Chess Boxing

"Boxing is harder than chess, because you are receiving damage in head. The biggest different between boxing and chess is that boxing is a sport of "enemies", while in chess you make friends. Chessboxing is fantastically interesting and very difficult. The switch make it difficult. After boxing a round blood enters your head and this make thinking very, very difficult."

'Shrooms, dudes

I met Gary Lincoff today. He wrote the Audubon field guide to mushrooms. Turned me on to the local mushroom hunters here. They do local and regional trips. Let's go.

Nanotechnology and Fashion

"Student designer and fiber scientists create a dress that prevents colds and a jacket that destroys noxious gases..." Fun! As soon as they create a dress that can neuralize pee odors, the glitterati can descend into the subways without fear.
nanotechnology and fashion...

Napoleon, Rest in Peace...

Heh Heh Heh... from New York Times Op-Ed:

"It’s time to let Napoleon’s penis rest in peace. Museums are quietly de-accessioning the human remains of indigenous peoples so that body parts can be given proper burial rites. Napoleon’s penis, too, should be allowed to go home and rejoin the rest of his captivating body."

And some more famous body parts for our enjoyment... khm..

Proteus Gowanus

Descend into the Valley of the Gowanus, where the greasy green canal smells of ancient worlds, to visit Proteus Gowanus, a wunderkammer made for Bad Eggs. Among other things on display, and you'll see how this all fits together, are some of Kinsey's gall wasps.

Darfur China Olympics

The Olympics, sponsored by the IOC, one of the world’s more corrupt organizations, is going to be in China next year. The Chinese state, another corrupt organization, but one with a huge authoritarian apparatus, sees the massive drug and corporate-fattened spectacle as its coming-out party after the long shadow of Tiananmen Square. Trouble is, some world citizens are upset that China acts as Sudan’s muscle, guaranteeing a freehand in Darfur. In sucking up all that Sudanese oil, the Chinese have become the de facto supporters of the massacres in Darfur, blocking any serious UN action with their veto power on the Security Council. That’s why there’s a movement to label next year’s Summer Olympics the Genocide Olympics. To essentially shame the Chinese to changing their policies.

Steven Spielberg, hired out to produce the “most emotional” opening and closing ceremonies (will a little boy touch an alien’s finger?), miraculously claimed to be unaware of both what was happening in Darfur and that his new bosses had complicity in the massacres. This would be the same Spielberg who founded the Shoah Foundation, wouldn’t it?

See below

our fuzzy oak gall

here is a gall that is close to ours:

made by tiny wasps aparantly called Acraspis, in the cynipid family.

here are similar ones:

these are another variation:

now dangit i was so out of it i don't recall wether we were looking at white oak or not! but judging by our photo, now i say it's not white oak.

if you google image: cynipid oak gall you get to see the huge variety of the collaboration handiwork between cynipid wasps and oak trees.

so what are they? Cynipids are tiny wasps the size of sesame seeds use their hypodermic needle like ovipositors to lay eggs in the propper tissues of plants. they also no doubt secrete various substances along with the eggs. in combination with these substances and stuff the growing egg starts secreting, the plant is induced to form a gall. i don't think we know too many details yet. basically the substances modulate what the growing cells are doing and derail the normal developmental processs of the plant in various ways so that the plant grows what you might call a creative tumor.

the wasp mothers select tissue that is in the process of growing, and the goal is to get the tissues to form a protective coat, and to form layers rich in proteins for the larvae to eat.

the various forms are what you get when you mess with the developmental mechanisms of the plants. of course through evolutionary time we see that plants themselves have been exploring these outlandish changes in mechanisms because there are already all kinds of plant forms out there. it's all creative.

eventually the larvas turn into adults and hatch out to start again. cynipid wasps have complex lifecycles i think and maybe half their life cycle is making galls on one plant and half on another.

the galls are great places to live in so plenty of other insects invade. other wasps seek out galls and lay THIER eggs in them. there are probably even wasps that lay their eggs (using very clever ovipositors) INSIDE the existing cynipid wasp larva.

in general parasitic wasps are known for laying their eggs in other insect larvae! in fact there are some cases where wasps lay eggs inside the larvae of other wasps that are allready inside catipillars. life is nested chinese boxes!

ok, i found a good introduction about galls:

So WHY is this a bad egg issue? i think the message here is that for most of life on this planet, creatures are highly entangled with each other. odd that we like to remain so aloof.

A Robot Parade

I found some more Bad-eggery! My heart is warm and at peace now...

Food as Art

From Kool aid pickles and foamed potatoes, -- oh the inventive human mind, how I despise thee for this poison... and how I celebrate thee for bringing me a tropical punch flavored pickle!


Come on, yolks, I know you're out there... feel free to make contributions to this blog. What are you thinking, reading, seeing & hearing?

Meanwhile, check out Mass Observation.

Bad Egg Janis alerts us to the New Sanctuary Movement.

If you're joining us on Saturday, here's some information about Green-Wood. Nice music, huh?


OK, admittedly, milk isn’t a likely topic to wake anybody up. How about sex?

Millions are marching in Turkey for secularism. Can you imagine such a thing in god-fearing America, when our politicians have to get all teary-eyed as they talk about their personal god/fetish object/invisible friend?

There are lots of women in those demonstrations: they know what fundamentalism means. What unites all fundamentalisms, whether Christian, Islamic, Jewish, or Hindu (did I miss anyone?) is misogyny and its imperative to control female sexuality. Although, as Dan Savage is so fond of pointing out, women and gays are merely the point people in the ayatollahs’ efforts to control all sexuality. Let’s not forget that the fundies who want to criminalize abortion are very often also opposed to contraception; that right into the 1960s it was illegal (in some states) for even married couples to get contraception. Imagine that.

The Milky Way

A couple of weeks ago, Rudy Ghouliani was asked what the price of a gallon of milk was. His guess about half the going price. As much as I loath that evil little man, it was a total gotcha moment; I doubt any of the isolated, cosseted, overly-consulted politicos (all claiming to be the common man, or woman) has any idea of such basic pocket book issues. They are so beyond shopping.

Today, the price of a gallon of milk is more expensive than a gallon of oil. More and more corn is being diverted to the production of ethanol, which means less for the industrial food system that produces so much of our meat and diary products. But cows are actually grass eaters, not grain eaters. They evolved with fantastic ruminant stomachs that can digest those things we humans can’t. But when they are feed corn, those marvelous double stomachs are screwed up, necessitating all sorts of antibiotics and supplements to handle what are essentially permanently ill animals. (Don’t even get me started on bovine growth hormone, that great producer of pus.) Will efforts to wean us away from foreign oil turn more of our beef and dairy cattle back to grass? That would be a very good thing. Check out Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, a vital read for anyone who eats, and learn how we are modern Azteca, the children of the corn. If your drink the stuff, get it grass-feed and organic: yes, it's more expensive, lacking the massive subsidies that deflate the price of industrial agriculture, but it's good for you and the cow.

Producing ethanol, by the way, is very heavily carbon-intensive, but it’s being driven by Midwestern politics and the massive amounts of corn produced there.