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JITTERY CRICKETS PASS SPIDEY-SENSES TO OFFSPRING

Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart January 31, 2010 at 12:25 pm

cricket

“A mother’s care sometimes knows no bounds. It turns out that crickets manage to forewarn their offspring of lurking spiders, despite the small matter of never actually meeting them.

Jonathan Storm, a behavioural ecologist now at the University of South Carolina Upstate, in Spartanburg, briefly exposed lab-grown female crickets to wolf spiders whose fangs had been immobilised with wax, then studied the behaviour of their subsequent offspring.

He found that their offspring remained motionless for longer in the presence of spider silk or droppings than the offspring of mothers that had not been exposed to spiders.”

Read more at New Scientist

“MYTHICAL” TEMPLE FOUND IN PERU

Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart January 31, 2010 at 10:25 am

temple

“A thousand-year-old temple complex (including a tomb with human sacrifice victims, shown in a digital illustration) has been found under the windswept dunes of northwestern Peru, archaeologists say.

The discovery of the complex, excavated near the city of Chiclayo (map) between 2006 and late 2009, has injected a dose of reality into the legend of Naylamp, the god who supposedly founded the pre-Inca Lambayeque civilization in the eighth century A.D., following the collapse of the Moche civilization.

That’s because evidence at the Chotuna-Chornancap archaeological site indicates the temple complex may have belonged to people claiming to have descended from Naylamp—suggesting for the first time that these supposed descendants existed in the flesh.”

Read more at National Geographic

MOST DRIVERS FEEL THEY ARE SUPERIOR BEHIND THE WHEEL

Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart January 31, 2010 at 9:21 am

driver

“Most motorists fancy themselves as better drivers than others on the road, Canadian psychologists have found. When Ottawa University researchers polled nearly 400 drivers ranging from the youngest to the very old, virtually all rated themselves favourably. This was especially true when older drivers were used for comparison, even if the person questioned fell into that category themselves.

This bravado could lead to more accidents, the scientists warned. Clearly, it is impossible that all drivers are better, the psychologists told the Accident Analysis and Prevention journal. Since drivers underestimate their own risk and overestimate their ability, this may make them less cautious on the roads, they say.

All drivers, men and women, young and old, rated themselves over the “average motorist”, especially when this average motorist fell into the over 65 age category. Young men felt the most superior. Middle-aged men rated themselves as better than similarly aged drivers, and far superior to younger and older motorists. Older drivers – aged 65 plus – felt most superior when they compared themselves with motorists of the same age.”

Read more at the BBC

PAKISTAN’S TRANSGENDER MINORITY FINDS ITS VOICE

Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart January 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm

trans

“Down a grimy alleyway in Rawalpindi, in the heart of Pakistan’s military establishment, a striking figure tweaked her makeup and squirted a dash of perfume under her arms.

Life as a hijra, as Pakistan’s transgender minority is known, can be tough, said 21-year-old Alisha, recounting tales of extortion, sexual violence and predatory policemen. But of late things have started to improve.

The government has offered help, the hijras’ plight has come into the public eye, and even the police are showing a little respect.

“They call us the chief justice’s darlings,” she said.

An unlikely revolution is stirring among Pakistan’s transgender community.”

Read more at The Guardian

BENEVOLENT HACKERS POKE HOLES IN E-BANKING

Posted in Blog Archive

Posted by abeodbart January 30, 2010 at 10:44 am

hax

“ONLINE banking fraud doesn’t just affect the naive. Last year, Robert Mueller, a director at the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, admitted he’d come within a mouse-click of being a victim himself. Now the extent of the problem has been brought into sharp relief, with computer scientists warning that banking culture is increasing the likelihood that customers are using vulnerable systems.

The convenience of online banking and electronic money has led to a revolution in the way we save and spend our earnings. Banking websites and payment systems are relentlessly targeted by criminals, though, so continuous improvements in security are needed to prevent fraud. But as was revealed at this week’s Financial Cryptography and Data Security conference in Tenerife in the Canary Islands, some of the best-known security systems can still be compromised relatively easily.”

Read more at New Scientist

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