Monday, May 12, 2008

Hmmmm . . . .

An experimental poetry effort. All the facts are from Harper's Magazine's "Findings" section of the past few months which reports findings from various scientific research labs and other studies worldwide. Selection, wording, and juxtapositioning are mine.

A One-Question Quiz

1. Human urine is excellent fertilizer for growing plankton in fish farms. Significantly better than cow urine, vermin compost, chicken droppings, or cow dung.

2. 40 percent of Melbourne’s prostitutes are college students.

3. What robots can do: navigate a 30-inch step and cross a 70-inch gap solely on native self-awareness; play the violin; solve Rubik’s Cube; eat snow and excrete ice bricks; recognize themselves in a mirror.

4. It takes a long time to tame a wild ass.

5. A Russian boy raised among birds speaks only in chirps.

6. Barnacles change the shape of their penises according to the choppiness of the water.

7. Survey results: children universally dislike clown wallpaper, find it “frightening” and “unknowable.”

8. The world’s dirt is disappearing faster than ever.

9. Physical scientists are less likely to believe in God than social scientists.

10. One-third of Americans Google themselves.

11. Snowflakes often form around atmospheric bacteria. France and Montana have the most germy snow.

12. Women’s butt fat can be used to grow new breasts.

13. Young mice separated from their mothers and fed junk food have less stress than orphan mice on healthy food.

14. Study results: whites in the ER are more likely to get narcotic pain relief than blacks or Hispanics; most free drug samples go to wealthy, insured patients; blacks receive poorer nursing home care than whites.

15. “Natural Viagra”: pomegranate juice, French maritime pine-tree bark, and poverty.

16. Butterflies and moths remember their lives as caterpillars.

17. Established: 4 percent of the earth’s oceans remain undamaged by human activity.

18. Cocaine-addicted rats have a love-hate relationship with the drug.

And now the question: is this a message, finally, or just another day?

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