Monday, March 3, 2008

In Case You Didn't Have Enough to Worry About

Good News from The Washington Post:

Snowflakes May Contain Bacteria

In most cases, ice crystals in a snowflake start growing on a "nucleator" -- some airborne particle, says Brent C. Christner, a microbiologist at Louisiana State University. Christner and four associates collected snow samples from the Antartic, France, the Yukon and Montana.

The samples from France and Montana each had about 100 biological nucleators per liter of melted snow. That is far less than one bacterium per snowflake. Still, it appears that airborne bacteria may have a small role in snowflake formation.

Sounds like Brent and his buddies went skiing, and while sitting around the ski lodge's fireplace, dreamed up a cool way to write off their vacation on their taxes.
For crying out loud, 100 bacteria... in a liter of melted snow?
Wonder if Brent thought to wipe out that dirty liter beaker first?

Sooo, she's NOT as pure as the wind driven snow! I knew it all along...

Meanwhile, IN Other Breaking News, from the same source:

Imagine a culture so cold and rational that the oldest individuals are forced to take on society's most dangerous jobs.

The calculus is simple: Leading up to and during your most productive years, you get the safe and cushy indoor jobs -- work that is important but unlikely to kill you. When you have a limited amount of time to live, however, you get assigned to land mine clearing and high-risk construction. That way, when you get blown up or fall from a girder, it is not as though you had that much more to offer.

Such is life for many social insects, including several species of bees and ants. The prime of life is spent feeding the queen, caring for newborns and tending to the nest or hive. But with age comes a switch to foraging for food: physically strenuous and risky work that all too often ends in fatal injury or falling victim to predators.

All Hail Queen Hillary!

Pssst!-- Hey, look real busy, here she comes...

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