Birds ‘weigh’ peanuts and choose heavier ones

Can animals evaluate the food hidden inside nuts? This is especially important for some animals who cache the food items for later use without opening and checking each item. We can detect which one is heavier by moving the items up and down several times and focusing on the “feeling of heaviness” we perceive. Humans can also detect the quality of a water melon by knocking on it.

A new study published in Journal of Ornithology suggests that some birds can also use similar tricks in choosing the peanuts from the feeder. Ther study was carried out in Arizona by an international research team from Poland and Korea and revealed that the Mexican Jays (Aphelocoma wollweberi) may be able to “weigh” peanuts and maybe even “listen to” peanuts while handling them in their beaks. Drs. Sang-im Lee, Piotr Jablonski, Maciej and Elzbieta Fuszara, the leading researchers in this study, together with their students and helpers, spent many hours delicately opening shells of hundreds of peanuts, changing the contents and then presenting them

Mexican Jays (Aphelocoma wollweberi) handling peanut pods appear to evaluate the pod content by 'weighing’ the pods and by 'listening to’ them. Credit: M. Fuszara

I didn’t want my first post following a three week hiatus to be like this, but… sorry, I just have to.

If you’re going to make a scene comparison post, then show what really happened. Don’t cut scenes, don’t mess up sequences, don’t twist events just to suit whatever point you’re trying to get across. 

You know what happens when you do that? You lose something called INTEGRITY. And if integrity is not important to you, then maybe it’s time you evaluate just what kind of person you are.

This is how I’d compare the 4x23 Klaroline and 6x22 Steroline scenes. 

From the moment they began, where you can see clearly how Caroline smiles at both Klaus and Stefan’s arrivals.

To how they start to talk. Klaus teases Caroline about the graduation invite she sent him and Caroline laughs, teasing him back by suggesting he get her a mini fridge. Stefan says he understands Caroline’s list of bad things that’s happened to her since she fell for him and admits that he hasn’t been easy on her. She swallows wordlessly as she listens to him.

To how the conversation turns serious. Klaus tells Caroline that he wanted to offer her tickets to New Orleans - she shakes her head and looks away. But then he says he knows what her answer will be, so he decided to give her something he knows she will accept: Tyler’s freedom. She’s stunned and stammers “W-what”. Meanwhile, Stefan tells Caroline his own list of the ways his life has changed because of loving her - she was there when he needed a friend, she made him laugh and dance and told him that he’d find love again. You see in her eyes that Stefan’s words affect Caroline, but she keeps silent.

To the part where they kiss. Klaus says that Tyler is Caroline’s first love, and that he intends to be her last, making Caroline look at him again. He adds “No matter how long it takes”, and there’s a wistful expression on her face. He kisses her on the cheek and she doesn’t move. Meanwhile, Stefan says that he understands if she needs time to heal, and that he’s willing to wait for her. When she’s ready for him, he’ll be ready for her. Caroline looks at him, purses her lips lightly, and he kisses her cheek. She doesn’t move.

And finally, after the kiss. Where you can also see clearly that Caroline smiles. Again. In both scenes. 

Those are the entire scenes, in the sequence which they happened, nothing more, nothing less. I dare anyone to find any scene that I cut out or sequence I messed up, save for the Delena dance scenes which are utterly unneeded in this post, and this handful of frames from the fourth Steroline GIF which I had to cut to get within the 2MB limit gif size. Here, for anyone who wants it. Because I don’t need to manipulate anything to make it look like Klaroline is better than Steroline. 

There are a lot of things I want to say to defend 4x23 from all the Steroliners who’ve said so much shit about Klaroline to glorify 6x22 Steroline. But that’s for another post. Right now, I just want a post that shows the two scenes side by side, presented in a complete, truthful, unmanipulated manner. Because I can’t stand doing nothing about the fact that there’s an incomplete, dishonest, blatantly manipulated Klaroline/Steroline comparison post out there shitting on Klaroline to glorify Steroline. You can like your ship better than ours, no problem - but really, you’re stooping so low as to manipulate a comparison to turn the tide into Steroline’s favor?

Why? Because if you were to be completely honest, then you wouldn’t have anything to support your argument?

People are free to ship what they want to ship, to promote what they want to promote, to express whatever opinion they want to or to disagree with other people’s opinions, hopefully having extended the courtesy to tag their posts appropriately. 

But when it gets to the point where you trade your integrity and intentionally manipulate facts in order to glorify someone or something and get a handful of tumblr notes - or when you defend people who do that, or when you think that defending your ship matters more than the fact that your friend is all too willing to trade moral principles for ship promotion - then you have a problem. The kind that doesn’t end when you log off tumblr.

Moment of appreciation for David who has willingly listened to me work through bits of story and character for the last 13 years and does it with joy. Moment over. Thank you for your time.

March 27: Round 1 of User Evaluation Tests

We ran our first evaluative tests on Tuesday with four adults from the school of designs. We learned that we are on the right track with our sensor recipe concept in terms of user interest, but the details still need to be worked out. As Peter would agree, the specific details greatly change our users’ perception of the system and its perceived benefits.

The user evaluation sessions consisted of us interviewing a pair of users. We presented them four user scenarios, then we presented them a map of a neighborhood they are familiar with and asked them to locate specific places they would like to be able to magically gather information from in real time. 

The four scenarios were:

Walking Home Alone
A user walks home alone at night and feels unsafe. She signs up for a service that sends her user location to trusted neighbors who make sure to watch out for her as she walks home. Now, she feels safe walking at night.

Question: How comfortable would you be providing your personal location information to increase your feelings of safety?

Feedback: A few users thought this could be construed as creepy. Some worried that with jogging, a jogger is only in front of a home for seconds. It’s not feasible to have people watching out for such a precise period of time. One user interesting mentioned that she thought this would benefit the watcher more that the walker. Older neighbors often love to gossip and overhear, and this would create a community of watchers.

Heart of the Neighborhood
Neighbors donate their location and social information to the system. A new neighbor can see where the social activity is occurring. The new neighbor walks over to an active house, knocks, and introduces themselves. They become more connected to the neighborhood.

Question:Do you want to share your social data and encourage neighbors to pro-actively contact you?

Feedback: Users were surprisingly open to having neighbors come visit them based on if the user had other neighbors visiting. Two users noted their spouses might not be so excited about the idea. Everyone agreed that the ability to turn on or off the tracking was essential. One user suggested labeling on/off as “Welcoming Mode” and “Quiet Mode”. We liked that language. Another user suggested that filtering neighbors into interest groups would make the scenario more palatable. So mothers could see other mothers. It is clear that any system we create has to appeal to mothers.

A Smart House
While you are at work, your house recognizes that a pipe is about to break. It uses the neighborhood network to contact a local plumber who comes over and fixes the plumbing. You come home and only notice a plumber was here when the bill arrives. 

Question:How would you feel about your home allowing trusted people into it without your knowledge?

Feedback: Users were very open to the idea of opening their houses up to people as long as certain conditions were met. The user had to be alerted, especially if money was changing hands. Users also had to be sure that they could trust the person being invited. Trust—both of the system and the system’s trust of the plumber—were crucial. Users also really liked the idea of a house alerting the user if something breaks. 

Childhood Play
A new family moves into the neighborhood. They sign up for a service that tracks their child when he is playing outside. When groups of children are playing, the system assigns parents to watch the children. The new parents are happy to let their kids go out and play knowing that wherever they roam, parents will be on the watch. 

QuestionHow much would you be willing to trust the system to keep track of your children?

Feedback: This was the most fraught scenario we presented. Users reacted that it would take a huge amount of trust in the system. So much so that you might as well just get to know your neighbor. One user referenced that the scenario sounded like the 1950s, a reference we were thinking of when we formulated the scenario. Other users worried that children are so quick. Could a system be fast enough to alert a parent? One other user suggested we reformulate the concept as zones of safety that would watch if children moved in or out of the zones.

Mapping Exercise
We then walked the users through a mapping exercise asking where they would like to gather information in their neighborhood. Users mentioned a few user-cases:

1. the gym: Is it busy? Are treadmills available? Could I reserve one?
2. bus geolocation: The user would set up a sensor to actually tell them if the bus was near by instead of relying on imprecise schedules.
3. restaurants: The user would like to know if their friends are around certain popular locations.
4. stores: sense long lines
5. tools and toys sharing: could durable goods be thought of as sensors that would enable sharing? A user mentioned a library of kids toys and garden tools


And my laptop is dirty. And oh look, again it nears 3:30. 

But all I can think about is you….

It’s pretty pathetic… how little credit I give, how the excommunication is playing out betwixt us two.

Who now is the cheater my dear?

We had it all. We had the world. I was yours to keep, your beautiful girl.

And now to the victor goes you, my spoil, and here I sit…

Anger Broil, the most devastating stew.

But Im not angry anymore. I’m not even bitter. What I really want–           is to know you again. Where you are. Who you know. Rediscover the rarest. The creature. Your animosity.

My favourite critter.

7 days to better photos: transform your images in a week using these camera techniques

7 days to better photos: transform your images in a week using these camera techniques

Change your camera technique for the better in just seven days – here’s a daily regimen of proven tips to power-up your photos!

Some sages have commented that photography is not that hard, really, but they tend to be natural-born image makers.

For most of us, it’s a process of hard work and trial and error, of generating many gigabytes of imagery just to find a few pearls amongst the swine.


View On WordPress

Watch on triangleoffriends.tumblr.com


How to evaluate your relationship

Healthy Relationships

  1. You both respect each other
  2. You trust each other and give each other the benefit of the doubt
  3. You work together to decide how much time to spend together
  4. You can say “no” without feeling scared or anxious
  5. You can hear “no” without getting angry or losing control
  6. You both apologize to each other
  7. You can tell your partner how you are feeling
  8. You and your partner respected each other’s sexuality

Unhealthy Relationships

  1. Your partner demands respect but does not respect the other
  2. You and your partner mistrust each other, and constantly accuse the other (even without any proof)
  3. You or your partner controls how much time you spend together, even when it interferes with other relationships or obligations
  4. You are afraid to say “no” to anything
  5. You get angry and frustrated whenever your partner says “no”
  6. You or your partner never says “sorry” or accepts responsibility
  7. You or your partner doesn’t want to hear how the other is feeling
  8. You or your partner forced or pressured the other to engage in sexual acts that were uncomfortable or unwanted

Remember that you deserve to be respected.

Don’t let anyone abuse you.

The results from my hearing test..

This is going to be a very long post.

I don’t know if you guys remember a post flying around a few weeks ago about how there isn’t variety with hearing tests. They’re the same in every state, as far as I’ve read. Exact same words and exact same order. I was supposed to have one (and blog about it) but it got pushed back a couple weeks and I had it today instead.

I knew for a while that there was something going on with my hearing, speech wise. I no longer was able to understand speech as well as I used to, and despite being really good at lip reading, for the life of me, I just couldn’t grasp most of any spoken sentence. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t. I felt like my hearing sound wise did get a bit more sensitive, as I’ve had to tell people to turn down whatever they had on, like music, the telly, the radio, etc.. 

Today, I was expecting the testing to be the same as I remember it. The whole, “airplane, baseball, hotdog,” something, something something. 

Keep reading