Science: Mother crickets can apparently warn their offspring about potential predators BEFORE BIRTH.
“Researchers from the University of South Carolina Upstate and Indiana State University placed pregnant crickets in an enclosure where they were stalked, but not eaten, by a wolf spider, whose fangs had been coated with wax to protect the crickets.
“The young of the spider-exposed mothers turned out to be more predator-savvy than those with mothers who were not exposed to the wolf spider; they stayed hidden longer, and were more likely to freeze when they encountered spider feces or spider silk.”
There is more, quite fascinating. HT Jonathan Hanson.
Evolution is quicker than we think. Songbirds evolve longer wings as the forest is turned into “islands”. HT Annie D
Hunt news from a friend in England (no link):”The position remains that if the Conservative Party win the general elections (mostly likely on 6 May) they have pledged to bring in a Bill to repeal the present Hunting Act. The Conservatives have a lead in the polls but it is not at present large enough to guarantee an outright victory, so we may be left with a ‘hung’ Parliament, which would mean that they would have to form a coalition and make compromises. Meanwhile the issue of hunting keeps hitting the news headlines as the pro and anti hunt lobbies compete for attention. Watch this space!”
Hunter Angler Gardener Cook has a new Sardinian hare recipe I must try— still have a couple though it has been a slow season. HT Holly (PS to Holly- email me a postal address and I’ll get you that Querencia!)
Chad at Mallard of Discontent revisits the late Harry Middleton whose sad tale of descent in life from a major magazine editor to an acclaimed but penniless writer to depression, working on the garbage truck, and early death can chill any writer. Harry played the game honestly rather than cynically, but that doesn’t matter in our insta- fame culture.
Movies: I don’t see many movies because of our isolation, but I ALWAYS read Anthony Lane’s New Yorker reviews. This first paragraph of a recent one is doubtless better than the movie:
“What is it like being Timur Bekmambetov? No artist should be confused too closely with his creations, but anybody who sits through “Wanted,” Bekmambetov’s new movie, will be tempted to wonder if the life style of the characters might not reflect or rub off on that of the director. How, for example, does he make a cup of coffee? My best guess, based on the evidence of the film, is that he tosses a handful of beans toward the ceiling, shoots them individually into a fine powder, leaves it hanging in the air, runs downstairs, breaks open a fire hydrant with his head, carefully directs the jet of water through the window of his apartment, sets fire to the building, then stands patiently with his mug amid the blazing ruins to collect the precious percolated drops. Don’t even think about a cappuccino.”
Finally Doom, from the Doom master himself,, John Derbyshire.
“A chap named Jonathan Springston, senior staff writer at Atlanta Progressive News was let go. Why? He believed in reality. In APN’s own words:
“At a very fundamental, core level, Springston did not share our vision for a news publication with a progressive perspective. He held on to the notion that there was an objective reality that could be reported objectively, despite the fact that that was not our editorial policy at Atlanta Progressive News. It just wasn’t the right fit.”