Flowers Know When To Bloom

Wednesday Feb 27th, 2019


Scientists have known since the 1930s that plants sense the length of the days and, somehow, use that information to decide when to flower. Russian scientists back then speculated that a mysterious substance must be transported from leaves to shoot tips, stimulating the formation of flower buds. They called the mystery chemical “florigen.” In 2005, a trio of new studies revealed how it works, including why flowers spring forth in certain spots on a plant. The findings were... [read more]

We’ve Always Done It That Way

Thursday Aug 23rd, 2018


A management consultant was hired by a manufacturer in Britain to help improve its general operating efficiency. At one plant on the outskirts of London, she spent weeks reviewing reports that tracked productivity, absenteeism, machine failure, et cetera, that were kept by the day, week, month and year. The reports were filled out by hand (the plant was small) on photocopied forms. At the top of one of the daily forms, the consultant noticed a small box that was always filled out with the... [read more]

The Butterfly

Friday Jan 26th, 2018


A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared, He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole, then it seemed to stop making any progress at all. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no farther. The man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, BUT, it had a   swollen... [read more]