Monthly Archives: May 2017

Science Birthdays, May 31

Today is the birthday of Louis Ignarro, born in 1941.  He demonstrated the signaling properties of nitric oxide and is the founder of the Nitric Oxide Society. Nitric oxide is known to play a key role in regulating blood flow, controlling inflammation, cell growth, smooth muscle relaxation, heart disease, cancer, hypertension and impotence,.  It also plays a role in preserving memory.

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Natural Disasters, May 31

526      A devastating earthquake struck Antioch killing 250,000 people

1889    Johnstown Flood, over 2,200 people were killed after an earthen dam failed and sent a 60 foot wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

1935    Quetta Earthquake. A 7.7 Mw earthquake destroyed the town of Quetta in modern-day Pakistan killing 40,000 people and maybe as many as 60,000.

1970    Ancash Earthquake, A 7.9 Mw earthquake struck Peru with a maximum Mercalli Intensity of VIII which is Severe and a landslide that buried the town of Yungay, Peru. Between 66,794 and 70,000 people were killed and 50,000 injured. The death toll might have been as high as 100,000.

1985    United States –Canada Tornado outbreak: 41 tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Ontario killing 76 people.

This is a day in history when tornadoes ripped through Ohio, Pennylvania, New York and Ontario in 1985. I lived in Harmonsburg, Pennyslvania at the time and remember these tornados quite well.  To me the scene looked like what you would expect from a nuclear war.  There was nothing left in many places.  Seventy-six people were killed after 41 tornadoes touched down in this outbreak.

 

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Dog Tip of The Day, May 31

Today and for most of June, I will be talking about the Prey Drive in dogs. This is an important evolutionary drive that dogs need to survive in the wild. Basically this drive has five subcomponents: search, stalk, chase, bite, consume. each breed of dog differs in how strong each component is manifested in that breed.

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Science Birthdays, May 30

5/30/1423        Georg Peurbach,          astronomer, advocate of Arabic numerals, most people were using Roman numerals. He used the numerals to advance a table of sines. He insisted on the solid reality of the crystalline spheres of planets. He was the teacher of Regiomontanus. He died in 1461 at age 37.

5/30/1797        Karl Naumann, German geology professor and minerologist, he died in 1873 at age 76.

5/30/1874        Ernest Dushesne, discovered that mold kills bacteria 32 years before Alexander Fleming but his research went unnoticed.  He was only 23 years old and unknown.  Army service prevented him from continuing his work.  He died in 1912 at the age of 38.

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Natural Disasters, May 30

1948    A dike along the Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes. Fifteen people were killed and tens of thousands left homeless.

1998    A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit northern Afghanistan killing up to 5000 people.

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Dog Tip of The Day, May 30

First off, dogs are not wolves. They descended from a common ancestor about 34,000 years ago. They are both in the canidae family, but are different species. A wolf is Canis lupus and a domesticated dog is Canis familiaris. Since they are of different species and environmental factors affect both species differently, their pack behavior is different. Wolves hunt in packs for survival, dogs for the most part no longer feel the same survival pressures because they live with us. A dog will accept more than one family member as an alpha.  Wolves look to one pack member as the alpha.

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Science Birthdays, May 29

5/29/1716        Louis Daubenton, French naturalist, comparative anatomist, he dissected 182 species of quadrupeds, he died in 1800 at the age of 84.

5/29/1781        Henri Braconnot, naturalist, he produced the substance xyloidine, a precursor of collodion and nitrocellulose which could be transformed into a vitreous varnish. This may be considered the first polymer created by a chemist. He also discovered chitin in mushrooms, the earliest known polysaccharide.

5/29/1794        Johan von Madler, German astronomer, along with Joseph Fraunhofer, made the first true map of Mars, he died in 1874 at age 80.

5/29/1929        Peter Higgs, physicist, known for the Higgs-Mechanism to explain the origin of mass of elementary particles, and predicts the existence of the Higgs Boson.

5/29/1932        Paul Erlich, biologist, he warned us overpopulation growth, wrote the book The Population Bomb. 

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