Thought for the month

“Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction the sign of truth.” Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and physicist (1623 – 62).

Monday, 5 October 2015

Noble bees and chickens

This year’s Ig Nobel Prize list once again highlighted the magnificent diversity of scientific research. The Physiology and Entomology Prize goes jointly to J. Schmidt for creating the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, which rates the relative pain people feel when stung by insects; and to M. Smith arranging for honey bees to sting him repeatedly on 25 different locations on his body to learn which locations are the least painful (the skull) and which are the most painful (the nostril). The Biology Prize rightly went to a Chilean team for observing (and videoing) that when you attach a weighted stick to the rear end of a chicken, the chicken then walks in a manner similar to that in which dinosaurs are thought to have walked.

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