Flora and Fauna/Misc weather
be well, be love.
fruit flies display rudimentary free will
01:00 16 may 2007
newscientist.com news service
fruit flies have free will. even when deprived of any sensory input to react to, the zigs and zags of their flight reveal an intrinsic, non-random - yet still unpredictable - decision-making capacity.
if evolution has furnished humans with a similar capacity, this could help resolve one of the long-standing puzzles of philosophy.
science assumes that effects have causes, and that if we understand the causes well enough we can predict the effects. but if so, our experience of being free to make choices is an illusion, since we are in effect just sophisticated robots responding to stimuli. if our behaviour is unpredictable, this is only because random events prevent us from responding perfectly to our environment.
to test whether behaviour can be truly random, björn brembs, a neurobiologist at the free university of berlin in germany, put fruit flies into a sensory deprivation chamber: a drum with a white interior, that offers the flies no visual cues to orient themselves.
the flies were glued to a torque meter that measured their zigs and zags as they attempted to fly. (watch a video of a fly in the chamber.)
a little thought experiment - so imagine that some fruit fly has some connection to the fruit fly's higher self. it falls prey to participate in some experiment in a way the fruit fly is somehow isolated from sensory stimulus.
1) is the fact that it is participating in the experiment a violation of its free will?
2) let's assume that the fruit fly's free will isn't violated because its too stupid to care. let's say its higher self wishes to influence its behavior and observe to what degree the fruit fly follows its influence because its higher self is curious about such things. does the fruit fly's higher self influence the fruit fly to go about in some patterned way, or in some random way?
3) in the absense of any experimental breach of fruit fly's free will, in the absense of sensory stimulus, and in the absense of fruit fly's higher self acting to influence the fruit fly's behavior, does a fruit fly typically fly in a pattern or does it fly random?
4) can a fruit fly ask its higher self for help in some way, or is it too stupid for such concerns? if it is too stupid to ask for help, does the fruit fly's higher self work to influence its behavior regardless of its stupidity, out of the goodness of the higher self's heart?
5) could there be some consequence to the law of free will that allows the higher self opportunity to offer help when its requested, and then allow the higher self the priveledge of observing how that best effort help may have influenced behavior in the one who asked for help?
okay so out of this thought experiment seems
an opportunity for a prayer:
dear beautiful principle of my higher self,
i love you. thank you for attending to me.
in some ways i feel as stupid as a fruit fly,
i have no idea what way to go and am not
convinced the similar patterns of my past
are conducive to our evolutionary growth
into a greater sense of bliss and wholeness.
please come into my life and offer guidance
that is heard by me, directing my path in
positive ways. please offer guidance which
i can choose to follow knowing in my heart
that it is utilizing my free will choice to its
potential of progressing the greater good.
please help me see where to go in times
when i have trouble seeing where myself.
thank you, thank you, thank you.
Chile: coldest months in 20 years
could it be? make sure you check out all the links...
chile: coldest months in 20 years
may and june 2007 have been chile's coldest months in the last 20 years. correspondingly, natural gas consumption hit a record, too. you may also read about the brutal cold may 2007 in south america.
during the weekend, parts of australia have experienced the chilliest june day on record. last week, record cold temperatures had to be edited in queensland, too.
another continent that overlaps with the southern hemisphere is africa. what weather do you associate with zimbabwe? a few days ago, they recorded -7 celsius degrees. several people froze.
forget warming - beware the new ice age
be well, be love.
First Snow in Buenos Aires Since 1918
be well, be love.
first snow in buenos aires since 1918
monday, jul. 09, 2007 by ap/bill cormier
(buenos aires, argentina) — thousands of argentines cheered and threw snowballs in the streets of buenos aires on monday as the capital's first major snowfall since 1918 spread a thin white mantle across the region.
wet snow fell for hours in the argentine capital, accumulating in a mushy but thin white layer late monday, after freezing air from antarctica collided with a moisture-laden low pressure system that blanketed higher elevations in western and central argentina with snow.
"despite all my years, this is the first time i've ever seen in snow in buenos aires," said juana benitez, an 82-year-old who joined children celebrating in the streets.
argentina's national weather service said it was the first major snow in buenos aires since june 22, 1918, though sleet or freezing rain have been periodically reported in decades since.
one man stripped to his shorts to welcome the snow. children scraped snow off cars and threw snowballs. motorists honked horns, some with small snowmen on their hoods. some fender benders were reported on slick suburban streets.
the storm struck on argentina's independence day holiday, adding to a festive air and prompting radio stations to play an old tango song inspired by the 1918 snowfall, "what a night!"
Strange butterfly change
hi all, firstly my good old friend 144 turned up yesterday in fantastic style. i was playing cricket (google it if you've never played) with some old school friends (our 26th year). without going into the rules of the game the idea is to score more 'runs' than the other side. about two thirds of the way through my teams 'innings' i predicted that we would end up with 144 'runs'. guess what, i was spot on...........we lost the game !! anyway, enough of that. an item on the bbc news website caught my eye, here's the link.
and the opening gambit reads :
scientists say they have seen one of the fastest evolutionary changes ever observed in a species of butterfly.
it seems the insect world is leading the way in the changes to come.
Flora and Fauna/Misc weather
plant and animal life changes except for the bees (its own separate category), and miscellaneous weather observations independent of global warming.
hmm... it's my understanding that global warming will actually cause cooling in some areas. it doesn't just cause everywhere to warm analogously. the weather makers by tim flannery gave by far the best explanation i've read.
i created this xtra weather category because the global warming category is so large, i thought a small area for other theories would work better. that is all chris
Plant genes switched on by sound waves
"now mi-jeong jeong of the national institute of agricultural biotechnology in suwon, south korea, and colleagues claim to have identified two genes in rice that respond to sound waves. they also say that the promoter of one of the sound-sensitive genes could be attached to other genes to make them respond to sound too. "
Whales off the SoCal coast, which shouldn't be there
apparently these whales usually go further up north to feed on krill. just seems like another of those big indications that ecosystems are dramatically changing.
"(cbs) spotting the distant spray from a blue whale is enough to send shouts of joy across the bough of capt. dan salas' tour boat. but that pales in comparison to what comes next: an up-close meeting with the 100-foot-long creature.
"i was thinking this must be the best day of my life,” says whale watcher tammy lang.
and possibly the luckiest day, too. because the rule around los angeles is that after labor day, nothing this big and this blue is supposed to be in this water."