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Life’s Better Down Stream

River ecosystems are actually deceptively complex, there's a bunch of different types of organisms living in all different parts of the river. The easiest way to describe it would be to divide the river into three parts: The top layer of water, the middle, and the bottom. Different types of organisms exist in each of these sections, and some are more influenced by river flow than others.

"Plankton" is a general term. It includes a huge variety of organisms.

There are organisms in plants that will get washed into the water and start to grow and then get classified as plankton. There are bacteria in the air that will start to grow in water and then become classified as plankton. Even newborn fish can be plankton as long as they can't swim strong and just go with the flow. Basically as long as they can't move by themselves and are photosynthetic and life in water, it's a plankton.

It's important to point out that Neustonic fish aren't constantly fighting against the current. They can float above or under the surface, and if they wanted to stay in the same place then they'd have to use energy to swim against the river current. These can be fish, or even water striders which float along the top of the water.

Even in the most rapid of rivers, there will always be eddies, fissures, and washouts where fish can literally duck into into to sleep, eat, and mate.

The plankton grow and reproduce in ponds, and lakes upstream.

Even mountain based rivers have millions of contributing streams many of which only add water when they over flow with rains. There is a constant addition of nutrients and organisms that come from everywhere even farmers fields. This why algae blooms happen more frequently.

It's impossible to stop the addition of plankton and other nutrients that are constantly being added, to do so you would have to kill the river. Some systems are so complex that the actual source of the river becomes a disputed issue.

Rivers begin as tiny trucks that combine to form small streams which band together to form a small rubber that grows add it goes along merging with other sources.

The top of the river is not a raging rising body of water washing everything away in its path.

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Paedophryne Amauensis

World's Smallest Frog (and Vertebrate)

Paedophryne amauensis was discovered in 2009 by a research team from Louisiana State University, this wee beastie holds the title of the world's smallest vertebrate at 7.7mm in length.

The previous champion was a fish called Paedocypris progenetica, meassured 7.9mm in length.

Hailing from the undergrowth of Papua New Guinea's rain forests, they live a crepuscular lifestyle – coming out at dawn n' dusk to call (presumably to find other smol frog hotties), with a series of high-pitched notes said to resemble that of an insect. In fact, this is how they were discovered – boffins took recordings of evening frog calls and noticed one they couldn't quite identify.

By scooping up and closely examining bits o' leaf matter from where they thought the noise was coming from, they managed to spot a wee frog or two crawling about.

What's very interesting is that they emerge as a smaller adult instead of having to develop from a tadpole.

Most amphibians have a typical three stage life cycle – eggs, then aquatic tadpole-ey things with gills, then mature adults without gills – there are plenty of notable exceptions. Turns out most super miniature frogs, like Paedophryne amauensis, ditch the tadpole stage altogether, with their eggs hatching directly into even teenier versions of the adults.

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A lot of the best games just so happen to be some of the oldest. For one hide-and-seek and tag can be observed in not just early human childhood but also in other members of the animal kingdom.

According to the Encyclopedia of Play In Today's Society, it can be traced back as far as 2nd Century Greece.

Julius Pollux apparently described a game called Apodidraskinda, which involved choosing one player who would keep their eyes shut for a set time, and then try to find the other players. But this was a variant of the game where everyone else tried to make their way back to the starting point (with the first person there becoming the new "seeker").

There's lots of evidence of the game being well-established in Elizabethan England, again with slight variations.

The game "King By Your Leave," for example, was exactly the same as Apodidraskinda. In 1572, Richard Huloet described it as:

"A playe that children have, where one sytting blyndefolde in the midle, bydeth so tyll the rest have hydden themselves, and then he going to seeke them, if any get his place in the meane space, that same is kynge in his roome."

There are also two likely references to hide-and-seek-like games in Shakespeare: one in Love's Labors Lost, when Biron says "All hid, all hid; an old infant play," and one in Hamlet, when Hamlet makes a reference to a hide-and-seek-like game called Hide and Fox when he says "Hide Fox, and All After" (in reference to Polonius' body).

The answer to how old the game is falls under one of the many questions which I don't think ever will be answered.

Simply because it's pretty much a given that they existed before the existence of written records. You won't find find physical traces of children playing hide and seek they same way you can find physical traces of people using stone tools.

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Skin Care After Swimming

Irritated? Itchy? Blotchy? Spotty? Dry? Burning? My skin gets pretty uncomfortable after I get out of the pool. I think that most people have some effects from the chlorine but not all effects are the same or the same intensity.

For me goggles are a must. With the goggles, some people are very prone to getting red marks from contact. Though that wasn't really my problem it was water contact.

My face is slightly dry, it feels like it's burning (no it really is not that painful in fact I was say that it is just annoying) and it looks slightly redder then usual. I'm not huge into skincare but I know what works and what does not.

My solution was a mild cleanser. Now I use a face rinse afterwards so that I can wash off sweat, chemicals and other pool debris. If your skin is irritated after swimming, washing with a towel will irritate it further.

Don't scrub.

You will just hurt your skin it will cause abrasions for bacteria.

Also you should be showering afterwards but in medium temp water, never hot water. The reason should be simple enough, hot water can irritate your skin further. It also opens your pores up and gives bacteria a chance to gain hold. As I said, make sure that you apply a lotion afterwards. Neutrogena is a good brand to try out.

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So You’re Cute – Get Over It

I've always been confused by the fact that guys constantly call girls they find attractive cute but refuse to believe that a girl might use the word the same way. I've never, ever met a guy irl (until today) who doesn't know that a girl calling a guy cute means she thinks he's attractive.

I call my boyfriend adorable all the time, and I am immensely attracted to him.

Long-story-short-moment. I was with my best friend and she was introducing us (me and my boyfriend) to her new boyfriend. Over the course of the afternoon it came up that my boyfriend in my opinion/eyes is cute/adorable.

My friend's boyfriend thought that that was hilarious and began teasing my boyfriend for being "asexual."

a·dor·a·ble (-dôr-bl, -dr-)

  1. Delightful, lovable, and charming: an adorable set of twins.
  2. Worthy of adoration.

"Adorable" and "sexy/handsome" aren't mutually exclusive. He new bf can go fuck off. Adorable is just as great of a compliment as any of the other words.

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Be Happy People

I lived, I loved; I was here.

The concept of you is simple. Even if you died tomorrow, you happened.

You existed.

You are a concept that the laws of the universe allowed to materialize.

All the beauty that is you is cemented into the fabric of reality. You will die, everyone that knew you will die, humanity will die, the earth will die, the sun will die, the universe will die.

But no amount of time will negate the fact that your life was real.

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Volcanic Activity

People seem to think that there are a lot of volcanoes erupting lately. It might be from the Clustering Illusion which states:

The clustering illusion is the tendency to erroneously consider the inevitable "streaks" or "clusters" arising in small samples from random distributions to be non-random. The illusion is caused by a human tendency to underpredict the amount of variability likely to appear in a small sample of random or semi-random data.

In conjunction with Cognitive Bias related to the amount of coverage the eruptions are receiving right now from the media.

Cognitive bias states:

A cognitive bias is a systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment. Individuals create their own "subjective social reality" from their perception of the input. An individual's construction of social reality, not the objective input, may dictate their behaviour in the social world. Thus, cognitive biases may sometimes lead to perceptual distortion, inaccurate judgment, illogical interpretation, or what is broadly called irrationality.

This leads to Apophenia a universal human tendency to seek patterns in random information.

Apophenia is the tendency to perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things. Confirmation bias is a variation of apophenia. The term (German: Apophänie) was coined by psychiatrist Klaus Conrad in his 1958 publication on the beginning stages of schizophrenia.

The current level of volcanic activity is normal.

On average, there are usually ~20 volcanoes in some stage of erupting at any given time.

The recent eruptions in Hawaii and the recent one in Guatemala which have been deemed news worthy are not connected.

So the short answer it's just the coverage and/or the fact that these two eruptions are happening in populated places and that both are being filmed a lot by locals.

As for the rates, you can check out the Smithsonian weekly eruption report to get a sense that there are lots of eruptions going on that aren't making the news. When you go back into the archives, which span ~18 years, you can get a somewhat qualitative sense that this number of currently erupting volcanoes is not out of the ordinary. As a side note, this is not quite real time, so this is the summary for last week so it doesn't yet include the eruption in Guatemala.

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My Favorite Time of Year

To be completely honest, I fall for the charms of all four seasons. It is hard to pick one above the other, and it seems like it is only truly possible if you aren't currently in it. I love spring. But we're in the middle of it now and with its flirtatious colors and the first hint of longer days. It makes it pretty attractive.

My mother is big on spring. Mainly because all of her plants start coming up out of the ground.

In the last couple of years she began to plant mainly perennials so she gets the added benefit of only needing to plant it once.

Summer, seductive with its broad display of produce and extra vacation time, and winter, with its cozy clothes and generous sprinkling of holiday cheer.

What I'm saying is it's possibly going to be contradicted, in that case chalk it up to my fickle nature and please disregard it.

I enjoy biking around town during this time of year.

I love that autumn is earthy. I love fall foliage. I love that it starts to rain. It's the perfect time to prepare a cup of tea, take a blanket into the living room and read stretched out on the sofa wrapped in my soft blanket. I can choose between sneakers or boots, pants or a skirt.

I love that instead of flowers I use pumpkins as decorations.

It's all about autumn.

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Is It A Phobia?

I developed totally irrational adult onset fear of flying. I'm convinced I'm going down and turbulence has me grabbing the arm rest, closing my eyes and preparing for life to flash before my eyes.

The problem is I absolutely live to travel.

The days of being able to volunteer for your passage on the oceans are over. Tickets for a long distance ocean voyage are expensive. The fact that you have to attend safety training of how to put on a survival suit in a set amount of time goes to show how serious it is.

Frankly I think flying is much safer but everyone is different.

By land well you can train it, bus it or hitch hike. Some places are more connected and cheaper than other but via land there are many ways.

You could travel the world via sea and land but for that I just don't have enough money. For me, flying = fear and so it was North and Central America only. Sure that is a lot to explore. But it was also expensive. I got over my fear and now love it.

I realized in that moment that my fear of flying was rooted in feeling like I was in control.

When you sit in an aluminum tube 6 miles above the ground going 600 mph, the last thing you feel is in control. So I managed to trick my mind into ceding that control for a moment, and I shocked myself by actually having fun on a flight!

My only advice to be able to get over this phobia is to seek some professional help and go from there.

PS. At least I am not afraid of spiders.

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The Casual Business

Have you ever met somebody that just seems too charismatic. Everybody remembers them, and they seem to know absolutely everybody. Well, I think that what looks so effortless takes a lot of time and effort to achieve.

In fact I know it does.

Ahead of Myself

I like to connect with people, both professionally and in a casual more personal setting. That means that I am not afraid to contact or approach people. Being outgoing helps a lot here. No matter what I always try to make the best impression that I can.

And making the right impression comes from a lot of different aspects all combined and rolled into one. A lot of people can make a good impression without even really trying. I might be able to do that, but I prefer to actually try. At least then I know that I made the effort since leaving things to chance doesn't seem sensible.

Put Your Best Foot Forward

To try to act as an ideal version of oneself, typically to try to impress others. Expression history

I find that that is a combined effort. You need to dress appropriately — something that I feel is just as important personally as it is professionally — and yes that includes footwear. But it is more than your foot, it is the entire picture. No matter how we fight against it, we do make up our mind about a person based on how that appear to us. If you go through the effort of looking put together then you want to make a good impression.

To quote another idiom, the first impression which is a form of thin-slicing. Or the act of making one's mind up based on limited exposure. While in adulthood you can re-evaluate that opinion after additional exposure to a person, it maybe of utter importance when are being interview. In situations like that you are being assessed based on very narrow or thin amount of exposure. You can best serve yourself by making that thin amount of exposure memorable. This is why I still hand out business cards. It may sound old fashioned, it is, but that doesn't mean that it isn't a valuable tool to use. Simply because people would rather have me give them a digital means of contact does not mean that they are unable to appreciate a good business card. And one of the tricks is picking out one that tells them something about who you are and allow you to stay ever present in their minds. Digital contact information is convenient once you have a place in their memory. Whereas with a card, which can convey the same amount of information or more (multiple contact options a web presence, etc.) you are giving them something tangible. Something that will act as a small anchor which connects your details to your face.

My father was a business man most of my career. He traveled a lot for work which is actually how he met my mother. He was returning from Europe and had a stop over in England. He had always wanted to explore London so that is what he was doing when they met. They will be married for 43 years this Fall. She worked at a florist's shop that was owned by her aunt. He wasn't in need of flowers but for some reason fate had him go inside. It was a stroke of luck, otherwise I wouldn't be here, that has left them happy for nearly half a century.

Name cards were a big part of business when my father was young. You really didn't have many other means to share your information. Full documents were not practical and you needed a quick and easy way to share your information. Things like smart phones have really simplified things more. I remember when my father got his first cell phone. The reception was terrible. It weight literally a ton and was always empty.

The phone amazed me.

Dad said that it made his life a lot easier. And while it might be hard looking back, I can imagine that it made things a lot easier for him. He didn't need to wait around the telephone on the weekends when he was expecting a call nor did I have to miss out on talking with him when he was underway.

Of course we wouldn't have been able to afford it, but his company offered it as a perk for their employees who had to travel a lot. And it was a plus for them I guess. Otherwise they wouldn't have done it.

He worked most of his career for the same company and went through thousands of business cards.

Some kids collect cards. I collected his various business cards. Every time he got a new one he would give me one. He'd say that it is a "mint first edition" and I would file it away in my collection. When he retired I think that I had nearly 100 different styles but it has been some time since I last checked to say exactly. Some have yellowed with time but they are just as valuable to me as when they were mint.