Friday, 28 November 2008
Thursday, 27 November 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Monday, 24 November 2008
Over 50% of the human world’s daily calorie intake comes from the Gramineae, particularly rice, wheat, maize, sorghum and millet. Recent trials have also shown that oats and other kinds of grain may help to lower cholesterol levels, and thus reduce the likelihood of coronary heart disease, and some types of cancer. Many of us are not aware that grains contain all the major nutrient groups: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals plus of course fibre. 100 g of red winter wheat for example contains 71 g of carbohydrate, 12.6 g of protein, 12.2 g of dietary fibre, 1.5 g of fat and 3.2 mg of iron. When comparing modern grains to ancient grains, it has been found that ancient grains may have been even more nutritious.
Bamboo is also part of the grass family, and is usually found in warm or tropical regions. Bamboos are the tallest in the grass family as they can sometimes grow up to a height of 30 metres. Bamboo has many commercial uses, such as in manufacture of furniture, paper, water pipes and scaffolding, and is also used for fuel. Bamboo scaffolding is thought to be better at withstanding strong winds than comparable steel scaffolding. Bamboo shoots are eaten as a vegetable, and bamboo grains are eaten locally in several parts of the world. There are many different species of bamboo in the genus Bambusa.
There are between 9,000 and 10,000 species of grasses, many of which are of use to humans. Grasses are used as animal feed, either for direct grazing or for straw or silage. They are also cultivated as lawns and as coverings for the playing surfaces of pitches for sports such as football, tennis, golf, cricket, rugby, GAA and baseball. Ornamental grasses are sold in garden centres and grasses can also be used to make biofuel and as thatching for roofs.
Grasses grown for their seeds to be eaten are called cereals. Rice is the staple cereal in south and east Asia, maize in Central and South America, and wheat and barley in Europe and northern Asia. Wheat for example is used to make flour for bread and pasta, and can be fermented to make beer and vodka. One side effect of wheat consumption is coeliac disease – a condition resulting from a response of the immune system to a protein found in wheat called gluten. This condition seems to be particularly common in Ireland, especially in the west of the country – possibly due to ancient genetic migration patterns of human populations.
800 Million people world wide are infected with Hookworms! That's approx 12% of the entire human population, and as many as 35 people in St. Columba's!
The hookworm is a parasitic nematode worm that lives in the small intestine of its host, which may be a mammal such as a dog, cat, or human. Two species of hookworms commonly infect humans, Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus. Necator americanus predominates in the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, China, and Indonesia, while A. duodenale predominates in the Middle East, North Africa, India and (formerly) in southern Europe. Hookworms are much smaller than the large roundworm, Ascaris lumbricoides, and the complications of tissue migration and mechanical obstruction so frequently observed with roundworm infestation are less frequent in hookworm infestation. The most significant risk of hookworm infection is anaemia, a lack of iron in the diet. The worms suck blood voraciously and damage the mucosa. However, the blood loss in the stools is occult blood loss (not visibly apparent).
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Saturday, 22 November 2008
Friday, 21 November 2008
Thursday, 20 November 2008
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
There are two resident species of seal in
Our friends at the Irish Seal Sanctuary in Garristown, north
Monday, 17 November 2008
Sound waves travel through the ear canal and make their way to the middle ear. The middle ear's main job is to take those sound waves and turn them into vibrations that are delivered to the inner ear. To do this, it needs the eardrum, which is a thin piece of skin stretched tight like a drum. The eardrum separates the outer ear from the middle ear and the ossicles What are ossicles? They are the three tiniest, most delicate bones in your body. They include:
- The malleus (say: mah-lee-us), which is attached to the eardrum and means "hammer" in Latin
- The incus (say: in-kus), which is attached to the malleus and means "anvil" in Latin
- The stapes (say: stay-peez), the smallest bone in the body, which is attached to the incus and means "stirrup" in Latin
When sound waves reach the eardrum, they cause the eardrum to vibrate. When the eardrum vibrates, it moves the tiny ossicles — from the hammer to the anvil and then to the stirrup. These bones help sound move along on its journey into the inner ear.
Friday, 14 November 2008
Check it out at http://www.scienceunleashed.ie/
Samuel Pepys' lengthy diary is one of the most famous first-hand accounts of life in the mid-seventeenth century. He wrote it in shorthand, and it contains detailed descriptions of the life of a man in his 20's and 30's engaged in important public service. Pepys was a high-level bureaucrat in the English government who witnessed the chief events of his day including major changes in government, a devastating outbreak of the plague, the Great Fire, and a war with Holland. Luckily for us, Pepys was observant and articulate. His account of the Great Fire is one of the most poignant pieces in the English language.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Wednesday, 12 November 2008
For more information see http://edublogawards.com/2008.
Bowen’s reaction series places the common silicate minerals (and quartz) in order of their crystallisation in a cooling igneous melt.
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Why he couldn't spell his name properly, though, one will never know!
Humphrey (with an "e") Jones
In the days of the Roman Empire Pozzuoli (or ‘Puteoli’) was one of the most important ports in Italy, receiving grain from Egypt and most of the exotic animals destined for the amphitheatres of Europe. Part of the old market place (or ‘macellum’) still remains, a little way inland from the modern ferry port.
The reason why this ancient site has become a ‘Mecca’ for geologists lies in the fact that about 4 m above the base of each of the three remaining upright marble columns there is a zone where holes have been bored into the marble by the marine bivalve Lithophaga lithophaga. This implies that although the market place was of course constructed above sea level, at some time in the past 2,000 years, the columns have been submerged to a depth of 4 m or more – long enough for generations of boring bivalves to dissolve away their surface - and have then been raised up above sea level again.
In linking these vertical movements to local volcanic activity, rather than to a major catastrophe such as the biblical flood, Lyell encapsulated his ideas about uniformitarianism, and the present being the key to the past (see notes on Hutton in the blog entry for October 23rd). We now know that Pozzuoli harbour lies directly above a relatively shallow magma chamber which periodically fills and empties – causing the ground above to rise and fall. Such movements are termed bradyseism (“braddy” “sigh” “ism”), from the Greek bradus = slow and sism = movement.
The last two major eruptions of this magma chamber were 15,000 and 39,000 years ago, and the next major volcanic activity in the Bay of Naples area may well be centred here rather than further south near Vesuvius. The Pozzuoli area is currently undergoing a phase of slow subsidence, but over the past 20 to 30 years this has been periodically interrupted by relatively short and sharp episodes of bradyseismic uplift ranging from a few cm to a couple of m. Each of these mini-uplift phases can be accompanied by seismic activity. Damage was caused by a major earthquake in 1983, and because of this parts of the old town are still deemed unsafe and remain a no-go area, even today.