Here’s the second instalment of Expiscor (last week’s can be found here). This is a weekly digest of interesting things discovered this week. Enjoy!
- Spider enthusiasts – ever wonder about identifying species based on their webs? New software might help…
- BIG SPIDER: new Tarantula species discovered in Sri Lanka (with an eight inch leg span) – species name is Poecilotheria rajaei (named in honour of a local police officer!)
- Third and final spider discovery this week – about the continued importance of spider silk – Birds use spider silk in nest-building! (thanks Leslie Brunetta for that link)
- April Fool’s was last week. Here’s some fun entomological content – A ‘tadpole eating Lepidoptera‘. Far-fetched? Maybe not… there are carnivorous Leps in Hawaii.
- A more historical perspective on April Fool’s day – Darwin on the HMS Beagle was fooled, too.
- There was lots of discussion about a Google Doodle this past week – in honour of Maria Sibylla Merian – an artist with a passion for nature and a particular fondness for insects. Interestingly, before that Doodle came out, Nash Turley wrote a nice blog post about her. In that post, he states: “In the 1600′s the general consensus (apparently) was that butterflies generated spontaneously out of rotting mud“. Very cool.
- Beethoven liked it fast: while driving to visit family last weekend, I listened to RadioLab‘s short about Beethoven – perhaps he meant his music to be played MUCH faster than what we are accustomed to now.
- Simon Leather is continually tweeting about the (low) number of Invertebrate papers that appear in Ecological Journals – in an article he wrote a few years ago, there is good evidence of bias against invertebrates, and the situation is likely the same today. That’s a shame.
- On the topic of funding models for Universities, the Globe and Mail posted a article to highlight a model that in which funding depends on outcomes (e.g., number of graduates) instead of enrolment. Worth a look…
- I came across this article about famous painters – and their ‘first’ paintings – amazing to see how their styles changes – e.g., see Dali’s most famous work compared to his first (when he was six)!
- Well, that just gusts me. Twelve lonely, negative words. Thanks to Dr. Dez for pointing that out on twitter!
- Spring -it’s really, really approaching! Managed to see thousands of snow geese around the Quebec-Ontario border. They are magnificent, as is their migration.
- This is a very interesting, insightful and important tweet from Sam Evans, a graduate student in Ohio. Message: keep your eye on the ball and remember that you’re doing great work, and making important contributions.
- I’ll finish with an interesting and inexpensive option for people with hearing loss (I’m one of those) – BioAid – an i-phone app to help you hear… (a tip I heard on CBC R2 drive)