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Posts Tagged ‘compensation’

Take the case of flora and fauna in any region. They cannot do much to modify their surroundings. We see however from various eco-habitats that harsh conditions do not prevent their onward development. Nature is dynamic and have myriad agencies like wind rain sunshine for example to control and push forward the cause of life forms. Laws of Nature are impartial and allow life forms make the best of circumstances arising out of the cosmos within which universes follow same laws. This being the case flora and fauna must depend on itself and other life forms for their survival. If trees are impossible these must be scaled down to minimise the rigours as we shall see in the case of the Tundra biome.

The term tundra actually comes from the Finnish word ‘tunturia‘ which means ‘treeless plain’. Although most biomes on earth are covered in trees, the tundra is known for its lack of trees. The tundra has very few trees due to several factors. First, the short summer season results in a short growing season, which makes it difficult for trees to grow larger. The persistent and strong winds also make it difficult for large trees to survive due to damage caused by the wind. The high winds dry the surface of the land and create a colder environment. The winds also move dust and snow around the land.

The trees that can survive in the tundra are often small, which reduces the damage caused by wind and makes it possible for these tress to be covered in snow during the winter. Although it would seem that being covered in snow would make the trees colder, in fact, the snow acts as insulation for the trees and helps them stay warmer during the winter months.The plants that can grow here are dwarf shrubs, grasses, mosses, and lichens. 

Other plants of the tundra also have adaptations that help them survive. During winter months, many plants go dormant to tolerate the cold temperatures. When plants go dormant they are still alive, but they are not actively growing. By going dormant during the winter, plants are able to save energy and use it during more favorable conditions, like warmer summer months. During the summer, the top layer of the soil thaws slightly, and plants have adapted to take advantage of this change in soil temperature and of this short growing season. Plants grow rapidly during the short summer season and they flower more quickly.

Some plants have developed more specific adaptations for survival. The flowers of some plants increase their heat efficiency by slowly moving during the day to position themselves in a direction where they can catch the most rays from the sun. Other plants have protective coverings such as thick hairs that help protect them from wind, cold and desiccation, which is also known as extreme drying. Although in most environments, plants drop old leaves, in the tundra some plants retain old leaves to increase survival. By retaining old leaves, the plant conserves nutrients and the leaves provide protection from the elements of the environment such as wind and cold.

Additionally, the *permafrost makes it difficult for roots to penetrate the soil and create a strong support base. The cold temperature of the permafrost also makes decomposition slower, which limits the amount of nutrients being cycled through the environment.

Animals Of The Tundra

Due to the harsh conditions of the tundra biome, there are only certain animals that can survive in this environment. There are a few large species, such as musk oxen and caribou, that live in the tundra, but most animals are smaller in size. Some of the most common small animals in the tundra include lemmings, voles and shrews. Due to the large number of small rodents and mammals, predators such as arctic foxes and snowy owls also inhabit the tundra.

benny

*Due to extremely cold temperatures that last most of the year, the layer of ground just below the surface stays permanently frozen. This frozen layer of ground is called permafrost.

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One of the most distinctive physical features of the human brain is the fact that the cortex is divided into two hemispheres. The main connection between the two halves is a thick bundle of fibers called the corpus callosum. This is no quiet lane, it’s a major freeway constituting around 200 million neural tracts.

In an increasingly rare procedure, the callosum is sliced as a radical treatment for epilepsy. People who receive this treatment are referred to colloquially as split-brain patients and lab tests reveal profound effects on their mental functioning. In many ways, it’s as if the surgery leaves their mind divided in two.

A new report presents the case of an elderly gentleman, referred to as H.W., who aged 88 presented at a clinic complaining of recent intermittent problems controlling his left hand and some mild memory difficulties. Preliminary tests found him to be high functioning. But when the researchers – a team led by Natalie Brescian – scanned H.W.’s brain, they made a surprising discovery. He had no corpus callosum. The main channel between his two brain hemispheres was completely missing.

The medical name for H.W.’s rare condition is agenesis of the corpus callosum, meaning that he was born with this structure missing. Despite of this he’d led a normal, independent life – first in the military and later as a flower delivery man. Until recently, he appeared to have suffered no significant psychological or neurological effects of his unusual brain. The problems with his left hand, H.W. said, were new.

Brescian and her colleagues conducted comprehensive neuropsych tests on H.W. and on most he excelled or performed normally. He did display memory problems and also some difficulties with fine motor control, especially when using both hands at once, and drawing. These issues, especially of motor control, are likely related to his congenital [from birth] condition, but they may also result from age-related neurological changes. The main message, though, is H.W.’s remarkable high-functioning, and his apparently unaffected life.

How can such a profound brain abnormality have so little functional consequence? The corpus callosum is not the only connection between the hemispheres, but it is by far the most important. “This case study underscores the plasticity of the developing brain,” the researchers said. Their theory is that the “congenital absence of the corpus callosum stimulates early cerebral organization and the development of new or stronger stronger connections compensating for the losses.

Nature must surely play a part in repairing damages considering there are great many accidents owing to circumstances of the very planet we live in. Earliest cosmic impact that wrenched the earth a fiery ball from the Sun gives it a slight tilt. Seasons owe to it. Even here some parts are away from the Sun to be called inhospitable.

Take the case of the tundra biome It is called cold desert where the harshness of desert and coldness of Arctic region are upon any life form that must survive there. How do they still? (To be Continued)

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Doctors in China were surprised to find that a young woman who had lived a normal life for more than two decades was actually missing an important part of her brain, according to a new report of her case.

The 24-year-old’s strange condition was discovered when she went to doctors because of a month long bout of nausea and vomiting. The patient told the doctors she had also experienced dizziness her entire life. She didn’t start walking until she was four and had never been able to walk steadily.

When the doctors scanned the woman’s brain, they found she had no cerebellum, a region of the brain thought to be crucial for walking and other movements. Instead, the scans showed a large hole filled with cerebrospinal fluid.

“CT and MRI scans revealed no remnants of any cerebellar tissues, verifying complete absence of the cerebellum,” the doctors wrote in the report, published Aug. 22 in the journal Brain.

“It shows that the young brain tends to be much more flexible or adaptable to abnormalities,” said Dr. Raj Narayan, chair of neurosurgery at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York, who wasn’t involved with the woman’s case. “When a person is either born with an abnormality or at a very young age loses a particular part of the brain, the rest of the brain tries to reconnect and to compensate for that loss or absence,” Narayan said.

This remarkable ability of the brain is thought to decline with age. “As we get older, the ability of the brain to tolerate damage is much more limited,” Narayan said. “So, for example, in a 60-year-old person, if I took the cerebellum out, they would be severely impaired.” A baby falling over its head is not same as an old man falling in the bath room hitting head first.

(ack: livescience,Sept.11)

benny

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The time I was in the Constellation CTA579 I had a strange encounter with a cat. I remember it all too clearly. It was a morning and I was in the doghouse counting my blessings having nothing to do. I heard strange sounds. Someone was catfooting around and I sneezed. I knew the cat’s fur was flying around. Being left to yourself in doghouse most of the time you know these things by sixth sense. I was grounded because I took a liking for the postman’s calf the evening before. My master thought a dog that missed a burglar at the job was bad; but to mistake a postman for a bone was worse. Oh I am digressing.

The cat seeing me hollered,’Be prepared for the Armageddon! right now.’ He had an assault rifle and he was positively grinning. The Cheshire cat could not have done better. Seeing my bored look froze him. He waved his AR-15 to say he had everything under control. He just said ‘Hi Kiddo!’

It made me see red. Imagine being insulted by a cat! He was not even a ginger cat; nor did have boots. I merely said “I am Fido!’ There fell a painful silence. The cat was feeling nervous looking sillier by the minute. Whereas being grounded I thought it was left to the cat to make the first move. No way. The cat was shaking all over and had no nerve to twitch even a muscle. Meanwhile a parrot circled above us and said, ‘ Let me sort out this stand-off.”
I showed some misgivings. ‘Trust me, I know how to solve this. I have represented the UN many times over, negotiating. Consensus and all that.’

So I said,’ this cat has some problem. He has his barbie doll and he has been customizing it since he bought it. ‘ That was a mistake. Mr. TriPolly from Libya knew all about assault rifles and he was in a rapid fire patter telling about the rifle, now almost slipping from the cat’s paw. I heard him  say  it was the civilian version of the military’s M-16 and M-4, a logical choice for anyone whose goal was to kill a lot of people in a short time because of their ability to rapidly fire multiple high-velocity rounds.’

I was catching on fast and I asked,’ how many rounds?’

TriPolly piped,’ It has high-capacity magazines, which feed 20 or 30 rounds at a fast pace.’ He said,’pity it is likely to jam.’

I nudged the cat to ask, ‘Did you hear that, catgut?’

 

The cat was now very maudlin. The rifle dropped out of his paw by its own weight. I took it and passed to him, asking him to hold steady. The cat took up,’ but I was told it is very therapeutic. Whole day I could change stocks, put lasers on my barbie dolls,  put locks on them,”As the cat went on narrating it the color was coming back to his eyes.  “It’s just endless. It’s like building a custom car. You can just accessorize it to your own personal taste.” He went into a nervous giggle and said, ‘Aha, see my doll, pink, chrome-plated AR-15. Isn’t she a beaut?’

“It’s blinged out pretty good.”I said. ‘I will tell you what I will do.’ I was for burying it as if it were a bone.’

The cat was horrified! “what I will do with time hanging on my hands? It is worse than death. It is an assault into my personal liberty!’

I said, ‘improve your mind, learn to think straight, Catgut, even playing with a ball of wool would be better.’

TriPolly was sure the cat could learn some facts. Learning to count was one way of sharpening his brain,he said, ‘In this constellation we had 300 million by census of the year of Independence. We have had ten years since then. Liberty to do as we please. We kill thirty million per year.  We have not seen any births since our women are free not to disfigure their bodies. What should be our population this year?

While the cat was wresting with the mental maths I whispered to TriPolly, ‘How come we have still  a population of 10 million not counting the number children?’

The bird shot back. ‘We live in a bad neighborhood. South of the border. You know what I mean?’ When I looked around the cat was already moving away unable to keep his gray matter together for long. Poor  Catgut! liberty was killing him inside. ‘Leave the moron to his liberty!’

benny

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Evidence from recent brain-imaging experiments indicates that blind people’s brains harness the same visual cortex for getting their way around. Naturally question arises why use it if one is blind? “When blind people read Braille using touch, the sensory data is being sent to and processed in the visual cortex,” said Morton Heller, a psychologist who studies spatial cognition and blindness at Eastern Illinois University. “Using touch, they get a sense of space” — and the relative locations of the raised dots that from Braille letters — “that’s not visual, it’s just spatial.”
For blind people who are adept at echolocation, sound information routes through the visual cortex as well. Their brains use echoes to generate spatial maps, which are sometimes so detailed that they enable mountain biking, playing basket ball etc.,
Sighted people visualize the surrounding world by detecting borders between areas rich in different wavelengths of light, which we see as different colors. Gabias who is blind from birth builds pictures using his sense of touch, and by listening to the echoes of clicks of his tongue and taps of his cane as these sounds bounce off objects in his surroundings, a technique called echolocation.
“There’s plenty of imagery that goes on all the time in blind people,” he told Life’s Little Mysteries. “It just isn’t visual.”
Gabias is an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia who conducts research on perceptual and cognitive aspects of blindness. His personal and professional experience leads him to believe that the brains of blind people work around the lack of visual information, and find other ways to achieve the same, vitally important result: a detailed 3D map of space.
The brain region neuroscientists normally think of as the “visual” cortex, rather than being left to languish, plays a key role in the blind’s mental mapping process.
In sighted people, visual information first goes to the visual cortex, which is located in the occipital lobe at the back of the brain. From there, it goes to the parietal lobe, sometimes referred to as the “where system” because it generates awareness of a sensed object’s location. Next, the information is routed to the temporal lobe, also known as the “what system” because it identifies the object.(ack:LiveScience.com/Natalie Wolchover-Oct 3,’12)
Is this a compensatory mechanism by which the loss of sight in a person is given another option to be on spatial mode?
I remember the case of Louis Pasteur who lost power of speech after a stroke. He seems to have created new speech areas in his brain. I would think there is a compensatory mechanism in the universe that gives every life form and species ways to compensate their inadequacies. Call it Natural selection or evolutionary triggering mechanism.
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Earlier the bottom line was that energy is neither created nor destroyed. Now we know energy is borrowed and through the entire universe there is a kind of barter system going on by which law of Negation and Law of Compensation work at tandem to give all life forms their comeuppance and rewards. We sense from our own situation what are the possibilities and if we work out our hunches lo and behold we find new grounds in spite of frustrating failures. Alfred Adler was the first to describe this. In Natural World also we see this. How dogs, eagles dolphins make sense of the world are different and if such variety has helped each species we may think such compensation is not isolated or rare.
benny

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On the festival eve the slaves gathered together for the Happy Hour, a custom that the master had allowed on special occasions. There they sat around reclining on boards. Before them were plates of meat, vegetables, dry fruits and cheese set on tables. Of course there were plenty of wine to drink. Aesop sat between two slaves who had a running feud between them only put under the lid because of their master. Here they were drinking merrily and trading insults while Aesop sat between. Archilochus who looked after the cellar kept at it while Bolus returned insult for insult. At one point Archilochus hit the floor stone drunk. Instantly Bolus took over and gently guided him out and helped to get over the effects of the drink. It surprised Aesop and he asked Bolus when he returned to the drink. Bolus explained he knew the limit of his enemy. “He can hold it only so much, no more.”
Seeing his puzzled expression he added, “I am subject to fits. When it comes he is the only one who know the signs and he sees to that I do not hurt myself.” Later when Aesop narrated the incident Hesiod said, “It is only good sense to see your best interests above what differences you may have with others.”
(Selected from The Life of Aesop)
benny

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All life forms are of equal weight in context of Oneness of Things. Thus a man may be felled by a virus strain while a woolly mammoth could be brought down by a gnat. Size is of no consequence.
Natural selection is where each species have succeeded in compensating their inadequacies in other areas at every turn on account of  their success in making opportunities to their advantage.
Representational dispensation in the lexicon of Nature gives rise to two laws, namely law of deprivation and law of compensation.
benny

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