Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The pied piper

They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.

When I mentioned the children rhymes of A.A. Milne, Philip drew attention to the rhyme of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. The origin of the story is not all fiction, but we can be certain that the story is not all facts...

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Sugar greater lure than cocaine?

The newsbrief from Faculty of 1000 drew my attention to this new paper: Intense Sweetness Surpass Cocaine Reward. In this paper the research from Bordeaux show that 9 out of 10 rats choose saccharin-sweetened water over intravenous cocaine, when put in an either-or choice situation.

Interesting in itself, and next comes the question: How does this result compare to the human reactions to sweets and addictive drugs?

Illustration courtesy: Natural History Magazine - The Wild Rat

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Sunday, December 31, 2006


For the first time ever I saw live wild rats in the underground station Nørreport in Copenhagen. I saw three of them, large and brown, running on the platform and between the tracks, as I crossed the station at around 2am last night.
In London I have seen lots of mice roaming the underground any time of the day, but I have never seen neither mice nor rats in Copenhagen - until last night.

I arrived at my parents place at 3am and could not sleep... and of course I woke up at 9am this morning - rats!

Illustration: http://environnement.ecoles.free.fr/

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