biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow summerian kids wheel invention


On a beach in Goa I once observed tiny sand crabs forming perfectly spherical balls out of sand and depositing them around the entrance of their burrows. Observing Nature is not only fun, it inspires and it is said that the Chinese invented paper by copying what wasps did and that flying machines were invented, because humans observed birds and insects. But where did the first wheel-makers get their inspiration from? What could have “got the ball rolling”? Are there any animals or plants that roll or tumble? —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow sand fish

Having a Helping Hand in Making Sand: Fish, Foraminifera, Worms and others

I had a brother in law who was an engineer, controlling and supervising the production of different types of glass, a material that is based on sand, lots of it. For that reason, he often had to make business trips to Yemen, a country that exports high-quality sand. Well, my brother always came back with a smile on his sunburnt face and full of praise for the sand’s quality and the locals’ hospitality and friendliness. But one day he returned with fever, feeling dizzy and weak: he had contracted yellow fever and had to spend several months in the isolation ward a hospital. I was wondering, isn’t there enough sand on our beaches? Couldn’t he have obtained his raw material for the glass production elsewhere without risking to get sick? —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow situs inversus

When Everything is Back-to-Front and Left is Right and Right is Left

One of my Indian wife’s uncles was an engineer (another uncle was a person who exhibited eyeshine when a light was shone into his eyes at night and the children found that quite scary). Anyway, what was so special about the first uncle is related to the time he spent working in Libya. He got sick once, suffering from chest pain, saw the doctor and got a chest x-ray. When the nurse hung the x-ray photo against a light box, the doctor got mad at her and rebuked her for pinning the negative up back to front and that as a nurse she should know better. Overhearing that, this said uncle intervened and remarked that the poor nurse had actually been right, for he had a condition known as “situs inversus. —>—>