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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Japanese Human Art

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Why Ants Not Say A Word When Co Worker Walk Over Them

A scientific study of the teamwork of army ants has discovered how they are prepared to let their fellow ants walk all over them to get the job done.
Scientists from the University of Bristol observed that, when ants were foraging on rough terrain, some of them used their own bodies to plug potholes.

They even chose which of them was the best fit to lie across each hole.

The flatter surface provided the rest of the group, which can number 200,000, a faster route between prey and nest.

The research, published in the journal of Animal Behaviour, said that the team first noticed the army ants' (Eciton burchellii) unusual behaviour in the insects' native rainforest home in Panama.

I think every road user who has ever inwardly cursed as their vehicle bounced across a pothole... will identify with this story.

Professor Nigel Franks

To investigate this further, the researchers inserted wooden planks, drilled with a variety of different sized holes, into the army ants' trails.

They found that the ants did indeed plug the holes, but the team also discovered that individuals would size-match themselves to a hole for the best fit.

Wobbling about

"The ants have a very large size range within their colony, measuring from 2mm up to 1cm (0.08-0.4in)," explained Dr Scott Powell, a biologist at the University of Bristol and an author of the paper.

"When the ants bump into a hole they cannot cross, they edge their way around it and then spread their legs and wobble back and forth to check their fit.

As the traffic diminishes, the ant pops out and heads home

"If they are too big, then they carry on and another ant will come along and measure itself in the same way. This carries on until an appropriately sized ant plugs the hole."

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Could Tree Eat Bicycle

From Neatorama] On Vashon Island (near Seattle, Washington), a tree grows carrying a rather unusual passenger - an old bike. Apparently some kid chained a bike to the tree decades ago and never picked it up, leaving the tree no choice but to grow around the bike. The tree and island gained some level of notoriety when Berkeley Breathed, creator of Bloom County, wrote a children’s book inspired by the bicycle eating tree entitled Red Ranger Came Calling.
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Posted by Ajay :: 12:39 PM :: 0 comments

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All Women Know This?

The finding that women who do not use condoms during sex are less depressed and less likely to attempt suicide than are women who have sex with condoms and women who are not sexually active, leads one researcher to conclude that semen contains powerful-and potentially addictive-mood-altering chemicals.

Study author Gordon G. Gallup, Ph.D., a psychologist at the State University of New York in Albany, also found that women who routinely had intercourse without condoms became increasingly depressed as more time elapsed since their last sexual encounter. There was no such correlation for women whose partners regularly used condoms.

Gallup's survey of 293 college women also found that those who did not use condoms were most likely to initiate sex and to seek out new partners as soon as a relationship ended. "These women are more vulnerable to the rebound effect, which suggests that there is a chemical dependency," says Gallup.

Semen contains hormones including testosterone, estrogen, prolactin, luteinizing hormone and prostaglandins, and some of these are absorbed through the walls of the vagina and are known to elevate mood.

Gallup controlled for variables including method of contraception, frequency of sexual intercourse, as well as the women's perception of their relationship. He concedes that women who regularly have sex without condoms might share personality traits that make them less susceptible to depression. But the behavior most often associated with non-condom users is sexual risk-taking, and studies have found no correlation between high-risk sexual behavior and lower rates of depression.
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