In 1998, Nicky Clayton from the University of Cambridge published the first of many seminal experiments with western scrub-jays, showing that they can remember where they had stored food and which hoards were freshest. In other words, these bird brains also have episodic-like memories. We say “episodic-like” since we can’t really know if the animals store their what-where-when information into single coherent memories in the way that we do. Still, it’s clear that the components are there.
Since then, the episodic-like memory club has grown to include the great apes, rats, hummingbirds, and pigeons. But these are all mammals and birds. Christelle Jozet-Alves from Normandie University wanted to know if the same skills existed in animals that are very different to these usual suspects. She turned to the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis).
Like octopuses and squid, cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) are cephalopods—a group of animals known for their amazing color-changing skin and sophisticated intelligence. Cuttlefish are separated from birds and mammals by almost a billion years of evolution. But Jozet-Alves, together with Clayton and Marion Bertin, has shown that they too can “keep track of what they have eaten, and where and how long ago they ate”.
World’s First 3D Images of Snowflakes Falling
Curious History recently posted about the world’s first pictures of snowflakes ever taken in 1885 by William Bentley. We know have another first, the world’s first 3D images of snowflakes caught as they are falling.
Researchers at the University of Utah have teamed up with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to better understand just how fast and in what form snowflakes truly fall. To accomplish this, they used a high-speed Multi-Angle Snowflake Cam (aka “MASC”) to capture real-time 3D images of snowflakes in freefall at Utah’s Alta Ski Area.
The study is reportedly the first of its kind, and it’s already turning up some really interesting results.
Writes John Bohannon for Science NOW:
The classic image of a snowflake is a fluke. That flat, six-sided crystal with delicate filigree patterns of sharp branches occurs in only about one in every 1000 flakes. And a snowflake seen in 3D is another beast entirely. Researchers have developed a camera system that shoots untouched flakes “in the wild” as they fall from the sky. By grabbing a series of images of the tumbling crystals—its exposure time is one-40,000th of a second, compared with about one-200th in normal photography—the camera is revealing the true shape diversity of snowflakes.
Above is a tiny cross section of the variety of snowflakes MASC has photographed in free-fall so far. Check out tons more at the Snowflake Stereography and Fallspeed home page, or – when it’s snowing – at Alta Ski Area’s Snowflake Showcase, where you can watch a live feed of snowflakes falling in real time.
Today I learned about cuttlefish!
My favorite part was the little crazy poisonous dude who can’t swim good so it WALKS along the bottom of the sea.
My least favorite part was how the male scientist was baffled about why one type of cuttlefish would consider it advantageous to choose the sperm of the males who mimic the females and avoid fighting the other bigger male cuttlefish and sneak in to drop off their sperm packets politely.
Lois Lane, Reporter by Kate Beaton
This is the best comic strip series ever.
we’re taking a group of people who have insider knowledge of the English language (or at least a good grasp of it) and placing them in a new, unfamiliar, virtual space. This space introduces visual aids to language in the form of photos and gifs, the ability to comment on someone else’s text in a reblog and the ability to communicate a lot of information in very few words using hashtags. We also see the creation of tone in a toneless medium. In order to simulate conversational patterns in writing we SHOUT WHEN WE’RE SUPER EXCITED or *psssst whisper when we’re pretending to tell someone a secret while perfectly aware that anyone on the internet can read what we’re saying.* slash the coolest bit tho is that u can like ironically forgo all capitalization and punctuation just write in a weird speech pattern its ok everyone will still understand maybe it even helps read the text more quickly because nothing is interrupting the flow of words
In short, this dialect results when people who already share a language are given new tools. The result isn’t a butchering of English language but a creative experiment with it. Am I claiming that the Internet as a whole is operating on a level of postmodernism that would make Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Pynchon seem like novices? maybe i am maybe im not u punk wut of it like who r u to tell me otherwise
"Turns out that psychiatrist Thomas Wehr ran an experiment back in the ‘90s in which people were thrust into darkness for 14 hours every day for a month. When their sleep regulated, a strange pattern emerged. They slept first for four hours, then woke for one or…
Petition to have Stanley Tucci host the Oscars as Caesar Flickerman.
Via Andrew Reding
[Port of Bellingham, WA, U.S.]
Ice skating by night in Vienna circa 1910.
Photograph: Imagno/Getty Images
Victorian Christmas card, wishing you Peace, Joy, Health and Happiness. Victorians were very interested in natural history, which may explain this unique illustration. 1880. (via)
Sylvie Guillem .. rehearsing on stage for Sleeping Beauty. Royal Opera House. Photograph by Gilles Tapie.
We were very excited this morning when Patience and Fortitude received new wreaths for the season! The lions haven’t worn the winter accessory for nine years, but these wreaths were created so they do not harm their marble. A beloved tradition returns!
Patience and Fortitude hope you’ll stop by to see them in their new finery!
Tired swimmer rescued in Finland
During the first weekend of November, a Finnish man was kayaking on a lake in a thick fog. He saw something floating in the water, and when he got closer he saw that it was a Northern Hawk-Owl. It was clearly exhausted and the man lifted it out of the freezing water onto the tip of his kayak. The owl then crawled to his lap for warmth and burrowed under his lifejacket.
Since his original destination was too far away, the man decided to head for a nearby art museum on the lake shore. Once there he was eagerly assisted by both visitors and a museum guide, who took the bird in to rest and dry up next to a warm stove. At the end of the day the owl had recovered and was released back into the wild.
How the owl ended up in the lake in the first place remains a mystery. It may have got lost in the fog, or have been driven out to the lake by Hooded Crows (if a flock spots a predatory bird they tend to chase it away quite aggressively).
(This is my summarized translation of the article which is only available in Finnish. No copyright infringement is intended, only sharing this to celebrate the brave little owl and all the people who helped him.)
Oh my god, that is a “I’ve seen some SHIT dude” face if I ever saw one
<3 <3 <3