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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
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mad science


test rabbit, detail from smith collage – foto by Smith

Traveling away from the nest, ants count the steps they take in each direction, then follow the same path back home by reversing direction and step count.

We know this because scientists put little stilts on ants and they got lost because their stilt steps back were bigger than their stiltless steps out.

Makes me wonder – for this to work they’d have to watch an ant leave the nest, see where it goes, pick it up on its way back, attach eight small ant stilts, then put the ant back in the exact same spot going the exact same direction it was heading. Are they really that good? And how do they know interrupting the ant’s journey doesn’t throw off its step count? Or maybe as soon as they pick it up, the ant waves its little legs in the air and counts those steps as part of its journey?

I got me some serious scientific doubt here, but I love the thought of ants on stilts. Maybe we could give em little clown noses and costumes of motley and have an ant circus. Or even better, put the clown noses on the scientists instead.

I watched a lot of ants in Mexico: teeny weenie ants who scoured our bathroom sink for toothpaste, leaf-cutting ants who tried to kill our lime tree on the roof, strange huge-headed street ants carrying impossibly large loads, cemetery ants carrying grave flowers piece by piece down into the earth, multi-species of ants simultaneously devouring a dead cat are but a few. They all are fast – they scurry, dart, change direction constantly, so they must be adding one heck of a lot of data to their little ant brains as they’re outward bound. And they come back just as furiously fast so they must have excellent retrieval mechanisms. Sounds to me like they think faster and remember better than I do, for I’ve but a vague idea of who I am and an even lesser grasp on where in life and why.

Maybe I should put some stilts on some scientists and see how they do.

Other scientists determine what part of the brain does what by training a rodent to do an action, then inject a burning acid into its brain and have it do the action again. The acid chemical attaches itself to the thought wave and burns a path through the brain cells to the brain location used for that action, whereupon they kill the rodent, dissect its brain and follow the burn path through the flesh.

Still other corpo-rat scientists drop women’s make-up toxins in poor bunny rabbit’s eyes to see if they burn or harm or not. Guess they figure it’s okay to torture real bunnies to protect our playboy beach bunnies from tears.

And the really nasty guys are the science firms that raise stressed rats for lab tests. They take baby rats, subject them to horrible situations so they grow up nervous and afraid, then sell them to scientists to see if our new medicines will calm them down.

And in the Naval Academy I was told of a military scientist who went to work each day and blew up a goat in a closed room, then measured how far the pieces went and analyzed the splatter zone – different blood body bursts per different explosive mixtures.

We are such a weird race, humans. We don’t exactly seem to cherish or respect life oftimes, frequently not even our own.

And we seem to forget the one law – do as YOU would be done . . . for if we can do it to others, others can do it to us. Maybe that’s why aliens harvest us at night for their science experiments and sexual needs.


fragile detail from smith collage – foto by Smith

PS – life, reality, computers, my mind, and internet access are all going exceptionally weird. Next Wednesday we should be moving into our own place with our own internet. Until then, I may or may not be around cyber-wise.


rabbit detail from smith collage – foto by Smith

One Response to “mad science”

  1. Jack McGuane says:

    I heard the ants on stilts signed a contract to join the flea circus. Personally, I belive they intend to eat the fleas.

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