Hopefully all that observe Veterans Day had a wonderful….but now it is time to get back to business….as usual I will give you all the worthless news of the past week….enjoy.
First a little cool photography…..
Canadian high school teacher Andrea Humphreys has done almost 700 dives, and she says she’s never experienced anything as “mind-blowing” as her encounter with a giant Pacific octopus. She says that when she started filming the creature during a dive off the east coast of Vancouver Island, it approached her and ended up embracing her. “Its tentacles were reaching through the camera to feel my face and then at some point, it had crawled on my body, on my hips, and was giving me a hug,” she says, per the Canadian Press. “And it had tentacles up and around my mouth and it was sucking on my lip, which is the only exposed part of my body.” Humphreys’ video of the encounter has gone viral.
“Every time I backed away from it, the octopus just kept coming towards me,” Humphreys says. “And it was just so amazing and inspiring.” She says it stayed close to her and her dive partners for 40 minutes and appeared to be fascinated by their equipment. “It kept changing the lights on my camera system and fiddling with it,” she says. Her video shows that the octopus remained deep red throughout the encounter, not “the greyish tone of a fearful or aggressive cephalopod,” the Guardian reports. She says her students were very excited by the video and she hopes sharing it will boost support for protecting the marine environment. “The curiosity. The ability to explore was just so amazing,” she says. “I’ve never eaten calamari—and I’ll definitely never touch it now.
Octopus is too smart to be an inveterate….
The big news is there is a new trend in crash test dummies…..
You’re probably most familiar with automotive crash test dummies thanks to a series of ubiquitous 1980s safety commercials featuring Vince and Larry, who cautioned driving responsibly while flying through windshields. The spots usually ended with the tag, “You can learn a lot from a dummy.”
The duo were representative of the oddly specific crash test model: almost exclusively male. Now that’s changing.
According to Popular Science, Swedish researchers are honing a model that better reflects a woman’s physiological characteristics, which can result in dramatically different outcomes in the event of an auto accident.
“The biggest difference is when it comes to … whiplash injury from low-severity crashes,” Astrid Linder, a professor of traffic safety at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, told NPR. “We know since the late ’60s that females have a higher risk of these injuries than men. But we also know from higher-severity crashes that females have a higher risk of severe injuries as drivers in frontal impacts.”
There is a possible breakthrough in male contraception…..
A small study out of Australia could pave the path toward a new contraceptive that researchers say could be a “game changer.” The two dozen or so men taking part in the trial at a Melbourne medical center will have a hydrogel pumped into their vas deferens—the ducts through which sperm travels—to block sperm from leaving their testicles. Researchers anticipate the effects would last for about two years, at which point patients could then receive another injection. The treatment would effectively serve as a “temporary vasectomy” that may be a more appealing alternative to the more traditional permanent version, per the Sydney Morning Herald.
Study leader Nathan Lawrentschuk, a urologist at the Epworth Freemasons Hospital where the trial is being conducted, says his team was “overwhelmed” by the hundreds of men who wanted to take part in the trial, per ABC Australia. Lawrentschuk points out the various circumstances in which male partners would want to take the lead on contraception, such as when their partners aren’t able to take contraception due to medical reasons, or if they’ve “come out of a long relationship where they want a period of known inability to have a child.” So far four men have undergone the injections. Scientists will keep tabs on the subjects, most of whom are between 30 and 40, for three years.
“If it is successful, it could be a game changer, ensuring that contraception is a shared responsibility between couples,” says Lawrentschuk, per the Herald. Dr. Liza O’Donnell, a reproductive health scientist at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research who isn’t involved in the study, tells ABC that she thinks the research holds promise, as long as the effects truly prove to be reversible. Lawrentschuk—who says similar studies with animals have shown the treatment to be effective—adds that if this trial is successful, a larger one is planned involving subjects in Australia and the United States. This isn’t the only male contraceptive possibly on the horizon: The Guardian notes that researchers at Monash University, also in Melbourne, are working on a hormone-free pill for men.
Finally….ever hear of organic reduction?
“It would be such a wonderful thing for me—to be able to just walk through [my garden] and be like, ‘Oh, hi, Mom,'” Rachel Gerberding told her dying mother. She wasn’t talking about somehow burying her there. She was thinking of composting her mom—and her mom was on board. As Eleanor Cummins writes for the Verge, human composting exists, and it’s “the first truly new form of final disposition developed in decades.” It’s more technically known as natural organic reduction, or NOR. It’s been an option in Washington state since 2019 and has since become legal in California, Oregon, Colorado, and Vermont as well. Cummins describes the multi-step process, which starts with putting the body in a biodegradable gown and placing it in a vessel containing alfalfa, straw, and sawdust. Loved ones can add compostable tokens (think flowers or letters) at that point
The body spends 30 days in the vessel, until bones and a soil-like material remain; the bones and compost are then put into a machine that will transform everything into fragments, and over the final 30 days, the compost is occasionally rotated in a tumbler. The end result is about 400 pounds of soil, given to families in breathable burlap sacks. The method isn’t the only thing that’s wildly different from traditional burials: so is the timeline. While families typically make arrangements in a “few chaotic days,” Cummins cites one company, Return Home, whose NOR process takes at least two months, during which the family is able to visit the facility and sit in front of their loved one’s vessel at any time. As for the cost, Return Home’s NOR services, at $5,500, fall between the cost of the average cremation (about half that) and funeral (about double that).
This is it for this Saturday….hopefully it either informed or entertained…..
Have I great weekend.
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”
2 thoughts on “The Usual Saturday News”
I don’t think I would like to be compost. Cremation is the cheapest thing here, so I will settle for that and leave more money behind for my wife that way.
An Octopus has a short lifespan, which I think is sad.
Best wishes, Pete.
I always will take the fire….Octopus is far too intelligent to be hunted and turned into food. chuq