Over in China, researchers decided to test the theory that dogs can predict earthquakes. So they housed four dogs at the Nanchang quake center and waited for them to show signs of "abnormal" activity, such as barking a lot.
They soon discovered that dogs (and apparently these dogs in particular) often bark a lot. According to local residents "every night at 11pm they start barking over and over." After fielding multiple complaints from angry neighbors, the researchers "offered to muzzle the dogs, but accepted later that this might impede their skills as quake-prognosticators." Finally, the experiment was shut down.
So maybe dogs can predict earthquakes, or maybe they can't. But until we learn to speak dog language better, it doesn't look like our canine friends will be much use to us as official quake predictors. [London Times
Back in 1959, Rev. David Allcorn mixed science and religion by conducting chemical experiments while at his pulpit in order to "enliven his sermons." He worked as a chemist at the National Biscuit Co. before becoming pastor of the Immanuel Evangelical United Brethren Church in Pittsburgh, PA.
Although modern science has been able to send a man to the moon, it has not been able to make cows poop on command. An effort to solve this shortcoming
is described in a recent issue of Applied Animal Behaviour Science
The thing is, it would be really nice, for the purpose of general hygiene, if farmers could convince cows to stop pooping wherever they felt like it. So researchers devised a series of tests to see if prompts such as walking through a footbath, or being exposed to blasts of air or water, could stimulate bovine defecation. No such luck. The researchers concluded, "None of our tests reliably stimulated defecation, which seemed to occur most when cows were exposed to novelty."
This looks like an interesting book. [Amazon Link
]. Nat Geo has an interview
with the author, David Waltner-Toews
, that includes details such as, "in the slums of Nairobi, human poop powers hot showers and other services. In California, dog doo-doo keeps a dog park electrified."
The author offers this summary of his book: "as soon as you have life, you have essentially poop. As life developed, the waste for one animal became food for another animal. We depend on a web of recycling of nutrients, and poop is an important part of that. People get sqeaumish but they shouldn’t be. If you don’t think of it as poop, but instead think of it as recycling nutrients, this is a really interesting and sustainable way to produce food."
Jake Allgeier studies fish urine. I guess someone has to. He says that there's a lot more of it than you would think, and it's a lot more important for marine environments than people realize. From redandblack.com
"A funny comparison is if you take the biggest ungulate herd — so that would be bison, antelope, deer and elk — in Yellow Stone National Park, per meter squared — so per unit area — the fish on one of the reefs that I look at...they actually pee more than three times more [than that herd]," he said. Fish urine even dwarfs fertilizer-heavy golf course runoff — per meter squared — in nutrient content.
Scientists have discovered a bacteria
that ingests toxic mine runoff and excretes gold. You can't teach a trick like that!
Researchers Anna Lomanowska and Matthieu Guitton spent a year examining scantily-clad avatars in the game Second Life in order to determine just how much skin they show — and whether the female avatars show more skin, on average, than the male avatars. A tough job, but someone had to do it! They discovered that "virtual females disclose substantially more naked skin than virtual males." This adds to the growing body of evidence that pretty much everyone likes looking at naked women. (Advertisers have known this since forever.) Their full article can be read at PLOS ONE
Watch what happens to boiling water thrown out the window in Siberia in the winter.