Category Archives: Relevant Links

Darwin Tortoise



I came across this as I was doing some random google searches, and found this quite neat. I can’t verify if the tortoise actually belonged to Darwin, but I couldn’t help but imagine the stories that the tortoise could tell. If the picture is true, then that would have been pretty awesome to have been met both Steve Irwin and Charles Darwin!

Edible Insects

I saw this article and found it pretty awesome. I myself wouldn’t mind trying some insects! Hmacro-insects-greenowever, when I read this article the first thing that popped into my mind was if the insects were exposed to any pesticides. It reminded me of our DDT discussion where animals were dying when they ate insects that were exposed to DDT. What do you guys think? Would you eat a grasshopper or a meal worm?


Nuclear Medicine

Someone in class mentioned how nuclear technology and radiation where used in the medical field, and I wanted to know more about it. I knew radiation was used, but radioisotopes are also used in the medical field. Radioisotopes allow doctors to detect tumors or fractures, measure blood flow, or determine thyroid and pulmonary functions in patients. Not only are radioisotopes used, but idione-131, a fission product, is used in diagnostics test for certain thyroid disorders.

So after skimming through The Giant’s Shoulders #72 I found nothing particularly interesting, however, I did find something sort of interesting in the 35th one.

Near the very start of the class we discussed how, in the past, scientific debate consisted mostly of ridicule, and this site has an example of this; an entire book ridiculing Athanasius Kircher and other predecessors of Newton.

Wired has an article on DDT Paraphanalia

Greg Miller wrote an article for Wired’s website entitled, “Vintage Pesticide Paraphernalia From the Glory Days of DDT.”  The article draws on the collections of the Chemical Heritage Foundation and ties nicely to our recent discussions of Silent Spring.  Objects like those shown in the article help historians with an extended set of questions about an historical episode as compared to what we can pull out of books and articles alone.

Genetic Law

Genome Site

With the current discussion on Gene manipulation and gene patents, I was interested in seeing what the actual laws and governmental sanctions on the rights to genes entailed. This link is to a government site that outlines the use of gene patents as well as outlining what gene patents are out there now. It is just a site with a compilation of information about genome projects as well as including the human genome project.

Japan Sinks

The book that I have chosen to read and write about is called Japan Sinks, by Sakyo Komatsu. This science fiction novel was written in 1973 and then later translated by Michael Gallangher in 1976 and published in the United States .

Cover of the book
Cover of the book

Sakyo Komatsu was born in Osaka in 1931, and attended Kyoto University where he studied Italian literature. After college, he was involved in writing for magazines and doing work for stand-up comedy acts. He began his true writing career in the 1960’s and his most popular works outside of Japan are Japan Sinks and Sayonara Jupiter. Both of which have been turned into various forms of comics and movies.

Sakyo Komatsu
Sakyo Komatsu

Sequels to the original Japan Sinks, known in Japan as Nihon Chinbotsu, have been written. However, these have not been translated outside of the Japanese language or published outside of Japan.

NY Times Article About Sakyo Komatsu

  • Michael Gallagher has translated four other Japanese novels, including Yukio Mishima’s Spring Snow and Runaway Horses, and has published numerous articles of his own.
"Nihon Chinbotsu"
“Nihon Chinbotsu”

Japan Sinks starts off with the account of a small island sinking overnight. There was a fishing boat anchored at this island in the northeast part of the Ogasawara chain for the night, the fishermen woke the next morning to find themselves in the middle of an empty sea.


After this is reported, the Japanese Weather Service sends a vessel to investigate. Onodera, the engineer who pilots the deep sea submarine, and Dr. Tadokoro set out to scan the sea floor near the sunken island. They find that the island had indeed sunk overnight.

2de4a479b341f248f7a7107cf298ffa7 While still not totally sure what to think of the recent findings, massive earthquake and volcanic eruptions soon become more frequent throughout Japan.

Upon help from the Japanese government, further research, and with the disaster situation worsening, Tadokoro warns that the Japanese archipelago may sink to the ocean floor. This information is kept as top secret as further research and planning goes on to avoid public chaos. As events become even more intense nationwide, a plan to evacuate all of the Japanese people to other countries begins.img4_1152461986

A plan known as “plan D” is formed, top scientists and government officials are assigned to this plan to continue research. Their findings revealed that due to a change of mantle convection around the Japan Trench, the Japanese archipelago will sink into the sea in about two years at the earliest. As time passed, further research revealed that there was only less than one year left before all was lost.

Talks continued to go on between nations such as Australia, China, Russia, Africa, and the United States to accept Japanese citizens as refugees. Suspicion throughout the international community began to rise, Japanese bonds were being sold out, which started to leave Japan feeling helpless and abandoned.

Mt. Fuji
Mt. Fuji

The Japanese citizens had great trust in their government and complied with evacuation procedures even though they were not completely aware of the situation. Throughout all of this, more earthquakes and volcanic eruptions continued violently, killing millions.

Japan eventually becomes submerged in the sea while still being torn from East to West. The some 70 million Japanese that were fortunate to evacuate, had become a “wandering people” scattered all over the world.



DDT Increasing Risk of Getting Breast Cancer

DDT Increasing Risk of Getting Breast Cancer

After seeing the effects DDT had on animals, I was curious on knowing how it affected humans. I found this study done in California which revealed that: women exposed to DDT at an early age were most like to have a higher chance of getting breast cancer. These young women’s breast tissue was more vulnerable to the effects of DDT thus ended up with breast cancer.