In Sanity We Trust
1. Kurt Cobain, musician $50 million
Forbes - Top-Earning Dead Celebrities
North American Monarch butterflies differ from other butterflies in that they migrate up to 5000km in each direction every year, though it's generally the third or fourth generation which arrives back at the point of departure. The generation that make the trip South for the winter do so in state of reproductive dormancy, they are physiologically different to earlier generations as they are designed to travel long distances and become fertile at places along the route. It is unlikely that any individual would be able make the entire journey in both directions.
Scientists tag the butterflies in order to uncover some of the mysteries surrounding the migration such as what phenomena ensure that the butterflies followthe same route year after year despite it being their maiden journey each time.
The Butterfly Website - The Migratory Behavior of the Monarch Butterfly
Ecology.info - Fall Migration Ecology of the Monarch Butterfly
PBS: Online - Alien Empire: Voyagers, Monarch Migration
This one from our "Gratuitous Time Wasting Department", do a google search on your name followed by "was arrested for" and see what turns up. I managed to get this creep at the top of my list.
Respected lycanthropologist Robert Cardy introduces the phenomenon of the Roaming Werewolf and discusses the implications for the wolf-in-residence in the urban setting.
Think for yourself and question authority.
- Timothy Leary
The Wandering Ant
Hanoi, June 21. I feel like I'm under seige. The vendors and taxi drivers just don't take no for an answer. The summer heat is oppressive. My hotel room is liberally infested with vermin, notably ants and cockroaches. I don't mind the ants so much, they are industrious creatures and at least dispose of the dead cockroaches. Verily, they are themselves cannibals and will carry off their fallen comrades for later consumption.
Industrious creatures, ants.
Conspiracy and Regicide
Fire ants have several queens at once, which is certainly advantageous in respect to genetic diversification within the colony. When an overly fertile queen is produced she is summarily terminated by a grass roots level movement engineered by the passage of pheremones - from ant to ant. The hapless hussy is ultimately grist for the mill, and good riddance. The contention of some scientists is that a limited gene diversity increases the vulnerability of the nest against parasites and diseases.
10/10/2006 Double Ten Day in Taiwan
Today is Taiwan's national day a.k.a. "double ten day". It's a day off work which is nice.
World's 100 Largest Economic Entities (2000)
The list begins much as you might expect 1. U.S.A. 2. Japan 3. Germany..... until number 23 when General Motors appears. Further down Wal-Mart, Exxon, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler show up. Also in there are I.B.M., Mitsubishi and Boeing.
- Hunter S. Thompson (1939 - 2005)
Xena Name Change
Recently Pluto was demoted to "Dwarf Planet" status largely due to it's irregular orbit and the fact that some bodies recently discovered in the Kuiper Belt are of comparable size or indeed larger. The minor planet 2003 UB313, nicknamed "Xena" which has been at the centre of that cosmic controversy, has now been officially dubbed Eris, the Greek goddess of chaos. The choice is perhaps appropriate given the circumstances though it's bound to upset those in favour of the warrior princess.
Some Things You Might Need To Know
Our Galaxy, The Milky Way is roughly 100,000 light years across and we travel within it at about 220 km/s. Despite this terrific velocity it still takes our sun about 250 million years to make a complete rotation around the galaxy. Our address is......The local Orion Spur spiral arm of the Milky Way (third stone from the sun!). That's roughly 8000 parsecs from the galactic center. We are part of the Local Group in the Virgo Supercluster. Our nearest neighbour is a dwarf called Sagittarius and we are on a collision course with the galaxy Andromeda. You can sit tight for now though as this won't take place for another 10 billion years or so.
The Universe Began with a Great Almighty Bang
Our Universe is about 13.8 billion years old. It started with the The Big Bang, though "bang" is a bit of a misnomer as there could not have been any sound whatsoever in the void. Black holes began to form very soon after the big bang. The one at the centre of our own galaxy is estimated to be about 3 million times the mass of our sun. Far from beeing the devastating destructive menace of sci-fi lore, black holes it seems were crucial in the formation of galaxies are now considered to be more like the engine rooms and they help keep the things together. There are some hundred billion galaxies in the universe, each containing hundreds of billions of stars (in very round numbers). In about seventy billion years the universe will begin to grow cold and dark as it thins out into a dilute field of elementary particles and radiation expanding infinitely.