Laura's Blog

keeping you updated on life

A SPACE Birthday Song!

This week, the Mars Curiosity rover sang Happy Birthday to itself and here is the evidence: 

In order to carry out this space tune, NASA engineers tuned the rover to vibrate its sample analysis unit at different frequencies. 

So, if there are any little green aliens hanging around on Mars, I hope they enjoyed the tune! 

Man I love the Blobfish

Whilst I was reading about the wonders of the naked mole rat and how a simple molecule prevents them from getting cancer, I came across this post - Evolution Fucked Your Shit Up: The World’s 50 Freakiest Animals!

I introduce to you my favorite - the Blobfish (although the Sea Dragon is also pretty cool)! 

Now, the first thought that went through my head, is there an evolutionary reason the Blobfish looks so ugly? Why does it have such a squashed up nose and far apart eyes? Why does it even have eyes??

Then I came across this article that gave me more of an insight into its little blobby life:

These fish eventually evolved to where they no longer have any gas-filled air sacs in their body, rather they are composed of a gelatinous substance which allows them to float just above the ocean’s floor. This is an advantage, as competition for food is nearly non-existent on the ocean floor (although food itself is scarce), and their lack of air-sacs keeps them from exploding under the immense pressure of the water above (Blobfish commonly live in depths up 800m deep).

Another evolutionary trait gained by the Blobfish is it’s inability to swim. The gelatinous composure of the fish allows the creature to simply float and remain stationary in the water. Due to their astonishingly low consumption of energy, the Blobfish has little need for extra sustenance, and simply sucks down any food that happens to float in front of their mouth.

So overall, the Blobfish can’t swim, it doesn’t really eat - it just floats above the ocean’s floor! Sounds like a fun little life :)

My Bag and Pareidolia

Today I learnt a new work - Pareidolia! 

The ever long-winded Wikipedia describes Pareidolia to be: 

Pareidolia (pron.: /pærɨˈdliə/ parr-i-doh-lee-ə) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant, a form of apophenia

In simple terms, this actually means when you see a certain object you think it looks like something else!

Check out this cool website: Faces in Places

I would now like to introduce you to Jane Doe, my wonderful bag!!! 

I think poor Jane is the best advert for not smoking - you don’t want to end up with her leathery skin!

Such a ScienceOnline Rebel!

I have just got back from ScienceOnline North Carolina. It’s a really big conference for those interested in how science is communicated on the web! If you want to see what I got up to, check this out.

One thing the conference if great for, is networking! Whether that’s in the pub sipping a mojito, or during the snack breaks! I spoke to a lot of attendees, and one of my aims was to pick their clever brains about the social tools they are recommending.

One tool that did get regular mentions, was that of RebelMouse.

It seems like a synergy between PinterestFlipboard and Storify. Read this blog post which expands on its uses.  

So, in true social media guru style, I have created my very own RebelMouse page collating my top ScienceOnline moments. Check it out and let me know what you think!

An eye-popping moment

The story begins when a 19-year-old man walks into a clinic with a mass in his right eye.

He had the mass since birth but it had gradually increased in size. It caused him no pain but he was starting to suffer from impaired vision.

Investigation revealed a small mass, with several black hairs! Yes you hear me right hairs!! 

Take a look for yourself…… 

Source: Daily Mail

Now they do say laser eye surgery helps with hair removal and eyesight …killing two birds with one stone? 

(More here.)

KFC - A Brainy Bunch?

It’s probably the most disgusting news of the year (well it’s only January….). A brain was found in a KFC meal!!

If anything is to ever put you off the fast-food chain this report will.

KFC have apparently apologised to a student after he found a chicken’s brain in his meal deal. You can read the MSN News report here
The funniest part of the story; KFC have actually disputed the fact the foreign object (or should we say organ) was a brain, and have since explained it is probably a kidney….
Wait that doesn’t make it any better?

French Bees Have Got The Blues

According to a bzzzaaree report (oh dear), bees in the Alsace region of France are producing blue and green honey!

Beekeepers in the area have revealed that their bees have been ingesting dye from a nearby factory which processes M&M waste, some 2.5 miles away.

Sadly the unusually coloured honey will not be used, what a sweet waste. It still makes me wonder what it would taste like? Bluemin’ marvellous, I’d say!


Image source here.

The stuff of nightmares!

No freaking way! A women had a spider removed from her ear in China!!

It had been in there for five whole days! 

An “awww” moment!

Some days you need cheering up!!

Today this cute little  gorilla totally captured my heart!! 

Baby Yakini is just five days old in this picture taken back in November 1999 by photographer David Caird.

Yakini’s mother had a really difficult birth and so rejected him (pulling at the heart strings here), so he was raised by hand by staff at Melbourne Zoo

More pictures can be found here

Finally, where is Yakini now you  may ask! He is healthy and happy, living in an enclosure at the Werribee Open Range Zoo, Victoria.


iDermal, iSkin, iCrazy!

People have different passions, I personally enjoy writing (I also enjoy paining, although I am not very good). However, people sometimes take their passions a bit too far. A great example of passion-extremism is Dave Hurban, a 21 year old tattoo artist from New Jersey who has implanted four magnets into his arms so that he can attach his iPod Nano. He must REALLY love music (either that or he REALLY loves Apple).

The magnets implanted in his arm are actually called, “micro-dermal anchors,” and are apparently very common to the body piercing world.

Anyway my first thought (aside from i-think-he-is-crazy) is that Apple are always changing their products….literally we can’t keep up with them. So what happens if he loses his Nano and the latest model no longer has magnetic properties……what will he attach instead?

Plus he must stay away from paper clips!!