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We humans put in a lot of effort impressing the opposite sex with the help of fancy clothes, expensive perfume, fast cars, cooking skills (it's that way to a man's heart thing) and cosmetic surgery. The animal kingdom on the other hand make do without all the accessories yet they have their unique styles. Even the disgusting cockroach has its way.

Relative to other animals, mouse courtship is fairly involved. (Or perhaps, as one of the most-studied mammals ever, we simply have a more thorough understanding of it.) Either way, it includes everything from pheromones that allow females to detect whether or not genes governing males' immune systems are compatible with their own, to ultrasonic singing by male mice.

Green Anole
Green Anoles live in warm climates throughout the New World. Aside from their chameleon-like ability to change colors, the males of these small, agile lizards also possess a throat fanknown as a dewlapwhich they use during territorial disputes and for courtship. When courting, a male will bob his head vigorously and may even perform an action that resembles push-ups. In response, a receptive female will bob her head in synchrony with the male.

Great Bustard
The world's largest flying bird, the male Bustard engages in an energetic display of his chest feathers that appears to be a classic example of what scientists call "honest signaling." That is, the features of the male's feathers and display that females find most attractive directly correlate with the overall health of the male, and by extension the fitness of his genes.

Like other intelligent, highly social primates, baboon courtship can take many different forms. In hamadryas baboons, for instance, males will maintain harems of multiple females which they will jealously guardand which will occasionally be raided by other males. Males of other baboon species sometimes take a different tack: by "befriending" a female through attentive companionship and grooming (the primate equivalent of sparkling conversation) they may eventually be chosen as mates by those females.

Humpback Whale
During breeding season, which takes place over the winter months, groups of male humpback whales will display for potential mates by singing their famously haunting songs, breaching, and performing a host of other competitive displays that depend on speed, strength and size.

Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
The males of this species of giant cockroach hiss for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is to attract a mate. By forcing air through their spiracles, or the holes through which they breathe, males generate a hiss that lady cockroaches apparently find quite fetching: in lab experiments, muted males were almost never successful at mating.


(PS3, Xbox 360)

By Tareq Adnan

There are a few things that dig daggers into the hearts of men. In the case of men who are gamers, it's simpler, since there is only one thing that gets them down. Not being able to play a game they sorely want to. I have suffered just like my fellow unfortunate gamers have suffered and are still suffering. Thankfully, I was blessed too. I found this heavenly dude who not only owned a next gen, but also the game I honestly wanted to play, and he let me play too. Bless him; he's like the modern prophet.

Rockstar has always been known as the studio that either courts controversy (in numerous courts) or courts big time sales. Be it with Bully or with Manhunt, Rockstar manages to get just the right amount of public attention without even trying. This time around though, the attention was hype, which sure surprised me. Not that there wasn't controversy, there always is, however people have started to accept Rockstar and its radical ways.

This time around, we are back where all the fame started, Liberty City, the quintessential Big Apple of the gaming world. And just like its real life counterpart, it attracts all manner of unsavory characters, least of which is an illegal immigrant, Niko Bellic who happens to be our protagonist.

Niko has military experience and has dreams of enjoying all the things his cousin Roman has told him off. Except Roman was lying as is the case in these matters (you just cannot expect a guy with an accent to get the girls…nope). And what's more, Roman has fatal debts with the wrong people and the reason Niko was wooed in such a way, is because he can hold a gun right.

And thus the saga begins. Predictably, the start of it constitutes doing the same things you've done before in the previous game… ok the whole of the story constitutes doing the same things. You go somewhere, pick stuff up, kill somebody, etc. You've done it before. What's interesting is the story that unfolds. Niko isn't remorselessly dedicated to becoming the top honcho in the underworld. He's reluctant at times and sometimes outright disgusted at the things he has to do. This brings about another aspect of the game that makes its great, in some missions you get choices, do you kill this guy or let him go and hopefully in the future he'll help you out. The storyline has to be played at least twice, thanks to the choices you get to make. A novel idea, gives the game that much more replay value.

Enough of the story now, we must move on, because I have a word limit to adhere to. The graphics are better, but then again you can't expect anything else on a next generation console. They aren't great per se; however they are better than before and somewhat less cartoonish. The cars and the skyline are treats to look at, the characters are more detailed (although not much) and the environment meshes out better. You feel the city, the texture of it, and it a way, it seems more real. I played on PS3 and can't say how it compares to the Xbox 360 version, although the difference can't be much.

The city itself is huge, I mean huge. There are so many places to mess around in. The pool halls, the clubs… and then there are the TV shows to look out for (which I didn't notice at first until that heavenly dude who's game I was playing pointed it out) and the Internet. The spoof websites are hilarious. Everything adds to make the game feel more and more lifelike. And then the cell phone is an added advantage and gives the whole feeling of society with friends and girlfriends calling you up to hang out. And just like a real society not talking to them means you're a jerk.

The sound score, something which Rockstar is famous for, is amazing…no surprise. Unlike last time, this around its not only restricted to awesome radio stations and great voice acting. The normal sounds of car engines differ noticeably from car to car, and the pedestrian lines aren't as repetitive.

The game play has been revamped and the target mode and hand to hand combat don't suck royally anymore. However, I would say that changing the driving physics wasn't such a good idea. I enjoyed the harebrained insanity that the previous games entailed, here though things are different, sometimes it's a bit to manic to enjoy and sometimes plain boring. The mini games are fun when you first mess with them though they get repetitive. The game map has had improvements, the city is big enough to leave gamers confused about where to go and the directional help it gives can be invaluable, alongside the police-o-meter that makes running away that much easier. This has a downside, the police chases aren't fun.

In conclusion, this game promises a lot, although, with all the hype and the adolescent fantasies that are connected with it, it's bound to fall short. It would be impossible to live up to every 13-year olds expectations but it's very good nonetheless and worth playing… if you can afford it here.

By Nuzhat Binte Arif

You remember those mammoth archway-like structures that Manny the Mammoth from Iceage dismissed off as “eh, modern architecture, they'll never last!”? The ones that look like gigantic stone doors that someone probably made because really didn't have anything better to do at that time? Yes, those “modern” architectures are called the Stonehenge, they as modern as 5000 years old (oh they lasted alright) and apparently are one of history's biggest mysteries.

They're mysterious, because you see, once upon a time, these stones were not where they are now (which is at the English county of Wiltshire, west of Amesbury and north of Salisbury, England). The Sarsen stones (with which the monument was built) are 13 feet high and weight a LOT (about 25,000 kg!). And since as I just said now that the stones were not in their present location once upon a time, are man-constructed and were constructed 5000 years ago, no one really know how they got there! What with obvious technological problems and the fact that the culture that 1st started building it didn't even have a written language, how in the world did they manage to build this colossal monument?

The answer is: supernatural abilities (erm…!). At least that's one of the experts' theories. Two folklores surround the placement of the stones.

1) “Friar's Heel” or the “Sunday Stone”
Here is one tale of how the stones were placed and how one stray stone got placed some distance away from the main structure:

The Devil bought the stones from an Irish lady, wrapped them up and brought them to Salisbury plain. However, one of the stones fell down in the Avon River. But he was so happy with his work anyway that he said “No-one will ever know how these stones got here!” Then a friar replied “That's what you think!” The devil got really mad and threw one of the stones at the poor friar and struck him on the heel. The stone stuck the ground and has remained there till now.

We know the folklore. So we know how the devil brought it. He can throw stones at us, we don't care.

2) Oh Merlin! (Arthurian legend)
Another legend involves Merlin the great wizard (I believe this one) and Aurelias Ambrosius.

You see Mr Ambrosius wanted to dedicate a monument to the great nobles who died in war. So he sent Merlin, Uther Pendragon and 15000 knights to Ireland, where the stones were constructed in Mount Killaraus by the Giants, who brought them from Africa. Merlin and the others slew 7000 Irish men before getting to the stones. When the men tried to rope the stones and pulled, they couldn't move them an inch. So then Merlin, with his awesome “gear”, skills, magic, and a little help from the giants, lifted the stones and brought them back to Amesbury and built the monument of Stonehenge. The Stonehenge was referred to as the Healing Rocks by the giants because of their healing properties, and was also known as “The Giants ring of Stonehenge”. After Aurelias Ambrosius died, he was buried here along with the nobles.

Alright! Enough of the folklores and all the crazy (but cool) legends; we need to know some real history here people!

The Stonehenge were actually constructed using Neolithic technology (Stone-age stuff) developed back in 10,000 BC. The monument was constructed in several stages throughout a long period of 1500 years from 3000 BC to 1500 BC.

I had to read through an extremely long and painful essay on the whole construction process and I'd be happy to write it all here, but for obvious reasons, that's not possible, so I'd recommend you to check it out from the below mentioned “sources” if you're interested to know.

The Stonehenge was actually a circular monument and involved the presence of lots and lots of huge stones, some of which are not there anymore (people chipped them off as souvenirs! Can you believe it? That's blasphemy!). Some of the original stones have been taken away by the British ancestors to build houses and roads (sigh) and some of the stones have fallen off. The inner smaller stones are called the Bluestones, because they turn blue when it rains! Sweet! Eh?

What's not so sweet is that the Stonehenge was probably used as a burial ground, where they buried people along with pottery (weird!). The remains of both have been found along with animal bones and early construction tools in the ditches surrounding the structure. There's also a Slaughter Stone (yikes!) in between the other stones and once upon a time, the site was called “Enclosed cremation Cemetery”. Other probable functions of the monument were as an astronomical observatory or as a ritualistic religious site. We still don't know a lot of stuff yet (including why it was built here), which is why it's still a mystery.

At present, Stonehenge owned by the Crown, and managed by the English Heritage, while the surrounding area is owned by the National Trust. There is a LOT of stuff out there in the internet about the Stonehenge. Do check it out if you're interested. That's all for today's history lesson. See ya'll later some time again! Ciao!

Sources: www.wikipedia.org, www.enlish-heritage.org.uk


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