Tag Archives: snakes

Never Joke About Military Flying Snake Research

“Aerodynamics of the flying snake Chrysopelea paradisi: how a bluff body cross-sectional shape contributes to gliding performance.”

This research was partially supported by Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) grant W911NF1010040 to J.J.S. and P.P.V.

I guess it turns out it wasn’t a secret.

Holden, Daniel, John J. Socha, Nicholas D. Cardwell, and Pavlos P. Vlachos. “Aerodynamics of the flying snake Chrysopelea paradisi: how a bluff body cross-sectional shape contributes to gliding performance.” Journal of Experimental Biology. (217):382-394. (available February 1, 2014)

Downton Abbey + new ways to terrorize Guam

The drafts keep piling up, as every post I’ve written lately has tried to turn itself into a manifesto and I keep running out of time, patience, and/or energy.

To tide you over, I’ll actually finish the post about Downton Abbey.

I don’t get it. I absolutely do not get the appeal of this show. I’ve tried to get it. I’ve tried so hard I’ve seen the 1st season twice and I’m almost done with the 2nd season. I don’t fucking get it…BUT I CAN’T STOP WATCHING IT.

Perhaps the Dowager Countess really is a witch.

That would explain a lot of things.

I wasn’t sure where to take that joke, but then this Diagon Abbey twitter account came along and gave me the perfect thing to insert into this section. I guess that’s something watching Downton has going for it – if you haven’t watched it, the jokes won’t land and you’ll just be wasting your time reading those tweets.

Because if you get the jokes you aren’t wasting your time reading those tweets? Sure. That’s it.

Not to spoil it for you, but here’s the plot of pretty much every episode:
Someone: “The times are changing.”
Someone else: “Indeed they are, indeed they are.”
Someone: “Winter is coming.”

No, wait, that’s the plot of almost every episode of Game of Thrones.

Let’s try again.

Someone: “There was the incident with the gentleman from Turkey….”
Someone else: “Did he take my dragons? Do you know where my dragons are?”

That may not be right, either.

To be honest, I haven’t started watching season 3 yet, but my Tivo, Overlord II has been sucking them up for me. I already know what happens, because of course the show airs in the UK before it airs here and so there aren’t many surprises left by the time I get around to seeing it.

Why is a show about nobility and their servants so wildly popular in the United States? And why can’t I stop watching? Why? Why? Why?

As soon as we catch up on Homeland, Husband can start watching Downton. Yes. Yes he can. Maybe he can explain why I can’t stop watching while we wait for the next season of Homeland.

I guess an advantage to watching is that Sesame Street’s Upside Downton Abbey is much funnier if you know what they’re spoofing:

Why is a show that only began in 2010 a “Masterpiece Classic” on PBS?

Futilely pondering Downton‘s popularity is still less disturbing to think about than the fact that the U.S. Government is going to try to solve the Guam snake problem by airdropping dead poison-laced mice.

I can’t even begin to think about the intended consequences of dropping poisoned food into a rainforest.

On the evolution of trees

In honor of Charles Darwin’s birthday, here’s an adaptation of something I originally posted on facebook while recovering from bronchitis or it’s ilk.

On the evolution of trees:
One of the most interesting, yet least known, examples of co-evolution involves the relationship between trees & reptiles. The earth started out covered in nothing but shrublike vegetation. Over time, some of those shrubs grew taller & developed sturdier branches. They did this because snakes, their natural partners in evolution, needed taller & taller perches from which to drop down upon unsuspecting humans. The snakes thought dropping on humans was hilarious.

This was an activity that the trees also found hilarious, so the trees grew taller & differentiated into the vast diversity of species we enjoy today – the ones that aren’t filled with practical-joke loving snakes, that is.

Very few of us enjoy the trees full of sneaky snickering snakes.

Once taller trees established themselves, it was but a hop skip & jump, evolutionarily speaking, to the evolution of flying snakes, which led to the evolution of flying monkeys to combat the increasing scourge of flying snakes. These are all true facts. You can look them up, as long as you only look here on my blog or on my fb page.

The flying snakes actually exist in S and SE Asia. I would suggest not looking them up on the google. It’s sorta cool, but that’s just not right & once you see it you can’t unsee it, if you know what I mean.

It should be noted that snakes and grandfathers share a genetic mutation which leads them to believe that they are much funnier than they actually are. Snakes find it difficult to comprehend why we will laugh at our grandfather’s jokes but rarely find snake humor, well, humorous.

Far Side cartoons notwithstanding.

[As I’ve mentioned recently, I’m trying to move all of the content I wish to keep here onto my blog, so facebook friends will have to put up with a few reruns now and again. I apparently first blogged about flying snakes in 2002. I haven’t been the same since.]


Speaking of unleashing things into Rock Creek Park, I thought I’d post a link to the story about the python that showed up in Rock Creek Park this week. It’s a nice change of pace from obsessing over all of the exotic invasives in the Everglades, I guess. Speaking of which, if you haven’t had a moment of horror over this monster, you should really take a break out of your busy schedule of reading my site and drinking coffee. “UF Researchers find state record 87 eggs in largest python from the Everglades.”