In the historical novel The Black Tulip, written by Alexandre Dumas, an honest and decent Dutch tulip fancier is nearly brought to ruin by his quest to breed a purely black flower. More precisely, his misadventure is due to the dastardly schemes of his neighbor, who, frantic with spite and jealousy over the plants, frames him for a political crime and gets him thrown in jail. The potboiler plot is ridiculously overheated, but Dumas got one thing exactly right: People will go nuts over the desire to possess a living thing in a strange and beautiful color.

 

The breed was developed in Indonesia, but due to concerns over avian flu, the U.S. Department of Agriculture bans direct imports from that nation. So these extraordinary chickens are very hard to get in America and, as a result, are extremely expensive. The best-known and most reputable breeder, Greenfire Farms, offers them for more than a thousand dollars per pair of juveniles; just one day-old chick of unknown sex goes for $199, plus shipping and handling.  You can find Cemanis advertised for cheaper, but the discussion forums of backyardchickens.com (for example) suggest that you risk getting scammed. Order eggs off eBay and you might find yourself hatching out counterfeit chicks of silver or brown.

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: nautil.us

How are the elements that make up life distributed among stars and planets? As trippy as the question seems, astronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) announced at the 229th meeting of the American Astronomical Society that they knew the answers — or, at least, were starting to learn them.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.astronomy.com

The discovery that extinct marine organisms called trilobites laid eggs provides the first direct evidence for how they reproduced. 

 

Trilobites lived between 520 million and 250 million years ago, and are one of the earliest known groups of arthropods (invertebrates, including modern insects, with exoskeletons and segmented bodies).

 

Thomas Hegna of Western Illinois University in Macomb and his colleagues report the discovery of ancient trilobite eggs in New York State, in rocks about 450 million years old. The eggs are spherical, almost 200 micrometers in diameter, and lie near several well-preserved trilobite fossils.

 

Trilobites may have released eggs and sperm through genital pores at or near the backs of their heads, the authors say. 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.nature.com

We saw tons of new stuff at CES this year. But one thing that particularly caught our eye was Kubo, the robot that teaches kids how to code.

Kubo is a pretty simple robot – it’s about the size of a can of soda and has two wheels that allow it to roll around a desk or table. But what it lacks in advanced physical ability it makes up for in brains.

Kubo comes with its own programming language called TagTile. The language consists of puzzle pieces that fit together to give Kubo instructions. For example, you could connect three pieces together – forward, turn, then another forward. Kubo then drives over these pieces oncer to “learn” the command, then can remember and perform it without needing the pieces.

Kubo reads the puzzle pieces using an RFID technology – each piece has an individual embedded RFID tag, and Kubo itself has a reader built in.

While it sounds simple, it’s a pretty good way to teach kids the basics of programming without having them stare at a screen.

 

Learn more / En savoir plus / Mehr erfahren:

 

http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?tag=Ideas+for+makerspaces

 

https://gustmees.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/coding-a-new-trend-in-education-and-a-big-responsibility/

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: techcrunch.com

On the eve of the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, The Eye of Photography proposes to rediscover this magnificent series of portraits shot in 1980 by Lisa Jack featuring President Barack Obama, still a young student at Occidental College in Los Angeles.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.loeildelaphotographie.com