Cordyceps Fungus

Like something out of science fiction the fruiting body of Cordycepts erupts from the ant’s head. It can take three weeks to grow and when finished the deadly spores will burst from its tip. Then any ant in the vicinity will be in serious risk of death. The fungus is so virulent it can wipe out whole colonies of ants. It’s not just ants that fall victim to this killer. There are literally thousands of different types of cordiceps fungi and remarkably each specializes on just one species.

Note to the religious right: auto-replace is not your friend

From the Carpetbaggerreport.com:

Some far-right sites that subscribe to the Associated Press feed, for example, will use auto-correct to change “Democratic Party” to “Democrat Party.” This, of course, is because they have the temperament of children.

But the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow website takes the phenomenon one step further with its AP articles. The far-right fundamentalist group replaces the word “gay” in the articles with the word “homosexual.” I’m not entirely sure why, but it seems to make the AFA happy. The group is, after all, pretty far out there.

The problem, of course, is that “gay” does not always mean what the AFA wants it to mean. My friend Kyle reported this morning that sprinter Tyson Gay won the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials over the weekend. The AFA ran the story, but only after the auto-correct had “fixed” the article.

That means — you guessed it — the track star was renamed “Tyson Homosexual.” The headline on the piece read, “Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials.”

Puppy Born Without Front Legs Fitted with Wheels

From The Daily Mail:

The beloved pooch was born with only two legs and has small wriggling nubs where her front legs should be.

At first Hope moved around by hopping but experts said her her natural mode of moving eventually would damage her bones and spine.

The wheeled device was created by orthotist David Turnbill free of charge with makeshift shoulder joints connected to model airplane wheels.

Each of the device’s ‘arms’ can move up or down independently of the other, allowing Hope to pivot and turn.

The spring-loaded prosthetic arms hook to a custom-fitted chest plate to allow Hope to lay down or sit up without removing the prosthetic.

Question of the Day

What was the last book you bought? (Question stolen shamelessly from SF Signal)

I just placed an Amazon order for Wasp, which was on that list of top 10 obscure sci-fi classics and that I just found a relatively cheap copy online.

And since I can’t just buy one book once I go to Amazon, I saw that Phillip Roth’s The Plot Against America was only selling for a few cents (damn you shipping & handling!) so I thought I’d finally give that a try. (If I don’t like it I’m blaming the Critic.)