“Even though a goat ate my arm, thanks to the CGTF I’ve been able to stop hiding behind drugs and alcohol and face the world again. I’d recommend the CGTF to anyone!”
— Sean C., Centreville, VA
Sleepless in Seattle (stalker remix)
Evolution Schmevolution – Daily Show on Youtube
Wasp performs roach-brain-surgery to make zombie slave-roaches
Ampulex compressa is a wasp that has evolved to tackle roaches, insert a stinger into their brains and disable their escape reflexes. This lets the wasp use the roach’s antennae to steer the roach to its lair, where it can lay its egg in it. Parasite Rex author Carl Zimmer tells the story in gooey, graphic detail:
The wasp slips her stinger through the roach’s exoskeleton and directly into its brain. She apparently use sensors along the sides of the stinger to guide it through the brain, a bit like a surgeon snaking his way to an appendix with a laparoscope. She continues to probe the roach’s brain until she reaches one particular spot that appears to control the escape reflex. She injects a second venom that influences these neurons in such a way that the escape reflex disappears.
From the outside, the effect is surreal. The wasp does not paralyze the cockroach. In fact, the roach is able to lift up its front legs again and walk. But now it cannot move of its own accord. The wasp takes hold of one of the roach’s antennae and leads it–in the words of Israeli scientists who study Ampulex–like a dog on a leash.
The zombie roach crawls where its master leads, which turns out to be the wasp’s burrow. The roach creeps obediently into the burrow and sits there quietly, while the wasp plugs up the burrow with pebbles. Now the wasp turns to the roach once more and lays an egg on its underside. The roach does not resist. The egg hatches, and the larva chews a hole in the side of the roach. In it goes.
The larva grows inside the roach, devouring the organs of its host, for about eight days. It is then ready to weave itself a cocoon–which it makes within the roach as well. After four more weeks, the wasp grows to an adult. It breaks out of its cocoon, and out of the roach as well. Seeing a full-grown wasp crawl out of a roach suddenly makes those Alien movies look pretty derivative. – LINK
I’ve realized that Deerfield has replaced Fort Lauderdale’s Homeless and Junkie population with Iguanas and Butterflies. Every day I’m out and about, I see wildlife rather than being approached for a handout or worse. I’m glad of that. It’s amazing what a difference fifteen miles can make. Riding the bike is actually a realistic option, and if I want to check out the more urban decay, I’m able to get to it quickly.
Heavy-duty rains early this morning. I hope I can get to the train station without getting soaked! I’ll be taking my trusty, rusty waterproof GPS with me to see how well it tracks my movement. I really ought to download some more detailed local maps for it.
You are Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
|You are good at fixing things.
You are usually cheerful.
You appreciate being treated
with delicacy and specialness.
You are Geordi LaForge
|You work well with others and often
fix problems quickly. Your romantic
relationships are often bungled.
| You scored as Storyteller. You’re more inclined toward the role playing side of the equation and less interested in numbers or experience points. You’re quick to compromise if you can help move the story forward, and get bored when the game slows down for a long planning session. You want to play out a story that moves like it’s orchestrated by a skilled novelist or film director.
1 year ago – smoother sailing, sleeping in airports, Bigfoot 911, weather, Trism lyric
2 years ago – 7 sins meme, hand-foot coordination, stood up for b-day dinner
3 years ago – dreams, haiku, Irish curses, random politeness factoid, more palm-cam pics, nice cards!
4 years ago – Moonflower haiku, bus rides, tulpa-folk, what do people see quiz, miss cleo got in trubbah, quiet apartments
5 years ago – Snorks vs. Smurfs, recovering from sickies, lovey-loves, butch or femme