Sunday, October 25, 2009

Michael’s moonwalk imitated for mates

Michael Jackson has been a legendary entertainer in our lifetime. We thrived off his songs, his clothing style, and the amazing moonwalk my mother's generation attempted to imitate. Although the gheri-curl, leather jacket, silver glove and those sparkly tube socks have attracted millions of girls, one little birdie has an outfit of his own and moves to attract the ladies.

The Red-capped manakin, Pepra Mentalis, is a short bird with a short tail with a family of about 50 other manakin species. They can be found in South American Tropical forest, at only about 3-6.5 inches long, and one ounce. Like most species, the males stick out with bright colors to attract females for mating. In this particular species, the Red-Capped manakin has a red head, a black belly and yellow thighs. The females and reproductively immature males are not as bright, but are green and or brown. While courting females, the male manakin does a charming moonwalk perhaps MJ inspired. He flaps his wings to his sides, hops a little bit, and then slides backwards on his porch. The amazing footwork and divine outfit are a great combination for attracting the female manakins. Often the males will perform a dance together but only the best dancing manakin will get to mate. This is the alpha male, who has the privilege of mating until he dies, and the beta male takes his place.

I found this little bird to be extremely cute and quite the entertainer. The Red-Capped Manakin has gained quite the popularity on video sharing site YouTube for its smooth moonwalk. I've witnessed many artist such as Ne-Yo, Jamie Foxx, sister Janet Jackson, and plenty of inspired dancers attempt to imitate his forever-remembered dance; but this bird has the moves down pack. Perhaps Michael's "mating dance" inspired the stories behind Billy Jean and Dirty Diana, provoking women everywhere to fall in love with him. Nature tells us that us humans aren't very different when it comes to impressing the opposite sex!

Here is the cute video of the moonwalking expert (The manakin, not the man).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I Cant Want It!

So that day old garbage that wasn't dumped smacks you in the face upon entering the room... "GROSS!" immediately leaves your lips and your hands are tying GLAD bags closed faster than you can spell Northern Sanitation, or maybe not. But factually, the nose has a predisposition to the smell of collected waste as it does similarly to spoiled food, rotten milk, etc.

Our olfactory sensors began to develop a preference for scents based on an association past experience has taught us. The smell of hospital, for example, is associated with being in pain or sick, thus it is not a preferred one. Similarly, the aroma of certain foods will be pleasant, reminding us of the agreeable experience our taste buds and stomachs felt. Association of scents also works a different way. When one scent that is preferred is present and a following scent that is impartial to the nose, the second scent will become preferred in its association to the first pleasant scent.

This is why we prefer the scent of a rose, over say.. that of a skunk. Skunk sprayed tomato baths are probably not preferable memories for anyone!

For more information, click here

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Stephen Hawking

In the Discover Article "Stephen Hawkings is Making His Comeback" I was confused about where the lede ended. It was capturing at first introducing the talk on "why we should go to space", but I also felt it was rather wordy. I would give this lede a 17 out of 20 for setting up a vivid image of what took place and keeping the reader's attention in an engaging and creative way. I would have appreciate the lede being less wordy and more organized instead of an ongoing paragraph. I felt the transitioning flowed quite well while telling a compelling and vivid story of Stephen Hawking. For content, I would give this article an 18/20.It explained the comeback, why he "left" and why it was so incredible that he was coming back. Explaining his adversity from health problems and how they helped him mold a better perspective was only a number of ways the reader becomes compelled to read more. I felt this was a GREAT job done! Although the quality of writing was good in style and originality, I did began to lose interest around the third page. At first I felt engaged by the writer's tone, and vivid pictures. It was like I was given a ticket to see Stephen Hawking myself; However, the continuous rambling of Quantum physics and comparisons to Einstein lost my interest. Perhaps Physics doesn't get my juices flowing, but the details and explanations fit accordingly and appropriately throughout the article. For providing a vivid image and details to ease the confusion, I would have to give a 18 out of 20 for clarity. Overall, I thought this was a well written article that taught a lot about Stephen Hawkins I was not previously aware of.