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Tiger Beetle's Chase Shows Mechanical Law
2014-04-16 13:04:33

By Anne Ju, Cornell University If an insect drew a line as it chased its next meal, the resulting pattern would be a tangled mess. But there's a method to that mess, says Jane Wang, a Cornell University professor of mechanical engineering and physics, who tries to find simple physical explanations for complex, hardwired animal behaviors. It turns out the tiger beetle, known for its speed and agility, does an optimal reorientation dance as it chases its prey at blinding speeds....


Word of the Day
cock-a-hoop
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'
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