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The Giants’ mind-blowing 16-3 start to July is sensational, but they’ve done better

first_imgJuly is the longest, hottest, tryingest, soul sappingest, most humid month on the baseball calendar.The Giants are going to cry bitter tears when it ends.Your heroes are on a ridiculous run. But you knew that even before Pablo (9 lives) Sandoval shoe-horned a game-winning home run over the left field fence Tuesday night to give the Giants a 5-4,13-inning win over the Cubs. In keeping with the Giants’ impossibly dramatic hot streak, Sandoval’s game-winner barely cleared the wall. One more coat …last_img read more

Three More Designs that Defy Evolution

first_imgDarwinian natural selection sounds convincing until you look at the details of extraordinary designs in nature.Dandelion SeedsA study in Nature shows that the lowly dandelion seed uses an “extraordinary” flight technique that was previously unknown. Called a “separated vortex ring,” the mechanism literally sucks the seed and its parachute up into the air. Jeremy Rehm, commenting on this in Nature, calls it an “‘impossible’ method never before seen” but that might actually be common in the living world. See the short embedded video in Rehm’s article, or on YouTube, where scientists at the University of Edinburgh show how it works. “Perhaps one day, even human technologies could be designed to fly as efficiently as the mighty dandelion seed,” the narrator says of this “completely new type of flight.”The mechanism depends on the precise spacing, length, and mass of the filaments on the parachute, called a pappus. Surprisingly, the open-air parachute creates more drag than if it were a solid disk, and air flow through the filaments causes a low-pressure vortex above the pappus to suck the parachute up, giving if lift and simultaneously stabilizing its orientation. Nature says, “a rare combination of size, mass, shape and, crucially, porosity for the pappus to generate this vortex ring.”Mantis ShrimpThe amazing mantis shrimp is back in the news. New Scientist reporter Leah Crane tells how the googly-eyed arthropod packs a wallop strong as a .22 bullet with its club. Instead of big biceps, “it has arms that are naturally spring-loaded, allowing it to swing its fistlike clubs to speeds up to 23 metres per second.”Researchers at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore examined the saddle-shaped device on the limb that stores elastic energy, and watched what happened when they tweaked its shape.Miserez and his colleagues used a series of tiny pokes and prods, as well as a computer model, to examine exactly how the shrimp’s saddle holds all that energy without snapping. They found that it works because of a two-layer structure. The top layer is made of a ceramic material similar to bone, and the bottom is made of mostly plastic-like biopolymers.When the saddle is bent, the top layer gets compressed and the bottom layer is stretched. The ceramic can hold a lot of energy when it is compressed, but is brittle when bent and stretched. The biopolymers are stronger and stretchier, so they hold the whole thing together.Both the spring-loaded device and the resilient material in the club are necessary for the powerful force of the mantis shrimp’s punch, which is strong enough to shatter the hard shells of their prey. And that’s just one of the irreducibly complex mechanisms in this animal’s repertoire. It is also the only animal known that can sense and utilize circularly polarized light (31 March 2008). Crane mentions that scientists at MIT are considering imitating the mantis shrimp’s firepower for human applications.Human BrainClare Wilson announces in New Scientist, “Your brain is like 100 billion mini-computers all working together.” Mark Harnett at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge installed microscopic electrodes into living nerve cells that had been removed during surgery on epilepsy patients. What he found was astonishing.Credit: Illustra Media“Each of our brain cells could work like a mini-computer,” Wilson writes, “according to the first recording of electrical activity in human cells at a super-fine level of detail.” Consider just one neuron among the hundred billion inside your skull:Each neuron may have about 50 dendrites, and each dendrite has hundreds of synapses, or connection points with other neurons. It’s signals running across these synapses and into the dendrite that make it more or less likely that the dendrite itself will fire an electrical signal along its length.The number of ion channels per dendrite is smaller in humans than in mice, Wilson explains. But this is good; it gives the synapses at the ends of the dendrites more opportunity for synergy. The dendrites, therefore, “collectively determine the final ‘decision’ on whether the main branch should fire.” That’s happening right now as you read this article.If Darwin were here, his probable reaction is depicted in Brett Miller’s cartoon:(Visited 762 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Model-turned-fighter Rome Trinidad finds inspiration in Catriona Gray’s Miss U win

first_img“It proved to be a year of success for the Philippines. I am drawing inspiration from that success as I open a new chapter in 2019. Like them, I am not giving up. I will be back stronger than ever,” she vowed.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Gray on Monday became the fourth Filipina to win the prestigious title, but her road to the top did not come without failures.And that’s what Trinidad admired most from Gray, who kept going despite the adversities.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief“Catriona is truly an inspiration for us women. She is a living proof that anything is possible through hard work,” Trinidad said.The 24-year-old Gray, who is also a martial artist and an advocate of free education and HIV/AIDS awareness, topped 93 other candidates from across the globe, only made it to the Top Five of Miss World in 2016. MOST READ Two years later, Gray earned the right to represent the Philippines in the Miss Universe after ruling the the Binibining Pilipinas.“She didn’t give up on her dream. Failures didn’t stop her to reach for her ultimate goal. It is empowering to have a fellow Filipina like Catriona Gray,” said Trinidad.“We belong to a totally different kind of fields, but seeing her succeed boosts my morale and inspires me to pursue my dreams just like her.”Trinidad, who was into modelling before becoming a professional fighter, hopes the extra motivation will help her have a better campaign next year.Trinidad last saw action in May when she lost to Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol by submission in the first round in ONE: Grit & Glory.ADVERTISEMENT Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’center_img SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Mixed martial artist Rome Trinidad found an added source of inspiration in fellow Filipina and newly-crowned Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? ‘Lady Messi’ keeps impressing in Paris SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionlast_img read more

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