The Gambian pouched rat, with its superb sense of smell and tractable personality, has been used recently to locate land mines in its native Africa. Trained from a young age to associate the smell of explosives with a reward, the rodents learn to alert their handlers to the presence of mines. There are several advantages to using rodents rather than dogs in such operations, among them the fact that they are fairly small and thus rarely cause mines to detonate. Why has the US banned their import?
Miguel de Cervantes
Back in the day
During this coup, Bonaparte overthrew the weakened government of the Directory, replaced it with the Consulate, and secured his own election as First Consul. This marked a major turning point in the history of the French Revolution, replacing earlier experiments in democracy with a more stable but autocratic rule. The coup was instigated by Emmanuel SieyÃ¨s as an attempt to prevent a return to Jacobinism, but Bonaparte soon seized control. Who saved Bonaparte from a group of angry politicians?
Born on a day like today
Weyl, a German physicist and mathematician, was one of the first scientists to combine general relativity with the laws of electromagnetism. His work on the topics of space, time, matter, philosophy, logic, and symmetry has earned him consideration as one of the most influential 20th century mathematicians. Early in his career, Weyl worked alongside Albert Einstein, whose work left a lasting impression on the former. What prediction did Weyl make in 1918 concerning the future of mathematics?