Wednesday, March 31, 2010
This bat and its Malaysian relatives also tie many other bats for being the world's fastest "talkers," since they all emit repeating echolocation calls at a rate of up to one vocalization every 5 milliseconds, according to the study, published in the latest issue of the Royal Society Biology Letters.
"A soprano singer might reach the A (note), which is 1.76 kilohertz," co-author Bjorn Siemers told Discovery News. "Our bats attained mean starting frequencies of 235 kilohertz and a maximum of 250, so it is safe to say that the bats produce tones that are 120 times higher than those of a human female singer."
Siemers, research leader of the Sensory Ecology Group at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, said the bats reach notes that are 8 octaves higher than what the best human sopranos can produce. The bats can also "sweep through a frequency range of up to 170 kilohertz," moving from lower to higher notes, "while a human singer produces a glissando through less than 2 kilohertz at most."
If you always wanted to scare your friend of even your mother that their new car has been scratched and mauled, paste these harmless Scratch Stickers and the car would immediately look old and terrible. It is also useful for Bicycles, motorcycles and other golden opportunities.
Photograph: Britta Pedersen/EPA
"More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly."
"Another good thing about being poor is that when you are seventy your children will not have declared you legally insane in order to gain control of your estate."
"The thing to remember is that each time of life has its appropriate rewards, whereas when you're dead it's hard to find the light switch. The chief problem about death, incidentally, is the fear that there may be no afterlife - a depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave. Also, there is the fear that there is an afterlife but no one will know where it's being held. On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done as easily lying down."
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The deal is this: The clownfish live within the sea anemone's poisonous tentacles. Those tentacles keep would-be predators at bay, including morays, scorpionfishes and snappers. In return, the clownfish supply the anemone with scraps of food it doesn't eat, as well as its droppings, which nourish the poisonous polyp. It also preens its hosts, removing parasites.
Only the anemonefish (and certain damselfish) can get away with this arrangement -- and it's not simple. Before taking up residence in a sea anemone, the anemonefish must first acclimate its body to the anemone's tentacles by gradually brushing them against different parts of its body. A layer of mucus over the fish's scales further protect it from potential stings.
Some researchers believe the clownfish's mucus coating may be based on sugars rather than proteins, which foils the sea anemone from realizing the fish are a potential food source.
Whatever the explanation, the small colorful fish have evolved an ingenious way to keep clear of predators. Should one come near, it can simply duck into the protective, stinging tentacles of its host -- and wait out danger.
There are 28 known species of anemonefish, most of which live in the shallow waters of the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the western Pacific.
The unfortunate animal was lying down on its front when the opportunistic pair pinned him down against a wall.
Although women the world over have been doing it for centuries, we can't really blame a guy for being a guy. And this is especially true now that we know that the male and female brains have some profound differences.
Our brains are mostly alike. We are the same species, after all. But the differences can sometimes make it seem like we are worlds apart.
The "defend your turf" area -- dorsal premammillary nucleus -- is larger in the male brain and contains special circuits to detect territorial challenges by other males. And his amygdala, the alarm system for threats, fear and danger is also larger in men. These brain differences make men more alert than women to potential turf threats.
Meanwhile, the "I feel what you feel" part of the brain -- mirror-neuron system -- is larger and more active in the female brain. So women can naturally get in sync with others' emotions by reading facial expressions, interpreting tone of voice and other nonverbal emotional cues.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the male and female brain is that men have a sexual pursuit area that is 2.5 times larger than the one in the female brain. Not only that, but beginning in their teens, they produce 20 to 25-fold more testosterone than they did during pre-adolescence.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Nesting birds usually make their home in trees or chimneys to welcome their young into the world, but this Mistle Thrush stunned locals when she decided to set up camp between the red and amber traffic lights.via
This Popeye the Sailor squirt gun reportedly dates to the 1960s. There is another photo, of the “derriere view,” which shows that the little plug that holds the water in is missing, but the squirt gun appears to be otherwise in quite good condition.via
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Catholic Church hit by series of scandals
In his Palm Sunday address the Pope said that Jesus Christ "leads us towards courage which does not allow us to be intimidated by the chatter of dominant opinions, towards patience which supports and sustains others".
The pontiff did not refer to accusations over his handling of cases of the paedophile priests, both as Archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982 and subsequently as head of doctrine at the Vatican. However, Vatican watchers said that his meaning today was clear "in the current context".
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Through pollution, population growth, urbanisation, travel, mining and use of fossil fuels we have altered the planet in ways which will be felt for millions of years, experts believe.
It is feared that the damage mankind has inflicted will lead to the sixth largest mass extinction in Earth’s history with thousands of plants and animals being wiped out.
The new epoch, called the Anthropocene – meaning new man – would be the first period of geological time shaped by the action of a single species.