Monday, 3 December 2007

This Is The News

Bit of a scattershot post today; have just decided to down tools for the day, having written more than the three pages that I had told myself I had to do today. So far this goal-setting approach is reaping rewards: I'm hoping that by the end of the week I will have a first draft of my background material chapter for my thesis. I'll then compare it to the background material chapters of my supervisors last couple of students and make some changes from that I think. All of the results I'm quoting are necessary for what I'm doing, but perhaps there are better ways of doing it than how I am. Still, I want to put my own stamp on my thesis, and even in this introductory chapter I want to show my way of thinking as well as showing some cool results that others have obtained.

I have some news stories and other tidbits to give you today. The first is truly astonishing: apparently I inspired somebody (one of our commenters matt) to spend the month writing a haiku a day (click here and look in the journal box - you can't see any of the other journal entries unless you are a member of RvB)! I'm not sure that anyone has ever acknowledged me as an inspiration before, but let me tell you it's long overdue after all the cool things I've said and done over the years.

[/lack of humility]

Good luck matt, I'll be watching your progress with interest.

A news story that has caught my eye this afternoon has been about the memory of chimps. Apparently young chimpanzees have an astonishing photographic memory, better than university students apparently (although the article does not go into the details of the students' background or academic ability). The speeds with which the chimps in the study were grasping this information was truly astonishing:

"The shortest time duration, 210 milliseconds, did not leave enough time for the subjects to explore the screen by eye movement - something we do all the time when we read. This is evidence, the researchers believe, that young chimps have a photographic memory which allows them to memorise a complex scene or pattern at a glance. This is sometimes present in human children but declines with age, they say. 'Young chimpanzees have a better memory than human adults,' Dr Matsuzawa told BBC News." (my emphasis)

Ah, to be a chimp...

Another interesting news story (also from BBC News) was that of a dinosaur whose tissues had also been fossilised along with its skeleton. I got very excited when I read this, and instantly thought "Jurassic Park!" before I was brought back to reality with a bump. If I understand the article correctly, the tissues themselves hadn't been preserved but had turned to stone. This is all quite interesting, but still means that I won't be able to take my kids out riding on a hadrosaur...

Not much else in the way of news today. I finally started my Christmas shopping at the weekend. Quite a few international parcels to send, so need to try and get those sorted out this week. Hoping to write three pages for my thesis every day this week...

More soon.

1 comment:

mattiecore said...