Sep 06

Rite in the Rain

Did you know you can buy waterproof paper? Neither did I. The J.L. Darling Corporation sells a product called Rite in the Rain, which is described as “all-weather writing paper.” At first, I expected this to be some kind of laminated paper that you would write on with a Sharpie, but that’s not the case. It’s ordinary paper with a water-repellent coating that allows you to write on it with a pencil or an all-weather pen.
Rite in the Rain is available in just about any format you can think of: sheets suitable for use in printers or copiers, bound and spiral notebooks, loose-leaf sheets, and specialized grid sheets and forms used by various outdoor professionals. It’s also sold in bulk (sheets or rolls). Amazing!

Mar 11

Laughing rats

According to a new study, rats like to be tickled. They even make a noise that resembles laughter, except that it’s ultrasonic (so we can’t hear it).
Actually, after reading the description of the “tickling,” I think the researchers were just playing with the rats. One of the researchers says, “The animals became bonded to you and came back for more. Every possible measure of whether they like it shows yes, they love it.” That may have been news to him, but anyone who has pet rats already knows that they bond with humans and love attention. But the business about the ultrasonic chirps is interesting.

Jan 14

It’s what’s for dinner

For years, scientists have been trying to figure out how we mammals managed to replace the dinosaurs as the dominant vertebrate lifeforms on Earth. Did we adapt to changing conditions better than they did? Perhaps not. A newly discovered fossil suggests that we ate them.

Mar 30

Out, damned spot!

In our household, I do the laundry and my wife does the grocery shopping. When I need laundry supplies, I just write what I need on the grocery list and she buys it. From time to time, my laundry duties include removing stains. So I’m wondering: now that I’ve read this, do I just write “snake venom” on the grocery list and wait to see what happens?