?

Log in

Friends Only



If you are just interested in following me for my photography and/or rambling about nature, insects and herpetology, I would suggest following my blog instead, which is syndicated at wormsalad

I worry me.

Thirty minutes ago, I was cheerfully drinking beer, listening to live music and screwing around on the intertubes.

Then a bug landed on me.

"Oh," I said to myself. "A bug! I wonder what kind!"

I shifted to look at the bug on my shoulder.

The bug on my shoulder was not happy.

The bug on my shoulder bit me.

"Oh, holy fuck OW" I said to the entire cafe, who had turned to look at me like some kind of madman.

"Therewasabugonmeokay, I'm not GOOD with bugs." I excused myself to the ladies room to get the little biting fucker off of me.

Then I went back to my table, and visited my facebook.

While I was doing this, the bug, who had carefully avoided my frantic bathroom search, jumped off of my shoulder, onto my laptop, and started flipping around, caught in the maze of my keyboard.

"Awwwwr!" I said, my mood completely changed and cheerful, "You're a water boatman!"

Having identified my friend to family, I carefully let him go outside.

But first, I took a picture, so that I could always remember him.



And this is why I can't meet girls.

Public Service Announcement

So, the next time that I hear someone say that parasitoids are evidence that nature is horrible and cruel and the worst thing ever, or the next time I hear a bloody creationist or a bloody atheist tell me that there is no way that God can possibly exist, or that parasites and disease are evidence for the sinful nature of Man and the Fallen Nature of the world, because no good God would ever design things like eyeworms and parasitoids and ticks and therefore God does not exist/Man is fallen, so help me God, I am going to kneecap someone.

Here is the thing.

Parasites are amazing. They are critical components of ecosystems, and if they didn't exist, the entire global food chain would collapse. Yeah, those fucking caterpillars that everyone always feels so sorry for in the ichneumon-vs-caterpillar struggle? Do you know how much those motherfuckers eat? Besides, ichneumon wasps are actually dreadfully beautiful creatures, with absolutely amazing evolutionary adaptations to live inside, locate and overcome their hosts. For fuck's sake, ichneumon wasps have evolved a symbiotic relationship with viruses, which live inside of the wasp's cells, and commandeer caterpillar immune systems when the female wasp goes to lay her eggs. That is fucking amazing shit.

Did I mention that they're beautiful?


Female Ichneumon, by Goshzilla

And holy fuck, do you know what parasites do for food web connectivity? I mean, seriously, if you took the goddamned parasitic flatworms out of a salt marsh, and replaced them with an equal amount of charismatic megafauna, by weight, you could put in an entire herd of elephants.

And, yes, it sucks when people get parasitic diseases. I've been on the receiving end of a couple, so trust me, I know (and I'm just as much pro-malaria-control and guinea-worm-eradication as anyone). But the thing is that those parasites aren't evil, and they're not evidence of any capriciousness, maliciousness or inherent evil in the way that the entire fucking universe is structured. They're evidence that when niche space is available, something will evolve to fill it, and the way in which it evolves will probably be unexpected and wonderful and completely amazing, even if you'd rather that it chose a niche space other than the inside of your red blood cells to amazingly occupy. And once those niche spaces are occupied, they are actually, in fact critical. Disease, including parasitic disease, is an absolutely integral part of ecosystem function, and of keeping this planet in balance, and the organisms that cause disease, the organisms that develop inside the living flesh of another insect before gnawing their way out into the sunlight, are no less wonderful and beautiful and incredible than the goddamned fluffy motherfucking bunnies and pandas and snow leopards that everyone loves so much.

So, what I'm saying is, if you want to provide evidence that the universe is a shitty place to live, and if you want to go for the argument-from-evil to either argue against the existence of God, or for the sinful nature of the world, leave the parasites out of it. There's more than enough evidence from human behavior for that. But there's no need to go around anthropomorphizing the poor wasps, who are amazing, beautifully adapted little buggers, just because you think that their developmental sequences are distasteful. I'm sure that termites, were they able to think, would probably be horrified at a species that pretends to be social, but won't even share its gut flora through communal coprophagy.

Also, David Pearce can suck it.

Opalina

“The large size, great numbers and graceful movements of these
protozoans inevitably make them exciting finds for students who never
gave much thought to the organisms that might live in a frog’s rectum...”
Whoever the fucking asshole was who decided to track me down and post an extremely triggering comment on my f/o post in relation to the stupid that went down over at vaginapagina (Anonymously. How courageous of you, you little fucktard.)

1) Seriously, don't assume that you know who is and is not a victim of sexual assault. I've been raped twice, and I really didn't need that.

2) Grow the fuck up, you little twat.

Seriously, fuck you.

Icons!

For some indescribable reason, I felt like making livejournal icons today.

Preview:

1 2 3


Amphibians & ReptilesCollapse )

Profile

Vine snake
crumpetsfortea
Tea and Crumpets

Latest Month

June 2010
S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930   

Syndicate

RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow