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September 24th, 2018

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Insanity Defined | Weird Science

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Dec. 12, 2016

Insanity Defined |  Weird Science


Police and prosecutors in Dallas, appropriately sensitive at having been the site of the 1963 killing of President Kennedy, have apparently taken out their shame on assassination buff Robert Groden. As the Dallas Observer reported in September, Groden has been ticketed by police dozens of times for operating book sales booths near the "grassy knoll" (site of the alleged "second shooter" of the president) -- and yet he prevails in court every single time (82 straight, and counting). (Tip for visitors from the Observer: Never publicly utter "grassy knoll" in Dallas, as it seems particularly to offend the police.) [Dallas Observer, 9-8-2016]


Trees talk to each other and recognize their offspring, according to Australian ecology researcher Suzanne Simard (most recently lecturing on the influential video series TED Talks). Trees are not independent organisms but belong to arboreal "families" with characteristics identifying them to other family members. According to Dr. Simard, "mother" trees that ordinarily expand their roots wildly may hold back to give nearby "kinfolk" tree roots a chance to spread. Using "isotope tracing," she learned of trees passing healthful carbon, via fungi, to neighboring family seedlings, which she said renders the seedlings more resistant to future stress. [Treehugger, 7-29-2016] [Daily Telegraph (London), 9-11-2016]


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