Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Shrimps Give Humans a Model of Harmonious Existence on Planet Earth!

In times of economic turmoil, environmental destruction, and really bad television, turn to crustaceans for a strong example of how to carry out your lives. NetCow06 has found a perfectly balanced and new way to live in complete harmony (in a non-hippy sense) drifting around on the Internet:

The EcoSphere is the result of technology developed by scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NASA was researching self-contained communities for space explorers to live in during long-term space flights. Out of this research came the EcoSphere - an ecosystem of animal and plant life in perfect balance. Inside each EcoSphere are active micro-organisms, bright red shrimp and algae, each existing in a clear "soup" of filtered sea water.

Because the ecosphere is a self-sustaining ecosystem, you never have to feed the life within. Simply provide your EcoSphere with a source of indirect natural or artificial light and enjoy this aesthetic blend of art and science, beauty and balance. Because the living resources within the EcoSphere utilize their resources without overpopulating or contaminating their environment, the EcoSphere requires no cleaning and only minimal care.

EcoSpheres have an average life expectancy of two years. However, it is not uncommon for shrimp populations to be thriving in systems as old as 7 years. You can read the legendary cosmologist Carl Sagan's review of the Ecosphere here.

Cool huh? We bought seven of the Ecospheres to do some experiments with, expect the report to be published shortly. I always thought Smarties had the answer, now we know its actually a combination of shrimp, algae, photosynthesis and sea water that provide the ultimate answer.

World's Smallest Website Dragged to BrainFarm by Roaming Zooks!

Yesterday our observational study of the artificially intelligent lifeforms known as Zooks came to a close (see earler post for details). It was time to let them free, so that they might find their way home again. We uploaded them onto the Internet and pushed 'Send'. Our scientists were getting quite teary-eyed.

They came to love those little critters over the few days they had spent together. It was quite a sight to behold, four lab-coated scientists clinging onto each other for emotional strength, whilst blubbing like children - it seems the bond between subject and observer was not entirely scientific.

Anyway, things had quietened down today, the LabTeam had started work on some new experiments, but the atmosphere around the Lab was sombre. That was, until, just a few hours ago. The Zooks came back! They had somehow emailed themselves back to the BrainFarm, and they were carrying a little website behind them, much like ants carry leaves. Whilst the LabTeam rejoiced at the return of their beloved A.I. pets, I looked at what the Zooks had brought back with them. Click on the picture below to see the World's smallest website!

It seems the Zooks want to stay with us here at the Farm, and we are happy to have them. Since they got back they've been earning their keep, doing odd jobs around the Farm and spell-checking documents, that sort of thing. I promised them that if they work extra hard this week I'd publish one of their articles on the BrainFarm's homepage. They refused to tell me what it's all about, so watch this space!

Monday, February 07, 2005

NetCow/NeuralField Linkup: First of its Kind!

NeuralFields on their own can only process the information they are given, in order for thoughts to be kept pure and distortion-free. Therefore to keep ThoughtStream output clean and tasty we do not build them with Internet access. There are simply too many distractions - even for a sentient field of rapidly firing neurons. Under special circumstances however, and under very tight trawling parameters (eg, no porn, no Kazaa, and definitely no Ebay), we might connect a NeuralField to the Web.

In conjunction with the Broadband capabilities of our NetCows, huge amounts of data can be uncovered when networked with the massive processing power of a NeuralField. NetCow05 has recently been working closely with one of our NeuralFields devoted to the discovery of useless information. Here are their combined results from over the weekend:

  • A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.
  • The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.
  • Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic".
  • Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian coat of arms for that reason.
  • Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.
  • The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat," which means, "the King is dead".
  • Blueberry Jelly Bellies were created especially for Ronald Reagan.
  • If you toss a penny 10,000 times, it will not be heads 5,000 times, but more like 4,950. The heads picture weighs more, so it ends up on the bottom.
  • An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
  • Ben and Jerry's sends the waste from making ice cream to local pig farmers to use as feed. Pigs love the stuff, except for one flavour: Mint Oreo.
  • Al Capone's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
  • Wilma Flintstone's maiden name was Wilma Slaghoopal, and Betty Rubble's Maiden name was Betty Jean Mcbricker.
  • A pig's orgasm lasts for 30 minutes.
  • The characters Bert and Ernie on Sesame Street were named after Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver in Frank Capra's "Its A Wonderful Life".
  • Armadillos have four babies at a time and they are always all the same sex.
  • Armadillos are also the only animal besides humans that can get leprosy.
  • Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.
  • Studies show that if a cat falls off the seventh floor of a building it has about thirty percent less chance of surviving than a cat that falls off the twentieth floor. It supposedly takes about eight floors for the cat to realize what is occurring, relax and correct itself.
  • Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks or it will digest itself.
  • The Sanskrit word for "war" means "desire for more cows".
  • 111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321
  • If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle; if the horse has one front leg in the air, the person died as a result of wounds received in battle; if the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.
  • No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, and purple.
  • Clans of long ago that wanted to get rid of their unwanted people without killing them used to burn their houses down - hence the expression "to get fired".
  • There are two credit cards for every person in the United States.
  • All porcupines float in water.
  • Cat's urine glows under a blacklight.
  • Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head".
  • Camel's milk does not curdle.
  • The male Great White shark produces 35 litres of sperm per 'shot'.
  • It's impossible to sing Old Macdonald had a farm to the tune of Row Row Row your boat.
  • The Turkish word for remote control is "commando".

If feedback is good, and if the NeuralField involved in producing this information seems unscathed from the harsh coldness of the Internet, we may very well do more link-ups like this one. Post some of your own useless facts in our comments box below to expand our KnowledgeBase!

Etymology of Elusively Coded Word Discovered!

A NeuralField devoted to processing language and meaning has worked out that the slang word 'Chav' stems from the dictionary word 'Chauvenism', which describes a prejudiced belief in the superiority of one's own gender, group, or kind.' The Chav can also be defined by its chosen article of headware, pictured below:

The very same NeuralField actually wrote its own encoding software using its organic intelligence (or as we call it 'O.I.'). So advanced is the self-created meaning processor software that we had many businesses asking us to license it! The BrainFarm can't pay it's bills with love (though our scientists are working on an update) so we were forced to sell the rights to ThinkMap's Visual Thesaurus.