Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Consider an experiment that was done by Daniel Simons, a psychologist at the University of Illinois. He or a member of his lab would walk up to a pedestrian on the street and ask him or her for directions. While the pedestrian was responding, workmen carrying something large (like a doorframe) would walk between them. As the workmen passed, the experimenter switched places with someone else. Only half of the pedestrians noticed, even though the two people could be quite different.
"The 'listening' elephant catches the vibrations with its toes, behind which lie pads of acoustically sensitive fat."
elephants actually have two distinct ways of communicating: by ordinary soundwaves rippling through the air, and by vibrations transmitted through the ground to exquisitely sensitive elephant toes.
The seismic waves are set in motion by the same "low-frequency vocalizations" that famously rumble across African savannas, said Caitlin O'Connell-Rodwell. The ground sounds travel a greater distance than airborne calls, and may help keep herd members in touch with one another across a dozen or more miles.
"They are talking through the ground," O'Connell-Rodwell said. "It's not just elephant-to-elephant noise. It's a richer system of communication than we'd thought. They can discriminate very subtle vibrations through their feet."
Thursday, June 28, 2007
These cute matchbooks hold a clever secret inside. On the tip of each match are seeds already mixed to grow. Choose an assortment of either wildflowers--which includes cornflower, Shasta daisy, corn marigold, and field poppy--or herbs--which includes basil, chives, parsley, and thyme. Simply tear out a matchstick and plant it tip first in the soil. Includes two matchbooks of 10 matchsticks each.
I was 30 years old, a semi-ancient age for pursuing police work. I had no idea if I could pass the long string of entrance exams.
"The wall is what keeps women out," my father told me. "The women protest; they say it's unfair, especially the short ones. The first thing you have to worry about is getting over the wall."
When it was my turn, the crowd went wild. I was the mascot now, the favorite girl. No sense in cheering for the two who'd never pass or the one who might beat your score. Cheer for the one who barely makes her time but somehow, miraculously, manages. I yanked the weight backward as the giant men began to chant my name, dragging one syllable into two until it became "Ay-un, Ay-un, Ay-un." It would never happen again; 26 broad-shouldered young men would never call my name at once
Friday, June 22, 2007
"The Cloud is a speculative design for a resort city elevated 300 metres in the air above Dubai and supported on slanting legs resembling rain."
Monday, June 18, 2007
"The human form is treated just like an animal skin, with the ribcage and sternum at the front of the case, and backbone at the back. The inside is formed by the negative of the outside shape in a soft molded form providing contrast with the outer protective hard shell."
Saturday, June 16, 2007
And in that moment Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later. For the first time he realized that the man before him was not an aging father, but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps, love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
PALATINE, Ill. - An elementary school science teacher in this Chicago suburb doesn't have to turn on the news for an update on NASA's space mission. She just turns on her video baby monitor.Link
Since Sunday, one of the two channels on Natalie Meilinger's baby monitor has been picking up black-and-white video from inside the space shuttle Atlantis. The other still lets her keep an eye on her baby.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
"Police in China, where most of the 1.3 billion people share just 100 surnames, are considering rules which would combine both parents' family names to prevent so much duplication, state media said on Tuesday."