Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Horse Whisperer and Legendary Race Horses

Horse Whisperer 
James Bartholomew Cummings 
  born on November 14th 1927,raised in Adelaide, working for his father at the Adelaide stables after completing high school at Marist Brothers, Sacred Heart College.  
 Bart Cummings first experienced the thrill of a Melbourne Cup win at 23 years of age when he strapped the home-bred Comic Court for his father Jim Cummings in 1950.
He took out his own training licence in 1953.
 Bart first hit the headlines when he not only won his first Melbourne Cup in 1965 with Light Fingers, but also went on to train the winners of the two subsequent years, Galilee in 1966 and Red Handed in 1967.  For good measure, he also trained the second placegetters in 1965 and 1966.On Tuesday he lines So You Think up, looking for number 13.
       Bart's 12

Latest News on the legendary Bart Cummings 
  A smiling Cummings left Richmond's Epworth Hospital about 12.45pm today October 31st two days before the big day.The 82-year-old, who is recovering from pneumonia, was admitted to hospital on Thursday.
It was feared the hospital stay would put Cumming's attendance at Tuesday's race in doubt despite the prospect of a record 13th Cup triumph with his latest stable superstar, So You Think. Cummings said from his hospital bed he had every intention of being at Flemington for the race that stops the nation.

Might and Power just from the flying Doriemus

Makybe Diva's Amazing Third Melbourne Cup.

Great Horses of the Past

Scenes from the new Secretariat Movie

   When Secretariat arrived at Saratoga in the summer of 1972, he was a good-looking horse with promise  nothing more. After winning three races in 27 days, he left as one of the leading thoroughbreds in the country.
One year later, he returned as perhaps the greatest thoroughbred of all time. He had swept the Triple Crown with overpowering ease, winning the Belmont by an astonishing 31 lengths.

Secretariat won 16 of 21. His electrifying performance in the Belmont is considered one of sports not just horse racing’s  greatest moments.
Belmont Stakes

Red Rum

     Red Rum is the only horse in the history of the Grand National to win the race three times and on the two occasions that he ran and did not win he came second.
   On this day I'm sure that most of the talk would have been about the defeat of Crisp rather than the win of Red Rum but, 12 months later it wasRed Rum who was carrying the 12st burden and despite that he went on to win successive nationals and the public started a love affair with this chaser the like of which, is only given to a few

So You Think is our tip for this year super horses win the cup and he is on the verge of becoming one.

The Legendary Kingston Towns Three Cox Plates.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Dolphin's Cove of Death

       Japan’s annual slaughter and sale of thousands of dolphins, in the waters off Taiji has began.The gruesome spectacle of dolphins being slaughtered for profit has returned to Taiji.
In a typical hunt the fishermen pursue pods of dolphins across open seas, banging metal poles together beneath the water to confuse their sonars. The animals are driven into a large cove sealed off by nets and herded into secluded inlets to be butchered with knives and spears. They are then loaded on to boats and taken to the quayside to be cut up in a warehouse, the fishermen's work hidden from the outside by heavy shutters.
Dolphin Kill

A deeper knowledge and further information about dolphins is definitively the first step towards better conservation and understanding of these wonderful mammals.They have so many unique characteristics and just recently the bubble ring blowing is another loving gesture from the king of the sea.They are such an endearing part of nature.A gift!
There is a large number of accounts about dolphins helping people since the ancient Greeks.Protecting people in the ocean from the attack of sharks.Leading fisherman back home through thick fog.Alot of us would remember Flipper on our TV screens in the sixties.This maybe taking it a little far but they are a gentle animal and one we should respect and protect.

Dolphin and their Halo's


 Feeding Rainbow Beach

Flipper Theme

Everyone loves the king of the sea,
Ever so kind and gentle is he,
Tricks he will do when children appear,
And how they laugh when he's near

     Japan is called the “Land of the Rising Sun”

  It is known for leading the world in innovation and technology, for  moving forward into the future and for  blazing the way with new trends and ideas.
Japan is also a land of tradition proud of its ancient cultural background. Sometimes, it holds on to ancient traditions and customs, which seem to contradict the country’s efforts to lead the way into the future. It is this blend of the old and new which makes Japan the interesting and intriguing place it is today.
Unfortunately, some of Japan’s ancient traditions are still being practiced .The dolphin slaughter is a tradition that should cease.
        The small town of Taiji  is a place of picturesque beauty and hidden horrors. Taiji could easily be viewed as just another quaint, historic Japanese village. However, this is not the case.At the beginning of September every year dolphins and small whales are corralled by fisherman and slaughtered in the coves of Taiji .
      Hundreds of dolphins are killed  between September and March. Fishermen slay the dolphins by driving a pin into their necks, by slashing their throats with knives or by spearing them with long harpoons from their boats. In addition, members of the international dolphin display industry attend these dolphin slaughters to purchase show-quality dolphins for use in captive dolphin shows and dolphin swim programs then the dolphins not selected are slaughtered. This is the largest scale dolphin slaughter in the world and unfortunately very few know it even takes place.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Natures Amazing Firefly and Stem Cell Research

      Their ability to make light is known as bioluminescence. Both males and females have light producing organs composed of cells called photocytes, which contain a chemical called luciferin. An enzyme known as luciferase acts on luciferin that combines with oxygen to generate light in the firefly’s tail.         
  Scientists have used luciferase in the analysis of cells. By injecting luciferase into specific cells within an animal’s body, they are distinguishable from other ones because of their glow. For instance, by injecting cancer cells with luciferase, researchers can monitor progress in treatments, as cells begin to disappear. Apart from cancer research, firefly luciferase has played a significant role in the areas of muscular dystrophy, heart disease, urology, antibiotic testing, and wastewater treatment and blood banks have used the luciferase enzyme to test the quality of red blood cells within their stock.

Fireflies Stem Cell Research.

      In University of Central Florida ,Steven Ebert engineered stem cells with the same enzyme that makes fireflies glow. The "firefly" stem cells glow brighter and brighter as they develop into healthy heart muscle, allowing doctors to track whether and where the stem cells are working.
    Researchers are keenly interested in stem cells because they typically morph into the organs where they are transplanted. But why and how fast they do it is still a mystery. Now Ebert's cells give researchers the ability to see the cells in action with the use of a special camera lens that picks up the glow under a microscope.
      If doctors can figure out exactly how the cells repair and regenerate cardiac tissue, stem cell therapies could offer hope to more than 17.6 million Americans who suffer from coronary disease. The glow of the enzyme also means therapies would no longer require cutting into patients' chest cavities to monitor the healing.Now that scientists can track the stem cells, Ebert said he hopes to use them in disease models to determine how they heal a damaged heart and what conditions are most suitable for the stems cells to thrive.


 Firefly and their Mating

    New research finds that females of the firefly species Photinus ignitus choose males based on flash pattern in their taillights. A long burning flash means the male can offer a high quality nuptial gift, a sperm package high in nutrients.
   Females that receive high quality nuptial gifts lay lots more eggs, University firefly researcher Sara Lewis said there is a benefit for females that choose one of these males.
   But males of a related species, Photinus greeni, may not be so honest. The greeni males with the most desirable flash pattern do not provide the best nuptial gift.
  The question now is whether the males are being purposely dishonest or signaling something else, Lewis said. "Females definitely notice the variation. They're still being choosey"
     Male fireflies are built to mate  basically their whole anatomy is dedicated to producing the sperm package. Making a good sperm package requires loads of energy, and most males can only produce about 10 in their short lifetime. The entire purpose of a male firefly's life is to mate, pretty much with any female that will accept them.
       Female fireflies need to be choosey  they only live for two weeks in their adult stage and need to make those two weeks count. In this small period of time  females will mate with multiple males and lay about 100 eggs.
 Fireflies in a Jar

       History of Firefly
   Fireflies have served as cheap lights in some countries, such as China and Japan, where students once used them as reading lights. The Brazilians made gourd lanterns from them and tied them in their hair and around their ankles to guide them at night.
       Throughout history people from different cultures have been fascinated by fireflies. European sailors returning from the South Pacific talked of “fields of fairies” they had seen in the islands. Many Native Americans believed they were magical. The Cherokee told a legend of fireflies leading a young brave to his lost daughter after a terrible storm.     
And today the Japanese, having a deep respect for nature, hold firefly festivals hotari matsuri in their honor. Aside from the romantic myths that surround these luminous insects there are numerous scientific discoveries that we can share as we engage in chasing fireflies.


Darkness fills a damp summer night,
Nature’s lanterns begin to take flight,
Crickets chirping, the nocturnal awake,
Nightfall in action until the day breaks,
Fireflies staging a brilliant show,
Festival of lights in a grassy meadow.
Children rush to this sacred place,
Wondrous looks on each little face.
Searching ever carefully for a twinkle and flash,
snatching beetles from mid-air, away again they dash.
Catch them, count them, one, two, three...
Flickering in a jar for all to see.
A call in the distance, time to fly,
Release the luminaries back to the sky.