Thursday, January 29, 2009

Voyager Mission

The Voyager mission was officially approved in May 1972, has received the dedicated efforts of many skilled personnel for over two decades, and has returned more new knowledge about the outer planets than had existed in all of the preceding history of astronomy and planetary science. And the two Voyager machines are still performing like champs.

It must come as no surprise that there are many remarkable, "gee-whiz" facts associated with the various aspects of the Voyager mission. These tidbits have been summarized below in appropriate categories. Several may seem difficult to believe, but they are all true and accurate.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Better Government for Older People (BGOP)

Better Government for Older People is a project that aims to improve the quality of life for older people. It works closely with the Council, health boards and other agencies including voluntary organisations to make sure services and information are developed in ways that meet older people's needs. BGOP is committed to making a difference to the lives of older people as citizens, engaging older people in decision making whilst working in partnership to shape experience and learning.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

BALDCYPRESS - Taxodium distichum, Linn., Richard

BALDCYPRESS IS A romantic tree. When we think of it we think of dark, mysterious swamps. But while it will grow under conditions too wet for most other trees, it will also grow on high, dry land. It makes a beautiful and unusual ornamental tree. While its natural range in Missouri is the southeast lowlands, it can be grown at least as far north as a line from Hannibal to Kansas City.

Both redwood and the dawn redwood (Metasequoia) are related to cypress. It is a very ancient tree with ancestors dating back to the coal age--and might be called a living fossil. With the drainage and clearing of swamps, cypress is much less common today than it was in the past.

Cypress is an "evergreen" tree that is not evergreen. Like the hardwoods, its needles turn yellow in the fall and are shed. These needles are a rich green in summer and give a soft, graceful texture to the foliage. When the needles fall, the raised needles scars make the slender twigs feel bumpy, which helps identify them in the winter months.

The cone is round with tightly closed scales which average one inch in diameter, a key identifying feature.Swamp-grown cypress are typified by swollen, often fluted butts. The knees, aerial projection of the roots, develop on older trees apparently to supply oxygen to water-logged roots. These knees are often artistically shaped and are frequently used for lamp bases and novelty items.

Soft, beautifully grained and durable cypress wood makes excellent lumber. Both solid and pecky cypress lumber is widely used for paneling and furnishings. It makes fine construction and siding lumber and its durability makes it suitable for use in piers, bridges, and boats.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Zinc: Does It Fight Prostate Cancer?

For decades, scientists have known that zinc may play a role in keeping the prostate gland healthy. Now, studies at the ARS Western Human Nutrition Research Center, Davis, Calif., are revealing new details about how zinc might help fight cancer of the prostate—the second-most common cause of cancer-related deaths among American men.

Laboratory investigations using cancerous and cancer-free human prostate cells indicated that the cancerous cells accumulated less zinc than the healthy ones. That might be explained by another of the team's findings: The cancerous cells had lower levels of ZIP1, a protein that specializes in moving zinc through the membrane that encloses a cell. Although another zinc-ferrying-protein, ZIP3, was present in the cancer cells, it wasn't in the right location to be its most effective.ARS and the National Institutes of Health are funding the research.