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Archive for March, 2011

Why do beavers build dams?  That’s just one of the many questions that pester me, so I made it my business to find out.  Most articles will tell you that beavers build dams to create a body of water that is relatively safe for the beaver family.  Since they are good swimmers, the deeper water allows them more protection against predators.  While that may be true, I found another study that determined a different reason behind the dam-building beavers.  Beavers pick the narrowest part of a stream to build their dams, illustrating intelligence and engineering skills.  Beavers living in ponds, lakes and along rivers do not build dams.  In testing why beavers build dams, dam-building beavers were captured and let loose in different environments.  Burrowing in the bank and setting up housekeeping seemed to be it for those released in ponds, lakes and big rivers.  Those released along streams found the narrowest part of the stream and proceeded to build dams.  The “investigator” got to thinking.  He set up tape recorders along the streams, lakes, ponds and rivers.  The tape recorders played the sound of water rushing over gravel and rocks.  In all cases, the beavers covered the speakers with sticks, gravel and mud, silencing the noise.  The beavers covered the speakers until they could no longer hear the sound of rushing water.  The investigators believed this solved the case of why beavers build dams and why they always pick the narrowest part of the stream.  They hate the sound of rushing water and build dams to cover up the noise.  “Beavers build dams because they like peace and quiet.”

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Passing Time

What if there were no time?  What if clocks ceased to exist and the concept of time just went away?  No more daylight saving time, no clocks to change and no reversing back and forth to adjust the time of day.  Would we be more inclined to awaken with the sunrise each morning if we didn’t set alarms in the first place?  Would we work harder and longer until the day had passed, sundown being the signal of when to break away from our work and begin the night’s festivities?  Or would we just stop when we became hungry?  Would our internal clocks lose power and eventually die out?  Perhaps we would regress to a calmer, more serene state when a day was a day until it was night.  The length of the days would determine our work efforts for that time of the year, working hard during the summer months when it was light out later, and working less during the winter months when the days were short.  Of course, we would lose the necessity of appointments; however, it could mean more standing in lines waiting for our turn.  It would be nearly impossible to schedule travel plans, requiring the traveler to stand and wait, oblivious, at the train station until their appropriate ride appeared.  Airports and train stations would be awash in people waiting for the next opportunity to get where they want to be.  And, movies, well, movies would just run back-to-back and each person would just jump in at a break between the ending and a new beginning.  Mostly though, people would have a hell of a time meeting up with other people.  Without a time specification, how would friends gather for fun or meetings?  The only logical plan would be to schedule around the sun, which would then just revert us to using time and eventually, again, clocks.  The lack of time management might slow us down, adjust our practices and plans to a more comfortable passing, but it’s unlikely it would last.  People need to be ‘on time’ and ‘in time’ and you can’t do that without clocks.

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