Monday, February 1, 2016

SALT GLANDS, SALT EXCRETION, MARINE, FRESHWATER, DRINK, NASAL SALT GLANDS, NOSTRIL SALT SECRETIONS


PLANNED IN ADVANCE!

Good day all you fine people! How are you doing this week? I had a chance to travel and visit family—about half way to the Salton Sea. We had such a good and blessed time. I loved it! 

The Salton Sea is an amazing place, very similar to the Dead sea in Israel. It is an astounding concept that anything can live in such salty conditions. Yet there is life there. So how do animals live in such a harsh environment. Did animals evolve to be able to bare such conditions? It is pretty obvious they didn’t…they would have died out long before they could adapt. 

However, if it had been planned in advance and certain
Black-tailed gull of Russia, the grooves in its bill are clearly visible.
animals that were created had such adaptations tucked away in their DNA, it could easily have been passed down through generations until it was needed. 



Here is an amazing article written by David Menton PhD, from Answers in Genesis’ Answers magazine, Vol. 11 No. 1, 2016. It is entitled Salt Removal On Demand:


“On Day Five of Creation Week, God created the birds and all creatures that live in the water. While some of these creatures live only in freshwater and others live only in saltwater, some creatures, including many birds, are able to live (and drink) in both freshwater and
marine environments. Since about 97% of the earth’s water is saltwater, the ability to drink seawater presents a big advantage, but also a big challenge.

Seawater has about three times more salt than is found in the blood and other body fluids of most land-dwelling vertebrates. If any of these creatures are to survive drinking seawater, they must somehow rid themselves of excess salt.

“The excretion of salt is one of the main jobs of the kidney,
but few land-dwelling vertebrates have kidneys capable of
handling seawater. Still, some vertebrates, including many birds, can live by drinking seawater. But for birds, it is not just their kidneys that make this possible. Rather, their survival depends on a pair of special salt glands located above the orbits of the eyes that excrete the excess salt via ducts that drain through the nostrils. This explains why some seagulls appear to have a runny nose.


Mongolicus gull of Korea
“Salt glands are present in at least 10 of the 27 living orders of birds, but functional salt-secreting glands are generally restricted to orders containing species that inhabit marine environments. The remarkable thing is that some birds that generally live on freshwater are capable of quickly adapting to live on seawater by developing salt glands. To some this might seem like “fast evolution,” but God has provided them with access to the amazing salt gland, which lies dormant until needed.

“For example, a mallard duck (found throughout North America, Europe, and Asia) living on freshwater ponds and lakes is capable of adapting in a matter of a few days to survive on seawater, permitting it to live in a coastal marine
environment. When exposed to saltwater, small and inactive glands lying over the orbits of the eyes grow rapidly in size and salt-excreting ability. The consumption of excess salt triggers the release of hormones and other factors that promote the full functional development of the salt gland.

Male Mallard duck at edge of freshwater lake
Even in unexpected ways we find marvelous evidence of God’s providential care for birds. God’s Word reminds us that not a single sparrow will fall to the ground apart from our heavenly Father’s will—so don’t be afraid when challenges come your way. You are worth more than many sparrows (Mathew 10:29-31)”.

This is another fingerprint of God. May whoever reads this allow Jesus to touch their hearts and draw closer to Him, the one who loves you so much He died so you can have eternal life in heaven.

God bless and take care,
Willow Dressel



Monday, January 25, 2016

BATS, FLYING, CHIROPTERA, FLYING FOX, MYOTIS, NIGHT OWLS, BUMBLE BEE BAT, GOLDEN CROWNED BAT



MAGICAL FLYERS?

Greetings to all you fine people out there!

How has everyone fared this past week? The weather has been very mild and pleasant here in this little part of the great big world and my family and I have been enjoying it very much. May all of you have had something pleasant happen in your lives this week as well. And can you believe we are in the last week of January? How times flies!

Speaking of flying…who out there are “night owls”, that is enjoy night viewing. It can be of the stars or keeping track of the lunar cycle, or watching for night animals. I have done it all at various times in my life. There is definitely a special place in my heart for the beauty of night. 

One of my favorite creatures of the night are bats. Have any of you really studied these incredible animals? They are so agile and silent and enormously fast! Even though I love to watch these animals in flight, it is their landing that is fascinating. Think about it, everything else that makes the air their domain lands upright. From delicate butterflies, moths
and dragon flies to the giant eagles and all other birds. Even the pterosaurs landed upright! 





Our manmade flighted machines also land upright. Jets, airplanes, helicopters, drones and  even hover crafts all have upright landings. But there is one animal that defies
everything and seems to “magically” land upside down. 

Bats. Yes those creatures that have often been associated with voodoo, evil concoctions, witches and warlocks are actually one of God’s most amazing animals. Every day, several times a day they
Kobayashi's bat found only in the Korean Peninsula 
preform their inverted roosting. Whether it be for a good day’s sleep or just a rest during their active night these creatures fly into caves, crevices, abandoned mines, buildings and even active barns and under porches. 

Recently, “A new study reported on ScienceDaily figured out how they perform this ‘aerobatic feat unlike anything else in the animal world’. First, the bats have to be built right. It’s ‘the extra mass in bats’ beefy wings that makes the maneuver possible.’ But that’s not enough. They need to nameplate the wings correctly. Using high-speed cameras to film trained bats, researchers found that the bats use inertia to their
The common bent-winged bat found throughout Europe and Russia
advantage. They retract their wings ever so slightly on approach, and rotate a half tern as they land. These little bats taught PhDs at Brown University a ‘counterintuitive’ principle about flight they didn’t know! Now, the students want to see if they can get it to work on flying robots.”1 Now that would be interesting! 

The golden crowned flying fox bat
Macrobats are non-predatory animals. They can be larger and eat fruit or nectar. But they still roost upside down. All “bats’ legs project sideways and are amazingly designed for hanging. The bat has tendons in its feet that attach to its
Bumble bee bat from Brazilian rainforest
upper body, so that when it rests upside down, the bat’s weight pulls the toes naturally into a clenching position without the bat exerting any effort.The bat’s heart and blood vessels are designed to keep all its blood circulating rather than rushing to its head. You could even say that hanging upside down is a bat’s default position—where it is most at rest.”2 

Along with such incredible design the smaller predatory bats also have echolocation which is a
“high-pitched sound (usually inaudible to the human ear) and (bats) listen for the
echo as the sound waves bounce off objects. This amazing ability allows the bat to instantly ‘see’ exactly where objects
Brazilian spear nosed bat
are, in spite of the darkness. Humans have borrowed the principles of echolocation for use in submarines and other technology, but the bats’ abilities remain far superior to human imitations, a testimony to the genius of their Designer. Microbats use their echolocation not only to navigate, although that might have been the original purpose, but also to locate and nab insects. A single little brown bat can eat up to a thousand mosquitoes in one hour—so imagine what a colony of these flying mammals can do! Many people put bat houses in their yards for this very reason.”


All these designs would have had to “evolve” the same time
Flying fox of India
in order to make the bat a fully functional, fast, precision predator or fruit/nectar eater. The probability of that happening goes beyond  chance to impossible. 

However, an intelligent designer, on the other hand, would have no problem creating such a “magical”, amazing creature!

Until next time, God bless and try to get out and see some of these uniquely designed creature!
Willow Dressel

References:

1Coppedge, David F., Speaking of Science. Creation Matters, Vol 20 Number 6, November/December 2015. Creation Research Society, 2015.pp 9.

2https://answersingenesis.org/mammals/flying-foxes/

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

VOLCANO, SUBMARINE MAGAMA, AA, PAHOEHOE, BASALTIC LAVA. BLOCK LAVA, PYROCLASTIC LAVA, LAVA FLOWS, ERUPTIONS, MAGAMA


WHAT EXACTLY IS LAVA?

Howdy ya’ll! Are you either staying warm in the northern hemisphere or cool in the southern hemisphere? I sure hope so. I’m not doing so bad myself…but I sure fall into bed in pure exhaustion every night! Some of it’s from overwhelming mental and/or physical drain and some of it is just from old age, lol! When I am overwhelmed mentally my brain just feels like mush. Does that ever happen to you too?

Speaking of mush, what happens when rock turns to mush? it becomes lava of course! Encyclopaedia Britanica defines lava as; “…magma (molten rock) emerging as a liquid onto the Earth’s surface. The term lava is also used for the solidified rock formed by the cooling of a molten lava flow. The temperatures of molten lava range from about 700 to 1,200 °C (1,300 to 2,200 °F). The material can be very fluid, flowing almost like syrup, or it can be extremely stiff, scarcely flowing at all. The higher the lava’s silica content, the higher its viscosity (resistance of flow).”1

Did you know there are actually five different types of lava flows? Two have their names from the Hawaiian people; pahoehoe and aa (pronounced ah-ah). Pahoehoe flows have a smooth, gently undulating surface that resembles hummocks. “The liquid
lava flowing beneath a thin, still-plastic crust drags and wrinkles it into tapestry-like folds and rolls resembling twisted rope.”2







Aa lava flows, on the other hand, leave a surface that is extremely rough with partially loose, irregularly fragmented pieces (hence the name aa). Once hardened and cooled, this type of flow is very difficult, and dangerous, to hike over. 



Block lava flows “resemble aa in having tops consisting largely of loose rubble, but the fragments are more regular in shape, most of them polygons with fairly smooth sides.”3





Basaltic lava flows can be of two different kinds. Thin basaltic flows “generally contain many holes, or vesicles, left by bubbles of gas frozen into the congealing liquid. Thick flows, which remain hot for long periods, may lose most of their gas before the lava congeals, and the resulting rock may be dense with few vesicles.”4

And lastly, pyroclastic flows (left and below right) are a fluid mixture of hot but solid fragments and hot gas and have a low viscosity. Therefore contrary to the other types of flows which move slowly, pyroclastic flows “move more like a dense, low-viscosity gas pouring down a slope and even move upslope if they have enough momentum; their downslope velocities often exceed 100 km (60 miles) per hour.”5













Volcanoes and vents where the lava first surfaces can be spectacular. They can occur on land or underwater (mainly in the ocean). Interestingly enough, submarine volcanos vents and fissures are estimated to account for 75% of the annual magma output. The vast majority of these submarine volcano’s are located near areas of tectonic plate movement that are known as ocean ridges. Most are found in the deepest parts of the oceans but some also exist in shallow water. When this is the case, magma  can be spewed into the air during an eruption.

Since my novel takes place just one hundred and six years after the flood when plate tectonics were still under great motion, volcanoes and earthquakes were very prevalent. It would have been a trying time to live, especially with so few humans and only one city in the whole wide world.

I hope you think about volcanoes a little differently now…with the understanding that those erupting today are left over from a more violent time, a time that was a part of Gods’ judgment on the wickedness of mankind. And that you can see how much God loves us because even with wickedness abounding once more after the flood, He made a way to redeem us instead of ending the world for once and for all. And that redeemer is Jesus.

Until next week, God bless and take care!
Willow Dressel





















References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_volcano

Monday, January 11, 2016

TEXTILE, ANCIENT CLOTHING, PATRIARCHS, NOAH, WARDROBE, ROBES


STYLING?

Good day everyone! 

How has everything gone for you all this last week? If you are anything like me you are still recovering from the holidays! lol! One thing I really liked about the Thanksgiving and Christmas season is being able to wear some of my more fancy clothes. It’s just enjoyable to be able to dress up a little and go someplace nice. 

So did you ever wonder how the first few generations after the flood dressed? Did Noah and his sons really dress in robes? Let’s take a look…

Surprisingly scripture tells us very little of any detail of what their clothing might have looked like. Here are the scriptures that mention clothing in any way, from Genesis to the patriarchal years: 

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

Genesis 9:23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. 

Genesis 37:29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.

Genesis 37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. 

Genesis 44:13 Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.

Genesis 49:11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's
colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:

Exodus 12:34 And the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders.

Exodus 19:10 And the Lord said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,

And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.

Exodus 28:4 And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy
brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.

There are two other indirect references to clothing in Genesis 4:19 in the names of Lamech’s wives (“And Lamech took unto him two wives: the name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.”) Ada’s name
means gorgeously adorned, and Zillah’s name means one whose presence is announced by the tinkling of her jewelry. 

Other historical documents are also shy in describing ancient clothing:

For example, Antiquities of the Jews by Flavius Josephus only makes one reference to clothing from Genesis to Moses:
3. Noah, when, after the deluge, the earth was resettled in its former condition, set about its cultivation; and when he had planted it with vines, and when the fruit was ripe, and he had gathered the grapes in their season, and the wine was ready for use, he offered sacrifice, and feasted, and, being drunk, he fell asleep, and lay naked in an unseemly manner. When his youngest son saw this, he came laughing, and showed him to his brethren; but they
covered their father's nakedness.

Could Josephus also be referring to clothing and fashion when he said “the earth was resettled in its former condition”? We may never know until we are in heaven, but it is reasonable (considering human nature and desires) to conclude that by the time the city of Babel was in full swing and so was the fashion of the day. 

There are several things that actually back this up. Depictions of ancient people often show all different kinds of clothing. Also we have clues in ancient mummies. In particular the mummies of Ürümchi. Though the author of The Mummies of Ürümchi, Elizabeth Wayland Barber (all pictures come from the web but are from these mummies), uses evolutionary timescales, she comes close to the truth when she notes that these ancient mummies must have come from around the time of the patriarchs (which I believe might have been first generation post flood peoples who were dispersing after the Tower of Babel language split). These people who were buried so long ago are well preserved as is their clothing. Interesting enough their clothing was not made up of robes and cloaks. Garments such as a striped woolen skirt, a turquoise blue woolen shirt with lightening pattern running along the bottom edge, an elaborately plaited five-colored belt cord, a “suit” jacket containing pockets, brightly colored woolen pants, and multi-colored leggings and many hats to name a few. 

I think it is reasonable to conclude that the people from the former world had brightly colored clothing of many styles and that this was brought to the new world by Noah and his family. I also think it is logical that as the post flood people grew in number, so did their ideas about clothing—whether it came from necessity or from personal tastes, styles would have changed. After all…who doesn’t love pockets! Lol!

In my novel Of One Tongue I tried to fashion the characters and historical people with a blend of the little we know about this very ancient clothing.

Until next time, God bless and take care!
Willow Dressel

References:
https://answersingenesis.org/bible-characters/noah/a-nobody-called-mrs-noah/
http://www.biblestudytools.com/history/flavius-josephus/antiquities-jews/
Barber Wayland, Elizabeth. The Mummies of Ürümchi, Norton paperback, 2000.




Tuesday, January 5, 2016

GRASSLANDS, STEPPES, PLAINS AND PRAIRIES, LAND OF SHINAR

GRASSLANDS, STEPPES, PLAINS AND PRAIRIES


Hi all you fine folks out there! It is cold and rainy here but the land oh so needs the moisture. Speaking of land…what exactly is the difference between a grassland, steppe, plain and prairie? Have you ever been hiking and come upon a beautiful big meadow. Is this a grassland? What about when you’re driving through the mountains and you crest over a ridge and there below you stretches a gorgeous open valley. Could that be considered a small plain? And we have all heard of the old TV show l”Little House on the Prairie”…So what are the differences?

Well let’s go to the Merriam-Webster dictionary to find out:

Prairie:
1)  land in or predominantly in grass
2)  a tract of grassland: as
a :  a large area of level or rolling land in the Mississippi River valley (USA) that in its natural uncultivated state usually has deep fertile soil, a cover of tall coarse grasses,
and few trees.
b :  one of the dry treeless plateaus east of the Rocky Mountains that merge on their east side with the prairies proper and are characterized by shorter grasses and drier less fertile soil.






Plains :
  1. elevated plains region West central United States and West Canada East of the Rocky Mountains and chiefly West of the 100th meridian extending from NE British Columbia and NW Alberta SE and South to include the Llano Estacado of New Mexico and Texas.





Steppe (right):
1) a large, flat area of land with grass and very few trees especially in eastern Europe and Asia.
2)  one of the vast usually level and treeless tracts in southeastern Europe or Asia.
3)  arid land with xerophilous vegetation found usually in regions of extreme temperature range and loess soil.





Grassland:
1)  farmland occupied chiefly by forage plants and especially grasses.
a :  land on which the natural dominant plant forms are grasses and forbs.
b :  an ecological community in which the characteristic plants are grasses.





So then, is a valley or a meadow a prairie? No because it isn’t large enough. What about a plain? It isn’t large enough for a plain either. How about a steppe? Again these mountain valleys and meadows aren’t large enough to qualify. Well,
how about a grassland. I think valleys and meadows can qualify as a micro grassland. After all they do meet the definition of “an ecological community in which the characteristic plants are grasses.”

But what about the Plain of Shinar that the Bible talks about? Genesis 11:2 says, “And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there”. It obviously isn’t in the Americas which
What the plain of Shinar looks like today. A desolate place devoid of grass in Iraq.
define the term “plains” nowadays. So what was/is the “land of Shinar?” Well, we can look at it today and see that it was indeed a vast area usually level and treeless. Then why was it called a plain? It’s not in North America. Because back then, around 2241 B.C. the Americas weren’t yet discovered. As a matter of fact, none of the rest of the world had been discovered. So the people could call this vast grassy area anything they liked. And they chose the word “plain”. 

In my novel I researched and described the plain of Shinar as closely as I could to what it may have looked like 4,000 years ago. I hope all you people out there get a chance to read my book “Of One Tongue” and enjoy getting “transported” back in time to a place very different than today.

Until next time take care and God bless,
Willow Dressel

References:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/