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Social Studies

Bunnies wreak havoc on cars at Denver airport Add to ...

Bunnies attacking cars

Rabbits are wreaking havoc on cars parked at Denver International Airport by eating spark-plug cables and other wiring, reports Associated Press. “To stop the problem, federal wildlife workers are removing at least 100 bunnies a month while parking companies install better fences and build perches for predator hawks and eagles,” KCNC-TV reported. … “There’s another way to stop the damage that can cost thousands of dollars to repair: Mechanics say coating the wires with fox or coyote urine can rob the rabbits of their appetite. Fox urine can be purchased at many hunting shops.”

Wash your coffee mug

“Everyone has that one mug at work that they use for just about every beverage,” says The Huffington Post. “And even though you love it, the truth is, rarely does it get taken home for a good wash. Many times we’re scrubbing it at the office with sponges and brushes that have been used by everyone – hello, bacteria. In fact, Charles Gerba, PhD, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona, told Men’s Health that 20 per cent of mugs carry fecal bacteria. ‘Colonies of germs are living in your favourite cup,’ he told the magazine. That’s why cleaning your office cup is super important. … Gerba says to bring it home daily to be washed in a dishwasher on the hottest temperature possible.”

Animals are shrinking

“Right across the animal kingdom – from fish to amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals – reports are coming in of changes in body size, usually of animals getting smaller,” writes Henry Nicholls in the New Scientist. “This matters because body size affects everything, from the ability to catch food to the chances of escaping from predators to finding a mate. So why is the size of many animals changing and will the trend continue? Many biologists think that the answer is related to an observation made in 1847 by the zoologist Christian Bergmann. He pointed out that if you look at closely related species of mammals and birds, you find the smaller species tend to live in warmer climes. … [F]or a given set of adaptations to heat or cold, a smaller body is better in warmer conditions. The implication is obvious – as the world gets warmer, animals will get smaller.”

Slow-burning Norwegian TV

“Norwegian public TV is broadcasting a program showing a crackling fireplace – for 12 hours,” reports BBC News. “The NRK woodathon features firewood specialists providing commentary and advice on subjects such as chopping, stacking and burning wood. The transmission, titled Hel Ved, also features music and poetry. The head of programming at NRK, Rune Moeklebust, described it as ‘slow but noble television.’ … NRK is no stranger to such programming, correspondents say. In 2011, it broadcast more than 130 hours of a cruise ship sailing up the Norwegian coast to the Arctic.”

Driving? Be a pessimist

At any given time you can assume that at least 10 per cent of other drivers are distracted, says Paul Atchley, a psychologist in the transportation research institute at the University of Kansas. Studies have shown this “makes them even more dangerous than drunk drivers,” reports Scientific American Mind. “Defensive driving courses suggest you pay attention to the cars around you and be prepared for sudden stops or swerves. Atchley says he drives all the time ‘under the assumption that everyone else is out there to kill me’ and doing so, he reports, has saved him from wrecks twice in recent memory.”

Thought du jour

There are four varieties in society: the lovers, the ambitious, observers and fools. The fools are the happiest.

Hippolyte Taine, French critic and historian (1828-93)

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