Lowly Dung Beetles Are Insect Astronomers


Even the humble dung beetle, its life spent barely an inch above the ground, pushing balls of waste, steers by starlight.

“Dung steered by the stars,” as my longtime friend Steve said.

Or, as Oscar Wilde wrote in “Lady WIndermere’s Fan”:

DUMBY. I don’t think we are bad. I think we are all good, except Tuppy.

LORD DARLINGTON. No, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

top searches that brought people to clusterflock

dogue de bordeaux
dog de bordeaux
phil bebbington, motel
motorcycle sidecar
goat fuck
saddest story ever
calvin and hobbes sex
friggin lobster

“Cake farts” still shows pretty strongly, but not in the top ten today.

from the comments

Sheila Ryan on January 18, 2013

We are the unsinkable Molly Brown of inefficient socially mediumistic webbed sites.


Probably old news to many of you, and the video is little more than a commercial that invites pre-orders, but fun technology all the same.

The Language of the Birds

{ untitled: under the auspices } is a book of auguring, or divination codex, where birds are the words, in particular the common starling (with a few cameos by seagulls & crows). The sequenced set of flight patterns, or murmurations, were captured over the course of the past few years in the skies over Rome, where the starlings winter in the months of October & November.

Coming September 2012 from Calamari Press.

One-stop shopping

One-stop shopping for luck, banking, and healthcare on 10th Street and 3rd Avenue.

Cats that I made using only MY MIND!

It’s true. AND: I did it in a dream the premise of which was: THIS IS NOT A DREAM.

You know how you have those dreams? Those other dreams? You realize, “Wait! This is a DREAM!”

This was not like that. THIS IS NOT A DREAM was the foundation of the dream.
Read more

Even blood language must be parsed

Mapping Twitter Traffic

Eric Fischer has been mapping Twitter traffic in major cities, resulting in beautiful cartographic representations of our information flow. It’s all faintly reminiscent of blood vessels or a network of neurons. I think there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

(via Animal New York)

Speaking of Kottke …

He has a great post up about John Tyler’s grandsons still being alive, which is insane to think about seeing as how Tyler was the 10th President of the US and was born in 1790.

He suggests coining a term for someone or something that bridges a huge span of time, in this case almost two hundred years of history.

There’s also this 1956 game show appearance of a Lincoln assassination eyewitness and Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935) shaking hands during his lifetime with both John Quincy Adams (b 1767) and John F Kennedy (d 1963), one man spanning 200 years of American history.

Jason suggests “history bridges”. I suggested “minding the history gap“. His is more of a noun, I suppose mine is more of a verb — as in John Tyler’s grandson is minding the history gap. Neither really hits the nail on the proverbial head, so to speak. But doesn’t there need to be a coined phrase for this sort of phenomenon.

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