OtherI co-founded a school that teaches kids mindfulness practices to help them set international swimming records, such as a 42-mile open-ocean relay swim. Their accomplishments were featured on NBC Nightly News. AMA
Mar 20th 2018 by Jallcock • 13 Questions • 65 Points
I am part of an international team that studies Archaeopteryx with microtomography using synchrotron light. Archaeopteryx is a feathered dinosaur from the Late Jurassic of Bavaria in Germany. We just found out that the cross cuts of its wing bones look remarkably like those of modern birds and interpreted this as evidence for active flight. However, we also recalled that the skeleton of Archaeopteryx was not equipped with the advanced flight adaptations that all present-day flying birds share. Furthermore, the recent years have uncovered evidence for various previously unrecognised aerial strategies that were adopted by early bird-like dinosaurs. This led us to the conclusion that Archaeopteryx, which remains among the oldest of them, must have represented one of many such evolutionary experiments of dinosaurian flight that ultimately went extinct, leaving only the flight of living birds today. Tomography in general - and synchrotron microtomography in particular - continues to unlock new possibilities for non-destructive and three-dimensional visualisation of important fossils. This promises much for the future of studying the past!
EDIT: Thank you all very much for having joined me here to talk about Archaeopteryx! I will have to return to finishing my preparations for my defence later this week but hope to have sufficiently addressed your interesting questions!
As a swim instructor, I’m interested in knowing what sort of mindfulness techniques you’re using, and how you incorporate them. Are these guided meditations on land that lead to better performance in the water? Or are your swimmers actively visualizing and focusing on the body/breathing technique while they’re in the water? It’s a very cool idea, and I appreciate the work you’re doing! Thank you!
Hi Dennis, I also like bones! I practice orthopedic surgery - many patients suffer degenerative conditions around their joints, but they differ in weight bearing and non-weight bearing joints (ie- knee vs. shoulder). Both get arthritis, but for different reasons. When deciding if a particular species could fly, do you look for degenerative bony sequela related to the stresses of attempted/achieved flight?
Its a combination of the two. We actually do mindful meditation for 30-40 minutes before entering the water. There is a program which starts with concentration techniques, mindfulness breathing, and also visualization. We teach students to recognize and let go of fear, self-doubt and other thought patterns which are not helpful. We then use the breath in the same way in the water--so for example when starting a swim at night, you release the inevitable feelings of fear by focusing on the breath. We believe the combination of mindfulness meditation on land, and then using mindfulness practices in the water is synergistic.
Hello fellow bone enthusiast! Limb bones evolve to cope with the stresses and demands they are subjected to and can even remodel themselves to a certain degree during life, depending on how they are used. We did not find signs of degeneration but really aimed at interpreting these evolutionary and adaptive modifications in comparison with understood archosaurs to explain what they signify.