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Monday, 19 March 2012

bees, bugs, Bush's basket... and Mars

From: KA$H

"In the study, Andrea Tapparo and colleagues explain that seeds coated with so-called neonicotinoid insecticides went into wide use in Europe in the late 1990s. The insecticides are among the most widely used in the world, popular because they kill insects by paralyzing nerves but have lower toxicity for other animals. Almost immediately, beekeepers observed large die-offs of bees that seemed to coincide with mid-March to May corn planting. Scientists thought this might be due to particles of insecticide made airborne by the pneumatic drilling machines used for planting."
Science Daily

"The World Health Organization currently lists the case fatality of avian influenza (H5) somewhere between 50% and 80%. This is the percentage of all cases that report in a hospital and have been confirmed through labwork. Currently, it is transmissible through fluids by coming in contact with infected birds. The two studies under the radar here, by Ron Fouchier at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam and by Yoshihiro Kawaoka at the University of Wisconsin, have been submitted but not yet published to Science and Nature respectively. Though different, they both prove that it takes a relatively small number of mutations for the virus to become transmissible through aerosol in ferrets."

"In the simulation shown by [Aron] Kisdia [a University of Southampton engineer], a swarm of 50 robots would be able to cover a 300 square meter area in around 5 days. With the addition of more robots with a greater search capability, the search area would be able to be increased.
     Kisdi’s next step is to begin developing the hardware required for the robots, but the idea of a swarm of honey bee robots opens up the potential for much more in-depth searches becoming possible on Mars."

"By far the most compelling confirmation of the phallic meaning of the president's aircraft-carrier cakewalk was found on the hot-selling 'George W. Bush Top Gun action figure' manufactured by Talking Presidents. I originally ordered one to use as part of the cover design for this book. The studly twelve-inch flyboy not only comes with a helmet and visor, goggles and oxygen mask, but underneath his flight suit is a full 'basket' --- a genuine fake penis, apparently constructed with lifelike silicone."
— From: The Wimp Factor by Shephen J. Ducat

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