Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

Cats (as well as many other nocturnal animals) have a very cool eye structure called tapetum lucidum, which is located behind photosensitive retina.

In humans, when the light hits retina, a very large portion of this light just goes through retina and gets “lost” (absorbed) by choroid.

In cats, however, this light gets reflected back by tapetum lucidum and hits retina for a second time, allowing a more efficient photoreception.

Such retinal illuminance gives cats night-vision abilities 5-8 times better than those of humans (and it also gives cats this spooky glowing-eyes effect).

By the way, it’s sort of similar to a human red-eye effect, which can be observed on some photos (it’s caused by pigments in the human choroid, which absorb everything but low-frequency light waves (red), which get reflected back to the camera and, thus, cause eyes to appear red).

Cats’ night vision is awesome, indeed. But nothing is perfect.

We, humans, have an extremely good colour vision (in comparison to nocturnal animals, who are mostly dichromats, meaning that they able to perceive only two primary colours). Our visual acuity is also supreme (cats are not capable of focusing on things in the same way we do because of their tapetum lucidum…. even if they had an intelligence close to ours, their vision would be too blurry to allow them to read anything :) ).

I think many of you have already seen this wonderful video:

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I’ll definitively try to do this to my cat.

I mean, I’ve done this before (I always grab Mars this way and throw him outside when I catch him stealing food in the kitchen), but I never realized that it’s actually a deactivating reflex!

Hmmm.. This method might be useful in washing cats. Though, I don’t think it is even necessary to wash cats. I only washed mine once, when he caught some skin parasites.

He was a kitten back then.

Giving him a bath was a hard thing to do. It’s not a big secret that domestic cats hate water (because it screws with their protective layer of fat, which is located just under their coat). If only I knew about this way of neutralizing him back then…

Anyway, there is another method you, my dear cat lovers, can try when you want to wash your pet.

Pour some anti-flea shampoo into the toilet, throw your cat in and close the lid cover. Your cat will try to get out, moving and splashing water everywhere within the closed space, getting rid of all the dirt and skin parasites. After 3 minutes, just flush the toiled 2 times to wash all the shampoo away, and let your animal out. The cat is now clean.

Easy and effective.

Tumblr style post.

Posted: April 15, 2011 in Animals, Technology

This is such a great picture (right click “Open in a new tab” to view the image in a full size).

More from this artist:

http://tebe-interesno.livejournal.com/

I was thinking here lately: why do people find a need to worship something?

If you look into our history, you will find that in all Eras, across all the different cultures, people were constantly idolizing things. At first, those things were different Earth/fire/wind/water spirits, pagan gods, ancient ancestors, etc. Then, when religion became more organised, Humanity had all sorts of supreme beings and prophets (e. g. Jesus, Muhammad… Buddha, etc) to worship. It’s like all people are addicted to the concept of raising someone (or something) and following them as something superior.

Even in Contemporary History, when religion is in decline, we still create idols and follow them. Some people praise political figures and their ideologies (Lenin, Hitler, Gandhi), some idolize fictional characters and create strong fanbase around them (Superman, Spider-man, Batman, Jedi, Harry Potter, Master Chief), some dream to have the same power as certain super-star business tycoons (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Donald Trump, Richard Branson), and some go to the concerts and look up with love and admiration at their favorite artists and performers (Lady Gaga, Tiesto, Black Eyed Peas, Rammstein, Metallica, Usher, Armin Van Buuren… just to name a few. And, what’s interesting. many people go beyond the production of their favorite artists and start digging into their personal life. This kind of fans can buy an old toothbrush that was used by [insert an artist’s name] a few years ago on Ebay for $20 000).

So, why is this happening? Why do people feel comfort when they have something superior to look up to? What psychological mechanisms stand behind this concept and drive people into creating worship targets?

I think that one possible explanation can be derived from the Evolutionary perspective (I want to warn you that these are just my thoughts, and that they aren’t really backed up by any real research… are they?).

As we all know, humans are social animals. People were always tended to join into groups in order to maximize their chances of survival. If you ask a zoologist, they will tell you that almost all group animals who are blessed with cognition of some sort (e. g. wolfs, lions, chimpanzees) have a defined group structure, or, in other words, a hierarchy within their social groups. Every pack has a leader, an alpha-male, whose primary role is to defend his group against other animals and (sometimes) resolve internal conflicts (for example, two lion cabs are fighting over food that is left over after a successful hunting, the noises they’re making wake up an alpha-male, who doesn’t hesitate to roar them away and eat all the food by himself – problem solved).

Homo sapiens’ social structures are far more sophisticated than that, but, nevertheless, the basic concept of a pack leader remains the same. And that can be very beneficial. Different people have different view on things and different ways to act, therefore, a good leader, who is capable of selecting the best ways and direct its group, is a vitally important figure to have.

So, here we have a basic group structure: an alpha-male (who is a leader, an innovative thinker and director) and all the other individuals who follow him. Simple, but efficient.

Evolutionary, it happened that humans have certain biological aids to form social structures like this. For example, not so long ago, it was discovered that our organism produces more endorphin when we work in a team, therefore, it’s natural for a human being to seek a cooperative activity with others of its kind. And, it seems that this principle extends to religion and other sorts of activities when we have to worship someone or something. We just get more satisfaction, due to biochemical processes, when we think that we follow something strong and superior. So, it’s like a by-product of those biological mechanisms that helped us to survive during the formation of our species.

And, of course, there is a relatively small number (around, maybe, 5% of all people) of those who find no need in worshiping others. They have their own ideas and very strong personalities, and they prefer changing their surrounding rather than conform and adapt to it. These people are the leaders and innovators (just like alpha-males and pack leaders back in prehistoric times). This small percentage of people, who stand out of the crowd and initialize the action, is composed of those who move our society, either back of forward. And all the other 95% just follow them.

So, to sum up, my point is that people’s tendency to create idols and worship them is just another psychological/biochemical mechanism, a by-product of our Evolution that helped (and still helps) our species to survive.

Again, these are just my personal thoughts. They could be wrong. You’re welcome to comment and discuss this topic, either here or on Facebook (under the WordPress.com redirect Wall post).

Found a blog of Igor Shpilenok, a photographer who works in a team with zoologists in Russian Far East, taking stunning pictures of the local wildlife.

For example, here’s a red fox:

The same red fox:

Trees in the mountains:

A hare:

A wolverine:

Here is the link to his blog (it’s in Russian, but you know how to use Google Translate, right?):

http://shpilenok.livejournal.com/

Have a browse through his works. They are truly amazing.

Hi, my dear subscribers!

Just want to inform you that I’m not dead and that I haven’t forgot about this blog. I’ve just been really busy for the last week.

You know what Uni does to people. You spend all your day at campus, studying. When you come back home, you have to go through all your notes, do your homework for tuts and prepare for lectures (it’s good to spend a few hours reading about the stuff they are going to present, maybe take some notes, so you would be able to actually enjoy your lecture… being confident and relaxed).

Same goes for me. And when I feel like I’ve done enough work for a day, I can’t force myself to do anything substantial. All I do for the rest of my night is eating, facebooking and watching some freshly torrented TV-shows (or some documentaries on YouTube, in case if I’m really, really psyched about the stuff that we’re covering at Uni).

And during my day-off’s and weekends, if I don’t have any work-shifts, I usually behave in the same manner as my cat does:

So, yeah… Not much time for blogging left.

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I’ll try to post something here before Monday. Stay tuned.

In the main news.

Posted: February 5, 2011 in Animals, ChDV's life, Music, Polls, Rants, Technology

I’m going to be brief today.

Came up to this poster. This is so true.

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Bought a new set of earhones yesterday – Yamaha EPH-20.

I used to have Yamaha EPH-30 (2 times in a row), but the last pare broke 2 days ago, and I couldn’t wait so I bough these as a temporary solution. I’m not impressed. They don’t produce much bass, so some songs of The Prodigy and old Tiesto’s tunes don’t sound so well through these. Also, the overall quality is quite poor. I tried listening to Xpander by Sasha through these earphones, and I nearly vomited. It just sounded crappy in comparison to good old Yamaha EPH-30. I would have to buy something better as soon as possible. Jim Wang recommended me a set of Fischer Audio Eterna. I read some reviews. They look good. I will consider buying these in the next couple of weeks for around $85 (including shipment to Australia).

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I gained 3 kg in the last 8 days.

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I hate Australian weather! This heat is killing me. I can’t function normally in any temperature above 27 degrees C. I prefer staying at home these days, with air conditioner working on a full capacity. Unfortunately, I have to get out of here sometimes, money don’t grow on trees anywhere near our place, and I still need to purchase lots of stuff. Each trip to the city (or even to a nearby shop) is like a torture. The humidity doesn’t add any enjoyment either. I sweat like a dog, and the sweat doesn’t evaporate much, which reflects on my natural cooling mechanisms…. I’m looking at Weather Tab on my iGoogle at this very moment. It doesn’t promise anything good. This shit will continue governing Queensland for, at least, another 4 days. Hope I’m not going to die.

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Quickly.

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I’m planning to release the Random SMS Trivia (Volume 3) withing the next week. Then, I will have to make a looooong break. Only 2-3 people reply to these messages nowadays, and the replies have declined in quality. So, I would rather entertain myself in a different way for the next 5 months, or so.

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Also, I want you to read this:

http://www.djmag.com/top100/detail/2593

You might want to read this as well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferry_Corsten

Now, watch this:

He is one of my childhood heroes. I’m just saying :)

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Oh! By the way…

Anyone keen on going to Family Nightclub tonight (Saturday)? The entrance is quite expensive this time. It will be $35 on the door. And the club will be packed to its full capacity, I bet it.

I know I’ll be there for sure ;). If you aren’t keen on spending such money for a club visit, don’t worry about me, I’m not going to be bored there, even “by myself” :).

Send me a text if you’re interested in going. You will not regret this. :)