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Tag: Animals

Point and Shoot

by on Jun.02, 2013, under Animals, Consumer, Education, Environment, History, Media, Nature, Technology

If you live in the U.S. and wondered who made the first movie camera, you were probably told that it was Thomas Edison. Edison-cine It's typical of the U.S., as it used to be in Western Europe, to ignore scientific and technological discoveries until we reveal them for ourselves. Not to belittle his accomplishments, but much of Edison's success was in making practical the inventions of others, and his business acumen. kinetoscope-1 Edison took the Zoopraxiscope invented by English photographer Eadweard Muybridge and turned it into the first true motion picture peepshow.

Old Fashioned Peep Show

In 1882, a few years before Edison created the modern pornographic movie industry, French scientist Étienne-Jules Marey wanted to capture the motion of birds and small animals to study their movement, a discipline known as chronophotography.

Etienne Jules Marey Seated In Laboratory

He invented the Fusil Photographique, or "photographic rifle", which allowed Marey to track his subjects while shooting his images, effectively developing the technique of "panning" the camera.


The magazine holds a light sensitive gelatin emulsion plate that's big enough for 25 frames. The exposure is through one of the 12 shutters in front of the plate and the camera could take 12 exposures a second.


Focusing was accomplished by changing the length of the barrel.


It predates the reflex camera. It's a point-and-shoot.

marey3The ultimate result is a collection of images that are viewed in rapid sequence.


We suggest a few basic rules:

  • Know when it's loaded.
  • Don't put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to shoot.
  • Don't have a finger in front of the barrel.

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Inside Edition

by on Sep.30, 2012, under Animals, Education, Health, Nature, Technology

Groucho Marx said, "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." It's also too dark for photos. Before ultrasound, the only way to take a picture of the developing fetus would be to get a camera and flash inside the uterus. There weren't many photographers with the right qualifications. The Ultrasound has been the standard since its introduction in the 1960's. Improvements have made ultrasound more accessible, and has improved the image quality. But it still doesn't show a lot of detail.

Are there eight puppies or ten? How many are male? Are there any physical anomalies? Since there are still things that a monkey with a camera can't photograph, we have Four Dimensional Imaging.

Four dimensional imaging can be done with spectrometers, x-rays, and ultrasound among other things. The details are beyond what we can cover in this short article. But the results are stunning. This cute little creature is obviously a dog.

Although at this stage it looks an awful lot like this rat.

Closer to its gestation period of around nine weeks, this puppy looks like he's ready to play.

The gestation period for an Asian Elephant is around 22 months, but after 12 months she already looks complete.

After the same 12 months, this dolphin is just about ready for his first swim.

Scientists captured the images for a National Geographic Documentary called "Animals in the Womb". The four dimensional ultrasound doesn't just work on mammals. No eggs were scrambled for these images.

This baby penguin will wait about 63 days before he hatches.

And then he can find his rightful place in the ecosystem as the great cycle of nature continues.

Alternate ending

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It’s A Dog’s Life

by on Sep.09, 2012, under Animals, Crime, Food, Health, Nature

If you saw her on the street you might expect that this woman was just a highly experienced prostitute, or perhaps her mother chased her thalidomide with gin while she was in the womb. But what she did is disgusting. Stacey Lockhurst, 27, of Dartford, Kent, UK adopted a German Shepherd puppy. RSPCA investigators first visited her former home in Erith, south east London, in October 2010, when the dog was just 16 weeks old. They offered advice on training, and suggested that she and her boyfriend, Paul Brunsden, 25, surrender the puppy. They ignored the advice, which included providing food, water, exercise, and companionship. For seven months, they kept the German Shepherd puppy in a decrepit crate with no food or water. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals described it as "one of the worst cases of animal cruelty its officers had ever seen." His crate was infested with maggots and flies, and a water bowl was full of excrement. A necropsy found Jack was emaciated. He had no fat and probably died of starvation, with the examining vet commenting he "suffered greatly and unnecessarily for a great period of time". District Judge Michael Kelly found Lockhurst guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog, but only delivered a 20 week prison sentence, suspended for a year. She has been banned from keeping an animal for life. She was also required to perform 200 hours of public service and pay $ 300 court costs. Her partner, Paul Brunsden, was jailed for 20 weeks and also banned from keeping an animal for life. "She regrets what she did," said defense attorney Wayne Crowhurst. "I don't think she set out with that in mind. She's a very vulnerable lady."
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Eliminating Animal Testing: Some Important Tips

by on Feb.06, 2012, under Consumer, Drugs, Health, Kids, Nature, Religion, Technology

    No matter how much you acknowledge the need for product testing, how could anybody not be moved by the suffering of the test subjects? They lead horrible lives. In China, bears that are kept to harvest their bile have killed themselves rather than continue to submit to the painful procedure and life in a cramped, isolated cage. One mother bear killed her cub to spare him from the lifestyle, then continually ran into a wall until she died. Others have starved themselves to death. But good news is on the horizon, as the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart, Germany has found a substitute for the use of live animals. You don't actually need the live baby for testing: Just the foreskin. So much research material has been lost for so many years! The Hautfabrik developed at the Fraunhofer Institute in Stuttgart is an affordable and sustainable alternative to animal testing.

The machine is fitted with 500 boards, each with 24 tissue cultures growing on it in little tube formations. In each tube, extremely thin skin samples grow from cells, which robotic hands have painstakingly extracted from foreskins donated to the project. Scientists use enzymes to detach the very top layer of cells from the skin, along with connective tissue and pigment cells. The foreskin used for the process is only taken from boys up to the age of four. “The older skin is, the worse the cells function,” explained Andreas Traube, an engineer at the institute's department of production technology and automation.

At the moment only very small skin samples are being created. “It’s logical that we’d want to take the operation to a bigger scale,” said Traube. If it catches on, maybe we can put an end to the suffering of animals for product testing. The equipment developed by the Fraunhofer team can extract between three to 10 million cells from a single foreskin. In the incubator these cells then multiply hundreds of times. The whole process can take up to six weeks, but according to Traube, “We can’t use the machine to speed up the process; biology needs time to take its course.” We wonder if anybody has tried rubbing them gently.    
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Fall Weather

by on Sep.21, 2011, under Animals, Environment, Health, Nature, Parenting

When Hurricane Katia blew through Britain, these four baby red squirrels were in a nest at the top of a tree. After the gale force winds passed, the five week old creatures were found on the ground by someone walking by. The squirrels were taken to a veterinarian  in nearby Alnwick, Northumberland before being sent to the Sanctuary Wildlife Care Centre at Ulgham near Morpeth. The squirrels, which weigh only 2 1/2 ounces, had gone into shock. Sanctuary workers are concerned that the mother may still be looking for her offspring. For now, the squirrels need around-the-clock care and are being looked after at the home of a volunteer. The squirrels get goat's milk every three hours, and the sanctuary expects to take care of them over the winter. A spokesman said, "We're planning to release them gradually back into the wild next spring at our special unit, which is at a secret location in Northumberland. They're doing absolutely brilliantly now, they're extremely lively and mischievous." For more information on the animal rescue sanctuary, visit www.wildlife-sanctuary.co.uk
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