I say, I say, I say: What's the difference between a king penguin and liquid?
King penguin colonies move and organise themselves in a way that is "astoundingly" similar to how liquids behave, according to research published today. The penguin probe, led by Richard Gerum of the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg in Germany, looked at how king penguin colonies organise themselves at the start of breeding …
I love how often fluid dynamics can be applied with minimal fudging.
My favourite example is the way Zerglings move in StarCraft 2. Thanks to the dither,* small size and huge numbers they look distinctively liquid like when moving en mass. Ok so not a real example but fun all the same.
*I think its called this but am happy to be corrected.
That's basically my gripe with the headline*. It's colonies of penguins that behave like liquids, not the individual penguins themselves. (As you wrote, cats have the patent on behaving like liquids at the individual level.)
* Fancy, that - a somewhat misleading headline on El Reg. Well, I'll never...
Most moving particulate items can be modelled using fluid dynamics. Traffic is, often.
However, I can see the code for penguins finding nesting sites might be directly applied to cars finding car-parking spaces, or people sinding seats in a theatre... Look at that - three papers for only one piece of work.....!
"while a solid state would make it "virtually impossible to mend" vacancies – like when a penguin leaves prime real estate – and other local disturbances."
I know i confuse easily, yeah blonde, but ...
If a solid state made it virtually impossible to mend vacancies, wouldn't it also make it virtually impossible to create a vacancy in the first place?
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