Afternoon Inquisition

Afternoon Inquisition 3.16.09

A few months ago I was sitting with Moose, watching Sid the Science Kid. I learned that roly poly bugs are actually crustaceans. They’re little backyard lobsters! (not to be confused with Tree Lobsters).

My mind is sluggish today, so I want you to help me do some learnin’.

What is something else cool that I probably don’t know? Or what’s something you’ve learned that, while mostly trivial, you thought was really cool?

Elyse

Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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99 Comments

  1. Ah– you learned about isopods. Isopods are crustaceans (or as little kids say — isopods are not bugs).

    Recently I learned how Thomas Jefferson, who was a diest, cut and pasted his version of the New Testament because he thought that the writers of it were self-serving and mostly ignorant. He thought Jesus was real and that he had some great lessons– so there is a Jefferson Bible, and it is without the teenage pregnant ones talking about divine sex, or miracles, or rising from the dead. I thought that was neat, and thought it might be interesting to see how he viewed the Jesus myth. (I still view it all as a myth, but I am curious).

  2. We call them “pillbugs” around here. I had to look up roly poly bugs to find out what they were, never heard them called that. Learn something new every day. Can you eat them with butter?

  3. @JOHNEA13:

    Pills don’t go with butter. They go with vodka or whiskey.

    Potatoes and lobsters go well with butter. If you stop calling them pill bugs, you can use butter. If you insist that they must be pills, then you have to get drunk and swallow them without chewing… preferably by the handful.

    If you choose to call them roly poly bugs, you can do whatever you want, as long as you poke them into little balls first.

  4. Codiene and Morphine has very similar structures. So much so, that if you take a co-codemal over-the-counter headache pill (~8mg Codiene, ~200mg Paracetamol) you’ll piss out a small amount of Morphine.

    Enough for a dipstick test to come back positive of Opiates.

  5. Did you know that scorpions glow under black lights? We spent lots of time hunting scorpions with black lights as kids. And hunting turantulas, ‘cuz they are cute. Obviously I grew up in the desert where there was nothing to do.

  6. @Elyse: Did you know that if you are an insomniac, you can take a muscle relaxer, drink two glasses of wine, and take a shot of tequila and STILL have problems falling asleep?

    :(

    Apparently I need a horse tranquilizer.

  7. My 5-year-old brought home a book from school recently. It was all about mustelids (weasels, otters, badgers, skunks, wolverines). I learned that river otters whip their tails side-to-side when swimming and sea otters’ tails got up and down.

  8. @TerrySimpson: I did not know they were a variety of land lobsters!! I live in Phoenix, too, though I’m from the middle of nowhere (Lake Havasu).

    Ooo, did you know Parker Dam, which is the dam that creates Lake Havasu out of the Colorado River, is the deepest damn in the world? They had to dig DEEP to hit solid ground, I guess. :)

  9. (And this is left-over knowledge from like, 8th grade, so it may not be true any longer. But the K thru 8th grade school I went to was less than a mile from the dam, and my dad, a plumber, has done quite a bit of work on it … so I used to take a LOT of tours of that stupid dam.)

  10. Cows can’t walk down stairs

    The rock band “The Killers” are Mormon-Go fig…

    Dark Energy I can’t quite wrap my head around, but it seems to be the opposite of gavity

    We can put a man on the moon, but we can’t predict the weather…the math is a lot more complicated

    There are four points where Earth’s gravity and the Moon’s gravity are equal

    FDR died in Hot Springs, AR…my home state…cheating on his wife, who was, in turn, possibly having a lesbian affair

    I want to say I’ve heard they actually found 2 snowflakes that are alink, but I would have to research that….

    Mucous turns green when you have an infection

    If there wasn’t a terminal velocity, a rain drop could kill you

    Hoover Dam was originally called Boulder Dam, and that’s where the hard hat was officially invented

    I watch waaaaay too much History and Discovery Channel.

  11. @infinitemonkey:

    Last week when my husband was in the hospital, we were talking to his doctor who told us that the color of mucous is not, as previously thought, an indication of infection but rather just the density of the mucous.

    Nothing like spending your afternoon chatting about bugs and boogers.

  12. René Descartes invented the x-y coordinate system of graphing because he was too lazy to get out of bed and kill a spider himself. He used the grid-like shadows from his window to tell his friends where the spider was. They just wanted him to get out of bed and bathe, which he refused to do until they had killed the spider for him.

    Until the man known as Lewis Carroll (real name: C. L. Dodgson) wrote his own textbook, Euclid’s Elements was the accepted text for a Geometry course. Dodgson’s book became the first since Euclid’s to be widely used.

  13. @infinitemonkey: Where are these places where Earth’s gravity and the moon’s gravity are the same?

    The Rosetta Stone, which was the key to translating previously untranslatable ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics into modern language, was discovered in 1799 in Egypt being used merely as a brick to patch a hole in a wall.

  14. I do Civil War re-enacting. At that time period, left and right shoes for the common person were a whole new thing. Previously you got two identical (straight) shoes.

    The southern soldiers had a hard time getting enough shoes, so if you were lucky enough to get a pair, you didn’t want to wear them because they would wear out so quickly. So you carried your shoes marching cross country, and only put them on when you were going into battle.

    To keep the shoes from wearing out, they put metal plates on the heels. Womens heel plates often had designs cut into them to leave a cute footprint. Though I haven’t been able to verify it personally, I’ve heard prostitutes would wear a heel plate with a heart carved into it, so the men could follow the tracks back to the brothel.

    Union General Joseph Hooker was well known for consorting with prostitutes, and would even put them in uniforms to hide them in his headquarters. He was so associated with prostitutes that they became known as Hooker’s girls.

  15. Hmmm…loads of my knowledge is of the trivial sort, but I am hard pressed to come up with something good.

    How about this: the fish known as Steelhead (an anadromous fish in the Pacific Northwest) starts out it’s life as a humble Rainbow Trout. Some gene gets triggered and it up and decides it was built to live part of it’s life in the ocean.

    That blew my mind when I first learned that.

  16. Did you know that nanoseconds slowdown of a rotating pulsar (compressed, superdense core of star after supernova rotating one every second or less) accounts for all the HUGE amount of energy being radiated out of it? I didn’t think you knew. ^_^

  17. A Klein bottle is a structure whose inside is the same as its outside and has no edges. A true Klein bottle can only exist in four-dimensional space.

    Spinoza worked as a lens-grinder during his life. All his philosophical works were published posthumously because he was afraid of a backlash by anti-Semites.

    The idea of the diamond engagement ring was created by the De Beers marketing agency in the twentieth century.

  18. The male seahorse gets pregnant.

    Seahorses already freaked me out a little before I knew that.

    One night, I woke up in a cold sweat and couldn’t figure out if they were real or belonged to the realms of invisible pink unicorns.

    But they’re very real. And a fish. And you can keep them away from me, thanks.

  19. @infinite monkey
    It is actually 5 Lagranges’ points, not 4.
    @Guslado
    If the Earth is in the middle and the moon to the right, L3 is to the left of the Earth, L2 is between Earth and moon, L1 is to the left of the moon, L4 and L5 are 60 degrees away from the moon on its orbit. Extra trivia, L4 and L5 are the most stable points, where asteroids could be harbored, just as Jupiter’s orbit around the sun harbors a whole bunch of asteroids.

  20. @IBY: I think you mean L1 is to the right of the moon. If E is in the center, and M is to the right, L2, would be to the left of the moon, between E and M. It may be a little nit-picky, but…Anyways, thanks for the correction. @spurge: I will offically retract that statement. I took on word alone from a source I trusted ( not TV). I failed to do my own research…unless, its all just a consiracy, and my source knows the truth. But the odds of that are at L2, if E is slim and M is none.

    I hope that’s the last of the corrections, I hate being wrong.

  21. Here is something that you probably did not know:

    There is little if any genuine evidence that human production of CO2 has, or will have, a significant effect on the temperature of the Earth.

    Now, before I get slammed with people telling me otherwise, I ask only that you go do your own research of the subject, rather than just believing what the news media have been telling you. A good place to start is here: http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ages.html#anchor2108263

    And here: http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

    I know this contradicts much of what you have been told to date. But after all, that is my point.

  22. @OneHandClapping: “Marsupials have bifurcated penises! Which works out well for the females who have 2 vaginas (really a bisected uterus).”

    I had forgotten that one. Partially because of that, it was actually common folklore that the female American opossum mated and gave birth through her nose.

  23. @Elyse: If he did, he’d get snatched up in no time flat.

    @Jane Q. Public: It’s a highly emotional arguement. I’m kinda agnostic with that. I think being green is a good idea, because its a good idea. There are questions on the man-made climate change side that I’ve never really heard anyone answer, or ask.

  24. @Jane Q. Public:

    Oddly, I have reviewed the evidence, at great length. The overwhelming majority the evidence I can find points to anthropogenic carbon-forcing (ACF) as the most likely cause of current climate change.

    Models that do not incorporate ACF have been continually falsified through experimentation and observation; models that do include ACF continue to be supported by observation.

    The article you cite only points out that there are lots of greenhouse gases other than CO2, and that most of those occur naturally. That’s true, but it doesn’t follow from that that we aren’t affecting the climate by adding CO2.

    Greenhouse gases are essential to keeping our planet warm and sustaining the ecosystem as we know it. By forcing more CO2 into the atmosphere, we’re amplifying the greenhouse effect to the point where it is changing our climate and possibly destabilizing it. It often doesn’t take much for such a delicate system to be thrown off-balance, and we’re doing a lot more than “not much” through our CO2-generating excesses.

  25. I found out in my aerosols class last semester that the reason why you get dehydrated at high altitudes is that the air you breathe in through your nose passes a line of thin capilaries that actually allow water to pass directly through and humidify the air. It has to be close to 100% humid before it gets to your lungs. You can lose up to a quart of water this way in a single day in a dry climate. It’s also the reason you can get nose bleeds, because these capilaries burst if gets too dry.

  26. @Davew: A cassowary is a fooking Velociraptor with feathers. So is an emu. If I saw one loose, I would make myself scarce. On Animal Cops, I once saw an emu kick a shield made of plywood in half in one kick. Anything like that has my respect and fear. I like my internal organs on this side of my spinal column, thank you!

    There are many emu farms in MO. Don’t ask me why – I only lived there.

    One of my Aussie friends told me today via e-mail that a Grey Kangaroo can eviscerate a large dog with one kick because they have huge nails on their hind legs.

  27. @autotroph: The articles (there were two) actually say a lot more than that. But those are just two articles off the top of my head. You want links to other articles? Try these on for size. (Note, these are not all peer-reviewed papers, but some of them are BY people who did peer-reviewed papers on the subject, or who were otherwise directly involved in research.)

    Pardon me if some of the link intros seem a little awkward; this is a cut-and-paste from something else I wrote a while back.

    In any case, try some of these links. Some of them are about how the whole global warming thing has been more politics than science. Some are about the science. And there are plenty of links within these articles to peer-reviewed research. I do not claim that all these sources are unbiased, but on the other hand a great many of the “pro” articles out there are blatantly biased, so it all works out.

    Keep in mind, too, that skepticism works both ways. It is not just the extraordinary claims we must look into. Sometimes, what “everybody knows” just ain’t so.

    Here is the public letter from Chris Landsea, explaining why he had his name removed from participation in the IPCC studies: http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/science_policy_general/000318chris_landsea_leaves.html [colorado.edu]

    International Conference on Integrity in Science http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/002299.html [jennifermarohasy.com]

    Economic Formulas in IPCC Report Criticized for Overstating Emissions http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=22786 [heartland.org]

    Here’s a DIFFERENT former IPCC participant: Former IPCC Member Slams UN Scientists’ Lack of Geologic Knowledge http://newsbusters.org/node/13971 [newsbusters.org]

    Yet another official IPCC reviewer criticizes the reports: http://oldsarges.blogspot.com/2008/03/paul-reiter-takes-on-ipcc.html [blogspot.com]

    Global Warming: Science versus Fraud http://www.forces.org/Forces_Articles/article_viewer.php?id=580 [forces.org]

    Maybe the consequences would NOT BE SO BAD anyway (actually, they probably wouldn’t be, even outside of Canada): http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_strauss/20070502.html [www.cbc.ca]

    Russian Academy of Sciences Denounces IPCC: “UN officials forget to mention that… this effect was due to steep fall of total production and long-term economic stagnation.” http://russia-ic.ru/education_science/science/breakthrough/709/ [russia-ic.ru]

    New Zealand Centre for Political Research (New Zealand is not exactly an “Industrial Power”): “Exposing the Climate Change Agenda” http://www.nzcpr.com/weekly124.htm [nzcpr.com]

    UNITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT & PUBLIC WORKS “Global Warming Alarmism Reaches A Tipping Point” http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Speeches&ContentRecord_id=dceb518c-802a-23ad-45bf-894a13435a08 [senate.gov]

    ACCURACY IN MEDIA: “Media Promote Global Warming Fraud” http://www.aim.org/aim-report/aim-report-media-promote-global-warming-fraud-march-a/ [aim.org]

    IPCC researcher Wei_Chyung Wang fabricated some scientific claims (PDF file): http://www.informath.org/WCWF07a.pdf [informath.org]

    The IPCC consensus vs. the Greenhouse Hall of Fame http://www.warwickhughes.com/climate/consensus.htm [warwickhughes.com]

    Naomi Oreskes’ report on consensus about climate change (from Science… this is a “pro” article): http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686 [sciencemag.org]

    Critique of Oreskes’ Study: http://motls.blogspot.com/2005/05/oreskes-study-errata.html [blogspot.com]

    Critique of Oreskes’ Study: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monckton_papers/consensus_what_consensus_among_climate_scientists_the_debate_is_not_over.html [scienceand…policy.org]

    “Naomi Oreskes’ study on consensus was flawed” (2 rebuttals): http://www.skepticalscience.com/naomi-oreskes-consensus-on-global-warming.htm [skepticalscience.com]

    UNITED STATES SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT & PUBLIC WORKS “Defense of Science Magazine Global Warming Study Fails to Address Critiques” http://epw.senate.gov/fact.cfm?party=rep&id=259323 [senate.gov]

    HERE ARE A LOT OF LINKS TO MORE. (Warning, these sources may be biased… but so are a lot on the “other side”): http://www.warmingscaretactics.com/Consensus.php [warmingscaretactics.com]

    Another reference to Peiser and so on: http://planetgore.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MzVkN2NlODdkNjcxODc3YjFmNDA0NzM1NTU2ZDQyMDc= [nationalreview.com]

    Here are a few more. I am tired of pasting. But there are a million of them, a great many of better quality:

    http://www.gci.org.uk/vol/vol.html [gci.org.uk]

    http://www.gci.org.uk/papers/soccosts/reply.html [gci.org.uk]

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/3247 [canadafreepress.com]

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/968 [canadafreepress.com]

  28. The shafts of emu and human leg bones are quite similar and can be a pain in the ass to tell apart.

    Women have incredibly cool spirally blood vessels in the uterus that extend into the lining. For menstruation to happen, those little vessels clamp down to close off blood flow, and then spring back open again to help wash away the old lining.

    Aroused vaginal lubrication is basically mucous thinned with blood plasma. The plasma leaks out from the highly vascularized tissue that becomes engorged with blood during arousal.

    If you look at a crosswise section of a human penis, it looks like a smiley face.

  29. At 5 feet 6 1/2 inches, Apollo 12 Commander Pete Conrad was one of the shortest astronauts in the American space program. When he jumped off the Lunar Module’s ladder and onto the surface of the moon his first words were, “Whoopee! Man, that may have been a small one for Neil, but that’s a long one for me.” He later admitted that he said this in order to win a bet with a journalist who claimed that NASA had scripted Armstrong’s first words on the lunar surface. The journalist claimed that NASA would never allow Pete to say those words, but although he proved her wrong Pete never got his money.

  30. While I was typing that last fact I remembered that Sten Odenwald answered this one incredibly important question in “Back to the Astronomy Cafe” that I must share with you all: If a marshmallow traveling at 99.99 percent of the speed of light hit the Earth, what would happen? The answer? It would cause a detonation equal in energy to a stony asteroid 200 yards across traveling at 20 miles per second and produce a crater nearly a mile in diameter.

    It would also be delicious.

  31. The saying “The whole nine yards.” is derived from the 27 ft length of the ammunition belts in
    a WWII era P-40 attack plane.

    When your pipes freeze and burst, its the water that does the bursting not the ice.

  32. @Jane Q. Public:

    I’m sorry, but that is total crap. There are not really any credible scientists that deny Anthropogenic Climate Change any more, as the evidence has really managed to pile up. While I will grant that CO2 has been made the biggest scapegoat for this debacle, there are certainly more pernicious gases that contribute in major ways to climate change.

    To put it in some perspective: the number of ruminants (cattle and sheep) is much greater now than would be found had they never been domesticated. Those ruminants digestive processes produce methane gas as a function of the bacteria in their guts which enable them to convert cellulose into energy. That methane gas is released into the atmosphere and is a more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2. However, CO2 “hangs around” in the atmosphere longer than methane. Blah blah blah, long story short there are many greenhouse gases, however humans directly and indirectly produce a great deal of CO2, and hence it is one of the easiest to reduce.

    Unless we can convince everyone to become vegans.

  33. @OneHandClapping:

    “No credible scientists”?? Sorry to burst your bubble, but try reading some of those links I posted above.

    Far from “none”, actually a majority of scientists disagree with the UN’s (and Al Gore’s) claims of anthropogenic global warming due to CO2 emissions.

    Here is a quote from just one of those links (“Global Warming: Science versus Fraud”). Note that this is a man who reviewed UN IPCC reports for 17 years. He is more than just a “distinguished scientist”. But that is explained in the quote. Sorry about the size, but it is all relevant:

    “Only one individual has been a reviewer of all of the reports issued by the IPCC. Dr. Vincent R. Gray has had a long career in scientific research in the UK, France, Canada, New Zealand and China. He has published many scientific papers in professional journals, founded the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, and is author of the book The Greenhouse Delusion. He shares the 2007 Nobel Prize that went to the IPCC. But in October 2007, after 17 years as an expert reviewer for the IPCC, he stated: ‘I have been forced to the conclusion that for significant parts of the work of the IPCC, the data collection and scientific methods employed are unsound. Resistance to all efforts to try and discuss or rectify these problems has convinced me that normal scientific procedures are not only rejected by the IPCC, but that this practice is endemic, and was part of the organization from the very beginning. I therefore consider that the IPCC is fundamentally corrupt. The only “reform” I could envisage, would be its abolition….Yes, we have to face it. The whole process is a swindle, The IPCC from the beginning was given the license to use whatever methods would be necessary to provide “evidence” that carbon dioxide increases are harming the climate, even if this involves manipulation of dubious data and using peoples’ opinions instead of science to “prove” their case…. The disappearance of the IPCC in disgrace is not only desirable but inevitable….Sooner or later all of us will come to realize that this organization, and the thinking behind it, is phony. Unfortunately severe economic damage is likely to be done by its influence before that happens.’”

    There you have it. I have proven you wrong. Not only that, but that is just one person. There are a great many linked to above, either directly or indirectly via links in the articles. Distinguished scientists, and even some of the very scientists who performed the actual science that is often misrepresented as “proof” by the global warming alarmists, DISAGREE with you. Go ahead. Visit those links and read.

  34. Oops… my earlier comment was rather long and is still “awaiting moderation”. So if it is approved I do not know whether it will appear above or below. Even though it is long, however, I defend the position that it belongs here, because the links it contains really do credibly refute what much of our media have been saying about global warming.

  35. In all honesty, I have to dispute the mucus thing, even if it is just a personal anecdote. I recently suffered a case of pneumonia (no, not from Scientology). After the antibiotics have cleared up the infection, the lungs are still irritated and I continued to cough up mucus for a while… but even though it was just as dense as the other, it had no color.

  36. @Jane Q. Public:

    Whatever you say. I say the sites you gave are piss poor examples and that the data I see nearly EVERY SINGLE DAY tells me otherwise.

    But yeah, this guy and the handful of “credible scientists” that don’t believe that anthropogenic climate change is real must be right. It is a massive conspiracy by the scientific community, these guys just didn’t get the memo.

  37. @OneHandClapping: You haven’t seen the sites yet. As I mention ed above, that post is still “awaiting moderation”. So it doesn’t show up yet. Please reserve judgment until it is posted, and you can see for yourself.

    Believe me, it is more than a handful, and most of them are people centrally involved in this issue.

  38. Tuna and great white sharks, as well as several other large fish species, are endothermic because of a fancy network of blood vessels. This is better to hunt you down with.

    When mating, male turtles make an adorable squeaky noise.

    Horses and rats cannot vomit, which is why colic is so problematic for them.

    I’m sure I can come up with more.

  39. I like to humourously think of koalas (which, incidentially, are a marsupial, not a bear, so please refrain from calling them koala bears) as tree climbing wombats as the two critters share a recent common ancestor.

    Also, koalas were also once called monkey bears.

  40. @OneHandClapping:

    By the way: methane generated by livestock is something of a red herring, since the natural breakdown of the vegetable livestock feed via “return to the earth” would generate an equal amount of methane, just over a slightly longer period. The reduction of vegetable matter into compost follows (very roughly) the same chemical path, whether it is eaten by ruminants or decomposed by bacteria and fungi.

    Your argument then, reduces to whether we should grow crops to feed the ruminants, or use the same energy to produce vegetable food for humans (with, by the way, approximately the same amount of methane output per calorie).

    Certainly it is more efficient to grow crops directly for human consumption.

  41. I kinda flipped through as i just finished work so I hope these haven’t already been done but here goes- the Canadian Moose has the largest Cremaster muscle in the Animal Kingdom. or the Mammals. or something. Either way it was pretty impressive, to keep it’s do-dad’s out of the cold water.
    2/ The speed of the human ejaculate is 2 or 3 or something times the speed of the blood in the aorta. Shame I can’t remember any more juicy details from first year Med, but it was 26 years ago. Damn! I used to have a stack of these at my fingertips, like WARFarin coming from Wisconsin etc. If anything good crops up I’ll sing out.

  42. 1. The point at which a star is farthest in it’s orbit from the galactic center is called the apogalacticon. No joke. This is my favorite word of all time.

    2. Due to the mammalian diving reflex, you can stay alive longer without oxygen underwater than you could on land.

    Bonus fact! I’m annoyed by people who post multiple long diatribes that are only tangentially (at best) related to the post on hand, and make me have to sift through to find interesting stuff.

  43. @lastscattering: Now I have a new favorite word, too! LOL

    @sarahcookson: Yes! They are sometimes called “wood lice” in the North Central US, too.

    And a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. Remember, only American beer is thin enough to be dyed green! LOL

  44. The Mach number is not a constant – and relativistically neither is the speed of light as singularities have the annoying tendency to deflect it therefore accelerating it. Don’t know how this relates to time travel, but I hope it does!!

  45. The first Traffic Light was installed outside British Parliment in December 1868. Before there were cars on the road. It had a gas light and was in use until January 1869 when it exploded injuring the policeman that was operating it.

    It is still illegal in San Francisco to walk an Elephant on the street without a leash.

  46. Also, an aside as a long-time lurker and first commenter: How come my degrees in Radiation Physics (BSc) and Quantum Mechanics (MSc) do not help me in the slightest in understanding the manuals for my Korg TR work station and Moog Voyager. I’m feeling dumb and help would be appreciated.

  47. >>If you look at a crosswise section of a human penis, it looks like a smiley face.

    That made me cringe!

    Way upstream somebody said roly poly’s are potato bugs. Maybe somebody somewhere calls a roly poly a potato bug, but that don’t make it so.

    In New Mexico, growing up as a child we had what we called the “Child of the Earth” bug. Child of the Earth is the literal translation of the Navajo name for this bug. The biggest one I ever saw was maybe 2 inches long. In High School I found out from a really cool Science Teacher that they were really Jerusalem crickets and totally harmless.

    10 years later living in California I saw my first “Potato Bug”. Which is what the Jerusalem cricket is called in California. This sucker was like 5 inches long.

    Just google potato bug or Jerusalem cricket for some pictures.

    Gets my vote for one of the creepiest looking bugs around.

  48. @Jane Q. Public:

    Thanks for all the links. Most of them were to right wing “think tank” sites, and I cannot for the life of me accept those as unbiased. I did read through what I could, but my BS meter maxed out pretty quickly.

    I am sure there are some differences of opinion among the scientific community, I will grant you that. However, that is as far as I go. I suggest you look beyond right wing sites and try some actual peer reviewed publications in accepted peer reviewed scientific periodicals.

  49. The confederates fired on Fort Sumter on Apr 12, 1861. They shelled it for 32 hours, inflicting no casualties.

    After the fort surrendered, it was agreed the men could fire a canon salute as they lowered their flag. One canon exploded, killing Pvt Daniel Hough.

  50. @ Jane Q. Public:

    As someone completely removed (and mostly uninterested) from the climate change debate, you had a good chance to sway my opinion. Unfortunately, you’ve offended my sensibilities, not as someone who indifferently accepts the scientific consensus regarding this topic, but as an instructor of information literacy.

    Why would you link to secondary sources and websites that don’t list authors, when you could have pointed us directly to the “plenty of links within these articles to peer-reviewed research”? “[A]ctually a majority of scientists disagree with the UN’s (and Al Gore’s) claims of anthropogenic global warming due to CO2 emissions.” Then why didn’t you link directly to any (of the apparent myriad) scientific papers? The only link to a science source (and a good one, AAAS’s Science) was by a member of the consensus.

    “[T]ry some of these links. Some of them are about how the whole global warming thing has been more politics than science.” ALL of these links are more about politics than science. All you forgot was George Will’s latest screed.

    I was in the mood for some good science debate reading this morning. As turns out, if this is the best evidence against the consensus, then there isn’t much debate at all.

  51. I think that turtle humping the shoe is a gopher tortoise; it will “go fer ” anything it sees.
    I wonder what kind of hybrid progeny it will produce? I think this kind of genetic experimentation was made illegal during the last administration.

  52. Speaking of turtle sex, when I was in basic training a few years back, a drill sergeant asked two privates, wearing plain green helmets (no camo cloth cover yet) if they’d ever heard the sound of two turtles fucking. They said no, so he clanged their heads together.

    Now I wonder if there is a sound of colliding shells involved.

  53. @plaid1: YOU try following all those links, and posting the relevant ones here. Not only would it take several hours at least, it probably would not be accepted, for length. Let’s be practical.

    Second, as I clearly stated earlier, some of the articles are BY people who did in fact write peer-reviewed papers in relevant fields. (Letter from Chris Landsea, and the interview with Paul Reiter for two examples.) Then there is the quote from Dr. Vincent Gray… in all three cases, these are scientists who were directly involved in the SCIENCE that was supposedly behind the IPCC reports, and in each case, they have stated that the IPCC conclusions are not supported by the actual science and data available. Then there are the statements by IPCS’s own official reviewers (who are part of the so-called “2500 scientists” mentioned by the IPCC).

    You must have missed that one article on “Global Warming vs. the Greenhouse Hall of Fame”, which links to articles by noted scientists in relevant fields. For example, you cannot exactly ignore a comment by Richard S. Lindzen (Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Some of the links are broken, but others still work.

    You cannot ignore statements by people like Dr. Brian Tucker, Chief of the CSIRO Division of Atmospheric Research, for 20 years.

    Even if some of the articles do appear on “conservative” websites, you are ignoring the message not because of its ultimate source, but because of who the messenger is. That is faulty logic. Are you accepting the biased information that you are getting from the news? Or Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” for example? The inconvenient thing about Al Gore’s movie is that sadly, even though he was awarded a Nobel Prize for his speeches, most of the “evidence” he presents in the movie is seriously flawed. Like the famous “hockey stick” graph, which has been discredited and removed from publication by the writers of the paper it came from. And like the giant graph he displays (with no numbers) purporting to show a correlation to global temperature and CO2 concentration in the past… which does in fact show such a correlation. Unfortunately, Mr. Gore chooses not to inform the audience that the CO2 concentrations lagged behind the temperature rises, by a period that averaged 300 years. Hmmmm… maybe that is why the graph did not have any numbers on it? But in any case, it is safe to say that when one thing lags behind another by 300 years, the second thing is probably not the cause of the earlier thing.

    You cannot ignore the “Global Warming Petition Project”, which (rightfully so) urged the President to not sign the Kyoto accord. The petition was signed by over 31,000 American scientists… far more than the UN IPCC’s “2500 scientists”, many of whom are not actually scientists at all.

    Even though you say you looked at some of the sources, you did not put 2 and 2 together:

    (1) The basis of all the claims of “agreement” that anthropogenic greenhouse models of global warming are real, has been the UN’s IPCC Assessment Reports.

    (2) Respected scientists — not just one or two, but by now a great many — are saying that the IPCC reports are so much garbage. Some of these scientists were the ones who actually did the research that the IPCC reports were supposed to be based on! That is not something you can ignore.

    (3) The presumed “consensus” among scientists that is often reported regarding greenhouse global warming, was derived from an article (not even a peer-reviewed paper) by Naomi Oreskes, which appeared in Science magazine.

    (4) The Oreskes “study” has been widely criticized for blatantly faulty methodology. Not only does its conclusion not follow from its data, but the data itself is woefully biased. Her data was limited to 988 search “hits”, but if she had used proper search terms (she did not), she would have had over 10,000 hits.

    (5) Which leads inescapably to what is now clearly known (but which you will not hear on television or read in the newspaper today): there is no “scientific consensus” on anthropogenic global warming, and never was. In fact, the vast bulk of scientific evidence weighs against the idea.

    I am saddened that you did not glean this information from the articles I linked to, but I assure you, it is all there. You just have to do the work. And keep in mind that it is the SOURCE of a paper or article that lends it credibility, not who decides to publish it.

  54. @OneHandClapping:

    Please see my reply above. You have ignored who the sources of those articles were: in many cases, the people who did the actual research that all this “global warming” brouhaha is about. If you did not notice that, then you weren’t paying attention to what (and who) you were reading.

    I am sure there are some differences of opinion among the scientific community, I will grant you that. However, that is as far as I go. I suggest you look beyond right wing sites and try some actual peer reviewed publications in accepted peer reviewed scientific periodicals.

    Again, you are ignoring the sources of the material, and concentrating on where it was published. As I clearly stated, these are articles written by, or interviews with, people who *DID* publish peer-reviewed papers on the subject, and some of them even the papers that the very IPCC reports they denounce were supposed to be based on!

    Even given that, though, I did not claim that all the sources are unbiased. Do you claim that, for example, the IPCC reports themselves are unbiased? If so, you are a fool. Do you claim that Al Gore is unbiased? Ditto.

    Show me actual evidence of your “consensus”. I would like to know where your claim (which is actually pretty extraordinary) comes from. I have shown you valid evidence against it. Where is YOUR evidence? If you can’t make an actual reasoned argument against the material that I linked to, then you aren’t winning any arguments at all.

  55. @Jane Q. Public:

    Thanks again for playing, Jane.

    You said that the people that were interviewed had peer-reviewed papers on the subject. GREAT! Cite those then! You also said that you provided ample evidence. As I already pointed out, all of your citations are from right wing quasi-scientific sites.

    Let’s not start name calling. I said that your citations were shit, I didn’t impugn your intelligence.

    Furthermore, I never cited Al Gore as a source of anything. But I see now where your true colors lie.

    So, you have yet to supply anything more than your right wing rhetoric. Please produce peer reviewed material.

    If you care to see some of the information that backs climate change (global warming? really,do people call it that still? it’s a bit dated) please feel free to look at the piles of peer reviewed work available on the internet. I don’t really care to cite everything, so here’s one sweeping link for you…however I don’t know shit about html tags, so if it doesn’t work just try the old cut and paste. The site is biased, but there’s plenty of links there for you.

    http://gristmill.grist.org/skeptics

  56. And see how I told you up front that the site was biased? I call it integrity, some call it full disclosure. I think republicans call it… well I’m not even sure they know what it means. The closest equivalent is probably Executive Privilege.

  57. The male Grayling (I think) butterfly courts the female by standing in front of it and raising and lowering its wings to stroke the female’s antennae. I know it’s major anthropomorphism to see this as romantic, but I can’t help it.
    This info, BTW, came from a book on invertebrates that I read years ago. It was written by a chap with the totally appropriate name of Wigglesworth.

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