Drugs are how we get through meetings, though

While I’m off absorbing knowledge, entertain yourself with this video of drug-treated spiders. I’m going to be the one on caffeine, I think.

SICB update: last night was a social evening, and I got to meet John Lynch for the first time. In person, he’s actually exactly like he is on the blog: friendly and talkative, and he paid for my beer. Definitely an appeaser, in other words. Grrl Scientist was mysterious and prettier than the two of us put together (again just like her blog). Me? I was just surly and hateful, standing up every once in a while to deliver a ranty denunciation, just like the blog. They’d better agree with me, too—I get peevish with these people who always say I’m milder mannered in real life than they expect, and I might have to denounce them rantily, or have them put in a concentration camp and sterilized.

As for today, I can tell this is one of those meetings where there are long juicy sessions that suck me in for long periods of time. I’ll be parking my butt in room 103B for the symposium on “Linking Genes and Morphology in Vertebrates”, and I might not move all day, other than staggering out for coffee now and then.


  1. says

    I am getting tons of hits from Google searches for “Witt spiders” over the last few days. Anyone knows why? Was it in th enews somewhere?

  2. bPer says


    Thanks, Prof. Myers. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the series this video spoofs, it is a series of Canadian PSA’s called Hinterland Who’s Who, put out by the Canadian Wildlife Service since the early 1960’s. Any child growing up in Canada in the ’60s would instantly recognize it. Check out the videos at the site if you want a taste of the real stuff. The PSAs were such a part of Canadian culture that they spawned many spoofs like this one, even in commercials. There are a few spoofs on the site as well.

    BTW, I’m pretty sure that the narrator on the clip was Chris Skene, a very familiar voice to anyone who listens to CBC Radio.

  3. amph says

    Did you see the credit titles at the end of that spider video, “First Church of Christ. Filmmaker”? I have seen worse Christian propaganda.

  4. Hank Fox says

    Jeez, what’s up with that “Telic Thoughts” site? (linked in the “concentration camp” phrase above)

    I haven’t explored the site completely, but it appears that most of the signatories to the blog, the ones who write the posts, are anonymous. I find a list under the heading “About us” that lists Afon, bipod, Deuce,
    Guts, Joy, Krauze, macht, MikeGene, Steve Petermann, and William Bradford (with “Submit Story” weirdly sandwiched in between), but there’s nothing about the true identities of most of them.

    This apparent secrecy is why this “Joy” can blithely say PZ “has endorsed the idea of concentration camps and forced sterilization for religious believers” without fear — she’s protected from even mildly unkind words being tossed back at her in her real life.


  5. David says

    This was also parodying this study. It’s not so much the reactions of the spiders they studied, but the effects of the drugs on the resulting web.

    I haven’t been able to find the actual study reference though, only articles about it.

  6. wildlifer says

    Joy at Telic is/was one of the more psychotic members at ARN. She’s afflicted with a genetic disorder – synaesthesia – but takes offense to that nomenclature because she believes it’s a power delivered by God. IOWs, she’s “special” and better than the rest of us peons. She was always obsessed with PZ and members of the “swamp” (Internet Infidels).

  7. Kseniya says

    Interesting. Synesthesia used to be quite fashionable… It is technically a “condition” but is seen by some (synesthetes or not) to be a desirable one.

  8. says

    That was hilarious!

    Anyways, as for that Tecil Thought site, for a moment I thought it was a genuine site offering a criticism of PZ–and I then I found out it was about intelligent design. So much for validity. Now the only question that remains is: how are they able to use a computer?

  9. Owlmirror says

    a genetic disorder – synaesthesia

    While the cause of synaesthesia is probably genetic, it’s more accurate to specify that it’s a neurological condition. It is not, strictly speaking, an affliction or a disorder – it can enhance an individual’s memory and creativity.

    Although if the creativity in this particular individual leads to false accusations, well, that’s a horse of a different colour.

  10. David Harmon says

    “Although if the creativity in this particular individual leads to false accusations, well, that’s a horse of a different colour.”

    Ah, but does the color change if the horse is hoarse? ;-)

    Trivia: Vladmir Nabokov (author of the novel Lolita) was synaesthetic, as was his mother. He has a lengthy riff on synaesthesia in his memoir, Speak, Memory, wherein he describes comparing with her the slightly different colorings they associated with various letters and such.

    I’ve got a bit of the condition myself, thankfully not enough to be overly distracting.

  11. Jon H says

    ” It is technically a “condition” but is seen by some (synesthetes or not) to be a desirable one.”

    Yeah, that’s easy to say when you don’t experience musical notes as a spectrum of fart smells.

  12. Shawn S. says

    I am arachnophobic, but this was awesome! Thanks for helping me with my desensitization therapy!!!

  13. Kseniya says

    “Yeah, that’s easy to say when you don’t experience musical notes as a spectrum of fart smells.”

    I don’t understand why you’re dragging William Shatner into this discussion.

  14. says

    The tone of that video was perfect. I’d like a house elephant, myself. That’s an ancient study, I believe. I remember seeing the webs in black & white illustrations many years ago. I thought it was serious until the caffeinated spider started racing around its web.