Lost in a Lost World (Page 9)

ghostgeek
ghostgeek: I found this about some old seeds from long ago:

A plant that last flowered when woolly mammoths roamed the plains is back in bloom.

Biologists have resurrected a 30,000-year-old plant, cultivating it from fruit tissue recovered from frozen sediment in Siberia. The plant is by far the oldest to be brought back from the dead: the previous record holder was a sacred lotus, dating back about 1200 years.

The late David Gilichinsky from the Soil Cryology Laboratory in Moscow, Russia, and colleagues recovered the fruits of the ice age flowering plant (Silene stenophylla) from a fossilised squirrel burrow in frozen sediments near the Kolyma river in north-east Siberia. Radiocarbon dating of the fruit suggests the squirrel stashed it around 31,800 years ago, just before the ice rolled in.

By applying growth hormones to the fruit tissue, Gilichinsky and his colleagues managed to kick-start cell division and ultimately produce a viable flowering plant.

Modern day S. stenophylla looks similar to the resurrected plant, but has larger seeds and fewer buds. Modern plants also grow roots more rapidly. Studying these and other differences will reveal how the plant has evolved since the last ice age.

Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA at the University of Adelaide, is impressed but cautious, because some supposedly “ancient” plants grown from permafrost have turned out to be modern contaminants. To rule out this possibility, Gilichinsky’s team went to some lengths to verify that the fruit came from undisturbed deposits, they say.

[ https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21498-plant-blooms-after-30000-years-in-permafrost/ ]
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: Considering hamburger meat and the above, do they still eat mammoth meat when it turns up?

Apparently, many people have claimed to have eaten mammoth meat, including a Siberian zoologist who wrote a book about it in 2001 named Mammoth. According to him, he did eat the meat but that it tasted awful and smelled rotten. Knowing what we know now with freezer burn, we all known deep inside that it is definitely not going to be like a good steak.

[ https://medium.com/swlh/did-a-group-of-scientists-eat-a-mammoth-f308f12866f7 ]
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: Anyway, here's something a little closer to the sell-by date:

In Greenland, during the colder winter months, food was traditionally incredibly scarce. Natives came up with a rather ingenious solution to the problem of potentially starving to death: kiviaq, a food that stays edible for up to a year, even if you leave it outside.

We should point out that we’re using the word “edible” very liberally here. Kiviaq is so pungent it’s advised to never eat it indoors, but it does stave off hunger, which is why we assume people still tolerate it. The dish is made by shoving as many auks (sea birds) into a seal carcass as possible, which is usually between 300 and 400 birds. The seal skin is then sewn up and stored under rocks.

The tiny auks liquefy and melt into a fine gooey paste. It may not be tasty, or good at parties, but you have to be impressed that you can leave food out in a pit and still be able to eat it a year later. Try that with a sandwich and a squirrel will just take it.

[ https://listverse.com/2013/12/14/10-foods-edible-after-an-incredible-length-of-time/ ]
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: And to show that science marches on:

The military has had a tradition of feeding personnel long-lasting, freeze-dried meals, but soldiers would always ask for the one thing they’d rather be eating: a simple fresh sandwich.

Scientists found two problems while trying to create a non-perishable sandwich. Bread goes stale, and the filling makes the bread soggy. Both problems may have been solved with the invention of “Battle Butties” a new, long-lasting sandwich that can sit for an astounding two years before going stale.

The creators say their ultimate goal is to create an immortal peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but in the meantime, soldiers have been generally positive about the fillings already on offer. As once soldier put it, “They’re the best two-year-old sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.”

[ https://listverse.com/2013/12/14/10-foods-edible-after-an-incredible-length-of-time/ ]
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Zanjan
Zanjan: I'm so glad I wasn't in the middle of eating lunch while reading your posts.
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: Best be careful when you read the next one, then:

A herdsman in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia was confirmed to be infected with bubonic plague, health officials said, a reminder of how even as the world battles a pandemic caused by a novel virus, old threats remain.

The Bayannur city health commission said the plague was diagnosed in the herdsman on Sunday, and he was in stable condition undergoing treatment at a hospital.

The commission also issued a third-level alert, the second lowest in a four-level system, warning people against hunting, eating or transporting potentially infected animals, particularly marmots, and to report any dead or diseased rodents.

The city government said it had put in place plague-prevention measures that would remain in force for the rest of the year.

[ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/06/world/asia/china-bubonic-plague-inner-mongolia.html ]
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: Officials said they were also investigating a second suspected case, according to China's Global Times.

The bubonic plague was once the world's most feared disease, but can now be easily treated.

The first case was reported as suspected bubonic plague on Saturday at a hospital in Urad Middle Banner, in Bayannur city. It is not yet clear how or why the patient might have become infected.

The second suspected case involves a 15-year-old, who had apparently been in contact with a marmot hunted by a dog, a tweet from Global Times said.

[ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-53303457 ]
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: Where are you planning on taking your holidays? Somewhere exotic?
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Zanjan
Zanjan: In Europe, the Bubonic plague was caused by rats, eliminating their waste into the drinking water supply and in and around homes. Once they discovered the cause, they were able to eradicate the disease in human populations.

About 10 years ago, I heard about a single case of it in the USA and everyone was on high alert. They said they didn't know how the patient got it but I bet the patient would if he searched his memory a little harder. The patient recovered.

I've lived in the same Province my whole life; we've never had rats because they're controlled at the borders. Provinces on either side of ours have rats and it doesn't make sense. If we can be rat-free, why can't they? Of course, nobody lets wild rats or rabid animals run over them but if they did, surely there's a chance they'd contract a deadly disease.

You don't let down your guard just because you've resolved the initial infestation. You slap on strict prevention rules, permanently.

When my husband was ill, we weren't permitted to take flu shots because of his depressed immune system. Although we didn't wear masks, I was extra diligent in applying best practices. So, even if they come out with new vaccines today, there will be people who can't take it.

Maybe we've been lulled into a kind of complacency with our advanced technology. You know, like the many businesses who can't open their doors when the Internet is down. Without a Plan B, the dependency is real.
(Edited by Zanjan)
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: Here, with the problems we've been having with the virus, it's, "Please pay by card if you can." So today I went along to be sheared, fully expecting to pay by card, and was asked for cash. It happens every time. You get into the habit of expecting something and then somebody turns your expectations on their head.
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: After the barbers I went looking for a light bulb, fully expecting to see shelves full of those compact fluorescent ones that have mercury in them. Couldn't find one. Now every bulb seems to be LED. All very confusing.
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: But I did find some disposable gloves, which also came as a surprise. You can't bank on anything nowadays.
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: I read, some time ago, that traces of Bubonic Plague have been found in Ancient Egypt. Seems it's been around since before the time of Moses.
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Fractured fairy tale
Fractured fairy tale: How do they Stop the Rats crossing the border . you would have to have fences wouldn't they
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Fractured fairy tale
Fractured fairy tale: Led bulbs Rule Unfortunately were all got to use them these days . Cos electricity cots so much .
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Zanjan
Zanjan: Fractured, there's a team of pest agents who regularly patrol more than 3000 farm sites along the rat patrol zones. They drop poison if needed. Farmers also personally trap them. There's over a hundred or so networks of agents throughout the province doing that. It's pretty effective - I've never seen a rat in real life.

Out here in the countryside, we battle mice and gophers - that's because the government put a bounty on coyotes and badgers, who eat hundreds of them daily.

(Edited by Zanjan)
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Zanjan
Zanjan: Ghost, maybe that's why the Egyptians cultivated such a fondness for cats - I hear they'll go after rats. I'm sure you know that cats became sacred to them for good reason - must have been better at the job than dogs. They didn't have dachshunds and terriers then.

When I lived in the city, they banned cats from roaming freely. The complainers didn't like cats killing the birds or making deposits in their gardens. I didn't know why they listened to their whining - there's a lot more birds than cats and birds don't bury their droppings. It's an upside-down world, eh.

People had to keep their cats indoors, which I think is cruel. Well, within 1 year, the city was overrun with mice. Mice can carry Hantavirus. Serves them right.
(Edited by Zanjan)
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Zanjan
Zanjan: Go for the LED lights - they're cooler and last way longer than the old kind of bulbs.
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: On my daily walk I regularly cross the carpark of a supermarket and have noted with some disquiet little green plastic boxes with a hole at the end. Not sure if mice or rats are their intended quarry but it certainly suggests a rodent infestation.
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: Just tried out my new "LED" bulb. So far, so good.
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: The only thing I can complain about at the moment is the expense of the damn things.
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Zanjan
Zanjan: They've come down in price a lot since the old bulbs were banned here. Meanwhile, I wonder about the guy who walks into a store and only buys ONE lightbulb.
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: Er ... I wandered into a store and bought a single light bulb. They're too damn expensive to buy by the bucket load.
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ghostgeek
ghostgeek: Happy news day:

An outbreak of pneumonia that is ‘more lethal’ than coronavirus is spreading across Kazakhstan, according to Chinese officials.

Authorities in Kazakhstan have denied a report that the country is experiencing an outbreak of ‘unknown pneumonia’ after China’s embassy in the Central Asian country warned its citizens to take precautions.

It claimed there had been a ‘significant increase’ in cases of pneumonia in the cities of Atyrau, Aktobe and Shymkent since mid-June.

In a statement on its official WeChat account late on Thursday, the embassy said that the illness has already killed more than 1,700 people.

[ https://metro.co.uk/2020/07/10/pneumonia-deadly-coronavirus-sweeping-kazakhstan-12971606/ ]

Seems Coronavirus isn't the deadliest thing on the planet after all.
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Zanjan
Zanjan: Well, if everyone is getting sick, they won't feel like fighting any wars. They might just get used to the quiet and decide they like it.
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