Monthly Archive for May, 2007

Brood XIII

News outlets have been ratcheting up coverage of the scheduled emergence of Brood XIII in Northern Illinois. So far, I have not seen (or heard) any in our area. Apparently this evening (Monday May 21) and tomorrow are the expected times for mass emergence.

It’s pretty interesting that this type of cicada has developed a 17-year lifecycle as a defense against predators. Because 17 is a prime number (as is 13, the other common lifecycle of periodical cicadas), potential predators cannot get in sync with them. Still, it seems sort of pointless to me, as they only live a few weeks once they finally emerge, after all that waiting underground.

I found a cool Google Map where you can pinpoint where you’ve seen these creatures, which might come in handy if you’re hungry. I hear they are delicious.

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Yellow Plastic

In getting our house ready to put on the market, my wife and I were recently wondering why it is that smoke detectors always turn yellow after a few years.

As always, Google came to the rescue with an answer, albeit not having anything to do with smoke detectors. So, if you are wondering why smoke detectors, Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems, or other plastic items turn yellow, here is your answer.

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