Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

Do birds help curb global warming?

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2010 at 3:11 am

Do birds help curb global warming?
posted by Pat Brennan, science, environment editor
The early bird catches the worm — and, one UC Irvine scientist says, might also help reduce the effects of global warming.

In a new study published in a scientific journal this week, ecologist and lead author Kailen Mooney shows that birds, bats and lizards consume enough insects to reduce the damage they cause to plants and promote plant growth — by 14 percent on average.

“The goal was to understand how natural communities work, and the role of top predators in shaping and affecting communities of insects,” Mooney said.

The study itself, a “meta-analysis” of 63 previous studies involving 113 experiments, looked only at how plant growth is affected by removing birds and other animals that prey on insects. But the implications for climate change are clear, Mooney said.

“Anytime a plant is growing, it’s taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and turning it into tissues,” he said.

Humanity’s release of carbon dioxide, along with other greenhouse gases, is believed by climate scientists to be driving the sharp warming trend seen in global temperatures.

The more carbon stored by plants, the less in the atmosphere. That could help slow down the rise in temperatures.

Although the estimate is not part of the study, Mooney said the rate of increased carbon capture could parallel the amount of increased plant growth promoted by birds and other insect predators.

“From the fact that there are predators protecting plants, and increasing the growth rate by approximately 14 percent, it’s a rough approximation to say it is increasing carbon capture in natural ecosystems on something on the order of 14 percent also,” he said.

Mooney and his co-authors spent four years combing through every study they could find that involved keeping birds, bats or lizards away from plants to see if there was an effect on plant growth-rates.

That includes experiments Mooney himself did as a graduate student in the pine forests of Colorado.

Mooney built cages around pine trees to keep birds out, then tracked insect populations and tree growth for three years.

“We found that, in a nutshell, birds increased the growth rate of pine trees by about a third,” he said.

But while a number of such experiments had been done, no one had yet pulled them all together for an overall analysis.

One of his most important findings, he said, was that the effects of insect predators on plant growth showed wide variation depending on type of habitat — trees or shrubs, for example — as well as latitude, with strong differences between tropical and temperate zones.

He also found that the growth-promoting effect held up even though the birds, bats and lizards were feeding not only on insects but other insect predators, such as spiders.

“It wasn’t clear how strong that would be,” he said. “Maybe it would turn out to be a wash.”

But he found plant growth was enhanced by about the same amount, even when consumption of other insect predators was taken into account.

The study also has implications for wildlife conservation, he said. Bird populations are declining in many places because of loss of habitat. And great care must be taken when growing new forests to capture carbon dioxide, he said, so that “at the same time we’re trying on one end to increase carbon capture by planting new forests, we’re not losing populations of these predators, and maybe sliding backwards in that regard,” he said.


What is beef tallow?

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2010 at 3:06 am

The tallow derived from beef is called Stearin . Unlike suet, tallow can be stored for extended periods without the need for Refrigeration to prevent Decomposition , provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent Oxidation .

It is used in animal feed, to make Soap , for Cooking , as a Bird Food , and was once used for making Candle s. It can be used as a raw material for the production of Biodiesel and other Oleochemicals .

Industrially, tallow is not strictly defined as beef or mutton fat. In this context, tallow is animal fat that conforms to certain technical criteria, including its Melting Point , which is also known as Titre . It is not uncommon for commercial tallow to contain fat derived from other animals, such as Swine .

At McDonald’s restaurants, French Fries used to be fried in 93% beef tallow and 7% cottonseed oil.


Suet is the fat from around the internal organs of a cow. It has nutritive properties that encouraged ancient peoples to prize it for fertility. It is used in foods such as Pemmican. The Fat from the rest of the beast is simply called tallow and is great for deep frying as it’s high saturated fat content makes it very stable.

Cut fat into small pieces. Render with or without added water. Since tallow has more saturated fat, you are less likely to burn it if not using water but cook on low heat and watch the process, it burns pretty quickly.


* You can cut the fat into strips and store in the freezer before you render.
* When rendering large amounts of fat, use a meat grinder, the minced fat will render quicker. Grind frozen fat or it will melt in the machine.
* Pre-measure the rendered fat you store in the freezer in 1/4 cup sized blocks so you know how much you have for a recipe.
* If you don’t want your house to smell like grease, render on a portable element or barbeque (with an extra element) outside.

Water for Elephants – Robert Pattinson

In Uncategorized on August 29, 2010 at 2:49 am

Rob Pattinson got some surfboards to call his own after winning some at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards.

Choice Liplock: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, The Twilight Saga

Choice Summer Movie Star, Male: Robert Pattinson, Eclipse

Choice Chemistry: Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, New Moon

Choice Actor, Drama: Robert Pattinson, Remember Me

Who is SALT?

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2010 at 7:22 am

Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) is a CIA officer who swore an oath to duty, honor, and country. When she is accused by a defector of being a Russian sleeper spy, Salt goes on the run to clear her name and ultimately prove she is a patriot. Using all her skills and years of experience as a covert operative, she must elude capture and protect her husband or the world’s most powerful forces will erase any trace of her existence.

Sending luv to you

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2010 at 7:01 am

“Don’t I have a right to be angry?!?!”

In Uncategorized on August 26, 2010 at 6:56 am

“Don’t I have a right to be angry?!?!”

Anger is not our friend.
Anger is a subtly addictive, neurotically rewarding, muddler of the mind. Ask anyone who has someone angry in their life. Up close and personal, anger seems unpleasant — but it is subtly rewarding because it makes everything very clear and makes life very simple. When at war, bigtime or little, complex concerns just drop away. So, though unpleasant, anger is experienced at an unconscious level like illicit drugs are — very rewarding at the moment (in spite of later problems that are caused). And from the outside — from the standpoint of people around — anger seems very unhelpful and very uncomfortable and stressful to be around.

LOST Parody #3 – Harry Potter

In Uncategorized on August 22, 2010 at 3:39 am

LOST Parody #3 – Harry Potter

What is the coolest way to show your love for the country?

In Uncategorized on August 21, 2010 at 4:58 am

What is the coolest way to show your love for the country?
Camelia says ”

Be an active citizen. Actively demonstrate your love for your country by being part of its political process. Continually strive for a better country for all!

Read stories, tall tales, and patriotic legends of your country.

Fly a flag. You can purchase flags, bumper stickers, or any other emblems at a local store. Hang them on your car, your front lawn, or anywhere that can outwardly show you respect your country. Remember to treat the flag with the utmost respect.
Study the history of your country. What are some of the great things people have done and how they showed their love of their country? What are some of the things people have done with good intentions but poor results? Learn from your country’s history — both the good times and the bad times.”

happy national day, Malaysia!
from Camelia

Who is the best bowler in the world?

In Uncategorized on August 21, 2010 at 4:33 am

Who is the best bowler in the world?

Why Are Many Women Attracted To The “Bad Boy” Type?

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2010 at 4:08 am

Why Are Many Women Attracted To The “Bad Boy” Type?
Why is it that so many women are attracted to the “bad boy” types … the ones that mothers have long been warning daughters to avoid?

“There is just SOMETHING about these guys that draws you in, even as your head tells you to “beware”!” says Toni Coleman, a relationship coach in Virginia.

It happens to both young and old. According to a survey by Harlequin publishers of nearly 1,000 U.S. women:

* 21 percent of women 35 and older would rather take a chance with a bad boy than date someone slow and steady
*31 percent of women with children younger than 18 would take a chance with a bad boy (compared with 16 percent of women without kids)

Ironically, if you ask a woman what she is looking for in a man, she will most likely not describe any of the characteristics of a typical “bad boy,” which often resembles confidence that borders on (or steps way over the border on) cockiness, arrogance and machismo.

“A Bad Boy exudes untamed masculinity, independence and confidence,” says Michael Fitzgerald, author and relationship correspondent for, “To women, these traits — especially confidence — are an aphrodisiac.”

But why?

“Dominant” Men Smell Better

At least, that’s the case when women are ovulating. A study by Prague researchers asked 65 women to rate the smells of 48 men (by smelling cotton pads that had been worn in their armpits for 24 hours). The men had assessed how dominant they felt beforehand.

Each woman rated the scent of 10 pads on the basis of intensity, sexiness and masculinity. Women who were at the most fertile stage of their menstrual cycle were more likely to rate the odor of the dominant men as sexy.

Said researcher Dr. Craig Roberts, “There seems to be some sort of physiological mechanism that directs women to indicators of good genes. The offspring of such a coupling would therefore be likely to have better genes.”

An Attraction to the ‘Other’ Extreme

The bad-boy attraction that some women feel may also stem from a desire to taste a more risky side of life — one they themselves don’t want to pursue, just experience.

Said Professor Petruska Clarkson, a consultant psychologist and relationship psychotherapist, ” … There has always been a strong sexual attraction to men who are so-called ‘bad boys’.”

Speaking of an extreme (and much more uncommon) example of “bad-boy” attraction, some women even write letters to convicted serial killers in prison.

“Villains capture the imagination. Human beings are interested in those who live by extremes since they often do what other, more ordinary mortals, cannot bear to think of themselves capable [of doing],” Clarkson said.

But Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last?

Attraction is one thing. A life-long commitment is another. When it comes to marriage, do women still prefer the bad boys? Probably not, as most women are looking for commitment, loyalty and trust from their potential mate — none of which are bad-boy traits.

As it turns out, at least one study by researchers at the University of P�cs in Hungary found that women actually marry men who look like their fathers.

“Our results support the notion of a long-lasting effect of attachment during childhood on later mating preferences,” said the researchers. According to their findings, people make a mental model of their opposite-sex parent’s appearance and then seek it out later in life.

So what are women really looking for? You may be surprised to hear that it’s the same thing as men. Harlequin’s international survey found that the most important trait in a mate — to both men and women in the United States — is a sense of humor.

by Brian Vaszily