Adapting…

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

Researchers tried to assess the effect of a new road to the local turtle populations.

“It turns out that turtles liked to hang out (a lot) in fun places like thick patches of greenbrier and multiflora rose,” says Weigand, one of the researchers. “Overall, we found that turtles at both roadless and roadside sites used similar habitats, with high volumes of downed woody debris and thick understory, so our initial hypothesis that the bypass was affecting how turtles selected habitat was not validated”.

However, the researchers discovered something rather puzzling — while many turtles used the open roadside habitat created by the new highway for thermoregulation and nesting, no turtles attempted to cross the road. (1)

We like to run. To things! To run!

And because of that we need to run more! And more!

And adapt! And do more things!

And run! And…

Well, you get the meaning.

But here we are.

Still here.

And all this time…

A turtle was looking at us in amazement…

“Poor rabbit, why do you run so hard?”

Don’t you know that at the end the turtle will win?

Please now.

Stop running.

Come. Come.

Cut my nails please…

Why doesn’t any animal have three legs?

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

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.

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

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.

Photo by Spyros Kakos

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.

Photo by Rafael Serafim from Pexels

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…

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