Friday, April 3, 2009


I decided to take a hiatus from my usual insect fascination to present a few other interesting things...

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Now that I've finally found out that the "insert photo" button inserts photos, you shall both of you be subjected to more.

You have to love the mantis: what kind of God makes something that absurd?

Of course, not quite so pretty as our monarchs, but still, nothing to sneer at.


This is what happens when you have way too much spare time.

And finally, I added a picture of my house, taken this morning.

Blessings all; I'm off to study Latin.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Boxer (Simon and Garfunkel)

Simon and Garfunkel's song The Boxer, from their Bridge Over Troubled Water album has a very unusual percussion in the chorus. I just found out why: it's either 1: A heavy chain being slapped against a concrete floor in a warehouse, the mike far enough away to let it echo, or 2: a snare played on a high rise building in 7th avenue in New York.

Go Hal Blaine.

That's Cool, I Guess...

Termites lack the enzyme to digest cellulose (which happens to inhabit wood, if ya didn't know), so they have a symbiont that lives in their guts. It's a member of genusTrichonympha, so we'll call him Trichy. He digests the cellulose that termites eat. So far, so good.

The problem comes when the termite sheds its skin. When it does this, it sheds out the lining of its stomach, which contains poor little Trichy, who presumably dies fairly rapidly. The termite is then left without any means of digesting cellulose, until it feeds off of the anal secretions of other termites, introducing more Trichy into the stomach, and allowing it to eat wood.

"Some primal termite knocked on wood, and tasted it, and found it good,
And that is why your sweet Aunt May fell through the parlor floor today."
--Ogden Nash

Wodehousian Fun