Wednesday, 21 April 2010

My Hero

John Reynolds suffered from a thyroid condition which required such intense radiotherapy that he was in constant pain. When he was first discharged from hospital he could hardly walk and yet he is about to do something very few people in the world would even consider possible.

Through a feat of inconceivable endeavour John is about to embark on a 140 mile run to raise money for others suffering with the condition he once fought.

People such as John Reynolds and Lance Armstrong who can face such adversity in their life and come out of the other side with such a selfless attitude truly demonstrate what the human mind and body are capable of with the right motivation.

I think we can all learn from people like John Reynolds and perhaps pause for a second before we next say something is too hard or too much to ask!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Eye Eye

Recent research in Sweden has shown that everyone on Earth today with blue eyes descends from a common single ancestor who developed the trait after a DNA mutation roughly 10,000 years ago!

Before this chance event all humans are thought to have displayed varies shades of brown to green eyes; with the all important blue eyed genotype forming from a mutation of OCA2 (the brown eyed gene)

This gene produces varying levels of melanin (a dark pigment found throughout the body), the mutation found in blue eyed people turns off this gene meaning no dark pigment can be produced in the eye!

People with hetero-chromia such as Kate Bosworth (above) have a mutation which only effects one allele. Exhibiting two differently coloured eyes however is more commonly caused by damage to the eye itself which hinders melanin production, observed in people such as David Bowie.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Thats Not Fair!!

A statement usually countered with the phase "well life isn't fair!"

It would appear that the refusal to except unfair circumstances is something which is not exclusive to us Homo sapiens.

A paper published in Animal Behaviour February 2010 has shown that Chimpanzees reject unfair rewards in behaviour learning studies.

In this study the chimpanzees were rewarded with either a mediocre carrot or a delicious grape.

This study found that when working side by side with others, individuals often refused a reward of a carrot if their partner received a grape and surprisingly also found that they would reject a rewarded grape if their partner was only given a lousy carrot.

This study also demonstrated that chimpanzees refused a reward deemed lesser than previous experienced rewards, granted for similar achievement.

Does this mean the individuals are truly acting in the sense if 'fairness'?

This is unclear as it is predicted that the refusal of superior reward could be a sign that the individual fears latter discrimination from their partner for such an action.

Overall this study found that chimpanzees were influenced by both previous personal experience and comparable fairness with partners suggesting the chimps had a good grasp of fairness!

(Interestingly females showed a stronger association with personal injustice and males with group fairness, who'd have thought it!)

Monday, 12 April 2010

Pleasant Surprise

If like me you have been lucky enough to work in retail then you will be well aware of the repetitious nature of the soundtracks in such establishments which 'provide the appropriate commercial environment'. The effect of this monotony is a progressive loathing for certain tracks and artists, irrelevant of any previous opinions. Zero 7 was one of the bands used to create this elusive optimum customer experience, which has meant that since leaving my retail delight I have given the band a wide birth.
Luckily the trusty shuffle function of iTunes found its way around my aversions and surprised me by playing the Paegeant of the Bizarre which has perked up my day!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Spencer who?

I thought I would begin this porthole into my person by searching for name sakes on the world wide web. Despite being a poor match, I soon came across the striking and visually stunning artwork of Spencer Tunick, who utilises the human form in all its glory to make you rethink everyday scenes and in the case of his work for Green Peace our role as a species on this lonely plant.
Click 'Photos' to check out his website: