Now here’s a really rich diet.
Termites in India have been blamed for eating 10 million rupees in cash in a steel chest at a bank. Bankers are wringing their hands and calling in exterminators over the loss of the equivalent of $225,000.
“Please forgive me for crashing. I didn’t mean it!”
Your computer can feel “virtual regret,” according to Israeli scientists, who define it as the gap between the desired and actual outcome a program “feels.” They’re working on an algorithm that will make computers work more efficiently — and feel better about themselves
Municipal officials in England refused to pick up a granny’s garbage because they claimed it included plucked garden weeds that were too dirty. The officials told the 74-year-old woman that the weeds she put in the trash had too much soil on them. “Are we going to be asked to wash our weeds next?” her incredulous son asked.
Fire Ants Assemble
For the first time, a group of engineers has attacked the question of ant flotation from a physics perspective. Ants float as a group because they can harness the power of nearby air bubbles. Grasping each other’s mandibles or front legs with a force 400 times their body weight, the ants are able to trap small pockets of air between them — like a group floatation device. “The ants are so tightly knit together, that air pockets form between the water and the ants, and water cannot penetrate through any part,” said Nathan Mlot, a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and one of the study’s authors. The bottom layer of ants rests on top of the water’s surface, and others pile on above them. Even when they do get submerged, the pockets of air bring them back to the surface quickly — and allow them to breathe. When they get submerged, the ants flex their muscles in unison to form a tighter weave.
Watch a news report on floating ants here:
Above reports are from The Philadelphia Inquirer and The New York Post. Reprinted here for educational purposes only.