Friday, September 25, 2009

Laid up with a sprained ankle

I have not written much on this blog lately but that might change. A few days ago the house phone was ringing and dumb me had wet feet and did a faster than usual walk to get to the phone. The ceramic tile floor was not very kind to my wet feet and I slipped. Down I went and twisted my ankle in the process. Of course sliding into the wall was not that much fun either.

It now gives me lots of time to catch up on my text book reading and sharing a few more thoughts here on the blog.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Moving an aquarium

How do you move your home aquarium full of fish? After you said "carefully" what else? Would you call some moving companies New York city? Or call your local pet store for advice? I hope you said the pet store. They could not only advise you on the types of containers or bags to house your fish in during the move but also the amount of oxygen they would require.

Keep in mind that the tank your fish will go into after the move should be "aged" for at least 24 hours prior to the fish being added. Planning for that you might have to move much of the original tank water with the fish.

If you plan ahead for the move and are prepared, your fish will survive the move.

Misidentified sea monsters

Mammals and sea life are often misidentified when they are washed up on shorelines. Take for example the many strange lifeforms that have been found washed up along the shoreline of New York. One of the more well known ones was called the Montauk Monster (pictured below)

What at first appears to be a four legged creature with a beak like mouth is in reality a decomposing land mammal. There is evidence of fur on one of the legs. The creature also has teeth and not a beak. The animal has hand like paws which resemble a raccoon and not a dog as many people originally thought. The face had been either eaten away or got caught in something which may or may not have resulted in the animals death.

The bottom line is.... a picture is not always the best way to identify an unidentified creature. An autopsy or DNA test should be done to determine the what the creature truly is.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Laptop trouble

As you have probably noticed I have not blogged too much in the last several months. My laptop has been back and forth to the repair shop and I have had to rely on borrowing another computer to post from. Unfortunately at one point the repair shop made the stupid mistake of erasing my entire hard drive. Thank goodness I had all of my email on an online backup system and my documents and photos on a flash drive. Never again will I fail to back up my computer before sending it out for any work if the laptop allows me too before failing. Now it has been back for almost a week and seems to be working just fine for once. Keeping my fingers crossed.

How do you move a whale?

.....very carefully of course. All joking aside, how do you really move a whale? Normally whale transport is done by air. Specialized shipping boxes or containers are used. Sometimes government aircraft is used like the coast guard, but more often, private air cargo companies handle the task. Below is a photo of a UPS plane with the shipping container ready to go on board. The container has a whale shark in it, heading for the Georgia Aquarium.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Scientific words

Once you get involved with biology you will discover a whole new language. With species, sub-species and genre all derived from mostly ancient Latin words. There will be occasional new word that the scientists will come up with for new discoveries.

Just the other day I cam across a word that I had not heard before - apidexin- and had deduced it was some form of new sugar. That was not it. It was another new pill. I now realize that new names for medications are thought up by marketing and not the research team. Can you imagine what would have happened to the names of some of fish in the sea if marketing had gotten a hold of them first? I don't think that TUNA would have been named TUNA. Tuna to me sounds more like the tin it comes in.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Whale blubber facts

Did you know that people that eat whale blubber have a lower chance of artery problem and heart disease? Here is a short list of facts about whale blubber-
  • Blubber was used after processing into oil for lamps, cosmetics and soaps.
  • Blubber insulates the whale against hypothermia.
  • When a whale needs energy it uses its' blubber fat burners to turn the blubber into energy
  • A Blue whale can have up to 50 tons of blubber
  • Since whales are at the top of the food chain, recent studies of blubber have revealed that it contains a high amount of mercury, PCB's and other toxic chemicals. It is thought that industrial pollution is to blame.