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Jun 2013

Species Exploration! Focus:Animals.

In this Edition

Are you Katsaridaphobic - afraid of cocroaches? Then this new species is not going to excite you.

A new species of luminescent cockroach was discovered in Tungurahua volcanic region, Ecuador. This species was also identified from fossil remains and unclear whether it is extinct now. It is named Lucihormetica luckae.

Image credit:

Editor's Desk

What on Earth! and How will a future human look like?

Recently, a photo from NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover created excitement among the human community when a dusty orange rat was spotted among the strewn rocks. Is this another rock in the shape of a rat or is it a rat living on Mars? Scientists have clarified that it is a case of pareidolia, a propensity to pick out faces from everyday objects and structures. So, it is just a rock which looks like a rat!

Coming to earth, do you know that there are at least 12 million living species on the earth and we are aware of only 2 million? Yes, every year scientists go out on an exploration to discover and record new species. International Institute for species exploration, a research unit of College of Liberal Arts and Science, Arizona State University has dedicated itself to find 10 million new species of earth in the next 50 years. Last year alone, scientists have recorded around 18,000 new species. Based on the uniqueness and human relevance, the team has shortlisted the top 10 new species of 2013 this month. This issue covers some of the most interesting species among the top 10 and few other unique species discovered recently. You can know about other findings here.

One of my friend brought me an interesting question a month back. Due to various population control programs (like in China, and India) and the availability of choices to control human birth, are we endangering the existence of homosapiens (humans)? I digged into the Darwin and Wallace's evolution theory looking for an answer. So far, a species has not become extinct due to their own choices. However, we are traveling in an era of "Conscious Evolution" - where we are controlling and observing what is getting evolved over a period of time. While such wholesale extinction is not on the cards, tomorrow's humans are not going to be the same as we are today. So how will a future human look like? While there are many who are predicting what the future will look like for homosapiens, the following changes sounds more likely:

1. Designer Babies: With our knowledge on genetics and gene mapping, very soon humans will have the luxury to order a baby with a pre-defined characteristics. Who know Super mans, Spider mans and Bat mans may be a real possibility!
2. Weak Muscles: With all the muscle jobs handed over to machines, humans may evolve with weaker muscles in the future.
3. Weak Immunity and Weak harmones: With advancement in medicines and popularity in harmonal therapies human bodies may not evolve to secrete harmones or defend itself.
4. Weak Memory: With the rise of search engines, GPS and smart phones our memory will weaken and will lose the ability to store information. Instead, our brain will rewire to store "how to locate a particular information". The future memory will be a large store of key-value pairs (also known as hashtables) instead of visuals and details about a particular information.
5. Less Toes: Five toes were provided to humans to run, walk and climb on the earth surface. With the proliferation of shoes and sandals, humans are not really using them any more. Only Big toe and couple of small toes are used for balancing. So, over a period of time the unused toes may fade out from the species!
6. Less Teeth: Same situation as toes. We do not use all the teeth as we used to. Also the size of the teeth has shrunk over a period of time as the modern day processed foods does not demand sharp teeth. So expect smaller size teeth and less teeth in the future.
7.Less Hair: With more hair-removing products on the rise, the hair cells may not survive over an evolution cycle. This could be much more predominant on females than males.
8. Multi-cultural look: With the world turning more and more global and with human race settling and marrying from various ethinicities, the future face will be lot different from what we see today. It can lead to extinction of thorough-bred races and proliferation of hybrid-races!

In this edition, we have taken efforts to explore these new species, especially animals, along with other familiar species. In the brain-tickler section we are celebrating the 100 years of Bollywood and introducing you to Liver, Hepatitis and Baldness in Health Section. First time we have ventured into picking world music from Latin America, South Korea and Europe. In the Tamil song section we have explored the animal referenced songs. Don't forget to watch the heart wrenching story of a teen in "Get Inspired" section. Now, read, enjoy and share the magazine with your network!

  • In the Brain-tickler category:
    • 100 years of Bollywood Cinema! Time to check your facts!
  • In the Health Topic section:
    • Learn about Liver and Hepatitis in the article "Laudable Liver!"
    • Know about the latest findings, "Baldness: Not a subject for joke any more!"
  • In the World Song category:
    • Listen to our World song Picks - Around the world picks (Latin America, South Africa, Europe ...) !
    • Listen to the picked songs continuously with our Jukebox!
  • In the Seriously Funny section:
    • Watch the clip - "Laugh it out - a funny prank with a pink elephant!"
    • Read the humor, "Hmmm ... Unusual names"
    • Read the humor, "Undivided attention!"
  • In the Surfboard section:
    • Read the story "Sometimes, we are a blind horse ..."
  • In the Tamil Picks section:
    • Enjoy the 10 Tamil songs picked out of 20+ songs we reviewed for "Exploring animal species - Mirugam, Maan, Muyal, Yaanai, Aadu ..."!
    • Enjoy the video picks continuously, on-demand in our new video channel.
    • Listen to the song picks continuously in Jukebox.
    • Read the tamil poem picks "Payanillai"
  • In the Recipe Spot section:
    • Learn how to make "Tandoori Chicken - Indian Restaurant Favorite!" at home.
  • Nuggets:
    • Enjoy our humor nuggets in various section of this edition
      - "A well trained scientist ..."- in Editor's desk section
      - "I don't use sunscreen because ...", "Why bald eagle is bald?" - in Health section
      - "I want that one!" - in Surfboard section
      - "A rabbit's thesis ..."- in Reader's footprint section
      - "Idea Credit ..." - in Your feedback section
  • Get Inspired by watching the video "How to say good bye when you have only months to live? A Farewell song "Clouds""

As always, we are very confident that you will enjoy our picks. Write your feedback about this issue by clicking on the email icon or feedback icon. We truly value your opinion, thoughts and time.

Editor's Desk Image credit: (Mars Rat), (Lesula Monkey)

A well trained scientist ...


Q: What did one lab rat say to the other?
A: "I've got my scientist so well trained that every time I push the buzzer, he brings me a snack.

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