Sunday, January 28, 2007

Surreal humour

Surreal humour is a form of humour, stylistically linked to the artistic ambitions of the Surrealists, based on bizarre juxtapositions, absurd situations, and nonsense logic. A general element of surreal humour is the non-sequitur, in which one statement is followed by another with no logical progression.

Humour which we might now think surreal has been around at least since the nineteenth century. Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass both use illogic and absurdity for humorous effect. Many of Edward Lear's nonsense stories and poems are also principally surreal in approach. Thus, Lear's "The Story of the Four Little Children Who Went Round the World," is filled with contradictory statements and odd images planned to provoke amusement.

"After a time they saw some land at a distance; and when they came to it, they found it was an island made of water quite bounded by earth. Besides that, it was bordered by evanescent isthmuses with a great Gulf-stream running about all over it, so that it was perfectly beautiful, and contained only a single tree, 503 feet high."

Sunday, January 21, 2007


In medicine, pulmonology is the specialty that deals with diseases of the lungs and the respiratory tract. It is called chest medicine and respiratory medicine in some countries and areas. Pulmonology is generally considered a branch of internal medicine, although it is closely related to intensive care medicine when dealing with patients requiring mechanical ventilation. Surgery of the respiratory tract is generally performed by specialists in cardiothoracic surgery . Chest medicine is not a specialty in itself but is an inclusive term which pertains to the treatment of diseases of the chest and contains the fields of pulmonology, thoracic surgery, and intensive care medicine. Pulmonology is concerned with the diagnosis and treatment of lung diseases, as well as secondary prevention.Physicans specializing in this area are called pulmonologists.

Surgical treatment in generally performed by the thoracic surgeon, generally after primary evaluation by a pulmonologist.Medication is the most important treatment of most diseases of pulmonology, either by inhalation or in oral form.Oxygen therapy is often necessary in severe respiratory disease.When this is insufficient, the patient might require mechanical ventilation.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Oral tradition and notation

Music is often conserved in memory and performance only, handed down orally, or aurally. Then the composer of music is no longer known this music is often classified as "traditional". Different musical traditions have dissimilar attitudes towards how and where to make changes to the original source material, from quite strict, to those which demand improvisation or modification to the music. In the Gambia, West Africa, the history of the country is passed orally through song.

When music is written down, it is generally notated so that there are instructions regarding what should be heard by listeners, and what the musician should do to perform the music. This is referred to as musical information, and the study of how to read notation involves music theory, harmony, the study of performance practice, and in some cases and understanding of historical presentation methods. Written notation varies with style and period of music. In Western Art music, the most common types of written notation are scores, which include all the music parts of an ensemble piece, and parts, which are the music notation for the individual performers or singers. In popular music, jazz, and blues, the regular musical notation is the lead sheet, which notates the melody, chords, lyrics, and structure of the music. Nonetheless, scores and parts are also used in popular music and jazz, mainly in large ensembles such as jazz "big bands."

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical universe, material world or material universe. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The term generally does not include manufactured objects and human interaction unless qualified in ways such as, e.g., "human nature" or "the whole of nature". Nature is also generally distinguished from the spiritual or supernatural. It ranges in scale from the subatomic to the galactic.

The word "nature" derives from the Latin word natura, or "the course of things, natural character."Natura was a Latin translation of the Greek word physis, which originally related to the innate way in which plants and animals grow of their own accord, and to the Greek word for plants generally.The concept of nature as a whole, the physical universe, is a more recent development that gained increasingly wide use with the advent of modern scientific method in the last several centuries.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Climate determinants

Over historic time spans there are a number of static variables that determine climate, including: latitude, altitude, proportion of land to water,and proximity to oceans and mountains. Other climate determinants are more dynamic: The thermohaline circulation of the ocean distributes heat energy between the equatorial and polar regions; other ocean currents do the same between land and water on a more regional scale.

Degree of vegetation coverage affects solar heat absorption, water retention, and rainfall on a regional level. Alteration in the quantity of atmospheric greenhouse gases determines the amount of solar energy retained by the planet, leading to global warming or global cooling. The variables which determine climate are numerous and the interactions complex, but there is general agreement that the broad outlines are understood, at least in so far as the determinants of historical climate change are concerned.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering, genetic modification and gene splicing are terms for the process of manipulating genes, usually outside the organism's normal reproductive process. It involves the isolation, manipulation and reintroduction of DNA into cells or model organisms, usually to express a protein. The aim is to introduce new characteristics or attributes physiologically or physically, such as making a crop resistant to a herbicide, introducing a novel trait, or producing a new protein or enzyme. Examples can include the production of human insulin through the use of modified bacteria, the production of erythropoietin in Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, and the production of new types of experimental mice such as the OncoMouse for research, through genetic redesign.

Since a protein is specified by a segment of DNA called a gene, future versions of that protein can be modified by changing the gene's underlying DNA. One way to do this is to isolate the piece of DNA containing the gene, precisely cut the gene out, and then reintroduce the gene into a different DNA segment. Daniel Nathans and Hamilton Smith received the 1978 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their isolation of restriction endonucleases, which are able to cut DNA at specific sites. Together with ligase, which can join fragments of DNA together, restriction enzymes formed the initial basis of recombinant DNA technology.