A most bizarre and mysterious cocoon

rutty:

It’s left out a gate. Rubbish

(Also, the images above don’t seem to be appearing for me. Click through to Jerry Coyne’s site to see them. Amazing and mysterious)

Originally posted on Why Evolution Is True:

by Matthew Cobb

This bizarre photo was posted the other day on reddit’s “whatsthisbug” subreddit by Decapod73, with the following information: “Seriously, who makes egg cases like this? Just under 2cm across, Southern Peruvian Amazon”

The various suggestions in the discussion include moth/not moth, harvestman/not harvestman. No one has an answer so far.

Decapod73 says that s/he initially thought it was an ermine moth caterpillar that had started making a cocoon but then got distracted. But then more of the damn things started turning up… Cue creepy music.

Heres one on the underside of a tarpaulin, also by Decapod73 (this was posted a couple of months ago):

So. Ideas anyone? In particular, has anyone from Peru seen this kind of thing before? My guess is a small moth, but I think we need not only an ID, we also need an explanation for the “fencing” – is it to…

View original 76 more words

The truth about vaccinations: Your physician knows more than the University of Google

Originally posted on Violent metaphors:

“A cousin of my mom’s survived Polio and lived the rest of his life with its effects. He was not expected to live past his teens but made it to his 40s. I am grateful that modern science can protect us from Polio and other diseases and I choose to take advantage of modern science to give my kid better odds of not dying from a preventable disease. I had heard a lot of noise from people claiming vaccines caused Autism, but never saw any clear evidence. It just seemed to me like people really wanted to point to something as the cause and they latched onto vaccines.”–Jennifer

I have been getting into a lot of discussions about whether vaccines are safe in the last few days. I’m not sure if it’s because of a post going viral about a (terrible) Italian court ruling last year (In contrast, American courts

View original 2,389 more words

I Believe

The ever-entertaining Digital Cuttlefish has another wonderful poem that sets out what he, as an atheist, believes.

I believe in love and kindness
I believe in helping hands
I believe in strong opinions
I believe in taking stands
I believe cooperation
Overcomes the steepest odds
I believe we have a fighting chance

I don’t believe in gods.

He posted this as a counterpoint to some American journalist complaining that atheists don’t believe in anything. I’d have just written “well, what a load of bollocks”.

Click below to read the rest.

via “Atheists Believe In Nothing, Including You.” » The Digital Cuttlefish.

Is The Cloud Too Expensive?

One of my current Open University modules (M362 – Developing Concurrent Distributing Systems) discusses “The Cloud” quite a bit, especially the Amazon solution. It is supposed to be cheaper and more scaleable than creating your own infrastructure.

Well, it seems that a few years down the line this may no longer be true, at least for some small businesses.

Eric Frenkiel is through with convention and conformity.It was just too expensive.

In Silicon Valley, tech startups typically build their businesses with help from cloud computing services — services that provide instant access to computing power via the internet — and Frenkiel’s startup, a San Francisco outfit called MemSQL, was no exception. It rented computing power from the granddaddy of cloud computing, Amazon.com.

But in May, about two years after MemSQL was founded, Frenkiel and company came down from the Amazon cloud, moving most of their operation onto a fleet of good old fashioned computers they could actually put their hands on. They had reached the point where physical machines were cheaper — much, much cheaper — than the virtual machines available from Amazon. “I’m not a big believer in the public cloud,” Frenkiel says. “It’s just not effective in the long run.”

It’s funny that the Cloud is now convention, because it certainly wasn’t when M362 was initially written.

via Why Some Startups Say the Cloud Is a Waste of Money | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com.

Ah, So That’s Where The Fat Went! » The Digital Cuttlefish

The fatberg is one of the most interesting (and disgusting) news items of recent months. The Digital Cuttlefish has written a great little poem about it.

A rack of ribs; a leg of lamb;

A turkey roast; a marbled ham;

We used to cut the fat off, just to eat it!

The drippings from the roasting pan

We use for gravy, quite by plan—

For flavor, you can’t beat it.

via Ah, So That’s Where The Fat Went! » The Digital Cuttlefish.

Click through to read the rest. I love his poetry.