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Speed geeks

If you're like me, you hate waiting for your browser to load pages. Sometimes the problem originates with the site's server, other times it's your server, or your connection speed. If you're also like me, you need to know if the hi-speed connection you're shelling out the big bucks for every month is delivering what your provider promised.

Well here's a great new site that makes it fun to find out: Speedtest.net. Though still in its BETA infancy, it works pretty well. I discovered the site through the good geeks over at Forevergeek.com and took the test a few times, just to make sure the results were consistent, which they were.

If you're wondering what average is: according to Comscore.com, in 2004, the average download speeds in the nation for DSL and cable, respectively, were 861 kbps and 2,178 kbps. (kbps = kilobit per second)

Though one of forevergeek's commenting-geeks posted a down speed of 21,993! Then again, he admitted he was testing from work. Obviously large firms are going to outperform vis-à-vis home setups, any day.

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Bone Broth 101
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Whether you drink it on its own or use it as stock, bone broth is the perfect recipe to master this winter. Special thanks to the Institute of Culinary Education

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Why Can Parrots Talk and Other Birds Can't?
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If you've ever seen a pirate movie (or had the privilege of listening to this avian-fronted metal band), you're aware that parrots have the gift of human-sounding gab. Their brains—not their beaks—might be behind the birds' ability to produce mock-human voices, the Sci Show's latest video explains below.

While parrots do have articulate tongues, they also appear to be hardwired to mimic other species, and to create new vocalizations. The only other birds that are capable of vocal learning are hummingbirds and songbirds. While examining the brains of these avians, researchers noted that their brains contain clusters of neurons, which they've dubbed song nuclei. Since other birds don't possess song nuclei, they think that these structures probably play a key role in vocal learning.

Parrots might be better at mimicry than hummingbirds and songbirds thanks to a variation in these neurons: a special shell layer that surrounds each one. Birds with larger shell regions appear to be better at imitating other creatures, although it's still unclear why.

Learn more about parrot speech below (after you're done jamming out to Hatebeak).

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