This absolutely horrifying clip from forthcoming BBC documentary Wonders of the Monsoon shows a giant red leech sucking down a giant blue earthworm like spaghetti, deep in the forests of Borneo. [more inside]
John Hibbing and his colleagues are pioneering research on the physiological underpinnings of political ideology. They also eat worms. - via Mother Jones
Relive techno fears of yore ... malware aficionado Daniel White collects vintage computer viruses, infects his machines and records the results. See more examples at his YouTube channel.
Jay Mark Johnson takes two dimensional photographs, like just about everyone else. But he's chosen an unusual pair of dimensions: One in space, and one in time. Slate article, artist's webpage.
Here are a variety of strange creatures, realized by the surreal Swiss mime troupe Mummenschanz: 1 2 3 4 5 Previously, and Muppetly. MLYT
Soft robotics are inspired by animals which don't have hard internal skeletons, like squid, worms, and starfish. Developed at Harvard, with funding from DARPA, this particular soft robot, "not only walks, it knows several different gaits and can deflate to stuff itself through tiny little gaps." Another design here, and another (also), and another. In addition to movement, soft robotics can also be used for grip. More information about the Harvard lab is available here (with a student describing the research here).
The San Francisco Street Food Festival is an annual Summer event in the Mission District that features around 60 different Bay Area vendors and is attended by tens of thousands of foodies. This year the usual mainstays were joined by Don Bugito, which served up insect-based dishes and billed itself as the first "PreHispanic Snackeria." When the food truck commences permanent operations this month, it may be the first eatery in the country devoted exclusively to preparations involving insects. But they're not the only entomophagy pioneers in San Francisco, where Bug Cuisine is Booming. So just how tasty are insects? (Via) [more inside]
In-depth pieces in Vanity Fair and Wired detail the structure and impact of the Stuxnet worm, and what it means for the future of cybersecurity. (Previously)
Trigger warning! What do speaker grills, wasp's nests, worm-eaten wood, swiss cheese, surinam toads and lotus seed pods all have in common? Visceral disgust and fear, if you have trypophobia!
This is a subject of but small importance; and I know not whether it will interest any readers, but it has interested me.
"This is a subject of but small importance; and I know not whether it will interest any readers, but it has interested me."-C. D. Quick... what was Darwin's most popular book? If you answered The Origin of Species, you were wrong. It was his last book, published the year before he died, The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms With Observation of Their Habits (illustrations [first presented 1 Nov. 1837, as noted in the record of the Royal Geological Society]). Darwin noted when he was beginning his career that worms churned up soil, causing heavier objects to sink slowly in the soil. He noted that all soil had passed through the alimentary duct of worms. It started off a fashion of cultivating worms by gardeners that continues to the present day. -We recently learned that we owe an element of our unique cerebral cortex, or pallium to our marine worm ancestors. (In amphibians, the cerebrum includes archipallium, paleopallium and some of the basal nuclei. Reptiles first developed a neopallium, which continued to develop in the brains of more recent species to become the neocortex of mammals." [&, ultimately, you and you and we]) [more inside]
10 years ago yesterday, The ILOVEYOU or LOVELETTER computer worm successfully attacked tens of millions of Windows computers in 2000 when it was sent as an attachment to an email message with the text "ILOVEYOU" in the subject line. Mefi Was There that day when Onel De Guzman released a virus that he had proposed creating as part of his undergraduate thesis. The BBC Looks Back. The key part of the virus was not any technical trick but the wording of the subject line - ILOVEYOU - and its attachment LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.
Chris Foss concept art for Dune, with bonus Nostromo. The images were produced for Alejandro Jodorowsky's 1974 attempt at filming the story, with other artists involved including Moebius and HR Giger. Though the project failed Jodorowsky collaborated further with Moebius to lay the groundwork for his own Dune-like comicbook universe (and a trailer for an animated version of it was even created). More visions of Arrakis can be seen on this page of Dune cover artwork through the ages, with bonus midi Toto.
For generations, anglers have performed worm grunting (a.k.a. charming, fiddling, snoring, rubbing, or calling) to entice worms out of the ground. Worm grunting even has its very own annual festival. After accompanying Grunting King Gary Revell Vanderbilt neurobiologist Kenneth Catania has explained why scraping a "stob" or twanging a pitchfork brings the worms a-callin'. [more inside]
The Insect Close-ups Flickr Pool is full of fascinating pictures. There are all kinds of wonderful images to be found, of spiders, ladybugs, hornets, aphids, grasshoppers, worms, water striders and those superstars of the insect world, bees and butterflies. You can also search a map for pictures by location. If you want to take your own bug photographer Mark Plonsky has written a short how-to guide. He has taken some pretty great photographs of insects himself.
Worms in your fresh fish? We've heard about them in sushi for years, but stories are on the rise of creeping condiments from supermarkets. The FAO says they're actually not uncommon though "worms are unsightly and consumers naturally object to their presence". One theory holds that they're on the rise due to cost-driven onshore processing. Icked-out consumers have been posting videos on YouTube 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, while others have sought solace in discussion forums. But the good news? Cook thoroughly and you'll be safe. Me, I'll be sticking to enchiladas.
About 15% of the average American's household waste is compostable. Even apartment dwellers can turn their potato peelings and coffee grounds into gorgeous, nutrient-rich plant food with the help of worms. You can even buy the little dudes online! Once you have your worm farm set up, the big question is "Can I compost this?" You may be surprised at how often the answer is, "Yes!"
Listen to the creepy frog puppet & you too will avoid intestinal worms. Why did I post this? Because I care about you. Yeah, you're welcome. Previously.
Lymphatic filariasis (or, more dramatically, "elephantiasis") is spread by mosquitoes. The mosquitoes transmit worms to your blood, the worms mate while you sleep, and their progeny travel to your lymph nodes to live a happy life. Unfortunately for you, the worms can get too big, allowing fluid to collect in your limbs or scrotum. Lucky for your neighbors, the disease can be controlled using salt. (China already did it).
This video from the online New England Journal of Medicine of live parasitic worms scurrying around the inside of a patient's colon was not nearly as sexy as I thought it would be after reading the description. warning: link goes to nonsexy new england journal of medicine video of live parasitic worms scurrying around the inside of a patient's colon
Ascaris lumbricoides. According to estimates, about 1.5 billion people--about a quarter of the earth's population--are hosts to the Ascaris lumbricoides parasitic worm. Ascaris worms can grow to be 18 inches in length, and use their host's windpipe and esophagus to migrate between the small intestine and the lungs. A single human host may support dozen of large worms, which can be contracted by contact with fecal matter, animals, or undercooked pork. Under some circumstances (the worms dislike anesthesia, for example) one or more worms may exit from the mouth (a horrifying image), or the anus (one of the most disgusting images I have ever seen, and not safe for work, obviously). Here, the removal of a worm is caught on video (Realplayer). Too disgusting to post? Almost. But 1.5 billion people have got these in their bodies right now. That's what's grosser than gross.
A widget of mass destruction (warning: clicking this link will install a widget) may be the answer to all those who have been fervently wishing or imagining that Mac users will soon experience the joys of viruses and worms... if, that is, you have taken the leap of faith to upgrade to OS X Tiger and can't get enough of Dashboard (last 2 are Quicktime video links). Konfabulator was the precursor -- there is a Windows version available (shareware).
A worm that builds a home inside the human body, lives there happily until breeding time, then begins a journey to emerge from the skin and find a body of water to lay its eggs in. Although this may very well be a pleasant journey for the worm, for the human, it's an excrutiating one. And so we begin The Tale of the Guinea Worm.
MMMMMMMMMmmmmmm, Banana Worm Bread....... Most of us would cringe at the thought of eating our six legged friends, but many cultures eat insects as a standard practice. Perhaps we should lighten up and give it a shot ourselves! If one is so inclined there are clubs to join and resources available. Chocolate Chirpie Cookies, anyone?
How much does a worm's soul weigh? Dr. Amrit Sorli thinks it's around 90 micrograms. "It appears that to determine the average weight of a worm's soul, Dr. Sorli only needs to divide 90 micrograms by the number of worms he murdered..." says James Randi (scroll down the Randi page until you see the worms)
Up to 20% of the internet vulnerable to a virus. There is a new Linux worm virus. Apparently, it steals passwords, installs and hides other hacking tools on infected systems, and then uses those systems to seek other servers to attack. Sys admins are advised to run a check on their servers and upgrade their BIND version.
So called Gnutella-worm.... So, I'm sure one or two of you have seen press coverage of the supposed spread of a set of vbs-worms, through the Gnutella community (Napster without a centralized server for those who don't know what it is). I have to agree with the Gnutella-folks statement, that this is more an exploit of windows and user-foolishness, than anything technically skilled. What's interesting to note is that it seems to be having a chilling effect...usually there's somewhere around 5,000 hosts, and 10 Terabytes of data online...today, there's barely 1100 hosts. I would have thought the average gnut-er was smarter than to fall for a vbs-worm.
Told ya so... Wrong guy. Thank god, I thought he was headed for the chair for sure.