Monday, April 7, 2008

Are animals stuck in time?

Dog owners, who have noticed that their four-legged friend seem equally delighted to see them after five minutes away as five hours, may wonder if animals can tell when time passes. Newly published research from The University of Western Ontario in London, Canada may bring us closer to answering that very question.

The results of the research, entitled “Episodic-Like Memory in Rats: Is it Based on When or How Long Ago,” appear in the current issue of the journal Science, which was released today.

William Roberts and his colleagues in Western’s Psychology Department found that rats are able to keep track of how much time has passed since they discovered a piece of cheese, be it a little or a lot, but they don’t actually form memories of when the discovery occurred. That is, the rats can’t place the memories in time.

Only the cue of "how long ago food was encountered" was used successfully by the rats.

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110 best books:The perfect library

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110 best books: The perfect library

Pile of books

From classics and sci-fi to poetry, biographies and books that changed the world… we present the ultimate reading list. Illustrations by David Juniper

The Illiad and The Odyssey

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë


Divine Comedy

John Keats

Paradise Lost
John Milton

Songs of Innocence and Experience
William Blake

The Portrait of a Lady
Henry James

For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway

One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez

Daphne du Maurier

Rebecca cover

Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell

Dr Zhivago
Boris Pasternak

The Lord of the Rings
J.R. R. Tolkien

The Railway Children
E. Nesbit

The Railway Children cover

Mary Shelley

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Jules Verne

The Time Machine
H.G. Wells

Brave New World
Aldous Huxley

George Orwell

1984 cover

2001: A Space Odyssey
Arthur C. Clarke

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Philip K. Dick

The Maltese Falcon cover

Great Train Journeys of the World

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Switzerland: The Bernina Express

This takes you over the highest rail summit in the Alps – 7,405 feet up

The Bernina Express train in Switzerland from Chur to Tirano in Italy crossing the Brussio viaduct

Canada: Rocky Mountaineer Vacations

Rocky Mountaineer, Bow River by Lake Louise, Alberta

South Africa: Rovos Rail

Now regarded as superior to the Blue Train

Rovos Rail

Observation cars allow unrivalled views across the bush

The Rovos Rail, luxurious train travelling between Cape town and Pretoria

Russia: Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian Express

The world’s longest train journey at nearly 6,000 miles

provides comfort unknown since Tsarist times

Golden Eagle Train on the Trans-Siberian Express Route

South East Asia: Eastern & Oriental Express

1,262-mile journey from Bangkok to Singapore

The Eastern & Oriental Express travelling between Singapore and Butterworth

North America: California Zephyr

The Amtrak trip on the California Zephyr runs through the heart of the Rocky Mountains

Amtrak's California Zephyr in the Rockies on its journey from Chicago to San Francisco

Great Britain: Northern Belle

The Flying Scotsman used to be the way to see the Scottish Highlands. Now there's another – the Northern Belle

Northern Belle enroute between Fort William and Mallaig

Europe: Venice Simplon-Orient-Express

The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express near Lake Leman, Switzerland

Japan: The Shinkansen

The Bullet Train

Atheists and Anger

GraphI'm angry that according to a recent Gallup poll, only 45 percent of Americans would vote for an atheist for President.

SecurityI'm angry that atheist conventions have to have extra security, including hand-held metal detectors and bag searches, because of fatwas and death threats.

I'm angry that almost half of Americans believe in creationism. And not a broad, "God had a hand in evolution" creationism, but a strict, young-earth, "God created man pretty much in his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years" creationism.

Condom_packageI'm angry that women are dying of AIDS in Africa and South America because the Catholic Church has convinced them that using condoms makes baby Jesus cry.

Coat_hangerI'm angry that women are having septic abortions -- or are being forced to have unwanted children who they resent and mistreat -- because religious organizations have gotten laws passed making abortion illegal or inaccessible.

GalileoI'm angry about what happened to Galileo. Still. And I'm angry that it took the Catholic Church until 1992 to apologize for it.

FistI'm angry at preachers who tell women in their flock to submit to their husbands because it's the will of God, even when their husbands are beating them within an inch of their lives.

HellfireI'm angrier when religious leaders explicitly tell children – and adults, for that matter -- that the very questioning of religion and the existence of hell is a dreadful sin, one that will guarantee them that hell is where they'll end up.

Female_reproductive_systemI'm angry that children get taught by religion to hate and fear their bodies and their sexuality. And I'm especially angry that female children get taught by religion to hate and fear their femaleness, and that queer children get taught by religion to hate and fear their queerness.

Candy_caneI'm angry about the Muslim girl in the public school who was told -- by her public-school, taxpayer-paid teacher -- that the red stripes on Christmas candy canes represented Christ's blood, that she had to believe in and be saved by Jesus Christ or she'd be condemned to hell, and that if she didn't, there was no place for her in his classroom. And I'm angry that he told her not to come back to his class when she didn't convert

911I'm angry about 9/11.

Bible_magnifying_glassI'm angry that I have to know more about their fucking religion than the believers do. I get angry when believers say things about the tenets and texts of their religion that are flatly untrue, and I have to correct them on it.

There's actually a simple, straightforward answer to this question:

Because anger is always necessary.
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