Showing posts from June, 2014

Influencing our destiny - and then it gets destroyed so it has to reshape itself - Part 3

Gaia theory

To me, the previous two articles already demonstrate that the Gaia theory may exist although there are still many sceptics (e.g. New Scientist 26 October 2013, "Gaia: the verdict is ...", p. 30-31). The Earth, animals and plants interact with each other to try to reach an balance (we don't undergo the system passively while the system adjust to our changes) and when the equilibrium is disturbed then there are consequences. But we should also consider the age of the Earth, and thus not only what it does to individuals in a short period (from the perspective of Earth: what is a thousand years?). The system works as long as there is an equilibrium so that what comes replaces what goes. The dinosaurs may have become too powerful and this may have led to their collapse, helped with natural disasters while smaller animals and plants survived as they were better able to adapt to the new environment. Scientists (and many people) fear this may happen soon with our soci…

Influencing our destiny - and then it gets destroyed so it has to reshape itself - Part 2

Determining our destiny by changing our planet

The article "Life gave Earth its continents" (New Scientist, 23 November 2013, p. 10) goes even further and claims that even the first life shaped (unknowingly) the way our planet looks like and thus our destiny: bacteria eroded land and the sediments were then washed away and sunk elsewhere to the ocean floor and deeper in the earth by plate tectonics. As these sediments contained water and in contact with the heat of the inner Earth formed steam (lots of energy), the seafloor could rise so land and continents appeared while it seems if there was no life, our planet may have looked more like one giant water planet with a few volcanoes. Thus, it seems life even shapes unknowingly its own future because, as a result of the rising of land, land organisms such as plants could emerge from bacteria that were pushed above the sea and had to adapt to a life in dry conditions or die.

Also plants and animals influence the planet and thus e…

Influencing our destiny - and then it gets destroyed so it has to reshape itself - Part 1

Determining our destiny by changing our DNA
An interesting article in New Scientist (12 October 2013, "Life's purpose", p32-35) describes how organisms can drive their own evolution. It describes how living organisms can affect their own DNA to direct their destiny to some extend, and thus not only random changes in our DNA (mutations) direct the evolution of organisms. Indeed, living organisms need to adjust to their environment (e.g. certain animals become white during winter and thus in winter other genes are expressed than in summer) and if this only happens via random mutations then probably our ability to adapt to a changing environment is too slow. This doesn't mean animals and plants change knowingly their DNA but changes in appearance and behaviour (phenotype) may cause more likely changes in certain parts of the DNA (genotype), and the way how this may work is probably via epigenetics whereby the changes may follow some set rules that we still need to discov…

Maleficent - the movie

Last week I saw the movie "Maleficent" with Angelina Jolie. I liked the retelling of an old story.

Still, I saw our own time in it whereby many are building a wall around fantasy and wonder to stop it. Indeed, there are adults who find it ridiculous to have stories about for instance Santa Claus, a man who walks around with a beard 'scarring' children and threatening them to give them nothing if they misbehaved. But, how many children don't get anything? Most of the time they get a general amnesty and often the worst children get the most as they understand that adults no longer punish badly-behaving children but hope they will improve their manners if they receive what they want while the children of the poor are told it is a disgrace their parents give them something as little as 'unhealthy' food such as biscuits or chocolates. Other parents tell their children 'the thruth' and thus don't need to give anything. Similar for saying valentine d…

A veggie meal for if you are in a hurry

Here I present a dinner for those people who have not much time because they have to go out meeting friends and family. Bon appetit.

Salt, pepper and some herbs
Capellini (or angel hair pasta (is very thin spaghetti))

Preparation Starts boiling water to heat the pasta. Salt can be added but also adding a vegetarian bouillon cube is also a great way to give flavour to the noodles. While the water is heating, cut courgette and onion in small cubicles (take as many as needed per person, for instance I had a quarter on a courgette and a small onion). Also wash the (baby) spinach so all vegetables are ready to use for cooking.

Then, heat oil or butter in a pan and add the peanuts so they can become crispy. Next add the courgette pieces and after they are slightly brown on one side, add and mix the onion pieces with the nuts and courgette pieces. Also, according to taste, add salt, pepper and herbs as well as garlic to the vegetables. Around this time, th…

(13e) City of London

Here a very interesting article about the City of London with people who know the place, one of the main, if not the main financial centre on our planet where, if it rains there, it also rains in many other areas of the (Western) world, certainly because it has many connections to those other main financial regions. However, be worn, the article is even longer than the stuff I sometimes write.
As mentioned in the article, things in the financial centres are now even moving faster than during the first part of the financial crisis as computers are even faster and speed is considered money ('time is money' whereby now 'time' is interpreted as 'fast' and 'speed' while maybe the person who first used this phrase used it as the time that is given should be used to good advantage) while computers are taking even more decisions than before. And thus, if things will go wrong again as some of the people who are interviewed indicate, then there will be even less…

Secretive versus open organisations and what I prefer

Bilderberg GroupThis year was the 60th anniversary of the Bilderberg conference where a number of invited politicians, military leaders and business people attended. I think it is a bad initiative because it is mainly a secretive activity (although they have a website with some information) for a select group of important people who will discuss some major problems of our planet without involving many who are involved (such as members of unions or poor countries). If indeed the discussions are only informal where no conclusions are reached, then there could still be a press release with abstracts of what has been discussed as is done for normal conferences while now there is only a short agenda. I also think politicians should be open and answer questions of journalists and ordinary people so we know what they are discussing with very influential people leading very powerful organisations such as armies, financial institutions (can you imaging discussing the financial crisis only with…