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Posts Tagged ‘washers

We are not alone…

The first photo of a fish using a tool...

This blackspot tuskfish, found in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, held a clam in its mouth and smashed it against a rock to reach the food inside. This photo is the first incontrovertible proof that fish are capable of tool use.

While tool use was once seen as a uniquely human behavior, decades of animal observation has proven just how wrong that really was. We’ve seen primates, crows, and maybe even octopuses show signs of tool use. But outside of mammals, birds, and octopuses, tool use is close to unknown. There were reports of fish tool use, but no hard evidence to back it up.

That changed when diver Scott Gardner snapped this photo, and there are more like it about to be published in a new paper from Macquarie University researchers…

Read the whole story at io9.

As we admire pescatory pragmatism, we might wish a fresh-and-clean-smelling Happy Birthday to Frederick Louis Maytag; he was born on this date in 1857.  In 1893, Maytag, his two brothers-in-law, and George W. Parsons founded Parsons Band-Cutter & Self Feeder Company, a farm implements manufacturer that produced threshing machines, band-cutters, and self-feeder attachments invented by Parsons.  But in 1909, Maytag took control, renamed the company (eponymously), and concentrated on washing machines (which were not as seasonal as farm equipment).  By 1927, Maytag was selling more than twice as many washers as its nearest competitor.

“F..L,” as he was known, was devoted to his employees; he often greeted employees with a question tat has entered the vernacular: “is everybody happy?” And his employees returned the affection– an estimated 10,000 factory workers and salesmen attended his 1937 funeral.

Lest we doubt the social importance of Maytag’s accomplishments, readers might consult global health guru (and stat maven) Han Rosling‘s TED Talk, “The Magic Washing Machine.” (Spoiler alert:  the washer– and thus Maytag– have done more for reading than Oprah has.)