Monday, April 30, 2007

Aphorism of the Day Pt.7

I was shopping last thursday with a firend of mine. She has occasiationally a bit "granny" -style when it comes to clothing. We went to this huge party on friday se we were looking for pantyhoses for her, and she was looking 30-Den pantyhoses. I then realized:

The Den value should not exeed your age!
(Unless you are a minor.)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Hyperdrive theory

New Scientist reports, that American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics has awarded the 2005 nuclear and future flight category prize for a paper about hyperspace travelling. Using quantum physics within the limits of the general theory of relativity. Interesting.

To Moon and back in few hours, to Mars in five days. I wonder if they have made any new discoveries about the subject.

Hawking testing weightlessness today

Stephen Hawking is today testing weightlessness with Boeing 747, as he's also going to space.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Earth II

Today I saw on the news they found a planet that resembles of Earth.

I thought they've only found gas planets until now, but I did a search and found plenty of articles before. Washington Post, New Scientist, Keck and BBC have reported of new planets too.

And if there's water on this new planet, there could be also life of some sort too or at the very least it could sustain life, if planted on there!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Yarr! Me new parrot!

This little fella was outside our apartment, yelling. We checked what is making that noise, and this creature decided to pay us a visit. It likes to sit on heads and shoulders.

It's not good weather for this kind of bird to be outside, but we have no place for this either. Nights are still too cold for a parrot. Although there's these green parrots that do live in Amsterdam. But this is not the same type. And I don't know how well it has been trained. My housemate is just going to closeby shop to leave a note that we found this parrot. Or should I say the parrot found us.

What do they eat anyways? We have no seed to give, so we gave some lentils, müsli and orange. I guess the parrot knows what it can eat and what not to eat.

I hope we find the owner quickly. I have no idea how to take care of birds.

And yeah, I checked: It's not coughing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sweaty relaxation

The following text is thoughts about biological studies of humans and not any male chauvinistic ranting or women liberation speech. So please don't try to find any male vs. female arguments, nor any hidden agenda from this text. It's only a play on thoughts. "What if" scenario, if you will. So if you are male chauvinist, feminist activist, a child or other person who cannot handle a talk about sex as means of reproduction, or cannot play with a thought of evolution, please stop reading here. Also, I do not have answers in this one, only more questions.

There was an article in (requires registration) - Indystar mentions this too. They say the sweat from a male armpit actually relaxes women through the pheromones male secret. This puzzled me. I had believed, like this article in Berkley UC says, that hormones that cause something would have the opposite effect. In male sweat there's androstadienone, which causes arousal, rise of temperature, bloodpressure and heart rate in women. Ok, androstadienone is easy to understand in evolution's point of view. But why something that relaxes?

Scotsman and Live Science back this Berkley UC article, that ovulating women are looking for alpha males who have strong body odor. Makes sense, strong man, strong children. Strong man, protects. Man make fire. Urgh. But what has the smell got to do with it?

There's plenty of weird things in human reproduction. Women have concealed ovulation. Their fertile cycle is about all the time, minus the menstruation period. And both men and women enjoy sex just because of sex - even when there's no possibility to reproduce. As far as I understand evolution, the individual is not important, the survival of the species is. So why sex is fun? All of them either unique or very rare amongst animals. It is said only humans, dolphins and bonobo chimps enjoy sex just as sex.

I'm sure there's a reason for all of this. Firstly, when apes started to walk on two legs, the nose got higher from the ground. (The reasons for two-legged walking I can only speculate, but read Desmond Morris instead. He makes more sense than I do...) When the nose is higher from the ground, you won't be sniffing that many things, so we have either lost a lot of our sense of smelling, or we have lost the ability to interpretate the smells.

This may have caused the lengthening of woman's fertile period, as men cannot "smell" the ovulation like a lot of animals can. Thus making it more possible for reproduction. This may have also contributed to the fact we enjoy sex only because of sex, as men don't "smell the ovulation", cannot detect it, and women have longer fertile period - just to "force" humans to copulate more, thus increasing the possibility of fertilization. This doesn't still explain why women get more relaxed when sniffing man's armpit. It just raises more questions.

Was the fact that we stood up a reason our sense of smell withered? Was that partly the cause for women to have concealed ovulation since there was no need for it due to the impaired sense of smell? Did this cause us to try to reproduce more, e.g. women have longer fertile period and we enjoy sex, or was the long fertile period and enjoyment of sex the cause for concealed ovulation? Or are they related to each other in any way?

The relaxation through the sweat of a man is still puzzling. Could it be just simply to get a woman to relax before reproductive act? Or could it be that it based on hunter-gatherer times, when we had small tribes. When men went to hunt mammoths, there was only few men in the tribe. So other tribes could easily loot and pillage this tribe, or if a sabertooth tiger attacks the tribe, there's not enough men to defend. This causes the rise of the rest of the tribe's stress levels. So when a female goes to sleep when a man is hunting for a mammoth, she needs to keep one eye open in case of pillagers or sabertooth tigers. But when the men return, and the next night she's sleeping next to a man and smells the sweat, she knows she's more secure and sleeps better. Could this be it, or is this way too far fetched?

And if it is so, how much does the smells affect us? Giving a sniff of feline urine to a rodent makes the rodent to panic. Do we have such extreme effects from different smells? Have we only learned to fight against and/or to control the instincts/urges we have from smells or have we lost the ability to process the information efficiently? Are we still affected by the odors in our normal life, or is this "change by smell" only present in intime relationships where you are close enough to each other?

I have to take a shower now.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Developer of MS-Word is going to space

More and more people are going to space.

Now Charles Simonyi, one of the creators os MS-Word, is going there with the Russians.

Read more from BBC.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Another Space Agency

There is another company that will start commercial flights to space. Space Adventures provide up to 10 orbital days.

Depends how this goes and what they have to offer, I go to space with Virgin Galactic or Space Adventures.

Aphorism of the Day Pt.6

Manu: Good women are hard to find.
Sami: They must be good in 'Hide and Seek'.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Stephen Hawking sets a date

Stephen Hawking, who is testing the Zero-G before going to space, has set the date for the test on 16th of April. I hope it goes well.

Hat Protocol While Eating

Couple of friends of mine and me were sitting outside a bar and I ordered something to eat. While I was eating, my friend found it amusing that I took my hat off.

I thought it was common sense you take your hat off and keep your elbows off the table while you eat. But I started thinking. If it is gentleman-like to take your hat off when you eat, but it's ok to wear it if you are eating something like candy, where does the line go?

If I eat a steak - hat off.
Candy - hat on.
Sandwitch - hat off.
Crisps - hat on.
A doughnut?

Does that fall into the food category, or is it a sweetie, like a cookie or candy? I guess that you can have your hat on with a doughnut, since it goes with coffee and you definetly can drink coffee and maybe have a small little sweet thing with it while wearing a hat. But what about muffins? I think doughnut category - same criterias.

Cake is more like a part of a meal, so hat stays off. Besides you eat it with a spoon anyways. Wait a second, can this be a rule of thumb? If you need utensils, hat stays off? No, can't be. I could eat a banana and keep a hat on, so fruits are ok. So an avocado, a greipfruit and a kiwi should be ok too - even if you eat them with a spoon. Or is it?

I haven't thought about this, since I always go by my guts, and never think about the hat. It's a reflex. I take it off automatically when I'm eating.