My New Dream Home

This is Russia’s only wooden sky scraper. It is 13 stories high and apparently it is about ready to fall down. The story goes that a Russian contractor began building a 2 story house but in the middle of the project he was sent to jail for beating one of workers. His business fell apart but when he was released he continued building this house… and didn’t stop. He just kept adding one story onto another until he made it to 13 stories!

Needless to say the neighbor are upset as they think it is a hazard to the community. I think it would be fun to try something like this in Olds, say in Park Meadows! LOL Only in Russia!

Anyway here is a video of the building.

Taken from Industrial Market Trends blog

Rolly Pollys

I have been writing a paper tonight on Sowbug’s aka Rolly Polly’s. There was a time when Rolly Polly’s really interested me. I would entertain myself by poking them and watching them curl up in ball but that time has long past and there is a lot else I would rather be doing.

But having finished the paper, I am amazed at these little creatures. There is a lot more to them then I would have thought. Come to find out, many scientists have spent their careers studying Sowbugs (…and for that I am grateful as one evening is enough for me)

Why are Sowbugs interesting to scientists? Weeelll, they are not actually bugs, they breath through gills. And because they have very simple lungs, evolutionary biologist consider Sowbugs a leap forward in evolutionary development. Of course, the flip side is that Sowbugs are perfectly well designed to live in the environment they have been placed in and don’t need anything more. As our bio prof pointed out, “Why say that a simpler organism is inferior? Many very simple organisms thrive in the environment they are in.”

Something I thought was interesting is how similar Sowbugs look to Pill Millipedes although they are a ways apart on the evolutionary family tree (a Millipede is an insect and a Sowbug is a crustacean) This is what has been termed parallel evolution but it is hard to envisage two organisms evolving identical looking shells (there are other even better examples) .

So I have lost an evening to these little critters and I still think that the best thing about them is that if you poke them, they curl into a ball.

My new lens (I wish)

Krajec sent me the specs for this lens. It’d be ideal for nature photography. With a focal length of 1200mm a person could photograph a tick on deers rump from a mile away. At 36 lbs it comes with its very own aluminum carrying case… or trunk. Only 12 have been made in the world so the prestige factor is high and it is on sale at BH Photo for a cool 99,000.