Sunday, 14 October 2018

Landmark

Thanks to all the readers.

Seeing the Changes 1378

Spotted a big, orange spider (probably Araneus quadratus) amongst the brambles of Bynea.

Facing up to the Future

Recent claims by psychologists reckon that, on average, people can recognise the faces of about 5000 people (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/oct/10/how-many-faces-average-person-recognises-5000). I am pretty certain there is a considerable variation as people (like myself) with Aphantasia can probably identify fewer and I have seen reports on the employment by the police of so-called 'super-identifiers'.

They Cannot Be Serious!

It seems astounding (even to hard-headed industrialists) that the UK government is reportedly planning to take an axe to the current subsidies designed to encourage people to switch from petrol and diesel cars to electrical and hybrid vehicles (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/12/scrapping-uk-grants-for-hybrid-cars-astounding-says-industry). I seem to remember that a) the government claim they are moving to a zero emission plan for transport; b) there have been a plethora of recent claims about the effects of air pollution (especially transport-related) on early deaths and ill-health in the UK and c) the IPCC has suggested that the need to take action on climate change is somewhat urgent. Collective attention deficient syndrome?

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Seeing the Changes 1377

Torrential rain in Wales and the house becomes surrounded by Honey fungus (Armillaria mellea).

Mum's the Word?

Scientists have, reportedly, be able to successfully raise baby mice with parents of the same sex (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/oct/11/mice-same-sex-parents-born-same-sex-reproduction-humans). Apparently, the offspring of pups with two mothers appeared viable but those with two fathers died shortly after birth. Such experiments are a really long way from doing the same thing in humans (and this may not prove possible) but, perhaps, the role of male humans can eventually be dispensed with?

Dear Deer

It seems remarkable but trophy hunters also  reportedly operate in darkest Bedfordshire (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/oct/13/price-list-shoot-rare-deer-trophy-hunting-woburn-abbey). A company is said to be offering the opportunity to shoot an impressively mature  Red deer stag for around £9000. I suppose that the argument used is that the money can be ploughed back into conservation (actually an expensive activity given the need for salaries and work in the environment) but it doesn't sit too happily with the claimed aims of the Woburn Abbey group.

Landmark

Thanks to all the readers.