Human v/s Brachiosaurus

Human v/s Brachiosaurus

Scientist say it is 100% possible to bring back the dinosaurs using ancient DNA.
Now why would we want to do that??

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E-Reader Etiquette

Is it impolite to ask someone what they are reading if they are reading it on an e-reader?

 

On walking into the staff room at work to use the printer I met a colleague reading an e-reader, I hesitated at first wondering whether I should interrupt her bliss, but I couldn’t help myself.

“What are you reading?” I asked.

She stuttered a little and started to turn pink and do you know what she said?  She said

“I can’t remember.”

She couldn’t remember the title of the book right there in front of her.  Would this happen with a paper book? Does this happen when all your books are in cyberspace and you can take them anywhere?  Does your book’s title become that unimportant that you forget what you are reading?  No, she didn’t want to tell me.  Why?  Who knows?

The e-reader: Kobo, Kindle, iPad and others; technology to store about 3500 books and take them everywhere you go.  Since this growth in popularity I have noticed my interest in what people are reading more than I did before.  It was obviously always there, but I just didn’t notice because it is easy when someone is reading a paper book in your company you can see the book, the title and you can peep over their shoulder and read the title on the top of the page, you don’t have to ask. I started to think about why people would choose to read an e-reader.  Personally I do like to read a proper paper book, there is something satisfying about holding the book in your hands and turning each page, seeing the picture on the front cover; the blurb, all of what is meant by book contributes to the whole experience of a book, even going to the book shop to buy a book and, close by second, waiting for book to arrive from the famous online bookstore.

Do you think that the book you read tells people something about you; almost like a fashion statement?

The middle aged man reading ‘Harry Potter’ may think people see him as ‘down-with-the-kids’, the student reading ‘Pride and Prejudice’ may think people see her as an intellectual and either one could be correct, but I think the book you read is a lot like the clothes you choose to wear, in some respects, as they give signals out as to who you are, but then you can hide behind your clothing.  When you see someone reading a particular genre of book, this might be just me, but I think you form an opinion about that person; what they are like, friendly, exciting, boring, intelligent, how much money they earn, etc. etc.  Think about it for a second; you would think differently of someone who was sat reading ‘50 Sheds of Grey’, (yes Sheds) compared to someone sat reading ‘Bravo Two Zero’, both very good books, but we will leave that subject there.

Maybe some people don’t want you to know what they are reading.  This could be because they are reading a self-help book; quit drugs, trying to beat depression etc.  As you’d imagine this would be a very private thing.  They may be reading a book that they think people will judge them wrongly for; for example, reading a book written by an infamous convicted child killer; you wouldn’t want to draw attention to the fact that you had spent money on a book written by such a high profile, hated person.

All-being-said, I do read books via Kindle iPhone as I find that if I spot an interesting book in a magazine I have to buy it immediately.  They are good for reading from any angle, on your back, on your side, on your front, in the dark; you get the point.  You can take all your iBooks everywhere you go and have a sneaky read at the traffic lights; although, this is not recommended and is illegal.

What do you think?  Do you think people use them to read otherwise embarrassing subject matter in public or with family? Do you think they are just a convenient way to carry your whole library around?  But most of all:  Do you think it is impolite to ask someone what they are reading on their e-reader?

 

Madder Than a Box of Frogs

The rain had stopped so I decided to nip out to the shop.

When I walked through the garden gate my eyes were drawn straight away to movement on the ground.

At first I thought it was starting to rain those big fat rain drops again and it was those bouncing on the pavement.  But no they were frogs, not hundreds of them, but quite a few.  I love frogs and as people interested in nature probably know, they are declining.  All of the frogs seemed to be heading in the same direction, southeast.  Unfortunately, this was across the road, and looking at the road there was already some amphibian casualties.

So I got one of my little one’s toy trucks and began to fill it.  Before long I had my 2 boys, husband and 2 neighbours clearing the road.  But the frogs just kept appearing.

This was about half way through the collection; I probably ended up with about 30 – 40 and 2 filthy children to match.

Please feel free to leave comments or links about frogs and by all means if you are a frog expert I would love to hear from you.

//www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/10018103/We-need-to-fight-to-stop-frogs-extinction.html

I feel I’ve done my bit for all Rana temporaria kind.

The Royal Bambino

Poor thing.

Sorry to put a dampner on the celebrations but that’s what my first thought was.

Certainly the baby Prince will grow up with the most amazing opportunities and great wealth, but when William and Kate step out of those hospital doors the scrutiny he will be subject to will remain for the rest of his life.

As we all know in the first few days of motherhood when the body is getting used to the surge in hormones, as well as mental adjustment, most women suffer from the baby blues.  This is usually overwhelming feelings of love, guilt and fear of not being able to protect your baby.  Imagine what will be going through Kate’s mind; that poor little baby has so much to live up to and little does the poor, innocent, little babe know that he is third in line to the throne!

 

Would You Move the Dead Cat?

     

This morning on my way to work in rush hour traffic I was crawling along Albion Way, Salford, when I saw a black furry thing on the road.  From a distance I could see it was either a young cat or a pet rabbit.  Cars were rolling over it, but luckily it wasn’t in the line of their tyres.  It was obvious as I crawled closer that it had only just happened, probably within the last hour or two.

My immediate thought when I see animals in the road, alive or dead, is to get out and move them to the side of the road, out of respect for the poor animal so that it doesn’t get systematically pulverized into the Tarmac for the rest of the day and if the owner came looking at least they would find their cat in a relatively better state than flat.  So, without thinking I pulled onto the inside lane when the lights were on red, got a plastic Tesco bag out of my car and picked the poor cat up and put it on the central reservation.  When I turned around there was a woman in her car with her hands over her mouth, aghast.  I don’t know whether she was aghast at the sight of a mortally injured cat being peeled off the road or because a cat had been run over, or worse it was her cat.  I hope she didn’t think I had just killed it.

When I got back in my car a strange feeling came over me, like I was going to faint; I think I was shocked that I had just got out of my car and done this in front of a queue of horrified onlookers.  Then I started to feel really embarrassed and couldn’t look left or right as I felt that everyone was looking at me thinking why did that stupid woman just do such a macabre thing in front of us all first thing in the morning.

You see, some of you reading this may know, that I used to be a Veterinary Nurse and it was, and obviously still is, second nature to me to handle sick, dead and injured animals and treat them with the same respect that we give people. (Obviously, people would be taken to hospital and not dumped on the central reservation!)

I spent the rest of my journey to work, on what was a gorgeous sunny morning, fretting about the fact that I may have looked like a complete psycho and have just ruined a lot of people’s day and left someone’s young child inconsolable on their way to the childminder.  Should I have left it where it was?

Let me know.

1 Cup Or 5?

On a daily basis we are bombarded with news of new research about what to eat, drink and smoke.  Laughably doctors now say that you don’t have to quit smoking altogether, you can just cut down.  At the end of the day, what is good for you today will probably be bad for you tomorrow and doesn’t everything lead to one eventuality anyway….death?  May be that is a bit drastic, but something IS going to kill you in the end.

As a coffee drinker I am interested in the changing opinions regarding coffee and whether it is indeed bad for you or not.  It certainly helps you stay awake on long haul journeys and could be classed as a life saver in that respect.  Opinion shifts regularly and so I have compiled a little cup-by-cup list of pros and cons announced over the years in the media.

1 Cup:

Pro:  Enough to lessen your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by half due to the dopamine promotion of caffeine.    

Con:  Just before bed could keep you awake.

 2 Cups:

Pro:  40% lower risk of developing gallstones.  Caffeine encourages the gallbladder to empty. 

Con: Osteoporosis in menopausal women due to diuretic effect of caffeine causing excretion of calcium.

 3 Cups:

Pro:  Cuts women’s risk of developing diabetes by 29% and men’s by 27%.  Caffeine helps to transport insulin into cells.

Con:  More than 3 cups a day can alter sleep, cause irritation, moodiness and nausea.

4 Cups:

Pro:  10% less chance of developing breast cancer.   

Con:  Increased risk of heart attack and stroke due to the increased amount of inflammatory agents found in the blood of coffee drinkers.                 

 5 Cups:

No documented evidence of benefits above this amount. 

Con: Twice as likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.  Particularly if you drink the unfiltered varieties.

One last point that doesn’t fit into this guide:  A daily coffee drinker is half as likely to get liver cancer and could be protected against colon cancer. 

 

So according to this evidence,  you can drink coffee all day and guard against liver, colon and breast cancer, Parkinson’s, diabetes and gallstones, but you may end up with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis if you are a women and as well as this you could be a nauseous, irritable, moody insomniac.

Please don’t base your coffee consumption on my light-hearted little article.

Gender Selection of the Unborn Child

To Be a Boy or Not to Be a Boy, That is the Question.

Having 2 children of my own, 2 boys, I have always been scared of having another as; although I have 2 nieces who I love dearly, I am scared of having a girl as I feel that it would throw the dynamics of the family on its head. Anyhow, I am heading for forty and I am also told that girls are much harder than boys. But there’s at least 3 more topics.

In these times of technological advance, where science breakthroughs are a daily occurrence, it would be believable if we were told that we could select the gender of our unborn child. Well you can, but its invasive, expensive and you have to meet the strict eligibility requirements 1st.  During Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) eggs are harvested from the mother and sperm from the father, the eggs are fertilised externally, where they are screened, and only the healthy desired embryos are implanted and the pregnancy continues as normal.

105 boys are born to every 100 girls (National Centre for Health Statistics)

 

  • Moral and Ethical Concerns
  • Influencing natural selection
  • One sex may be seen as inferior
  • What other traits could be breed out of the human race?
  • Only available to the rich

This way of selecting the gender of your unborn child is more desirable than the methods used in other countries where this method is unavailable to them.  Due to cultural pressures in India and enforced birth permits on the women of China,  this month 50,000 female foetuses will be aborted in India, and according to the United Nations Populations Fund there are 60 million unaccounted for females in the whole of Asia.   Alongside the horror of these statistics, this has left China with 25 million men who cannot find wives.

Overall, Asia’s population needs educating.  Parents need to be taught that a female is just as capable as a male, that they are able to look after their parents in their old age and can be educated to just as high a level and higher,and can provide for themselves and their families.