Why do bees fuss about so much when they fly, instead of forming a tidy flock like birds? Birds flying in a flock keep to a highly ordered pattern, whereas a swarm of bees is a cloud of chaos. This difference has long puzzled scientists, but now a team of Japanese researchers has come up with a simple mathematical model to explain it. The researchers began with a simple analogy: stars in a galaxy move under the influence of each other’s gravity in a way that can be described by Newton’s laws. Identify the influences felt by an insect or a bird, the researchers reasoned, and its flying patterns should be just as easy to predict.
e. conhecidas as influências que afetam cada ave ou inseto, a organização de vôo do grupo torna‑se previsível.
3. A forma correta do singular de “Why do bees fuss about so much when they fly?” é:
a. Why does bee fuss about so much when it fly?
b. Why do an bee fusses about so much when it flies?
c. Why does a bee fuss about so much when it flies?
d. Why does the bee fuss about so much when it fly?
e. Why does a bee fusses about so much when it flies?
“Is Science Talent Squandered?” (SN 5/31/97, p. 338) sent me into a reverie of my precollege days. Having achieved, at 10 years of age, minor celebrity status in Nation’s Business by inventing a new cotton picker, having burned holes in my parents’ basement ceiling with my huge Gilbert chemistry set, and having been given a key to the high school lab to conduct my own experiments on weekends, I knew I would be a scientist. Then came college and the public denigration (in an introductory chemistry class) of my poetic expression of the practical application of combustion. Literary and artistic teachers and friends enjoyed my “weird” presentation, so I joined their ranks instead, achieving modest adult recognition as a writer but still finding my real reading interest in science. If I had found a Carl Sagan some 40 years ago, I might be in a different college in my University today, but perhaps with different regrets.
F. R. Thomas is Professor of American Thought and Language.