The Winter Tempest — Rocky Mountains, CO (by Light of the Wild)
Megalodon is extinct, and we have no evidence to prove it still exists. Fake documentaries like “Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives" on channels like Discovery (that people depend on for factual information) is absolutely a shame. It’s a step backward for education, and leaves people like me having to explain to others that Megalodon is not around anymore. I’ve even had some say to me, "Well, this channel aired it so it has to be true!”, which is now becoming more of a problem these days.
C. megalodon lived around 28-1.5 million years ago. If the animal still existed, we would know. I love Shark Week, but this year has had a lot of programmes I’m not fond of. The true scientific documentaries into learning about their feeding, mating, and general habits is fascinating. Cryptozoology isn’t my thing, but my friend is into it and he was not a fan of the Megalodon programme because of the way it was presented to the viewers.
I hate to say it, but you can’t believe everything you read or watch. That’s why I always say to make sure you do your own research: read scientific papers and watch multiple documentaries… just keep learning and weed out the not-so-factual information. Most people can enjoy all the programmes and separate what is real and what is not, but sometimes it just eats away at you when you know you’re going to have to re-educate others to make sure they know the truth.
The Jurassic Park fractal
If you read Jurassic Park by M. Crichton (and I’m sure you did), you must have noticed how each of the chapters started with the page featuring an interesting drawing. It started with a simple set of lines, and as you progressed in the book, it got more, and more convoluted. I couldn’t figure out the rule behind it, but it fascinated me, and years later I found the explanation.
It’s a fractal, and is also called Heighway dragon, the Jurassic Park dragon, or simply a dragon curve. It’s a nice thing to doodle. There are a few ways you can do this and the choice is yours:
- the paper strip folding method:
Take a strip of paper. Start folding it: right over left, and keep repeating: right over left, right over left… You won’t be able to fold it more than 4-5 times. Now, unfold it and crease all the folds so they all are at 90 degrees angle. Lay it on a flat surface, and voila! You can make more of these and then connect them end to end to get more complicated shapes (more iterations of the fractal).
- the string (or the pen-and-paper) method:
You can pretty well just draw the dragon on the paper, starting with a straight line segment and making proper right or left right-angle turns. A nice method comes for telling the sequence of turns:
1st iteration: R (R is right turn),
2nd iteration: R_R_L (L is left turn),
and so on… As you can see, in each of the iterations you just take the previous one, add R at the end, and then add the previous iteration again, but this time reversing it, and swapping R’s and L’s.
- the (not quite) mathematical method:
You can calculate the n-th turn direction by executing the following algorithm:
if ((n & -n) « 1) & n = 0 then: turn <- R; else: turn <- L;
& is a bitwise and operator, « is left shift and you have to remember the -n is encoded as two-complement. Also, the n-th full iteration is a sequence is a sequence of 2n-1 turns, so calculate all of these preferably! :)
For example the direction of 42nd turn is:
((00101010 & 11010110) « 1) & 00101010 =
00000100 & 00101010 = 0, so the 42nd turn is R.
Thanks Mrozna for taking all the photos :)
Hey, guys! Haven’t been active on Tumblr much due to it not fitting into my schedule, but I’ll try to update when I can. I had to post about this though. It’s been a busy summer!
The debate for Tyrannosaurus rex being a hunter versus scavenger is well known in the palaeontology world, as well as highly debated. For me, I’ve always felt strongly that T. rex was a mixture of both, but having the upper hand at being a great hunter. There’s many reasons for this, but one is definitely all about looking at those legs. Have you studied the proportions of a T. rex closely? The big skull, frightening jaws, and little arms are what everyone sees first. Though, I always saw their legs. They’re slender, strong, and built to run. Not to mention their vision; a hunter must have great vision and the ability to chase their prey. Those examples are just scratching the surface to support the hunter theory.
The story behind this new find/evidence to help support that T. rex was indeed a (partial) hunter was the vertebrae of a hadrosaur found to have a T. rex tooth lodged inside. Okay, but that’s happened before right? Yeah, but this time we know that the hadrosaur escaped, leaving a broken tooth in its tail and then surrounded as the bones healed themselves. This find can help support there could have been a struggle between these animals, because if the dinosaur was already killed, the bone wouldn’t have grown around the broken tooth.
Still, some think this find isn’t the determining factor to the debate, which I definitely agree with. But, it is a find that most certainly helps us uncover more of the feeding habits surrounding Tyrannosaurus rex. As more is discovered, we’ll slowly creep our way into knowing more about these amazing animals.
Nasutoceratops: ‘Big-nose, horn-face’ dinosaur described
An unusual new species of dinosaur, unearthed from the deserts of Utah, has been described by scientists.
The 5m-long (15ft) beast is a member of the triceratops family, but with a huge nose and exceptionally long horns, palaeontologists say it is unlike anything they have seen before. It has been named accordingly as Nasutoceratops titusi, which means big-nose, horn-face. The research is published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Dr Mark Loewen, from the University of Utah and Natural History Museum of Utah, told BBC News: “This dinosaur just completely blew us away. “We would never have predicted it would look like this - it is just so outside of the norm for this group of dinosaurs.” (via BBC News - Nasutoceratops: ‘Big-nose, horn-face’ dinosaur described)
The project was created to raise public awareness about timid dogs and canines that require space while training or being rehabilitated.
Merry Shellmas - I decided to make this post rebloggable so you can spread the word!
Azurite owes its name to its beautiful azure-blue color, which makes it a very popular and well-known mineral. It usually occurs with green Malachite, which may form green stains or specks on Azurite crystals or aggregates. The two minerals sometimes occur admixed or banded together, forming what is called “Azure-malachite” in the gem and mineral trades.
Just like with Aragonite and Calcite, Azurite over time turns to Malachite, which is one reason they are seen together so much in specimens. This is due to Azurite being more unstable is open air, and then is pseudomorphically replaced by Malachite.
Well played, HBO. Just as Jurassic Park 3D hits theaters, the premium cable channel announced a new movie titled Bone Wars, a period comedy based on the rivalry between two nineteenth-century paleontologists. If an HBO comedy about battlin’ dino-scientists isn’t enough to pique your interest, then just wait until you hear who’s playing the paleontologists: Steve Carell and James Gandolfini, who will also produce the film.