Thursday, April 13, 2006

Summary of the Video
The Elegant Universe

These seems as the evolution of science to world, and collaboration of ideas from the scientist. All the theory is behind the way in which the Universe operates and this still remains controversial issue. Because most of the scientists have proposed scientific theories which explain how the Universe operate. Scientists proposed the functioning of the Universe by explaining different forces that made the Universe exist. Different scientists from different institutions came up with their findings about the functioning of the Universe.

Most of the scientist was the world known scientists who have formulated formulae explaining the interactions of forces in different planet of the Universe. These include Albert Estein, Isaac Newton, and Niels Bohr. In the process of trying to explain how the Universe functions, four forces were introduced. These forces include the force of gravity, electro-magnetism, nuclear and weak forces. In order to find the solution on how the Universe works, scientists try to unify all of the above mentioned forces together.

According Albert Estein the Universe operate in a predictive way he further compare the universe with the string as it vibrate so does the Universe in order to make all the planets of the earth to function. That is where the string theory began.

At the age of 26, another prominent scientist by the name of Isaac Newton came up with his three laws, in which he says that there is a pulling force and pushing force. According to Newton, the force of gravity pulls all the particles towards the centre of the Earth. Newton also gave us an example of an apple which was falling off from the tree, which was falling because of the two forces acting on the apple, the push and the pulling forces.

He also talk about the speed of light in which he mention that there is nothing that can go faster than the speed of the light, because the speed of the light is about 3*108m/s, explains Brian Green from Columbia University. Green further continued by saying that if light travels in such a high speed, gravitational disturbance will form the waves. How fast gravity travels led to the formulation of the general relativity.

The theory of Newton led to Maxwell to come up with the theory of Electromagnetic force, which is the combination of electricity and magnet. Maxwell further mentions that when the light is moving, it creates dots and dash. Therefore four simple equations, which is gravity; electromagnetism and string were combined to form one equation.

In 1920s the Swedish scientist by the name of Niel’s Bohr disagreed with both Newton and Estein in that the Universe behave in a predictable way, says Amanda Peet from the University of Toronto. Bohr said that elements consist of the smallest particles called atoms. Therefore, Bohr came up the theory of quantum mechanics which predicts the chance or probability about the description of how the Universe works.

In 1930s, it was also discovered that gravity and electromagnetism are not the only forces which describes how the world works, says Nima Arkani from Harvard University. The other forces include the nuclear force which consists of protons and neutrons and the weak force. In 1933, Michael Green from the University of Cambridge explains the theory of quantum mechanics theory; the Universe is formed as a result of the big bang some 14billion years ago. As a result the Universe gets small.

Michael Duff from the University of Michigan says the two laws of physics combine to form to explain the behaviour of the earth referring to the general relativity plus quantum mechanics. In 1968, Brian Veneziano made an accidental discovery of how the Universe works, but later on agreed that his discovery was not true. Veneziano says the force of nature can be explained by the small particles or photons, but at the same time the string theory was not getting off the ground. In 1973 after five years, massless particles anomalies were found not be true. In 1984 to 1985 the string theory was loosing the steam again.

The issue of how the Universe works still remains controversial. This is because different scientists try to merge different questions in describing how the universe functions without reaching the final conclusion. Scientists were also disagreeing with each other about the functioning of the Universe.


The migration of Homo sapiens from Asia to Australia influences the evolution of a new species called H. floresiensis.

Homo floresiensis is a species in the genus Homo. It has small body, small brain, and survived for about 13, 00 years ago, as modern human. They are the early human who live in the island. They resemble Homo erectus, which was a species of human that populated Asia and Africa from about 1.8 to 0.2 million years ago.

H. erectus thought to be the immediate ancestor of H.floresiensis and almost have the same size as modern humans. In the limited food environment on the Flores, H. erectus is thought to have undergone strong island dwarfing, a form of speciation also seen on Flores in several species, including a dwarf Stegodon. Dwarfing of H. Floresiensis was influenced by environmental condition, which favoured small body size species. Mostly, island offer limited food supply, few predators competing for the same niche and survival depends on energy minimisation. These have an impact on the H. sapiens as they were living in the island and automatically lead to the evolution of H. floresiensis. Homo floresiensis characters are the same with modern human as they also use stone tools as modern human. Due to climate adaptation H. sapiens changes to H. floresiensis in their body structure, but does not change the advanced skills and knowledge of H. sapiens.

H. floresiensis were still surviving to day; it would go to school rather than zoo. This is due to the fact that it has all the skills that modern human have ,a small body structure, small brains and a mixture of primitive and advanced anatomical features like humans. H. floresiensis was discovered between the Homo erectus and Homo sapiens and shares the same character with human. This brings the idea that this species can do what ever human can do if it was living to day. H. floresiensis use fire for cooking and able to hunt species such as stegodon and primitive dwarf elephant for survival. They use joint communication and planning during hunting, which is relatively the same to modern human. Most important could be H. floresiensis share the same diet as human; they ate fish, tortoise, birds, rodents, frogs and snakes

These mean that if H. floresiensis were to be found today it would go to school depending on the surrounding environment. This live us with question about human evolution as we don’t know as to whether we are still evolving or not, but this shows that the speciation and adaptation can also influence human evolution. It was suggested that humans are more subject to evolutionary forces than we tend to think. Human evolution is unknown, and this suggests that there could be other surprises waiting in the human family tree.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Innovation are taking place in south africa that benefit the community,people at meraka institute (csir pretoria) are helping people who are not exposed to computer by offering them a outsource digital doorway computer which will help people to learn computer on their own,is for free to use this system.

my blogger mail:

conservation of water
Have you realize that water are scarce in some part of south Africa,can it be possible for us to construct wetland that will provide ecosystem service to clean water so that we can recycle some of used water for irrigating our farms and gardens,this can help us to minimize the waste of quality water for drinking.

"let us conserve water for the feature use"

my blogger site

Homo Floresiensis

The involvement of H Floresiensis does not change human evolution including our lineage, because it was not our ancestor, even though it shows all human charter .this because they use all the tools that human use and floresiensis live recently it suggests that humans are more subject to evolutionary forces than we tend to think. And yet has been unknown until now suggests that there could be other surprises waiting in the human family tree.

my blogger site

28-29 MARCH 2006

Weekly report no 8-9

D.r Bob Scholes Presentation

IntroductionI attend the First SAEON Graduate Student Network Workshop held on 29 March 2006.It took place at Leriba Lodge, centurion. This was my first conference in scientific nature it helps me a lots to improve my approach on research. It was interesting as it was the first conference or workshop for graduate to network.

It was started at 8:30 to16 o’clock

The main aim of the SAEON Graduates Students network was,

Ø To make students to know all about the SAEON

Ø To encourage students to do research for long term process

Ø To allows graduate students to interact with senior scientist

Ø To have broad understanding on professional scientific research.

D.r Bob Scholes is a member of Saeon technical panel, (CSIR fellow) he also leads the ecosystem process and dynamics research at CSIR Pretoria. His presentation was guiding researcher on how to prepare a professional research which can be used in a long term period.

His key focus to guide a researcher to prepare a research which indicates the place date and name of the person who offer data and the author of the data in a research to give access to people who will want to use the data in feature

Research need to be assessed and observed so that it can satisfy social need for the people (community), these because we do research to help the community to have a better living environment. These happen because there are the one who finance most of the research indirectly.

Three pillars of landscapes by D.r. Scholes

Research Assessment Social Needs


He mention some interesting issues when I collect a data that, I have to record a date ,place where the data was collected and the people who help me to collect a data as well as to put my name on it. For incase if the report book for saved data get loss and also if other people want to use my data in feature

To undertake a research is not a way of benefiting yourself financially and gaining recognition, a research is taken to modify the standard of living of the community for a long term goal.

Any thing that a scientist plans must be a thing for the feature, by this it means that what a researcher observes must be for a long term. And this cannot happen always or you cannot observe most of the time and every thing. So I have to organise a hierarchies which will help to measure a lot of things in a few site

Lots of method was indicated in which a way that it reduce my estimation on how to conduct a research collecting data using metadata and also sharing the data that one collect because it does not belong to one person either your are a the researcher.

In nutshell what I have learn about writing a professional research will help me in my honours and also it encourages me to undertake research that are long term goals. Attending the conference help us to understand the way of preparing a research and also it gives me a chance to network with people in different sphere of science.

Trip to Streckfontein

20- 24 MARCH 2006
Weekly report no 7

I was prepared to go to strekfontein, but the trip was not planned and cancelled well I manage to over come that, I focused to my study were I was searching information for my power point presentation assignment on human evolution, for this presentation I choose a topic on if living homo floresiensis were to be found would they go to a school or a zoo.

What I have learned during the course of the week is about using the document manage system (DMS) which helps our supervisors to access our work on their system. This method helps; as it reduces the work for my supervisor not to wait for me to send email about my work they accessed it immediately I finish working on a document. Good innovation of DMS, for people at work.

Trip to strekfontein

We took the trip on Thursday to strekfontein caves where I was learning about the evolution of human ancestor in South Africa

The site called the Cradle of Human kind it is situated in northwest Johannesburg; South Africa. The site has been nominated by the Gauteng’s provincial government as one of the world’s heritage list and also nominated by UNESCO in 1999. The site covers 47 000 hectares of land and comprises a strip of a dozen dolomite limestone caves containing the fossilised remains of plants, animals and hominids.

The Strekfontein caves are located within the Isaac Edwin Stegmann Reserve about 10 km from Krugersdorp. These caves were donated to the University of Witwatersrand by the Stegmann family.

The dolomite from which the cave is formed started out as coral reefs growing in a warm shallow sea about 2,3 billion years ago, as the reefs died out they were transformed into limestone where after some time was later converted into dolomite.

A section of the cave is open to the public and there is a gravel platform from which the public can view the excavation site. There is a tea room and a small museum in which information about significant findings are on display.

During our visit at strekfontein we were having a tour guide (Mr. Rufus Mokwena) who was guiding us about the cave and the thing that we have to consider when we are in the cave, one of the important measure when we are in the cave is to be close to each other to avoid missing .

At the entrance to the cave there is species fossils replica displayed, we observed the displayed stone and on each it was written different types of species such as:

Lystro sourus which was the mammal-like reptile, it was believed to be 245 millionon years old, it was believed a vegetarian.
Massospondylus which was South African dinosaur and it was an ancestor of Ostrich it was believed to be 200 million years old, it was found aMapungubwewe.
Mrs Ples, Australopithecus Africanus from strekfontein it was believed 2.6 million years old.
Foot of Australopithecus , from strekfontein believed 33 million years old

Underground cave

The cave is modified to meet the human needs, mostly at the entrance even inside, they place a video stand which explain all the findings (Presentation about little foot) and the scientist who discover the fossil at strekfontein Mr. Ron Clark, they also place lights to provide visibility of the structure of the cave.

They also construct steps to provide better movement in the cave, is a beautiful place to be as it have natural features even a lake inside, this cave is a good tourist guide as it have lots of amazing lovely natural design (shape) of limestone.

On our way out from the cave it was design to attract tourist as they place a statue of Dr Robert Broom caring the fossil skull of Mrs Ples.

It was well prepared trip as it helps us to know lots about human evolution and this was good planned trip as we were busy with the course that include human evolution.

Hominid exhibition hall

This exhibition hall consisted with the replica of the hominids fossils that were found long time ago and on each fossil was written the information about it, different pictures of earliest hominids, modern human, chimpanzees and gorillas were exhibited.

In general I have learnt to work as a team and also to put trust on other people as they can be responsible for me. This visit to strekfontein also helps me to enhance my knowledge towards human evolution in South Africa.

Report no 6
13- 17 MARCH 2006

I start with my first assignment which was difficult as the due date of submission was on 15 Wednesday which mean I only have 3 days that I can use to search information from the internet and also do the final version as I do not have the access to the internet, but I manage to met the deadline of submission of the assignment, even though I struggle to finish it I manage.

What I've learnt is that meeting the deadline is difficult thing to do, but if you assign yourself on the task you can make it.

We met Mr Laurie Barwell, personal, he was motivating us on our studies and also encourage us to complete this learner ship as there is potential and shortage of skills in this field.

It was also hectic week as I was preparing for the test which was set for Friday 17 03/06 but we never wrote it, so it was frustrating as I was prepared for the test.

In general things are looking good at the moment as I'm focused on my studies and I've adapted to distance learning. It seems as every thing will be fine and I will manage my things. And most of my time I spent checking on weblog which help me to be updated with the information posted for my task.

Scientific Methodology
Muanalo ELELWANI (2656759)
06- 17 MARCH 2006
Weekly report no 5

Course: Scientific Methodology's weekly report.
Evolution (Human origins)

We started with our lecture, which was hectic as I’m not familiar with distance learning. Linking with the lecture through internet is another experience to me.
I watch the video which is the part of our course content, for human evolution
It was amazing knowing where I come from, the origin of our ancestors
With the pamphlet we get it help us to understand the evolution,

What I have learnt within this course is that our team spirit still exists, as we share and discuss the course, and this simplifies the difficulties of the evolution to understand.

Meeting Mr. Colleen (from Royce Roy USA)

Meeting with Colleen from Royce Roy USA, they manufacture cars airplane and ship engines. He was giving us his experiences, which help if I want to be successful in life

What I have learn was to be humble if I want information from other people and also the way of networking, I don’t have to net work with people in a specific field of my studied. I have to generalize and the select what is important to my career.

Building 33 (video conference)

It was an amazing learning curve for me to have conversation with people from Cape Town while I’m in gauteng. This helps me to understand the distance learning as I tend to understand the way we are going to do on our studies.

We spoke with the people who are going to help us on our course, Mr Laurie Barwell, Richard knight, Vanessa and student who are doing the same course with us
I ask question that was not well answered by watching the video of Evolution, they try to answer some of the question.

What I've learnt is how to present my self in a modern technology, and also to learn that every thing is possible with innovation.

It was congested week as we started with our studies and this was confusing as we were not update or informed the way we are going to do things how to check the posted assignment (task concerning our studies ) but with the help of Mrs A Adey very thing tend to be simple. I manage to do my work in time and at the end we get the assignment for our course.
Mr Elelwani Muanalo
CSIR Pretoria
P.O. Box 395
Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 841 2133
Fax: 012 842 7024.
cell: 0825738678
my bloger url:

13- 24 February2006
Weekly report no 3

Writing skills Statistics course Creativity

CSIR turnover Week 2 report lateral thinking

On the turn over

Writing skills (by Martie Van De Venter)

I have learned about writing a well formatted scientific report, how to integrate the information I have, as well as the way I format the bibliography, this skills will helps me during my academic period.

CSIR turnover Presentation (Mr Gerhard smith)
On this presentation I learn lots o thing that I did not understand, this presentation also help me to answer some of the question that I was asking my self about the way csir operate. It also helps me on my project.

The presentation was not structured for people like me as it looks like the presentation was subjected to the executive.

Statistics course (By Alta de Waal, and Renee’ Koen)

I have learnt about collecting data using statistically approach, how to present the data mathematically and also how to analyse the data collected.

It was a good exposure to the subject as it will help me during my research; also the people who where guiding us where well prepared as the reach what they plan to offer us

Creativity (Lyn Vermark, Jeremy walls)

In the first session I was not learning anything as it was like young kid playing, but as it was continuing a started to see what they are trying to implement.

The session was about creativity and also thinking lateral this helps me to understand my thinking capabilities, this was amazing as it goes with my capabilities as I now I know which part of brain I mostly use.

It also helps me on self confident as what ever ideas I create nobody have to criticize it, and I have to implement what ever idea I have as a researcher.

Session was planned and also well organised as I started to have fun

In general all the session that we have done made different in my stay at csir and I also know how I can implement in the working environment

Writing skills for post graduate studies

I have learned the way I have to structure my writing, what was subject to when you are using somebody’s idea, the way thing referenced. How important to reference somebody’s information as it can have an impact on your project. So what ever information I collect it have to have reference as well as a date so that other people can also use the same information and have access to the source where I find the information.
Meeting the deadline
Submitting the report of csir overview
This was hectic day for me as I fail to meet the dead line of the report, but these guide me for the future projects that I don’t have to postpone the date marked for submission

What I have learnt was that, no matter what time is give for certain task, if your are not serious planned you can miss the dead line. So do thing as time given if you want reach success.

IT skills (by Martie Van De Venter)
I was exposed to the csir data base management system where I learnt how to use the csir computer system, it was good session as now I have the csir email, and which‘ll be an easy way to communicate with other colleague within csir.

The importance of email in a working environment, what information I have to send or receive, by this I mean the copy right law. It was the other thing I’ve learnt


13- 24 February2006
Weekly report no 2

Trip to Reitvlei Dam

Tour guide Miss. Magter

It was a planned trip, and was a learning curve as these trip was entails information that we as an ecologist had to know. I experience lot of thing at reitvlei concerning the environment. And I was like a tourist as I saw lots of animals,

Our tour guide was a perfect one even though she don’t, know lots of environmental information, but it was good guider as most of the information that I need to know she present it.

Visiting reitvlei also taught me thing that I was not knowing especial the ecosystem service that the nature provide for us. I also learn that reitvlei supply 50% of Pretoria’s water which most of it are recycled one, as south Africa are experiencing water scarcity.

These taught me to conserve water so that we cannot run out of quality water. These can happen if we are not conserving and maintaining our natural wetland and streams. Because the ecosystem service is the one that can provide quality water and air

Important thing that I have learned, was about the report of Riet Vlei we were supposed to write, it was simple as we have done it as team and it take only four days, which shows that what ever you do in life if it needs other people’s involvement can be simple and achieved in a short space. It was also easy to find relevant information using the search engines.

“Please let us conserve water and our natural environment for the future, then we will leave longer, and it will be sustained”

Mr Elelwani Muanalo
CSIR Pretoria
P.O. Box 395
Pretoria, 0001
Tel: (012) 841 2133
Fax: 012 842 7024.
cell: 0825738678
my bloger url: