Archive for July 18th, 2011

How High The Blue

My way with words, generally, is to deploy several thousand of them, in hopes of thereby somehow arriving at something like what I want to say.



I am envious of those who can say more with less. Such as Ezra Pound, in his poem “In A Station Of The Metro”:

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Can’t beat that.

A couple days ago over in the Orange Place appeared a brief piece by Wee Mama that contains just about everything you need to know. I’m nicking it and reprinting it here because, well, people need to know it.



How Now Loud Plow

this one’s for my brother

Thanks to Captain Science, we now know that the loudest noise in all the animal kingdom is produced by a penis—99.2 decibels, blares the thing, sounding forth from that wee beastie monikered the lesser water boatman.

And really—does this surprise anyone? Surely if human males were able to produce noise with their members, all the world would be deaf.

The lesser water boatman, which is known as Micronecta scholtzi to the Latins among you, creates what actual Science Men have termed “this colossal acoustic din” by rubbing his johnson against the ridged surface of his abdomen.

The entire noise-making assembly measures about 50 micrometers across, or roughly the width of a human hair. Which should provide fresh meat for the perennial “does size matter?” debate.

The little loud guy starts rosining up his bow when—you guessed it—mating time comes around.

[The dude] can create mating calls as loud as 99.2 decibels, which is the equivalent of sitting in the front row of a loud, full-blown orchestra, or standing 15 meters away from a hurtling freight train.

“Remarkably,” said Stratchclyde University’s James Windmill, “even though 99 percent of sound is lost when transferring from water to air, the song is so loud that a person walking along the bank can actually hear these tiny creatures singing from the bottom of the river.”

The Science Men were at first Confused, but now are Sure. Says Windmill:

“We were very surprised. We first thought that the sound was coming from larger aquatic species such as a Sigara species [of] lesser water boatmen. When we identified without any doubt the sound source, we spent a lot of time making absolutely sure that our recordings of the sounds were calibrated correctly.

“If you scale the sound level they produce against their body size, Micronecta scholtzi are without doubt the loudest animals on Earth.”

The Science Men are rushing this discovery to a conference in Glasgow, where they “are now keen to bring together aspects of biology and engineering to clarify how and why such a small animal makes such a loud noise[.]”

Hell, the “why” of it is answered easily enough. Guy wants a woman.

When I Worked

July 2011
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