Virge's blog

Gutsy Effort

Two Aussies had proved the connection:
H. pylori to gut insurrection.
Said Barry J Marshall,
"No—bellies are partial
to Helicobacter infection."

2005 Nobel Prize in medicine

More on Helicobacter in the Loom


PZ Myers reports on a laboratory-bred strain of mice that can regenerate after injury without scar tissue. Better material for PhaWRONGula I could not have expected.

I'm called The "Contract" Cleaner—a master of my trade,
But in Heber-Katz's lab last night my limits were displayed.
A broken cage, the signs of raging rodents round the room:
Just mice, mere silly mice, but still, I'd need more than my broom.

A man can make a mundane job rewarding if he's smart—
See simple tasks as challenges to solve by works of art.
My finely balanced pressure plate with cheese as murid lure
Was coupled to supports to hold a deadweight insecure.
(I must disclose the weights I chose to pin the pesky species
were stacks of Darwin's unknown work, The Origin of Squeeshies.)

At twelve o'clock I heard the knock as trap slapped on its prey.
At twelve-o-one the mouse had won. He'd shrugged and slipped away!
The mouse had thumbed his nose, but I suppose I mustn't grouse;
I'd built a better mousetrap but this beast's a better mouse.

I worried that this furried monster mouse may beat the rap,
So listen while I hasten to describe a better trap:

The opto-sensor trigger tips the Dewar flask, and then
It empties out its contents—dousing mouse in liquid N.
The icepick spring releases, shatters mousicle to bits
(And the pieces of the meeces can be added to your grits).

I baited then I waited, sitting down to read a book.
—Scurry, munch-munch, Slop! Crash! Tinkle!—so I stood and took a look.
As I watched, the mouse-frits melted, drew together in a pool,
To a mousey bloody puddle—while I waited like a fool.
The puddle writhed and wriggled; it was then my jaw fell slack.
It scampered off on regrown legs and giggled, "I'll be back."

So now I'm just The Cleaner—I'm limiting my claim.
I won't be cleaning science labs; I cannot bear the shame.
Those boffins in their labcoats mate a mouse with mousey spouse.
I'd build a better mousetrap, but they'd breed a better mouse.

Quoted in the news

Bring me my bowl of pasta gold!
Bring me my meatballs of desire!
Bring me my sauce with herbs untold!
Bring me my bolognese of fire!

In which Virge gets his FSM hymn quoted in the Telegraph (check the very end of the article).

Also quoted in other sauces sources. Of course, since the Telegraph gave no credit for authorship, all the secondary sources quote it without attribution. *shrugs*

A Sonnet for the Besnotted

Oh! sore besnotted though you be,
Your senses rendered dull,
With random hacking repartee
As raucous as a gull,
Your thorny-throated musings pained
By throes of refluxed gunk
(That while you slept had seeped and drained
And swilled with what you'd drunk),
Though gaseous protests punctuate
Your patois à la toad,
And sinal suckage grows so great
That swollen tracts explode,
Yet will I listen with persistence.
One condition: keep your distance.

Talking of Tentacles

Two betentacled double dactyls (crossposted from PhaWRONGula):

Two-spot the octopus
Suckers his snacks with his
Tangly physique,

Munching his meals with a
Chitinous crab-opening
Muscle-bound beak.

Tabloid Canadian
Libels the Humboldt with
Fishermen's tales,

Marking himself as a
First to be food when the
Old one prevails.

An Endangered Species

Help Save The Tree Octopus From Extinction!

The Pacific Northwest tree octopus (Octopus paxarbolis) can be found in the temperate rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula on the west coast of North America. Their habitat lies on the Eastern side of the Olympic mountain range, adjacent to Hood Canal. These solitary cephalopods reach an average size (measured from arm-tip to mantle-tip,) of 30-33 cm. Unlike most other cephalopods, tree octopuses are amphibious, spending only their early life and the period of their mating season in their ancestrial aquatic environment. Because of the moistness of the rainforests and specialized skin adaptations, they are able to keep from becoming desiccated for prolonged periods of time, but given the chance they would prefer resting in pooled water.

There's more to see on the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus page. These intelligent and inquisitive creatures need our help to avoid extinction. Help out if you can.

I support the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus!

23/5 Blog Meme

From Profgrrrrl via Pharyngula

1. Go into your archive.
2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).
3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

Or PhaWRONGulated:

Go into your archive and read
From your twenty-third blog-posted screed;
The fifth sentence you view
(Or the closest thereto)
You shall quote with this meme cyberspace weed.

Here's the paydirt (dirt-yes, pay-no):

The Women At The Well CD has been in the car player for about a week now.



I been talkin' like a pirate all day (or most o' it). I be gettin' in touch wit' me inner pirate. (Or were that gettin' in touch wit' me inner parrot?) Makes me wanna play this, but it ain't even beta yet.

Fer the lubbers, today's problematical;
'Tis a day for all sea dogs fanatical.
Pirate brogue be the booty,
An' yer lyrical duty:
Share a shanty o' verses piratical.


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