The Daily Populous

Sunday April 22nd, 2018 evening edition

image for ‘Superblack’ bird of paradise feathers absorb 99.95% of light

‘Superblack’ bird of paradise feathers absorb 99.95% of light.

Scientists have gone to great lengths to make the blackest possible surfaces.

WIRED reports that certain male birds of paradise have “superblack” feathers that absorb as much as 99.95% of light.

The profoundly black appearance is produced by the microscopic structure of the feathers.

Whereas other birds’ feathers have lots of tiny filaments that lie flat and are neatly organized, on the birds of paradise these filaments are tightly packed and bend upward, with deep cavities between them.

As light enters the feather, it bounces around these cavities and gradually gets absorbed.

Writing in Nature Communications , the scientists speculate that superblack feathers make neighboring, colorful patches on the bird appear even brighter to impress females during courtship. »

World's oldest person Nabi Tajima dies in Japan aged 117

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Nabi Tajima was born on August 4, 1900, and was the last surviving child of the 19th century, making her the third oldest person recorded in history.

Nabi Tajima was born on August 4, 1900, and was the last surviving child of the 19th century.

She became the world’s oldest person seven months ago after the death of Violet Brown in Jamaica, who was also aged 117. »

Jack White tried to skip 'Seven Nation Army.' His Milwaukee fans wouldn't let him

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Because there was one huge problem: White hadn't played the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army," arguably the most beloved song he's ever made.

One of the roadies exuberantly pumped his fist in the air, and a moment later, White was back on the stage.

Then came those familiar guitar lines, and White and the band attacked "Army," the crowd screaming along like blood-thirsty warriors. »

NaturePlus: Behind the scenes: How a seaweed scientist helped win the war

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The MoD certainly didn't, at least not during World War II, and that's why it recruited former Museum scientist Geoffrey Tandy to work at Bletchley Park.

He worked at the Museum from 1926 until 1939 and was the first member of staff to specialise in algae.

Preparing such specimens provided Tandy with the experience required to preserve wet documents captured from the Germans during World War II. »