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A study indicates that chimpanzees like cooked food, and might even prefer it. What's more surprising (actually that first part isn't surprising at all, but this is) is that chimpanzees "could" cook, if they wanted to. That's right: if they wanted to.
lunch
More study is needed.

A study indicates that chimpanzees like cooked food, and might even prefer it. What's more surprising (actually that first part isn't surprising at all, but this is) is that chimpanzees "could" cook, if they wanted to. That's right: if they wanted to.

The experiment used a fake pot with a false bottom (literally a magic oven) to let the chimps swap uncooked potatoes for cooked ones. The conclusion drawn by many news organizations was that the only thing holding these furry relatives back from careers at McDonalds or Buddokan was laziness or a reluctance to work for tips. This is not entirely supported by the study, though it does not rule it out. It also does not delve into the chimp attitude to sandwiches, ice cream in cones vs. bowls, or toasting raisin bread.

It is a small stretch to go from saying they prefer cooked potatoes to declaring they could totally cook if we gave them a fire or a microwave. (It is not necessarily a huge stretch. A huge stretch would be suggesting they like lobster bibs.) I know many humans who love french fries and will drive twenty minutes to a McDonalds but would not dream of cooking their own fries even if they could do it without setting their furry arms on fire. I know a smaller number of humans who would starve rather than get up from the couch for more ketchup to make their fries edible. For all we know the chimps might really like ketchup and not so much the hot potato. More study is needed.

This, of course, ties in neatly with another new study that finds chimpanzees will get drunk if they drink alcohol.  From which we can leap to the conclusion that a new study will find that chimps like Wing Night at Applebee's.

Mars; for humanity at large, it's approximately the third frontier, depending on whether you start counting with John Glenn's sub-orbital flight.
[photo: space.com]

Mars; the final frontier.

...if you plan to be one of those Mars One colonists. For humanity at large, it's approximately the third frontier, depending on whether you start counting with John Glenn's sub-orbital flight. Or the fourth frontier, if you start with those Russian dogs and monkeys.

Who would want to do this? This woman seems perfectly sane.

On the other hand, a British paper reported the rumor that some of the colonists plan to grow weed and bogart the whole planet. That actually would make a great movie.

What happens, however, when faster ships are developed in ten or twenty years? Or are they counting on that?

A Pew Research Poll says that most Americans believe in science and believe scientists are trustworthy, reliable, accurate, and probably saving our lives. However, the same survey shows that more than half of all Americans choose to believe the scientists are wrong in areas where the science contradicts their biases.

A Pew Research Poll says that most Americans believe in science and believe scientists  are trustworthy, reliable, accurate, and probably saving our lives. However, the same survey shows that more than half of all Americans choose to believe the scientists are wrong in areas where the science contradicts their biases.

The poll, released yesterday, shows that this poo-pooing of scientists crosses political lines; for instance, we're all aware of the preponderance of data supporting evolution. While 98% of scientists support this, only 65% of the public supports evolution.

But liberals shouldn't feel smug: 88% of the members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) support eating genetically modified food, but only 37% of the general public agrees.

This is one of the reasons the lack of quality public education is such a dangerous thing.

Also why zombies, vampires, and the Koch brothers are so trendy these days.

But it's not completely depressing; a new poll conducted by the New York Times, Stanford University, and the non-profit Resources for the future indicates that two-thirds of Americans support doing something about climate change. That two-thirds includes 48% of all Republicans.