Sight beyond sight. Our colour vision stretches from the longer wavelengths we see as red to the shorter wavelengths we see as violet. But ultraviolet vision is fairly common among insects, fish, reptiles and birds, especially those with smaller eyes that filter out less UV light. Bees have excellent UV vision thanks to colour receptors optimised for detecting it, but at the cost of poorer vision at the red end of the spectrum. UV vision is used for different purposes by different species, from kestrels detecting the urine trails of prey to reindeer spotting polar bears. Reindeer were thought rare among mammals in having UV vision, but Ron Douglas of City University London reported this year that many mammals, including hedgehogs, cats, ferrets, seals, pigs and rabbits have lenses that let UV through. A few people can see into the near-UV spectrum. What do they have that the rest of us don't? Well, actually, it's what they don't have. The receptors in our retinas can detect UV but wavelengths shorter than 400 nanometres are normally filtered out by the eye's lens. People who develop cataracts and have their lens replaced with a UV-transparent one sometimes start seeing UV as a bluish or purplish glow. The painter Monet may have started seeing UV after a cataract operation at age 82, influencing his famous series of water lily pictures. From New Scientist
The Foundation's Steering Committee had a kick-off meeting on the 2nd April 2014 in the CoWSNearTheCoast space in Bega. This involved the parents of the 6 science scholarship students at Bega High and Sapphire Coast Anglican College. The scholarship strategy focusses on the ‘non classroom’ elements of getting kids interested in and involved with STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) – extra-curricular activities, parental involvement and mentoring. We discussed what the students had been doing so far – four of them went to science camps over the last school holidays (a CSIRO ‘Bootcamp’ and 3-day ‘Science Experience’ programs at Sydney and Macquarie Unis) and a couple families had also gone to a whole range of exhibitions and venues in Sydney. Several of the kids are about to start CSIRO ‘CREST’ projects, where they choose their own topic and go away and research or build it. They can spend anywhere from 30 hours to 100 hours on the project, depending on what level they want to tackle it. One of the Year 9 students has also just won a place in the ‘Gifted and Talented Discovery Program’ which runs at Sydney Uni in July and October – the first time ever for a Bega Valley student. Everyone is interested in the Mat-Sci-Tec concept that CoWSNearTheCoast are developing – we feel that robotics, computing and UAV’s in particular would be a hit with 14 to 17 year-old kids - but we recognise the real issue of finding a group of volunteers with enough time ... Read More
By: Warwick If you pour a bucket of water into the sea at, say, Brighton on the English coast, how long will it be before the ocean rises at Sydney Heads? And a second question - how long before some of the molecules in that bucket of water end up in the Sydney water?
From Tim and family At the beginning of this year we went to Sydney and visited: Aquarium at Darling Harbour Powerhouse Museum Museum of Human diseases at UNSW (How to survive a Zombie apocalypse exhibition) Madam Tussauds waxworks (to see Albert Einstein !) Mt Annan botanical gardens Plant Bank Dr Who exhibition at the ABC And at the end of last year we also went to Canberra to Questacon.
As everyone knows, Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. That is, Pi = C / D or C= 2 x Pi x r. Pi is an irrational number - one that can never be expressed as a fraction and one whose pattern of digits never repeats. It is infinite and patternless. Many people believe that Pi = 22 / 7 but this is only a very rough approximation and only accurate to 2 decimal places. Even by 480 AD Pi had already been calculated by Zu Chongzhito to 7 decimal places, which is very impressive when you consider that there was not yet trigonometry, calculus or any concept of infinite series. Today, Pi is known accurately to over a trillion digits (using computers of course). As everyone knows, [pmath size=14]pi[/pmath] is the ratio of the circumference of a circle (C) to its diameter (D) [pmath size=14]pi = C/D[/pmath] or [pmath size=14]C = 2 pi r[/pmath] (where r is the radius) [pmath size=14]pi[/pmath] is an irrational number - one that can never be expressed as a fraction and one whose pattern of digits never repeats. It is infinite and patternless Many people believe that [pmath size=14]pi = 22/7[/pmath] but this is only a very rough approximation and only accurate to 2 decimal places. Even by 480 AD [pmath size=14]pi[/pmath] had already been calculated by Zu Chongzhito to 7 decimal places, which is very impressive when you consider that there was not yet trigonometry, ... Read More
Fostering lifelong interest in science is the driving force behind a new scholarship foundation in the Bega Valley. The Sapphire Foundation is the brainchild of Cobargo’s Warwick Adams, former winemaker at Belgrave Park. Mr Adams visited both Bega High School and Sapphire Coast Anglican College last week to present six of the district’s best and brightest students with science scholarships. Those presented were Lachlan Sims and Jade Moxey (SCAC Stage 5), Louise Stewart and Tim Stoddard (BHS Stage 5), and Misko Denasha-Andrew and Garry Prothero (BHS Stage 6). Each Sapphire Foundation scholarship is worth $4000, but rather than hand over money to the students, Mr Adams said he is keen to see students immerse themselves in extra-curricular activities.”... Read More