Recent Entries in Eco

  The Stars are Right

For at least three minutes, anyway. This awesome video gives us a brief glimpse of what's to come when Cthulhu awakens.



Octopus Walks on Land at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve - YouTube

Found on Boing Boing.

All right! Damn Interesting blog is back! And here's a doozey: The humble banana. Didn't know it was a sterile hybrid, sort of a mule fruit. I thought God designed it for us (haha).

The banana plant is a hybrid, originating from the mismatched pairing of two South Asian wild plant species: Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. Between these two products of nature, the former produces unpalatable fruit flesh, and the latter is far too seedy for enjoyable consumption. Nonetheless, these closely related plants occasionally cross-pollinate and spawn seedlings which grow into sterile, half-breed banana plants. Some ten thousand years ago, early human experimenters noted that some of these hybridized Musa bore unexpectedly tasty, seedless fruit with an unheard-of yellowness and inexplicably amusing shape. They also proved an excellent source of carbohydrates and other important nutrients.

Damn Interesting â.¢ The Unfortunate Sex Life of the Banana

Anyone else get a little misty-eyed at the end of this ad? Presumably this was the only man spared of its wrath.

YouTube - Nissan LEAFâ.¢: Polar Bear

  Garden Zombie

From ThinkGeek. Hey, this is all kinds of awesome.

garden_zombie.jpg

ThinkGeek :: Garden Zombie

A beautiful speech. Brings out the emotional atheist in me.

YouTube - The Pale Blue Dot - full speech

  Evolution made easy

Another awesome video from Thunderf00t.

YouTube - Evolution for IDiots (remix)

Sounds dirty, though. Like a submarine filled with seamen.

great_tits_sperm.jpg

Flashier Great Tits Produce Stronger Sperm

  Symphonies of Science


4 great videos from melodysheep. You can download them from http://symphonyofscience.com.

YouTube - Symphonies of Science

  The Garden Jawa

Like a garden gnome, but will steal your droid, and resell it to a moisture farmer on Tatooine.

garden_jawa.jpg

StarWarsShop.com - Exclusive Garden Jawa

  Mutated by Cosmic Rays

First time I've seen this outside of a Marvel comic book reference:

Cosmic rays can mutate

Charged particles zipping through space, known as cosmic rays, can mutate the otherwise manageable microbes, spurring the bugs to reproduce quicker and become more virulent, recent studies show.

At the same time, exposure to cosmic rays and the stresses of long-term weightlessness can dampen the human immune system, encouraging diseases to take hold.

Mutant Diseases May Cripple Missions to Mars, Beyond

Ruh-roh! Looks like kudzu has finally come to Canada. How bad is it? You can actually watch it grow:

kudzu_on_a_car.jpg

The patch of kudzu vine was found on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie in Leamington, Ont., a farming community about 30 kilometres southeast of Windsor.

It measures 120 metres by 50 metres and is "pretty well established" but contained, according to Rachel Gagnon, a co-ordinator with the Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC).

"There's a possibility to control that spot before it starts spreading into new areas," Gagnon said.

If not destroyed immediately, the plant could wind up costing "millions of dollars to eradicate," said Rowan Sage, a biology professor at the University of Toronto, who began studying kudzu 20 years ago.

CBC News - Windsor - Invasive plant species takes root in Canada

In retrospect, maybe locating your city on a tectonic plate boundary isn't such a good idea. I'm looking at you, Oakland.

supe_valley.jpg

First South American Civilisation Wiped Out by Earthquake

The downfall of this powerful civilization was its location. The Supe valley is where the Nazca Plate and the South American Plate crash. When the big one hit, this earthquake-prone region was also hit by mudslides, which clogged the rivers. This coincided with heavy rainfall brought on by a strong El Niño, thus forming a 60-mile-long ocean ridge, which sealed off coastal bays. These filled with sand and therefore eliminated the Supe society's source of food.

Tough luck? Says archeologist Daniel H. Sandweiss of the University of Maine: "By not being able to look decades ahead, they [the inhabitants of Supe valley] were not able to cope with it." With the technology of the time, it was near impossible. Sometimes, when it rains it just pours.

No man is an island. Or is he?

Man (Re)Builds Mexican Island Paradise on 250,000 Recycled Floating Bottles | Ecoble

If you canâ..t afford to buy your own tropical island paradise, why not build your own? That is exactly what Richie Sowa did back in 1998, from over a quarter-million plastic bottles. His Spiral Island, destroyed years later by a hurricane, sported a two-story house, solar oven, self-composting toilet and multiple beaches. Better yet, he has started building another one! His ultimate goal? To build the island bigger and bigger and finally float out to sea, traveling the world from the comfort of his own private paradise.

I've already applied for this, so get lost!

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Wanted: Paradise island 'caretaker'

Tourism officials in Australia are describing it as 'the best job in the world'.

They want someone to work on a tropical island off the Queensland coast.

No formal qualifications are needed but candidates must be willing to swim, snorkel, dive and sail.

In return, the successful applicant will receive a salary of A$150,000 ($103,000) for six months and get to live rent-free in a three-bedroom villa, complete with pool.

  1976 inteview with Brando

From the Time Magazine archives.

The Private World of Marlon Brando - TIME

"My first impulse," Brando later admitted, "was to run like hell and disappear into the bush. My second was to turn you upside down and plant you, head first, like a coconut tree." Janos spent two days with Brando on the island and escaped without being planted. His report:

Beyond the sand bar, where we had walked the skiff over the shoals at the end of a languorous afternoon, the wind freshened suddenly ahead of a curtain of rain. The usually placid tropical lagoon hurled water into the skiff. The three of us were drenched. Willie, a local fisherman, grinned at the adventure. Our hulking captain frowned, grabbed a bucket and handed one to me. Brando read my fear. "Don't worry," he shouted. "When the rain hits, it will flatten the sea... the weight of the rain water." Our boat sped into the wall of rain; the sea flattened, and a few minutes later we beached the boat on the white sands of a small, S-shaped islandâ..Brando's bird sanctuary.


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