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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

9. Night Chorus of Crickets

Apparently crickets chirp at an exact rate and rhythm based on temperature. I find facts like this just delicious to know:

Because they are cold-blooded animals, crickets' metabolic rates are closely linked to the temperature of their surroundings. An interesting side-effect of this is that you can calculate air temperature based on the number of times a cricket chirps per minute: just divide by 4 and then add 40 to get the temperature in Fahrenheit. So 120 chirps per minute translates to 70 degrees F.

I only ever really feel 'at home' in a country where I can hear crickets at night. I have always found their sound soothing and reassuring. I can visualise an illustration with numerals and sound waves, temperature markers and a mechanical looking, beady-eyed cricket presiding over my world of early child hood dreams.

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