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Life Adapts.
http://www.newscientist.com/gallery/its ... -after-all

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Winner

Heiti Paves of the Tallinn Institute of Technology, Estonia, won the competition with this image of a thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) anther magnified at 20x.

The thale cress is an important species used in the study of plant genome traits.

It made history in 2000 when it became the first plant to have its entire genetic code sequenced and now stands as a model species for understanding the molecular biology of many plant traits
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_ne ... 314558.stm

Eagles filmed hunting reindeer
By Matt Walker
Editor, Earth News
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That eagle video is outrageous.
It is odd that not one reindeer is aggressive enough to try and ward off the eagle
at least with a bluff charge, or minor interference.
It sure was an easy meal for the eagle.
Reply
Quote:That eagle video is outrageous.
It is odd that not one reindeer is aggressive enough to try and ward off the eagle
at least with a bluff charge, or minor interference.
It sure was an easy meal for the eagle.

Shows what panic can do for ya. Myself, I figure that if I'm to die, then die fighting. What the hell? Why not?

Now, Reindeer aren't very big, but even so, they could FALL on the goddamned bird and break a bone! And they DO have teeth, which could incur a mighty painful bite....

Should have fought.
I am what I am and that's all what I am - Popeye the Sailor Man<br />From simplicity make not complexity without necessity - John of Ockham<br />The realities of water and life on Mars are SERIOUS BUSINESS
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http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/i ... a_sys.html

Coho returning to Columbia River system in near-record numbers
By Abby Haight, The Oregonian
October 23, 2009, 9:49PM
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Great post on that eagle vid, Wook! <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/applause.gif" alt="Applause" title="applause" /> I had never heard of such a match-up ... and all they had to do was stick close together (a form of safety in numbers) instead of every reindeer for itself.
e4e5Qh5Ke7Qe5#
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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... ilian.html

Giant Lungless "Worm" Found Living on LandMatt Kaplan
for National Geographic News

November 18, 2009
A new amphibian species can survive on land with no nostrils, lungs, or legs, say researchers who discovered the bizarre beast.

The creature, found in Guyana, is part of the wormlike group of amphibians known as caecilians. Only one other caecilian species is known to live without lungs.
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New Fossils Reveal a World Full of Crocodiles
Reuters
WASHINGTON


New fossils unearthed in what is now the Sahara desert reveal a once-swampy world

divided up among a half-dozen species of unusual and perhaps intelligent crocodiles, researchers reported on Thursday.

They have given some of the new species snappy names -- BoarCroc, RatCroc, DogCroc, DuckCroc and PancakeCroc -- but say their findings help build an understanding of how crocodilians were and remain such a successful life form.

They lived during the Cretaceous period 145 million to 65 million years ago, when the continents were closer together and the world warmer and wetter than it is now.

"We were surprised to find so many species from the same time in the same place," said paleontologist Hans Larsson of McGill University in Montreal who worked on the study.

"Each of the crocs apparently had different diets, different behaviors. It appears they had divided up the ecosystem, each species taking advantage of it in its own way."

Larsson and Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago, funded by National Geographic, studied the jaws, teeth and what few bones they had of the crocodiles. They also did CT scans, which are computer-enhanced x-rays, to see inside the skulls.

Two of the species, DogCroc and DuckCroc, had brains that looked different from those of modern crocodiles.

"They may have had slightly more sophisticated brain function than living crocs because active hunting on land usually requires more brain power than merely waiting for prey to show up," Larsson said in a statement.

RatCroc, a new species formally named Araripesuchus rattoides, was found in Morocco and would have used its buck-toothed lower jaw to grub for food.

PancakeCroc, known scientifically as Laganosuchus thaumastos, was 20 feet long with a big, flat head.

DuckCroc represents new fossils found in Niger from a previously known species called Anatosuchus minor. It would have eaten grubs and frogs with its broad snout.

The more ferocious BoarCroc was also 20 feet long but ran upright and had a jaw built for ramming, with three pairs of knife-like teeth.

Some walked upright with their legs under the body like a land mammal instead of sprawled out to the sides, bellies touching the ground.

"Their amphibious talents in the past may be the key to understanding how they flourished in, and ultimately survived, the dinosaur era," Sereno wrote in a separate article for National Geographic.

(Editing by Sandra Maler)
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/ ... asp-insect

Fig wasps travel further than any other insect
The tiny creatures can cover 100 miles in two days
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lswBDZuL-8w
Real birds eye view! Golden Eagle in flight - Animal Camera - BBC
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Air Power

[video:39chgyed]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VklTs-Tid_I&NR=1[/video:39chgyed]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VklTs-Tid_I&NR=1

Bob... <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/reefer.gif" alt=":uni:" title="reefer" />
"The Morning Light, No sensation to compare to this, suspended animation, state of bliss, I keep my eyes on the circling sky, tongue tied and twisted just and Earth Bound Martian I" Learning to Fly Pink Floyd [Video: https://vimeo.com/144891474]
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Quote:Birds 'breathe like alligators'
By Doreen Walton
Science reporter, BBC News
Alligators and birds share a breathing mechanism which may have helped their ancestors dominate Earth more than 200 million years ago, scientists say.

Research published in the journal Science found that like birds, in alligators air flows in one direction.

Birds' lung structure allows them to breathe when flying in low oxygen, or hypoxic, conditions.

This breathing may have helped a common ancestor of birds and alligators thrive in the hypoxic period of the Triassic.

Mammals 'hiding'

"It might explain a mystery that has been around for quite some time", Dr Colleen Farmer from the University of Utah told BBC News.

The mystery in question is why the archosaurs came to dominate Earth after the planet's worst mass extinction 251 million years ago.

“ It implies that all dinosaurs... had bird-like lungs ”
Dr Colleen Farmer
Archosaurs evolved into two different branches which developed into crocodilians, dinosaurs, flying pterosaurs and eventually birds.

Synapsids, which evolved to include mammals, had been dominant in the Permian period before the mass extinction.

Some survived but were toppled from their perch by the archosaurs.

Any mammal-like synapsid survivors "were teeny liittle things hiding in cracks" said Dr Farmer. "I think it's because they couldn't compete.

"It wasn't until the die-off of the large dinosaurs 65 million years ago that mammals made a comeback and started occupying body sizes larger than an opossum."

To demonstrate alligator lung mechanisms, the scientists measured airflow in anesthetised animals, showing it flows in one direction rather than in and out of chambers.

They also pumped water containing tiny fluorescent beads into the lungs of dead alligators to observe the flow.


Puzzle solved

The researchers believe the similarity in lung structure may explain why some animals were better able to adapt after the extinction, when oxygen levels dropped.

"We know that birds are really good at breathing in hypoxic conditions. They can fly at altitudes that would kill a mammal," said Dr Farmer.

"Many archosaurs, such as pterosaurs, apparently were capable of sustaining vigorous exercise. Lung design may have played a key role in this capacity.

"That's been a puzzle, why do birds have these very different lungs? But now we can date it back to the common ancestor of birds and crocodilians.

"It implies that all dinosaurs, herbivores like Triceratops and carnivores like Tyrannosaurus, had bird-like lungs," Dr Farmer added.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/s ... 453053.stm

Published: 2010/01/17 15:02:25 GMT

© BBC MMX
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http://www.livescience.com/animals/slim ... 00121.html

Animals
Slime Mold Beats Humans at Perfecting Traffic
NetworksBy Clara Moskowitz, LiveScience Staff Writer

posted: 21 January 2010 02:03 pm ET
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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... pinna.html
Alien-like Squid With "Elbows" Filmed at Drilling SiteKelly Hearn
for National Geographic News

November 24, 2008
A mile and a half (two and a half kilometers) underwater, a remote control submersible's camera has captured an eerie surprise: an alien-like, long-armed, and—strangest of all—"elbowed" Magnapinna squid. (See photos of Magnapinna.)

unlimted varations in a infinte universe
<img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/smoke.gif" alt="Smoke" title="smoke" />
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Quote: Study: Survival of the quickest
By Doreen Walton
Science reporter, BBC News
Inspired by Hollywood cowboy films, researchers have delved into the science of gun fights.

Scientists discovered that people move faster when reacting to something than when they perform "planned actions".

In a gun-free experiment, described in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, they studied the speed of these two types of movement.

The work aims to answer why the first to draw his gun in a shoot-out was often the one to get shot.

But, as well as unpicking some of the mythology of the American West, the scientists say their results may be useful for diagnosing and helping people with Parkinson's disease.

Pairs of participants were put in a button-pressing competition with each other. Each was secretly given instructions of how long to wait before pushing a row of buttons.

"There was no 'go' signal," said Dr Andrew Welchman from the University of Birmingham, who led the research.

"All they had to go by was either their own intention to move or a reaction to their opponent - just like in the gunslingers legend."

Those who reacted to their opponent were on average 21 milliseconds faster than those who initiated the movement.


“ The person who draws second is going to die ”
Dr Andrew Welchman University of Birmingham
"I wasn't expecting that we would find such a clear difference," said Dr Welchman.

"In our everyday lives we have this constant battle between things we decide to do and things we have to do to avoid a negative consequence."

"If you're making a cup of tea that would be an intentional decision. If we then knock the cup of tea off the table, the reactive comes into play as we try to catch the cup as fast as possible."

No consolation

The implications for gunslingers though are not straightforward, and the outcome of a Hollywood shoot-out, it seems, is based more on myth than science.

Dr Welchman explained that it took around 200 milliseconds to respond to what an opponent was doing, so, in a gunfight, the 21 millisecond reactionary advantage would be unlikely to save you.

"The person who draws second is going to die. They'll die happy that they are the faster person to move but it's not much consolation in this context," said Dr Welchman.

The scientists want to find out if there are two different brain processes underlying the two different types of action. They think there could be evidence for this in people with Parkinson's disease.

Dr Welchman says there is evidence that Parkinson's patients are more impaired in intentional movement than in reactive ones.

"If you're someone who's going to develop Parkinson's disease, this difference might get exaggerated," he said. "[So] you might be able to get an earlier idea that there could be problems with movement."

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/s ... 493092.stm

Published: 2010/02/03 00:29:54 GMT

© BBC MMX
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http://static.atlasobscura.com/place/blood-falls
Quote:[Image: blood-falls.2260.main.jpg]
This five-story, blood-red waterfall pours very slowly out of the Taylor Glacier in Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys. When geologists first discovered the frozen waterfall in 1911, they thought the red color came from algae, but its true nature turned out to be much more spectacular.

Roughly 2 million years ago, the Taylor Glacier sealed beneath it a small body of water which contained an ancient community of microbes. Trapped below a thick layer of ice, they have remained there ever since, isolated inside a natural time capsule. Evolving independently of the rest of the living world, these microbes exist without heat, light, or oxygen, and are essentially the definition of "primordial ooze." The trapped lake has very high salinity and is rich in iron, which gives the waterfall its red color. A fissure in the glacier allows the subglacial lake to flow out, forming the falls without contaminating the ecosystem within.

The existence of the Blood Falls ecosystem shows that life is indeed possible in the most extreme of conditions. Life could perhaps exist on other planets with similar environments and similar bodies of frozen water - notably Mars and Jupiter's moon Europa. But regardless of extraterrestrial life, the earth's Blood Falls are a wonder to behold both visually, and scientifically.
Quote:No mountain is too tall if your first step is belief. -Anonymous
...Because even if there were no artifacts anywhere, not studying things of interest is an extreme disservice to science. -Tarius
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<img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/cheers.gif" alt="Cheers" title="cheers" />
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This image really shows the scale. Notice tent, bottom left.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... ap.gov.jpg

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_falls

I wonder if something so large gives off a particular spectrographic signature ? Are there coloured seeps on Mars ?
Advocating for the Space Elevator.<br /><br />User Anonymous revealed ! He is actually me (a previous account). Registered in 2001.<br /><br />~~ Where ever you are Samurai Jane, I miss you
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http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... ap.gov.jpg

<img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/applause.gif" alt="Applause" title="applause" />
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4313978.stm

Snake bursts after gobbling gator

The predators died in the clash
An unusual clash between a 6-foot (1.8m) alligator and a 13-foot (3.9m) python has left two of the deadliest predators dead in Florida's swamps.
The Burmese python tried to swallow its fearsome rival whole but then exploded.
The remains of the two giant reptiles were found by astonished rangers in the Everglades National Park.
The rangers say>>>>>>>>>>>
http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi ... /img/1.jpg
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I am not moving back to the SE US
Cheers
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http://www.physorg.com/news197872356.html
Sharp-eyed robins can see magnetic fields
July 9, 2010 by Lin Edwards

(PhysOrg.com) -- It has been known for decades that some birds are able to sense the Earth's magnetic field and set their direction as if following a compass heading, which is an extremely useful ability for birds migrating long distances. The ability is believed to be linked to the availability of light and it is thought that specialized molecules in the birds' retinas allow them to literally see the magnetic fields, which appear as patterns of light and shade superimposed over the regular image from light. Now a new study shows that the internal compass also depends on the birds having clear vision in their right eyes.
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Interesting Wook:

I've always thought, however, that any directional benefit of following
a "magnetic compass" has to be coupled with an ability to sense gravitational
pull. This varies on a latitudinal basis from the equator to the poles. Not much
to creatures like ourselves but perhaps very important to migrating birds. After all
they have to counter the pull of gravity in flight, so I guess they must be able to
tell when it's getting stronger or weaker.

But coupling sense of magnetism with sense of gravity still can't be all. They must
still be able to "remember" the places they so accurately return to year after year.

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Why then would bears have such a strong homing instinct?
In Valdez, Ak in 1975/1976, they darted numerous bears becoming too friendly in camp, and transported them hundreds of miles over several mountain ranges and major river systems. Nearly all returned, and some in an amazingly short time.
I guess at that time they weren't aware bears could do that.

http://pubs.aina.ucalgary.ca/arctic/Arctic43-2-103.pdf

Although some mention of relocating bears is made in this summery, I personally know of at least three blacks that returned to terminal camp in Valdez.
Blacks were never a problem in Valdez. Browns/grizzlies were very dangerous in the camps up North. We lost our Bull cook (Custodian) and her husband to a Brown bear mauling just a couple of miles from camp in a parking lot where the camp bus dropped off many people. Neither died, but their recoveries went beyond the length of job.
So, the words Autumn and Fall are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world!

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new?"It has been already, in the ages before us. Ecc 1: 9-10
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http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptozoo-ne ... red-panda/
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http://www.nimh.nih.gov/about/director/ ... ness.shtml

Director’s Blog
August 13, 2010

Microbes and Mental Illness
Thomas Insel

Hints that some mental illness may be linked to infectious agents and/or autoimmune processes date back to at least the early 20th Century. In the 21st Century, the field of microbiomics, which is mapping the microbial environment of the human organism, may transform the way we think about human physical and mental development.1 It is already clear that 90% of “our DNA” is microbial, not human. “We” are, in fact, “super-organisms” made up of thousands of species, many of which are being identified for the first time. And there are persistent individual differences in our microbial ecology established early in life.

Insights from microbiomics have proven important for understanding obesity2 and Type 1 diabetes,3 but microbiomics has not yet been a focus for research on mental illness. Yet, there are many clues linking microbiology and mental disorders, such as epidemiologic evidence of increased risk for schizophrenia associated with prenatal exposure to influenza. Probably the most compelling case for such involvement is children who develop obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or tic disorders “overnight,” following a strep infection. Despite continuing debate over its parameters, evidence is mounting in support of Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) — or at least a syndrome modeled on it.

Last month, the NIMH Pediatric Developmental Neuroscience Branch convened dozens of experts from the field — including prominent PANDAS critics — to update the science and attempt to achieve consensus on criteria defining the syndrome. The mere fact that the conference took place signals a change in the scientific climate. Until now, whether a child presenting with sudden onset of OCD and/or tic symptoms gets checked for possible involvement of strep has varied—often depending on which medical journals a practitioner happens to read. I am hopeful that will begin to change in light of the new evidence.

Interest in PANDAS has also been spurred by an increasingly vocal network of affected families and the clinicians who are treating their often severely-impaired children. Conference participants heard reports from the front lines by some of these clinicians, who largely corroborated key features of the syndrome, originally identified by NIMH’s Dr. Susan Swedo in the mid-l990s. These include sudden onset of mood swings, impulsivity, anxiety, impaired attention and poor handwriting in addition to obsessions, compulsions and tics. Dr. Swedo’s studies have identified brain mechanisms through which strep antibodies act. They have also demonstrated that cleansing the blood of the antibodies, via plasma exchange or intravenous immunoglobulin, significantly diminishes the symptoms.

Impetus for the July conference came, in part, from publication of two independent studies within the past year that lend new credence to the PANDAS concept.

In the first, Columbia University researchers demonstrated, for the first time, that strep-triggered antibodies alone are necessary and sufficient to trigger a PANDAS-like syndrome in mice.4 In an autoimmune-disease susceptible strain of mice, exposure to strep triggered OCD-like repetitive behaviors and antibodies that attacked specific molecules in the brain. PANDAS-like behaviors also emerged in naïve mice after they received antibodies from such PANDAS mice. These included impaired learning and memory and social interaction. As in humans with PANDAS, these impairments were more common in males than females.

In the second study, a Yale University research team reported that OCD and Tourette Syndrome (tic) symptoms worsened slightly following a strep infection in some affected children. Moreover, the strep infection triggered the worsened symptoms by increasing the impact of psycho-social stress.5 The findings suggest that a subset of children with these disorders may be at increased risk of strep infection, which could interact with stress to exacerbate the course, as is seen in other infectious and autoimmune diseases.

Granted, these new findings are still preliminary and need to be replicated. However, the data relating to PANDAS is compelling enough to warrant following up such leads. NIMH is preparing to launch a new trial of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment for PANDAS this Fall, with support from a NIH Clinical Center “Bench to Bedside” award. The intramural NIMH will provide the clinical care, while data analysis will be carried out by independent teams of investigators at Yale University and the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center. Dr. Swedo and her team are hoping to recruit 50 children with clear-cut PANDAS. They are predicting that IVIG treatment will produce striking benefits for OCD and other neuropsychiatric symptoms, and will be most effective for those children who start out with the highest levels of strep-triggered antibodies that go astray and attack parts of the brain. Moreover, monoclonal antibodies derived from these patients will be used to develop animal models of OCD that could lead to improved treatments.

Do infectious agents influence the development of autism, anxiety, or mood disorders? This remains a frontier area for NIMH research. The increasing evidence linking strep infection to OCD in children suggests that microbiomics may prove an important research area for understanding and treating mental disorders.

References
1Bacterial community variation in human body habitats across space and time.
Costello EK, Lauber CL, Hamady M, Fierer N, Gordon JI, Knight R.
Science. 2009 Dec 18;326(5960):1694-7. Epub 2009 Nov 5.PMID: 19892944

2A core gut microbiome in obese and lean twins.
Turnbaugh PJ, Hamady M, Yatsunenko T, Cantarel BL, Duncan A, Ley RE, Sogin ML, Jones WJ, Roe BA, Affourtit JP, Egholm M, Henrissat B, Heath AC, Knight R, Gordon JI.
Nature. 2009 Jan 22;457(7228):480-4. Epub 2008 Nov 30.PMID: 19043404

3Innate immunity and intestinal microbiota in the development of Type 1 diabetes.
Wen L, Ley RE, Volchkov PY, Stranges PB, Avanesyan L, Stonebraker AC, Hu C, Wong FS, Szot GL, Bluestone JA, Gordon JI, Chervonsky AV.
Nature. 2008 Oct 23;455(7216):1109-13. Epub 2008 Sep 21.PMID: 18806780

4Passive transfer of streptococcus-induced antibodies reproduces behavioral disturbances in a mouse model of pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infection.
Yaddanapudi K, Hornig M, Serge R, De Miranda J, Baghban A, Villar G, Lipkin WI.
Mol Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;15(7):712-26. Epub 2009 Aug 11.PMID: 19668249.

5Streptococcal upper respiratory tract infections and psychosocial stress predict future tic and obsessive-compulsive symptom severity in children and adolescents with Tourette syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Lin H, Williams KA, Katsovich L, Findley DB, Grantz H, Lombroso PJ, King RA, Bessen DE, Johnson D, Kaplan EL, Landeros-Weisenberger A, Zhang H, Leckman JF.
Biol Psychiatry. 2010 Apr 1;67(7):684-91. Epub 2009 Oct 14.PMID: 19833320.

Learn more about: Basic Research, Clinical Research and Trials, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). View all posts about: Basic Research, Clinical Research and Trials, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11101536

27 August 2010 Last updated at 05:31 ET
Plants send SOS signal to insects
By Victoria Gill Science reporter, BBC News
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... burbs.html


Drunk baboons plague Cape Town's exclusive suburbs

The sun is setting over South Africa's oldest vineyard and the last of the wine-tasting tourists are climbing onto their buses. But one large family group has no intention of leaving – and there is little the management can do about it.

Whistle <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/cheers.gif" alt="Cheers" title="cheers" />
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How do you control slugs in your garden?

bury jars with beer and they get drunk and drown!

Put out containers filled with all sorts of wines, spirits and beers. The
baboons will go for the ones they like best and not touch the grapes!

Then you "collect" them all and take back to their territories or
dispose of them - case of "spirit" control. Sounds better than
"humanely destroyed"!

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Ship them to Afganistan. Maybe they haven't tried Taliban poppies.
Maybe I shouldn't say this, but they might just blend right in with the locals.
So, the words Autumn and Fall are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world!

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new?"It has been already, in the ages before us. Ecc 1: 9-10
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http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 171424.htm

Quote:Now, UCLA researchers and their colleagues have found that during the initial stages of biofilm formation, bacteria can actually stand upright and "walk" as part of their adaptation to a surface.

"Bacteria exist in two physiological states: the free-swimming, single-celled planktonic state and the surface-mounted biofilm state, a dense, structured, community of cells governed by their own sociology," said Gerard Wong, a professor of bioengineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and at the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.

"Bacteria in biofilms are phenotypically different from free-swimming bacteria even though they are genomically identical. As part of their adaptation to a surface and to the existence of a community, different genes are turned up and down for bacteria in biofilms, leading to drastically different behavior," he said.

In the study,
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http://news.discovery.com/animals/anima ... brain.html
Animals Said to Have Spiritual Experiences
Ever have an out-of-body experience? Your dog may have too.
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Well, my dog floats around the top of the Weber grill when I do beef ribs, and
once, very nearly mastered the English language trying to ask for one.
Don't know if that's 'out of body' or not, but I was impressed.
My dog is a miniature Schnauzer.
So, the words Autumn and Fall are not to be capitalized?
They are in my world!

What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new?"It has been already, in the ages before us. Ecc 1: 9-10
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