occasionally. but I like to keep my fingers clean sometimes. In other news, i heard you can smoke banana peel. Never got that desperate for an altered state myself. Bananas are actually berries! Because the banana plant doesn't form a woody trunk, it is technically an herb, just a friggin yuge one!! And most of the commercially-grown bananas are clones of the same individual!! So the DNA that people are communing with when they eat del Monte bananas are identical around the world. At least I think.....
Ripened bananas (left, under sunlight) fluoresce in blue when exposed to UV light (right). Note the steep chemical gradient of fluorescent dye developing around the black spots (right).
A publication in Angewandte Chemie by Moser et al. (2008)  mentions a recent and surprising finding. Ripe bananas exhibit a blue fluorescence when exposed to ultra-violet (UV) light (Black light). This property has been overlooked for a long time. Green bananas do not show any sign of fluorescence. The cause is attributed by the authors to the degradation of chlorophyll giving rise to the accumulation of a fluorescent product in the skin of the fruit. The chlorophyll breakdown product is stabilized by a propionate ester group. Banana-tree leaves also fluoresce in the same way. A possible consequence in nature is that animals capable of seeing in the UV spectrum would also be able to more quickly detect the ripened fruits.
The first fish in space was a strange bottom-dweller that I actually met on the east coast last year. Looking like a prehistoric Buddhist timetraveler, these fish have paved the way for a revolution in understanding the human brain...
"By studying toadfish, we can gain a very good sense of how astronauts respond to the absence of gravity." Highstein says these studies also may help explain the mechanism of motion sickness back on Earth." This experiment is a follow-up to studies conducted on four toadfish sent into space during the Neurolab mission (STS-90) last April.
"The inner ear of these fish, which helps sense motion, is highly similar to that of humans and other mammals," Highstein says.
ScienceDaily (Nov. 2, 1998) — Woods Hole, MA -- Some of the ugliest and laziest fish known to inhabit the waters of the northeast are accompanying John Glenn on his historic mission into space this month. Two oyster toadfish (Opsanus tau), collected from the waters off Woods Hole, Massachusetts, are participating in an experiment designed to help scientists better understand the effects that microgravity has on our vestibular, or balance, system. These fish will be traveling more than 3 million miles through space on shuttle mission STS-95, which launched yesterday from Kennedy Space Center.
Minimum (interglacial, black) and maximum (glacial, grey) glaciation of the southern hemisphere
Within the ice ages (or at least within the last one), more temperate and more severe periods occur. The colder periods are called glacial periods, the warmer periods interglacials, such as the Eemian Stage.
Glacials are characterized by cooler and drier climates over most of the Earth and large land and sea ice masses extending outward from the poles. Mountain glaciers in otherwise unglaciated areas extend to lower elevations due to a lower snow line. Sea levels drop due to the removal of large volumes of water above sea level in the icecaps. There is evidence that ocean circulation patterns are disrupted by glaciations. Since the Earth has significant continental glaciation in the Arctic and Antarctic, we are currently in a glacial minimum of a glaciation. Such a period between glacial maxima is known as an interglacial.
The Earth has been in an interglacial period known as the Holocene for more than 11,000 years. It was conventional wisdom that "the typical interglacial period lasts about 12,000 years," but this has been called into question recently. For example, an article in Nature argues that the current interglacial might be most analogous to a previous interglacial that lasted 28,000 years. Predicted changes in orbital forcingglobal warming (see Milankovitch cycles). Moreover, anthropogenic forcing from increased greenhouse gases might outweigh orbital forcing for as long as intensive use of fossil fuels continues. At a meeting of the American Geophysical Union (December 17, 2008), scientists detailed evidence in support of the controversial idea that the introduction of large-scale rice agriculture in Asia, coupled with extensive deforestation in Europe began to alter world climate by pumping significant amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere over the last 1,000 years. In turn, a warmer atmosphere heated the oceans making them much less efficient storehouses of carbon dioxide and reinforcing global warming, possibly forestalling the onset of a new glacial age. suggest that the next glacial period would begin at least 50,000 years from now, even in absence of human-made
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