March 13th, 2007

Nicodemus

Rats in the News

Rats Reflect on What They Know -- Scientists have shown that rats are capable of metacognition (judging what's known and unknown), something previously seen only in humans and other primates. Interesting stuff!

Drug Selectively Removes Memory -- Tests on rats seem to indicate that it's possible to erase specific memories. What's amazing is that they can target the memory and association that they want to alter while leaving similar memories intact, at least in these preliminary tests.

Chinese rat catcher -- The best way to catch rats is to know how they think. I've seen this article on a couple news sites, but it's really just the familiar story of man's rivalry with another successful species.

NY Restaurant Closures -- Following the widely-publicized sighting of rats in a closed KFC, inspections and restaurant closures are coming in a torrent. I don't know WHY people are so surprised about rats. (Denial?) Humans move lots of food through restaurants; the rats are smart enough to figure that out!

1-800-GOT-JUNK Rat Ad -- The trash removal company has a hilarious (to me) new ad featuring rats! It's a whole rat-themed pitch. (And, yes, now I want a blue vest... rat-fursuit-sized...)

Thanks to normanrafferty for several of the links.
Nicodemus

Quote

"One of the nice things about looking at a bear is that you know it spends 100 per cent of every minute of every day being a bear. It doesn't strive to become a better bear. It doesn't go to sleep thinking, 'I wasn't really a very good bear today'. They are just 100 per cent bear, whereas human beings feel we're not 100 per cent human, that we're always letting ourselves down. We're constantly striving towards something, to some fulfilment."

- Stephen Fry