Forget dog and ghost whisperers, Andre Hartman takes the cake with his current title: shark whisperer. Yes it is as cool as it sounds and we have the photo to prove it.
Off the coast of South Africa, near Dyer Island, Hartman greets a great white shark through the water by placing his hand on its snout to put it in a trance and make it open its mouth, the Telegraph reports in their “Pictures of the day” gallery.
Hartman, a South African diving guide, had his first encounter with a great white shark in 1977 according to an article by X-Ray Magazine.
“It tried to bite me! I was spear fishing at the time and carrying a lot of fish,” he told the magazine. “It came in and tried to take me. I saw it coming, so I gave it the gun. It didn’t like it, so it swam away.”
Years later, the Discovery Channel featured him in the documentary “Great White Sharks: Uncaged” where he swam unprotected with a group of the sharks.
Doug Perrine, the American photographer who was able to capture the classic moment, explained Hartman’s technique behind the hypnosis to the Daily Mail.
“This part of the shark’s body is loaded with nerve endings, and the creature’s sensory system became overloaded from the stimulus,” Perrine told the Daily Mail. “The shark seemed to enter a pleasant, but confused state where it was dreamily seeking the source of the stimulus. So there was no trigger for the shark to attack anything.”
‘I was there to obtain pictures of a shark raising its heads out of the water and opening its mouth – as Andre was able to produce,’ explained Doug.
‘The shark was attracted by the scent of the bait that is put out. Andre reached down and tickled the underside of the shark’s snout, while gently lifting up. …
… Great white sharks are classified as a vulnerable species because of the threat to their food by fishing.
They are also the victims of the Asian shark fin industry – where these mighty hunters are killed for just a small part of their body – their distinctive shark’s fin.
These are cut off their bodies and turned into soup, which can cost up to £100 a bowl in China.
Doug explained how Andre perfected his amazing technique for ‘hypnotising’ sharks.
‘Andre is a former spear-fisherman, who had encounters with great white sharks while free-diving and spearing fish in the waters of Cape Province, South Africa,’ said Doug.
‘Although initially terrified, like most people, by the appearance of these massive predators, over years of observation he gradually realised that they are intelligent, curious animals.
‘He understood that sharks are not out hunting people, and it is possible to interact with them with little danger once you understand how they communicate.’ …
Archive for April 21st, 2012
Posted by Xeno on April 21, 2012
Posted by Xeno on April 21, 2012
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall will display the 4500-year-old Nebra Sky Disc for the first time in its new exhibition, 2012 BC: Cornwall and the Sea in the Bronze Age. A single bronze disc decorated with gold symbols that represent the sun, moon, stars and a boat, the Nebra Sky Disc is the world’s oldest representation of the cosmos.
It reveals a prehistoric view of the world that before its discovery had never been known to exist, and has single-handedly reformed our understanding of ancient European history.
Amazingly, the disc has local roots: the gold and tin components have been traced back to the Cornish mines of Canon Down.
The Nebra Sky Disc shows that in prehistoric times Cornwall’s mines were a vital resource for bronze production, which required 10% tin and 90% copper. Both materials are found in abundance throughout the county.
The 2012BC exhibition goes on to trace Cornwall’s mining and shipbuilding heritage further back than ever before, revealing the extent of Cornish trade in Bronze Age Europe.
Other artefacts displayed include tin and copper ingots that were rescued from a Bronze Age shipwreck in Salcombe. They are thought to be the first evidence in the UK of metals being transported by boat.
Also central to the exhibition is the live reconstruction of the oldest boat ever found in Western Europe. The watertight sewn-plank vessel will be built using replica Bronze Age tools, yew tree fibre stitching and moss caulking.
16 metres long and made of oak, the boat will help visitors explore the ancient craft of Cornish shipbuilding. The world’s leading expert in Bronze Age boats, Professor Robert Van de Noort, will be on hand to lead a team of archaeoligists and engineers through the construction.
Jenny Wittamore, Assitant Curator at National Maritime Museum Cornwall, expressed her excitement for the exhibition, saying, “We’re honoured to be part of this ground-breaking work and look forward to our visitors rediscovering Cornwall’s Bronze Age past.”
The Maritime Museum Cornwall encourages visitors to be involved in a hands-on approach to learning about experimental archaeology techniques. They also offer a series of academic lectures to the public.
The 2012BC: Cornwall and the Sea in the Bronze Age exhibition opens at National Maritime Museum Cornwall on 13 April and runs until 30 September 2012.
Posted by Xeno on April 21, 2012
When people think of space technologies, many think of high-tech solar panels, complex and powerful propulsion systems or sophisticated, electronic guidance systems. Another critical piece of spaceflight technology, however, is an ultra stable, highly accurate device for timing — essential to NASA’s success on deep-space exploration missions. NASA is preparing to fly a Deep Space Atomic Clock, or DSAC, demonstration that will revolutionize the way we conduct deep-space navigation by enabling a spacecraft to calculate its own timing and navigation data in real time. This one-way navigation technology would improve upon the current two-way system in which information is sent to Earth, requiring a ground team to calculate timing and navigation and then transmit it back to the spacecraft. A real-time, onboard navigation capability is key to improving NASA’s capabilities for executing time critical events, such as a planetary landing or planetary “flyby,” when signal delays are too great for the ground to interact with the spacecraft during the event.
“Adopting DSAC on future NASA missions will increase navigation and radio science data quantity by two to three times, improve data quality by up to 10 times and reduce mission costs by shifting toward a more flexible and extensible one-way radio navigation architecture,” said Todd Ely, principal investigator of the Deep Space Atomic Clock Technology Demonstration at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The project is part of NASA’s Technology Demonstration Missions program, managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., for NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist in Washington.
The one-way deep space navigation enabled by DSAC uses the existing Deep Space Network more efficiently than the current two-way system, thus expanding the network’s capacity without adding any new antennas or their associated costs. This is important, since future human exploration of deep space will demand more tracking from the deep space network than can currently be delivered with the existing system.
“The Deep Space Atomic Clock flight demonstration mission will advance this laboratory-qualified technology to flight readiness and will make a practical atomic clock available to a variety of space missions,” Ely said.
Ground-based atomic clocks have long been the cornerstone of most space vehicle navigation because they provide root data necessary for precise positioning. DSAC will deliver the same stability and accuracy for spacecraft exploring the solar system. In much the same way that modern Global Positioning Systems, or GPS, use one-way signals to enable terrestrial navigation services, the Deep Space Atomic Clock will provide a similar capability in deep-space navigation — with such extreme accuracy that researchers will be required to carefully account for the effects of relativity, or the relative motion of an observer and an observed object, as impacted by gravity, space and time. Clocks in GPS-based satellite, for example, must be corrected to account for this effect, or their navigational fixes begin to drift.
In the laboratory setting, the Deep Space Atomic Clock’s precision has been refined to permit drift of no more than one nanosecond in 10 days, due to the work of NASA engineers at JPL. Over the past 20 years, they have been steadily improving and miniaturizing the mercury-ion trap atomic clock, preparing it to operate in the harsh environment of deep space. The updated clock is a miniature mercury-ion atomic device the DSAC team will fly as a payload on an Earth orbiter in a one-year experiment to validate its operability in space and its usefulness for one-way navigation.
“A potential use for DSAC on a future mission would be in a follow-up to the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter,” Ely said. NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter launched to Mars in 2005 on a mission that included a quest to learn more about the distribution and history of Mars’ water — frozen, liquid or vapor. The orbiter completed its primary science phase in 2008 and continues to work in an extended mission. Atomic clocks are the most accurate timekeeping method known and are used as the primary standard for international time distribution services — to control the frequency of television broadcasts, and in global navigation satellite systems such as the Global Positioning System. …
Posted by Xeno on April 21, 2012
It is hoped the Dundee device could improve ultrasound surgery
Scientists claim to have invented their own version of Doctor Who’s famous sonic screwdriver.
The Dundee University researchers have created a machine which uses ultrasound to lift and rotate a rubber disc floating in a cylinder of water.
It is said to be the first time ultrasound waves have been used to turn objects rather than simply push them.
The study could help make surgery using ultrasound techniques more precise, the physicists said.
Surgeons use ultrasound to treat a range of conditions without having to cut open a patient.
The ability to steer ultrasound waves to the precise spot where they are needed could make those treatments even more effective.
The ultrasound waves could also be used to guide a drug capsule through the body and activate it, for instance right inside a tumour.
Ultrasound waves could already be made to push objects and scientists believed they could also turn them – but the Dundee University team claims to have now proved it.
They used energy from an ultrasound array to form a beam that can both carry momentum to push away an object in its path and, by using a beam shaped like a helix or vortex, cause the object to rotate.
Dr Mike MacDonald, of the Institute for Medical Science and Technology (IMSAT) at Dundee, said: “This experiment not only confirms a fundamental physics theory but also demonstrates a new level of control over ultrasound beams which can also be applied to non-invasive ultrasound surgery, targeted drug delivery and ultrasonic manipulation of cells.
“The sonic screwdriver device is also part of the EU-funded nanoporation project where we are already starting to push the boundaries of what ultrasound can do in terms of targeted drug delivery and targeted cellular surgery.
“It is an area that has great potential for developing new surgical techniques, among other applications, something which Dundee is very much at the forefront of.