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Showing posts from January, 2012

Fish growing in an elephants footprint

Killifish are beautiful and fascinating 


After watching this video they have now moved up to the top of my Fish wish list. Next time I get to set up a new tank these will be in it! Currently I am not sure if I would want to start with an annual or a non-annual variety but I am very attracted to the colouration of the Blue Lyretail. These small fish seem both tough and clever at avoiding predators (see the water scorpion in video), catching prey and breeding. 


The video shows some annual Killifish displaying there amazing ability to have eggs laid in damp mud wait for water to return and then hatch. This curious ability allows these fish to thrive in areas with varying water levels. Their annual breeding ability also allows their eggs to be swapped, traded and sent by post between breeder and collectors both across a country and internationally. Their annual nature greatly appeals to me as a project that allows me to view a complete life cycle of a beautiful fast growing fish species. 


Sa…

Spider Goat, Spider Goat

<b>Does what ever a Spider Goat does. </b>I watched this programme on BBC2 and I was amazed.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01b45zhThey have massive leaps forward in genetic engineering. To the point where they can take genes from a spider that control the manufacture of silk. Implant the genes into a goat so that the goat will produces spider web silk proteins in it's milk. After milking they separate the silk from the milk and we are left with a method of mass producing an incredibly strong natural substance that could be used in a massive range of medical breakthroughs. Spider Goat silk may help treat medical conditions that currently stump us. The programme goes on to explore synthetic life and all the crazy stuff that kitchen and garage biologists are up to. Everything from creating artificial glowing bacteria (previously Nobel prize winning work, now average first starters play experiment) to creating artificial squid skin on a metal plate. The entire biologic…

Fish tank - design over function

Amazing design idea but pretty sure its too small for Betta or any type of fish but maybe for shrimp?


Found this new aquarium design on kickstarter. The unique design feature claimed is a simplified cleaning process which only requires the owner to tip a fresh glass of water into the top. Then by the action of water pressure and displacement the water at the bottom of the tank is pushed up through a wipe. With this water the waste that had collected at the bottom of the tank moves up the pipe and out of the tank. This ingenious design idea is very intriguing and I almost stumped up the cash to support it. But then I read the tank dimensions and found out it was only about 2 litres. That is just too small to keep a fish. 


I love the simplicity of the design idea and If I could get one for a bit less money in the UK I would be very tempted for either some Triops or maybe some shrimp if a little heater could be added. But at the moment they are not shipping outside of america, when they do…

Review of websex on BBC 3

The BBC is currently running a season on sex on its BBC 3 channel and the first show was a programme called web sex. You can watch it on iPlayer here http://www.bbc.co.uk/i/b019gc2h/  (If you live outside of the UK http://www.tunnelbear.com/ can get you around the country restrictions). 


The shows was trying to explore how young people are using the internet and mobile phones for their own sex lives. Now the programme starts with two interviews with a guy and a girl who claim that the interweb has had a very positive impact on their sex lives. The guy has a pretty rotten attitude towards women (in my opinion) with him using social networks to maximise the number of women he can have sex with. The 2nd interview talks to a girl who has found social networks as a way to build her personal confidence and improve her self esteem. 


The show moves on to the detail other ways social networks, mobile apps and websites are used by young people for some kind of sexual purpose. They tell the story …

Evolution in the blink of any eye?

Just read this article at Practical Fishkeeping Fish evolve quicker then you think. It made me think about what is a good definition of evolution? and how does it differ from adaptation? does it matter? For many Darwinist and creationist they terms matters a lot and they go to great lengths to specify exactly what they support (or don't). I can imagine that individuals on both side would argue at great length about this particular bit of research. Claiming it is either proof or a mini distraction.  
Personally this research chiefly makes me question how much things can change in the animal world under what kind of timescale. I can think of at least two examples where speedy adaptation would be a great help to a species survival (not sure how much adaptation would happen before it becomes a new species but that is a secondary point.) i am thinking about polar bears and coral reefs. Both are under threat from rising sea temperature (and possibly acidification). If they could adapt as…

What to learn from Porn?

I am writing a lesson plan looking at how the media (TV, Film and Porn) distorts our image of Sex and Relationships. First half of the lesson is focusing on relationships and seeing how soaps, sit coms, and rom coms portray them. Second half is focusing on how Porn portrays sex. 


One of my exercises will be handing out a collection of statements about what people can learn from porn. Their task will be to then decide if that think a lesson learnt from porn is true, false or some where in between. This is my list so far. Please let me know what you think, can you learn all this from porn and could you separate true from false



It is normal for women to have hairless vaginasAll men have big penisesSex is better when it is fast, forceful and roughAnal sex is clean and simple Penis shape can vary from one person to anotherNipples can get erect when people arousedMales normally ejaculate about half a cup of semenSex is possible all over the place (not just in a bed)Most people don't use c…

10 Mile sponsored dawn photo walk - The Light Project

Once a year at The Light Project we do a sponsored event to raise money for the work we do. If you didn't know I work as a community youth worker for The Light Project. The work we do with young people in Chester is targeted to help the young people develop holistically and to provide a safe place for them to go in the evening where they can meet positive adult role models. 


This year I am doing a 10 mile dawn walk along the River Dee in Chester, Starting at 6am! To make it slightly different and unusual I will be doing the walk as a photo walk taking pictures as I go. As a thank you everyone who sponsors me will get a link to the photos I take and if you sponsor me £5 or more you will get a personal unique photo printed out from my dawn time walk.


It might be snowing?


If you want to see where i am travelling you can view my walking route here 
http://www.getamap.ordnancesurveyleisure.co.uk/?key=XFRC5F1FfOm6ojEMbo5Htw2 and if you want to sponsor me you can either email me at Gareth.C…

Amazing life at the bottom of the sea

It is great to read any article detailing new discovers of water based life. Especially reports of life under tons of water in pitch darkness with their primary energy source being geothermal (unlike the 99.9% of life on earth which relies on the sun in some way).
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/science-environment-16267625This article details some amazing discovers about species in the Indian ocean which look related to pacific sea life. This raises questions about how the species got their. Geothermal vents have relatively short lifespans in comparison to islands for example. This short life makes any life existing on then incredible enough. But for life from the other side of the world to have established itself is pretty special. I hope they continue to explore these deep sea opportunities and make even more amazing discoveries!