2016-06-14 (Tuesday)

Today, I learned that:

What would our human world look like if we did not let our favorite pets and all the other animals remind us about the basic stuff, such as love, care, compassion, and other positive things and attitudes?

Today, I am honoring our dog, of the lhasa apso race, named Prins, so majestically posing in the header photo. It was taken exactly 6 months ago, on 2015-12-14, when he had just undergone a complete shear. He was born exactly 7 human years ago, on 2009-06-14. His race originated in Tibet, guarding the monks. More about lhasa apso can be found in reference #1 below.

By the way, did you know that the effective age of a dog is calculated differently than a human being’s? A hint: Prins is considered to be 41 dog years old. Consult reference #2 below to find out how that calculation is done!

But if you really want to discover the details of animal life, would you consider disguising yourself with an animal custome? The American researcher Joel Berger found it to be a good way to get closer to the musk oxen in the Arctic. Listen to the fascinating story in reference #3 below.

Arctic bear

Wildlife researcher Joel Berger dons a polar bear outfit to study the reactions of musk oxen to the threat of bears increasingly driven onto the land for food.

The way we treat our world, resulting in global warming, can also mean that we extinguish certain animals. Today is a sad day in that sense, because there are reports about the first mammal that has been declared extinct due to current climate change. We mourn the Bramble Cay melomys, the only mammal species endemic to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. More information in reference #4 below.

Finally, there is an expression in contemporary Swedish that can be translated as “making a poodle”. The meaning is a public apology, often pronounced by a celebrity. Its origin is the press conference on 2002-11-12, when the minister of migration, Jan O. Karlsson, regretted that he had received two salaries. The way he asked for pardon looked like the one a poodle performs when lying spreadeagled on the floor, as the reporter Pål Jebsen commented in his article. It was commented in today’s edition of the SR language programme Språket, reference #5 below.

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: Lhasa Apso

2: How old am I in dog years, how old is my dog in person-years ?

3: Arctic Researcher Bears Up for Science

4: Barrier Reef rodent is first mammal declared extinct due to climate change

5: Hej svejs i lingonskogen tjosan hoppsan hej!

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-03-23 (Wednesday)

Today, I learned that:

I should have told you more things yesterday, but the events in Brussels made me forget it.

In the beginning of 1982, there was a Canadian couple who was worried about the violence in the world and therefore thinking about moving to a quiet place where they could live in peace and let their children grow up in harmony with nature. So they spun the globe, closed their eyes and pointed at a spot. They liked the result and started to prepare for the big move, which they finally made in September, 1982. Their new home was located in a town called Port Stanley. They were still decorating their house when hell broke loose! In October, their cosy little town became the battle ground between Argentina and Great Britain, in the Falklands / Malvinas war!

But frankly speaking, to live in a small city in Brazil should not pose very big risks for terrorist attacks, more about me and Brazil tomorrow.

This morning, Radio Sweden presented two more interesting pieces of scientific news. The first one, references #1 and 2 below, is a fish that is both mother and father to its offspring.


This fish, a hybrid of two cichlids, does it all by her&himself. Photo: Xavier David/(CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

And the second one is a revolutionary material which researchers in Arizona want to employ to gather carbon dioxide from the air. Their invention should be able to collect 1 ton of CO2 every day, see reference #3 below.

Today is my blog post # 73, which reminds me of when I was younger and engaged in DX-ing and HAM radio. 73 was the code which meant “Best regards”, commonly used in all contacts between radio amateurs. See reference #4 for origin and more codes.

… That’s what I learned in school & 73 !


1: Ensam fisk lyckades bli både mamma och pappa

2: Hybridization generates a hopeful monster: a hermaphroditic selfing cichlid

3: Plastmatta fångar in koldioxid från atmosfären

4: On the Origin of “73”

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-02-18 (Thursday)

Today, I learned that:

Researchers at the Australian National University, with headquarters in the nation’s capital Canberra, are reporting about the results they have obtained from ten years of study of ground-nesting wasps, in order to find out how they manage to find their way home to the nest.

According to professor Jochen Zell, he and his rearch colleagues found that the wasps perform learning flights every days to ensure that they can always come home. He says about the wasps that “…their abilities make them smarter than anything humans know how to build.” This inspired the researchers to create equipment to mimic the wasps behaviour, and they now want to apply the acquired knowledge in the development of autonomous flying robots. More information can be found in reference # 1, below.

And speaking about flying animals, did you know that today, exactly 86 years ago, 1930-02-18, for the first time a cow performed a trip with an airplane? It happened in the state of Missouri, from Bismarck to Saint Louis. And the pioneering cow, named Elm Farm Ollie, was also the first one which was milked in-flight. The milk produced was sealed into paper cartons and dropped in parachutes to the public below. Maybe the Rausing brothers got their idea for Tetrapak from there? (This interesting piece of information was revealed today by the German software company SoftMaker Software GmbH, which offers a discount on the sale of their products as a tribute to Ollie.)


A modern-day relative to Ollie? Illustration by SoftMaker Software GmbH

… That’s what I learned in school!


1: Researchers recreate wasp eye view

2: A tribute to flying Ollie

+: What did you learn in school today ?