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Even In the Wild Mice Run In Wheels

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the gym-for-field-mice dept.

Science 122

sciencehabit (1205606) writes "Scientists have found that if they place a running wheel outside, wild animals will flock to it. The researchers observed more than 200,000 mice, rats, and even frogs using the apparatus over a three year period. The findings suggest that like (some) humans, mice and other animals may simply exercise because they like to. Figuring out why certain strains of mice are more sedentary than others could help shed light on genetic differences between more active and sedentary people."

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I'm sedentary (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47055555)

Most of the time I'm sedentary it's because my job has me sit at a desk typing code(or slashdot comments) all day. This is exacerbated for most people, because they attach an hour or more of sedentary driving onto each end.

And being sedentary is mentally exhausting compared to light exercise. It's no surprise that there's an obesity epidemic.

Re:I'm sedentary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47055635)

Processed food is converted into fat.

Some pain may be discouraging. Try some pain reliever before workout.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47055673)

I do work out, and not eat processed food. I'm not in that bad shape myself, because I bike to work every day. But thank you for your concern, anonymous stranger.

Re:I'm sedentary (4, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 months ago | (#47055757)

This is a terrible idea.

If you're not used to exercising, your tissues aren't as elastic as they should be for typical workouts, especially in a gym setting where peer pressure encourages pushing limits. Pain is your body's warning that you've gotten a bit too close to those limits. With pain reliever, you don't get that early warning, so the first indication you have that something's wrong is a torn muscle or immobility the next day. After that, you'll need time to recover, allowing other nearby muscles to weaken again.

Heed your body's warnings. You don't get another one.

Re: I'm sedentary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47056371)

Plus nsaids reduce muscle growth that happens post exercise.

Re: I'm sedentary (1)

Aaden42 (198257) | about 2 months ago | (#47057895)

Honest question: Do NSAIDs reduce actual, long term growth in muscle, production of new muscle tissue, etc., or do they just reduce the swelling that gives you that “pumped” look after a hard workout without actually affecting growth and development? (Or as follow-on, is the “pumped” thing more than just appearance & the swelling is what actually stimulates muscle growth?)

Looking pumped is nice, but if it’s just aesthetic, not hurting is nice too. If it’s a hinderance to actual muscle development, then it makes more sense to push through it and get more benefit for the time & work spent.

Re: I'm sedentary (3, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 months ago | (#47058209)

"Swelling" is an inflammatory reaction to damage. Exercise-related muscle (and bone) growth happens when microscopic damage happens to the tissue, provoking an inflammatory response. The repairs over do it, producing stronger post-repair tissue.

So yes, the "swelling" contributes to tissue repair and growth.

NSAIDs and Ice Interfere With Training, Healing (3, Interesting)

littlewink (996298) | about 2 months ago | (#47058299)

At least one study says NSAIDs Interfere with Proper Training [drmirkin.com] . Surprisingly, so does ice!

Here's an interesting page with a small study(search for "McMaster" of a group of 11 subjects that seems to indicate massage is very useful (even better than exercise?) - Weird! Also it has a note on ibuprofen and NSAIDs.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | about 2 months ago | (#47059443)

I'd go to the gym more if it weren't for the peers. I used to jog a lot because work was near a nice path. Now I'm in a less desirable location so mostly just walk.

Re:I'm sedentary (3, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 months ago | (#47056973)

Processed food is converted into fat.

Some pain may be discouraging. Try some pain reliever before workout.

Please define processed food, then please tell us why it is bad. Be specific.

Processed food is fucking good for you. The majority of western civilization would be fucked without processed food. Everything from pasteurized milk to enriched/fortified bread to iodized salt to canned goods are "processed" in order to increase safety, bolster nutrition because people can't feed themselves, and extend shelf life. Just cooking food is processing it. If you don't like "processed food" you should be eating all your meats raw. And before you think you can get around that by eating a vegetarian diet, you should know that soy, the single most common form of complete protein in a vegetarian diet, is heavily processed.

Re:I'm sedentary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47057339)

hurfdurf cooking meat and vegetables is the same as stripping away naturally occurring nutrients and replacing them with industrial solvents.

Re:I'm sedentary (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 months ago | (#47057433)

Yeah, but many vegetarians eat shitily.

Processed foods often contain high levels of salt, sugar (or HFCS) and white flour or cornstarch because this stuff is cheap. Processed food will keep you alive but is unbalanced nourishment.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about 2 months ago | (#47057999)

Yeah, but many vegetarians eat shitily.

Processed foods often contain high levels of salt, sugar (or HFCS) and white flour or cornstarch because this stuff is cheap. Processed food will keep you alive but is unbalanced nourishment.

You've missed the point entirely. "Processed food" is a useless phrase. Virtually all food that is safe to eat is processed. Being against "processed foods" is like being against "chemicals".

Beyond that, anything can contain high levels of salt, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, etc., and none of those ingredients are bad for you. The truth of the matter is that most people would have far more health problems if they didn't consume "processed foods". Iodized salt is essential to people not having iodine deficiency. Similarly for fortified bread and cereal products.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 months ago | (#47058253)

When most people say processed food, they mean engineered food. Processed/engineered food is (generally) good for civilization - it lasts long enough to be distributed, can be grown efficiently, etc. It's not generally good for the individual, compared to other things. There's considerable evidence that hunter-gatherers, eating minimally processed food (cooked, sometimes, but that's it) were individually considerably healthier than those in agrarian societies where food was more heavily processed. Modern engineered food has additional problems, in that there are economic pressures to use suboptimal ingredients and do things like add large amounts of salt and sugar to fiddle with the taste.

Re:I'm sedentary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47055687)

I think there's a lot of truth to this. When I was unemployed for a couple of months last year (laid off from one job, had another job lined up but I couldn't begin working there immediately as the company was establishing a new office in my city and they didn't even have furniture and computers there yet...) I wound up being much more physically active than usual (and I normally spend 5-6 hours per week and the gym and commute by bicycle so I'm no couch potato) and I still had much more energy than I normally do when working.

Sitting (or standing) at a desk all day writing code wears me out a lot more than going to the gym or riding across town on my bicycle do.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about 2 months ago | (#47055733)

Seconded. I lost about 15 pounds last time I was unemployed.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 2 months ago | (#47055803)

I wear a FitBit, and was really surprised at how much more active I am on a day off than at work. I hit my activity goals without even trying. We should be taking breaks to do a lot of walking during the work day. Our employers will benefit from this by having healthier employees.

Re:I'm sedentary (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about 2 months ago | (#47055837)

it is by the fear of unemployment, alone, I set my car in motion,
it is by the java IDE that programs aquire bugs,
the mouse exhibits clicking,
the clicking responds to warnings.
it is by the fear of unemployment, alone, that I set my car in motion.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

jythie (914043) | about 2 months ago | (#47055729)

Which is part of why there is such an interest in standing desks or other ways of getting people moving during the day.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 2 months ago | (#47056579)

I haven't seen any interest. I've only ever seen one standing desk and that was because someone had a back problem, not an exercise thing. I've never seen a treadmill at a workstation. I haven't heard of anyone wanting one either. So no, I don't think there's ANY interest from anybody other than the people selling them.

Re:I'm sedentary (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 months ago | (#47056811)

It is easy to get office workers to exercise. Just put the coffee machine and the toilets at opposing ends of the building.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

Kelbear (870538) | about 2 months ago | (#47060113)

This happened at my previous job, it was about a quarter-mile walk to get to the coffee in the cafeteria (no free coffee). The bathrooms over there were also much cleaner since they were more inconvenient to reach, (so of course I took the extra walk for a cleaner toilet). Took about 10 minutes to walk there and back. It adds up over the course of the day.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

JockTroll (996521) | about 2 months ago | (#47056147)

Don't make up any excuses for being a lazy, misshapen tub o' lard. You're a fatso, you're ugly, you're malformed and you reek of stale sweat. Your obscenely distorted body is a gross heap of flaccid flesh, with infected sores festering between the flabs of sweaty, yellowish skin. When you're sitting, your weight threatens to break apart the reinforced chair that should support that pathetic monstruosity that is you, when you "walk", you trundle along on shortened, bent, stubby little legs that look like a Talidomide-generated nightmare. You're probably the inspiration for the DOOM 2 mancubus. Douse yourself on gasoline and set yourself on fire, now.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

John Bokma (834313) | about 2 months ago | (#47056483)

Maybe, but don't forget about the loads of sugar that has been added to all kinds of food, even tea bags!

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#47056983)

Maybe, but don't forget about the loads of sugar that has been added to all kinds of food, even tea bags!

Now if they'd only add tea to them.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

John Bokma (834313) | about 2 months ago | (#47057065)

+1 Indeed, some tea bags seem to be stuffed with grass clippings.

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 months ago | (#47057037)

Most of the time I'm sedentary it's because my job has me sit at a desk typing code(or slashdot comments) all day. This is exacerbated for most people, because they attach an hour or more of sedentary driving onto each end.

And being sedentary is mentally exhausting compared to light exercise. It's no surprise that there's an obesity epidemic.

Your point is right, but to be correct "most people" spend 25 minutes driving on either end of their day. Hourlong commutes might be common for drivers in big cities but are the exception nationally.

Re:I'm sedentary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47058089)

Are you also a zombie?

Re:I'm sedentary (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 2 months ago | (#47058525)

Well, obviously that question is kind of rud---braaaaaaaaaains.

Robot Jx115T2 Please step up and take your place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47055571)

Robot Mouse Jx115T2 Please step up and take your place in the workers factory. There will be a wheel of opportunity to allow your mind to enjoy the effort of striving while others make off with the cheese. Leaving your worn out chassis and gears as your own financial responsibility while we deny you repair funds because we need more cheese. You will be able to sue us for the difference though, hopefully you will live long enough to get it through the legal factory system.

Obligatory (0)

vikingpower (768921) | about 2 months ago | (#47055625)

A colleague of mine ( who has an animal nickname BTW, we call him "Bokito", you may wanna google that ) has a great poster on his whiteboard, with a picture of a treadmill on it: "This is what a career ladder looks like". 'Nuf said.

Gym Rats? (0)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 2 months ago | (#47055637)

mice ... may simply exercise because they like to.

Hence the term, "Gym Rats".

Thank you, thank you. Remember to tip the waitstaff, I'll be here all week.

Re:Gym Rats? (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | about 2 months ago | (#47055723)

Reminds me of the video [vimeocdn.com] linked on hardocp.com the other day.

Re:Gym Rats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47055911)

mice ... may simply exercise because they like to.

Hence the term, "Gym Rats".

Thank you, thank you. Remember to tip the waitstaff, I'll be here all week.

I guess the mice get big in the gym.

Steroids?

Motion from the outside not counted. (2)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 months ago | (#47055651)

They discounted animals setting the wheel in motion from the outside.

Random anecdote time.

I knew someone who had a hamster that would climb on to the outside of the wheel, kind of wedge itself between the wheel and cage and then spend ages using the wheel from the outside. It was also a remarkably stupid animal. Unlike ever other captive rodent I've seen it never figured out how to walk on the bars of the upper floors of the cage without its feet falling through the gaps. And unlike most other hamsters it was not a very clean animal either.

Sometimes the wheel would get moved. In which case there was no cage wall nearby for it to wedge itself against. In that case it would get to the top then the wheel would start to rotatetaking the hapless rodent with it and it would get splatted off onto the floor which was pretty funny.

Re:Motion from the outside not counted. (1)

dbarron (286) | about 2 months ago | (#47056155)

Did I know you when I was younger? I had a hamster that did this.

Re:Motion from the outside not counted. (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 2 months ago | (#47056349)

Did I know you when I was younger? I had a hamster that did this.

Unlikely unless you grew up in south-west London and had the hamster some time in the early/mid 90's.

Interestingly, it seems that there this may be a more common thing with hamsters than I realised.

Re:Motion from the outside not counted. (1)

locofungus (179280) | about 2 months ago | (#47057083)

There was a pet shop - I think this was in the North East of England but I cannot remember why I would have been in a pet shop so maybe not - that had a cage of chipmunks.

Two of them (always the same two) would get onto a wheel side by side and then run like mad.

One was slightly faster/had more stamina than the other one and eventually the other one couldn't keep up at which point it just held on and got a ride "over the top". The wheel would then come to a standstill and then they'd start all over again.

Was hysterically funny and I remember watching them for ages.

Re:Motion from the outside not counted. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060453)

Here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VuMdLm0ccU

Slug (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 months ago | (#47055659)

Slugs apprently frequent this thing (hard to call it a running wheel when's a slug).

Re:Slug (4, Funny)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 2 months ago | (#47055713)

Slugs apprently frequent this thing (hard to call it a running wheel when's a slug).

I wish there was a video of this I could speed up 20x, loop, and add music to.

Re:Slug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47055859)

If you add Ievan Polkka i might watch for a couple of hours.

Re:Slug (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 2 months ago | (#47055979)

Love it. How about "Harder Better Faster Stronger" from Daft Punk?

Re:Slug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47055987)

Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5gI1joaCxI

Re:Slug (1)

PPH (736903) | about 2 months ago | (#47056719)

I used to work for a company just like that.

Re:Slug (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47057827)

Did you check TFA?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5gI1joaCxI

Re:Slug (1)

Snufu (1049644) | about 2 months ago | (#47060843)

Slugs apprently frequent this thing (hard to call it a running wheel when's a slug).

This is the drive mechanism for my wall clock. No batteries, just feed it some slime when the clock gets behind.

Dumb TFS Verbiage (2)

oldhack (1037484) | about 2 months ago | (#47055707)

The story itself is interesting enough, opening it up to all kinds of hypothesis. Don't ruin it by adding the typically inane verbiage:

"Figuring out why certain strains of mice are more sedentary than others could help shed light on genetic differences between more active and sedentary people."

Re:Dumb TFS Verbiage (1)

PIBM (588930) | about 2 months ago | (#47055935)

They are just looking for some funding...

Re:Dumb TFS Verbiage (1)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 2 months ago | (#47056939)

The story itself is interesting enough, opening it up to all kinds of hypothesis. Don't ruin it by adding the typically inane verbiage:

"Figuring out why certain strains of mice are more sedentary than others could help shed light on genetic differences between more active and sedentary people."

That was the only way to get the taxpayer-funded grant to pay for the ... "study".

Determining Motive. (4, Insightful)

Wycliffe (116160) | about 2 months ago | (#47055727)

It seems a stretch to jump from "wild mice run in a treadmill" to "mice like to exercise".
What if the treadmill is similiar to what laser pointers are to cats or video games are to humans?
It could be that the mice thinks it's accomplishing something or has some other reason that
it uses the treadmill other than because it likes to exercise.

Re:Determining Motive. (3, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | about 2 months ago | (#47055819)

Maybe it's a dumb mouse never quite finding the source of the pheremone trail it's following.

Re:Determining Motive. (1)

Zocalo (252965) | about 2 months ago | (#47055925)

Not sure they are claiming that a desire to exercise is the motive so much that it's the end result of the activity - the wording could definitely be clearer on that point. Presumably the creatures are getting something out it it (unless they get stuck on the wheel and don't realise what's going on, which seems likely in some cases). Jumping to the conclusion it's out of a desire to exercise is definitely a stretch though; as you note, it could just as easily be some kind of game like a dog chasing its tail or a cat with a ball or yarn, for instance.

Re:Determining Motive. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47056763)

If they REALLY consider it a piece of exercise equipment, then the mice will hang laundry on it after a few weeks..

They may be stuck (1)

jesseck (942036) | about 2 months ago | (#47055769)

Just because they exercise doesn't mean that is what it is... they may have been brought into the wheel because of curiosity, and are trying to escape by running away.

Re:They may be stuck (3, Informative)

pr0nbot (313417) | about 2 months ago | (#47055845)

The paper states that animals would enter the wheel, leave it, and then re-enter it. That could be accidental but doesn't suggest escape.

Re:They may be stuck (2)

clovis (4684) | about 2 months ago | (#47055869)

I thought so too, but the authors seem to think it was voluntary:
"Some animals seem to use the wheel unintentionally, but mice and some shrews, rats and frogs were seen to leave the wheel and then enter it again within minutes in order to continue wheel running."

Also, they typically ran for less than a minute rather than running to exhaustion, and the running times were similar to lab rats' running.
It's too bad we can't just ask them. I've always wondered what my dogs and two-year olds were thinking.

Re:They may be stuck (3, Informative)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 2 months ago | (#47056529)

hey may have been brought into the wheel because of curiosity, and are trying to escape by running away.

Saw a short video related to this last night.

The mouse in question came up to the thing, climbed on, ran as fast as its little legs would carry it for a few seconds, till it was about 40 degrees from vertical...then stopped and let the thing carry him back and forth till to halted.

Then he got off, took a few steps, turned around, and repeated the whole process.

Personally, I think they were doing it for the fun factor - "Hey, guys! Watch this!"....

Re:They may be stuck (1)

UnderCoverPenguin (1001627) | about 2 months ago | (#47057797)

Personally, I think they were doing it for the fun factor

Given that they can just run around on the ground (or whatever), this makes sense.

Not exactly surprising (5, Interesting)

overshoot (39700) | about 2 months ago | (#47055799)

We have IR cameras set up to watch the back yard at night. There's a fox that spends a lot of time there, and she seems to have brought a toy (a tennis ball) with her. She plays with it a lot.

Take away from article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47055821)

Scatter Human-sized wheel farms around urban centers. If you build them, they will come.

Free renewable energy! (1)

sturle (1165695) | about 2 months ago | (#47055825)

I'm going to set up an array of training wheels with generators outside my garage, and harvest free power to charge my Tesla S! Or a flashlight. A small one..

A squirrel cage induction generator (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47056095)

Literally [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Free renewable energy! (1)

cusco (717999) | about 2 months ago | (#47058993)

Or maybe a night light. [otherpower.com]

The better mouse trap? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47056009)

So, maybe someone needs to design a mouse trap knowing this.

Put it in the middle of your kitchen, when the mice stop by and go "oooh, shiny wheel" ... blamo.

I'm not sure what exact mechanism of blamo would work within a wheel, but that's an exercise for whoever gets to the patent office first. ;-)

But if they're drawn to it, it sounds like it would be effective.

Re:The better mouse trap? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47056145)

Attach a small alternator and feed the electricity back to the metal of the wheel. Instant Mouse Zapper!

Re:The better mouse trap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47056331)

Instant mouse zapper that is powered by the victim itself. You might be on to something.

Re:The better mouse trap? (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | about 2 months ago | (#47056679)

Centrifuge. As soon as the mouse starts running, the rotation is detected and a motor kicked on to drive the RPM up to 50 or 60K. Mouse parts get squeezed through bars on wheel.

Now pardon me while I go back to eating my breakfast.

Re:The better mouse trap? (2)

Scorch_Mechanic (1879132) | about 2 months ago | (#47058729)

I can see this as an excellent way to rid one's backyard of offending vermin.
Brings whole new meaning to the phrase "squirrel cage motor".

Re:The better mouse trap? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060101)

Including the juvenile human type...

Re:The better mouse trap? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47057243)

go with the old trapdoor method, As soon as he gets in the wheel and it starts moving it knocks the stick out thats holding the lid and slams shut. Not only do you not harm the mouse, but you get to watch it run and run and run!

Re:The better mouse trap? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47057889)

Not only do you not harm the mouse, but you get to watch it run and run and run!

"No, Mr. Mouse, I expect you to run"

But, seriously, what if you had more than one mouse? Eventually you'd end up with a RAIM (redundant array of incarcerated mice) you have no use for.

Re:The better mouse trap? (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 2 months ago | (#47058321)

imagine a Beowulf cluster of those!

Not exercise? (1)

trazom28 (134909) | about 2 months ago | (#47056021)

Maybe they aren't exercising.. perhaps they are climbing in to investigate what it is, start to walk/run and just can't get out as they don't yet understand it? I'd buy that more than an animal exercising because it wants to. Sure animals can be very smart.. but I don't see them being vain as some humans, or worried about their figure.

Re:Not exercise? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47056091)

As has been pointed out elsewhere ... they get in, they run, they get out, they get back in and run.

So, it doesn't seem like they can't get out (because they do), and it's not like they're just running endlessly (they apparently run the same length as captive ones).

Either it's intriguing, novel, or something passing for fun.

And, no, I doubt the mice are watching their figures.

I'm betting this gets them an IgNobel, because it's some pretty out there stuff, but is nonetheless cool and interesting.

Re:Not exercise? (2)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | about 2 months ago | (#47057133)

Maybe they aren't exercising.. perhaps they are climbing in to investigate what it is, start to walk/run and just can't get out as they don't yet understand it? I'd buy that more than an animal exercising because it wants to. Sure animals can be very smart.. but I don't see them being vain as some humans, or worried about their figure.

Most animals, mammals anyway, enjoy playing. I think you're right that it's not random physical activity they are after, but rather it's a fun, playful activity, and that's why they are drawn to do it. I can't buy that they don't understand it - rodents are much smarter than people give them credit for.

The squirrels in my back yard really love the bird feeders I put out, which was no big deal until they got greedy with it. They knocked it off the deck and then figured out how to unscrew the feeder from the base to get at the food easier.

NEWS FLASH (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | about 2 months ago | (#47056107)

Amusement park rides are fun.

That's what we think (1)

Mordio (606397) | about 2 months ago | (#47056111)

According to Adams [wikia.com] :

Mice are merely the protrusion into our dimension of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who, unbeknownst to the human race, are the most intelligent species on the planet Earth. They spent a lot of their time in laboratories running complex experiments on humans.

Perhaps it's just... fun? (2)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 2 months ago | (#47056119)

Like, if you'd put a swing somewhere near a human inhabited area, enough people would swing on it. (adult specimen for some reason only when they don't feel watched)

Or a sign "Wet paint". Another mystery of the universe why nobody believes such signs without checking for themselves.

Re:Perhaps it's just... fun? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47056945)

As an electronic engineer I can indeed confirm that it helps to push the buttons harder together with a firm swinging motion when the batteries to the remote control are empty.

Re:Perhaps it's just... fun? (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 months ago | (#47057535)

Not if the batteries are empty but perhaps if there are poor contacts in the buttons or to the batteries themselves.

Re:Perhaps it's just... fun? (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 months ago | (#47059277)

The ROKU 3 RF remote cures the swinging reaction after a few days.

Re:Perhaps it's just... fun? (1)

avandesande (143899) | about 2 months ago | (#47057079)

How about when you have the heat turned down and when you come home your wife turns it up to 90?

Constant stream (1)

GoJays (1793832) | about 2 months ago | (#47056125)

This wheel produced a constant stream of wildlife. Based on 200 000 animals, over 3 years, that works out to 7 animals an hour, or one every 8 minutes and 30 seconds, assuming it is in use 24 hours a day.

So why don't exterminators use a wheel to get rid of mice infestations? Create a box, which has a upper container for the wheel, when the wheel does a full rotation, the wheel floor drops away dropping the mouse into a lower level. Which can then be removed with the trapped mice.

Re:Constant stream (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47056629)

This wheel produced a constant stream of wildlife.

So why don't exterminators use a wheel to get rid of mice infestations?

Duh.
Because they want to get rid of mice, not add a mix of mice, slugs, rats, shrews, frogs and snails at a rate of 7 per hour.

who needs fusion (1)

westcountyboy (2659135) | about 2 months ago | (#47056227)

attache a generator, hook it up to the grid and fix the energy crisis and global warming.

I can relate: exercise prevents moodiness (3, Interesting)

Vegan Cyclist (1650427) | about 2 months ago | (#47056437)

In a way i can totally relate to this - i'm a fairly high-level bike racer, and if i don't ride for 2-3 days, i find i start to get moody and restless, and it's *always* cured by getting out and getting my heart going a bit. Even a walk will make the difference. I wasn't active as a kid, only really started in my 20's, but ever since i started, i need to keep active to keep in a good headspace...and i know of several other riders who say the same thing. Their partners actually tell them to get out and ride because they get in a state when they're inactive. Maybe in a way other species are responding to some kind of natural need to keep active....?

What kinds of animals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47056447)

Did they observe any lemmings using the wheel?

Mice, check - Frog? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about 2 months ago | (#47056713)

They got me with that one.

It's not exercise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47056785)

This is stupid. The bottom line here is wheel-like devices are pretty uncommon in nature. Rodent brains didn't evolve to deal with random wheel-toys being around. If wheels were part of their environment on an evolutionary timescale, the ones who wasted energy playing in a wheel would've lost out to the ones who got on with the business of finding food and mating. What's happening here is you're introducing a novel element into their world that their evolutionary "psychology" isn't equipped to handle. We have no idea what's really happening in their tiny brains while running on that wheel, but most likely neural circuits that developed for other, functional reasons are simply being tricked by the novel situation and don't know how to handle it in a manner that's more useful.

Re:It's not exercise! (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 2 months ago | (#47057555)

I cannot help but wonder if it would work for the gray squirrels around by house?

Re: It's not exercise! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47057681)

That logic would equally apply to you typing this message.

Re:It's not exercise! (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 2 months ago | (#47057729)

This is stupid. The bottom line here is electronic devices are pretty uncommon in nature. Human brains didn't evolve to deal with random tech-toys being around. If cell-phones were part of their environment on an evolutionary timescale, the ones who wasted energy playing on facebook would've lost out to the ones who got on with the business of finding food and mating. What's happening here is you're introducing a novel element into their world that their evolutionary "psychology" isn't equipped to handle. We have no idea what's really happening in their tiny brains while surfing on that phone, but most likely neural circuits that developed for other, functional reasons are simply being tricked by the novel situation and don't know how to handle it in a manner that's more useful.

FTFY

Step 2: Setup a few TVs for them (1)

AnontheDestroyer (3500983) | about 2 months ago | (#47057469)

Step 3: some mats in front of the wheel for the girl mice to stretch on for half their visit.

We can finally prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that treadmill in gym >>> running around in boring outdoors.

Human Size Mouse Wheel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47060461)

Put a human-size mouse wheel in every Walmart, and watch 'em flock to it.

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