Monthly Archives: March 2010

And the Jelly shall inherit the Earth

 

The world’s only immortal animal
By Bryan Nelson, Mother Nature Network
Posted Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:57am PDT

Turritopsis nutricula Jellyfish

(Photo: Peter Schuchert)

The turritopsis nutricula species of jellyfish may be the only animal in the world to have truly discovered the fountain of youth.

Since it is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again, there may be no natural limit to its life span. Scientists say the hydrozoan jellyfish is the only known animal that can repeatedly turn back the hands of time and revert to its polyp state (its first stage of life).

The key lies in a process called transdifferentiation, where one type of cell is transformed into another type of cell. Some animals can undergo limited transdifferentiation and regenerate organs, such as salamanders, which can regrow limbs. Turritopsi nutricula, on the other hand, can regenerate its entire body over and over again. Researchers are studying the jellyfish to discover how it is able to reverse its aging process.

Because they are able to bypass death, the number of individuals is spiking. They’re now found in oceans around the globe rather than just in their native Caribbean waters.  “We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion,” says Dr. Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute.

Bryan Nelson is a regular contributor to Mother Nature Network, where a version of this post originally appeared.

 

http://green.yahoo.com/blog/guest_bloggers/26/the-world-s-only-immortal-animal.html

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And dinner tonight was…

…DIVINE! And this coming from an atheist.  Every once in awhile, when the stars align yours truly cooks the perfect meal.  It happened tonight and it made my hubby happy and left me full of good food and pride.  The coolest thing is that I didn’t even plan it. Sometimes the greatest things in life happen accidentally. 

Here are the details to my serendipitous meal: 

*     Decided to grab whichever is the freshest fish at Costco today; it turned out to be catfish.  Have been a fan since childhood so that will do. 

*     Headed to the “Cold Room” and grabbed some pre-washed baby spinach.  Of course I also got some other groceries–enough for the week–and the total came to under $150! Score! 

*     Arrived home and unpacked everything and put everything in its place.  

*     Saw the Japanese Pumpkin I bought a week ago on the kitchen counter. 

photo from freshchannels.com

 *     Cookery Details 

     Butter-Maple Roasted Japanese Pumpkin 

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. 

2. Cut up and peel one small Japanese Pumpkin into diced 1 inch cubes (remember to discard pumpkin insides such as seeds and bits). 

3. Cover the bottom and sides of a square cake pan with aluminum foil. 

4. Put pumpkin cubes into pan. 

5. Cut up cubes of butter (amount depends on how much butter ya like.  I put about 1/4 cup). 

6. Drizzle 1/3 cup real Maple Syrup all over pumpkin and butter. 

7. Cover with aluminum foil on the top.  Put in Oven.  Let roast for 30 minutes.  Remove and serve hot, sweet, and slightly buttery.  Your house will smell like heavenly roasted pumpkin. 

  

Herb Catfish and Spinach 

1. Put about 2 lbs of fresh catfish fillets in a large bowl.  Add seasonings (sea-salt, fresh-ground pepper, granulated garlic, dark chili powder–I used the non-spicy kind but you can substitute the spicy kind if you like your fish with a bite, dried chopped onion, and Italian herb seasoning mix) 

 

 

 2. Heat up a large pan on High heat.  Once hot, add olive oil.  Once oil is heated but not yet smoking, add seasoned fish 2 fillet at a time. Sear both sides of fish fillet on High heat.  

3.  Add 1 cup broth (I used pork broth–same as chicken broth or beef broth except made with, you guessed it–pork).  Reduce heat to Medium-High. Cover pan with lid and cook, checking occasionally until fish is almost flakey.  Remove fish from pan and serve a fillet per plate. 

4.  Increase heat to High Heat and add hands-full of fresh, pre-washed baby spinach leaves.  Stir gently with wooden spoon until just wilted and turn off the stove; spinach will continue to cook in pan after you turn off the heat so don’t worry about it being undercooked… especially since rawer spinach is better for your health anyways.  Remove from pan along with pan juices and add to plates. 

5.  Add Butter-Maple Roasted Japanese Pumpkin to each plate and “VOILA!” you’ve got what I made tonight… Yummy in your tummy! 

HAPPY COOKERY EVERYONE!

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melanistic. he’s super melanistic, baby!

Photo via Andrew Evans of the National Geographic.

All-black penguin discovered

By Stephen Messenger, TreeHugger

King Penguins are notorious for their prim, tuxedoed appearance — but a recently discovered all-black penguin seems unafraid to defy convention. In what has been described as a “one in a zillion kind of mutation,” biologists say that the animal has lost control of its pigmentation, an occurrence that is extremely rare. Other than the penguin’s monochromatic outfit, the animal appears to be perfectly healthy — and then some. “Look at the size of those legs,” said one scientist, “It’s an absolute monster.”

The under-dressed penguin was photographed by Andrew Evans of National Geographic on the island of South Georgia near Antarctica. As the picture circulated, some biologists were taken aback — including Dr. Allan Baker of the University of Toronto. His first response was disbelief:

Wow. That looks so bizarre I can’t even believe it. Wow.

While multicolored birds will often show some variation, Dr. Baker explains that what makes this all-black King Penguin so rare is that the bird’s melanin deposits have occurred where they are typically not present — enough so that no light feathers even checker the bird’s normally white chest.

Andrew Evans:

Melanism is merely the dark pigmentation of skin, fur — or in this case, feathers. The unique trait derives from increased melanin in the body. Genes may play a role, but so might other factors. While melanism is common in many different animal species (e.g., Washington D.C. is famous for its melanistic squirrels), the trait is extremely rare in penguins. All-black penguins are so rare there is practically no research on the subject — biologists guess that perhaps one in every quarter million of penguins shows evidence of at least partial melanism, whereas the penguin we saw appears to be almost entirely (if not entirely) melanistic.

Whether or not the all-black look catches on in the penguin fashion world, it’s nice to see someone dressing-down for once.

Stephen Messenger is a correspondent at TreeHugger, where this post originally appeared.

http://green.yahoo.com/blog/guest_bloggers/24/all-black-penguin-discovered.html

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Happy List for March 08, 2010

It feels good to get things done.

What a busy day!  Being hopped up on caffeine does wonders for domestic productivity.   Loving the Starbucks Via packets!  What I do is use an empty water bottle, put in my desired amount of either Caramel sauce or honey, soy milk, and then empty a Via packet into the bottle and shake!  Instant yummy coffee that is the perfect strength for me and is super fast and easy… which is how I take my coffee and my men… teehee.

photo from starbucksstore.com

1.  Had a lovely morning shower with more hot water than I knew what to do with (Thank you Mr. Landlord for replacing the 22 yr. old water heater with a brand-spanking new one last Saturday! Much Happy Blessings for you!).

2. Played with #2 in the morning and did a couple of loads of laundry before doing the school run to pick up #1. 

3. Then took both of my Precious Happies to the newly discovered Japanese market near by.  Oh how I love love love this market!  It has a variety of fresh seafood that astounds and delights and that only Japanese Markets can provide.  Bought a slew of sashimi products to delight the DH for dinner: tuna, salmon, yellow-tail, ikura, geoduck, and the most treasured of them all–blue fin ohtoro at $69.99/lb!  Total for sashimi = $45 of yummy goodness!  Only complaint is that there was no uni to be found. Other than that, we got a two person feast for under fifty bones.  And they even provide FREE ice for all your seafood cooling needs!  Oh how lovely! That’s some Precious Sashimi Happy right there folks!

photo from activerain.com/image_store/uploads/2/7/3/2/3/ar12327458532372.jpg

photo from flavorj.com/~skysea/sushi/ikura.jpg

Photo from Sakuraya Fish Mart flickr.com/photos/90688627@N00/2395867310

4. Found the most adorable Wii Remote Pez-like Candy Dispenser for $1.59 each. They are A-DOR-ABLE! You load it up and it shoots out Pez-like candy when you press the “B” button on the very realistic mini Wii Remote Controller Candy Dispenser.  The kids got such a kick out of it that I got them each one, one for Mommy, one for Daddy, and an extra one for #1 to give to his best friend.  If we have another Super Mario Bros. themed birthday party, I’m thinking that these would make awesome party favors.  They are too cool for school, Man!

photo from mitzvahlicious.com/storage/wiimote-candy.jpg

5.  Got to use my pretty new pink and floral Playmate Cooler for the sashimi and ice that I purchased from the Japanese market for the trip home.  My fresh fish stayed nice and cold and FRESH all the way home to my fridge until din-din time.  Good tip for all you fish and meat lovers, keep a cooler in your car for your shopping trips when you want to keep your food safe and cold.

6. Once home, finished doing the dishes… score for Mommy!  This is one of my least least least favorite things to do and it feels really good to finish it.

7.  Also did a few more loads of laundry.  Yay to clean clothes.  I can actually look like a decent human being again.  I have missed you my Lacoste polos, cashmere sweaters, and my replenished supply of butt-hugging jeans!  And yes, I wash all of these in my washing machine.  Just select the delicate or hand-wash cycle on your machine and DO NOT put in your dryer machine but lay out to dry and you too can clean cashmere and expensive polos without having to dry-clean them!  This has saved much dinero for me over the years!  Can’t wait til tomorrow when I can finish my “Brights” load so that I can climb into one of my favorite hoodies;  my blue and yellow UCLA one that I get loads of compliments on and questions as to where to buy (which is actually a  pretty strange question as one can get it directly from UCLA!).

8.  The counters are clean clean clean! Goodbye grease! Hello my reflection in the granite!

9. Got to break in the new broom and dust pan I bought.  It was a splurge (at $12.99 for a friggin dust pan, that’s pretty extravagant to yours truly) but since it is Japanese built as in made for small spaces, it folds up and fits neatly in the teensy space tween my fridge and the kitchen cabinets.

10.  Did some bills! Gah I hate credit card companies!  My fixed 9.99% rate Amex just jumped up to a variable 28% APR for no apparent reason.  When asked why the terms changed, they replied “new government regulations, economic change, prime rate change, blah blah blah…” meaning they are suddenly screwing me over after a faithful, perfect payment history for the past 10 years BECAUSE THEY CAN! …. Okay so this isn’t too Precious Happy but at least some bills got paid and we had the means to pay them (always a blessing especially during this scary recession).

I’m starting to freeze (living in a rented 50 yr. old house with paper-thin walls can do that to ya) so I must bid adieu for now.  Away to my cozy down comforter I go.  My feet need heat.  Wishing you all some Precious Happy of your own until next time!

Smiles,

Precious Happy

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