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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 25, 2006 / 3 Tishrei, 5767

Beware of brainy bugs

By Dave Barry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Today's science topic is: Insect Intelligence. I don't know about you, but I've always taken comfort in the idea that insects are stupid. For example, if I'm outdoors and a bee lands on me and starts walking around on my head — causing me to turn rigid with fear, terrified that, if I move, the bee will become angry and sting me in the eyeball — I've always reassured myself by thinking: "This bee does not wish to harm me! Its tiny brain is confused! It thinks I am a flower!"


But now I have received, from alert reader Greg Stevens, a news item by the Reuters (pronounced "Associated Press") news service concerning an experiment, conducted by bee scientists at the Free University of Berlin, suggesting that bees are not so dumb after all.


The article states that these scientists, whose names are Lars and Karl, set up various landmarks between a beehive and a bee feeder. After the bees had located the feeder, Lars and Karl started changing the locations of the feeder and landmarks. The surprising result: Lars and Karl were both killed by eyeball stings.


No, seriously, they discovered that the bees were locating the feeder by counting the landmarks. Yes! Bees can count! This means that bees, in terms of math skills, are ahead of most American high school graduates. It also means that, contrary to my earlier belief, when a bee is walking around on my head, it knows exactly where it is and what it's doing. It's thinking: "Ha ha! He thinks I'm looking for a flower, when in fact I am here for the express written purpose of watching him turn rigid with terror while I poop in his hair! I can't wait to get back to the hive and tell everybody the landmark coordinates for this bozo!"


The German discovery makes you wonder what else bees have been hiding from us. For example: I have always wondered how they really obtain honey. I do not believe that they make it themselves. What would they use for utensils? I've never made honey, but I have made fudge, which belongs to the same chemical family (technically, the "Family Of Things You Can Put On Ice Cream") and I know for a fact that you need, at minimum, a stove and a candy thermometer. My guess is, if you were to poke around in the bushes near a beehive, you'd find piles of empty plastic squeeze bottles shaped like little bears.


But here's what really concerns me: If bees can count, the logical assumption is that they can also read. Therefore, I wish to make a sincere announcement to any bees walking around on this publication: I did not blow up the hive near Evan Thompson's house in Armonk, N.Y., in 1961. I was present, but it was Evan who lit the cherry bomb. Please do not hurt me. It is very funny when you poop in my hair. Ha ha! I believe Evan still lives in the New York metropolitan area. Thank you.


Here's another troubling thought: Bees are not the only smart insects. I have here an item from a 1995 issue of Popular Science, alertly sent in by Frank Schropfer, which states that cockroaches can display intelligent behavior even when their heads have been removed. I don't know about you, but I didn't even know cockroaches had heads. I thought that, as members of what biologists call the "Family of Animals That It Is Morally OK To Drop An Unabridged Dictionary On," cockroaches were just icky little brown bodies with legs and feelers sticking out. But it turns out that they do have heads, and according to Popular Science, they "can live for several days" without them. But here's the amazing thing: Researchers have found that cockroaches, when their heads are removed, immediately start performing country-style line dances.


No, seriously, Popular Science states that headless cockroaches can, when prompted by electrical shocks, learn to run a maze. Without heads, they can learn a maze in 30 minutes. I seriously doubt that headless humans could beat that time, although just to be sure we should definitely run some experiments using volunteer Tobacco Institute scientists.


I also think we should find out what, exactly, the researchers do with the cockroach heads. You would definitely want heavy security for those babies. You would not want them to fall into the wrong hands.


TV NEWS ANCHOR: In our top story tonight, terrorists have threatened that, unless the United States government gives them Cincinnati, they are going to dump cockroach heads into the nation's vulnerable supply of movie popcorn. We now go live to the White House press secretary, who has a statement.


PRESS SECRETARY: I'm going to throw up.


In conclusion, we see that the issue of insect intelligence is not as simple as we thought it was before we started to think about it. So the next time a mosquito lands on our arm, and we are tempted to whack it, we should pause and remind ourselves that the mosquito is a thinking being just like us, and that with proper training and encouragement it might be able not only to count and run mazes, but perhaps also to laugh, to sing, to philosophize, even to write poetry.


And then we should whack it. Because we hate poetry.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Previously:

I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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