December 20, 2007

Strange But True

Radiant Rodents

We've seen all sorts of glow-in-the-dark stuff through the years—key chains, golf balls, jewelry, and even phosphorescent Frisbees.

But now we've seen it all:
Glow-in-the-dark mice!

Scientists in Japan developed the mini-mutants recently, injecting DNA from a species of jellyfish that glows underwater. The result: some really radiant rodents! They glow bright green under ultraviolet lights.

Whoa, that's cool! you say.
But WHY??

For research, of course. Scientists can use the technique in a number of ways, including watching the movements of stuff inside the mini-mammals. For instance, for cancer research, they can watch white blood cells moving around without having to cut the critters open.

That's what I call a bright idea!

Scientists say they can use the technique on other lab animals too—like rats, monkeys and rabbits.

But I'm thinkin', Why stop there? Just imagine the possibilities. You could open an entire zoo with all kinds of luminescent life. Beaming buffaloes!
Florescent flounders!
Shining sheep!
Iridescent iguanas!
Radiant rhinos!

I could go on, of course,
but you get the point.
You've, uh, seen the light.

Mixed Messages

Check out these signs found in Great Britain:

  • In a safari park: "Elephants Please Stay in Your Car."
  • On a pamphlet: "If you cannot read, this leaflet will tell you how to get lessons."
  • At a repair shop: "We can repair anything. (Please knock hard on the door—the bell doesn't work.)"
  • In a health food store window: "Closed due to illness."
  • At a dry cleaner's: "Anyone leaving their garments here for more than 30 days will be disposed of."
  • In a department store: "Bargain Basement Upstairs"

Postcards from Beyond the Edge

OK, OK, so peanuts are No. 1 in Georgia. But a 20-footer? The folks of Turner County, home of this mega-nut, say it's "a daily reminder where our roots come from." Can you dig it?

The Chicken That Wouldn't Shut Up!

Kay Martin was talking to a friend at home one day when they suddenly heard a chicken squawking. They went outside to find the boisterous bird, but couldn't find anything. When they returned to the house, they realized the squawking was coming from Kay's kitchen—from her oven!

A half hour earlier, Kay had put a chicken—a dead one, that is!— into the oven to roast. Steam built up inside and came up the neck and through the vocal cords, raising a ruckus!

"It was as if it was shrieking at me from its grave," says Kay. "It was so bizarre I just froze."

But not for long. She opened the oven and removed the bird, which was still squawking loudly. As it cooled, the squawking died away.

Kay threw the bird away, and hasn't cooked chicken since then.

Good thing she wasn't cooking beef, eh? That would've been a moo-ving experience!

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