The ruthless nature – burnet moths caterpillar – Cinnabar Moth massacre

The other day i discovered that my garden was invaded by a black and yellow stripes caterpillars, after researching it online, i found out that these were the caterpillar stage of the burnet moths or more scientifically know as “Cinnabar Moth”.

Cinnabar moths a  day-flying insects …  the larvae use members of the genus Senecio as foodplants… for long-term population success, the presence of the larger species such as ragwort is needed… Females lay up to 300 eggs, usually in clusters of 30 to 60 … Newly hatched larvae feed from the underneath of ragwort leaves within the area of their old eggs. The larvae absorb toxic and bitter tasting alkaloid substances from the foodplants, and assimilate them, becoming unpalatable themselves. The bright colours of both the larvae and the moths act as warning signs, so they are seldom eaten by predators… They are voracious eaters; large populations can strip entire patches of ragwort clean, a result of their low predation… Often, very few survive to the pupal stage, mainly due to them completely consuming the food source before reaching maturity;

So you have this moth that have very few predators in pupal stage, and lays a high number of eggs, and yet most die before reaching maturity due to starvation! I mean is this a failure in evolution? why they didn’t evolve to be able to consume other plants as well? But let’s imagine for a minute that these creature did evolve to be able to consume alternative plants once main food is consumed, in this case with such a high reproduction rate & with few predators, this moth will entirely consume the “Senecio” genus, that’s around 1200 plant species!

But why the starvation road? why the moth didn’t evolve to lay less eggs?
less eggs, seams to be a good evolutionary road, less eggs, more caterpillar survive, eventually the variation with less eggs will become dominant … or will it?

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bill-gates

why 90% of startups fail?

why 90% of startups fail?

A good question, many wonder who and how they come up with this number ?

is it through statistics or …

Reality is that startups have many variables that determine their success, and usually startup founders are young and inexperienced

thus they are likely to have a lot of trouble with many of the these variables!

Some of these variables are:

  1. Capital.
  2. Management.
  3. Connections.
  4. Production & skills.
  5. Competitors reaction.
  6. Need for the product.
  7. Pricing.
  8. Patents.
  9. Educating the customer.
  10. Branding and marketing.

 

A mathematical formula using the above variables can explain the reason this number of 90% will fail was given,
click for to see the startup formula article<<

 

How to achieve World Peace and unify humanity – my theory

Many ideologies tried unifying humanity, most are religious … needless to say all the ideologies failed, religions succeeded in unifying some chunks, but they suffered later divisions as well …

Political wise, many tried to unify humanity in some sort, some on socio-political basis: like Communism; others by force like roman empire , Nazis etc… and they all failed as well …

Partially unifying humanity in the past, succeeded in reducing bloodshed (even though blood was spilled for expansions), and establishing some rule of law allowing the weak to live relatively without fear.

Under the roman empire inter-fighting between tribes came to an end, and groups started contributing to the global empire,  accessing goods and knowledge from other parts of the empire as well as providing it led to prosperity!
Under the Islamic empire, endless fighting between tribes came to an end, and prosperity followed as well!

So we can agree that Unity = Prosperity!
But unity means, there need to be something in common, and it also means that there’s some people that would be excluded from this group.

And most importantly, will unity stays intact and perfect as the numbers grow and the time passes …  the answer is No, and religions are a great example on how a united group sooner or later breaks into smaller groups that in turn will suffer divisions as well.

These days, every group or ethnicity are dreaming of self governance, from Quebec – Canada, to Texas – USA, to Catalonia Spain … If you give the populations the choice to get divided, sooner or later they will do it, and groups will become smaller and smaller.
Divisions follow a variety of factors like language, religion, tribe, ethnicity, culture, football club ….

Strengthening the nationalistic spirit does not resolve this issue because separatist spirit is much stronger!  Strong nationalism end up pitting populations one against another!

My theory:
The only path to a true and lasting unity is through intense diversity .

Let me explain, when people are tough that every single individual is unique, and the groups the person belong to, only make part of  his/her uniqueness and identity, people will no longer want to be identified as only members in a smaller groups, because that would suppress their identities, and as a result we have a stronger feeling towards a unified humanity, where everyone is accepted for what he/she is.

For example let’s take a fictional character John,
John belongs to the groups:
– French
– Speaks French and English
– Support Barcalona in soccer.
– Is Breton
– Is White
– Has black hair
– Has green eyes
– is an Artist
– is Gay
– is Catholic
– Human

From the above descriptions, John can identify himself as a member X group, when asked to answer “who are you?” (how you identify yourself)  but If people are thought that they are the sum of the different groups they belong to, and that no group they belong to can have dominance over the others in determining the identity unless it can contain the other groups, then in this case, John only answer should be “human” or the biggest group he belongs to that would group all his identities.
But in reality, John would answer is most likely “Artist”,”Gay”, “Breton”, “French”

Let’s take another  fictional character Ahmet,
Ahmet belongs to the groups:
– French
– Speaks French and English
– Support Barcalona in soccer.
– Is of Moroccan Origin
– Is light Brown
– Has black hair
– Has green eyes
– is an Artist
– is Straight
– is Muslim
– Human

Ahmet is more likely to answer “Muslim”, “Artist”

Let’s take another  fictional character Anas,
Anas belongs to the groups:
– French
– Speaks French and English
– Support Barcalona in soccer.
– Is of a mix relation Moroccan & French
– Is white but with a tan
– Has black hair
– Has green eyes
– is an Artist
– is Straight
– is Muslim
– Human

Anas is more likely to answer “Artist”

 

Subject 1 have strong feelings towards it’s roots, but when the parents have moved (subject 2) or are from mixed origins (subject 3) , the roots factor is less stronger.
Even strong dividers like religion disapear when there’s mixing or strong interections (friends, family members, GF/BF)

How to achieve intense diversity? that’s a difficult question that i don’t know the answer to!

why hollywood movies and series suck so bad in genetics and biology?

I watched a Science-fiction series named ‘ the tomorrow people “, the series just ended it’s 1st season and then got cancelled by CW, because it was unable to get enough audience, i guess …

I am a big SiFi fan, but what annoyed me the most in this series is it’s butchering of basic genetics, i mean they were so ignorant genetically wise that it was amazing to imagine how they dared present it, especially when the main plot is all about genetics!

To start : they called “the tomorrow people” another species, simply because this “new species” have 7 additional proteins that give them superpowers, the problem is that they used the word all the time when they should have avoided it, and here’s why:
– different species are different morphologically, in the series all look normal human.
– different species can’t interbreed, but if they can, the offspring are sterile, in the series mix offspring are the vast majority.

How a new species is born: In the series out of a sudden, thousands of individuals have the same mutations giving them powers, let’s assume for a moment they are a ‘new species’ ,  a species doesn’t appear simply by having thousands of people having the exact same mutations at the same time, a new species always starts with 1 individual and takes hundreds of  life-cycles to be established (meaning thousands of years).

 

Another case of Hollywood biology fail is Vampire Academy, the movie sucked! but what annoyed me the most is their use of the term race to describe the different types of vampires!
Here’s how ridiculous it is: Moroi become Strigoi  (another race) when they kill while feeding from a human or other Moroi. You can not change Race due to an action!

And there’s hundreds of similar errors in movies and series….

How can they afford to invest millions without checking the script out, with a biology teacher or a doctor at least!

Sustainable development : Grow vegetables you can regrow – at home

To start let me give the definition of Sustainable development,
According to wikipedia,

Sustainable development is an organizing principle for human life on a finite planet. It posits a desirable future state for human societies in which living conditions and resource-use meet human needs without undermining the sustainability of natural systems and the environment, so that future generations may also have their needs met.

In simple terms, Sustainable development is a way of living that does minimum damage and alterations to the ecosystem and natural resources, in other words production that can be sustained forever with minimum human implication, as opposed to the production model that needs to be started from the beginning every time.

In this spirit here’s some cool tips that will allow you to em-barque on this journey by growing your own vegetables the sustainable way:

1- Grow Scallions :
You can regrow scallions by leaving an inch attached to the roots and place them in a small glass with a little water in a well-lit room.
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2- Grow Celery:
Cut off the base of the celery and place it in a saucer or shallow bowl of warm water in the sun. Leaves will begin to thicken and grow in the middle of the base, then transfer the celery to soil.
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3- Grow Bok Choy:
Bok choy can be regrown by placing the root end in water in a well-lit area. In 1-2 weeks , you can transplant it to a pot with soil and grow a full new head.
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4- Grow Romaine Lettuce:
Put romaine lettuce stumps in a 1/2 inch of water. Re-water to keep water level at 1/2 inch. After a few days, roots and new leaves will appear and you can transplant it into soil.
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5- Grow Cilantro:
The stems of cilantro will grown when placed in a glass of water. Once the roots are long enough, transplant to soil in a pot in a well-lit room. Full plant takes a couple months.
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6- Grow Basil:
Put clippings from basil with 3 to 4-inch stems in a glass of water and place it in direct sunlight. When the roots are about 2 inches long, plant them in pots to and in time it will grow a full basil plant.

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Oscar Pistorius Guilty or unlucky

Reading about the case of Oscar Pistorius who shot and killed his girlfriend thinking she was an intruder.

Here’s what bothers me in his story:
– If you have an intruder in your house, wouldn’t you go check and tell your gf who happend to be in the house with you, before shooting on whomever is hiding in the bathroom?
– If you are shot at while you are in the bathroom wouldn’t you scream, and if it’s the case, why Oscar would continue shooting?

If this was a case involving an able man, there’s no doubts he’s guilty!
But, because he’s diabled, many factors come into play:
– did not check on gf because he wanted to make less sound ( or was unable to move quickly in case he didn’t have the legs)
– did not stop after hearing shouting, due to ears ringing as a result of firing while lying on the ground (thus not hearing well).

Bottom line he is either guilty or really a very unlucky guy!

The independent republic of Crimea

Putin is one of the smartest and most powerful politicians in the world, when the Ukrainian protests started, i thought they would fade away soon, they did not, they led to a coup, ousting the Ukranian president (who was accused of high level of corruption).

The ousting of Russia ally bothered Russia, that played it’s influence in the Russian minorities regions,especially Crimea which have a Russian speakers majority.

My first though was that Crimea will seek independence à la Kosovo, and why not, it was added to Ukraine in 1954 and it was given as a kind of a gift 10 years after it’s original inhabitant the Tatar were forced to relocate (An estimated 46% of the deportees died from hunger and disease), so what is Crimea to Ukraine, historically? nothing much … just a recent gift!

Indeed Crimea declared independence from Ukraine, but now it’s holding a referendum to join the Russian federation, if it does, there will be European and American sanctions on Russia, if it doesn’t it can become an independent country and later try again to join Russia at the same time Russia will avoid confrontation with the West. And that’s the plan Putin have in mind!

Russia will probably rig the election in a way that the referendum vote against joining Russia, this way Russia saves face and avoid confrontation, the situation is cooled down and the door will still be open for annexation in the near or far future!

So here you go, that why in the coming years we’ll hear of  The independent republic of Crimea .

Update: Crimea actually decided to join Russia, so my analysis was wrong.