May 23, 2011 |
The human nose doesn't always know. According to the latest research, we do not all smell the same thing when we walk through a flower-studded meadow in April or a fetid alley in August. As neuroscientist Charles Wysocki sees it, we all live in different sensory worlds. Some people can't smell cilantro. Some can't smell truffles. And thanks to research at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in West Philadelphia, it's been scientifically documented that some can't detect the funky odor of post-asparagus-eating urine.
May 20, 2011 |
It may not have been survival of the smartest but of the keenest sniffers that pushed the brains of early mammals to grow far bigger and more complex than those of their reptilian ancestors. A group of paleontologists announced Friday that they had used CT scanning to analyze the skulls of ancient creatures on the evolutionary path to becoming mammals, and found most of the brain growth occurred in the smell center - the olfactory bulb. "We associate the brain's primary function with thinking," said Zhe-Xi Luo, a paleontologist at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, who was part of the team.
May 10, 2011 |
BOSTON - The nation's first full-face transplant recipient said that the first thing his young daughter told him when she saw him after the operation was, "Daddy, you're so handsome. " Dallas Wiens, 25, sporting a goatee and dark sunglasses, joined surgeons yesterday at Brigham and Women's Hospital here, in his first public appearance since the 15-hour procedure in March. "It feels natural," said Wiens, of Fort Worth, Texas, who received a new nose, lips, skin, muscle and nerves from an anonymous donor.
May 5, 2011 |
This takes money laundering to a different level. Customs and Border Protection agents at Philadelphia International Airport seized more than $11,000 from a Jamaica-bound passenger on Saturday after he tried to hide the cash, stashing some of it in six boxes of Irish Spring Soap in his luggage, officials said today. There is no limit to how much cash can be brought in, or taken out, of the country, but travelers are required to declare amounts in excess of $10,000. The passenger was released and allowed to depart Saturday after agents returned $200 to him and seized the remaining $11,143 he was carrying.
April 29, 2011 |
Peggy Garrett and Lavera Diggins are typical gardeners, which is to say they're totally goofy in springtime. This morning, they're huddled over daffodils. "Oh, my God, Lavera, look at this one!" Garrett exclaims, running her hands through the sun-yellow blooms. Visitors to the Hands-on Garden, behind the Horticulture Center in West Fairmount Park, are often amazed that visually impaired people such as Garrett and Diggins are able to enjoy this place, let alone plant and maintain it. "They come by all the time and say, 'Wow!
April 21, 2011 |
Residents of Camden's Waterfront South neighborhood should not have to worry anymore about what direction the wind blows during their summer cookouts, city officials say. A $30 million sludge-drying facility and $10 million odor-control system are ready to take on the foul-smelling muck at the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority plant on Ferry Avenue, authorities announced Wednesday at the start of the city's second annual Camden Clean...
March 27, 2011
So much for the "temporary" portion of Philadelphia's increase in property taxes. And so much for a "revenue-neutral" fix to the city's broken property-tax system. Instead, Mayor Nutter's 2012-16 budget plan includes a 20 percent hike in property-tax revenue. The hefty increase comes even as the administration says the city's budget crisis is easing, and that the expected funding cuts in Gov. Corbett's proposed budget aren't nearly as bad as expected. More disturbing, the Nutter administration - which promised an open and transparent City Hall - dropped the property-tax increase into its five-year plan without any comment or explanation.
March 18, 2011 |
FULTON, Calif. - Imagine a garden where melon, peach, apple, lemon, pear, and gardenias bloom. Then imagine holding all that in a glass. That's the theory behind wine sensory gardens, featuring plants commonly smelled and tasted in wine. Take a stroll through the neatly laid out cabernet-merlot corner of the red wine garden at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center in Sonoma County and you encounter things you expect to find, like black cherry and black currant. And there are a few you might not expect, like oregano and bell pepper, which also can be picked up in some reds.
March 9, 2011 |
IF THERE were a moral to the story that Gov. Corbett spun yesterday in his much-anticipated, first budget talk, it was that all wealth is not viewed equally - at least not when it comes to Corbett's notions about bailing Pennsylvania out of its $4 billion budget hole. To middle-class state employees, to upwardly mobile college students at Pennsylvania-funded universities, to the working poor who've looked to Harrisburg for affordable health insurance, Corbett sent out more sacrifice signals yesterday than a third-base coach on a built-for-speed baseball team.
February 24, 2011
LIKE THE pungent cheeses for which it's known, something stinks in Wisconsin. Gov. Scott Walker's plan to end union collective bargaining rights isn't about the budget crisis - it's about union-busting. The unions will accept pay and benefit concessions to ease the budget crisis, but Walker's insistence on eliminating bargaining rights is a blatant attempt to rewrite the laws of democracy. It's also a Republican blueprint to further separate America's "haves" from the "have-nots" - class warfare in the guise of a budget battle.