Archive for April, 2011

April 28, 2011

Hair Cell

hair cells

Hair cells are the sensory receptors of both the auditory system and the vestibular system (sense of balance) in all vertebrates. In mammals, the auditory hair cells are located in the cochlea, a spiral-shaped cavity in the skull. Unlike birds and reptiles, humans and other mammals are normally unable to regrow the cells of the inner ear that convert sound into neural signals when those cells are damaged by age or disease. Mammalian cochlear hair cells come in two anatomically and functionally distinct types: the outer and inner hair cells. Damage to these hair cells results in decreased hearing sensitivity.

The outer cells do not send neural signals to the brain, they mechanically amplify low-level sound that enters the cochlea. The inner hair cells transform the sound vibrations in the fluids of the cochlea into electrical signals that are then relayed to the brain. Nerve fiber innervation is much denser for inner hair cells than for outer hair cells. A single inner hair cell is innervated by numerous nerve fibers, whereas a single nerve fiber innervates many outer hair cells. Inner hair cell nerve fibers are also very heavily myelinated, which is in contrast to the unmyelinated outer hair cell nerve fibers.

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April 28, 2011

Bony Labyrinth

bony labyrinth

The receptors for the senses of equilibrium (vestibule) and hearing (cochlea) are housed within a collection of fluid filled tubes and chambers known as the membranous labyrinth, which is located within the bony labyrinth, a cavity in an an animal’s skull bones.

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April 28, 2011

Hoover

seal by James Thurber

Hoover was a harbor seal who was able to imitate basic human speech. He was found as an orphan by George and Alice Swallow in Maine in 1971. At first the baby seal didn’t want to eat, but soon he ate at the pace of a vacuum cleaner (hence his name).

When Hoover outgrew the bathtub, he was transferred to the pond outside their house where he began to imitate people’s voices. Again he was moved, this time to the New England Aquarium, where he told visitors to ‘Get outta here!’ in a thick New England accent.

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April 27, 2011

Proun

proun

Proun is a freeware racing game in a world of geometric objects and large colored surfaces. You avoid obstacles by rotating around a cable in order to gain as much speed as possible. There is no up or down; there is only the cable to which you are attached. The game was developed by Amsterdam-based, Joost van Dongen.

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April 27, 2011

The Art of the Motorcycle

crocker motorcycle

The Art of the Motorcycle was an exhibition that presented 114 motorcycles chosen for their historic importance or design excellence in a display designed by Frank Gehry in the curved rotunda of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, running for three months in late 1998.

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April 26, 2011

Vinegar Valentines

loverboy

Vinegar valentines are greeting cards, or, rather, insult cards, that come in the form of an aspersion, decorated with a caricature and, below that, an insulting poem. Ostensibly given on Valentine’s Day, the caricature and poem is about the ‘type’ that the recipient belongs to–spinster, floozy, dude, scholar, etc.

They were later also produced in the form of postcards. They were usually sent anonymously. Postmasters sometimes confiscated these cards as unfit to be mailed.The cards were first produced in the late Victorian era and enjoyed their greatest popularity in that period and in the first quarter of the 20th century.

April 26, 2011

Minnesota Nice

 

lake wobegon

Minnesota nice is the stereotypical behavior of long-time Minnesota residents, to be courteous, reserved, and mild mannered. The cultural characteristics of Minnesota nice include a polite friendliness, an aversion to confrontation, a tendency toward understatement, a disinclination to make a fuss or stand out, emotional restraint, and self-deprecation.

It can also refer to traffic behavior, such as slowing down to allow another driver to enter a lane in front of the other person. The negative side of ‘Minnesota nice,’ occurs in the form of passive aggressiveness and resistance to change.

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April 26, 2011

Panty Raid

panty raid

A panty raid is a prank in which male students steal the panties (undergarments) of female students by intruding into their living quarters. The term dates to February, 1949.

It was the first college craze after World War II, following the 1930s crazes of goldfish swallowing or seeing how many could fit in a phone booth. By the 1970s, mixed dorms, less inhibited attitudes to intercourse on campus led to fading of panty raids.

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April 26, 2011

Pizza Farm

pizza farm

A pizza farm is an educational visitor attraction consisting of a small farm on a circular region of land partitioned into plots shaped like pizza wedges.

The farm’s segments produce ingredients that can be used in pizza, such as wheat for the crust, tomatoes or herbs, pork for pepperoni, dairy cows for cheese, and even trees for pizza oven firewood. Certain farms may even have access to coal or natural gas deposits that can be used as alternative pizza oven heating fuels.

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April 26, 2011

Garlic Fingers

Garlic fingers are an Atlantic Canadian dish, similar to a pizza in shape and size and made with the same type of dough. Instead of the traditional tomato sauce and toppings it is garnished with melted butter, garlic and sometimes cheese. Seasonings, such as parsley or bacon bits, may also be added.

It is often eaten as a side dish with pizza, dipped in donair (normally served on a donaer kebab) or marinara sauce. Instead of being cut in triangular slices, they are presented in thin strips, or ‘fingers.’ The dish is also popular in Wisconsin, where they are known as pizza fries.

April 26, 2011

Cardboard Tube Fighting League

The Cardboard Tube Fighting League (CTFL) is a global organization that hosts cardboard tube based events in Seattle, Washington; San Francisco, California; and Sydney, Australia. The CTFL hosts tournaments and battles where cardboard tube fighters go head-to-head in an attempt to break their opponents tube without breaking their own.

The events also focus on cardboard costumes and theatrics. These events are often held at public parks throughout the summer, are open to everyone ages 5 and up, and emphasize fun over competition. Cardboard tubes are provided and all events are free for participants.

April 26, 2011

Ringolevio

New York Street Games

Ringolevio [ring-uh-lee-vee-oh] is a children’s game which may be played anywhere but which originates in the streets of Depression era New York City. In some quarters this game is known as Manhunt which is really another game with different rules. Both are among the many variations of tag. Ringolevio requires close team work and near-military strategy.

There are two teams, each has its own ‘jail,’ perhaps a park bench or other defensible turf. Anyone on the pursuing side can catch anyone on the pursued side by grabbing hold of them and chanting ‘Chain chain double chain, no break away’ or (‘Ringolevio, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3’) If the person pursued breaks free at any point during this brief recitation, the person is not caught. If caught, the pursuer takes the prisoner to jail. The game ends when one team catches all the members of the opposing team.

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