Tag Archives: PETA

Nerd Blurbs: Life Edition

The news-sphere was alive today, September 21st, 2013, with many reports pertaining to things living (and fairly finally dead). We’ve got sequences and atrocities and discoveries, oh my! Just goes to show that reality has way more going on than fiction and you can’t make this stuff up. We start with tiger sequencing after the break.

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Missing Links: Magic Edition

Street Magic has always fascinated me. The sleight of hand being too much for my clumsy mitts though, so I prefer to spectate and ruin the fun for everyone else by telling people how the tricks are done. Sometimes I can’t, and I’ll be the first to admit awe. Here, we’ve got some links for illusions and card tricks, as well as some fun with statistics, which can be a sort of magic all their own.

  1. This amazing illusion is a fun twist on the old cup and ball routine.
  2. Here’s some everyday magic that will be taken for granted in half a century: The National Ignition Facility is looking to fire up a super-huge laser in the quest for controlled fusion.
  3. When is a card trick more than a card trick? When it’s got a story behind it.
  4. This isn’t so much magic as it is digital effects, but it’s fun nonetheless. Bullet Bill makes waves in this fun .GIF.
  5. PETA’s all about the ethically treating animals, right? Well, it’s funny how that concept can skew. Look at the magic of the statistics of their work.
  6. Not so much magic, but fun regardless, here’s some geeky things you can do with an empty bottle.
  7. More magic of technology: see the earth from Marvin the Martian’s backyard.
  8. Light can have some wonderful optical effects, especially when it’s passing through these home-made Kodachrome curtains.
  9. Ninjawords.com is a really fast dictionary – like, ninja fast. There’s some magic to that, I’d say.
  10. Like the universe is one weird clockwork mechanism, learn 5 Cheap Tricks Behind Every Psychic.

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Designer Genes: Sea Slug Acquires Plant DNA?

Ewww.

Just Don't Smoke It.

News from the University of South Florida at Tampa reveals that the sea slug, Elysia chlorotica, may have acquired its shiny green coat by more than random mutation, Wired reports. Dr. Sidney Pierce, a professor for their Department of Integrative Biology, who studied the hybrid creature, ran a radioactive tracer through the little bugger and determined that the slug wasn’t just utilizing chlorophyll from the algae it eats, but it seems to have developed the ability to produce the photosynthesizing pigment on its own. According to the research, the first meal after birth for the slug is, of course, of delicious algae, which the slug breaks down in digestion, but not completely.

It leaves the chloroplasts alone, incorporating the plant functions into its fleshy form. After that initial meal, the slug no longer has to ingest anything ever again. This is big news in the animal world, being the first documented instance of genetic-crossing between multi-celled organisms (single-celled organisms have an easy time swapping DNA). Being a sci-fi nerd, and a futurist, this has got my neurons pulsing with the possibilities of cracking this ability and breeding it in humans:

No more starvation – people can just step outside to get a quick meal. PETA would be pleased with the dissolution of slaughterhouses. A day at the beach would substitute the buffet. It does bear to mind a question though: would those crispy-looking a-holes on Jersey Shore be considered gluttons?

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