beewolves and boneheads, victorian grunge, ballard’s almost complete stories

Maybe its just me. The L.A. Times has a pretty good state focused environmental and science section. Part of which is a comment section. If the article is about an endangered animal such as a species of reservoir fish, there is inevitably a few comments that, probably considered with the greatest of careful deliberation, judge the species irrelevant, let the extinction(s) begin. Just about every pop-science site has a similar cadre of let everything die subscribers. It’s a great mystery as to what criteria they use to pass their judgment. The tone and structure of their argument is the same – a list of unsupported assertions. Some of them insist their concerns are motivated by the purest of virtues, their brains dusted with the breath of angels. Jobs for their fellow man are their sweet and noble goal. My time is limited but would be more than happy to sacrifice a few hours to delve into the figures showing how many jobs would be created by sterilizing the planet – except for humans and then for the far Right eliminationists all the colors, creeds, religions and other attributes of humanity that do meet their measure and definition of fully human. Beewolves Protect their Offspring With Antibiotics

Supported by mass spectrometric imaging we are now able to better understand the natural role of antibiotic substances in the environment,” says Aleš Svatoš, leader of the mass spectrometry research group. The imaging techniques can help to provide important insights, especially into the exploration of symbiotic interactions. “We suppose that protective symbioses like the ones between beewolves and Streptomyces bacteria are much more common in the animal kingdom than previously assumed,” says Martin Kaltenpoth, who heads a Max Planck Research Group on Insect-Bacteria Symbiosis since January. “An analysis of the substances involved not only contributes to the understanding of the evolution of such symbioses but could also lead to the discovery of interesting new drug candidates for human medicine.

The inability to comprehend the complexity of associations between beewolves and beneficial bacteria on their cocoons could keep someone’s grandfather or daughter from having a life saving drug – we do live in the age of ever evolving superbugs. Factors like that would have to figure into any cost benefit analysis of choosing to ignore connections such as the beewolf-bacteria association.

victorian grunge

I was reading China Miéville review of the late J.G. Ballard’s The Complete Stories and as much as I like Ballard and was interested in the book ( not a “Complete” collection as claimed. Several important stories are missing) I became caught up in Miéville’s own prose skills, In Disobedient Rooms: On J.G. Ballard

One of his greatest works, “The Drowned Giant,” for example, is also one of the most formally straightforward-seeming. There are no post-Burroughs cut-up shenanigans. The story opens with a hook–where did this dead giant on the beach come from?–and follows in a simple temporal line from that beginning through the middle to an end, abjuring even flashbacks. But while this might look, at a squint, like a narrative arc, there is no rising action. The mystery is deliberately understated and rapidly tails off into a bureaucratized dismemberment. There is no climax, unless it is the exaggeratedly muted mention en passant that the giant’s head is missing. There is no falling action and no denouement. A drowned giant is found and removed. Its life and death, the only events demanding investigation, have passed by the time we arrive and remain unexamined. Nothing happens, is revealed or explained. The work is, and surely not despite this antiplot, utterly compelling.

Thousands Of Federal Workers Are Furloughed Without Pay Today Because Of Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) Partisanship

Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) Over the weekend, approximately 400,000 laid-off workers may have lost their unemployment benefits, COBRA subsidies to help defray health care costs expired, and loans for small businesses ran out of time — all because of Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY).

Maybe if someone killed all the endangered Red-cockaded woodpeckers in Kentucky, in exchange, Jimbo would stop acting like a spiteful brat – a terrible moral failing for a human male that has made his living playing with balls and sucking at the public tit for most of his 79 years. Jim, it is never too late to grow up.

The Seeds of Victory circa 1940s