tagged w/ Rats
Four years ago, a team of researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland switched on Blue Brain, a computer designed to mimic a functioning slice of a rat's brain. At first, the virtual neurons fired only when prodded by a simulated electrical current. But recently, that has changed.
Apparently, the simulated neurons have begun spontaneously coordinating, and organizing themselves into a more complex pattern that resembles a wave. According to the scientists, this is the beginning of the self-organizing neurological patterns that eventually, in more complex mammal brains, become personality.
The computer simulation utilizes an IBM supercomputer capable of performing 22.8 trillion operations in a second. And that's just barely enough to simulate one part of a rat's brain. Each individual neuron requires the computing power of a high-end desktop computer, and the small area of the brain that Blue Brain simulates contains 10,000 neurons.
The supercomputer is powerful enough to generate a real-time 3D image of what the simulated brain would look like if it was an actual bundle of biological neurons. The 10,000 neurons and their 10 million connections are color-coded in the 3D image, and that's where the higher-order patterns were first observed. The coordination of the neurons appeared as unified waves of color, gliding from one side of the virtual brain to the other.
The researchers running Blue Brain hope that what they're learning about the organization of neurons in the simulated rat brain will allow them to create a digital human brain within 10 years, even though that is many orders of magnitude more complex than a rat brain.Four years ago, a team of researchers at the École Polytechnique... more
An audio slideshow about hunting and eating rats in Kandal province, Cambodia. Many people in this village in Kieng Svay district argue that the best way to prepare rat is simply roasted over a fire. But nearly all here agree that their forest rats are the tastiest -- and a surge in local sales as well as exports may be proof. The slideshow was submitted by request to the first annual PhotoPhnomPenh festival, organised by the French Cultural Centre, for projection in a public park. A week before the exhibition, in which 12 screens played audio slideshows, the CCF informed the paper that the piece was censored by the Ministry of Culture and Department of Cinema.An audio slideshow about hunting and eating rats in Kandal province, Cambodia. Many... more
A new scientific study has found that a mother who has experienced trauma prior to becoming pregnant, affects the emotional and social behaviour of her offspring.
The study – developed by Prof. Micah Leshem and Alice Shachar-Dadon of the University of Haifa along with Prof. Jay Schulkin of the Georgetown University School of Medicine – tested a group of lab rats, finding that traumatised mother rats affected their offspring, with variations between groups and between male and female offspring.
With rats having similar cognitive activity as humans, the implications of the study suggest that the findings may be identical in human mothers.
"We should consider whether such effects occur in humans too," Prof. Micah Leshem stated.A new scientific study has found that a mother who has experienced trauma prior to... more
I (Pericles) am a huge Rat Advocate. I found this video posted on a Rat Meet-up Group I am a member of. I know one of the women in the video Raquel, who is a rat expert. Rats are outstanding pets.
If you are phobic about rats, DO NOT watch this video. There is nothing horrible in it, but if you are afraid of rats, you will not like it.
But if you have an open mind about a sweet and intelligent little animal - check this out.
Current Indie Film Curator -
Twitter- loopmovieI (Pericles) am a huge Rat Advocate. I found this video posted on a Rat Meet-up Group... more
“One Rat Short” was a 2006 Academy Award Nominated Short Film and a 2006 Cannes Film Festival Official Short Film Selection. It was named the 2006 Siggraph Computer Animation Festival’s Best of Show and won the 2006 One Reel Film Festival Jury Prize in Animation.
The film juxtaposes New York City’s grim mean streets with a starkly futuristic research lab, telling a startlingly evocative and effective love story between a gutter rat and a white lab rat. The mesmerizing ballet of a discarded cheese-snack wrapper entices the lowly subway rat into an adventure of love. His journey takes him through a subway vent into a highly mechanized rat lab, where one particular pretty white female gets his attention and the attraction seems to be mutual. Trapped in the rat lab, is there any way out for them, or will it turn out to be a very sad, heart-breaking odyssey of lost love?
Includes photographs and the award-winning computer animated short film.“One Rat Short” was a 2006 Academy Award Nominated Short Film and a 2006... more
Have you been to the cinema recently and seen the ads with the people pulling dead rats out of their mouths? They're pretty unsettling.
Pfizer is running the ads to raise awareness of the dangers of buying prescription drugs online. The ad shown here shows a man taking a tablet and then reaching into his mouth and pulling out a dead rat by its tail while he gags.
The voiceover says: "Rat poison. Just one of the dangerous ingredients that may be found in fake medicines purchased from illegal websites."
The Advertising Standards Authority opted not to ban the ad despite receiving 64 complaints from viewers.
Have you seen this ad? Do you think it's too much?Have you been to the cinema recently and seen the ads with the people pulling dead... more
Seven Signs of Terrorism.
A new video released by the city of Kansas City Missouri and the Dept. of Homeland Security.
Besides the fact that the quality is subpar along the lines of a bad corporate training video, This just reeks of McCarthyism.
This seems to be right in line with the new initiative in the U.K. that has citizens spying on other citizens by digging through each others garbage bins.
Please watch video and discuss-Seven Signs of Terrorism. A new video released by the city of Kansas City Missouri... more
Military researchers have dressed live pigs in body armor and strapped them into Humvee simulators that were then blown up with explosives to study the link between roadside bomb blasts and brain injury.
For an 11-month period that ended in December, researchers subjected pigs and rats to about 200 blasts, according to Pentagon documents and interviews.Military researchers have dressed live pigs in body armor and strapped them into... more
A British animal expert is training a rat to detect landmines in Mozambique. Kofi, a Gambian pouched rat, will alert his handlers to any device by sitting on it until it is defused!
HeroRats, an agency which trains rats in Africa said: "With their terrific sense of smell and trainability, rats provide a cheaper, more efficient and locally available means to detect landmines."A British animal expert is training a rat to detect landmines in Mozambique. Kofi, a... more
Binoy Kumar Karmakara has killed 39,650 rats over the course of a year. Karmakara won the title of rat-killing champion and a 14-inch colour TV.Binoy Kumar Karmakara has killed 39,650 rats over the course of a year. Karmakara won... more
Police in India are now employing rats to sole their mice infestation problem. Surely this will just mean they end up with a rat infestation problem?Police in India are now employing rats to sole their mice infestation problem. Surely... more
There could be more rat hair, urine and droppings in wholemeal bread this year for two reasons. First, according to pest control agencies, rat infestations are on the rise as the nasty rodents take shelter in warm homes during this cold winter. Demand for Britain's rat catchers is up 15 percent. Second, the abundance of wheat following last year's harvest has made it hard for some farmers to store it securely.
Farmers deny this to be the case, calling it a scaremongering tactic. Still, this makes me want to vomit.There could be more rat hair, urine and droppings in wholemeal bread this year for two... more
The Hawaiian island of Lehua will soon be ratless or, if you prefer, without rats. It is not a piper, pied or otherwise, that is leading these rats to their demise. Instead, helicopters are the chosen harbingers of doom. Equipped with bait hoppers full of diphacinone pellets, the whirlybirds of the apocalypse shall descend upon the uninhabited island and discharge their poisonous payload. The Polynesian rats, deemed invasive and destructive, will gorge themselves upon these granules from heaven, and lo! The day of reckoning shall be upon them.
Invasive Species on Lehua
Lehua, a Hawaiian state seabird sanctuary, is a 284-acre tuff cone just north of Ni’ihau. The condemned rats are not native to the tiny, crescent-shaped isle. They arrived in the 1930s and have ravenously devoured native plants, luckless eggs, defenseless seeds and hapless birds. Rats weren’t the first invasive pest removed from the island. Feral rabbits, ravagers of the native plant population, were eliminated in 2006 through hunting efforts. Other threats to the island’s native lifeforms include the big-headed ant, barn owls and, ironically enough, Coast Guard helicopters.The Hawaiian island of Lehua will soon be ratless or, if you prefer, without rats. It... more
A German politician in Berlin has sparked controversy after suggesting that the city's poor should earn their way by catching the rats that are plaguing the city. "People who collect bottles could get one euro [$1.40] for every dead rat," he cheerfully explained. The plan may be officially introduced today, but has attracted a wide amount of criticism, calling it Dickensian, inhuman and cynical to send poor people out after rats. It has also been pointed out that rats are now protected by law against inhumane treatment in Germany.A German politician in Berlin has sparked controversy after suggesting that the... more
110 million landmines lie in the ground on every continent. It will cost $33 billion and at the present de-mining rate, it will take 1,100 years to clear them all.
Bart Weetjens, an engineer with Apopo, a Belgian organization focusing on “vapour detection technology,” uses pouched rats to detect land mines and disease detection.110 million landmines lie in the ground on every continent. It will cost $33 billion... more
Carrier of the Plague, a cause of famine and traditionnally seen as vermin, could the rat really change its image to become man's best friend?
The Boston Globe reports on how special trained squads of giant, raccoon-size rats have been used in Mozambique to sniff out explosive devices buried across the countryside, while in Tanzania, their superior sense of smell have been used to detect TB bacteria in saliva samples.
Read more about these amazing 'hero rats' at link.Carrier of the Plague, a cause of famine and traditionnally seen as vermin, could the... more
Bacteria that can cause serious heart disease in humans are being spread by rat fleas, sparking concern that the infections could become a bigger problem in humans. Research published in the December issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology suggests that brown rats, the biggest and most common rats in Europe, may now be carrying the bacteria.Bacteria that can cause serious heart disease in humans are being spread by rat fleas,... more
The Pied Piper's services might be needed again in Hamelin, northern Germany - because the rats are back.
An abandoned allotment site on the edge of town has become a haven for rats, with plenty of discarded food and rubbish lying around.
According to legend, in 1284 Hamelin - called Hameln in Germany - was infested with rats but a Pied Piper lured them out of town by playing a pipe.
He later lured the children out too - but the town still celebrates the tale.
Next year the town plans to mark the 725th anniversary of the Pied Piper conquering the plague, with various events including a huge children's procession.
Instead of drowning the rats in the nearby river, as the Pied Piper allegedly did, the authorities have placed traps around the allotment site to deal with them.
A spokesman for the authorities, Thomas Wahmes, said the problem was for now localised - but there was a threat that the rats could spread to a neighbouring housing estate.
Mr Wahmes said the rat population had "exploded" on the allotment site, but he could not tackle them there because he would be trespassing on private property, although it was not clear who owned which plots.
"We need to deal with the rats directly on the spot," he told the BBC News website on Wednesday, adding that the infested area was about the size of a football pitch.
He said offers of help had come from all over Germany since the media had broken news of Hamelin's new rat problem.
"There is no rat problem in the town centre and we hope that within weeks we'll have removed this threat," he said.The Pied Piper's services might be needed again in Hamelin, northern Germany -... more