The Big Think

April 4, 2005

Pipe Down

Filed under: Science — jasony @ 10:27 pm

This is interesting:

Prairie dogs, those little pups popping in and out of holes on vacant lots and rural rangeland, are talking up a storm. They have different “words” for tall human in yellow shirt, short human in green shirt, coyote, deer, red-tailed hawk and many other creatures.

They can even coin new terms for things they’ve never seen before, independently coming up with the same calls or words, according to Con Slobodchikoff, a Northern Arizona University biology professor and prairie dog linguist.

Prairie dogs of the Gunnison’s species, which Slobodchikoff has studied, speak different dialects in Grants and Taos, N.M.; Flagstaff, Ariz.; and Monarch Pass, Colo., but they would likely understand one another, the professor says.

“So far, I think we are showing the most sophisticated communication system that anyone has shown in animals,” Slobodchikoff said.

read more

Yes, It Is

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 1:05 pm

Email exchange with Patrick in Anaheim:

Me: so how was the trip?

Patrick: still on it -boarding “it’s a small world”

Ain’t technology great?

End Game

Filed under: Computing — jasony @ 10:39 am

For everyone who ever struggled to finish a Super Nintendo game, but never got around to it, this guy has documented hundreds of endgame shots.

Cold Day In…

Filed under: Space — jasony @ 10:23 am

Photographic evidence of water on Mars! Amazing! Thanks Nasa.

The Unicorn Tapestries

Filed under: Computing — jasony @ 10:16 am

One of my favorite non-fiction authors, Richard Preston, has written an article about the indefatigable brothers Chudnovsky.
check it out.
Oh, and if you’re into numbers, don’t miss this old, but great, New Yorker essay on the Bros. attempt to get way, way, WAY into the trancendental number Pi. Also by Richard Preston.

Preston wrote “The Hot Zone” and “The Cobra Event”, two very popular medical thrillers about Ebola viruses. He also wrote one of my favorite science books: “First Light”. He’s got another book called “American Steel” that looks great, but I’ve never been able to find it. When it comes to clearly and entertainingly describing a subject, Preston is without peer.

You can see pictures of the famous Unicorn Tapestries here.

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