In July 1968, American ethnologist John B Calhoun built a "mouse utopia", a metal enclosure 9ft square with unlimited food, water and nesting material. He introduced four pairs of mice, and within a year they had multiplied to 620. But after that the society began to fall apart — males became aggressive, females began neglecting their young, and the weaker mice were crowded to the centre of the pen, where resources were scarce. After 600 days the females stopped reproducing and the males withdrew from them entirely, and by January 1973 the whole colony was dead. Even when the population had returned to its former levels, the mice's behaviour had remained permanently changed. There were no predators in the mouse universe; the only adversity was confinement itself. Calhoun felt that his experiment held lessons as to the potential dangers of human overpopulation
When my dad first met my mom and asked her on a date he had a full 70s-style moustache. When he picked her up for their first date he no longer had a moustache. He told my mom that he just didn't like having facial hair anymore. In reality he had burnt it off the night before taking flaming shots of tequila. Love that guy.
Getting a pair of lambs up north
A reader writes: "We are trying to get two 5-month-old, rare-breed Finnish ram lambs from Canterbury to Northland. We'd like to fly them here but can't get advice from Air NZ. Can anyone help or offer alternative transport please? A bit of background - we have Finns but need new bloodlines and it is extremely hard to find purebred Finnish Landrace sheep of good quality. We found these two lambs and the owner was willing to part with them so we tried to arrange transport. Air NZ say on their website that they'll fly any cargo, anywhere but don't fully explain how to do it and their staff are struggling to answer the phone or understand the request. Trucking would be too hard on the lambs and Pet Transporters just want to look after domestic animals. After two weeks of looking for a solution we're on the verge of giving up but then we thought one of your readers might have a solution."
Tweet of the Day
"Can't believe it! There's a minor typo on Page 26 of the instruction manual for the Bosch SPV25CX00G Dishwasher. Check it out if you get a chance! (don't have time to check the trending topics so apologies if everyone's already talking about this) (by @Michael1979)