Welcome to my musings on whatever topic catches my eye, plus stories, recipes, handyman tips, welding, photography, and what have you. Oh, and analog/digital hardware design, and software. Please comment on the blog post so everyone who visits can see your comments.

Month: May 2009 (Page 1 of 2)

Flickr Explore

Finally got a couple of photos into Explore! again on Flickr. Yay!

Click the photos to see larger versions.

Greenish transparent jumping spider. This spider makes it apparent that Salticidae are different from ordinary spiders in many ways. For example, their legs are not operated by muscles and tendons, but by hydraulics. You can also see the tiny black dot at the tip of each leg — the spider’s “foot”. Each of those contains around 600,000 microscopic setules which enable these spiders to stick to surfaces by means of the Van der Waals force (an electrical effect). When walking on the ceiling, each of those tiny black “feet” can hold up to 170 times the spider’s weight.

On Flickr

Here’s a fairly common sight in the tropical regions of Central America, the Brown Bark Scorpion. I’m holding this one here by blinding him with a bright light. They have several pairs of eyes and you can see its primary eyes shining like diamonds. Since I startled it, it’s playing possum, playing dead. Notice the tail flopped over to one side and legs all askew. There’s actually nothing wrong with this scorpion and it’s quite alive.

On Flickr

 

 

It Appears We’ve Finally Found the Evolutionary Missing Link

Scientists have discovered an exquisitely preserved ancient primate fossil that they believe forms a crucial “missing link” between our own evolutionary branch of life and the rest of the animal kingdom.

The 47 million year old primate – named Ida – has been hailed as the fossil equivalent of a “Rosetta Stone” for understanding the critical early stages of primate evolution.

The top-level international research team, who have studied her in secret for the past two years, believe she is the most complete and best preserved primate fossil ever uncovered. The skeleton is 95% complete and thanks to the unique location where she died, it is possible to see individual hairs covering her body and even the make-up of her final meal – a last vegetarian snack.

“This little creature is going to show us our connection with the rest of all the mammals; with cows and sheep, and elephants and anteaters,” said Sir David Attenborough who is narrating a BBC documentary on the find. “The more you look at Ida, the more you can see, as it were, the primate in embryo.”

“This will be the one pictured in the textbooks for the next hundred years,” said Dr Jørn Hurum, the palaeontologist from Oslo University’s Natural History Museum who assembled the scientific team to study the fossil. “It tells a part of our evolution that’s been hidden so far. It’s been hidden because the only [other] specimens are so incomplete and so broken there’s nothing almost to study.” The fossil has been formally named Darwinius masillae in honour of Darwin’s 200th birthday year.

It has been shipped across the Atlantic for an unveiling ceremony hosted by the mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg today. There is even talk of Ida being the first non-living thing to feature on the front cover of People magazine.

See more here.

STS-125 Atlantis Solar Transit (200905120002HQ)

These photos are too cool not to post.

In this tightly cropped image, the NASA space shuttle Atlantis is seen in silhouette during solar transit, Tuesday, May 12, 2009, from Florida. This image was made before Atlantis and the crew of STS-125 had grappled the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: (NASA/Thierry Legault).

Originally uploaded by NASA HQ Photos. STS-125 Atlantis Solar Transit (200905120002HQ).

In this tightly cropped image, the NASA space shuttle Atlantis is seen in silhouette during solar transit, Tuesday, May 12, 2009, from Florida. This image was made before Atlantis and the crew of STS-125 had grappled the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: (NASA/Thierry Legault). Click to see larger.

Above photo, uncropped. Click to see larger.

The NASA space shuttle Atlantis and the Hubble Space Telescope are seen in silhouette, side by side in this solar transit image made at 12:17p.m. EDT, Wednesday, May 13, 2009, from west of Vero Beach, Florida. The two spaceships were at an altitude of 600 km and they zipped across the sun in only 0.8 seconds. Photo Credit: (NASA/Thierry Legault)

Above photo, uncropped. Click to see larger.

Thierry made this image using a solar-filtered Takahashi 5-inch refracting telescope and a Canon 5D Mark II digital camera. Photo Credit: (NASA/Thierry Legault)

« Older posts

© 2022 Shuttersparks

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑