Tuesday, September 13, 2005

XM satellite radio educates me...

For those of you who don't know, I am a satellite radio lover. I listen to it at night, driving and I leave it on at night all night long. I feel as though should I wake up in the middle of the night, I should be entertained so I leave the radio on. And when you have music or talk radio going when you sleep, it creeps into your dreams.

I've had lots of dreams like movies and my soundtrack is whatever is on Top Tracks Channel 46 on XM.

Anyway, since I listen to Extreme channel 150 a lot and it is mostly live radio all day with commercial breaks, they have to play some different things and while some are national commercials, some are educational things. There is the Megabyte Minute with Lazlow from Grand Theft Auto fame and Earth and Sky which is about astronomy.

I heard one today about a parasite called a hair worm. Merlin, you'll get a kick out of this. This worm infects grasshoppers and scientists wanted to study the infected grasshoppers and worms.

They set up a pool outside of a forest to study a phenomenon involving infected grasshoppers. See what the hair worm does is it infects a grasshopper and after the worm gets to the point where it wants to reproduce it has to get into some water. So what this little parasite does is it produces a chemical that makes the grasshopper commit suicide by flying into water and drowning itself. Thus allowing the worm to leave the grasshoppers body and enter the water to get it's groove on or whatever it does to reproduce.

Scientists found out that the grasshopper is going to die by this point anyway from the damage the hair worm has inflicted, but it's still crazy sounding. They also found that this worm is producing a chemical that the grasshopper itself produces naturally, but it still causes the suicidal tendencies.

Another thing that XM radio taught me was about hybrid cars. On one of the educational public service announcements, they stated that in order for a hybrid automobile to make up for the extra cost involved with purchasing one, the owner would have to drive around 36,000 miles per year. Granted, there are people that do this, but that's about 3 times as much driving as I do. The other way the hybrid cars would be worth purchasing is if gas prices got up around the $6 range. At the time this seemed a little crazy, but since then I got gas at $3.09 per gallon the other day and now this doesn't seem too far fetched.

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