Just like the lengendary male model who fought to valiantly to become an ambi-turner, cockroaches prefer not to turn left.
Researchers say it’s a safe bet that the roaches don’t have Zoolander’s mental block. Instead, they believe that the right-turn bias shown by the creepy-crawly insects indicates that most roaches favor their right side, just as most humans are right-handed.
For the study, published in the Journal of Insect Behavior, researchers released the roaches into a Y-shaped tube, enticing them forward to the fork in the road with odors of vanilla and ethanol. ScienceNOW explains what happened next:
Cockroaches with intact antennae preferred the tube’s right fork 57% of the time. This right-side bias persisted even after the scientists chopped off one of the bugs’ sensitive antennae, used to sense touch and smells.
This finding adds to the evidence that many animals show a side-preference akin to human handedness; for example, one study showed horses to be predominantly right-hoofed.
Meanwhile, maybe homeowners battling roach infestations can exploit our new understanding of these right-legged cockroaches, and strategically place roach traps to the right of suspicious cracks and holes.
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Discoblog: Lefties Cry Discrimination Over iPhone’s Faulty Antenna
Image: Texas A&M University / Hong Liang
Believe me, there are many inconveniences that come with being left-handed: Your childhood art projects look like they were accomplished by jittery beavers on account of those damn right-handed safety scissors, and simple kitchen tools like can-openers and soup ladles can become the enemy. But now we lefties can add in a high-tech complaint: The iPhone 4’s antenna problems are particularly troublesome to the likes of us.
The iPhone 4’s sales have been spectacular since it debuted last week, but consumers immediately noticed a glaring problem with the metal band that wraps around the phone’s perimeter and acts as an antenna; holding the phone in certain ways interfered with the antenna and could lead to dropped calls. In response, Apple advised customers to “avoid gripping it in the lower left corner” when making or receiving a call. That’s when a U.K. group called the Left-Handers Club got irate.
According to The Telegraph, spokeswoman Lauren Milsom issued a blistering statement:
“It seems ludicrous to suggest that 10 per cent of potential users should be told they have to adopt a less natural hand hold to use this latest technology. I would strongly suggest that Steve Jobs employs left-handers in his design and testing team in future, and urgently address this issue to ensure the phone is fit for purpose.”
Lefties are reportedly not the only ones upset about the apparent design flaw. One couple that’s suing Apple says their phone’s faulty antenna has caused them “emotional distress,” and class-action lawsuits are starting to spring up.
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Image: flickr / Jorge Quinteros