September 16, 2009
I’m getting lazy with my post titles… Alright, so I’ll admit, I’m a cat man. Don’t get me wrong, dogs are awesome, I have two. But there’s just something about cats that are just…. VERY awesome… but they’re still bitches.
What’s even cooler, are big cats… freaking awesome. I saw a cougar once from a helicopter a few years ago, but the MNR likes to keep their sighting under wraps for some reason. Anyways, an elusive big cat, known as the African golden cat, was photographed in the thick jungle brush of Uganda. Apparently only one picture exists of the mighty beast, and you can barely tell it’s any other type of cat because it’s in black and white… but I’m no cat expert, so I’m sure there are tell-tail signs (get it? tell-TAIL signs?!). You don’t have to acknowledge that, I already sacked myself for it.
The african golden cat, scowering for some tasty golden eagle.
This kind of makes me think about the endangered species list. There are a ton of animals on that list, but you would think the ones that you’d never see or hear about are the ones that are most likely the worst off. I don’t know how it works, but if nobody hears about them because there are so few, then I guess they wouldn’t be hunted? Dammit, I just don’t know.
I love how they say in the article (click on the picture), that the cat is so rare that very few scientists in Africa have seen it, ha! I kind of figure that the fact that people never see this cat is the reason it’s rare to begin with, no? Call me crazy…
September 16, 2009
Holy crap I hate chemistry… Doesn’t it suck when stupid profs ruin shit for you? Yep, it happens…. But, I’m briefly interested in chemistry again!
A couple weeks ago, scientists photographed a single molecule for the first time, which I figured was pretty cool to begin with. Then I realized that it was pretty intense, not thinking that chemistry, like much of science, is borderline still theory because many interactions or say, individual molecules, can’t be directly observed. So this is kind of a big deal.
The first photographed molecule..... pentacene.
Why I think this is so incredible is because before this photograph, the structure of any molecule is ‘predicted’ using energy, repulsion, and interactive techniques of individual atoms to figure it out. So, the fact that this picture turned out to be pretty much identical to the ball and stick model of a pentacene molecule predicted using the interactions between carbon and hydrogen atoms, is pretty incredible.
Now let’s see how it interacts with fire again…
September 9, 2009
While I have a small bit of rum and calmly watch my quiche burn in the oven, I can’t help but think about tidal energy…
… I read about this project going on off the coast of the UK, and now learn that they’ve actuall constructed it this year, so I thought I’d just mention it. In what I think is probably one of the best attempts at producing green energy, tidal energy seems to be making just as much headway as solar power (I have zero evidence to back this up). Marine Current Turbines seems to be on of the leaders into this technology, creating a few (4?) anchored propellers in the water off the west coast of the UK as a project called SeaGen. In it’s super simplest form, it’s basically taking a wind turbine and putting it in the water. It uses the the tide cycle, which occurs twice a day, to drive turbines generating electricity, not unlike a wind turbine; the blades spin one direction for the incoming tides, then the blades rotate to accomodate the outgoing tide later on (or is it outgoing, then incoming? I can’t remember…). Below is a little visual put out by Marine Current Turbines to explain it with pretty pictures…
I hope this idea catches on, seeing as tidal energy can be harnessed wherever there’s a coastline pretty much. What caught my attention was an ongoing project with Marine Current Turbines in eastern Canada to harness the energy of the Bay of Fundy, which has the largest tides in the world weighing in at 15m. While there are already dams in place to control the flow of the tides, a propeller turbine system like the SeaGen seems a lot less invasive and less of an eyesore.
Ummm… apparently that’s all I’ve got. I seem to be a little tired.