20060218

Blattodea of the Dead

I've always hated cockroaches with a scorn no other creature deserves. Subscribing to a phenom I've adoringly termed the creepy-crawly fear, I believe that cockroaches are not just carriers of disease, but that they are opportunistic, willfully evil, and know exactly who I am. Apparently this type of fear, of small, scurrying animals, exists in every culture.

But whatever the Maori or the Tutsis are repulsed by, the cockroach is my personal enemy and I am glad to see him suffer. And my prayers have been answered - a fate worse than Raid (Corante via BoingBoing.) A species of wasp has developed a parasitic relationship with cockroaches, first zombifying the roach, then guiding it by its antennae back to its lair, where its widdle babies are lovingly nestled inside the roach to eat their way out as they grow. The enemy of my enemy is ... my new Hymenopteran overlord.

More detailed description over at Science and Politics blog.

20060210

Flatworm Pr0N REVEALED!

Penis-fencing. No, it's not just for your human pr0n collection anymore.

Flatworms have solved the sexual selection dilemma (um, yeah) by forcing the losing partner in a duel to bear the young, and hence the higher parental investment burden. I'd love to see the people who believe that once, long ago in a faraway dreamland, maternal societies ruled everything make sense of this one.

Now you too can watch some hot hermaphrodite-on-hermaphrodite inverterbrate action! No AdultCheck required!

20060203

Sex lowers stress, raises questions

Those sex-starved lab robots over at New Scientist tell you why you're acting so crazy: you haven't been getting any, but it's penetrative sex that helps keep your stress levels low.

But is it that simple? You'll note they're not really asking those deeply penetrating questions that even Wonkette would have included in the study:
For a fortnight, 24 women and 22 men kept diaries of how often they engaged
in penile-vaginal intercourse (PVI), masturbation or partnered sexual
activity excluding intercourse.

Oh, PVI of course. You can't tell me no scientists, especially European ones, have heard of buttsex. Simon LeVay, Dean Hamer, hell - even Dan Savage - someone, anyone! Please, won't anyone think of the anal?!

Oxymoron of the week: MIT Fashion Show

I know it's bad karma to make fun of hipster geeks, considering they run the known world, but - have you ever been to one of those Finnish art shows where they showcase kitchens based on the four elements (where the functioning stove is two inches off the ground), plastic globes hung from the ceiling that function as olfactory phonebooth-like spaces, wedding gowns made of tissue paper, or a "jacket for lonely or bored people" made from Velcro?

Remember that Yoko Ono Simpsons episode with the experimental Barney belches... "Number Eight? *URRRP* Number Eight? *URRRP*"

Then you have an idea of what a fashion show at MIT must have been like.