Scientists Train Wasps for War on Terror
Trained wasps could replace bomb-sniffing dogs within five to ten years, according to this report. Using Pavlovian techniques to train the wasps, and a 15-inch plastic cylinder with five wasps within it, with an opening to the atmosphere (allowing air in, while keeping the wasps contained) at one end, and a computer sensor/camera attachment at the other end, chemical compounds in concentrations as low as four parts per billion can reportedly be detected. Moreover, where it takes several months and several thousands of dollars to train a bomb-sniffing dog, it takes much less time and money to train wasps for the job; and the human handler of the wasps, it is said, can be prepared to work with the "wasp hounds" in the field in as short a time as 35-40 minutes. A "wasp hound" unit would cost about $100.00.
Joe Lewis, a U.S. Agriculture Department entomologist, and his partner, University of Georgia biological engineer Glen Rains, say their device is ready for pilot tests and could be available for commercial use in five to 10 years.
Lewis says the "ability to capture nature and its marvels is ... revolutionary." Rains, meanwhile, says, "The sensitivity of animals (and insects) to chemicals in general is probably beyond what we can comprehend. We don't really know what the limits are."
(Dr. Zeitgeist says: "And, of course, all of these marvelous aspects of living things in nature just sort of happened to come together by random chance. There's absolutely no need whatsoever to even begin to speak of a Creator Who established all things -- including these amazing capabilities that are now being discovered and developed and exploited in the service of mankind...")
Meanwhile, back on the old calendar/new calendar front...
'Leap second' Disrupts Gadgets, Restarts Time Debate
The shift from the use of astronomical observations to the measurement of the vibrations of atoms of cesium-133 as the basis for the measurement of time has produced some complications for those who require levels of precision in time management that would elude the vast majority of us. (Time management is definitely not one of my strengths...)
The proposal to add a "leap second" at the end of this year will apparently create some potential difficulties for those who use instruments which derive their time-signals from the "official" cesium-based clock; but which are used to monitor (or otherwise employ) atronomical phenomena which are not geared to the movements of cesium atoms, but rather the interplay between the rotation of the earth and the movements of the heavens.
(Dr. Zeitgeist says: "And, of course, all of these marvelous aspects of nature just sort of happened to come together by random chance. There's absolutely no need whatsoever to even begin to speak of a Creator Who established all things -- including setting the stars in the heavens and the movement of atoms which are now being used in the service of mankind...")
Reportedly, failure to add a leap second (there have been 21 added so far, beginning in 1972; the most recent having been added in 1998) could result in a divergence in measured time of approximately 2 minutes every 100 years.
Sort of puts the "calendar question" into a whole new light, doesn't it? Two minutes every 100 years... [grin]
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