of men and rats

water rats learn in 2 years to eat poisonous cane toads, the great oper air experiment that is Australia

Australian water rats cut cane toads open with ‘surgical precision’ to feast on their hearts

Pellagra ravaged some areas of Europe were corn was staple long after it was imported from the Americas. The Europeans did not import the right method to prepare it which would enrich it of vitamin E and did not develop a remedy for centuries. Maybe water rats would have done better

“despite the long prevalence of a corn-based diet in Central and South America, pellagra did not occur there. In those cultures, ground corn was first boiled in lime water, a procedure which releases the small amount of niacin contained in the corn. In addition, beans traditionally accompanied tortillas made from the boiled cornmeal.” https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/life/entertainment/story/2016/jul/12/clif-cleaveland-pellagrand-history-south/375065/

Golden rice is GM rice enriched with vitamin, its story is worth reading

Block on GM rice ‘has cost millions of lives and led to child blindness’


The shape of the universe

Screenshot 2019-06-07 at 14.13.58



well, not quiet, the article is the story of the hot debate around Hawking’s shuttercock modelScreenshot 2019-06-07 at 14.19.35

“In the 1940s, Feynman devised a scheme for calculating the most likely outcomes of quantum mechanical events. To predict, say, the likeliest outcomes of a particle collision, Feynman found that you could sum up all possible paths that the colliding particles could take, weighting straightforward paths more than convoluted ones in the sum. Calculating this “path integral” gives you the wave function: a probability distribution indicating the different possible states of the particles after the collision.

Likewise, Hartle and Hawking expressed the wave function of the universe — which describes its likely states — as the sum of all possible ways that it might have smoothly expanded from a point.”


We’re not building a machine that calculates answers, he says; instead, we’re discovering questions. Nature’s shape-shifting laws seem to be the answer to an unknown mathematical question. This is why Arkani-Hamed and his colleagues find their studies of the amplituhedron so promising. Calculating the volume of the amplituhedron is a question in geometry—one that mathematicians might have pondered, had they discovered the object first. Somehow, the answer to the question of the amplituhedron’s volume describes the behavior of particles—and that answer, in turn, can be rewritten in terms of space and time