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Submission + - Mapping the brain functions of extinct animals

brindafella writes: How can scientists map the brain functions of an extinct animal? The technique is called diffusion tensor imaging, and it has recently mapped the preserved brains of two thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus), extinct as of 1936 in Tasmania, the island state of Australia. Thylacine were the largest known carnivorous marsupial (pouched mammal) of modern times. Diffusion tensor imaging looks at how water diffuses inside parts of the brain. Using it with traditional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the researchers mapped how molecules moved through the brain of the thylacine while it was alive to reveal the neural wiring of different brain regions. They tested the technique with a brain of a similar animal, a Tasmanian Devil (Sarcophilus harrisii), preserved at about the same time, and the brain of a recently deceased Devil.

Submission + - SPAM: Progress MS-04 resupply mission to ISS - failure

brindafella writes: The Russian Progress MS-04 resupply mission to the International Space Station will not be arriving. It seems that the Stage 3 of the Soyuz rocket had a problem that caused around 2-3 minutes too little of boost to orbit. The mission components broke up at high altitude during an uncontrolled re-entry over the Republic of Tuva, about 2,000 kilometers east of the launch site in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. MS-04 was carrying "5,383 pounds (2,442 kilograms) of cargo, a figure encompassing 1,565 pounds (710 kilograms) of propellant to be pumped into the Zvezda module’s fuel tanks, 926 pounds (420 kilograms) of fresh water, 114 pounds (52 kilograms) of oxygen, and 2,777 pounds (1,260 pounds) of dry cargo", including a new Orlan spacesuit.

Comment My toaster is racist. (Score 1) 388

Office thermostats are sexist?

Have I a story for you!!!

I put white bread in my toaster and it does not like that; the toaster makes the bread come out a darker colour. I can even put wholemeal bread in, and that is not dark enough for the toaster. Even when I put some of the bread back in the toaster after it has done its thing, it comes out even darker still. My toaster is definitely racist.

Comment The possible long "O" Pron[o]unciation (Score 1) 57

The pronunciation of the Australian long "O" is easy.

Say 'fuel'. Now, drop the "ee-you-eh" sound and instead just say the "oo". It comes out as "F'yool".

Say "foot". Now, say it like "soot" (rather that "sort".)

Say "roof". Now, say it not like a dog saying "ruff", but with the "ooo" of "rooof".

Say "kangaroo". Now, say it without as "Kang-gar-Rooo" with the capitals meaning a bit more emphasis (aka "Em-far-siss", as opposed to "em-FAR-sis").

That takes you along the road to speaking "strine" (the local contraction for "Australian", as in "a- Stine").

an Aussie


THIS IS A RACIALLY OFFENSIVE THREAD. DELETE! This thread is being racially offensive to Australian Aboriginals ("abos" / "abbos" / "abo"). For Americans, think what "nigger" means in your culture. For Asians and people from the UK, think what "Pakki" means. For others, you probably have something equally offensive that makes you cringe, even if you use the term. Slashdot SHOULD remove this thread. Please (as a white Australian)

Comment This **is** a highly politicised post. (Score 1) 57

This **is** a highly politicised post. And, I will make **no** comment on the 'political' outcome of, or machinations behind, this legislation.

It takes only a few seconds to see that the prism / microscope / binoculars / rose-tinted-glasses through which this story has been passed is distorting the image spectacularly into a politically charged version of what ever is the truth.

For someone from Australia, as I am, it takes about 1/10 that time, at most.

The authors have used no restraint in being 'political' in their framing of the post.

The SlashDot editors have used scant / little judgement in editing the two contributors' stories into one biased story. "Shame, shame, shame!"

Comment Geek Code/cred, Selfies, date stamps, love, etc (Score 1) 698

Do some selfies at places she will know in years to come: city and local landmarks, places and things that interest you, not just the local playground where you and she have been.

Digital pics have a date/time stamp, but any printed pics in a book should have a date written on the back and under.

You will be thought about regularly, but make sure that it is always a good memory you are leaving.

Your interests and accomplishments may be of interest to any men in her life; they will more naturally associate with those, so have something to say about your 'man' interests.

Geek credibility: do the Geek Code, and add 'extensions'.

Explain a man's understanding of love. Link it to how your lady and you got together. Add how you and she decided to have a child. She will need to understand this in order to get a rounded idea of how to choose a man in her life.

(Assuming you can) Write some HTML in a small text file that says some of the important "Dad things" things in a browser. Suggest that she can have this as a remembrance. If she runs it, okay. If not, she'll remember it anyway. Your collective 'geek' will be passed on.


Comment Re:Neat (Score 1) 59

> So, somebody deliberately did this for no practical reason - perhaps just for the joy of doing it? It also seems like a very well controlled scratch ...

Thanks, 'j'. You got the point of this discovery. It jumped out at me in the same way. The report makes the point that the covering of the shell would have probably been green so the marking down into the white shell underneath would have made the scoring stand out. If it had only been one scratch then it would be called an incidental mark, but it went well beyond that to be a deliberate pattern.

Submission + - The ancestor of humans was an 'artist' 500,000 years ago

brindafella writes: Our ancient ancestor, Homo erectus, around 500,000 years ago, has been shown to make doodles or patterns. So, it seems that we Homo sapiens have come from a thoughtful lineage. The zig-zag markings cut into the covering of a fossil freshwater shell were from a deposit in the main bone layer of Trinil (Java, Indonesia), the place where Homo erectus was discovered by Eugène Dubois in 1891, says Dr Stephen Munro, a palaeoanthropologist with the Australian National University. The team's testing shows the erectus doodling was from 0.54 million years to a minimum of 0.43 million years ago. This pushes back the thoughtful making of marks by hundreds of thousands of years. The thoughtful gathering of shellfish and their nutrients also points to possible explanations for the evolving of bigger brains.

Comment Business model for 'bulk' -- Pay By Weight (Score 1) 819

There is already a 'flying' business model for Pay By Weight -- Samoa Air. The Samoan people tend to be "large framed", so they now pay for their bodies and their baggage, or cargo, by weight. Getting their frames into the seats is then another matter. But, how could they complain?

Comment Spiral filter, and a Tardis (Score 1) 122

I notice from the diagram (per the linked story) that I only need to fit a spiral phase plate (no, not a flux capacitor) to my Tardis and it all works automagically...

... via "orbital angular momentum" and "OAM multiplexing".

Frankly, I am still confused as to why it's not (more simply) "circular polarisation" that has been known about since the early days of radio.

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Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy