Gobar Times

Cowpats - August 15 2009

Gory Orangutans

Two mother orangutans are upto a bloody activity in the national park of Indonesia. They were spotted eating their own babies, a first ever in apes. Though  cannibalism (eating members of own species) has been documented in Chimpanzees and reported in Gorillas, but no case is of eating own child. “Such behaviour has never been seen before in more than four decades of orangutan research” said conservationist David Dellatore. He witnessed the first orangutan, Edita eat her offspring, and within another month Ratna, the second mother was also eating her baby. He suspects that visits of too many tourists are causing stress. The tourists try feeding and getting friendly with them. The species is definitely ‘stressing’ the point that they prefer not to be disturbed.

Bring home the star

Scientists in California’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) are experimenting to create a star like the sun to fulfill all our energy needs. Inside sun occurs a chemical reaction in which two atomic nuclei fuse, mostly of hydrogen. But such a nuclear fusion requires very high pressure and temperature, the biggest difficulty for  scientists. It is deemed possible after developing a laser which can concentrate electricity as much as 1,000 times United State’s capacity into a time as small as the billionth fraction of a second. Star struck by the innovation, really!!

Positive pollution

Recent study negates the all-negative image of lead. Did you know that lead causes positive pollution? Lead helps formation of ice particles in clouds? A team of scientists has found that particles containing lead are excellent seeds for the formation of ice crystals in clouds. This not only has a bearing on the formation of rain but also has an influence on global climate. The heat given off from the earth’s surface is more efficiently radiated into space by ice clouds (cirrus) with lead containing particles. Clouds with a low lead content vis-a-vis clouds with a high lead content actually help cool the earth. Consequently, over the last twenty years, there has been a continuing decrease in the rate of anthropogenic lead emissions. Yobbo lead clearly leads the way!!

Green power from plastic trees

If you thought plastic trees are all show and no substance, here is a paradox. The Dutch founder of London’s Solar Botanic Ltd. is toying with the idea to redesign technology. It aims to forge technology and natural world. The goal is to spruce up technologies by three-fold to generate fake “power- producing” trees that are  capable of providing electricity for an entire house. Each “nanoleaf” would incorporate photovoltaics for collecting solar power, thermoelectrics for converting the sun’s heat to electricity, and piezoelectric nanogenerators in the leaves’ petioles (the stalk connecting the leaf to the branch) to capture the kinetic energy from the wind rustling the leaves. Now that’s a power plant, literally!


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Gory Orangutans