Photographs from National Geographic’s new Documentary “Extraordinary Animals in the Womb”
Corn gone viral? You’re looking at an ear of a corn variety called “Glass Gem”, grown by Greg Schoen of Seeds Trust. This is real corn! How does it grow this way?
First you have to understand a few things about corn. Each corn kernel is actually a sort of unique plant. A corn plant’s male parts (the “tassels”) sit at the top of the stalk, and drop pollen downward. Unfertilized ears (the female parts) catch the pollen with the sticky ends of their corn silks. Each corn silk (I hate when that gets in my teeth) grabs a pollen grain, shuttles it allllllll the way down inside the ear, eventually creating one kernel for each pollen-silk-ovum combination. It’s one of the more interesting and inefficient breeding schemes I know of.
If you’ve taken genetics, you know that the parents’ genes will combine by chance, leading to certain ratios of inheritance in the offspring. This is the basis of Mendelian genetics (great Khan Academy video here).
With corn, we’ve simply carefully bred all the interestingness out of them. Native Americans were used to multi-colored corn, because corn plants held many varieties of color genes that could combine at random. Now all we are left with are one-color clones.
This “Glass Gem” corn is the other extreme of the spectrum, a combination of corn color hybrid genes and random pollination. It’s almost too pretty to eat!
(via Discover Magazine)
look even more beautiful with a little bit of butter to bring out the shine…
This bear falling from a tree onto a mattress outside my old dorm could be my favorite photo of all time.
Pictured is the Super-Kamiokande, a giant neutrino detector, buried 1000m underground in Japan. Usually filled with 50,000 tonnes of pure water, the observatory detects neutrinos by watching for interactions with the subatomic particles in the water. These interactions are extremely rare, which is why the detector needed to be built to the scale it is.
Where is Charles Xavier?
I was at a friend’s house once and found this CD, so I put this song on while her roommate was in the middle of a story about how things were not working out with the guy she was dating. She stopped in the middle of the story and yelled “ADAM, ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?”
holy timewarp batman!! seems like a different lifetime jamming to verve pipe in club soda in kalamazoo.
First, the position that Islam is incompatible with democracy was false from the beginning, because it served imperial ambitions of the West and violated Muslims’ self-perception that, not only is Islam compatible with democracy, it was one of the engines of democratic empowerment.
Second, I argue that the West’s discourse of democratisation of the Middle East is dubious because it hides how the West actually de-democratised the Middle East. My contention is that, from the 1940s onwards, democratic experiments were well in place and the West subverted them to advance its own interests. I offer three examples of de-democratisation: The reportedly CIA-engineered coup against the elected government of Syria in 1949, the coup orchestrated by the US and UK against the democratic Iran in 1953 and subversion of Bahrain’s democracy in the 1970s. I also touch on the West’s recent de-democratisation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Third, I explain that the Middle East was de-democratised because the West rarely saw it as a collection of people with dynamic, rich social-cultural textures. The Western power elites viewed the Middle East as no more than a region of multiple resources and strategic interests; hence their aim was to keep it “stable” and “manageable”. To Ernest Bevin, foreign secretary (1945-51) of imperial Britain, without “its oil and other potential resources” there was “no hope of our being able to achieve the standard of life at which we [are] aiming in Great Britain”.
"…. spray on saffron, its the end of the world as we know it, its the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine……."