Saturday, December 6, 2008


Happy to be a Primate
Blessed to be a Human
About 2 million years ago, the brains of ancient humans and chimpanzees began to diverge from each other. Humans got smarter, chimps didn't. A study of animal genomes showed little change over the last 300 million years, except in humans.

Within the HAR1 region, they found a gene that, 2 million years ago, turns on during the 12 weeks when the cerebral cortex begins to form within the human embryo.

Along with enhancing language and memory, the cerebral cortex, popularly known as the brain's, "grey matter,'' plays a central role in planning, emotion and judgment calls.

You may recall an earlier post where I shared my research on teenage behavior and the not yet developed pre-frontal lobes. The similarities between human children and adult monkeys actually has a scientific basis.

They can be cute though.

Temple monkeys near Bangkok, Thailand.

Getting Rudolf ready for Christmas eve flying.

"So that's how you eat these things."

For more monkey pictures, CLICK HERE

Looking at the Moon

Moon and Venus as seen from Brighton, England. 12/1/08

Now that guy got a close-up. I have a pair of binoculars that, when placed against the lens of my camera, will greatly improve the lengths to which I can go with photography, but I haven't found the coupler that will make that possible with a tripod, yet.

I will show you what I mean;

Mount Lassen and Moon, 2:15PM 12/6/08
For my demonstration, I went out to the east end of the parking lot. Its a good place to shoot Lassen, and it's right here where I live. It was there I realized I had forgotten 2 things; Batteries for the camera, and the cash to buy more at the dollar store, nearby. This was around 12:30 and the moon was just rising above Lassen. Oh, well...I drove to the bank, downtown, to use the ATM there so I wouldn't get any surprise, hidden ATM fees from another vendor.

Got cash, went to the dollar store, waited patiently while people in line, ahead of me, looked in their pockets and purses for exact change. Waited with a smile, while the checker counted and re-counted dollar bills, then decided to give me a ten instead. Waited in traffic, 2 blocks from here, with the Moody Blues singer, waiting for a miracle in his life, on the radio, and returned to find the moon high above Lassen, but beautiful and inspiring.

Binocular and camera lens
I could use a piece of rubber tubing to hold them together, but the weight of the binoculars would damage the motor driven zoom lens.

I can hold the binoculars to the lens and get a picture like this...

Holding binocular to camera lens 12/6/08
The problem I can see, now, is scratches on my lens! No, not dust, but some scratches that show up on my pictures as a gray blurry spot. (Here it is a black spot on the side of the volcano.)

Getting Back On Topic;
Wednesday evening, Dec. 10, the moon will be above and to the right of the Pleiades star cluster. By around 10:30PM here on the west coast, the moon will actually appear to touch the Pleiades cluster.

The Pleiades, 7 Sisters, 7 Orphans, 7 Ukrainian Maidens, etc.

The American Hopi Indians built their underground Kivas so that night passage of the Pleiades over the center of the entrance hole would mark the time to begin a ceremony.

The Lakota Indians used the cluster as an eye exam.

You may need to use binoculars on the 10th to see it because of the moons brightness.

I once bought a telescope for star gazing. It was a $250.00 lesson. Any telescope under $3,000.00 is a waste of time and money. The distance between the naked eye or binoculars, and realistic, viewing satisfaction, is a major investment.

You would be better off spending the money on an astronomy seminar at one of our famous observatories.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;

The Seventh Son-Willie Dixon

God Is Everywhere

God Is In Everything

No comments: