Posted Apr 1, 2006
I just marvel at this. Some researchers at U. Bristol have apparently demonstrated that, according to these 3 specific criteria, there are teachers and pupils among ants: 1) the teacher must perform the task at hand less efficiently than they would without the pupil present, 2) the pupil must learn faster than they would by themselves and, 3) there must be feedback between the two. In this case, the task at hand was to show nestmates a new source of food, placed 15cm away by the researcher. Here's what happened in the lab - two ants were observed to run along in tandem, but slower than the leader would alone, and the pupil would stop the teacher by tapping w/antennae, then the pupil turns around in loops. The results were that the pupils could then find the food in 2/3 the time it would otherwise take. Have a look at www.sciencenews.org/articles/20060114/antteach.avi
Ok, first, just thinking about the running, tapping, and looping has caused me to stop what I was doing several times yesterday to laugh. Then, think of it - even chimps, apparently, don't exhibit this teacher/pupil behavior. I don't either, come to think of it. With a nephew or niece about, I'll keep on with what I'm doing and answer any question they may have, but it's more of a process of demonstration and I don't usually slow down, even with one sitting on my shoulders tapping on my head.
Here comes Daylight Savings Time
Posted Mar 30, 2006
I look forward to Daylight Savings Time about like the arrival of a proctologist's finger - it is an insult, and nothing quite prepares one for it.
Nuts - Bolts - Fastenating
Posted Feb 6, 2006
Idea for GE
land ownership - possible research topic
Posted Dec 16, 2005
i remember reading somewhere the thesis that personal wealth depends on land ownership - ie. those countries that have lots of land and impoverished citizens are those in which land ownership is controlled by heads of tribes, or by government, or by... and those countries in which land can be freely bought & sold are those with the wealthiest citizens.
I have also heard it said that all title to land originally derives from forcible takeover. true?
finally, what does it mean to "own land?" how has this definition, whatever it is, evolved (ie. if land ownership changes economy, does economy also change ownership?)