How butterflies protect themselves against rain


This 2016 video from Texas in the USA says about itself:

Butterflies Flying in Slow Motion HD – Houston Butterfly Museum

Several species of spectacular butterflies flying and courting in full HD slow motion at the Cockrell Butterfly Museum in Houston. For licensing contact hankschyma@yahoo.com

The Houston Museum of Natural Science and the spectacular Cockrell Butterfly Museum is home to dozens of incredible butterflies of all sizes and vibrant colors. This Slow motion HD video captures their beauty as they gallop through the air in 240 to 480 frames per second.

Music: Sonata Quasi Una Fantasia (aka Moonlight Sonata) Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. Performed by Pecos Hank on the vibes piano.

Birds like rain after drought. Some butterflies also don’t mind.

From Cornell University in the USA:

Armor on butterfly wings protects against heavy rain

June 9, 2020

An analysis of high-speed raindrops hitting biological surfaces such as feathers, plant leaves and insect wings reveals how these highly water-repelling veneers reduce the water’s impact.

Micro-bumps and a nanoscale wax layer on fragile butterfly wings shatter and spread raindrops to minimize damage.

The study, “How a Raindrop Gets Shattered on Biological Surfaces,” published June 8 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The research showed how microscale bumps, combined with a nanoscale layer of wax, shatter and spread these drops to protect fragile surfaces from physical damage and hypothermia risk.

There already exists a large market for products that use examples from nature — known as biomimicry — in their design: self-cleaning water-resistant sprays for clothes and shoes, and de-icing coatings on airplane wings. Findings from this study could lead to more such products in the future.

“This is the first study to understand how high-speed raindrops impact these natural hydrophobic surfaces,” said senior author Sunghwan “Sunny” Jung, associate professor of biological and environmental engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The lead author is Seungho Kim, a postdoctoral researcher in Jung’s lab.

Previous studies have looked at water hitting insects and plants at low impacts and have noted the liquid’s cleaning properties. But in nature, raindrops can fall at rates of up to 10 meters per second, so this research examined how raindrops falling at high speeds interact with super-hydrophobic natural surfaces.

Raindrops pose risks, Jung said, because their impact could damage fragile butterfly wings, for example.

“[Getting hit with] raindrops is the most dangerous event for this kind of small animal,” he said, noting the relative weight of a raindrop hitting a butterfly wing would be analogous to a bowling ball falling from the sky on a human.

In the study, the researchers collected samples of leaves, feathers and insects. The latter were acquired from the Cornell University Insect Collection, with the help of co-author Jason Dombroskie, collection manager and director of the Insect Diagnostic Lab.

The researchers placed the samples on a table and released water drops from heights of about two meters, while recording the impact at a few thousand frames per second with a high-speed camera.

In analyzing the film, they found that when a drop hits the surface, it ripples and spreads. A nanoscale wax layer repels the water, while larger microscale bumps on the surface creates holes in the spreading raindrop.

“Consider the micro-bumps as needles,” Jung said. If one dropped a balloon onto these needles, he said, “then this balloon would break into smaller pieces. So the same thing happens as the raindrop hits and spreads.”

This shattering action reduces the amount of time the drop is in contact with the surface, which limits momentum and lowers the impact force on a delicate wing or leaf. It also reduces heat transfer from a cold drop. This is important because the muscles of an insect wing, for example, need to be warm enough to fly.

“If they have a longer time in contact with the cold raindrop, they’re going to lose a lot of heat and they cannot fly very easily,” Jung said, making them vulnerable to predators, for example.

Repelling water as quickly as possible also is important because water is very heavy, making flight in insects and birds difficult and weighing down plant leaves.

“By having these two-tiered structures,” Jung said, “[these organisms] can have a super hydrophobic surface.”

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Racism in Donald Trump’s USA


This 9 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Disturbing Video of Protester Shot in the Face With a Rubber Bullet | NowThis

WARNING: Distressing Content

In US news and current events today, police officers shot protester LaToya Ratlieff in the face with a rubber bullet during a Black Lives Matter march in Florida — now she’s considering suing the police.

As the Black Lives Matter protests and George Floyd protests continue to grow globally, the debate over police violence and police brutality has grown to a fever pitch, which makes it all the more curious why police have elected to respond to these BLM protests with more violence.

Protesters have been hit with batons, bean bags, tear gas, pepper balls, and rubber bullets, all technically non-lethal weapons, or less than lethal weapons, but still capable of doing immense physical harm. As calls grow to defund the police and demilitarize the police, we look at the damage one so-called rubber bullet can do to a peaceful protester.

Nationwide protests over the racism of America’s present have also reignited furor against the most powerful symbols of its racist past: the roughly 1,700 Confederate monuments and symbols that still dot the nation’s landscape.

Scant Evidence For Trump Claim That Antifa Is Behind Protest Violence. An Associated Press investigation into arrest records found that very few people were affiliated with organized groups: here.

America Has Tried And Failed To Explain Its Racism To The World [HuffPost]

Real Neat Blog Award, congratulations, nominees!


Image result for real neat blog award

Late in 2014, I made this Real Neat Blog Award. There are so many bloggers whose blogs deserve more attention. So, I wanted to try to do something about that.

It is the first award that I ever made. I did some computer graphics years ago, before I started blogging; but my computer drawing had become rusty. So, I made the award with this logo then.

It is good to see that this award since then has gone to many places of the blogosphere. And that some people have made new logos for it; like the one at the top of this blog post.

The rules of this award are:

  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and add a link to their blog.
  • Nominate any number of people linking to their blogs and let them know you nominated them by commenting on their blogs.
  • Come up with 7 questions for the people you nominated.

My seven questions to my nominees are:

1. Where do most visits to your blog come from?

2. What is your favourite sport?

3. What has been a special moment for you so far in 2020?

4. What is your favourite quote?

5. What is/was your favourite class when still at school?

6. Anything you had wished to have learned earlier?

7. Which politician would you never vote for, supposing you could vote for him or her?

My nominees are:

1. Smoothies * Recipes * Food

2. travel leopard

3. Realizing Life Goals

4. The Pine-Scented Chronicles

5. Caeli’s words

6. Smashing Single Parenthood

7. Learning and Living through Inquiry

8. An Overdose Of Pain

9. the news18 india

10. Cycling through Chaos

11. Victoria’s blog

12. Ana Writes

Racism and anti-racism worldwide


George Floyd's niece, Brooke Williams, at George Floyd's funeral in the USA, AP photo

From CNN in the USA today:

George Floyd’s niece: “As long as I’m breathing, justice will be served”

[Brooke] Williams said that none of the four officers on the scene when Floyd was killed showed “heart or soul.”

“That officer showed no remorse while watching my uncle’s soul leave his body. He begged and pleaded many times just for you to get up, but you just pushed harder. Why must the system be corrupt and broken?” she asked.

“No more hate crimes, please,” she said. “Someone said ‘Make America Great Again”, but when has America ever been great?”

People kneeling during a minute silence during a rally at the Nelson Mandela statue in Parliament Square, London, to commemorate George Floyd as his funeral takes place in the US following his death on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis

This photo shows people kneeling during a minute silence during a rally at the Nelson Mandela statue in Parliament Square, London, England to commemorate George Floyd as his funeral took place in the US following his death on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.

By Ceren Sagir in Britain, 9 June 2020:

Anti-racists commemorate Gorge Floyd’s funeral with a vigil by Nelson Mandela statue

ANTI-RACISTS commemorated George Floyd’s funeral in the US today with a symbolic vigil at Nelson Mandela’s statue in London’s Parliament Square.

The alleged racist killing of Mr Floyd by a white police officer has led a wave of protests with millions of people globally taking a stand to say “black lives matter.”

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) said it was organising to turn the latest wave of anger against racism and injustice into an effective movement for change.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 9 June 2020:

George Floyd’s family demand UN intervention over humanitarian crisis in US

MORE than 600 organisations united with George Floyd’s family in demanding United Nations investigations into police violence and the racist oppression of protests currently sweeping the US.

Mr Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, said: “I want people across the world and the leaders in the United Nations to see the video of my brother George Floyd, to listen to his cry for help, and I want them to answer his cry.”

He was joined by relatives of Breonna Taylor, Philando Castile and Michael Brown, black people also killed by police, in releasing a statement pleading for action from the international body to deal with a “human rights crisis” in the US.

A protest against the B ritish Conservative government's hostile environment policies outside the Home Office in London Photo: Global Justice Now

By Bethany Rielly in Britain, 9 June 2020:

Government’s ‘cruel’ immigration laws ‘disproportionately impacting Britain’s black community’

THE government’s “cruel” detention and deportation laws have “disproportionately impacted Britain’s black community,” a campaign group told MPs today.

Hearing evidence, ministers were told that the new immigration Bill still contains “every aspect” of the hostile environment policies that caused the Windrush scandal.

Detention Action director Bella Sankey said the EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill, which passed its second reading in the Commons last month, will extend these policies to EU citizens.

By Bethany Rielly in Britain, 9 June 2020:

‘Systematic racism’ at London-based NHS unit prompts fresh calls to address discrimination

EVIDENCE of “systematic racism” and a “psychologically unsafe” environment has been found at an NHS unit in London, sparking fresh concerns over discrimination in the health service.

Leaked information reported by the Guardian from an internal investigation at the Colindale site of the NHS Blood & Transplant (NHSBT) division in north London found that “recruitment is haphazard, based on race and class and whether a person’s ‘face fits’.”

The Globis Mediation Group report was prompted by a number of discrimination complaints from black and minority-ethnic (BAME) staff.

Black Lives Matter mass movement, a poem


This 9 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

Seattle Police Use Tear Gas On Protesters Days After Ban | NowThis

Police fired tear gas and flash bombs at protesters only 3 days after Seattle banned the use of tear gas.

In US news and current events today, as Black Lives Matter protests continue around the U.S., Seattle police are still using deploying tear gas on protesters despite the city’s ban.

By Fred Voss from the USA today:

21ST-CENTURY POETRY

Today the Young People Are Marching in the Streets

The young are marching
young as the Golden Rule
the first human eye turned toward the heavens in wonder
young as a raindrop
a hammer blow cracking the Bastille
Blake
seeing his first angel
a knee is on our neck
but the young are shouting
strong and beautiful as Louis Armstrong’s trumpet
Billie Holiday’s croon
a knee is on the neck of the black man and the brown man and the homeless man
and the homeless woman and the working man and the working woman
a knee is on the neck of freedom
but the young are marching
young as Rosa Parks’ feet planted firmly in the front of the bus
Frederick Douglass
wrestling his slave-master down to the ground
Joe Hill yelling, “Organize!”
the dawn sun burning on Walt Whitman’s open road horizon
a knee is on the neck of George Floyd and the poor
and the poem and Vincent Van Gogh with a sunflower
in his paintbrush
and this story is as old
as Bessie Smith’s blues and James Baldwin’s sad eyes and every man
without hope who ever thought
of throwing in the towel but today
the young are marching in the street
marching for the homeless man trying to sleep on a sidewalk
the man from El Salvador
cheated out of his wages as he slaves
in a downtown L.A. sweatshop factory today the young
are marching and shouting and singing young
as Martin Luther King’s dream
and the flame of the human spirit that must never
go out.

US poet and novelist Fred Voss is a machinist, who chronicles and reflects on his working life in numerous outstanding collections, the latest of which is Robots Have No Bones, published by Culture Matters. 21st-century Poetry is edited by Andy Croft, email info@smokestack-books.co.uk

English slave trader Colston, Tina Turner parody


This 9 June 2020 satirical music video from Britain is a parody of the song Proud Mary by Tina Turner.

It says about itself:

[17th-century Bristol, England slave trader] Edward Colston – Rolling to the River

The statue of Edward Colston sings.

LYRICS:

Left a good job in the city
Joined the Royal African Company
Worked my way up to Deputy Governor
19,000 slaves died on our journeys
Statue was still erected
But it seems some of you objected
Now I’m rolling, rolling, rolling to the river

Grave of enslaved African in Bristol vandalised in ‘retaliation attack’: here.