Planted in Fascination

When I was younger, around the age of five, my father told me not to peel or scratch the bark off a tree. He said they can feel, a bit like humans, and it would hurt them, just as it would hurt us if someone tried to peel our skin off! OUCH!

Anyway, nearly eight years on and this advice and information has stuck with me for as long as I can remember, so I suppose it was a familiar come back when I stumbled across a fascinating article in the New Scientist magazine. The article was about how plants and trees touch, hear, taste, smell and see. 

Today, many trees are being cut down, to build roads e.t.c. Plants aren’t really a big deal anymore, gardening shows are being replaced by talent contests. So is it really a big surprise when a group of scientists find out how trees and plants can use their senses? Probably not. 

In mythological stories e.g. lord of the rings, trees were thought of as humans and treated with just the same amount of respect. But that’s all changed now, trees obviously can’t be seen as humans…or can they?! 


Did you know that plants SEE light? They have photoreceptors in their stems and leaves, sort of like how we have them in their eyes. Plants can also see and know where the direction of light is coming from; it’s as if they are hungry for it. 

And if you thought that was clever wait until 
you hear about the Venus Fly Trap! The Venus Fly Trap is known for the way it senses a fly coming towards it and magically traps it in it powerful leaves. But how exactly does it do this? Well, when a fly comes towards the plant it sends a current which radiates throughout its leaves, it then activates the ion channels in the cell membrane and snaps shut! This all takes place in less than a tenth of a second. 

So it is now beginning to become clearer on how trees and plants use their five senses. These magnificent creations play a very important role in the universe and I suppose it’s safe to say they are not a graffiti wall, but are extraordinary in their purpose and should be well honoured.
Advertisements

Higgs Boson Explanation

What is the Higgs Boson? 
The Higgs Boson is a type of particle (referred to as the “God Particle” in an atom) which is part of what’s called ‘The Standard Model’ particle. It was founded by scientists at CERN and they are 99.9% sure that the Higgs Boson really exists. Dr Andreas Krassnigg, a physicist with the University of Graz in Austria elaborates:

“Picture the Standard Model as a car. Then you could imagine the Higgs boson to be, or provide, the wheels of that car”.

“For our car this is a question of central importance, since it determines what the car can do and how. While not having wheels would not have been a bad thing automatically – there are other fancier ways to move a car around, it has now turned out that the wheels seem to be there and that this is the way the car moves.”

So the Higgs Boson particle gives the other sub-atomic particles such as protons, neutrons, electrons, etc their mass and other qualities.

How was it discovered? 

The Higgs boson was discovered by Peter Higgs (and whom it was named after) and the CERN. But how they really discovered it was from a machine called ‘The Large Hadron Collider’ and it is an instrument that smashed atoms together.
 Why is it important and what changes will it make?
The Higgs Boson Provides a kind of insight into how the Universe works. And it’s possible to say that new types of technology fields will open due to the discovery of the Higgs Boson.
 
Another world wide benefit, says Dr Simon George, who is involved in the ATLAS experiment using the Large Hadron Collider is that young people will be inspired: “The highly trained PhDs who get snapped up by the private sector, and enthused children who will become our scientists in the future”
 

But Higgs himself said he doesn’t know what the implications are for the discovery!
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/large-hadron-collider/9381684/Higgs-boson-Whats-it-for-I-have-no-idea-says-Prof.html

Prometheus Film Review

I went to watch Prometheus the other day and was quite impressed with it so decided to do a review!

Prometheus is a prequel to the well known film ‘Alien.’ It is also a mixture of science, religion, adventure and horror. It is about a cadre of scientists who take part in an expedition about the origin of humanity, inspired by some ancient cave paintings.
The film was very gripping right from the beginning, which made it very interesting and I was eager to know what happened next. There was also quite a strong build up and the storyline became more and more clear as the climax built up. The ending also wrapped the story up neatly, but I felt as if the very last bit was slightly rushed, and it was a shame as this was a very good film! 

Overall, I would highly recommend this film to not just sci-fi fanatics but anybody. The thrilling storyline will have you hooked from beginning to end. However there are one or two gory scenes which some viewers may find disturbing but this film is definitely worth the while if you are a sci-fi/mystery lover!

Here is an embedded link to the trailer of ‘Prometheus’

The Creation of The Camel

I have decided to write about the camel because it is a very interesting animal, so here are some stunning facts that will leave you dazzled!
The hump
  • The hump of a camel provides nutrients for the animal at times of dearth and starvation. Camels can live up to three weeks without water, and loose thirty three percent of weight, whereas a humanwould lose eight percent of their weight and die within thirty six hours.

The face
  • The eyelashes have an interlocking system, if there is danger they automatically shut. The interlocking eyelashes don’t let any dust particles enter the eyes of the animal.
  • The nose and ears are covered in long hairs to protect it from sand.
  • Its long neck enables it to reach and feed on leaves three metres above the ground.
The knees and the feet
  • The feet are made up of two toes joined with an elastic pad. It allows the animal to firmly grasp the earth and is totally suitable for all kinds of land conditions.

  • The toenails protect the feet from potential damage.

  • The knees are covered in callus which consists of skin as hard and thick as a horn. When the animal lies down the callus protects it from being injured by the scorching ground.

The Solar System

Mercury

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and also the fastest moving. Space probes have revealed that its surface is covered in craters, and looks much like our moon. It is the smallest planet and is a hostile place, with significant atmosphere and temperatures ranging between 400 degrees Celsius by day and 170 degrees Celsius by night. It seems unlikely that anyone will ever want to visit this planet.

Venus

Venus is the size of Earth and is the hottest planet with temperatures reaching 475 degrees Celsius. The reason for this is that the atmosphere consists mainly of Carbon Dioxide (CO2). From planet Earth you may be able to spot planet Venus as it is the brightest star, and can be seen in daylight.
Jupiter

Jupiter is a giant planet; it is three times bigger than any other planet. Jupiter is located beyond Mars and the asteroid belt, and has four moons discovered by Galileo. It is made up of Hydrogen and Helium.

Earth

Earth looks mainly blue as a result of 70% of the planet’s surface being water. It has lots of white due to the clouds. Earth is the only planet known to support life, due to atmosphere and water.

Mars

Mars has similar features as Earth, e.g. atmosphere with clouds. Space probes in the 1970s went to mars, but they only found a barren rocky surface and no trace of water. However, in 2005 the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched and will further explore the planet.
Saturn
Saturn is similar to Jupiter in structure, and is best known for its rings. The rings measure 27000km (170000 miles) and their origin is still a matter of debate.

Uranus
Uranus was discovered by William Herschel. It has black rings and cannot be seen from Earth. The rings were discovered in 1977. It is broadly similar to Saturn and Jupiter in composition.
Neptune
Neptune was named after a mythological sea god. It was discovered in 1846 and has blue and green clouds. Neptune has rings like Uranus.

Pluto
Pluto is no longer identified as a planet. It is now considered the largest member of the Kuiper belt. “Kuiper” rhymes with “wiper”.
thank you for reading sit back and enjoy the clips!!!!!