Nature #5

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On average, every man, woman and child uses three gallons of oil daily. Transportation accounts for two of those gallons. - San Diego Union, 12/28/05

The ingredient that gives Dannon Boysenberry yogurt and Tropicana Ruby Red Grapefruit juice their distinctive colors comes from crushed female cochineal beetles. - Wall Street Journal, 1/27/06

The average American home today contains more synthetic chemicals than the average chemical plant a century ago. - San Diego Union, 12/28/05

A research team at National Taiwan University claims it has succeeded in breeding three male green pigs by injecting fluorescent green protein into embryonic pigs. Partially green pigs exist elsewhere, but the Taiwanese pigs are believed to be the only ones that are green inside out, including their hearts and internal organs. In the dark, they glow bright neon green. The pigs will reportedly be used in stem cell research and in the study of several human diseases. - ABC News, 1/12/06

An Australian couple walking along the beach discovered a 32 pound lump of whale vomit (ambergris). This find is worth approximately $300,000. - BBC News, 1/24/06

An eight month old kitten survived a seventy mile ride on the New Jersey Turnpike inside the wheel well of an SUV. - Philadelphia Inquirer, 1/4/06

Newcastle University scientists studied locusts; specifically electrically monitoring the activity of locusts' brain cells while they were watching selected highlights from the film "Star Wars". -, 10/12/05

Bats that have bigger testicles have smaller brains. - Discover Magazine, 2/06

Between 1942 and 1977, Park Ranger Roy Sullivan was struck by lightning seven times. - Entertainment Weekly, 1/13/06

In 1955, a 9-year-old girl from South Dakota was riding her pony when a tornado appeared, carried her over a hill, and safely set her down 1,000 feet away. - Entertainment Weekly, 1/13/06

Greenpeace said it will pay nearly $7,000 in damages after the environmental group's flagship, the Rainbow Warrior II, hit a coral reef at a world heritage site in the southern Philippines. - MSNBC, 11/2/05

Scientists in Australia are investigating whether kangaroos could help combat global warming. Australia's sheep and cattle produce huge amounts of methane - but kangaroos do not. Researchers believe it might be possible to use bacteria found in the stomachs of kangaroos to reduce methane output from cows and sheep. - BBC News, 6/3/02

Some of the new dog breeds that are recognized are the Scoodle (Scottie/Poodle mix), Pekepoo (Pekingese/Poodle mix), Puggle (Pug/Beagle mix), Schnoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle mix), GoldenDoodle (Golden Retriever/Poodle mix) and the Labradoodle (Labrador Retriever/Poodle mix). -, 10/05

If temperature trends continue, Arctic summers may be ice free within 100 years. - Discover Magazine, 11/05

A German inventor has found a way to convert a mixture of weeds, old tires and dead cats into inexpensive diesel fuel. - Reuters, 9/14/05

Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair. - Springfield News-Leader, 2/8/05

A Japanese scientist has found that human hands, foreheads and soles of the feet emit detectable light. - Discover Magazine, 11/05

A lost parakeet in Morioka City, Japan started chirping his name and address. This enabled rescuers to reunite it with its grateful 84 year old owner. -, 9/22/05

Researchers in Singapore have created a battery powered by urine. - MSNBC, 8/16/05

Bales of confiscated marijuana will be fed to cows this coming winter in Russia. No word on how it will affect the milk from those cows. - MSNBC, 8/16/05

Mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda are dying off from respiratory illnesses at a high rate. They may be picking up diseases from tourists, who have been told to keep at least 20 feet away at all times and stay no more than an hour. - Discovery Magazine, 9/05
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