A Rainy Weekend

Hi, all! Candy man Andy Aerts writing in from Belgium again.

Last weekend I found some great stuff for you guys. I don’t know how the weather is in your part of the world, but Belgium had the worst weather in 50 years. Everything flooded and, tragically, three people died. Therefore I looked for some wind/water movies and found these.

I’m into sports, though extreme sports are a little… extreme for me. I don’t think this was what meant to happen. Don’t they tell you not to kitesurf when there is too much wind? I wonder what made his wife stay filming? Did she really think he would be okay?

There should be an image here!Meanwhile, in Belgium…

As this is Lockergnome and most people have a little bit of ‘geekiness’ inside of them, I searched my photo archive for some great footage. Let’s start off with the best B-day cake EVER! They had this at some kind of convention. Also great was kindergarten where parents left their children for a play while they where playing Superman & Wonderwoman. These two weren’t impressed… too busy playing Street Fighter.

Meanwhile, in Scandinavia…

On a serious note, I’m also a great fan of UK’s X-Factor. This week’s favorite was Rebecca Fergusson. I like Aiden, but he had to leave. His performance just wasn’t good enough! I hate it when people are angry when they get voted out of something… be a good loser! Thank you!

I’m still thinking about going to see the new Tron movie. I really like its action figurines.

A long, long time ago…

And last, but surely not least, I leave you with the best invention ever!

See you in a couple of days, guys.

And remember: protect the funny!

Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @AndyAerts. It would warm my candy-loving heart!

Rainfall Linked To Skewed Sex Ratios

There should be an image here!An increased proportion of male African buffalo are born during the rainy season. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology collected data from over 200 calves and 3000 foetuses, finding that rain likely exerts this effect by interaction with so-called sex ratio (SR) genes, which cause differences in number, quality or function of X- and Y-bearing sperm.

Pim van Hooft, from Wageningen University, The Netherlands, worked with a team of researchers to study animals in the Kruger National Park, the scene of the famous ‘Battle at Kruger’ wildlife video. He said, “Here we show temporal correlations between information carried on the male Y chromosome and foetal sex ratios in the buffalo population, suggesting the presence of SR genes. Sex ratios were male-biased during wet periods and female-biased during dry periods, both seasonally and annually.”

The researchers studied data collected between 1978 and 1998 to investigate the associations between rainfall, birth rates/ratios and genetic information. Ejaculate volume, sperm motility and proportion of normal-shaped sperm decrease significantly during the dry season. This decline in quality is likely due to decreasing availability and quality of food resources. According to van Hooft, “These observations may point towards a general mechanism in mammals whereby semen-quality related sex-ratio variation is driven by SR genes.”

Graeme Baldwin @ BioMed Central

[Photo above by Dave Morris / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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