It is a real pleasure to introduce Judy Olmsted, our first TIP graduate, who now excels at splitting alternates, re-categorization and, of course, answering questions on the site, among other features! Though Judy joined our online community recently, she has already become a bronze contributor with her over 2800 contributions in the Health, Human Anatomy and Biology categories. A former teacher, she is much loved by her students who voted her the Teacher of the Year three times – not to mention her own college who awarded her the honor of Educator of the Year! We are lucky to have Judy on our team, and soon she will be an Answers.com Supervisor, too! Read more and get to know her and her sense of humor… Continue reading
‘Ooh I love it!’ My friend screamed in the middle of the car dealership. Although we all know they are a target for the cops, she was instantly taken by the glitzy red Ferrari. ‘It’s so pretty and shiny and exciting, I want it!’
As we rolled down the block for a test drive, pedestrians left and right turned their heads to the car. ‘This is ridiculous,’ I thought. But, I couldn’t help stare at it myself. Humans are wired to be attracted to bright things.
The casinos in Vegas draw us in like a fly to a fluorescent light. An ice cream cone doesn’t look quite the same without those colored sprinkles. Take a walk down 5th Ave and watch the heads turn at the Tiffany’s window – diamonds and 14 karat gold sparkling everywhere (guys, don’t tell me that you don’t take a quick glance at the latest Rolex models). Rainbow Brite would not have been so popular if she were named ‘Rainbow shades of Black and Grey’.
And hey, let’s be honest- I’m not saying blondes have all the fun, but study after study shows they do get much more attention than the average brunette.
Yet, in the animal world, the exact opposite occurs. Bright colors are synonymous with danger. Animals are trained to stay away from pretty, shiny, glowing creatures. Phosphorescence is a clear warning sign ‘poison up ahead’. Spots and bold patterns mean ‘back off buddy.’
Take the Blue ringed octopus of Australia for example: one bite can kill 26 humans. The Coral snake of North America has funky bands and stripes on its body to warn of it’s neurotoxic venom.
You know that cute little arrow dart frog that looks like porcelain and fits in your hand? It secretes a chemical, Homobatrachotoxin, 500 times more potent than morphine. Non-coincidentally, scientists just discovered that a bright black and orange bird from New Guinea, called the Hooded Pitohui, actually carries this same toxin in its feathers.
Need I even mention the infamous Monarch butterfly; How many innocent lizards have met an ill fate ingesting one of these flying candy canes? RIP, my little dinosaur friends.
Heck, it’s so effective to be obnoxiously beautiful, different species try to mimic the same aposematic color patterns of their toxic friends. In the biological world this is known as Batesian Mimicry; blonde hair dye anyone?
So, If bright colors are dangerous, why are humans drawn to them while most species know to stay away? Maybe we should take a hint from our animal counterparts instead of learning it the hard way, as one WikiAnswers user asked:
Yes they are.
Their yellow hair stands out in a crowd. Blondes pretty much know the power they have over men and women. Don’t be fooled.
So, there you have it, all you need in life to stay happy and safe is a brunette.
Ever notice how there are a lot of “ologies” out there?
You have the obvious ones:
You have the ones that make you think, do I ever need to know about that:
You have the courses you took in university as an excuse to be there:
You have the ones that make you shudder:
You have the ones that make you do a double-take:
Well, at least there’s a place where you can learn all about the different ologies. Let’s face it – you never know when you’re going to be out there in snow-capped mother nature and need to know a little something about Climatology.
Everywhere we turn there they are; in the food we eat, the air we breathe and even on our cute pet pugs; no, I am not talking about the cast from High School Musical. I speak of parasites. As long as nature has evolved, parasites have evolved along with it.
So exactly what is a parasite, asks a WikiAnswers user.
A parasite is an organism that benefits from a close, prolonged relationship with another organism – its host – while the host organism is harmed. Examples include tapeworms in the human intestine, mites on a parrot or fungus infesting a maple tree. In all these cases, one species is sucking the life force out of another species.
The answer, my fellow humans, is yes. Scientifically referred to as direct intraspecific kleptoparasitism, this type of parasitism is rare in nature but an all too common phenomenon amongst our own kind. Think about those hardworking parents, waiting with outstretched arms, to embrace their Xbox-playing, beer-chugging, Tila-Tequila-quoting, recent college graduates. These parents are so happy and giving, only to find, five years down the line, that their child has no intention of leaving the house with the couch, free laundry service and magical fridge that autofills each week.
What can we do to remedy this problem?
In nature, the rule is kill or be killed: the host or parasite will eventually die. Luckily, tapeworms are destroyed by one prescribed pill from the doctor, parrots get treated with a lethal-mite shampoo and fungus on a maple tree is attacked by toxins in the leaves.
People parasites are, however, different. There is no shampoo that gets your son a job interview or special toxin that oozes out of the Xbox controller when it’s been handled too long.
Feeling scientific and economic and biologic today. Which is why I summoned Jim to answer this question today:
This question can be answered on the micro level and the macro level. Since I didn’t take Micro or Macro in college I can’t answer it with either of these approaches. Fortunately, I know a lot about growing rooftop gardens, so that will allow me to answer this question without losing a step.
Rainwater collection technologies allow for plants to be grown, and for plants to be grown in new places. For example, the sides of buildings are now open to plant growth, creating a natural insulation and simultaneously cutting down on energy costs.
Recent studies have shown that lower energy costs gives the general populous more money to invest in malaria prevention. Mexico, being one of the world’s leaders in green rooftop growing has seen a huge surplus of funds being invested into malaria research.
To summarize, increased green roof production has led to lower energy costs, a low rate of malaria due to high malaria prevention investments, which in turn has led to more and more healthy people to work on their rooftop gardens.
Therefore the main effect of malaria on the Mexican economy has been the increased number of locally grown organic tomatoes.
This has in turn led to large scale tomato growers to lose their businesses, reducing the taxes they pay to the government. With less tax revenue, Mexico has grown much poorer, resulting in less money to invest in rooftop garden technologies.
This in turn means the general populous has less money to invest in malaria prevention technologies, increasing the malaria infection rate ten fold.
With such a sick population and nobody working, the country has suffered enormously. You see, it’s really a double edged sword.
I also suggest taking micro and macro in college.