Why are scientific names are so difficult?

Standard

If you said you saw a ‘Canis lupus familiaris‘ in your backyard, nobody would know what you were talking about, but if you tell a ‘Dog’, then they would easily know. So why a scientific name is so difficult?

Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a brilliant scientist, established the modern scientific method of ‘binomial nomenclature’, or two names, in which the first word was used to describe the genus and the second, the distinguishing characteristic of a specific living thing, and sometimes the inclusion of the name of the person who discovered it.

At the time of his work, Latin was taught everywhere and was uniquely suitable for this system of naming plants and animals.

Also the Catholic Church (who was also in charge of education) used Latin as a religious and educational language. Therefore, learned men were considered ‘learned’ if they had mastered Latin. Latin was a common language for the world of European Academia.

And most scientist (be it biologist or physicist or chemist or even mathematicians), used Latin to publish their papers. So it is only logical for Carolus Linnaeus to come out with his classification system for living things in Latin or else he would not probably have gained much recognition from the Academia at that time 🙂

It should also be noted that Latin, although widely used, is NOT the language always used for naming organisms. Classical Greek is also used, as well as a combination of Greek and Latin.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Why some unattractive Modern art paintings are highly expensive?

modern art
Standard

Many times in our feed or news posts we have seen few modern art paintings bought worth millions of dollars and thought how come this ‘elementary‘ art-piece could be of so much price. So lets segregate this query into two parts:

Unattractive?

Remember art does not have to be a representation of things. Photos can do that quite well. Hence art is not so limited by things that exist, which may or may not be attractive. And meaning is not the only reason for art. Its a language that acts as a medium between its creator and viewers.

And creating some of those simple looking paintings aren’t as easy as we think. Balance and proportion become very important because simplicity leaves little room for error.

Hugely expensive?

Suppose a simple handkerchief in a shop with price tag USD 2. Now lets suppose hollywood actress Anjelina jolie went by that shop and bought that handkerchief. Undoubtedly the price will shot from 2 to thousands of dollars.

But why? Handkerchief was just a simple piece of clothing. Its because the possession became the deciding factor. Hence in a similar way, paintings can have many reasons to be expensive for e.g;

:: if its painted by a famous Artist (say Picasso)
:: if its from a significant era (say Renaissance)
:: if its a different interpretation of a famous painting (say The Last Supper)
:: if although its simple looking – but offer deep meaning to connoisseurs and many more

So it’s okay if you don’t find some artworks beautiful – as taste is subjective 🙂

(P.S: the featured painting is Ideas and Critics)

 

Can we officially remove silent letters from English words to make it more consistent and save printer cost?

silent
Standard

Yes it does makes sense. However, not only it would be difficult to erase all the silent letters from English, but I think we may lose a great deal culturally and linguistically by doing so (also don’t forget about the spelling bee participants!).

Silent letters though sometimes have no known use but often they,

:: may change the pronunciation of a nearby vowel (e.g.,  mop vs. mope,  at vs. ate). This often drastically changes the meaning, as you can see.

:: may indicate a word’s origin within another language and thereby give clues to its meaning  (e.g., the silent ‘p’ at the start of words like ‘psychology’ reminds us of the Greek origin of the word and the connection to the story of Cupid & Psyche, which hints at the meaning).

But instead of dealing this topic point blank, I am just going to put up a funny anonymous post which I came across many times while browsing www.

TL;Do-R

The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty’s Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, “s” will be used instead of the soft “c.” Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard “c” will be replased with “k”. Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replased by “f”. This will make words like fotograf” 20 persent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent “e”s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” by “z” and “w” by ” v”.

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou”, and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.

Ze drem vil finali kum tru.

And after reading above quoted block, If you feel offended, congrats!. You have qualified ‘Grammar Nazi’ preliminaries 😛

Peace.

Top 5 costliest headphones on Amazon India

headphones
Standard

Usually headphones are not a matter of high end bucks. Instead we go for some good reviewed, nice looks and fair sound quality headphones.
But these five most expensive headphones on Amazon.in, go a step beyond. Though super-expensive, but they offer a combination of luxury build quality, design and, usually, incredible crystal sound.

In order from most expensive to “least”…

1. Hifiman Susvara Over-Ear Full-Size Planar Magnetic Headphone (INR 899,999.00):

  • Sweetly Voiced,Harmonious Sound
  • Acoustically Invisible Stealth Magnets
  • Nanometer Grade
  • Sonic Serenity
  • A special ergonomic design offering superb comfort for extended listening.

2. Focal – Utopia Headphones (INR 599,999.00): 

  • Exclusively intended for low-noise environments and serious listening, Utopia is not designed to plug directly into smartphones. Portable use of this reference headphone requires the use of a DAC and headphone amplifier.
  • Has No Crossover
  • Pure Beryllium M-Shaped Dome Loudspeaker built within Headphones
  • 5Hz to 40kHz frequency response.
  • A 13.1-foot OFC-shielded low-impedance balanced cable, .25-inch Neutrik connector, two shielded Lemo connectors with a self-locking bayonet system, and a magnet-locking carrying case all come standard

3. HIFIMAN HE1000 V2 Over Ear Planar Magnetic Headphone (INR  404,824.00):

  • World’s First Diaphragm in Nanometer Thickness
  • “sounded remarkable and may motivate me to do a lot more headphone listening” -Jim Hannon《The Absolute Sound》
  • Advanced Asymmetrical Magnetic Circuit offering perfect reproduction of live music
  • Ergonomic and comfortable design fit for most people, with greater reliability and durability.
  • Patented “Window Shade” System reduces sound reflection to gain wider sound stage
  • The Industry’s First Aluminum Diaphragm with Ceramic Coating
  • Rigid Diaphragm Edges eliminates Distortion
  • Optimum Sound Quality Achieved Using Computer Aided Engineering
  • Superior High-Resolution Playback
  • Full Basket System Delivers An Energetic, Low-Resonance Sound

  • Soft, comfortable ear pads
  • Housings made from japanese cherry birch and finished with urushi lacquer
  • 25-ohm impedance
  • 2-inch dynamic drivers

Why Swiss cheese has holes?

cheese
Standard

Who doesn’t like cheese except Jerry?, since he loved it ❤
But as shown, he loved a special kind of cheese with holes, popularly known as Swiss cheese.

So why this cheese has holes?

Actually in a late stage of cheese production, a special bacteria releases carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide slowly forms bubbles that develop the holes or also known as “eyes”. Incidentally this is the reaction that gives our cheese its nutty and sweet flavor.

But story doesn’t ends here as per Swiss researchers.
They propose that particulate matter (minute separate particles) may also play a role in the holes’ development and that modern sanitization eliminated debris (such as hay dust in the milk) which played a role in reduced hole size in Swiss cheeses.

Historically, the holes were seen as a sign of imperfection and cheese makers originally tried to avoid them by pressing during production. But in modern times, the holes have become an TSP of the cheese.

In general, the larger the eyes in a Swiss cheese, the more better the flavor because a longer fermentation period gives the bacteria more time to react.

 

Why a boxing ring is a square?

boxing ring
Standard

While growing up (90s kid 🙂 ) we have watched several boxing & WWE matches but most of us never wondered why fighting ground is termed as ‘ring’?

Actually since the ancient times, boxing contests were fought in a roughly drawn circle on the ground. Nobody gave much though about the ground shape, as all were interested in the brawls. Thus the name ring continued up being associated in the modern era.

But not until 1838, when the first square ring was introduced by the Pugilistic Society. That ring was specified as 24 feet (7.3 m) square and bound by two ropes. For these and other reasons, the boxing ring is commonly referred to as the “squared circle”.

Incidentally, many boxing championships have involved experimenting with the shapes like octagon.

So why square shape?

The answer lies in the fact that squares are easier to construct and tend to be more stalwart and offer greater flexibility and support. For instance, although CDs and pizzas are round, CD cases and pizza boxes aren’t.

 

What’s that ‘click’ sound in my camera?

shutter
Standard

Ever wondered what’s that ‘click’ sound every time you snap a picture via your DSLR ?

Its because your camera has shutter, and the electro-mechanical mechanism that moves and stops the action of the camera’s shutter makes that ‘click’ sound. Though most mechanisms make some sound because of the friction and the impact of a sudden start and stop.

shutter

Ok, so why smartphones and similar devices have that sound, do they also have shutter ?

No. People generally prefer a sound cue to know when the photo is done. Hence phones have that ‘click’ sound when they take a picture, even though they do not have an actual shutter.

Usually smartphones do not use physical mechanisms while capturing, but instead they just have an electronic charge-coupled devices constantly capturing visual data and ‘freeze‘ that capture to grab a shot. These cameras often have an option to have an artificial ‘shutter sound’ played by a speaker so that the photographer and/or subject know that the photo was captured.

smartphone

Thus that fake shutter-sound helps your friends know how long they should try their best, and you get your best moments 🙂 .

But it should also be noted that these shutter sounds are not legal in some countries and some places, especially inside holy places, Museums etc. Even in some, they don’t allow using flashes.