Rabu, 24 Juni 2009



Using a brain that is about the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen, the monarch butterfly migrates as far as 1,800 miles from Canada to a small patch of forest in Mexico. How does the insect find its way?
Consider: Monarch butterflies have a solar compass that is fixed to the position of the sun. but there is more. These insects also use a remarkably accurate circadian clock-a biological function based on the 24-hour day-to make corrections for the sun’s movement. Dr. Steven Reppert, a neurobiologist, says that monarch butterflies “have an entirely different way of building a circadian clock than the other insects and animals studied so far.”
Learning more about the secrets of the monarchs’ inner timepiece might give scientists further insight into the circadian clocks of humans and animals. It could also lead to new therapies for neurological afflictions. “I want to understand how the brain incorporates information about time and space,” says Reppert, “and the monarch is a spectacular example.”
What do you think? Is the complex navigational system of the monarch butterfly the product of chance? Or is it evidence of an intelligent Designer?

The Best Place for Astronomy

The Best Place for Astronomy
An international team has set up a fully robotic astronomical observatory at Dome Argus, which at 13,400 feet above sea level is the highest point on the East Antarctic plateau. Just 700 miles form the South Pole, the site is very cold and at times exceptionally dark. It has very dry, calm air as well as nights that are four months long. Dome Argus is said to be the best place on earth for astronomical observations. With a telescope here, says Lifan Wang, director of the Chinese Center for Antarctic Astronomy, “it is possible to achieve near-space-quality images at a much lower cost than launching a telescope into space.”
In these times of rising fuel costs and growing environmental concerns, shipowners are searching for ways to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. And they are using an old ally – the wind. One idea that has already been tested is that of using a kite to assist with pulling a ship, reports the newspaper Franfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The kite, 1,000 feet in the air, harness the wind, allowing the captain to throttle back the ship’s engine. A 1,722-square-foot kite recently helped to power a cargo vessel across the Atlantic.

Senin, 22 Juni 2009

The Secret - Longevity

The islands of Okinawa, Japan, were estimated to have nearly 740 centenarians in 2006 – 90 % of whom were women – out of a population of 1.3 million. This represents about 50 centenarians for every 100,000 people, according to the Okinawa Centenarian Study, headed by Dr. Makoto Suzuki. In most developed lands, the ratio is thought to be between 10 and 20 per 100,000.
The ongoing study, said to be “the longest continuously running centenarian study in the world,” found that “an unusual number of centenarians [were] in extraordinarily healthy shape.” To find out why, Suzuki and his team examined the lifestyle and genetics of over 900 centenarians, as well as many other Okinawans in their 70’s or older. The researchers found that the subject tended to be lean and fit, that their arteries were clean, and that they had remarkably low rates of cancer and heart disease. And of those in their late 90’s, fewer had dementia than comparable populations in other developed lands. The secret?
One major factor was genetics. But there were other factors too – the avoidance of tobacco, moderation in the use of alcohol, and a god diet. The Okinawan diet tend to be low in calories and high in vegetables and fruits, natural fiber, and good fats (omega-3, monounsaturated fat). And the people have the habit of eating only until they are about 80 % full. “You should stop at the first feeling of fullness you get,” says Dr. Bradley Willcox, a coinvestigator in the study. “There’s about a 20-minute delay before the stomach tells the brain.”
Okinawans keep physically active through gardening, daily walking, traditional dancing, or other activities. Personality testing revealed the centenarians to be optimistic and adaptable. They handled stress well, and the women especially manisfested “strong social integration.”
“There’s no magic pill” for longevity, says Willcox. As the study revealed, it is influenced by genes, diet, exercise, good habits, “and healthy ways of coping with stress.”

By AWAKE! Writer in Japan

Selasa, 16 Juni 2009

lebih berbahagia memberi

Lebih Berbahagia Memberi
“Uang membuat Anda berbahagia – jika Anda menggunakannya demi kepentingan orang lain,” bunyi tajuk berita di The Globe and Mail dari Kanada. Kebanyakan orang yang disurvei berpikir bahwa membelanjakan uang demi kepentingan diri sendiri akan membuat mereka lebih berbahagia, tetapi orang-orang yang menggunakan uang mereka untuk membantu orang lain – tidak soal berapa jumlahnya – terbukti benar-benar lebih berbahagia . “Kekayaan bukan jaminan kebahagiaan, berbagai penelitian telah menunjukkan,” kata surat kabar itu. “Setelah orang memiliki cukup uang untuk memenuhi kebutuhan dasar mereka, emndapatkan lebih banyak uang lagi tidak akan menambah kebahagiaan mereka.”

reaksi burung terhadap kebisingan

Reaksi Burung terhadap Kebisingan
Sejumlah burung berupaya keras agar kicauan mereka terdengar di tengah-tengah keramaian kota. Jika kebisingan kota bisa jadi menyusahkan manusia, hal itu merupakan soal “hidup dan mati” bagi burung, kata majalah New Scientist, karena si jantan bernyanyi untuk “menarik perhatian pasangannya dan menandai wilayahnya”. Karena kebisingan kota lebih keras pada frekuensi rendah, burung-burung tertentu membuat kicauan mereka terdengar dengan bernyanyi pada malam hari atau meningkatkan volume atau meninggikan nada. Penyesuaian ini tidak hanya dilakukan oleh burung-burung yang itnggal di kota, kata majalah itu. Burung-burung yang tinggal dekat “air terjun dan aliran deras sungai juga bernyanyi dengan frekuensi tinggi”.

superglue kuno

Superglue (lem super) Kuno
Pada zaman dulu, hiasan dedaunan perak ditempelkan pada helm pawai pejabat Romawi dengan bahan perekat yang mengandung zat-zat yang terdapat dalam superglue (lem super). Frank Willer, kepala tim restorasi Rhineland Museum di Bonn, Jerman, menemukannya secara tidak sengaja. Dengan menggunakan gergaji kecil, ia melepaskan sepotong logam kecil dari sebuah helm besi dari abad pertama SM, yang tersimpan di dasar Sungai Rhine selama setidaknya 1.500 tahun. “Panas dari gergaji itu menyebabkan deduanan perak pada helm tersebut mengelupas, meninggalkan bekas-bekas lem yang seperti benang,” paparnya. Analisis menyingkapkan bahwa perekat yang kuat itu terbuat dari aspal, minyak terkulit kayu, dan lemak sapi. WOW… pinter benerrr…..