Taxidermy, wild life, scientific discoveries, and guns.
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Background Illustrations provided by: http://edison.rutgers.edu/
Reblogged from lee-enfeel  116 notes

historicalfirearms:

Blake Rifle 

The Blake Rifle was one of a number of designs submitted to the US Army’s 1892 rifle trails which sought a replacement for the venerable Springfield M1873 ‘trapdoor’.   Designed by John H. Blake the rifle was one of only a handful of American-made rifles offered for the trials. Chambered in a rimless .30 calibre cartridge called .30 Blake which was a rimless development of the .30-40 Krag round.  The rifle fed from a 7-round rotary magazine.  The rifle was patented by Blake in May 1893, but the patent was not granted until July 1898. 

The rifle’s action cocked on opening, much like a Mauser action, and was locked by four lugs at the front of the bolt which seated into the receiver and was one of a number of bolt-action rifles submitted to the trial. Blake’s rifle was one of the more promising private designs submitted with many others being single shot trapdoor designs with little improvement over the M1873.  The Blake rifle faced competition from a number of other designs including the tube-magazine fed Chaffee-Reece which had been rejected during trials in the 1880s and several lever-action Savage rifles and the Danish Krag-Jorgensen which fed from a side loading rotary magazine.  By 1892, the US Army was seeking a bolt-action repeating rifle which could be single-loaded while a magazine could be held in reserve.  As such the Savage and many other designs were discounted immediately.

Compared to some its competitors the well balanced Blake rifle was promising.  However, its most interesting feature was its downfall.  The 7-round rotary magazine contained an aluminium ‘spool’ which was inserted into the magazine through a hinged door in the bottom of the receiver (see image #6).  It was intended that troops would carry a number of pre-loaded spools much as chargers and clips were later carried. 
On the left-hand side of the receiver the rifle has a magazine cut-off lever which was marked “SINGLE” to “RAPID”.   When ‘Rapid’ was selected the cycling of the bolt after firing rotated the spool and brought the next round into the chamber.  When ‘Single’ was selected the lever moved the magazine spool to a position between two cartridges and disconnected the spool rotating pawl. Sadly the rifle board decided that the rifle was unfit for service because of its unusual feed mechanism.  Instead the less complicated rotary magazine of the Danish Krag-Jorgensen was selected and adopted as the M1892.

Several years later in 1894, Blake submitted his rifle design to US Navy’s rifle trials however, his rifle lost out to James Paris Lee's box magazine design which became the M1895 Lee Navy.
While the Blake Rifle was not adopted by the US Army it was produced commercially in limited numbers.  It was offered in a number of calibres including 8mm Mauser and 6mm Lee.  Production ended in 1909, with well under 1,000 being made. 

Sources:

Images 1-4 Source

Image Five Source

Image Six Source

The Rifle Story, J. Walter, (2006)

The Blake Infantry Rifle (source)
Reblogged from mindblowingscience  58 notes
mindblowingscience:

Human brain gene Foxp2 makes mice smarter in some ways

Although it’s far from the sort of brain transplant beloved by science fiction enthusiasts, scientists have taken one step in that direction: they have spliced a key human brain gene into mice.
In the first study designed to assess how partially “humanizing” brains of a different species affects key cognitive functions, scientists reported on Monday that mice carrying a human gene associated with language learned new ways to find food in mazes faster than normal mice.
By isolating the effects of one gene, the work sheds light on its function and hints at the evolutionary changes that led to the unique capabilities of the human brain.
For the study, scientists used hundreds of mice genetically engineered to carry the human version of Foxp2, a gene linked to speech and language. In a 2009 study, mice carrying human Foxp2 developed more-complex neurons and more-efficient brain circuits.
Building on that, neuroscientists led by Christiane Schreiweis and Ann Graybiel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology trained mice to find chocolate in a maze. The animals had two options: use landmarks like lab equipment and furniture visible from the maze (“at the T-intersection, turn toward the chair”) or by the feel of the floor (“smooth, turn right;” “nubby, turn left”).

Mice with the human gene learned the route as well by seven days as regular mice did by 11, scientists reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Summary of the paper in PNAS
Surprisingly, however, when the scientists removed all the landmarks in the room, so mice could only learn by the feel-of-the-floor rule, the regular rodents did as well as the humanized ones. They also did just as well when the landmarks were present but the floor textiles were removed.
It was only when mice could use both learning techniques that those with the human brain gene excelled.
Language gene may increase cognitive flexibility 
That suggested, Graybiel said, that what the human gene does is increase cognitive flexibility: it lets the brain segue from remembering consciously in what’s called declarative learning (“turn left at the gas station”) to remembering unconsciously (take a right once the floor turns from tile to carpet).
Unconscious, or procedural, learning is the kind the feel-of-the-floor cue produced: the mice didn’t have to consciously think about the meaning of rough or smooth. They felt, they turned - much as people stop consciously thinking about directions on a regular route and navigate automatically.
"No one knows how the brain makes transitions from thinking about something consciously to doing it unconsciously," Graybiel said. "But mice with the human form of Foxp2 did much better."
If Foxp2 produces the cognitive flexibility to switch between forms of learning, that may help explain its role in speech and language.
When children learn to speak, they transition from consciously mimicking words they hear to speaking automatically. That suggests that switching from declarative to procedural memory, as the humanized mice did so well thanks to Foxp2, “is a crucial part of the process,” Graybiel said.

mindblowingscience:

Human brain gene Foxp2 makes mice smarter in some ways

Although it’s far from the sort of brain transplant beloved by science fiction enthusiasts, scientists have taken one step in that direction: they have spliced a key human brain gene into mice.

In the first study designed to assess how partially “humanizing” brains of a different species affects key cognitive functions, scientists reported on Monday that mice carrying a human gene associated with language learned new ways to find food in mazes faster than normal mice.

By isolating the effects of one gene, the work sheds light on its function and hints at the evolutionary changes that led to the unique capabilities of the human brain.

For the study, scientists used hundreds of mice genetically engineered to carry the human version of Foxp2, a gene linked to speech and language. In a 2009 study, mice carrying human Foxp2 developed more-complex neurons and more-efficient brain circuits.

Building on that, neuroscientists led by Christiane Schreiweis and Ann Graybiel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology trained mice to find chocolate in a maze. The animals had two options: use landmarks like lab equipment and furniture visible from the maze (“at the T-intersection, turn toward the chair”) or by the feel of the floor (“smooth, turn right;” “nubby, turn left”).

Mice with the human gene learned the route as well by seven days as regular mice did by 11, scientists reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Surprisingly, however, when the scientists removed all the landmarks in the room, so mice could only learn by the feel-of-the-floor rule, the regular rodents did as well as the humanized ones. They also did just as well when the landmarks were present but the floor textiles were removed.

It was only when mice could use both learning techniques that those with the human brain gene excelled.

Language gene may increase cognitive flexibility

That suggested, Graybiel said, that what the human gene does is increase cognitive flexibility: it lets the brain segue from remembering consciously in what’s called declarative learning (“turn left at the gas station”) to remembering unconsciously (take a right once the floor turns from tile to carpet).

Unconscious, or procedural, learning is the kind the feel-of-the-floor cue produced: the mice didn’t have to consciously think about the meaning of rough or smooth. They felt, they turned - much as people stop consciously thinking about directions on a regular route and navigate automatically.

"No one knows how the brain makes transitions from thinking about something consciously to doing it unconsciously," Graybiel said. "But mice with the human form of Foxp2 did much better."

If Foxp2 produces the cognitive flexibility to switch between forms of learning, that may help explain its role in speech and language.

When children learn to speak, they transition from consciously mimicking words they hear to speaking automatically. That suggests that switching from declarative to procedural memory, as the humanized mice did so well thanks to Foxp2, “is a crucial part of the process,” Graybiel said.

Reblogged from mimskerooki  195 notes
libutron:

Wasp Moth - Dinia sp.
This is a neotropical moth in the genus Dinia (Arctiidae), commonly known as Wasp Moths, and classified in the Subfamily Ctenuchinae, Tribe Ctenuchini. 
The Ctenuchini are known to mimic hymenopterans and other insects. These moths have reduced wing venation and are restricted to America. Its Taxonomy is problematic. However, Dinia is one of the genus most easily recognized, having a bright red abdomen with contrasting black markings and transparent wings.
Reference: [1]
Photo credit: ©Jimmy Hoffman | Locality: Panama

libutron:

Wasp Moth - Dinia sp.

This is a neotropical moth in the genus Dinia (Arctiidae), commonly known as Wasp Moths, and classified in the Subfamily Ctenuchinae, Tribe Ctenuchini. 

The Ctenuchini are known to mimic hymenopterans and other insects. These moths have reduced wing venation and are restricted to America. Its Taxonomy is problematic. However, Dinia is one of the genus most easily recognized, having a bright red abdomen with contrasting black markings and transparent wings.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Jimmy Hoffman | Locality: Panama

Reblogged from jamatadon  144,359 notes

laydeemayhem:

lowkeywalker:

come-to-my-world:

Ok, so I don’t know how I ended up here and woah!

they made

image

characters

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for

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every

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single

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element

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of the

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periodic

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table!

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And also they made this

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and this

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*new ship* 

There’s even a granny!

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It’s like

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superheros

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(there’s a guy who looks like Hulk btw)

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and humans

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and there are

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twins!!

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And Bethoveen

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THEY MADE THOR

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And there’s also this which made me laugh

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I can’t! 

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(source)

this is the coolest shit b.

That’s it, I want a cartoon series.