Welcome to Circus of the Spineless #59! The theme of this month’s carnival is the internet, and how I seem to spend my time on it when not blogging about mollusks. I’ve enumerated the posts in this carnival to help you distinguish them from all my other blather.
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me in real life that I spend a lot of time with yarn. Knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, and various other yarny esoterica are big fun for me. As it were, the internet and all things yarn have a deep and abiding love for one another (point of fact: the knitting and crocheting social networking site, ravelry, has over a million members!). One of my favorite crochet projects, one that has been exhibited virtually at the Institute for Figuring lies at the fascinating nexus of crochet, mathematics, and ocean science: the hyperbolic crochet coral reef. Check it out.
You can even catch it in real life right now at the Smithsonian.
1. Speaking of coral reefs, this sobering post at Deep Sea News is an important one to read. Coral reef health is a dire situation, and people making environmental policy need to take the data in this post to heart.
Who doesn’t love a good youtube session? When I’m catching up with friends, laptops or smartphones inevitably emerge to show the latest awesome/hilarious video that somebody hasn’t seen yet. Animal combat is certainly a theme, whether it’s the famed Battle at Kruger, the Predator-scored catfight, or puff adder vs honey badger, but you know, I really love youtube videos about worms.
Of course, the video about the parasitic worm that infects snails in a rather gruesome way is a perennial favorite.
And I think this video of battling worms (it’s a bit like worm bear-baiting?) rivals the aforementioned Battle at Kruger in sheer brutality.
But yes, worms!
Inevitably, all roads lead to icanhascheezburger and its ilk, the world of lolcats and other lolanimals. They seem to have become a form of communication unto themselves, complete with their own grammar. Turns out that some of my favorite captioned animal photos are arthropods. Just look at these isopods!
But yes, arthropods. A fecund topic for invertebrate bloggers.
3. Kevin at Deep Sea news has a great post about barnacle evolution. If those ancient barnacles could have done us the favor of allowing their soft parts to fossilize, these questions would be so much easier to answer.
4. Following that, if you’re interested in reading about the sex lives of barnacles, you’re in luck! Beasts in a Populous City has just the post for you.
5. Arthropods can be very photogenic. Stephanie Susan Smith captured a shot of one of the few spiders I can honestly say I’m afraid of, the black widow, at her photo blog.
6. Wanderin’ Weeta took the cutest photo of a globular springtail. Fun fact about springtails: they are hexapods that aren’t insects! Her photo is so cute, it’s almost begging for a caption.
Similar to this classic perhaps?
Wait, back to the topic at hand.
7. I love poetry as much as I love science, and they make such a great combination. Jade Blackwater pointed me to this poem about ants at The Pedestal magazine.
8. Ted C. MacRae blogs about a very formidable insect, the red-eyed devil, at Beetles in the Bush. The photography in this post is not to be missed if you like seriously grumpy-looking insects or that scene in Jurassic Park with the fringy-necked dinosaur.
9. NeuroDojo has two posts for us to enjoy: one is about the long-tongued nectar thief, which is a great post about a mistaken case of coevolution.
10. The other from NeuroDojo is a guest post commenting on Blackawton Bees, the paper authored by 25 children at the Blackawton Public School.
11. Dave Hubble blogs about a mystery beetle and the process of identifying it. Now I really want to do insect dissections with the students I work with.
12. The last of our arthropod roundup, but certainly not the least, is this post by Kevin at Deep Sea News directing us to the instructions for making a shrimp out of a bendy straw. Delightfully anatomical!
Shrimp, you say?
Part of me never abandoned the nine-year-old version of myself, that little girl who loved Lisa Frank trapper keepers emblazoned with psychedelic baby seals shooting through outer space on rainbows. In my adult life, this manifests as time spent on the internet looking at cute pictures of baby animals. Zooborns, cute overload, daily squee, they all provide the fix. But the best of all, which is why of course I saved them for last, are the baby mollusks.
Isn’t it just the cutest. Oh mollusks. There’s so much to talk about.
1. Danna at Squid a Day has this post that draws our attention to the new EU law requiring cephalopod research to adhere to the same laws as vertebrate research. Fascinating that all the research on cephalopod awesomeness (“intelligence” is really too loaded a word) is clearly having an effect on policy.
2. At Island Nature, we have a fantastic exploration–and gorgeous photography– of mudflat snail shells.
Snails! You know what are really cute? Baby snails.
So there you have it! Thanks to everyone who submitted, and thank you, dear readers, for indulging me as I share my internetting habits with you. Big thanks to Kevin Zelnio for keeping the circus traveling and to all of my fellow hosts, past and future. The next host of the carnival is Bug Girl, so you can send your submissions to her starting…now! If you want to email Bug_Girl, her email address is membracid, and it’s a gmail.com account.