can control a debate by shutting down open, constructive disagreement.
Disagree with me? You’re a communist/nazi/idiot or soft on crime/immigration/business.
"A three second exposure meant that subjects had to stand very still to avoid being blurred, and holding a smile for that period was tricky. As a result, we have a tendency to see our Victorian ancestors as even more formal and stern than they might have been."
A wheelchair-bound Canadian woman was denied entry to the United States this week because she was previously diagnosed with clinical depression. Now she wants to know why theUS Department of Homeland Security had her medical history on file.
The Toronto Star’s Valerie Haunch reported on Thursday that 50-year-old author Ellen Richardson was turned away from the city’s Pearson Airport three days earlier after DHS officials said she lacked the necessary medical clearance to cross into the US.
“I was turned away, I was told, because I had a hospitalization in the summer of 2012 for clinical depression,’’Richardson told the Star.
Green and brown sediment swirls trough the North Sea on this true color image taken on the 18th of December 2004. The outburst of these green sediments are due to river outlets on the English coast (the Humber and Thames) as well as the rivers Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt on the Dutch coast.
What also can be observed is the invisibility and shallowness of the ‘IJsselmeer’, a Dutch the lake on the northeastern corner of the image. Until 1932 this lake was actually a sea called the ‘Zuiderzee’. Continued flooding of the lake due to severe storms prompted the constructing of a major hydraulic engineering project by the name of ‘afsluitdijk’ which literally translates as closing dike. This lake is on average only about 5-6 meters deep.
Eventually, parts of the lake were drained using pumps and a whole new province called ‘Flevoland’ came into being. It lies around 5 meters below sea level. Drainage was started in 1957 and in the 1985 the province was founded. The area was mainly use for agriculture, but now serves as a major urban agglomeration of Amsterdam and other neighboring cities.
Image: NASA Visible Earth.
Take that Europe!
Attitude of population toward foreign visitors
Some surprises there for sure.
The low rank of the US is probably only surprising to Americans but other surprises are Germany and especially Denmark. Danes! What’s the problem?
Also interesting is the three Baltic states - Estonia clearly blue with their Latvian neighbours strongly red (Lithuania red, but less so). Probably should stop bucketing these three together from now on!
Yes, this is real. It’s a photograph of what I can only describe as a domestic horse.
Got to be in Pensnett…
Anti-gravity? Well it’s not exactly cancelling out the gravitational pull of the earth, but I suppose it’s fair to call it anti-gravity in the sense that a force is being applied against the pull of gravity.
In which case I’m now going to refer to jumping as anti-gravity thrusting. Trampolines are elastic anti-gravity accelerators. And (most) birds are just feathered gravitophobes. As well as being dinosaurs.
Bill FitzGibbons - Light Rails
Our atmosphere is as thick for the Earth a the skin on an apple.
Helpful reminder of how fragile the atmosphere is despite it looking pretty big when you’re standing outside.
It would be cheaper to fly to Spain, get a hip replacement, live there for two years, get a second hip replacement, and fly home than it would be to get one hip replaced in the United States.
Fossilized mollusc, embedded in its matrix.
Not only is this a mollusc, which encompasses Gastropods (snails etc.), bivalves (clams etc.), Cephalopods (Squid, Nautilus etc.) and brachiopods among others, it’s an Ammonoid!
Better than that, it’s a species of true Ammonite. This little fella likely went extinct with the dinosaurs, if not before, and despite its superficial similarity to a modern snail it’s much closer to our Nautilus (and coleoids like Squid and Octopus).
The preservation on this specimen is stunning, if you zoom in on the centre (Umbilicus) you can see wiggly lines that cross the coil, these were internal walls (septa) that separated the chambers of the shell which could fill with gas to provide bouyancy, and these can help identify true Ammonites from other Ammonoids, such as Ceratites and Goniatites.
(at least, this is what I’ve been taught)
THANK YOU! I knew very little about this particular specimen. :)
Sorry, can’t help myself. Brachiopods aren’t in phylum Mollusca. They’re in phylum Brachiopoda. They’re their own thing!
Because Terebratula and Spirifer won’t share phyla with any just old shellfish.