Saturday, March 7, 2009

Transparent Fish

First, I'd like to apologize for my long absence. I would like to update this blog regularly, but I have my hands full with some other things. Come May, I hope to regularly give you pie and sweets. Until then, I will try my best.

Transparent Fish

Researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) have obtained footage of the elusive Pacific barreleye fish (Macropinna microstoma).

This 6-inch long fish has a transperent dome for a head. Its eyes are underneath green lenses which filter out whatever sunlight trickles down 600 metres below the ocean's surface, where it resides. Its eyes can pivot. It is thought to feed on fish it steals from certain jellies known as siphonophores.

The fish has been known since 1939, but no one was able to retrieve an intact specimen until now.

A video that summarizes these points and and contains the footage.

Some of the accompanying photos.

Video and images from National Geographic. Click to read more.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hold on a sec...

I hope you are all enjoying new year's eve. And for everyone already past the midnight mark, happy new year!

If you felt that 2008 was a long year, you were right. Not only was it a leap year, but the year was a bit longer. One second longer, to be exact.

Scientists added a second at 12 am UTC (Coordinated Universal Time, which is the technical version of Greenwhich Mean Time). That meant that all countries in time zones behind GMT had a longer 2008, and countries ahead have a longer 2009. So if you live to the east of the Atlantic--don't complain. You got more time to celebrate the new year.

The need to add a 'leap second' is the result of a slowing of the rotation of the Earth. The rotation of the Earth is influenced by many factors, including solar winds, lunar and solar gravity, and space dust. Though the difference is very small per day, it adds up. If left unaltered, the atomic and solar (sundial) times would differ by "up to more than an hour in a few centuries." (1)

This is the twenty-fourth time that a leap second has been added, and it's the fourth time that it has happened in a leap year. The last time a leap second was added was on December 31, 2005. The next time it willl happen is in 2012 or 2013 (2).

So don't be afraid to hang on a sec. You've got at least one to spare.

(References: a [1], b [2], c, d)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bonjour et bienvenue!

Hello and welcome!

I'm starting this blog to gather some interesting scientific information that I come across in my studies and everyday life. I hope it won't be dull, and that you might actually find it useful.

If you've stumbled upon this blog, congratulations! You're going to learn something new, hopefully, and leave here a brighter person. But before you go, do let me know what you think!

If you've found me from Facebook, LJ, or my random plugging, welcome as well! You probably know me, so feel free to drop a line.

If you have any intersting scientific stories and would like to share, please do. I'm open to suggestions. Also, if you find any errors in anything I blog about, please let me know at once. I strongly dislike giving out incorrect information.

Thanks for dropping by!