God knows I talk about ants a lot. (Here, here, here) Listening to the often excellent Radiolab podcast, I recently heard an interview with E.O. Wilson, the legendary entomologist. He talked about how ants communicate mainly through pheromones and other scents, rather than sight, sound, and touch. An example is when an ant dies. There’s […]
Author Archive | weeklyrob
When George Bush the Younger was first elected, and the republicans controlled congress, here’s what I thought: —- I’m happy that all the government is on the same page. Now they can actually accomplish something, even if it’s not something that I want. At least they can do something. If it makes the country better, […]
This may not be earth-shattering news, but I’ve been noticing something that a lot of people seem to do. You bump into someone at work and get to talking about X. You’re surprised, because this guy does Xa, whereas you’ve always done Xb. So you say, “huh, I always did it Xb.” Really! Crazy! I […]
I’m reading A History of Histories (review and review). The basic idea, I gather, is that when someone writes a history, that piece of writing is itself a part of history. That piece of writing gives us an indication of what people at the time of the writing felt about history and how they fit […]
Why did people start calling the bicycle a bike? Why not a bice? A facsimile became a fax, but it would have easy to call is a fak, right? I don’t get it.
Read an article today about a man who accidentally fired a gun while in a Walmart. Shrug. What was interesting was the headline and first line of the story: — Surprise man arrested after gun fires at Walmart Authorities said a Surprise man has been arrested on suspicion of endangerment when the gun he was […]
The short version: Volunteers went through stressful tests, then tried different methods of relaxing (cup of tea, walking, listening to music, playing video games, reading). Reading brought down heart rate and muscle tension more quickly than any other method of relaxing. I’m not sure of the specifics of the test, since obviously lying down reading […]
It’s commonly said that the typical man tries to solve problems instead of simply empathizing and sympathizing with a typical woman. Right? They want men to connect with them “through sharing and understanding the concept of dry mouthedness.” Yes, I get all my relationship advice from “White Men Can’t Jump.” But there’s another disconnect of […]
A chimp isn’t a monkey, ok? Monkeys are chattering nincompoops compared to chimps, our closest living relatives. Chimps are smart. They build social networks, use tools, and have been taught sign language. They can think abstractly. My daughter has a book. In this book, you take magnets shaped and colored to represent animals, and you […]
As David Attenborough enthuses about penguins, check out the ad that pops up underneath. Nice timing.