Friday, November 25, 2005

Of Mice and Ice

Ok science fans here is another bit of 'awe' some news (as in the universe around us strikes me with awe) about singing.

Earlier this month it was about singing male mice today its about singing ice bergs.

In Hinduism Shiva creates the universe from a single note, the universal AUM. Perhaps they were onto something. Oh yeah and Hinduism is nother form of monism.

Nataraj: Shiva as Lord of the Dance

Ultimately, in Hinduism, there is only one reality, often identified as Brahman. Brahman encompasses all there is in the universe, and everything that isn't, as well. Beyond form or formlesness, it cannot be spoken of with words nor does it possess any characteristics. Because Brahman, the One without second, without form and yet not formless, is difficult to understand, Hindus sometimes just say "Neti-neti", meaning that for anything we can name, Brahman is "Not that, not this." Representations of divinity are like signposts, (to use Joseph Campbell's phrase); they point the devotee toward the mystery of Brahman; they are not it.

Scientists discover singing iceberg in Antarctica

BERLIN (Reuters) - Scientists monitoring earth movements in Antarctica believe they have found a singing iceberg.

Sound waves from the iceberg had a frequency of around 0.5 hertz, too low to be heard by humans, but by playing them at higher speed the iceberg sounded like a swarm of bees or an orchestra warming up, the scientists said.

The German Alfred Wegener institute for polar and marine research publish the results of its study, done in 2002, in Science magazine on Friday.

Between July and November 2002 researchers picked up acoustic signals of unprecedented clarity when recording seismic signals to measure earthquakes and tectonic movements on the Ekstroem ice shelf on Antarctica's South Atlantic coast.

Tracking the signal, the scientists found a 50 by 20 kilometer iceberg that had collided with an underwater peninsula and was slowly scraping around it.

"Once the iceberg stuck fast on the seabed it was like a rock in a river," said scientist Vera Schlindwein. "The water pushes through its crevasses and tunnels at high pressure and the iceberg starts singing."

"The tune even goes up and down, just like a real song."

Picking out the faint notes of Die Fleder-Mouse
Researchers hear the silent serenades that male rodents use to woo mates

Mice can sing.

Humans can't hear it, but researchers say the ultrasonic songs of male mice trying to woo females are comparable to the musical trills produced by songbirds.

That mice make noise is nothing new to those who have had them in their houses, and scientists have known for decades that male mice will make sounds when they are near females, or exposed to female pheromones. Now they say that those utterances are love songs.

Researchers add mice to list of creatures that sing in the presence of mates

This finding, to be published Nov. 1 online by the journal Public Library of Science Biology, adds mice to the roster of creatures that croon in the presence of the opposite sex, including songbirds, whales and some insects.

"In the literature, there's a hierarchy of different definitions for what qualifies as a song, but there are usually two main properties," says lead author Timothy E. Holy, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy. "One is that there should be some syllabic diversity—recognizably distinct categories of sound, instead of just one sound repeated over and over. And there should be some temporal regularity—motifs and themes that recur from time to time, like the melodic hook in a catchy tune."

The new study shows that mouse song has both qualities, although Holy notes that the ability of lab mice to craft motifs and themes isn't quite on a par with that of master songsmiths like birds.

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