2107-08-01 (Mother Nature’s son)

Today, I learned that:

Regardless of what we say and think, we still respond to Her (Mother Nature). Sometimes She shares with us the most amazing scenarios, such as the one in the amazing photo below. It shows a countryside highway with bamboo trees on both sides. And if you can read Portuguese, then you understand that this place is a sanctuary for wild animals. The road sign depicts an ocelot, and furthermore there is an alert that this is a road with a high degree of crashes between cars and animals. The location is close to the city of Assis, state of São Paulo, Brazil, where there is an ecological station.

Bambu

Highway SP-333 close to the city of Assis, SP, Brazil. This area contains an ecological station with wild animals of various species, the reason why the roadsign alerts for a high degree of collisions between them and cars. The depicted animal is called jaguatirica in Portuguese, ocelot in English, and Leopardis pardalis in Latin. On both sides of the road are planted bamboo, which gives a magical touch to this sacred place. Photo taken on 2017-07-23.

It seems like a perfect coincidence that it is located in Assis, because as you probably remember, in a similarly sounding town in Italy, during the 12th century, there was born a person who later would be known as Saint Francis of Assisi. Among other things, he is known for his friendliness to the birds and in 1979 Pope John Paul II declared him the Patron Saint of Ecology. (The current Pope Francis I also honoured him by adopting his name as his own papal name.) See references #1 and #2 below.

But Mother Nature does not only present us with beauty, She is also very practical. Last Friday, I was reminded twice of that, when Radio Sweden interviewed professionals involved with creating and using practical solutions from Her in favour of humanity.

In the morning, I was told about a new kind of glue, which will permit heart surgeons to glue parts together within a beating heart. The origin of that invention is in the slime produced by a slug, which inspired scientists at Harvard. Hear and read about it in reference #3 below (Swedish), as well as read about in reference #4 (English).

Arion_vulgaris

Arion vulgaris, photo by Xauxa Håkan Svensson – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11200581

Then in the evening, another sensational feat. As long as we can remember, the spider has impressed us with its production of ultra-thin, yet extremely strong threads. And now Swedish scientists have discovered a way of recreating such production without using toxic chemistry. Reference #5 contains an audio interview in Swedish with Anna Rising, one of the scientists, and reference #6 is a written interview in English, where she and her fellow colleague Jan Johansson explain more.

Then, over the weekend, I remembered a similar story from exactly 10 years ago. By using practical solutions from a gecko and a mussel, scientists at Northwestern University were able to create a glue that would stick well also under water, see reference #7 below. And in the beginning of 2017, see reference #8, was reported how the very same gecko had inspired researchers at Kiel University to invent a method of immediate grip and release.

But wait, there is more! As a bonus, look also at this article from 2010, reference #9 below, which reports about a combination of mussel glue and nanoparticles to create a proactive cover against corrosion.

To end today’s post, what could be better than listening to the fantastic song writher John Denver, so tragically gone in 1997, to describe his love to Mother Nature! See and here his poem in reference X below.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: Assis

2: Saint Francis of Assisi

3: Snigelinspirerat lim kan användas vid operationer

4: Slug Slime Inspires Scientists To Invent Sticky Surgical Glue

5: Forskare om att framställa artificiell spindelväv, med början vid 06:20

6: Spinning super strong synthetic spider silk

7: Design by Gecko, Plus Glue by Mussel, Yields a Powerful Adhesive

8: Scientists Can Turn This Gecko-Inspired Gripping Device On or Off With the Flick of a Light

9: Musslornas klister används som rostskydd

X: John Denver – Mother Nature’s son

*: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-10-08 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

The United Arab Emirates, especially through the emirate Dubai, continues to expands its offerings for tourism in this interesting part of the world. In my post of 2016-06-21, I wrote about the technological advances in Dubai, and now I learned that further to the earlier 16 languages, their Ministry of Tourism has now also added Swedish as a language to a complete subsite, see reference # 1 below. The photo below, courtesy of my friend Chiara Anzalone, shows the Arabian Gulf at Dubai, with Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, considered the world’s must luxurious hotel in the foreground, and the artificial Palm Jumeirah islands towards the horizon. How about meeting me there?

chiara3

Photo from Dubai, taken by Chiara Anzalone, showing the Arabian Gulf, with Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, considered the world’s must luxurious hotel in the foreground, and the Palm Jumeirah islands towards the horizon.

The past week revealed the laureates of the scientific Nobel Prizes 2016, where among other things we learned that the term ‘topology’ means totally different things in physics and chemistry. Radio Sweden made a fantastic job to compress the reasons for awarding exactly these scientists into three 1-minute video clips. References #2, #3, #4 below carry the links. The language is Swedish, but who knows besides learning more about medicine, physics, and chemistry, you may also pick up some words in the “language of honor and heroes”?

I had planned to discuss the advancement of machines into our lives today, but since it is a subject that cannot be dealt with on a coffee break, I will return to it any day soon. Instead, I would like to show how one of the world’s technology giants are once more dismantling their acquired heritage. The company is called Microsoft, and after turning Nokia and Skype into dust, now it seems that LinkedIn will be their next victim. I received this e-mail the other day:

desempregado

The once excellent social business network LinkedIn was recently bought by Microsoft. Looking at this network update, how they want me to congratulate a friend who recently got unemployed (“Desempregado”) is just one more sign of their continuing “King Midas in reverse”. (Name and image have been altered for security reasons.) See and listen also to reference # 5 below.

And, there is one more thing …

temers

Brazil’s First Lady, Marcela Temer, presents the new social program Criança feliz (“Happy child”), with her husband, president Michel Temer, behind her, on 2016-10-05, photo by Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress. The same newspaper, Folha de S. Paulo, published today 2016-10-08 a cartoon by Montanaro, in which an admirer says “My, does Marcela speak well!” and Michel responds “Of course, who do you think taught her to speak her first words?” (This kind of political gossip is common due to the large age difference between the two, 76 vs. 33 years.)

… That’s what I learned in school !

byran

Do you need to TRANSLATE DOCUMENTS between ENGLISH, BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE, and the SCANDINAVIAN (SWEDISH / DANISH / NORWEGIAN) languages? Contact “Byrån / The Taskforce” here !!!

Refs.:

1: Besök Dubai – Upptäck Dubais alla möjligheter!

2: Nobelpriset i medicin 2016

3: Nobelpriset i fysik 2016

4: Nobelpriset i kemi 2016

5: The Hollies “King Midas In Reverse”

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-04-02 (Saturday)

Today, I learned that:

Last night, I took my son and his girl friend to an outdoor consert with Skank, one of Brazil’s leading rock band for a couple of decades, which you can see in full action in the photo below. The surprising venue was Arena Brasil, located in the outskirts of Paraná’s leading textile city, Cianorte. The evening was warm and pleasant. Skank presented a mixed program spanning from some of their all-time hits until the most recent tunes. The public interacted well with the band and sang together the lyrics of the well-known songs. And the whole arena exploded when Skank once again paid a tribute to the Brazilian pastime, football. Listen to “É Uma Partida De Futebol” (It is a Football game) in reference #1 below.

Skank

Show by Skank in Cianorte, PR, Brazil on 2016-04-01

Yesterday’s event came as a relaxing break from the distressing reality of the Brazilian everyday life. However, the rotten economy, the political scandals, the official corruption, etc., are still here. Radio Sweden’s Saturday program about Economics discussed all this in a way accessible to all its listeners. Listen to the program in reference #2 below (unfortunately only in Swedish) and stay on top of the current situation here.

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:

1: É Uma Partida De Futebol

2: Brasiliens ekonomiska kris

+: What did you learn in school today ?