Was Tun?

Real WorkNow that my work on The Sea Will Claim Everything is done I’ll give blogging another try. Today I went to the new temporary exhibition at Senckenberg where I also work part-time. Tomorrow I’ll let you know what I thought. Hopefully I’ll still be working at Senckenberg after that.

What is worse than a giraffe with a sore throat?*

Interesting question, no? An even more interesting question is: what would you do if you meet this in your basement?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I thought it might be a baby snake. In my defense, the lights were off in that part of the room. And we were in Greece. They have snakes there.

Anyway, meet scolopendra cingulata. Don’t shake its… ehm… hands, it might take a while. And oh yes, it’s also poisonous.

And it really is a lot of fun to evacuate from a room with a broomstick as your only weapon tool. Really, you should try it sometime. We had to do it since the natives aren’t really centipede-friendly. It’s a bad habit of ours. On another day Jonas, who’s terrified of bees, carried a drowning bee out of the ocean over a field of sea urchins. But that’s just the way we roll, I guess.

*A centipede with chilblains! Actually, any kind of centipede, come to think of it.

Save The Planet: Eat A Scientist!

Both Slashdot and BoingBoing linked to this article today. If you frequent these sites I’m sure you’ve seen it.

I for one wish I hadn’t.

I got work to do, so I will keep this brief and to the point:

Getting rid of your dog, or your kitty or even your freaking goldfish, won’t absolve you of having a gasoline-guzzling monster of a car.

This is sheer lunacy. Even if I ignore that what carnivorous animals eat is mostly crap that a human wouldn’t touch if you starved him for a month (in other words  the yucky by-products of the production of food for humans) this so-called theory isn’t worth the paper it was printed on. All our cat does is purr, eat, chase the occasional bird and sometimes fart a little (oh, horror, just like those evil moose farts that we got to fret about a few years ago). A car, on the other hand, is a machine that eats gasoline, which by the way happens to be a non-renewable resource, and blows tons of exhaust into the air. Exhaust that is composed of carcinogenic hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide (which causes global warming), nitrogen oxide which causes (amongst other things) acid rain, and a slew of other friendly compounds. Aside from that cars aren’t known for being that great on the subject of biodegradeability.

And now try to tell me that I should get rid of Cat and buy a car. I dare you. I double dare you. And if you try, I’ll shove my carbon footprint up your stupid pseudo-scientific arse.

Give me a break…

So, I was researching plants that do not require photosynthesis to survive and what do I find?

The Orobanche uniflora, more commonly known as the Naked Broomrape.


Naked Broomrape.

Naked Broomrape?


How? I mean: Why? Argh…

At first I thought it was only Wikipedia vandalism, but if this is a hoax then it has been orchestrated by a very thorough prankster.

Other plants of the same family include Greater Broomrape, Hairy Broomrape or Thistle Broomrape. Hard to imagine which would be more painful. And I don’t even want to think about Orobranche loricata, the Oxtongue Broomrape. I also think that a Medick Broomrape is very unlikely.

Naked Broomrape. I’ll have nightmares about that one.

Under Pressure


This is a water bottle that was emptied and closed at an altitude of 32000 feet. (I might be completely wrong about this, I’m not good at remembering numbers. Let’s just say at whatever altitude commercial airliners cross the Atlantic Ocean.) This is what it looked like after landing. That’s atmospheric pressure for you, baby!