Time Traveling

“Once confined to fantasy and science fiction,
time travel is now simply an engineering problem.”
Michio Kaku

Mr Peabody

Mr. Peabody, his boy Sherman and the “Wayback Machine”

The concept of traveling backward and forward in time has always held my fascination. My interest began as a child. Introduced to the idea of time travel by none other than Mr. Peabody and his Wayback machine.

Conceptually, time travel goes back several centuries. Long before H. G. Wells wrote the book, The Time Machine, Japanese, Hindu, and Buddhist all wrote about time travel. In more recent times, people such as Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku have discussed the possibilities of traveling back and forth in time.

Time travel will forever be one of my favorite genres of novels and movies. Whether I’m reading Stephen King’s novel 11/26/63 or watching, Midnight in Paris, and Back to the Future for the hundredth time, the idea of going back to a time before I existed will always hold my interest in time traveling.

Shine On

Peek-A-Boo

You cannot share your life with a dog, or a cat, and
not know perfectly well that animals
have personalities and minds and feelings.”

Jane Goodall

Peek A Boo

When a two-year old child plays peek-a-boo for the first time, it’s usually the first game they learn from their parents. But who would ever believe that a two-year old child could teach and play this children’s game with a baby gorilla.

Watch how a little boy at the Columbus Zoo actually tires out the baby gorilla playing a simple game of peek-a-boo.

Shine On

Kill Our Negative Cravings

“Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether
the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.”
Carl Jung

Kill Our Negative Craving

Addiction can come in many forms. It not only encompasses drugs and alcohol but also addiction can include food as well as sex.

All forms of addiction floods the brain with the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. This dopamine effects the regions of the brain that control pleasure and self-control. Over time, the function and structure of the brain change and dopamine receptors are reduced, making drugs, food and other substances less enjoyable but still desperately desired.

Recently, the American Society of Addiction Medicine has made an important breakthrough on the effect all of these substances and behaviors have on the brain. By accident, researchers in Australia and the United Kingdom found that playing the game Tetris for at least three minutes can take up all the mental capability of the brain to the point that is has no more room for imagining other things. This results in having less cravings for food, drugs, sleep and sex

Apparently, Tetris can reduce cravings by simply forgetting about the cravings while engaged in the game. Tetris could potentially be used as a support tool to help people manage cravings throughout their daily lives.

This finding is the first demonstration that cognitive interference can be used outside the lab to reduce cravings for substances and activities. There’s more research to be done, but it’s an interesting beginning to help people with addiction.

Who would ever thought that such a simple thing as playing a game to kill time, could actually be used to kill our negative cravings.

Shine On

#Holy Shade Balls

“Water is life’s matter and matrix,
mother and medium.
There is no life without water.”
Albert Szent-Györgyi de Nagyrápolt

Holy Shade Balls, Batman

Shade balls released into the Los Angeles Reservoir.

Unless you live on another planet, you must know that California is in a serious drought.

To combat the four years of drought, officials have released 96 million plastic balls. These plastic balls, shade balls as they are commonly known, are small black orbs that float atop the water creating shade to keep the water from evaporating.

The shade balls also help block sunlight and UV rays that promote algae growth, which would help keep the city’s drinking water safe. The balls slow the rate of evaporation, which drains California water supply of about 300 million gallons a year.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said the balls are expected to safely float in the water without emitting dangerous chemicals.

Apparently, the black orbs are not new to California. They have been used for almost seven years. But, due to their name they are receiving huge attention from social media users. #Holy Shade Balls.

Shine On

The Eye of The Beholder

“Since we cannot change reality,
let us change the eyes which see reality.”
Nikos Kazantzakis

When you look into someone’s eyes or an animals eyes, what do you see? We are now able to know if the eyes are from a flight or fight species.

A scientific study recently analyzed the eyes of 214 species of land animals. What they discovered is that pupil shapes are directly linked to an animal’s ecological niche.

For instance, animals with pupils that are vertically elongated, like domestic cats and gators, are more likely to be ambush predators – hunters active day and night who use stealth, not strength or speed, to overcome their prey.

Animals with horizontally elongated pupils, such as goats and sheep are herbivore prey animals, the researchers found. Circular pupils, found in humans and birds, provide good all-around vision and are linked to animals that chase down their prey.

Species that are active both night and day with slit pupils provide the range they need to help them see in dim light yet not get blinded by the midday sun.

In fact the sideways orientation which the horse has, is very important for his survival when he is grazing. When he drops his head to graze, its pupils rotate (in opposite directions) by up to 70 degrees to stay horizontal, the researchers found.

While prey animals need to be able to see all around them, predators need binocular vision to see how far away their prey is. Vertical-slit pupils maximize binocular disparity, and blur, in which objects at different distances are out of focus, the scientists found.

But not all predators have vertical pupils.

What is surprising is that the researches noticed from their study that the slit pupils were linked to predators that were close to the ground. Domestic cats have vertical slits, but bigger cats, like tigers and lions, don’t. Their pupils are round, like humans and dogs.

This amazing research teaches us how remarkable the eye and vision can be for us as well as all of nature. Who knows, maybe in the not too distant future we will be able to simulate and see through the eye of the beholder.

Shine On