When investigators look through the wreckage of a crashed airplane, one of the first things they search for is the "black box" (which is actually painted orange), because it recorded what happened to the plane during its last half hour of its flight, and also records cockpit conversations during that period of time. Now congress wants cars to carry boxes that record the same type of information. Legislators want to pass a bill in congress that will make these mandatory on all cars by 2015.

However, what they don’t realize is that most cars already record this data if they are involved in an accident, and that this information can be read by anyone who knows how to do it.
read more

We know that plants communicate with "clicks." Now it turns out that the insects that live on these plants use the soil they grow in to leave "voicemail" messages with each other in the fungi in the soil.

Insects can use plants as ‘green phones’ for communication with other bugs. A new study now shows that through those same plants insects are also able to leave ‘voicemail’ messages in the soil. Herbivorous insects store their voicemails via their effects on soil fungi.
read more

Think YOU’VE got mice? MILLIONS of field mice are overrunning farms in Germany, gobbling up crops and reducing yields by as much as 50%. It’s the worst mouse plague in over 30 years.

Getting birds of prey to hunt the mice didn’t help. Der Spiegel quotes farm spokesman Reinhard Kopp as saying, "The birds got so fat from eating all the mice that they almost couldn’t fly any more, but they still couldn’t keep up."

Now farmers want to be allowed to use a rat poison called Ratron, which has been banned since 2008, after it killed wild geese. Should they look for a pied piper?
read more