Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ecophysiology of plants

Plant ecophysiology is an experimental science that seeks to describe the physiological mechanisms underlying ecological observations. In other words, ecophysiologists, or physiological ecologists, address ecological questions about the controls over the growth, reproduction, survival, abundance, and geographical distribution of plants, as these processes are affected by interactions between plants with their physical, chemical, and biotic environment. These ecophysiological patterns and mechanisms can help us understand the functional significance of specific plant traits and their evolutionary heritage. The questions addressed by ecophysiologists are derived from a higher level of integration, i.e. from “ecology” in its broadest sense, including questions originating from agriculture, horticulture, forestry, and environmental sciences. However, the ecophysiological explanations often require mechanistic understanding at a lower level of integration (physiology, biochemistry, biophysics, molecular biology). It is, therefore, quintessential for an ecophysiologist to have an appreciation of both ecological questions and biophysical, biochemical, and molecular methods and processes. In addition, many societal issues, often pertaining to agriculture, environmental change, or nature conservation, benefit from an ecophysiological perspective. A modern ecophysiologist thus requires a good understanding of both the molecular aspects of plant processes and the functioning of the intact plant in its environmental context.

In many cases, animals are able to escape unfavourable and changing environmental factors such as heat, cold, drought, or floods, while generally plants are unable to move away and therefor must endure the adverse conditions or perish. Some plants have an impressive array of genes which aid in adapting to changing conditions. It is hypothesized that this large number of genes can be partly explained by plant species' need to adapt to a wider range of conditions.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise Architecture is the organizing logic for business processes and IT infrastructure reflecting the integration and standardization requirements of the firm’s operating model. Practitioners are called enterprise architects.

Developed to respond to the need to align information technology investments with business strategy, the practice of enterprise architecture has evolved into a broad category of activities designed to understand, justify, optimize and, communicate the structure and relationships between various business entities and elements. Included in these practices are business architecture, performance management, organizational structure and process architecture.

Modelling the Enterprise Architecture is becoming a common practice within the U.S. Federal Government to inform the Capital Planning and Investment Control (CPIC) process. The Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) reference models serve as a framework to guide Federal Agencies in the development of their architectures. The primary purpose of creating an enterprise architecture is to ensure that business strategy and IT investments are aligned. As such, enterprise architecture allows traceability from the business strategy down to the underlying technology.

Companies such as BP,Independence Blue Cross,Intel and Volkswagen AG also have applied enterprise architecture to improve their business architectures as well as to improve business performance and productivity.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Reintroduction of the dye transfer process

After its reintroduction in 1997, the dye transfer process was (somewhat unexpectedly) used in several big-budget, modern Hollywood productions. These included Bulworth, Pearl Harbor, and Toy Story. The distinct "look" this process achieves, often sought after by film makers looking to re-create the period of time at which Technicolor was at its most prominent, is difficult to obtain through conventional, high-speed printing methods and is one explanation for the enduring demand and credibility of the process.

The latest motion picture dye IB (imbibition) transfer process developed during the 1990s is greatly superior to the process used during the 1970s and of much higher quality than modern Eastmancolor stocks. The prints exhibited a higher color gamut and color satauration than modern Eastmancolor stock and could be made consistently and accurately for large numbers of prints. There were no longer visible density and contrast variations that occurred most often with earlier three color Technicolor. The new process was also about as sharp as modern Eastmancolor process with slightly higher contrast, but they appeared sharper due to the higher contrast.

Technicolor was purchased by French company Thomson in 2001 from the British company Carlton Communications, which discontinued the dye-transfer process in 2002.

The visual aesthetic of dye transfer Technicolor continues to be used in Hollywood, usually in films set in the mid-20th century. Parts of The Aviator, the 2004 biopic of Howard Hughes, were digitally manipulated to imitate color processes that were available during the periods each scene takes place. The two-color look of the film is incorrectly cited as looking like Technicolor's two-color systems, and is in fact a facsimile of Hughes' own color system, Multicolor. The "three-strip" Technicolor look begins after the newsreel footage of Hughes making the first flight around the world.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Paleobiogeography goes one step further to include paleogeographic data and considerations of plate tectonics. Using molecular analyses and corroborated by fossils, it has been possible to demonstrate that perching birds evolved first in the region of Australia or the adjacent Antarctic (which at that time lay somewhat further north and had a temperate climate). From there, they spread to the other Gondwanan continents and Southeast Asia - the part of Laurasia then closest to their origin of dispersal - in the late Paleogene, before achieving a global distribution in the early Neogene . Not knowing the fact that at the time of dispersal, the Indian Ocean was much narrower than it is today, and that South America was closer to the Antarctic, one would be hard pressed to explain the presence of many "ancient" lineages of perching birds in Africa, as well as the mainly South American distribution of the suboscines.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wi-Fi Uses

Wi-Fi also allows connectivity in peer-to-peer (wireless ad-hoc network) mode, which enables devices to connect directly with each other. This connectivity mode can prove useful in consumer electronics and gaming applications.

When wireless networking technology first entered the market many problems ensued for consumers who could not rely on products from different vendors working together. The Wi-Fi Alliance began as a community to solve this issue — aiming to address the needs of the end-user and to allow the technology to mature. The Alliance created the branding Wi-Fi CERTIFIED to reassure consumers that products will interoperate with other products displaying the same branding.

Many consumer devices use Wi-Fi. Amongst others, personal computers can network to each other and connect to the Internet, mobile computers can connect to the Internet from any Wi-Fi hotspot, and digital cameras can transfer images wirelessly.

Routers which incorporate a DSL-modem or a cable-modem and a Wi-Fi access point, often set up in homes and other premises, provide Internet-access and internetworking to all devices connected (wirelessly or by cable) to them. One can also connect Wi-Fi devices in ad-hoc mode for client-to-client connections without a router.

As of 2007 Wi-Fi technology had spread widely within business and industrial sites. In business environments, just like other environments, increasing the number of Wi-Fi access-points provides redundancy, support for fast roaming and increased overall network-capacity by using more channels or by defining smaller cells. Wi-Fi enables wireless voice-applications (VoWLAN or WVOIP). Over the years, Wi-Fi implementations have moved toward "thin" access-points, with more of the network intelligence housed in a centralized network appliance, relegating individual access-points to the role of mere "dumb" radios. Outdoor applications may utilize true mesh topologies. As of 2007 Wi-Fi installations can provide a secure computer networking gateway, firewall, DHCP server, intrusion detection system, and other functions.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nuclear weapon

A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from the nuclear reaction of fission or from a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter; a modern thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than a ton can produce an explosion comparable to the detonation of more than a billion kilograms of conventional high explosive. Even small nuclear devices with yields equivalent to only a few thousand tons of TNT can devastate a city. Nuclear weapons are considered weapons of mass destruction.

In the history of warfare, only two nuclear weapons have been detonated offensively, both by the United States of America during the closing days of World War II. The first was detonated on the morning of 6 August 1945, when the United States dropped a (uranium) gun-type device code-named "Little Boy" on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The second was detonated three days later when the United States dropped a plutonium implosion-type device code-named "Fat Man" on the city of Nagasaki. These bombings resulted in the immediate deaths of around 120,000 people from injuries sustained from the explosion and acute radiation sickness, and even more deaths over time from long-term effects of radiation. The use of these weapons was and remains controversial. (See Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki for a full discussion.)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


The lived-body is your own body as experienced by yourself, as yourself. Your own body manifests itself to you mainly as your possibilities of acting in the world. It is what lets you reach out and grab something, for instance, but it also, and more importantly, allows for the possibility of changing your point of view. This helps you differentiate one thing from another by the experience of moving around it, seeing new aspects of it (often referred to as making the absent present and the present absent), and still retaining the notion that this is the same thing that you saw other aspects of just a moment ago (it is identical).