Day 256 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

I have half a dozen things running through my head to write about at the moment and I have no idea how to fit them together to form one blog folks!

You see, I have been reading some articles and come across some incredible stories which made me say: “I don’t believe it” or “How crazy!” Also I have come across some simply wonderful science photos which made me scratch my head and say: “What an amazing photo!”

Now when this happens, it is a sure thing that I should share these things with you so let’s begin and see how we go. Actually, I heard a saying the other day which I thought was interesting, so I wrote it down:

“Curiosity is a muscle; the more you use it, the more you know.”

So in the spirit of curiosity and knowledge, I share these news items with you all.

A Sniffer Dog trained to find Ancient Bones:

Yep, it’s says so in “The Week” magazine. A Brisbane dog expert has taught his super dog ‘Migaloo’ to sniff out a 600 year old human skeleton buried almost 2m underground. It seems Migaloo is all set to find sacred Aboriginal sites across Australia. Other dogs trained in the same way are headed for Egypt. Migaloo can now find bone fragments with 100% accuracy!

I actually did say “Oh what, I don’t believe it” when I read this news item. But why not when dogs are trained to sniff out drugs and other things? I once had an embarrassing experience when a sniffer dog put it’s nose into my basket whilst waiting in line to pass through Customs. There was nothing in my basket but I did remember that I’d had an apple sitting there about an hour before disembarking the ship! Phew … saved!

Here’s one well-known redhead: Wilma

Scarlet Pride

It was a good week for 1,400 redheads from 52 countries when they descended on a town in Holland for the annual Roodharigen festival. The event attracts gingers of all ages for photo shoots, fashion shows and lectures about red hair.

Well, I’ve heard everything now! It seems that the Netherlands is going ginger nuts for flame-haired Scottish people after inviting them to help break the record for the world’s biggest gathering of natural red heads. However, just a warning to those who dye their hair red: this is not meant for YOU!!

It seems that the Roodharigen website notes that redheads are becoming increasingly rare. In fact, some some geneticists believe natural redheads may disappear altogether in 100 years. Is this really true? A dull world it would be without redheads!

By the way, the country with the highest percentage of natural redheads in the world is reportedly Scotland, with 13 per cent, followed by Ireland with 10 per cent. I’m sure these two countries can manage to keep those redheads coming.


It was a bad week for those with this disorder after the Australian Reptile Park called on the public to catch deadly funnel-web spiders. The park wants to produce more life-saving antivenene, so it needs the spiders to extract the venom. 

When I first heard this one on the radio, I said to myself “And who is going to be crazy enough to want to catch these spiders if they’re deadly?” I ask you folks, is this a good idea? Won’t there be MORE people getting bitten, not less??

It appears that the 25 male spiders left are getting too old and so production is becoming a challenge. It takes the venom of … wait for it … 100 mature male spiders, to produce enough antivenene for one person! Good luck with this one.

In Conclusion

To conclude my blog I wanted to leave you with a couple of incredible Science photos which were among the Best Science Photos for 2012 from Australian Geographic. They are wonderful. Enjoy!

Mantis Shrimp — The peacock mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus), has one of the most complex vision systems in the marine world.

Fly in Amber 40 million years old — This dolichopodid fly is preserved in Baltic amber which is fossilised tree resin; it makes the fly look like it was recently caught.

Killer in a Cage. This one is complicated: the caterpillar builds a protective cage around itself and then a fly somehow devours the inside of the caterpillar and takes over the cage!