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Nature Had It First

By | December 2010
Page 1 of 3
In 1973, Dr. Martin Cooper was the first to demonstrate a handheld cellular telephone. But the invention was possible only because back in 1800, Alessandro Volta had invented a reliable battery. Nevertheless, communication with sophisticated device was not really new. A communication device often taken for granted is the human voice. Over a half the billions of neurons at about 100 muscles, tongue, lips, jaw, throat, chest and even the ears are part of the same communication system, which is the most complex and complete than any other human created. But is it a single case? Or there are other examples? In fact, planes, television, and even the moderns G.P.S. have their origins in the wonders of nature, such as birds, human eye and Monarch Butterflies.

For centuries man dreamed of flying. But a man does not have muscle powerful enough to lift his own weight into the air, it was not till December 17, 1903, when Wilbur and Orville Wright started the engine, the propellers whirred, and the first aircraft lifted off into the icy wind. The brothers became international celebrities. But how did they manage to power themselves into the air? Yes, nature played a part. Now days, the man had an engine that could power a flying machine. Pilots balance modern aircraft by adjusting a few flaps on the wings and tail, but instead a little bird uses some 48 muscles in its wing and shoulder to changes the configuration and motion of its wings and individual feathers, doing so several times a second. A measure of an aircraft’s efficiency is whether it can take off carrying sufficient fuel. When a Boeing 747 takes off for a ten hours flight, roughly third of its weight is fuel. Similarly, a migrating thrush may lose almost half of its body weight on a ten-hour flight. But when a bar-tailed godwit takes off from Alaska heading for New Zealand, over haft its body weight is fat. Astonishingly, it flies for about 190 hours (eight days) nonstop. No commercial aircraft...

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