Friday, August 29, 2014

如果你在飞机里生下宝宝,宝宝的国籍将会是....?

想像一下,您是个怀胎九月的马来西亚妇女,就快生了。
你和老公乘搭加拿大航空从新加波出发前往荷兰渡假。在飞往荷兰途中,飞越巴基斯坦领空时,您肚子里的宝宝等不下去了。结果您就在飞机上生下了宝宝。生产过程非常顺利,母子平安。当机组人员和其他乘客向您道贺时,机长给了您一份表格填写宝宝资料,你看了一看表格..........姓名,性别,国籍........

问题来了:
一个马来西亚妇女乘搭加拿大飞机由新加波飞往荷兰在巴基斯坦领空生下的宝宝,是属于那一国的人民?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Is An Outstanding Fund-Raising Campaign, A Poor Awareness Campaign

My current facebook newsfeed is inundated with videos of people executing in various ways the ALS ice bucket challenge.

Before I start, I have to make clear my stance: I support the ALS awareness campaign. I support all types of disease-related awareness campaign wholeheartedly. I genuinely think that this campaign is an effective way of raising fund to support the research into battling this lethal disease.
However, I can't help but to also feel that the movement is beginning to skew from its original intent of raising awareness of the disease to raising awareness of one’s own altruism and/or attractiveness in a wet T-shirt.

Monday, August 18, 2014

How Big Are The Craters In This Picture?

What is the size of the craters in this picture? And if we have a crater that size on Earth, how big would it be?
The moon has craters on its surface --lots of them-- and some are huge and some are small. These craters are the results of the collision between the moon and other smaller celestial bodies such as asteroids, comets or meteorites. Unlike the Earth which has a layer of atmosphere to burn incoming foreign objects, the moon has no atmosphere to help shielding it from even the smallest of meteorites.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Plants Get Cancer, Too. But They Don't Care.

Cancers are horrible shit.
It knows no boundaries, age, color, gender, and it can hit at anyone at anytime on any part of the body--nose; throat; lungs--regardless of one's lifestyle or daily habits, though smokers and obese people do have higher chances of contracting cancer.
And it has no cure.

And animals get cancer, too. The Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) has been decimating Tasmanian Devils population since 1996, and we've seen facial tumours in dogs, cats and horses as well.
A devil with a face tumour. Image: wikipedia.org

And then there's plant. Yes. Plants get cancer, too.
You may wonder why do plants get cancer, right? It's so unfair for them to contract the life-threatening disease. After all they're just standing there doing their harmless business of turning sunlight into energy. They rarely ever hurt anyone and they don't annoy other trees people by exhaling second-hand smoke and they don't consume fatty food. Why oh why?

But wait. Yes, plants do get cancer, but it's not like the cancer you see in animals.

In animals, a tumour develops when a cell (or group of cells) loses the built-in controls that regulate its growth, often as a result of mutations. Plants can experience the same phenomenon, along with cancerous masses, but it tends to be brought on via infection. Fungi, bacteria, viruses, and insect infestation have all been tied to plant cancers. Oak trees, for example, often grow tumours that double as homes for larvae. —www.popsci.com

Well, despite harbouring cancerous tumour plants are less vulnerable to its deadly effect. For instance a plant tumour wont metastasize (layman's term: spread) because the cells are locked in place by a matrix of rigid cell walls. And even when the cells begins dividing relentlessly the tumour will remain in the same place. It can't migrate like human tumours and hence not as fatal as cancer in animals.

And for humans it's unimaginable to know you have a tumour embedded in your throat; lungs; or brain, we just can't survive without those organs. But plants lack such organs. And trees don't die when you break one of their branches.
So plants don't really care when they get cancer.

Malcolm

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