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God Has a Sense of Humour
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Double Helix Found thanks to LSD
Wednesday, 24th January, 2007 Posted by Beren @ 21:47:14
Well you learn something new everyday, and this was today's little tid-bit which I learned. Could be interesting for a triva night sometime.
FRANCIS CRICK, the Nobel Prize-winning father of modern genetics, was under the influence of LSD when he first deduced thedouble-helix structure of DNA nearly 50 years ago.

The abrasive and unorthodox Crick and his brilliant American co-researcher James Watson famously celebrated their eureka moment in March 1953 by running from the now legendary Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge to the nearby Eagle pub, where they announced over pints of bitter that they had discovered the secret of life.

Crick, who died ten days ago, aged 88, later told a fellow scientist that he often used small doses of LSD then an experimental drug used in psychotherapy to boost his powers of thought. He said it was LSD, not the Eagle's warm beer, that helped him to unravel the structure of DNA, the discovery that won him the Nobel Prize.

Source
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Japanese Extreme Sports TV show
Monday, 15th January, 2007 Posted by Beren @ 10:59:33
I wish Australia had shows like this.. its amazing. Puts that gladiator rubbish from the 90s to shame.

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Wasp turns Coachroach into a drone
Friday, 5th January, 2007 Posted by Beren @ 09:42:12
Another amazing story from the insect world. The creation we live in never ceases to amaze.
The wasp slips her stinger through the roach's exoskeleton and directly into its brain. She apparently use ssensors along the sides of the stinger to guide it through the brain, a bit like a surgeon snaking his way to an appendix with a laparoscope. She continues to probe the roach's brain until she reaches one particular spot that appears to control the escape reflex. She injects a second venom that influences these neurons in such a way that the escape reflex disappears.

From the outside, the effect is surreal. The wasp does not paralyze the cockroach. In fact, the roach is able to lift up its front legs again and walk. But now it cannot move of its own accord. The wasp takes hold of one of the roach's antennae and leads it--in the words of Israeli scientists who study Ampulex--like a dog on a leash.

The zombie roach crawls where its master leads, which turns out to be the wasp's burrow.

Source
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Praying Mantis Eats Humming Bird
Thursday, 4th January, 2007 Posted by Beren @ 00:06:58
Creation certainly is full of surprises.



The other day while I was working in the yard my son urgently called to me. "Dad, a praying mantis caught a hummingbird!"

Not sure what to expect, but knowing my son is not one to make things up, I came running to see for myself. By the time I arrived it was too late for the poor hummer and my scientifically minded son had already begun taking pictures and studying the scene.

As you can see from the photographs this hungry mantis captured and killed a hummingbird not much smaller than itself. The mantis used its spiny left foreleg to impale the hummingbird through the chest while leaving his right leg free.

We surmised that the mantis ran the hummer through and dangled its full weight on its foreleg while he consumed the flesh of the hummingbird from the abdomen. After he had his fill, the mantis gave his foreleg several swift jerks and freed his leg.

This was an unfortunate experience for the hummer, but we are amazed to realize how fast, precise, and powerful the mantis must be to accomplish such a feat!

Source
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Indiana Jones 4
Wednesday, 3rd January, 2007 Posted by Beren @ 16:39:36
Well after several attempts at getting a script that the 3 of them can agree on, it looks like Indy is now set for another movie. I for one can't wait.
Nineteen years after chasing down the Holy Grail in "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," Harrison Ford will return to the big screen in the character of the globe-trotting archeologist in May 2008.

Producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg confirmed details of the project Monday after Lucas tipped off the media to Indiana Jones' imminent return as he prepared to serve as grand marshal of the Rose Parade in Pasadena.

After years spent in script development, a fourth installment of the famously successful franchise is set to begin production in June in locations around the world and in the U.S.

More here

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Game: Tower Defence
Saturday, 30th December, 2006 Posted by Beren @ 21:11:10
Oh how the simple things in life bring such amusement.



I just lost a few hours to this thing: Tower Defence. My best is 81.
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