Time for Thorns

An independent view on life.

Posts Tagged ‘science

Whence fall colors….

leave a comment »

Cooler fall weather produces some breathtaking coloration in leaves.   Here’s the  chemical explanation of why and how.

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

November 6, 2019 at 5:38 pm

Painted lady year…

leave a comment »

No,  I’m not talking about prostitutes plying their wares,  but the influx of half a million “painted lady” butterflies into Britain from mainland Europe.   It is the largest such event since 2009,  but it is a natural phenomenon which occurs about every decade.    You can  see here  how the insects got their popular name,  but the three-week Big Butterfly Count revealed that other common species also displayed substantial increases over the summer,  due in part to fine weather.

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

October 26, 2019 at 2:14 pm

Trees — do you…

leave a comment »

…wonder about them?   Robert Frost did,  poetically,  and now a large number  of scientists  are studying and using less invasive technologies to answer some questions and correct some past  “settled science.”   As in most areas,  we are finding out how little we actually know about the lives of trees.  Even if you think you won’t be interested,  you will be.

And the truly delicious part is that after reading only a few paragraphs,  you will know more than the eco-Nazis,  including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

 

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

August 31, 2019 at 2:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Shroud of Turin update…

leave a comment »

Thi piece of fabric has been the subject of much discussion and disagreement over the years.. The last most people heard of it, a “study” had proved it was a medieval fraud.   Actually that investigation was a fine example of scientific fraud.   The three samples tested were all taken from the outer edge of a section long thought to be a replacement for a worn portion of the original cloth.   Go in depth with Myra Kahn Adams  here.   I promise you’ll find the report fascinating.

 

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

July 22, 2019 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Starfleet or barchan?

leave a comment »

Doesn’t this crescent-shaped dune look like the Starfleet logo?   There’s a scientific explanation  for it,  but it’s more fun to imagine that it’s a relic from a Star Trek shoot.   Live long and prosper everywhere!

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

June 17, 2019 at 3:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

Astronomer or alchemist?

leave a comment »

I expect you’ve heard of the Kepler Space Telescope launched by NASA  in 2009 to discover Earth-size planets orbiting other stars.   It is retired now,  but it was named after astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler,  who was an important figure in the 17th-century scientific revolution.

A chemical  analysis of pages  from Kepler’s manuscript about the moon has found high levels of metals like gold,  silver,  mercury and lead.   He wasn’t known to study alchemy,  but it was still practised in the 16th and 17th centuries,  and a close friend of his did study the ancient  branch of natural philosophy.   Truth be told,  most scientists of the era at least dabbled in that area.

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

June 16, 2019 at 3:26 pm

Life below…

leave a comment »

If you were to go onboard a Chinese manned submersible more than a mile deep in the ocean,  this is  the sort of exotic and strange sea life you might see.

 

 

Written by timeforthorns

June 10, 2019 at 2:49 pm