Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Are babies of twins married to twins twins?

A friend posted on Facebook the above picture with the caption "2 twin brothers married, 2 twin sisters, resulting ..... Identical babies!!!

He commented his skepticism with the question "This can't be legit can it?" I don't remember much from my biology classes but I do recall that twins can be either fraternal or identical.

Fraternal twins are the result of two different eggs that are fertilized by two different sperm cells within the same pregnancy. So essentially they are normal siblings that happen to be born at the same time.

Identical twins are the result of a single egg that is fertilized by a single sperm cell to form one zygote which then splits in half. The two halves (embryos) develop into babies that are genetically nearly identical.

The conclusion then, to the question posed by my friend, is that it is not possible for the babies of identical twin parents to be identically the same since they did not develop from the same embryo. Just as we are different from our older and younger siblings, these babies would also be different. But this leads to an interesting thought. Technically they would be considered first cousins but since their parents are genetically nearly identical to each other, wouldn't that mean that they are genetically siblings?

As strange as it may be, the answer is yes, the children would be as closely related, genetically speaking, as siblings born from the same parents. Below are a couple of articles I found which support this.

ABC Science: Do twins x twins = twins?
Popular Science: If a pair of female identical twins mates with a pair of male identical twins, will their kids also be identical?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Vincent Laforet: Gotham 7.5K

Stunning photos by French American photographer Vincent Laforet of New York City from 7,500 feet.

Vincent Laforet's website

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Splitting Colors

Another 2015 illusion of the year finalist. Created by Mark Vergeer of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Taken by photographer George Steinmetz and featured in a 2005 Turkish edition of National Geographic. At first glance it appears to be an image of dark colored camels crossing the desert but a closer look reveals that these are actually their shadows.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Imaginary Bow and Arrow Leads to Three Day Suspension

Earlier this week a number of local news outlets reported that a first grader at a local Catholic school was suspended for three days for pretending to shoot one or more other students with an imaginary bow and arrow.

According to the boy's parents, Matthew and Martha Miele, the overtly hostile threat of extreme violence happened while their son was playing a game of Power Rangers during recess. A level headed teacher witnessed the brutish intimidation and responsibly brought it to the attention of Principal Joe Crachiolo.  

That afternoon, Martha Miele said she was contacted by Principal Crachiolo regarding the matter.

"I didn't really understand. I had him on the phone for a good amount of time so he could really explain to me what he was trying to tell me. My question to him was 'Is this really necessary? Does this really need to be a three-day suspension under the circumstances that he was playing and he's 6 years old?"

It is more than apparent that the Miele's do not apprehend the seriousness of the situation. Of course all right thinking people understand that imaginary weapons can be just as dangerous as real ones and that childish horseplay is equivalent to threats of violence. Principal Crachiolo appears to understand this, based on a letter he sent to the Miele's which in part stated "I have no tolerance for any real, pretend, or imitated violence. The punishment is an out of school suspension."

So here's to you Principal Crachiolo. Kudos to your a tenacity at maintaining your belief that zero tolerance is the best policy even against the flood of evidence that it doesn't make schools safer. Good for you for ignoring the evidence that suspending kids for seemingly frivolous things increases the likelihood that they would have to repeat a grade, which in turn increases the likelihood they will drop out. It's obvious you possess superior judgement skills and the school is fortunate to have you there to keep everyone safe.

WLWT: Child pretends to shoot student with imaginary bow, suspended for 3 days
WCPO: Catholic school suspends 6-year-old for pretending to shoot imaginary bow and arrow at recess

A Generation Later: What We’ve Learned about Zero Tolerance in Schools

Friday, October 9, 2015

Awaji Yumebutai

Awaji Yumebutai 100 step garden

Awaji Yumebutai is an area on the island of Awaji in the Hyōgo Prefecture of Japan which consists of a complex of buildings designed by architect Tadao Ando. The project was built on the remains of a hillside from which the soil had been removed and used for various projects in Osaka. In 1995, during the planning stages to restore the scarred land by turning it into a park, Awaji island was hit with a massive earthquake which claimed the lives of over 6,000 people. The devastation compelled the architect to revise his plans by turning a portion of the area into a memorial which includes the one hundred step garden (Hyakudan-en). In the words of the architect, it is "a symbol to calm the souls of those who lost their lives in the disaster."

Photo by Ken Conley

Photo by Jeffrey Friedl

Photo by Scott Hsu

Shell Garden

Shell Garden. Photo by Jack Chen via Ursula Zitting Pinterist

Shell Garden. Photo from 663highland

Photo from 663highland

Kiseki No Hoshi Greenhouse. Photo by Brodie Karel
Amphitheatre. Photo by Ken Conley

The 100 step garden at night. Photo by wata_masa

The 100 step garden
Wikipedia: Awaji Yumebutai