Quantum cabbage and blue wine

A surprise find of blue wine in the washing up opened up a world of chemistry in the kitchen.

Turns out red wine and purple cabbage show amazing colours as you change their acidity. They are acid-base indicators, due to chemicals called anthocyanins.

 

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Rivers of Hope

IMG_0613Biologist Dr Chris Fulton and Masters student Mae Noble sat around the campfire as the sun rose, looking at their frozen wetsuits.

Soon they would have to struggle into them ready for a day of snorkelling in freezing high country streams, looking for glimpses of the Murray Crayfish, the world’s second largest.

It had been a long hike the day before up into the high country west of Canberra, laden with underwater cameras and snorkelling gear. It had a confronting end as they reached their destination, the Goobarragandra River.

Dr Fulton had described to the American student the shady trees hanging over the idyllic stream of clear water gurgling over boulders he visited six years earlier.

But when they arrived, the trees had gone and only a muddy creek remained.

“It was hard to believe it was the same stream, it was pretty brutal,” says Fulton, GradCertHE ’09, a biologist from the ANU Research School of Biology.

Huge floods in 2012 had devastated the Goobarragandra, eroding the banks and choking it with silt.

As the pair began searching for the iconic crayfish with its distinctive white claws, their fears were confirmed. The population had plunged by 95 per cent.

Duck sex is so wrong

For Patricia Brennan, duck penis researcher from University of Massachusetts..

Give thanks for the birth of Duck minor
Mother duck has a corkscrew vagina
But daddy’s erection
curls in the other direction
Proof God’s no intelligent designer

Duck love making’s no simple deed
what’s more god has deceed
that the knob of this stud
will drop off in the mud
as soon as he’s planted his seed

If you think this seems a sad song
the drake will regrow his dong
this new percy I’ve heard
measures a third of the bird
a behemoth that’s 8 inches long!

Things then get wronger and wronger
Sir Drake scares his mates with his donger
If he thinks he’s the king
it shows up in his thing
which grows to be 20 % longer

So you think your love life’s out of luck
Be thankful you are not a duck.
your bits stay attached
and your organs are matched
when you’re both in the mood for a ….. cuddle.