WITandWISDOM™ - E-zine

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WITandWISDOM(tm) - February 2, 2004
ISSN 1538-8794

~~~~~~~ THOUGHTS:

The difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next. The difference between the two is the difference between living fully and just existing." - Michael Gerber, Think & Grow Rich

Source: Inspire, http://www.inspirelist.com/


The Santa Fe Institute leads the scientific world in exploring the emerging new science of complexity. The organization hosts a series of lectures each year for the non-scientist on topics of study at the Institute. As part of the series, Deborah Gordon, an Institute fellow from Stanford University gives a lecture on her work with fire ants.

Fire ants are the tiny red type that live in the desert. Deborah spent a year observing the activity of one mound of these ants. She found that the ants coming out of the mound had four different jobs: cleaning (keeping the top of the mound clear of clutter), gathering (going on missions and returning with food), and security (fighting off threats). Each ant specializes in one of the jobs and she confirmed this by painting a tiny color dot on the back of each. Over 50,000 dots! Yellow dotted cleaners always cleaned. Gathers could be seen in teams with their green dots moving away from the nest.

Then Deborah introduced obstacles, frustrations and threats to the orderly world of the fire ants which she calls "perturbations." She began by placing a stick across one of their trails. Later she added intruding insects, fire, and even lack of water. Fire ants responded
to the perturbations by changing jobs as needed. When a stick was in the path, security ants joined the maintenance ants to clear it. When there was a shortage of water, cleaner ants left the nest with the gatherers to search a wider area. An ant that specialized in cleaning somehow knew it was needed at another task and adapted.

Deborah's book, Ants At Work
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0684857332/sci encefriday/

~~~~~~~ THIS & THAT:

Two Texans are sitting on a plane from Dallas and an old Jewish Texan is sitting between them.

The first Texan says, "My name is Roger. I own 250,000 acres. I have 1000 head of cattle and they call my place The Jolly Roger"

The second Texan says, "My name is John. I own 350,000 acres. I have 5000 head of cattle and they call my place Big Johns."

They both look down at the Jewish man who says, "My name is Irving and I own 300 acres."

Roger looks down at him and say, "300 Acres? What do you raise?"

"Nothing" Irving says.

"Well then, what do you call it?" Asked John.

"Downtown Dallas."

Source: Pulpit Supply, mailto:pulpit-supply-subscribe@strategicnetwork.org


Two snakes were crawling along when one snake asked the other, "Are we poisonous snakes?" The other replied, "You're certainly right we are! We're rattlesnakes. Why do you ask?" To which the first replied, "I just bit my tongue."

Source: Kitty's Daily Mews, Copyright (c) 1997-2003, Compilation Rights, http://www.katscratch.com/

~~~~~~~ TRIVIA:

The highest point in Pennsylvania is lower than the lowest point in Colorado.

Source: Post-Gazette.com, http://www.post-gazette.com/travel/20001029bear1.asp

WITandWISDOM™ ISSN 1538-8794 - Copyright © 1998-2003 by Richard G. Wimer - All Rights Reserved
Any questions, comments or suggestions may be sent to Richard G. Wimer.