Why doesn’t any animal have three legs?

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If ‘Why?’ is the first question in science, ‘Why not?’ must be a close second. Sometimes it’s worth thinking about why something does not exist. Such as a truly three-legged animal. At least one researcher has been pondering the non-existence of tripeds.

“Almost all animals are bilateral,” he said. The code for having two sides to everything seems to have got embedded in our DNA very early in the evolution of life — perhaps before appendages like legs, fins or flippers even evolved. Once that trait for bilateral symmetry was baked in, it was hard to change.

With our built-in bias to two-handedness, it can be hard to figure out how a truly three-legged animal would work — although that has not stopped science fiction writers from imagining them. Perhaps trilateral life has evolved on Enceladus or Alpha Centauri (or Mars!) and has as much difficulty thinking about two-limbed locomotion as we do thinking about three.

This kind of thought experiment is useful for developing our ideas about evolution, Thomson said. (1)

How fascinating.

Everything started with Nothing.

Then One came into existence.

We are still in the phase of Two…

And there is no way to get any further.

For going further means that we get to three.

And from there infinity is one step away.

Leading to nothing more than zero once again…

But there is no infinity.

There is no two.

Not even One.

For only everything exists.

Infinity!

In the palm of a small kid…

Listening to music. Humans. Apes.

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In the eternal search for understanding what makes us human, scientists found that our brains are more sensitive to pitch, the harmonic sounds we hear when listening to music, than our evolutionary relative the macaque monkey. The study, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, highlights the promise of Sound Health, a joint project between the NIH and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that aims to understand the role of music in health.

“We found that a certain region of our brains has a stronger preference for sounds with pitch than macaque monkey brains,” said Bevil Conway, Ph.D., investigator in the NIH’s Intramural Research Program and a senior author of the study published in Nature Neuroscience. “The results raise the possibility that these sounds, which are embedded in speech and music, may have shaped the basic organization of the human brain.” (1)

Yes, we are the only ones listening to music.

Because our mind is never here.

We love traveling to the stars.

Only because we detest the Earth on which we were born.

We will learn one day.

When we reach the stars.

That those bright small dots we will see.

Is our home.

Which we have left a long time ago…

Octopuses’ arms. Universe’s brain.

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How octopuses’ arms make decisions: Researchers studying the behavior and neuroscience of octopuses have long suspected that the animals’ arms may have minds of their own. A new model is the first attempt at a comprehensive representation of information flow between the octopus’s suckers, arms and brain, based on previous research in octopus neuroscience and behavior, and new video observations conducted in the lab. (1)

We tend to believe that we are the ones who think. (or our arms)

But we are not. (neither do our arms)

It is not is who try to understand the universe.

It is the universe which tries to make sense of us.

And with every step. With every touch. With every smell.

We allow it to touch us again.

Look at that octopus.

So weird. Moving towards us.

No. It doesn’t want to touch anyone.

You want to…

Counting. Playing music.

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Bees can solve seemingly clever counting tasks with very small numbers of nerve cells in their brains, according to researchers. (1)

Scientists have developed a 3D-printed robotic hand which can play simple musical phrases on the piano by just moving its wrist. (2)

Everyone feeling so important when counting. But every animal can do it. Even bees. And what makes us special is that we may choose not to count even though we can. Everyone feeling so amazed when seeing a robot playing the piano. And yet we are not important because we play music, but because we may choose not to and listen to the silence instead.

In the future the world will be full of bees and robots.

Buzzing through chattering humans.

Playing the piano between soundless men.

But within the dreaded noisy night, a child will suddenly stay silent.

And under the scorching midday sun, an old man will stop to listen…

Beyond the robots playing perfectly…

Past the bees counting seamlessly…

Looking at the cosmos.

Crying, for it is so full and perfect.

Laughing, for it is so flawlessly dead…

Learning…

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In order to learn about the world, an animal needs to do more than just pay attention to its surroundings. It also needs to learn which sights, sounds and sensations in its environment are the most important and monitor how the importance of those details change over time. Yet how humans and other animals track those details has remained a mystery.

Now, Stanford biologists report in Science, they think they’ve figured out how animals sort through the details. A part of the brain called the paraventricular thalamus, or PVT, serves as a kind of gatekeeper, making sure that the brain identifies and tracks the most salient details of a situation.

The results are a surprise, Chen said, in part because few had suspected the thalamus could do something so sophisticated. “We showed thalamic cells play a very important role in keeping track of the behavioral significance of stimuli, which nobody had done before”, said Chen, who is also a member of Stanford Bio-X and the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute. (1)

Trying to learn how we learn.

Blind to the truth behind the veil of existence.

Lifeless puppets.

Strings attached.

There is nothing to learn.

Void cosmos.

Filled with fire.

Burning the strings.

Bringing death.

So that Being can emerge…

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