Arachnews: May 3, 2021

Well, I’m back. Much like a tarantula, I felt the need to seal myself into a burrow for several months on end for no particular reason. This isn’t even close to covering the backlog. But here is a sprinkling of arachnid-related art, news, and science from the last several months, including:

  • VR spiderweb sound art
  • slingshot spiders and harvesters on treadmills
  • new species with nerdy and musical names
  • upcoming arachnology conferences
  • and more…

Read more on Medium.

Field journal: Sumo mites

I just love red velvet mites—their soft, plush coats, their Shar-Pei wrinkles, that eye-popping red. Until now, all I’d really seen of their behaviour was eating midges, aphids, and other small insects. But recently I saw something quite astonishing for the first time. Continue reading Field journal: Sumo mites

Field journal: More spiders in pinecones

A nice routine I have fallen into over the past several months is spider-hunting while catching up on the podcast The History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps. And so

“Like Rodney Dangerfield, obsessive collectors get no respect. The word ‘trainspotter’, which refers to a railway enthusiast, is, in British English, synonymous with ‘loser’, and there is indeed something slightly tragic about someone who spends all their free time looking for things the rest of us find pointless.”

Me:

Me: ಠ___ಠ

Aaaanyway, here’s a bunch of spiders and whatnot I’ve found on recent winter excursions. Continue reading Field journal: More spiders in pinecones

Field Journal: A Sunnyside pinecone

A few days ago, suffering from cabin fever, I went down to the Sunnyside boardwalk to flip rocks and see what I could find. Pickings were meagre at first, but I struck pay dirt with a pinecone! Pinecones will now be part of my winter spider-hunting repertoire. Continue reading Field Journal: A Sunnyside pinecone

The 2020 Kibitzer Prizes

What are the Kibitzers? The Kibitzers are to journalism as the IgNobel Prizes are to science. They reward reporting that captures human nature, current events, and the world around us in a way that leaves you asking, “What the fuck did I just read?” Many pieces are genuinely unique and useful; others, not so much.

Throughout this hell year I’ve been avoiding the news for my sanity, so I’ve obviously missed a lot. Late nominations are heartily welcome.

Continue reading The 2020 Kibitzer Prizes

Arachnews: September 30, 2020

I’M BACK, BITCHES. In the latest roundup of all things spider, scorpion, harvester, mite, and more:

  • arachnologists on livestreams and podcasts
  • #PruittData retractions and other developments
  • research on venom, silk, agriculture, ecology, and more
  • new species from around the world
  • …and more!

Read it on Medium.

Field Journal: Humber Bay Shores Park

In early May, jealous of all the UK people posting their Pardosa observations, I headed to Humber Bay Shores Park early one morning to see if our native Ontario wolf spiders were out yet. They were not. However, I did find lots of other arthropods! A couple of second-timers—almost as exciting as first-timers. Continue reading Field Journal: Humber Bay Shores Park