Is everything arachnophobic?

I should pass this one on to the herpetologist in the lab next to mine.

Hmm. Herps to one side of me, microbiologist on the other, and a lab full of spiders in the middle. We should do tours on Halloween!

Truth be told, though, the only one that is remotely scary is the one culturing microorganisms.


  1. cartomancer says

    The scariest room is obviously the administrator’s office down the hall. Lord knows what kind of evil goes on in there.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    While Scott Adams has disgraced himself the last years, some if his old cartoons were fun. Like how you had to leave your soul behind at the entrance to the budget-cutting department.

  3. billseymour says

    @4:  it should probably be written with a diaeresis (“microörganisms”); but American keyboards don’t have a good way to enter characters with diacritical marks.  I’ve found that comment mechanisms in most blogs will render HTML entities correctly.

  4. René says

    @5, Bill, I presume: First off, I’ll confess to be a misoamaricanist. Anti-American to the core. America is one of the dumbest nations on the planet, getting lucky with an abundance of resources, after having exploited their slaves. I don’t get it that the ‘leftist’ (center-right in my political European views) Democrats aren’t pitchforking marching against the whitehouse.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    Re. 5 @ Billseymour
    Motörhead rules!
    Warning- Going off on a tangent.
    As a skeptic I had to learn more about diacritical marks when reading about the many variants of the koran.
    In Muhammed’s time they only had a consonant script (“rasm”) which contributed greatly to confusion
    And as there were divergent oral traditions that were only written down centuries later it is not surprising there are many korans with non-trivial differences (a fact muslims loudly deny!).
    Finally, in 1924 imams in Cairo decided to standatdise on one version (the Hafs version) and threw the other versions into the Nile!
    Later the Saudis standardised on the Cairo version and sponsored the printing of this in huge numbers, making this the dominant version.
    NB I mention this just to show how humble dots can play a role in world politics, and in tracking down the truth.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    Question: does the microbiologist have access to cool stuff like lassa fever, yersina pestis or Ebola?
    (imagines breeding spiders serving as natural reservoir of scary-as-shit microorganisms)

  7. billseymour says

    René@6:  you won’t get any argument from me.  I live in a Republican congressional district in a Republican state; all my congresscritters are Trumpistas (including the infamous Josh Hawley); and they will likely remain so for the foreseeable future.

    I don’t understand how ordinary folks can even contemplate voting for these people.  I guess they hear only the lies and projection and think that it’s all true.

  8. silvrhalide says

    @6 Well, the US did adopt the catalytic converter long before Europe did. (Then made up for it with Canyoneros.)
    And Turkey, a country known for sex trafficking and genocide, is still being considered for acceptance into the EU.
    For that matter, the Netherlands, while long known for tolerance & sex positivity, also turns a remarkably blind eye to pedophila and child sex trafficking.
    There’s all kinds of slavery, much of which isn’t acknowledged as slavery, or else prettied up with a term like “white slavery” ie., sex trafficking.
    Unlike Europe, the US hasn’t managed to completely eliminate all/most biodiversity… yet. (But the Republicans and radical religious right are definitely working on it. Well, modern Republicans anyway. Theodore Roosevelt was a Republican and the reason we have the national park system.)
    The US got rid of Dolt 45 2 years ago and the UK is only just getting rid of Boris.
    Look, there is substantial room for improvement in the US. But Europe isn’t as smart and enlightened as it likes to think it is either.

  9. silvrhalide says

    @9 “I don’t understand how ordinary folks can even contemplate voting for these people. I guess they hear only the lies and projection and think that it’s all true.”
    Racism and othering. Apparently racism and othering is the sweet sweet sugar that makes registered Republican voters vote against their best interests.
    And stupidity. As in, the stupidity of the Tea Partier who so notably screamed “and keep the federal government out of my Medicare!” without realizing that Medicare is both socialist and a federal program. Although Faux News and FB are notable for spreading the lies too.
    People want to believe the lies and they carefully choose the news sources (excuse me, “news” sources) that confirm those lies. Look at Jan. 6. “Stop the steal” and targeting the FBI, who executed a legal and legitimate search warrant for documents that Dolt 45 had been politely asked to turn over for months.
    What do you think those same “stop the steal” idiots would do if Obama kept literally millions of classified documents in his home & refused to turn them over? Do you think that the “stop the steal” idiots would be trying to defund the FBI and/or targeting them? I doubt it.