GPS? We don't need no stingin' GPS.

If you think having to ferry around three screaming kids in a minivan is bad, try carpooling with a swarm of backseat-driving bees, like these British researchers:

Bumblebees are being dropped off at famous landmarks in North East England by Newcastle University researchers, who then observe if they can find their way back to a nest on campus. The record flight was from a garden centre in Heddon on the Wall in the Tyne Valley in the county of Northumberland -- some eight miles or 13km from their nest.

The researchers have found it is only the worker bees which make their way back -- they suspect the queen bees find shelter elsewhere. The results are surprising because scientific literature says the bumblebee they are studying -- a common species called Bombus terrestris -- travels only 5km for its food.

There's lots more about bee-havior, and everything else you ever wanted to know about rotund striped stinging insects and other various and sundry invertebrates, here.

A Very Brief History of Chamber Pots

Some of the oldest chamber pots found by archeologists have been discovered in ancient Greece, but portable toilets have come a long way since then. Whether referred to as "the Jordan" (possibly a reference to the river), "Oliver's Skull" (maybe a nod to Oliver Cromwell's perambulating cranium), or "the Looking Glass" (because doctors would examine urine for diagnosis), they were an essential fact of life in houses and on the road for centuries. In this video from the Wellcome Collection, Visitor Experience Assistant Rob Bidder discusses two 19th century chamber pots in the museum while offering a brief survey of the use of chamber pots in Britain (including why they were particularly useful in wartime).

A Tour of the New York Academy of Medicine's Rare Book Room

The Rare Book Room at the New York Academy of Medicine documents the evolution of our medical knowledge. Its books and artifacts are as bizarre as they are fascinating. Read more here.


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