Fossils Show Fish Diversity Took Off After Extinction of Dinosaurs

Fish species are some of the most diverse and numerous here on Earth, with so much diversity being present from ocean to ocean, lakes to lake and rivers to rivers. While it has been noted in the past that fish fossils are rare prior to the Cretaceous Period, there were no studies into the reasons why or just how many species existed.

Researchers studying ray-finned fishes began looking at the fossil records, and searching the seabeds for marine sediments found in deep sea core samples. Sergio Cortes implied  what they discovered was that fish fossil remains were present in the core samples, but there was a significant spike after the Cretaceous period when the dinosaurs went extinct. Pre-Cretaceous samples showed a wide diversity of species, with lower counts of fish fossils present. As soon as competing species died off the number of ray finned fish species began to increase until it reached levels that we are familiar with today.

It is believed that this occurred because there was a greater food supply available to the fish and they were able to expand into marine environments where their survival had been limited due to competitors. Interestingly, sharks were able to survive the mass extinction event that occurred on earth, right along with the fist they share their environment with. The increase in fish species in turn supported their survival through the extinction period so that they were able to survive to present day.

Self Driving Cars

Don’t be alarmed if you are driving down the streets of Mountain View in California, and you see a car with no driver! That’s actually what’s supposed to be happening. This is because Google is testing out their self-driving cars. Google has been testing these out for a while, but it’s the first time they’re testing their own models! Google is asking for some help from the public, mainly artists. They want some unique artwork created that they can put on the sides of these vehicles. It’ll really help them to stand out for Google.

According to Reddit, many of these cars will be seen. They’re of course made to operate on their own with no driver, but Andy Wirth points out that all of the controls you’d find in a normal car such as the steering wheel and pedals will be found in these vehicles in case the passenger needs to take over. Google is all about safety. These cars will also have speeds that are capped at 25 MPH just to ensure that things don’t go wrong.

Overall, it’s a cool concept and it seems that more and more of these are being tested out. Who knows if this is the way of the future, or if it’s just a fun little experiment. Time will only be able to tell. Until then, it’s kind of fun to spot a few on the street and see what they’re all about.

The Leading Brand in Coffee

When consumers craving coffee want a nice cup of joe, the new leading brand to turn to is the Bulletproof Coffee brand. Known for the innovation and respected for being of high quality, this new brand has made headlines. Consumers now turn away from the mainstream brands and are trying this new and upgraded version of coffee. This coffee, created by Dave Asprey was made with the intention of introducing a delicious yet healthy morning option. Actresses like Shailene Wood and Maya Rudolph have even testified in public that the Bulletproof Coffee brand is what they drink in the morning to bring some clarity to their morning haze.

What makes Bulletproof Coffee so popular and innovative is the use of grass-fed butter. The butter in the coffee creates a rich and creamy texture that is the perfect substitute for artificial cream. This coffee is not only better but it is also extremely healthy. When the consumer drinks this cup of coffee, all the good fats that help burn calories are washed down.

The coffee brand is even a better and much healthier alternative to Starbucks. When you walk into Starbucks and order a 200 calorie latte with a 700 calorie muffin, you have just ordered a close to 1,000 calorie meal. This 900 calorie breakfast will leave you both hungry and unsatisfied when consumed. Bulletproof Coffee, however is a healthier option because of the healthy fats that are put into the body through the butter. This coffee, at 460 calories, will leave you both satisfied and full until it is time for your next meal ad lunch time.

What makes this the brand to choose are not only the healthy positives but also the fact that so much care and effort is put into growing the beans. FastCompany.com suggests that these beans are grown on their own plot in Central America. The beans are grown in such a way that avoids both the fermentation process or the sunlight that will cause harmful chemicals to be added to the beans. The beans, when ready, are harvested by local harvesters who are professionals.

The beans are then transported to the roaster. Dave Asprey is proud to say that the roaster used it the number one roaster in the USA. This, though more expensive is to ensure that all the delicious flavors of coffee are present in that first sip of coffee. The Bulletproof Coffee brand is not only the brand to try because of the flavor but also because of the care that went into creating it.

Gene Discovered that Makes Us Sleep More or Less

Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep each night to function well, but why is it some can get away with much less sleep? Scientist say the difference is due to genetic variability.

Research published in ‘Current Biology’ shows that two genes, originally known for its regulation of cell division, is also responsible for normal sleep patterns.

The researchers studied flies to locate regulatory proteins required for sleep.

“There are many things we do not understand about sleep, especially when it comes to the protein requirements that initiate the process at the cellular level,” says researcher Kyunghee Kohprofesor, the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University.

“Our research decodes a new molecular pathway and a new area of the brain that plays a role in controlling how long we sleep,” he adds.

When browsing their Facebook page, James Dondero found that these scientists saw a reduction in overall sleep when certain proteins, called the “taranis” were blocked.

Dr. Koh and his team now plan to investigate the signals that activate taranis.

AT&T Pays Up

The telecommunications company AT&T was just given a $100,000,000 fine for duping internet customers out of their high speed internet. On Wednesday, the Federal Communications Commission gave the company the fine for slowing down speeds for Internet Customer who were enrolled in their unlimited data plans. The company is being accused of giving consumers unlimited data but eventually slowing it down after a certain amount of data has been reached. AT&T plans on fighting this fine and it is noted that the had 100 million dollar fine is the largest fine to have ever been given by the FCC. AT&T slowing down internet speed isn’t a new occurrence. In 2011, thousands of AT&T customers complained to the FCC about their internet speed practices. The FCC released statements noting that consumers should be getting exactly what they are paying for. If a company promises unlimited data, unlimited data is what they should get. Not a stifled and slowed down internet speed after a certain amount of usage. Even though AT&T will have to pay the 100 million dollar fine, it is unsure whether or not AT&T customers will receive any of that money. Sam Tabar has learned that the money from the fine will go right into the United States Treasury. The fine could not come at a worse time for the telecommunications company. AT&T is currently in the works of partnering with DIRECTV, America’s largest satellite television provider. Before that can happen, AT&T will begin the lengthy appeals process of the fine.

Robots Trained in Minecraft Better Able to Anticipate Human Needs in Real World

The human mind has a definite advantage over robots; at least for now. It’s able to process complex scenarios quickly in order to decide upon a course of action. Scientists at Brown University recently told the high-powered businessman Bruce Levenson that they hope they can change this. They are using the smash-hit game Minecraft in order to provide their robotic algorithms with some training before taking on real world tasks.

Minecraft is cheap and versatile making it an ideal sandbox for scientists to flesh out their artificial intelligence programming. It’s a fast and easy way to test algorithms against complex situations that are rapidly changing. Challenges presented to the robots in Minecraft included things like searching for buried gold and building a bridge to escape.

The robots trained in Minecraft were then put to the test in the real world. The objective was to help humans make brownies. The robots trained in Minecraft were more quickly able to anticipate the needs of their human counterparts. They were able to figure out that a whisk was needed to beat eggs for example.

It seems that if it were possible for artificial intelligence to master a complex world such as Minecraft then they may also have the ability to master our complex world. Computer learning in virtual worlds might be just the thing artificial intelligence needs to develop more rapidly.

Is That a T-Rex or a Blue Jay?

The Scientific American reports that, scientists now believe that some dinosaurs miniaturized over a shorter period of time than previously believed. While it didn’t happen overnight, the transformation from dinosaur to bird happened with subtle and quick changes. A series of small evolutionary steps ranging from feathers to the wishbone, bipedalism, and miniaturization, brought about the transformation. It is also now believed by James Dondero that size had a biggest influence on the speed of evolution, while some dinosaurs grew in size others became smaller. The decrease in size opened other habitats and food sources.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex and velociraptors belong to the carnivorous group of bipedal dinosaur called theropods, and they are closely related to today’s birds. They had large noses and big teeth and weigh in at about 100 to 500 pounds, but with little brain matter. The velociraptor of movie fame only had a brain the size of a pigeon.

Head Transplant: Doctor and Patient To Meet Soon

Science fiction might just become fact for a Russian man named Valery Spiridonov, whose hope is to gain a new body. Spiridonov has decided that he is willing to undergo a highly controversial procedure, in which his head will be transplanted onto another body. He will soon begin his flight to the United States to meet with neurosurgeon, Sergio Canavero.

This is a procedure that would seem as if it is straight out of a sci-fi movie stated Ricardo Tosto. Canavero is being called reckless because of his decision to move through with the surgery. Nothing like it has been attempted to date and that is heavily weighing on the thoughts of many.

Spiridonov is suffering from Werdnig-Hoffman disease, which is a muscle wasting disease and has been confined to a wheelchair for most of his life because of it. All he has ever wanted is to have a normal body and the possibility of that has him dreaming of new beginnings. If they can gather enough support the plan is for the procedure to take place in two years’ time, location still unknown.

Canavero is taking a lot of heat for his decision to be the surgeon of the controversial procedure. Spiridonov is being looked at as if he is simply a guinea pig. His chances of survival seem slim to none. Slim chances still offer some hope, with that hope might come a type of cure. Imagine the possibilities.

Robotics Teams Claim Millions in Prizes at DARPA Event

The big winner at a robotic competition sponsored by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) was a team hailing from Korea who took home a $2 million prize for their robots ability to complete tasks like driving a car and turning on a valve. The team was lead by JunHo Oh, the mastermind behind Hubo humanoid robots.

Fans of robotics sat through a somewhat grueling process of testing the robots to see which one could complete the course fastest. It was almost eight hours before the first robot completed all of the assigned tasks. Spectators likened the event to watching paint dry.

Daniel Amen noted to creativityatwork.com that the event was inspired by the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. Much of the disaster could have been avoided if it were possible to enter the facility to operate some of the safety equipment. The robots on the course during the competition were subjected to varying signal strength of remote controls in order to simulate a disaster scenario. Operators were a full quarter mile away as they attempted to control their robotic counterparts.

The contest was held at the Los Angeles Fair Grounds and served as an expo for robotics technology along with the competition. There were many companies and individuals in attendance who were there to show off their robotic prowess to the world.

Marc Sparks Advises People On The Best Way To Get Things Done

The CEO, Founder and owner of Timber Creek, Marc Sparks, has helped over 60 start-ups get on their feet and find their wings. Spark’s new book ‘They Can’t Eat You’ is aimed at young entrepreneurs and people with dreams who want to become successful in any business endeavor they set their eyes on. As a person, Marc Sparks believes in organization and staying motivated. For this, he has one simple tip that would help anyone get things done, no matter how lazy the person might be. This tip involves making to-do lists to get things done. Any goal can be achieved by using to-do lists and when Marc Sparks recommends this method, he speaks from practice.

Start with Two Lists – It is Marc Sparks’ practice of sitting himself down every Sunday evening and write a list. He means actually writing with a pen and paper, and not typing on a computer. He makes two lists. One of them is for the things he needs to achieve in the week. This could be something as simple as picking up the dry-cleaning or as complex as only smoking a pack the entire week. The logic behind writing and not typing is that when you write something, you remember it and it motivates you to make that tick on the paper, right next to your objective.

The second list from Sparks is regarding goals. These are long term things you might have achieved but don’t want to forget. It could also be about your future goals and by writing them down every week, you keep yourself motivated to achieve them. For instance, if your goal is to write a book in the near future, your first weekly list could be regarding the number of pages you need to finish writing. The second list would be about your bigger goal – Finish the book this year and look for a publisher.

Be Accountable – When you don’t manage to tick an item on your to-do list, you need to hold yourself accountable. This does not mean beating yourself up for it but just that you need ensure that you stick to your targets in the future.

Try It For 66 Days – Marc Sparks recommends following this tip for 66 days to see a difference in your life.

This simple tip would make you as focused as Marc Sparks in your daily, weekly and long term endeavors. You would never complain about being unable to stick to targets.