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I’m taking a walk right now.✨

今散歩中です ✨

Look at these leaf dogs!


#that being said I *am* enjoying the National Puppy Day celebrations #bugs #snails #slugs #adorable #(I’m reminded of that thread a while back about artificial neural networks thinking everything is a dog) #(”oh yeah it’s *artificial neural networks* that do that”) #(”*they’re* the ones who call lots of things ‘dogs’ that clearly aren’t dogs”) #(”no other sorts of minds would *ever* do that constantly”)


to anyone who needs to hear this,

you look EXACTLY like a leaf

your eye spots ARE absolutely terrifying

when you raise your front legs you DO look bigger than anything, even a tree


#bugs #I didn’t actually laugh aloud but it still amused me enough to reblog #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what #unreality cw?


One of the vanishingly few benefits you get from living in the frozen North of Canada is that it’s simply too cold for a lot of pesky things. Valley fever? Too damn cold. Poisonous scorpions? Need to be kept above zero at all times, the losers. Subway-sized rats that can take out a schoolyard in less than fifteen minutes? Won’t get fifteen feet before a Dire Owl chucks them into the air to be flash-frozen in the troposphere.

This means that when you buy something especially sketchy from a warmer place, you don’t have to worry too much about disinfecting it. Just leave it outside for a night, and then shake it and watch a cascade of dead roaches fall out. Their pleading eyes (burst from ice forming inside their optic nerves) will look at you guiltily, yes, but it’s not your fault. It’s Mother Nature’s, and if you can’t hang with her, then get out of the kitchen. Or something like that.

Now, this phenomenon hasn’t always worked in my favour. Last summer, I was besieged by an infinite wall of pesky mosquitos. The eggs from these annoying little shitheads can somehow survive the worst of winter, and it’s boring and time-consuming to kill all of them manually, like our ancestors used to.

In a warmer region, these pests are purged by dragonflies the size of an Eaton’s and/or eaten by lizards that sneak into your house and live there, like pets but not. This is simply not possible here, but I foolishly believed I could import a small box of praying mantises sometime around May, when the permafrost covering my driveway just started to break up.

Praying mantises are, in theory, the ultimate badasses, peak predators of nature, invulnerable to anything that the world can throw at them. However, it turns out the shipping company also uses the same technique as me to disinfect packages, making my own efforts largely superfluous. When they got here, all that remained was a box of dead bugs. They didn’t stand a chance. Up here, prayers don’t get answered, because the moisture in your words freezes them solid and they smash to bits on the sidewalk.


#anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #our home and cherished land #storytime #bugs #death tw? #unreality cw #that last line is a hell of a thing



If an insect wore a mask would he wear it like this or like this? (get it? get it? bc  insects breath through holes in their sides called spiracles)

Anyway I just got hired as an EMT specializing in covid testing so this seemed relevant


#today in horror-movie-set-dressing memes #bugs #covid19 #illness tw


Concept: an RPG setting where the ruling class consists of talking spiders with a penchant for fancy hats. Not anthropomorphic spiders – just regular-looking spiders, about the size of a largeish dog, that are sapient and capable of speech. The setting isn’t a horrifying arachnid dystopia or anything; it’s actually a fairly conventional high fantasy milieu, except that all the royals, most of the hereditary nobility, and a fair chunk of the gentry are spiders, with all the cultural strangeness that implies.

(Stairs are considered lower class – the spiders climb, of course – so wealthy humans build multi-level dwellings with no stairs and develop their free-climbing skills in order to imitate their eight-legged neighbours. The spiders, for their part, pointedly ignore the handholds cunningly disguised as decorative moulding, because it’s rude to draw attention to a person’s disability.)



But what about the servants? How does the human maid get upstairs to dust Lord Huntsman’s rooms?



Two options:

1. The servants’ passage have stairs, obviously – but of course, no gentleman would be caught dead rubbing shoulders with the help.

2. The setting has made great strides in folding-ladder technology. (Just don’t leave one sitting out in plain view – so déclassé!)



So my understanding of medieval history and society isn’t the best, BUT to my knowledge, feudalism and the social hierarchy of the time was at least partially an answer to the question of how to fund, maintain, and equip heavy cavalry. (And heavy infantry, and castles,and share power..). Okay, it’s way more complicated than that, but the interesting thing for us about the spider upper class is

1. Did (at least some of) the spider nobility historically fight as knights and ride horses?


2. Was the development of spider nobility due to some other useful development, militarily, socially, ect.?

As fun as it is to imagine spiders riding around horses it seems a bit impractical? At least in the sense that it’s hard to imagine a spider holding a lance like a knight. But maybe they’re really good scouts. Spiders are probably naturally attuned to defending, if not managing, a castle, as it’s all one big death trap. So it’s not impossible that they have a similar role to human nobility.

I guess it also depends on what species of spiders we’re talking about, but that could lead to some regional/national flavor. Why people lead by bird-eating spiders developed differently than say black widows, or jumping spiders, will be the subject of historians and sociologists, even pop books such as Guns, Germs, and Silk.



That’s an excellent question, and one I’m going to toss back to the crowd as a prompt: how did spiders end up dominating the ranks of nobility in this setting?



There was very little central authority among the humans as in the not too distant past a great empire had fallen leaving the largest human nations as petty kingdoms.

The spider take over however was not by force but was economic. Spider silk is incredibly strong. Cloth woven from it is as strong as a Kevlar vest. Once the most intelligent spiders noticed how useful the silk was to humans it wasn’t long before they began to sell it. Spider armor and ropes dominated the markets allowing the spiders to transition to other goods, notably arms.

By this point high ranking and rich spiders were entering the human nobility. Some were gifted titles in return for service, others simply bought their way in. After this it would only take a couple generations for the spiders to begin consolidating new spider centric Kingdoms.

Of course it was not the great noble spiders that were making silk for the market. That “honor” belonged to the spider commoners, who before the adoption of human hierarchy served because they were smaller than the soon to be nobles and did not want to be eaten.



I think this one is my favourite because it posits a hierarchy among the spiders themselves. Historically, hunting was often a privilege reserved for the nobility (hence the development of “heroic poacher” myths in the mould of Robin Hood et al.); here, that practice is reflected in the non-web-building hunting spiders lording over their web-building subordinates. Presumably webs function as an analogue for argriculture in this scenario, with web-building serfs tending their hunting masters’ “crops”. Many high fantasy settings feature giant, non-sapient insects – perhaps the weavers raise them as livestock? What would a spider noble’s hunting preserve look like?

(I’m picturing differences in fashions as well. The “noble” hunting spiders would be as described above; the weaving spiders, conversely, would on average be about the size of a hefty housecat – with adorably squeaky voices to boot – and, rather than the high, stiff hats of the nobility, would favour soft cloth and knit caps in a variety of patterns. Can you picture a housecat-size orb weaver spider sporting a beanie or a cabbie hat?)

Now here’s a fun one: if there are spider commoners, how did the respective species’ social classes integrate – or not, as the case may be – following the spider nobility’s economic takeover of the human petty states?



I don’t know but all I can think of now is the idea of spider commoners starting a revolution to seize the means of production…because they are the means of production. If that doesn’t already upset the idea of the huntsmen spiders being in charge in the first place.



An important rule of RPG setting design: if there’s a class revolution in the offing, position your timelines such that it doesn’t boil over into open war until after the player characters have had a chance to get invested. If at all possible, arrange matters in play so the inciting incident can somehow be their fault.

(Honestly, if you’re not interested in affording your players the opportunity to be personally responsible for kicking off the Arachno-Communist Revolution, what are you even doing here?)



I’m fan art-ing someone’s basic concept for an RPG.


“I say Mr. Weaver, you are terribly behind quota this month.”



That’s just… awesome.


#story ideas I will never write #spider #bugs #long post #adventures in spider capitalism?

The Fungus That Turns Ants Into Zombies Is More Diabolical Than We Realized

{{Title link: https://gizmodo.com/the-fungus-that-turns-ants-into-zombies-is-more-diaboli-1820301538 }}



Science wasn’t actually certain how fungi like cordyceps “hijacked” their host’s behavior, and we always kind of assumed it was causing some relatively simplistic damage to the brain, but now it seems the truth is much more like all the dramatized versions of it in sci-fi horror.

These fungi integrate themselves on the cellular level with the host’s tissues all throughout their body, actually seem to send signals to the host’s muscles and even alter the host’s genes with their own.

And all the while, it turns out THE BRAIN ISN’T TAKEN OVER AT ALL.

These fungi, all along, have been converting their hosts into animal-fungal hybrids they control while the host’s brain and consciousness remain helplessly alive and largely unaltered.



#ants #bugs #body horror #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #(the button meme) #Wildbow

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Recently I saw my friend’s dog scratching his ear a suspicious amount, and the first thought that came to mind was “~follow for more flea-avoidant speciesism~”

I blame @ilzolende.

Aww, thanks!

Is there a Speciesist Tumblr? There should be. Then you could blame that.

~follow for more rabies-avoidant speciesism~


#(October 2015) #conversational aglets #dog #high context jokes #(looks like *two* of these next three are about old in-jokes)