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

Friday, August 1, 2014

Sungai Lembing 26-29 July 2014

Ops I did it again~

I woke up at 4 am on the 26th of July, and departed via the KL-Karak highway towards Kuantan. It's a 266-km journey from where I live to Sungai Lembing, and so I had to split the journey into four sessions; stops at Karak—Temerloh—Maran—Sg Lembing—and estimated myself to arrive at about 11 am.

But I was so wrong. So very wrong.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Why Do Butterflies Drink Water?

It was a Sunday yesterday, and out of the curiosity to test the macro feature on my camera lens I figured I'd pay a visit to the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park. The park is located near the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, and the entrance fee is only RM 10 for Malaysian, but RM 20 for foreign visitors.

While shooting pictures of the critters I noticed something strange: the butterflies intermittently danced around and landed on the wet floor.
Are they drinking water?
But why?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why Do We Wear Underwears?

Okay folks, it's time for weird and random questions again.

I always have weird questions popping up in my head at the random-est moment, and this happened earlier this morning while I was having my breakfast. Sipping my coffee, I felt a little bit cold and realized I was wearing nothing but a pair of shorts. Well, okay, I thought, so clothes protect us against the climate, and that makes perfect sense. Some tribes in Papua New Guinea walk around naked due to the warm, humid climate in which they live. The Inuits wear thick clothes made from animal skin because they live in the Arctic. Inhabitants of the ancient Angkor civilization that thrived under the hot scorching sun of South East Asia did not wear anything except for a piece of clothing that hanged from their waist (before you ask, yes, both men and women of ancient Angkor were breast-naked).
Inuit women. Image: en.wikipedia.org
If the primary function of clothes is to provide warmth, what is the function of the underwear? Is there a need for an extra layer of fabric wrapping around our groin to provide extra warmth? Why can't we just put on a shirt and a pair of pants and walk straight out the door? Moreover, the male testicles function only at a temperature slightly lower than the rest of our bodies (and that explains why the sac hangs innocuously underneath your phallus, outside of your body), so why would anyone hamper their own fertility by channeling extra heat to their groin?

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