Interesting internet stumble-upon


Having just watched Life of Pi, I was interested in finding out more about the effects of lightening hitting the ocean, and stumbled across this interesting little piece below. Almost totally unrelated.

This is speculation as to why there happens to be more lightening during the week.

Scientists at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt have been thinking hard about why rainfall and lightning activity in the Southeastern United States tend to peak on weekdays – particularly between Tuesday and Friday.

Their conclusion is that air pollution is likely to blame. And their chief suspects are particulate emissions of the sort spewed by diesel engines.

Their thinking – not yet fully borne out by their research – is that it’s the fine particles in the soot, largely from trucks, that provide growing thunderstorms with more surfaces on which water vapor can condense into droplets. More, smaller droplets allow the thunderstorms to grow higher in the atmosphere. The droplets get colder, release more latent heat before they fall, and help fuel more energetic electrical storms.

The data showing there is more rain and more lightning on weekdays, on average, would seem to fit nicely with the fact that more trucks are on the road from Tuesday through Thursday.

You can read more about their work here,

on NASA’s very interesting “What on Earth” blog.

*S –

Ghost organs? Cool.

Found this on reddit.


This is a “ghost organ”. It has been decellularized, leaving only connective tissue. The organ can then be reseeded with a patient’s own cells to regenerate it so it can be transplanted without fear of tissue rejection. This is experimental.

How Cool

Evidence of a drowned “microcontinent” has been found in sand grains from the beaches of a small Indian Ocean island, scientists say. A well-known tourist destination, Mauritius (map) is located about 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) off the coast of Africa, east of Madagascar. Scientists think the tiny island formed some nine million years ago from cooling lava spewed by undersea volcanoes.


But recently, researchers have found sand grains on Mauritius that contain fragments of the mineral zircon that are far older than the island, between 660 million and about 2 billion years old. In a new study, detailed in the current issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, scientists concluded that the older minerals once belonged to a now vanished landmass, tiny bits of which were dragged up to the surface during the formation of Mauritius.

MY Ady Gil

Earthrace (2006-2009) Ady Gil (2009-2010) Launched: February 22, 2006 Status: Reported as sinking on January 7, 2010 at 5:20pm after collision with MV Shōnan Maru 2 Claimed Top Speed: 32 knots


MY Ady Gil (formerly Earthrace) was a 78ft, 13 ton, wave-piercing trimaran, which was originally created as part of a project to break the world record for circumnavigating the globe in a powerboat. The vessel was powered by biodiesel fuel, but was also capable of running on regular diesel fuel. It used other eco-friendly materials, such as vegetable oil lubricants, hemp composites, and non-toxic anti-fouling, and had features such as bilge water filters.


The first attempt at the global circumnavigation record in 2007 was ill-fated. The boat several times encountered mechanical problems, and collided with a Guatemalan fishing boat, killing one of kthe other boat’s crew. While the crew of the Earthrace was later absolved of any responsibility, the delay forced the restart of the record attempt, while more mechanical issues later aborted it. In 2008, the second journey proved successful—though again, numerous technical problems had to be overcome before the record was achieved, with the vessel finally making the return to Sagunto, Spain after just under 61 days on June 27, 2008.


In late 2009, it was announced that the boat, now repainted black and named Ady Gil, would be participating in anti-whaling operations under the lead of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. During operations in the Southern Ocean, the vessel and the Japanese whaling support vessel MV Shōnan Maru 2 collided on January 6, 2010, resulting in loss of the Ady Gil’s bow and one injured crew member. Each side blamed the other for causing the collision, and government agencies are investigating the incident. The crew of the Ady Gil were taken off and the salvage operation was abandoned, with the vessel sinking the next day.

Cymothoa Exigua

Cymothoa Exigua, or the tongue-eating louse, is a parasitic crustacean of the family Cymothoidae. This parasite enters fish through the gills, and then attaches itself at the base of the fish’s tongue. The female attaches to the tongue and the male attaches on the gill arches beneath and behind the female. Females are 8–29 millimetres (0.3–1.1 in) long and 4–14 mm (0.16–0.55 in) in maximum width. Males are approximately 7.5–15 mm (0.3–0.6 in) long and 3–7 mm (0.12–0.28 in) wide.[1] The parasite destroys the fish’s tongue, and then attaches itself to the stub of what was once its tongue and becomes the fish’s new tongue.


WARNING: Be wise, do not do a Google image search. It will churn your stomach!