Jul 31, 2017

Insects and animals. The top new species of 2016

     Humans have made their way to the moon, landed rovers on Mars and sent spacecraft to the outer reaches of the solar system. But the Earth remains a little-known planet. That becomes clear when naturalists look for creatures closer to home and find unknown gems. Here are our favorite new species of 2016.
     Tumbleweeds are synonymous with the American West. At some point, two of them interbred to form a new species, Salsola ryanii, which is about 5 feet in height and nearly as wide. Usually, such hybrids are sterile, but in this case, the plant underwent an unusual genetic event that led to a duplication of its entire genome. That allowed it to reproduce and also made it incompatible with either of its parents. It has been found at 15 sites throughout California. "It's extremely rare to catch a new species in the act of appearing and expanding," says Norm Ellstrand, a professor of genetics at the University of California, Riverside, "and very exciting."
Illacme Tobini     HOW MANY PENISES?
     When biologist Jean Krejca unearthed an extremely leggy millipede in a remote cave in California's Sequoia National Park, she knew it was special, so she sent it to the millipede experts Bill Shear and Paul Marek. They determined it was a new species and gave it the name Illacme Tobini. With 414 legs, it's one of Earth's leggiest creatures. It is closely related to Illacme plenipes, which lives about 150 miles away and has 750 legs—the most of any animal. The millipede also has four gonopods, the millipede equivalents of penises, and boasts zoo poison glands.

Myloplus Zorror

     Piranhas are famous for their fearsome teeth and ability to quickly devour flesh. But not all creatures in this biological family are so brashly carnivorous. Researchers from Brazil's Federal University of Para have discovered a new species of piranha-like fish with chompers specialized for grinding seeds and other vegetable debris that falls into the tributaries of the western Amazon, where it lives. It grows to a length of i8 inches and has reddish coloration, with yellow on its fins and belly, and it is sought after by fishermen for its meat. The biologists named it Myloplus Zorroi, after the fictional character Zorro, a hero in Latin America.

Whip Scorpions
     Whip spiders, also known as tailless Whip Scorpions, display more variety than scientists knew. Brazilian researchers uncovered eight new species of these animals in the Amazon rain forest of northern Brazil. They aren't true spiders—they lack silk and venom glands—but they do possess fearsome-looking appendages called pedipalps that look like arms with claws and are used to grab prey. These spiny freaks hang out in caves or leaf litter. To tell the species apart, researchers Gustavo Miranda and Alessandro Giupponi counted the hairs on their pedipalps.


     When is a leaf not a leaf? When it's a spider. Max Kuntner, an arachnologist at the Research Center of the Slovenian Academy of Science and Arts, and colleagues discovered the creature on a night-time walk through a rain forest in southern China. They placed it in the genus Poltys with orb-weaving spiders that live in China and produce distinctive circular webs. It's the first arachnid known to mimic foliage, a survival strategy that helps it avoid predation by wasps and other insects.

Chilabothrus Argentumr
     The Bahamas are hardly an unexplored place. It came as quite a shock, then, to herpetologist Graham Reynolds when he found a handsome, undescribed silver serpent on a small uninhabited Bahaman island. Reynolds, who works at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, called it the Conception Bank silver boa (Chilabothrus Argentum), and it's already listed as critically endangered: Reynolds and his colleagues found only 33 of them on the island.

Monacoa Griseus

     These fish don't need a light—they carry their own, thanks. In August, scientists reported that they had found two new species of deep sea fish with this unusual arrangement. They have light-producing bacteria in a pouch within their gut that makes them appear to glow. They can change the size of this pouch, contracting it to hide the light and expanding it to reveal the light, which then passes through transparent scales on their underside. The scientists dubbed these new species the gray mirrorbelly and black mirrorbelly—Monacoa Griseus and Monacoa niger.
     While most plants rely on the sun for energy and food, some pursue an alternative stratagem: thievery. Japanese scientists have found a bizarre new plant they call Sciaphila yakushimensis (after Yakushima, the lush Japanese island where it was found). This species, like its relatives, makes its way aboveground only when it flowers—in this case with a purple blossom. It gets its sustenance by stealing nutrients from the roots and root-bound fungi of other plants.
     How many kinds of tarantulas exist in the United States? Until evolutionary biologist Chris Hamilton investigated, nobody knew. He and his colleagues spent nearly a decade looking for tarantulas and sorting through contradictory past studies. The team turned up 14 new tarantula species, mostly in the Southwest. An all-black species found near California's Folsom Prison—where Johnny Cash, the Man in Black, recorded a live album—was dubbed Aphonopelma johnnycashi.
Peacock Spider
     Australian biologist Jurgen Otto has spent the past decade cataloguing Peacock Spiders, the males of which engage in adorably strange jigs to woo females, extending their furry legs and flashy abdomens. He's discovered dozens of new varieties, and in May, he co-authored a paper in the journal Peckhamia identifying seven more. The spiders range in length from 0.1 to 0.2 inches, and they are often brightly and brilliantly colored. 

     Source: Newsweek, 6.01.2017 – 13.01.2017, by Douglas Main, pp. 52–53.  

Jul 28, 2017

Old MacDonald had a farm

Old macdonald had a farm
     “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” is a children’s song and nursery rhyme about a farmer named MacDonald (or McDonald, Macdonald) and the various animals he keeps on his farm. Each verse of the song changes the name of the animal and its respective noise. In many versions, the song is cumulative, with the animal sounds from all the earlier verses added to each subsequent verse. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 745. For example, the verse uses a cow as an animal and “moo” as the animal’s sound.
     It has been translated in many languages.

Old MacDonald had a farm
And on his farm he had a cow
With a moo-moo here
And a moo-moo there
Here a moo, there a moo
Everywhere a moo-moo
Old MacDonald had a farm 
Old macdonald had a farm

Jul 22, 2017

Being Erica Soundtrack All I Ever Wanted To Be - Lily Frost

being erica cbc
It's clearer inside of me
Who I will always be
Here at the core of my heart
Mystics & cynics & crystals & memories
Beginning to line up the stars
Shining the light in the night
     [Shining the light in the night]
Raising the veil from my eye
     [Raising the veil from my eye]
Waking me up to the light in our life
Cause of my strength
Some of my dreams
being erica loving san francisco& everything I ever wanted to be...
Here I am this is me where I’ll be
In the dark
[&] in the light
[&] in the wrong in the right...

being erica dr tomKarma is energy
Give me my destiny
Everything happens for a reason
Every choice that I make
Changes the course I take
Won't be afraid when I make mistakes
Open my arms & give in
     [Open my arms & give in]
Do it all over again
     [Do it all over again]
Do it all over
Again & again,
To get to the end
Of who I am now.
I'm gonna find the answers &
Yes I know how
I know I can win
Some of my dream
& everything I ever wanted
& everything I ever wanted
To be

Here I am
This is me
Who am I? 

Wait & see...
being erica soundtrack
being erica erin karpluk

Jul 16, 2017

1830 Abraham Lincoln: letter to his son’s teacher

Abraham Lincoln Memorial statue
He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true, but teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader.
Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.
It will take time, I know, but teach him, if you can, that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found… Teach him to learn to lose… and also to enjoy winning.
Steer him away from envy, if you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter.
Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick…
Teach him, if you can, the wonder of a book… But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hillside.
In school, teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat…
Mount Rushmore Abraham Lincoln
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong…
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people, and tough with the tough. 
Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the bandwagon…
Teach him to listen to all men… but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good that comes through.
Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad…
Teach him there is no shame in tears.
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness…
Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders, but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.
one cent coin Abraham Lincoln
Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob… and to stand and fight if he thinks he is right.
Treat him gently, but do not coddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel. 
Let him have the courage to be impatient… let him have the patience to be brave. 
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.
This is a big order, but see what you can do…
He is such a fine little fellow, my son! 

     Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was the sixteenth president of the United States. He abolished slavery. He was recalled in many ways. Some American cities bear his name, as the Lincoln the capital of Nebraska. USA dedicated to him the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, and is depicted on the five dollar bill and the one cent coin. His face was carved in the monument of Mount Rushmore (the first right).
Abraham Lincoln Five Dollar Bill

Jul 12, 2017

Focus on the USA

The USA is not the same thing as America! America refers to the whole continent and includes North, South and Central America. It stretches from Canada to Argentina.
The USA’s national symbol is the bald eagle. It is a symbol of freedom, strength and victory.
The USA has more than six million kilometres of road – more than any other country – and Los Angeles has the greatest density of traffic.
The first inhabitants of the USA were the Native Americans.
The USA’s flag is called the Stars and Stripes. There are 50 stars on it, one for each state in the union, and 13 stripes which symbolize the original 13 states.
The USA’s national motto is In God We Trust. But every state has a motto that reflects some of its history and ethnic heritage.
The Star Spangled Banner is the national anthem of the USA, but most of the states have at least one state song.
Hamburgers and hot dogs are the favourite food in the USA. On average, every American eats more than 200 hamburgers each year.
Usa region country

Alaska is separated from the other states by Canada. Situated north of Canada, it is huge, with fewer people than any other state. Part of it is covered with snow, ice and glaciers. But it also has vast forests, and modern cities. It is an important oil producing region. Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America, is in Alaska. The Inuit (Eskimo) people live here.
The Pacific West
States: California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada.
It is a rich region with rocky coasts, high mountains, fertile valleys and thick rain forests with tall trees. Many people visit California for its mild climate, and Hollywood is the home of many movie stars, despite the risk of earthquakes.
The Southwest
States: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma.
An area of contrasts, with dry, hostile desert areas, and wide open plains. The Grand Canyon in Arizona is one of the most magnificent sights in the world. Texas, famous for its cowboys and rodeos, is also an important oil- and gas- producing region and has many big cattle ranches.
Hawaii is about 3,700 km from the coast of California.
People live on seven of These 130 beautiful, sub-tropical islands in the Pacific. Volcanoes formed these islands millions of years ago and some are still active. It is a popular tourist destination.
The South
States: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky.
The states of the South once formed a separate union and fought a war with the northern states in the 19th century. One reason for the war was that the South wanted to keep slavery. Many black people live and work here — their ancestors were brought from Africa as slaves to work on the tobacco and cotton plantations. New Orleans was originally a French city, and it is still famous for its Mardi Gras carnival and jazz music.
The Rocky Mountain region
States: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado.
This spectacular region with its high peaks, deserts and river canyons, is visited by millions of tourists, particularly for winter sports. There are several national parks, which are famous for their dramatic scenery and wildlife.
The Midwest
States: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio.
This is the USA’s, most important agricultural region with large farms, cattle and sheep ranches and massive fields of corn, oats, wheat and soya beans. But it is also the heart of industrial production, particularly around the Great Lakes. Detroit is the main centre for the automobile industry.
New England
States: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont.
There are six New England states. Many of the original settlers came here from England, including the Pilgrim Fathers, who first settled in Massachusetts. This region is well known for its beautiful scenery and the colour of its leaves in the fall.
Mid Atlantic region
States: West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Virginia.
It is a very heavily populated and industrialized area with a lot of big titles, although Virginia is famous for its scenery. Washington DC is the capital of the USA where the American president lives and works. New York, the biggest city in the USA, is known as the 'melting pot' for its incredible mix of different nationalities.
Sunny weather, sandy beaches and interesting places like the Everglades National Park with its alligators, the Kennedy Space Center and Disneyworld attract millions of tourists to the peninsula of Florida — the Sunshine State. Many Americans choose to retire here. 
Source: Excursion, an old Italian book. 

Jul 8, 2017

The Political Capital… Washington

     The business of Washington is government. Unlike other great capitals of the world, Washington isn’t the financial nor the cultural, nor the commercial centre of its nation. It was designed and built for the sole purpose of being the seat of the Federal Government.
     George Washington himself chose the site, and both Maryland and Virginia gave land to establish the District of Columbia.
     Washington D.C., in fact, doesn’t belong to any particular state, but to all of them.
     The Capitol is the centre of the city. It’s in this building that the Congress of the United States meets to make the laws that govern the country.
Capitol Washington

     Each of the United States is self-governing in local matters and has its own constitution and governor, but gives the Federal Government of Washington the control of foreign affairs and if the military forces.
     The Congress is composed of two Houses: the Senate with two members for each state of the Union, and the House of Representatives. The Representatives are members of the two big political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, and are proportional to the population of the respective states.
     The White House has been the home of the President of the United States for more than a century and a half. It’s in the offices of the White House that the President discharges his duty of Chief Executive, meets with his Cabinet, and signs or vetoes the legislation passed by Congress.  
     Source: R. Colle – I. Vay, L’esame di inglese, Lattes, an old Italian book 1974. 

Jul 4, 2017

The Financial and Cultural Capital… New York

New York was the first capital of the United States and since 1790 it has had the largest population with some 11 million inhabitants. The city is made up of 5 districts: Manhattan, lying between the Hudson and the East River, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Richmond.
New York Brooklyn Bridge
New York is the financial and cultural capital of the nation and, being the seat of the United Nations, it can be considered a world capital.
To foreigners New York symbolizes America because it testifies the American people’s reverence for bigness and money. New York has the greatest port in the world, the highest building (the Empire State), the biggest cars and the most expensive shops. It has more than 600 large hotels and about 12,000 restaurants (from the expensive ones to the cheap cafeterias and automats).
There are cinemas in Broadway that are larger than many European squares (such as Radio City Music Hall), others which have never been closed, day and night, for years. There are more people working in Rockfeller Centre than in many cities in Europe, and there are more banks in Wall Street than pizzerias in Naples.
Broadway, the most famous street in Manhattan, is America’s greatest theatrical centre. Here, at the Metropolitan or at Carnagie Hall, you can hear the best musicians and opera singers, and at over 50 theatres you can see world famous actors presenting everything from musical comedies (a typically American art from) to the classic, from the works of Arthur Miller to the informal plays of the Living Theatre, at night the street is so full of giant advertising signs that it’s as bright as day.
The main shopping centre of Manhattan and of the whole nation is Fifth Avenue, whose shops supply the largest selection of goods: priceless jewels, latest-fashion clothes, fabulous fur-coats, chinaware, yachts, antiques and so on. At the end of the street, providing a striking contrast with its luxurious atmosphere, are the Bowery, the street of slums, cheap bars and dormitories for vagabonds and drunkards, and Harlem, where Negroes live their miserable lives in segregation.
Much of New York’s flavour comes from the variety of people who inhabit it. The Statue of Liberty, standing at the entrance to the port, has seen the arrival of millions of immigrants, who make a great contribution to the city’s colour. You can hear dozen of languages spoken in New York, and in the streets of the city you can see Chinese wearing blue-jeans, Italians eating hot-dogs, Puerto Ricans going out for pizza and Slavs and Poles spending Sunday in Chinatown. 
Source: R. Colle – I. Vay, L’esame di inglese, Lattes, an old Italian book 1974. 
Empire State Building