Saturday, November 03, 2007

Tarantulas, and brain implaints

Tarantulas make the front page of the winter 2007 edition of the Sequoia Natural History Association (SNHA) newsletter Seedlings. November is getting late to see them, but October is prime time for male tarantulas out of their burrows:
So, as the males make their journey to find a mate, we are able to enjoy this once a year visit outside their burrows. Unfortunately, the male spiders will only live a few months after mating while the females can live 25 to 30 years... but, there is comfort in knowing that their brief relationship will produce 50 to 2000 new offspring, some ready to visit us again in years to come."

A fun fact: tarantula hairs were the original itching powder. More creepily, tarantulas don't have red blood, instead they have blue haemolymph.

Changing subjects, deep brain implants are sometimes used to treat Parkinson's disease tremors. Spectrum has an article about an unintended side effect: patients acting more impulsively. If you're a computer person, you might also want to read the article about Slashdot.

And finally, something to ask Santa for: a personal submarine.