Well, probably not, but researchers have discovered components of blood cells in a 46-million-year-old fossilized mosquito. It is the first found fossil of a blood-engorged mosquito and while it might be a Jurassic Park life-imitating-art opportunity, there is apparently no viable genetic material in the sample. Who knew that DNA has a finite life span - around 6.8 million years? The fossil was found - heavens can only guess how given the size of mosquitos - unless they were much, much bigger way back when - in Montana!
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
S read me a quote from one of the blogs she was reading today and asked me to guess whose it was (the quote not the blog). She said it was someone I had been talking about only recently and that was enough for me to guess correctly ... and on my first go. The other two people it could have been were Lizzie Borden (who, although there is that ditty about her killing mother and father, was actually acquitted at trial) or Christa McAuliffe (the winner of the NASA Teacher in Space Project who was lost, together with the other six crew members, in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986). For some reason though, it was Mother Teresa who came to mind first. I have been reading about her decision to minister to the poorest of the poor in 1946, when she was 36 and traveling on a train on her way to a retreat. I hadn't realised that the Home for the Dying she opened in 1952 afforded those who were there the opportunity to die with dignity, according to the rituals of their faiths. According to Wikipedia: "Muslims were read the Quran, Hindus received water from the Ganges, and Catholics received the Last Rites". I hadn't realised how controversial some of her views were ... for example, reportedly failing to give painkillers, even in severe cases. According to Mother Teresa's philosophy, it is "the most beautiful gift for a person that he can participate in the sufferings of Christ". It's usually the way, sometimes though isn't it that others can see both good and bad in people: Mother Teresa was honored throughout her lifetime, and afterwards, and she was even appointed an honorary Companion of the Order of Australia!
Friday, August 09, 2013
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Saturday, August 03, 2013
Thursday, August 01, 2013
Tully, far north Queensland: A karaoke party was interrupted last Friday night when a man, 175 cm tall and Caucasian in appearance, and with a moustache, and grey and blond hair, walked into the house, smashed the karaoke machine with a shovel and left. Police are still looking for the man - and hopefully they'll ask him if he did it because (a) he loves music or (b) he hates music.
Aaron James Belt wept today as he was sentenced to three and a half years jail (parole was set at nine months) for glassing two students at a nightclub in August 2011. There is something about this that I just don't understand, especially as he was not drunk at the time.
It all started in the nightclub when two university students entered the toilets where Belt was in a cubicle. They told him to hurry up. As Belt was leaving, a scuffle broke out between them and he came back a short time later with a friend. All may still have been well at that point had Belt not been carrying a beer bottle and had one of the students not accidentally head-butted him. Belt thought it was a deliberate act and reacted by smashing the bottle on one student's head, shattering the bottle, which Belt then slashed across his face, breaking his nose and cutting an artery. He then turned on the other student, slicing him across the forehead. Even though both of the glassed men were bleeding badly, Belt left the bathroom and would have left the Club if security guards had not stopped him. The report I read did not say what Belt's friend was doing while this was happening. Belt, who was not drunk or impaired by illness at the time of the attacks, wept as he was sentenced.
What I don't understand though is, even if the toilets were full, how do you accidentally head-butt someone?