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The definitive host: Maybe Blanche Was Right

The definitive host

de·fin·i·tive host (duh-fin'eh-tiv) n. 1) An organism where a parasite undergoes the adult and sexual stages of its reproductive cycle 2) Someone you go to for interesting stories and/or facts, and puts on one hell of a dinner party 3) This blog, devoted to science and other geeky subjects

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Maybe Blanche Was Right

It’s been a very odd, yet boring week. Let me explain.

Work is … going. But, I actually got my first thing published on the web site! The link is posted at the top right of my blog. Exciting, eh?

Sadly, that is all I have noticeably added to my clippings in just over a month.

Before any of you ask, I know that it does not say my name in the article posted to your top right. It's sad, I know. But, that's how they roll, and, "the dude abides." I've been waiting to use that in a blog post!!!!

And before I forget ... a shout out to my bro! HI DANIEL!
(Told you I'd mention you in the next one ;)

Anyway, I have decided to focus on something interesting that happened recently.

Actually, interesting is not the right word … I saw something extraordinary yesterday on the bus.

On my way home from work, a very attractive blond-haired woman in a blue dress (hereby abbreviated as WiBD) walked on about two stops after me. Behind her was a woman with two children (one in a stroller, the other looked to be about six), both of which were very fussy. In her haste to get onto the bus and sit down, she ignored the cries of the six year-old to get a transfer to hold onto. When they finally sat down, the six year-old began crying very loudly for a transfer. The WiBD then, got up from her seat (which was subsequently taken by a very ungrateful person), walked over to the mother, smiled, and gave the kid her transfer. This is the conversation that followed:

WiBD – There you go, honey.
*Gave the kid the transfer*
Child – *crying stops*
YAY! Mommy!!
Look what the pretty lady gave me!!!
Mother – I saw, and I cannot thank you enough.
WiBD – It was my pleasure
Mother – But what about you? Won’t you need to pay again for the next bus without a transfer?
WiBD – It doesn’t matter, really.
It’s only three dollars.
Who cares when you get to see a child smile like that at something we take for granted?
*Kid looks up at Mother, and smiles a goofy little kid smile*

When WiBD came back and noticed that her seat was taken, I stood up and gave her mine. She initially didn’t want it, but due to my charm and persistence (or that she was tired … what do I know?), she eventually took it, and we had a little conversation.

A few minutes later, a seat opened up near the front of the bus, and she went up to take it after thanking me once again.
The, the very next stop, a woman in a wheelchair got on and WiBD immediately got to her seat (which was part of the lift-up wheelchair seat), and lifted up the seats to make room for the wheelchair.

Then, she walked right by me, and gave me a very subtle wink and a smile, before getting off at the next stop.

Some people, eh?

It is amazing what some people do just altruistically. Altruism is doing something for the good of someone else with no gain, or a significant drawback for yourself.

Here are some examples (found in animals … of course). Thanks to Wikipedia and various other internet sites/books for some of the information.

- Dogs will often adopt other animals as their own (such as cats, squirrels ducks, and in one case, a tiger!)
- Dolphins will support sick or injured animals by actually pushing them to the surface so they can breathe … sometimes for hours
- Chimpanzees will help others similar to itself (even humans) without any reward
- Vampire bats have a “buddy system” according to Gerald Wilkinson, where if a bat had a successful night of feeding, it will regurgitate blood for its less fortunate companion
- Vervet monkeys will give calls to warn fellow monkeys of a predator, even though in doing so, they attract attention to themselves and increase their own chance of being attacked (same with prairie dogs and meerkats)
- Walruses will adopt orphans
- Some ants will sacrifice themselves for the good of the hive

That is all I have for now, but you all know, that no matter how monotonous my life gets ... there's always something interesting on the horizon for me.

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