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Scientists: Plants Can Hear Themselves Being Eaten

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You may want to look away, vegetarians and vegans, and that’s because scientists are now saying that plants can “hear” themselves being eaten. That’s right, they hear you munching away on them.

According to researchers at the University of Missouri, plants can identify sounds nearby – which also include the sounds made when people eat them.

For thousands of years people have been talking to their plants, claiming that sound and music can help plants grow. And according to Heidi Appel, a senior research scientist in the Division of Plant Sciences in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources and the Bond Life Sciences Centre at MU, this new study is “the first example of how plants respond to an ecologically relevant vibration.”

“We found that ‘feeding vibrations’ signal changes in the plant cells’ metabolism, creating more defensive chemicals that can repel attacks from caterpillars,” Appel adds.

This study involved putting caterpillars on small plants called Arabidopsis and then scientists used a laser and a piece of reflective material to measure movement of the leaf in response to the munching caterpillar. The recordings of the caterpillars feeding vibrations were played back to one set of plants and played silence to an other. It was found that the plants that had been forced to listen to the sound of caterpillars eating were now producing more mustard oils, a chemical that the bugs don’t like.

And here’s what Rex Cocroft, a professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at MU who worked on the study as well, had to say:

“What is remarkable is that the plants exposed to different vibrations, including those made by a gentle wind or different insect sounds that share some acoustic features with caterpillar feeding vibrations did not increase their chemical defenses.

This indicates that the plants are able to distinguish feeding vibrations from other common sources of environmental vibration. Plants have many ways to detect insect attack, but feeding vibrations are likely the fastest way for distant parts of the plant to perceive the attack and begin to increase their defenses.”

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Peter Dinklage & Morgan Freeman to Face Off in Super Bowl Commercial

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PepsiCo has announced its two brands, Doritos and Mountain Dew, will air a 60-second spot together for the Super Bowl, a first for the parent company. PepsiCo has a released a teaser trailer in anticipation of the spot, where it features actors Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage as the stars of the upcoming ad.

The ad will focus on two new products from the respective brands, spicy Doritos Blaze and a lemon-lime Moutain Dew Ice. “This is a great example of the power of PepsiCo’s food and beverage portfolio coming to life for consumers on one of the world’s largest stages. Doritos and Mountain Dew go perfectly together, and both brands have passionate fan bases. We think consumers will love Doritos Blaze and MTN DEW ICE, as well as this engaging Super Bowl ad,” Al Carey, chief executive officer, PepsiCo North America, said in a statement. Check out the teaser for the upcoming Super Bowl spot above and share your thoughts in the comments below.

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mastermind JAPAN & SearchNDesign Team Up for "Ghost Sox"

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mastermind JAPAN joins forces with Italian footwear imprint SearchNDesign for a special drop, centering around a unique silhouette dubbed the “Ghost Sox.”

The “Ghost Sox,” named for the removable neoprene sock inside the shoe, blend Japanese heritage with progressive sneaker design; the inner sock can be removed and worn when entering a house. Italian vegetable-tanned leather uppers feature minute holes on the toe for breathability, gold eyelets and a lace-crossing strap for foot support. A zipper on the heel of the sneaker eases wearability and tonal laces, matching the red, black and white colorways, keep the shoe looking clean. mastermind’s iconic skull logo appears on the outside heel and tongue of the sneakers, while the insoles feature co-branding.

Look for the sneakers to drop alongside a matching hoodie and T-shirt on February 1 for €1,217 EUR, or approximately $1,490 USD on SearchNDestroy’s website. For more Italian leather sneakers, check out Vans Vault’s latest Old Skool pack.

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Travel: The Williamsburg Hotel, Brooklyn

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Up until a couple of years ago, finding a descent hotel in Williamsburg was pretty tough. There was of course always The Wythe leading the charge opening in 2012, but over the past year, North Brooklyn has welcomed a couple new hotels all within walking distance of each other. The latest is the aptly named Williamsburg Hotel.

Located in North Brooklyn, in possibly the easiest location to get in and out of Manhattan, the hotel features 150 guest rooms spanning the eight-story brick, Corten steel, and glass structure, elegantly designed by London design firm Michaelis Boyd Studio (Soho House Berlin & Babington House) to pay homage to Williamsburg’s industrial past.

In addition to the usual comforts of hotel living, The Williamsburg will offers up its own vegetable focused restaurant – Harvey, as well as rooftop pool and lounge, an expansive grand ballroom and three distinct bars, one of which is housed inside a retrofitted water tower, how very Brooklyn of them. Hotel guests can also borrow one of their custom bikes, or hitch a ride on their adorable pink Tuk-Tuk.

While much of the amenities weren’t ready when we stayed here earlier this month, the hotel it self was quite impressive to say the least. Housing five different room-types, we had the opportunity to stay in one of their Queen rooms, which featured floor to ceiling windows, a private balcony with a view of Brooklyn and Manhattan (somewhat of a rarity in NYC), and a rather impressive bathroom. Complete with classic white marble and Waterworks brass hardware, the bathroom featured toiletries by Brooklyn based brand Apotheke you’ll definitely want to pocket before you leave.

While much of the food and beverage program is still to come, we highly recommend pulling up a seat at the bar for a cocktail on your next visit and look forward to heading back again soon.

Flip through some of our photos from our stay below now and click here for more information on The Williamsburg Hotel.

 

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