As you can see from my desktop — my real desktop, not the virtual one on my computer screen.
Don’t be distracted by my dirty keyboard (I’ve had it for about 15 years). What’s important is that cube with the rainbow reflection on it, which contains a Parasteatoda mama and her egg sac. I’ve got it front and center so I can keep a constant eye on it — I want to catch the babies the instant they emerge, and I’ve got my camera at the ready right next to me.
Here’s my gender reveal party: it’s going to be a boy! And a boy! And a girl! And another boy, and a girl, and a girl, girl, boy, girl, boy, boy, girl, girl, girl, boy, girl, boy, boy, girl…etc. I won’t need any fireworks because when that thing pops there will be a cloud of baby spiders all ballooning outwards, and if I opened it at the wrong time I could fill my office with spiders drifting everywhere. That would be delightful, but instead I’ll be trying to capture them all individually and put them in vials to provide more troops for my spider army.
I’m hoping they don’t emerge until after Wednesday, because I’m deep into this conference for a while. From past experience, though, babies are always picking the most inconvenient time…
I remember the chicklet keyboards! Real wrist breaker. Once I went ergo, never gone back. Upped my typing speed quite a bit as well.
If you read the cartoon “Ernie”, you know his extra-terrestrial friend Zorgblatt had similar broblems with his several dozen children.
Derailing the reproduction thread:
“Researcher introduces new CRISPR 3.0 system for highly efficient gene activation in plants”
You know what this means…TRIFFIDS! 🙂
The good thing is, the eejits are too busy with the “election fraud” stuff to stage demonstrations outside biochemistry labs. Frankenorganisms are sooo pre-Trump…
And now back to lovely little spiders crawling all over.
I used to think that my old keyboards were grimey. But this one takes the cake. Makes me wonder how many species of critters one could culture off it?
Pro tip: get a black keyboard. It’ll be just as nasty, but it won’t show. :-)
If you do a lot of typing, get a mechanical keyboard. I’m partial to the Razer Blackwidow Elite, which is a “clicky” keyboard, and tastes vary. The Blackwidow Elite has got some heft to it, so it won’t wander on your desk. And it comes with a nice wristrest.
PZ Myers says
I knew you guys would notice my grimy keyboard.
OK, I’ll wipe it clean with a little ethanol later.
“… so it won’t wander on your desk…”
I have this image of Little Richard pounding the keyboard. Nail it down and you can use your feet too.
If your keyboard wanders, it’s probably a horde of spiders making off with it.
Congratulations on the new babies! I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it to the baby shower… or is it a baby skydiving barrage…
Awww new spiderling ahead! At least with the conference being on-line you can listen and decant spiderlings at the same time.
I found an Arizona Bark Scorpion in the yard last night; carrying her brood on her back. Would you like a picture?
Is there any external control on gender in spiders? I have read temp controls gender in some reptiles, anything similar?
@10 I meant sex not gender, Oofta
As if there wasn’t enough spiders in the world .I did see a clip of film on the interweb ,guy found a strange round blob ,he touched it ,and hundreds of baby spiders scattered in all directions .
What P Z did not notice is that the parasteatoda female got exposed to radiation from the luminous stuff on the digits of his wristwatch. This will be interesting.
Sooo…that keyboard is entering its own Cambrian explosion about now.