Posts tagged interesting
Posts tagged interesting
Photos taken on the days Matt Smith chose his 11th Doctor costume. Some pretty cool variations before finally deciding “bow-ties are cool”.
Interpretations of Schrodinger’s cat (by MrDragonfly1234)
Why everything you know about wolf packs is wrong
By Lauren Davis
The alpha wolf is a figure that looms large in our imagination. The notion of a supreme pack leader who fought his way to dominance and reigns superior to the other wolves in his pack informs both our fiction and is how many people understand wolf behavior. But the alpha wolf doesn’t exist—at least not in the wild…
Although the notions of “alpha wolf” and “alpha dog” seem thoroughly ingrained in our language, the idea of the alpha comes from Rudolph Schenkel, an animal behaviorist who, in 1947, published the then-groundbreaking paper “Expressions Studies on Wolves.” During the 1930s and 1940s, Schenkel studied captive wolves in Switzerland’s Zoo Basel, attempting to identify a “sociology of the wolf.”
In his research, Schenkel identified two primary wolves in a pack: a male “lead wolf” and a female “bitch.” He described them as “first in the pack group.” He also noted “violent rivalries” between individual members of the packs… Thus, the alpha wolf was born. Throughout his paper, Schenkel also draws frequent parallels between wolves and domestic dogs, often following his conclusions with anecdotes about our household canines. The implication is clear: wolves live in packs in which individual members vie for dominance and dogs, their domestic brethren, must be very similar indeed.
A key problem with Schenkel’s wolf studies is that, while they represented the first close study of wolves, they didn’t involve any study of wolves in the wild… In more recent years, animal behaviorists, including [wildlife biologist L. David] Mech, have spent more and more time studying wolves in the wild, and the behaviors they have observed has been different from those observed by Schenkel and other watchers of zoo-bound wolves. In 1999, Mech’s paper “Alpha Status, Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs” was published in the Canadian Journal of Zoology. The paper is considered by many to be a turning point in understanding the structure of wolf packs…
Mech’s studies of wild wolves have found that wolves live in families: two parents along with their younger cubs. Wolves do not have an innate sense of rank; they are not born leaders or born followers. The “alphas” are simply what we would call in any other social group “parents.” The offspring follow the parents as naturally as they would in any other species. No one has “won” a role as leader of the pack; the parents may assert dominance over the offspring by virtue of being the parents. While the captive wolf studies saw unrelated adults living together in captivity, related, rather than unrelated, wolves travel together in the wild. Younger wolves do not overthrow the “alpha” to become the leader of the pack; as wolf pups grow older, they are dispersed from their parents’ packs, pair off with other dispersed wolves, have pups, and thus form packs of their owns.
This doesn’t mean that wolves don’t display social dominance, however… Wolves (and other animals, including humans), display social dominance, it just isn’t always easy to boil dominant behavior down to simple explanations. Dominant behavior and dominance relationships can be highly situational, and can vary greatly from individual to individual even within the same species. It’s not the entire concept of wolves displaying social dominance that was dispelled, just the simple hierarchical pack structure…
Wound closure techniques ca. 1855.
Fig 1. Closure of the wound without sutures, using adhesives and cloth.
Fig 2. Simple interrupted suture.
Fig 3. Simple uninterrupted suture.
Fig 4. Interfolded suture, with stabilizing rods. Suture passes under wound and is pulled together despite no stitches over the wound site.
Fig 5. “Suture en zigzags” - Continuous horizontal mattress suture.
Fig 6. Twisted suture. Dieffenbach used this stitch in the early steps of his reconstructive surgery.
Fig 7. Suture needle holder.
Fig 8. Curved suture needles.
Précis iconographique de Médecine Opératoire et d’Anatomie Chirurgicale. Drs. Bernard and Huette, 1854.
How children (& the adults they become) learn - A great resource for writers
There are a lot more criticisms in the field of psychology for Gardner’s theory than the one listed for Naturalistic Intelligence. First and foremost is that it can’t be tested. Regardless of that, this is one of my favorite psychological theories.
What’s the difference between creativity and innovation?
Creativity deals with original thought, asking “what comes next?” Innovation is about building on what already exists, focusing on ways to improve something already established.
Creatives are dreamers, innovators are builders.
I’m definitely both but, I think I lean more toward the creative side. I’m very much of the “if it’s not broken why fix it” mentality so I have a hard time improving on things that already exist.
If you go to Google and enter a few words, you’ll instantly see what similar searches people around the world are entering. Here’s what happens if you enter “creativity” followed by a single word:
You can download a high-resolution PDF of this poster for printing or sharing too.
An interesting, albeit long, anthropology article regarding behavior and culture.
"[T]here are hundreds of cultural differences that individually and in endless combinations influence our conceptions of fairness, how we categorize things, our method of judging and decision making, and our deeply held beliefs about the nature of the self, among other aspects of our psychological makeup.”
“The trick to building a creative, modern workforce might be asking all those silly questions—What’s your favorite movie? What’s your favorite book? What makes you uncomfortable?—and valuing most highly the answers you’ve never heard before.”
There is hope for us yet!
Infographic by Mezzmer
“Observations of total population size for the entire SRKW population (top panel) and for each pod (bottom three panels).
Demographic reconstruction showed that the largest known [SRKW total population] size was likely 96 animals in 1967. During 1974 to 2011, the population has been increasing slowly, from 67 individuals in 1974 to 87 individuals in 2011, at a realized growth rate of 0.71% per year. In contrast to SRKW, NRKW have increased more rapidly over the same time interval, from 120 animals in 1975 to more than 260 currently.”
Note: the number of SRKW has dropped to 84 in 2012.
SRKW = Southern Resident killer whale
NRKW = Northern Resident killer whale
Hilborn, R., S.P. Cox, F.M.D. Gulland, D.G. Hankin, N.T. Hobbs, D.E. Schindler, and A.W. Trites. 2012. The Effects of Salmon Fisheries on Southern Resident Killer Whales: Final Report of the Independent Science Panel. Prepared with the assistance of D.R. Marmorek and A.W. Hall, ESSA Technologies Ltd., Vancouver, B.C. for National Marine Fisheries Service (Seattle. WA) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Vancouver. BC). xv + 61 pp. + Appendices.
Ford, M.J., and Parsons, K.M. 2012. Estimating the historical size of the southern resident killer whale population. In Evaluating the Effects of Salmon Fisheries on Southern Resident Killer Whales: Workshop 2, March 13-15, 2012. NOAA Fisheries and DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada), Vancouver, BC.