Month: July, 2018

Trampolines Are More Dangerous Than Fun

trampolin

As the continued growth of indoor trampoline parks in Wisconsin seems to indicate, children love jumping on trampolines. The challenge is this: thousands of people are getting hurt on trampolines.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, from 2002 – 2011 more than 1 million trips to the ER were due to trampoline accidents; in 2009, nearly 100,000 trampoline-related injuries occurred among children.




The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) notes that common trampoline injuries include: broken bones, sprained or strained muscles, concussions, head and neck injuries, bruises, scrapes and cuts.

In fact, the AAP “recommends that mini and full-sized trampolines never be used at home.” If you do own a trampoline, the AAP recommends the following safety precautions: set the trampoline on level ground, cover the springs with a trampoline pad, install a safety net around the perimeter of the trampoline, and check the trampoline frequently for damaged parts and replace as needed.

trampolin

It’s also important to set rules for its use. Only one person allowed to jump at a time (most injuries occur when more than one person is on the trampoline according to AAP). No flips or somersaults. Keep the safety net zipped closed when on the trampoline and adults must be present.

As an owner of a trampoline, it’s important you have proper insurance coverage. Some home insurance policies allow you to add trampoline coverage — some specifically exclude coverage for trampoline injuries.

If your policy does not include trampoline coverage, consult your insurance agent to asking about adding umbrella liability coverage to protect against injuries and accidents that occur on your property.

trampolin

Children who live in the home where a trampoline is used cannot usually file a claim against their parents’ homeowners insurance, but neighbor and visiting kids can.Without insurance coverage, you may be personally responsible for the injuries.

Without insurance coverage, you may be personally responsible for the injuries.

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Boy In Ecuador Finds Frog Once Thought Extinct For 30 Years

atelopus ignescens

The discovery will help revive the frog species and could help the survival of other animals.

A small boy in Ecuador discovered a frog that scientists considered to be extinct for at least 30 years and has been successfully bred in captivity.

The colorful Jambato Harlequin Frog, whose scientific name is Atelopus ignescens, was thought to be extinct.

It was widespread in Ecuador, as it could be found in people’s homes and backyards. Some Indigenous communities would use it as an ingredient in traditional medicine.

Scientists believed it was suddenly wiped out due to a combination of climate change and a fungal disease. The boy and his family found a small colony of 43 Jambato harlequins at their home.




“It was such a long-standing presence in the Ecuadorean community that we would have never conceived it could disappear,” Luis Coloma of the Jambatu Center for Research and Conservation of Amphibians said.

Last year, the center offered US$1,000 for one frog of its kind to raise awareness of its conservation, not expecting to find it. The next phase was to get the specimens rescued from the wild to reproduce in the lab.

“For several months, the frogs would mate but never lay eggs,” Coloma said. “So we decided to move them to an outdoor enclosure.”

atelopus ignescens

“When we finally discovered the eggs, we felt like Thomas Edison must have felt seeing an electric bulb lighting for the first time. It was extraordinary,” Coloma added.

Andrew Gray from the University of Manchester said this process is critical for preventing other amphibians from becoming extinct.

“These frogs could disappear at any time, so if scientists manage to aid their reproduction, that’s a safety net for the future,” Gray said.

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The Queen of Nineteenth Century Science

Mary Somerville

At the October 1869 meeting of the American Philosophical Society, sixteen new members were elected. The first three were women: two Americans, Maria Mitchell and Elizabeth Agassiz, and a Brit named Mary Somerville. (A fourth member was another Brit, a fellow named Charles Darwin.)

When Mary Somerville died in 1872, one obituary called her the “Queen of Nineteenth-Century Science.” Born in 1780, Somerville was largely self-taught. At the time, education for young women was considered inappropriate.

It was alleged that abstract thought overwhelmed their delicate constitutions. Nonetheless, at 15, Somerville started to read mathematics. When her father discovered this, he forbade her to continue, convinced it would drive her insane. In 1826, she published a paper on the magnetizing effects of light in Philosophical Transactions.




In 1831, her translation and explanation of Pierre-Simon Laplace’s calculus-filled Mécanique céleste, published in English as The Mechanism of the Heavens, was an enormous success. For the next 40 years, Somerville worked as what we would now call a science journalist.

Somerville never tired of writing. At the age of 89, she wrote a two-volume survey on molecular and microscopic science. Despite the prevailing Victorian view of a woman’s place in society, Somerville was encouraged by and collaborated with male scientists for much of her life.

Mary Somerville

Two years after her death, Nature declared that she was an exception to the rule “that women are not by nature adapted for studies which involve the higher processes of induction and analysis.”

In “The Public Worth of Mary Somerville,” Clare Brock notes that there was some confusion as to whether Somerville was an actual scientist or “just” a writer. Perhaps we should split the difference: Somerville was both a scientist and a popular science writer.

By an interesting coincidence, the word “scientist” itself was first coined in 1834, by William Whewell, in a review of Somerville’s Connexion.

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Newly Discovered Wasp Has a Terrifyingly Large Stinger

Scientists discovered a new wasp species with a terrifyingly large stinger. Researchers from the University of Turku in Finland recently discovered the Clistopyga crassicaudata, which lives between the Andes mountains and the Amazon rainforests.

I have studied tropical parasitoid wasps for a long time, but I have never seen anything like it,said Ilari E. Sääksjärvi, a professor at the University of Turku. “The stinger looks like a fierce weapon.”

The wasp’s stinger isn’t only long, but also very wide, taking up almost the whole length of its body. Unlike bees, wasps can use their stingers multiple times.




Female wasps have stingers that can either inject venom or lay eggs. Parasitoid wasps like the Clistopyga crassicaudata typically have a long ovipositor to lay eggs that is also used as a stinger.

The Clistopyga has a particularly gruesome manner of laying eggs: first, the wasp finds spider nests, then paralyzes the spider with venom. Next, the wasp lays eggs on the spider.

The hatching larva eats the spider as well as possible spider eggs or hatchlings.

The giant stinger of the current species is very likely a highly sophisticated tool as well, but unfortunately we can only guess at its purpose,” says Professor Sääksjärvi.

As upsetting as this wasp may seem, wasps are generally beneficial to humans. Pests insects are prey for many wasp species, as food or as hosts for parasite larvae.

In fact, according to National Geographic, agricultural industry routinely uses wasps to help protect crops.

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Pesticides Linked To Bee Decline For First Time In A Countrywide Field Study

A new study provides the first evidence of a link between neonicotinoid pesticides and escalating honeybee colony losses on a landscape level.

The study found the increased use of a pesticide, which is linked to causing serious harm in bees worldwide, as a seed treatment on oilseed rape in England and Wales over an 11 year period correlated with higher bee mortality during that time.

The research, published in Nature scientific reports on Thursday, combined large-scale pesticide usage and yield observations from oilseed rape with data on honeybee loses between 2000 and 2010.

The total area of land planted with oil seed rape in England and Wales more than doubled from 293, 378 hectares to 602,270 hectares over that time and the number of seeds treated with the imidacloprid pesticide increased from less than 1% of the area planted in 2000 to more than 75% of the area planted with oilseed rape by 2010.




Comparing the pesticide usage data with honeybee colony losses, scientists led by Giles Budge at the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera) in York.

A former government agency that was outsourced to the private sector earlier this year – and US entomology professor Keith Delaplane at the University of Georgia, found a link between imidacloprid usage and honeybee colony losses.

Losses varied between regions and low spring temperatures were also linked to higher bee losses in Wales.

The study, also found that famers who used seed pesticide treatments reduced the number of applications of other insecticides, but that the long-term benefits of treating oil seed rape seeds with imidacloprid on crop yields were negligible.

The honeybee is the most important commercial pollinator, globally responsible for pollinating at least 90% of commercial crops. They are the most frequent flower visitor to oilseed rape.

The report’s authors said: “As long as acute toxins remain the basis of agricultural pest control practices, society will be forced to weigh the benefits of pesticides against their collateral damage.”

“Nowhere is this tension more evident than in the system with the world’s most widely used insecticide, the world’s most widely used managed pollinator and Europe’s most widely grown mass flowering crop.”

The authors call for more large-scale field-based research to determine the impacts on pollinators of the use of a newer generation of neonicotinoids.

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Astronomers Might Have Finally Detected Where Mysterious, Extra-Galactic Neutrinos Are Coming From

Just over three years ago, physicists working in Antarctica announced they’d detected the first evidence of mysterious subatomic particles, known as neutrinos, coming from outside our galaxy.

It was a huge moment for astrophysics, but since then, no one’s quite been able to figure out where those particles are coming from, and what’s sending them hurtling our way.

Until now, that is – a team of astronomers has just identified the possible source of one these extragalactic visitors, and it appears that it started its journey to us nearly 10 billion years ago, when a massive explosion erupted in a galaxy far, far away.

Let’s step back for a second here though and explain why this is a big deal. Neutrinos are arguably the weirdest of the fundamental subatomic particles.

They don’t have any mass, they’re incredibly fast, and they’re pretty much invisible, because they hardly ever interact with matter.




Like tiny ghosts, billions of neutrinos per second are constantly flowing through us, and we never even know about it.

In order to detect them, researchers have step up extravagant labs, like the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole, where they wait patiently to capture glimpses of neutrinos streaking through the planet, and measure how energetic they are, to try to work out where they came from.

Usually that source is radioactive decay here on Earth or inside the Sun, or maybe from the black hole at the centre of our galaxy.

But in 2013, the IceCube researchers announced they’d detected a couple of neutrinos so unimaginably energetic, they knew they must have come from outside our galaxy.

These neutrinos were named ‘Bert’ and ‘Ernie‘ (seriously) and they were the first evidence of extragalactic neutrinos.

Their discovery was followed by the detection of a couple of dozen more, slightly less energetic, extragalactic neutrinos over the coming months.

Then at the end of 2012, they spotted ‘Big Bird‘.

At the time it was the most energetic neutrino ever detected, with energy exceeding 2 quadrillion electron volts – that’s more than a million million times greater than the energy of a dental X-ray.

Not bad for a massless ghost particle.

Since then, teams across the world have been working to figure out where the hell this anomaly had come from. And now we might finally have a suspect.

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The Psychology Of Roller Coasters Thrills

Where else in the world can you scream at the top of your lungs and throw your arms in the air?” Frank Farley asks.

If you did that in most other places, they’d take you to your parents and probably put you through a psychological evaluation.” Farley is a psychologist at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The freedom to act wildly is one reason why millions of people flock to amusement parks every year.

Roller coasters are a major part of this attraction, and the people who run the parks keep looking for ways to make coasters taller, faster, and scarier.




The new Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, for example, rises 420 feet into the air and travels at speeds up to 120 miles per hour.

It’s the tallest and fastest coaster in the world. And there’s no shortage of people willing and eager to ride it.

Coaster appeal

For many people, there’s only one good reason to go to an amusement park: the roller coaster. Other people, however, would rather hide behind the closest candy stand than go near a coaster.

What separates these two types of people—those who seek thrills and those who prefer the quiet life?

Roller coasters often appeal to kids whose lives are stressful, structured, or controlled, Farley says.

“The summers of yore where kids could be kids and float down a river in an inner tube are over,” he says. “Roller coasters are a way of breaking out of the humdrum and expectations of everyday life. You can let it all go and scream and shout or do whatever you want.”

Attendance at amusement parks shows that many adults feel the same way.

Compared with skateboarding, extreme mountain biking, and other adventure sports, riding roller coasters is safe. Parents usually don’t mind when kids go on coasters.

Roller coasters also have a way of bringing people together. Riders share the thrill and adventure of surviving what feels like an extreme experience.

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European Colonization Of Americas Wiped Out Native Dogs Alongside Indigenous People

European colonisers arriving in the Americas almost totally wiped out the dogs that had been kept by indigenous people across the region for thousands of years.

The original American dogs were brought across the land bridge that once connected North America and Siberia over 10,000 years ago, by their human owners.

These dogs subsequently spread throughout North and South America, but genetic analysis has revealed they were ultimately replaced by dogs imported from Europe.

This study demonstrates that the history of humans is mirrored in our domestic animals,” said Professor Greger Larson, director of the palaeogenomics and bio-archaeology research network at the University of Oxford and senior author of the research.

People in Europe and the Americas were genetically distinct, and so were their dogs. And just as indigenous people in the Americas were displaced by European colonists, the same is true of their dogs.




In their paper, published in the journal Science, the researchers compared genetic information from dozens of ancient North American and Siberian dogs spanning a period of 9,000 years.

Their analysis showed the dogs persisted for a long time but ultimately vanished, which to Dr Laurent Frantz from Queen Mary University of London said suggests “something catastrophic must have happened”.

It is fascinating that a population of dogs that inhabited many parts of the Americas for thousands of years, and that was an integral part of so many Native American cultures, could have disappeared so rapidly,” said Dr Frantz, who was also a senior author of the study.

Today, few modern dogs possess any genetic traces of the ancient breeds.

The researchers suggested the dogs’ near-total disappearance from the region was likely a result of both disease and cultural changes brought over by Europeans.

It is possible, for example, that European colonists discouraged the sale and breeding of the dogs kept by indigenous Americans.

It is known how indigenous peoples of the Americas suffered from the genocidal practices of European colonists after contact,” said Kelsey Witt, who led part of the genome work as a graduate student at the University of Illinois.

Bizarrely, one of the only traces of genetic information from “pre-contact” dogs can be found in a transmissible tumour that spreads between dogs known as CTVT.

It’s quite incredible to think that possibly the only survivor of a lost dog lineage is a tumour that can spread between dogs as an infection,” added Maire Ní Leathlobhair, co-first author, from the University of Cambridge.

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2018 Aston Martin DB4 GT Continuation

Supply and demand be damned. The principle of a self-regulating market is clearly too vulgar for the rarefied world of classic Aston Martins.

The all-new, all-old “Continuation” DB4 GT—a factory-built facsimile of the original—manages to goose Adam Smith by turning the long-established economic theory on its head.

The arrival of 25 more DB4 GTs represents a substantial increase in the total supply: Just 75 were produced the first time around between 1959 and 1963.

Yet rather than depressing the values of the existing cars—not even to the equivalent of $2 million that Aston Martin Works is charging for the Continuation cars—it has actually boosted values of the originals.

Since Aston announced plans to build this car in late 2016, you’d have needed to find at least $2.5 million for a half-decent GT and even more for one of the ultra-rare Lightweights that the Continuation model is patterned after.




A 1959 example, the first built, sold last August at a Pebble Beach auction for $6.77 million.

The GT isn’t a restoration or one of those attempts at a made-better restomod. Every part is new, including frame, engine, and gearbox. Concessions have been made to safety, equivalent to those an original DB4 would need to compete in vintage racing.

The prototype we drove had a modern roll cage, racing-grade bucket seats, and six-point harnesses, plus a fire extinguisher and a battery-cutoff system.

Everything else is as the original, with the cars hand-built by Aston Martin’s in-house restoration division, Aston Martin Works, implementing the same techniques used for the originals, including hand-beaten aluminum bodywork.

Some parts have even been made by the same suppliers, more than half a century on, including the Borrani wire wheels.

Paul Spires, Aston Martin Works’ managing director, reckons about 4500 hours of work go into assembling and painting each car.

Not that improvements haven’t been made. The new cars are built to more exacting standards, after scanning of several original examples showed that they were all substantially different from one another.

The Works engineers also realized that the earliest cars had all been built with a slightly kinked chassis, possibly because they were produced at one of David Brown’s tractor plants, and this has been corrected rather than replicated.

These new cars are built at the Aston Martin Works facility in Newport Pagnell, England, making them the first “new” cars assembled there since 2007.

Panel gaps and shutlines are assembled to tighter tolerances, and the paint finish is to a far higher standard than you’d find on any car in 1959.

The Continuation has also been required to pass the same intense durability tests as Aston’s current endurance race cars, including a 2500-mile drive completed at Italy’s Nardò track last summer.

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How People Really Lived During the Stone Age

cave man

The Paleo diet is just the beginning. It’s the gateway to an entire suite of lifestyle prescriptions devoted to mimicking the way our ancestors ate, moved, slept, and bred nearly 10,000 years ago in the Paleolithic era of hunting and gathering, an era Paleo followers associate with strong bodies and minds.

Members of this modern-day caveman community believe the path to optimal health is through eating only what our ancestors ate before modern agriculture and a shift to more sedentary ways.




Devoted proponents of a Paleo lifestyle not only subsist primarily on meat and eschew carbs; they also exercise in short bursts of activity intended to mimic escaping prey.

Even blood donation has become a Paleo fad among the most dogmatic of 21st-century cavemen, based on the notion that our ancestors were often wounded, making blood loss a way of life.

But new research reveals flaws in the logic behind these trends. As evolutionary and genetic science show, humans, like all other living beings, have always been a work in progress and never completely in sync with the natural world.

Survive-in-the-wild

If we’re going to romanticize and emulate a particular point in our evolutionary history, why not go all the way back to when our ape ancestors spent their days swinging from tree to tree?

It is hard to argue that a simpler life with more exercise, fewer processed foods, and closer contact with our children may well be good for us, but rather than renouncing modern living for the sake of our Stone Age genes, we need to understand how evolution has—and hasn’t—suited us for the world we inhabit now.

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