One of the most humiliating ways to die is to be snuggled to death by bees. This is true whatever your species, but it is most common for the giant Asian hornet, whose tough exo-skeleton is so thick that their rival Japanese honeybees cannot sting them. Instead, the bees swarm around the unfortunate hornet and beat their flight muscles until their combined body heat raises the internal temperature of the ball to 47° Celsius (116° F), smothering the invader in a deadly cuddle. Interestingly,
Here are some alternate titles considered for this blog post: “Honey: It’s What the Doctor Ordered,” “Pour Some Honey on Me,” “Harry Potter and the Unkillable Honey-Man.” That last one's mostly to try and score some extra Google hits, but any of them would be appropriate for this blog post over at Scientific American, which describes what two recent studies have found...
Hooray! It’s spring! It’s finally getting sunny outside! Happy dogs chasing balls! Long bike rides in the park! And of course, salesmen trying to get their hands on your hard-earned money. Because I'm sure any good salesperson already knows what recent research from Canada has found: when the sun comes out, our spending goes up.
It’s not just that we buy more, either. On a sunny day,...
"In order to control others, one must first control oneself." This is a principle of aikido, the Japanese martial art. It is probably a motto of other things as well, but it's hard to bear verifying this: search the Internet for quotes about “controlling others,” and the results are terrifying. The truism does appear to have backing, though, as new research from the Max-Planck Institute for Cognitive and Brain...
Have you ever wanted to trick a fish? Of course you have. And now, through the miracle of robotics, we can make that dream a reality. Researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University have invented a robotic fish that moves realistically enough to cause real fish to follow it in a school. In the process, they have learned (at least partly) what makes a leader among fish: beating its tail rapidly. This creates a wake in which other fish can follow with less tail movement, which...
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