When to Ding The Bus

Unfortunately I have been—and still am until I can afford a car—restricted to taking the bus for transportation. I have taken many trips, at many times, in many places, with many people. One thing I have noticed and been interested by is the judgment—or lack thereof—that people use in determining when to pull the stop-request cord.

Some people pull it immediately after leaving the stop prior to the one they want—some even earlier than that. Some people pull it exactly halfway, others wait until the bus has all but passed the stop—or even after—and the rest pull somewhere in between.

The ideal time to pull it is simply a case of common sense. You do not want to pull it too early because then the bus driver will slow down right away to avoid passing the stop, thus delaying your arrival. You do not want to pull it too late or the driver may not have enough time to stop and will just pass it and stop at the next one. There is no specific number or fraction that I can give since inter-stop distances vary as do road conditions and traffic, but ideally, you will want to pull the cord as close as possible to the stop while giving the driver enough time and space to safely come to a stop. A general rule of thumb could be to wait until you are about 2/3 of the way to your stop from the previous one.

Chickens Will Not Evolve to Taste Bad

For some time I have mused as to why animals do not evolve to taste bad.

The whole point to natural selection is to promote the survival of a species by simply finding that the members that have certain desirable characteristics which help it to live, go on to have children who are likely to have those characteristics who can then pass it on to their children and so on. Over time, most members of that species will have that characteristic.

Humans have been eating animals for many, many years so I could not understand why the animals that get eaten so often—chickens, cows, pigs—have not yet evolved to taste bad as a defense-mechanism. After all, any animals who taste good are more likely to be killed while the ones that taste bad are more likely to be spared. It makes sense.

A while ago however, the answer dawned on me. Not only do animals not evolve to taste bad but they in fact evolve to taste better. Of course it does not occur because of “natural selection” but rather due to human interference and meddling.

For example, lets say that there are two chickens, one happens to taste great should it be eaten, the other tastes awful. Of course both have been slaughtered already, that is how we know how they taste, however they have already been bred by a chicken farmer. The one who tasted good had children which were more likely to taste good as well. The one who tasted bad had children which were more likely to taste bad as well. Over several generations, the one offspring from the one who tasted good are bred more and more often for obvious reasons and the one offspring of the one that tasted bad are bred less and less often—perhaps only used for eggs, maybe not. After enough time has passed, the ones that tasted bad become extinct—at least on the farm—while the ones that taste good end up becoming ubiquitous.

In nature on the other hand, it is possible for an animal—for example and antelope—to evolve to taste bad because a lion will not breed them, it will only hunt them and in time learn which ones taste good and which ones taste bad. It will leave the bad ones alone and hunt the good ones. Eventually, the antelopes who survive will be the ones who taste bad.

Humans are meddlesome creatures who interfere with everything for their own interests. This is just another example of this albeit a rather major one, after all tampering with the very essence of evolution is not to be taken lightly.

In summary, chickens will not evolve to taste bad because of humans and their artificial selection.