Category: wall of text

Where To Find Me off Tumblr!

First off, I’m not leaving tumblr, they will have to scrape me off this site with a chisel. This is the only place I have ever been able to go on weird science rants and had people care?? Y’all, I’ve been bothering people with this stuff since like 1992. I taught myself HTML so I could make my own website in 1996 (RIP Geocities), I tried to run various blogs in the early 2000′s, and I gave up because if anybody saw my posts, they never said anything and I didn’t feel like I was making any kind of an impact. But I know I’m making an impact here because y’all are telling me that I am!!! 

So, as long as this hellsite is still operational, even if I have to manually go through all my posts every single week to make sure they’re not getting flagged, I will do it. My blog itself is not flagged for removal. The only thing that will bring it down is if tumblr itself collapses. If that happens, don’t worry, I am backing up my blog with a script every day. I’m going to try my hardest to get through all the asks in my inbox (SORRRRRY), but keep in mind the whole looming unemployment thing I’m dealing with. Oh boy life is exciting! OKAY, novel over.


Social Media, in order of how frequently I check them:

facebook.com/NanoNaturalist
inaturalist.org/people/nanofishology<– my iNat profile page also includes links to my other social media outlets
instagram.com/nanofishology
youtube.com/channel/UCXezs6Gi64LvNsSZFj749fg

In the event tumblr ceases to exist, my blog will relocate to my website:
nanonaturalist.com 

December 11, 2018

Regular

thebluehue22:

nanonaturalist:

vertiga:

vampiregirl2345:

Vegans of tumblr, listen up. Harvesting agave in the quantities required so you dont have to eat honey is killing mexican long-nosed bats. They feed off the nectar and pollinate the plants. They need the agave. You want to help the environment? Go back to honey. Your liver and thyroid will thank you, as well. Agave is 90% fructose, which can cause a host of issues. Bye.

Beekeeper here! Just wanted to say that the fact that vegans won’t eat honey is very silly. Harvesting honey does not hurt bees. The invention of modern moveable-frame hives means we can remove a selected frame, extract the honey and return it without killing a single bee.

If we destroyed the colony to harvest honey there would be no bees for next year, and beekeepers are incredibly careful to keep their bees healthy and thriving. We take *excess* honey that they don’t need, and it stops the hive from becoming honey-bound, meaning that there’s so much honey the Queen has nowhere to lay eggs. And if the winter is harsher than expected and the remaining honey store runs low, we feed the bees plenty to make sure they survive. We also make sure that pests are controlled, bees are treated for disease, and the hive is weatherproof and in good repair, all things that wild bees struggle with.

Keeping bees in properly managed hives where they don’t starve or die from preventable disease is much better for them than being left to fend for themselves, and they’re far too important to be left alone.

All the fruits and vegetables that vegans *do* eat couldn’t exist without bees, and the hives which pollinate those crops also produce excess honey which the beekeepers can sell to help keep themselves and their hives going.

TLDR: BUY THE HONEY, HELP THE BEES.

Honey-eating vegan here

*waves*

(not here for anti-vegan sentiment btw, but oh man there are very few “vocal” vegans I can tolerate)

Do you look poorly upon meat eaters? D:

Nope! I try my best to go through life treating people with kindness and respect, and what somebody eats is none of my business. Almost all of my friends eat meat (as do all six of my cats, and they get the “good” stuff, ew).

I have found that, besides the specific criticisms about specific practices (like the agave vs honey thing), any discussion/debate about food is highly entangled with heavier topics like social class (veganism is expensive!), social identity (hunting/fishing/farming for example; try coming from a family that made a living in those areas and go vegetarian…), culture (eating meat is what you do to “display wealth”), religion (God said not to! But God said it’s okay!), and the whole thing about humans being omnivores capable of surviving on a wide variety of diets, but that the ecology of the planet is not naturally capable of supporting large numbers of vegetarian humans beyond a very limited region. The only reason it’s an option now is we have completely destroyed the natural habitat to allow widespread crop production.

I get miffed beyond miffed to see click-baity lists of “the grossest foods ever!” And it’s all just… food from Places That Aren’t Here. And usually yeah, it’s meat-based because there are only so many weird things you can do with a vegetable. But usually it’s just racism and I’m not cool with it. I have been the person to defend balut when it came up with a group of classmates and somebody got grossed out (it’s a boiled duck egg that includes the embryo), which was completely inappropriate, because one of the people in that group was from Vietnam, and it was one of her favorite foods, and I FINALLY got to hear a first-hand account of what it was like because, people, the photos that were around at the time were not of balut.

[some feels ahead, unrelated to OP but this is what I meant about the anti-vegan sentiment]

I am 100% for tolerance. I always have been, always will be. Most people have no idea I’m even a vegetarian, and I keep it that way on purpose for a reason. Even before I was a vegetarian, I didn’t like meat. When I was able to correctly identify tuna and fish sandwiches at the ripe old age of 4, I refused to eat seafood ever again. So of course, when it was fish friday for school lunch, I got fish patties thrown at me. Went for reals vegetarian in 1996, cue people picking their pizza toppings off their pizzas and chucking them at me. I didn’t mention the OCD-esque contamination issues I had with meat, did I? The scrub til you bleed thing? Yeah, I couldn’t even eat fake meat until 2001.

Any time somebody found out that I didn’t like to eat something, I had to deal with emotional abuse and interrogation until they got bored or I left. So, I just stopped mentioning it to anybody unless it became immediately pressing and/or unavoidable.

Look, I get that there are a group of really annoying assholes who make a BIG DEAL about letting you know about their superiority complexes. I get that it’s really easy to use the name they use to describe themselves when you refer to them. I just call them peta assholes and get over it.

But damn it guys it still hurts me every damn time I see “vegans [some bullshit]!” For every peta asshole you aim for, you hit who knows how many reasonable non-assholes like me. I thought we had moved beyond making blanket statements to ridicule entire populations of people? Or is it still cool for certain groups of people? Just checking.

Regular

vertiga:

vampiregirl2345:

Vegans of tumblr, listen up. Harvesting agave in the quantities required so you dont have to eat honey is killing mexican long-nosed bats. They feed off the nectar and pollinate the plants. They need the agave. You want to help the environment? Go back to honey. Your liver and thyroid will thank you, as well. Agave is 90% fructose, which can cause a host of issues. Bye.

Beekeeper here! Just wanted to say that the fact that vegans won’t eat honey is very silly. Harvesting honey does not hurt bees. The invention of modern moveable-frame hives means we can remove a selected frame, extract the honey and return it without killing a single bee.

If we destroyed the colony to harvest honey there would be no bees for next year, and beekeepers are incredibly careful to keep their bees healthy and thriving. We take *excess* honey that they don’t need, and it stops the hive from becoming honey-bound, meaning that there’s so much honey the Queen has nowhere to lay eggs. And if the winter is harsher than expected and the remaining honey store runs low, we feed the bees plenty to make sure they survive. We also make sure that pests are controlled, bees are treated for disease, and the hive is weatherproof and in good repair, all things that wild bees struggle with.

Keeping bees in properly managed hives where they don’t starve or die from preventable disease is much better for them than being left to fend for themselves, and they’re far too important to be left alone.

All the fruits and vegetables that vegans *do* eat couldn’t exist without bees, and the hives which pollinate those crops also produce excess honey which the beekeepers can sell to help keep themselves and their hives going.

TLDR: BUY THE HONEY, HELP THE BEES.

Honey-eating vegan here

*waves*

(not here for anti-vegan sentiment btw, but oh man there are very few “vocal” vegans I can tolerate)

Ey fam I&rsquo;m wondering if you could help m…

Ey fam I’m wondering if you could help me convince my family to let me have a pet mantis??

Hi there! I don’t know what (if any) reasons your family currently has against a pet mantis, so I can’t directly address any of those concerns, BUT, let me tell you a quick little story about my childhood and what it looked like (and my pet mantis, because YES I did have one!)

Do you know how kids will get pets on a whim, as a gift, and they get bored, and the parents get tired of it, and they have to do something with it, but you can’t just … take guinea pigs and parrots to the shelter? But there’s like, this weird family in the area who just, has all these animals already? So let’s just… give our unwanted pets to them??? That was my house. I mean, if it wasn’t for my mom’s phobia of reptiles, we would have had a 6 ft iguana in the bathtub.

And it wasn’t just people “donating” gently used pets, either. My dad and I brought a bunch of tadpoles home and put them in the kiddie pool in the backyard, eagerly awaiting their transformation into frogs, until… uh… yeah, those are… fish … So we had to bring them back to the river several weeks (months?) later to release them. 

The whole thing I do with raising caterpillars? I didn’t start that recently. I was doing that stuff when I was 6. The only difference now is instead of writing my notes in my “diary” and supplementing with crappy Polaroid photos, I do it on a blog and I get to add photos that are IN FOCUS?! It’s awesome.

My dad was super excited about how into science and bugs I was, so when he found a praying mantis in a gas station parking lot in eastern Washington, he HAD to bring her home to us. I think I was in middle school (so this would have been around 1996 or so). We named her Fuzzball. I took photos of her (Guess: Polaroids!). We fed her crickets. We watched her hunt them. It was so awesome on man. I’d read about mantids, and I’d seen photos of them, but I had never seen them in real life, and even though I spent so much time digging around my back yard, I never seemed to find anything particularly noteworthy (my mom probably poisoned all her plants). 

At one point, Fuzzball made an ootheca. WHAT?! I had no idea they did that, so we looked it on this brand new thing called the internet. One website recommended putting them in the fridge to simulate the natural environment, so we took the ootheca away from her, even though we weren’t sure if it was fertilized (we didn’t know how far out they needed to mate… In retrospect, I’m pretty sure it was sterile). She got … depressed? She made a second, weird shaped ootheca and guarded it. She stopped eating. The crickets started coming after her. They ate one of her front arms, before they started eating her ootheca. We took the crickets out of the enclosure at this point, and Fuzzball died soon after. 

I was already interested in animals, science, bugs, the environment and how everything fits into it, but this experience of being able to observe the natural behaviors of this animal which had been totally exotic to me up until that point was phenomenal. Insects are so different from the animals that we are more familiar with, and it’s absolutely fascinating to have such an intimate glimpse into their lives by having the opportunity to keep one. Also… they don’t live very long, so it’s not a huge commitment, and when you’re done, you can pin your mantid and have a nice piece of art!

Hope this helps!

December 10, 2018

Real Life Update

I’ve mentioned (maybe in passing?) that I’m losing my job soon. The electron microscope storm is because I’m going to lose access to it and I want to SEE ALL THE THINGS!

I need to be studying for a super boring certification test (it’s not actually super boring but it’s businessey and past-me thought business was boring and gross). But finding out that I’m basically losing my job right after I take this exam is not helping the anxiety, I can’t focus, and I feel like I should be churning out job applications. And it doesn’t help that all the jobs that are available that I am “qualified” for are in the field I went to engineering school to escape

Y’all, I’m stressed out!

I am seriously considering creating a non-profit organization that encompasses the outreach work I do (including this blog!) so I can apply for grant funding and do this as a living (and also do all the things I want to do, but can’t, because I won’t be working another job 50 hours a week!). That would be my dream. But it’s just one more thing my stupid brain is distracting me with when I should be studying for my exam!

If anybody potentially has connections™ in Austin that may be beneficial for a genius chemical engineer/project manager and/or random weirdo who runs a blog about bugs, PM me and I’ll send you my linkedin profile info. I swear if anybody here can help me find a job, I will literally fly out to you and crawl through whatever disgusting nature you have and look for bugs with you and/or show you how to make your own ravioli from scratch (it’s fun and easy!).

Deember 9, 2018

Regular

botanyshitposts:

i know ive talked about how much of a fucking jungle university libraries are on here before but just now i was looking for a book and accidentally stumbled upon three solid bookshelves on a topic that the library database told me didnt exist two months ago and then i spontaneously lost cell phone connection as soon as i got to what i was actually trying to find and only regained it when i left the Book Hoard with my prize and that is exactly the kind of slightly-ominous feel that im talking about 

If anybody ever finds themselves at the University of Texas at Austin, you have to visit the Life Sciences Library [link], which is in the Main building (aka, the Tower). And I’m not talking look around the reading rooms, I’m talking, go into where the books are. At first, you may be profoundly confused, because… you walk in. You are in the main lobby, faced with the front check out desk. You go to the right, and it’s a study atrium. You go to the left, and it’s another study atrium. Where are the books? 

You have to follow the arrows painted on the floor, to go behind the check out desk, through the offices, to the guts of the main building. You have to go down strange, narrow staircases. Half of the books on the shelves are in archaic Cyrillic. You never see another human. You must continue following the arrows on the floor. The numbering on the shelves is not sequential. Time ceases to pass. You never find the book you are looking for. All of the books are written in Chinese. You take the elevator back up to the lobby. There wasn’t an elevator when you entered. The books you check out have not yet been written.

Very surreal experience, I highly recommend it. I legitimately felt like I was in a video game designed by David Lynch. I ended up checking out a book on forensic entomology titled Maggots, Murder, and Men by Dr. Zakaria Erzinçlioglu [link to Google Books preview].

PETA

zoologicallyobsessed:

zoologicallyobsessed:

agro-carnist:

opinionatedvegan:

I just recently saw one of those “Here’s a list of all the fucked up things PETA has done” posts. In the notes, I see people saying things like “If you really want to help, donate to or volunteer at your local animal shelter!” Don’t get me wrong, donating to or volunteering at an animal shelter is a wonderful thing to do. However, I noticed that… this was the only solution mentioned in the comments.

I’m starting to notice a pattern here. These people legitimately have no idea that animal rights involves more than just pets… and, ironically, it makes them part of the overall problem.

Non-vegans, stop pretending like you give a damn about animal rights, because you don’t. Stop speaking about animal rights as if you know what the fuck you’re talking about, because clearly you don’t. You only care about pets, and only about helping animals when it benefits you. You all treat animal rights like some hobby you get to do on the weekend and pat yourself on the back for, but as vegans, we are living it every day.

You don’t get to criticize PETA for being a harmful organization and feel good about yourself while you’re a part of the very system they were founded to fight against. Bottom line.

“Stop pretending like you give a damn about animal rights.”

Who the fuck here is pretending to be in favor of animal rights? Animal rights is bullshit!

Consider this: those people are saying to donate and volunteer for local humane societies instead of other things because the main issue with PeTA is that they’re a so-called “animal shelter” that kills over 90% of animals in their care. This is why they’re talking about shelters! It’s on topic!

Animal rights is horrible and they don’t actually do anything to better animals. It’s ironic that you’re preaching at people for not caring about animals or treating animals like a hobby for volunteering at shelters when in the same breath you’re defending an organisation that actively harms animals. 

So what do you do for animals then @opinionatedvegan? Instead of just talking about things you have no idea about, complaining about an industry you have know nothing about, defending a horrible harmful organisation bent on making $$ off pretending to care about animals and somehow convincing yourself that being a vegan is somehow “helping animals”. 

As someone who has first hand experience and education in the agricultural industry, as well as has read all the scientific research behind it and has basic understanding of how a global industry works in general. I can tell you with absolute certainty that being vegan does literally nothing for livestock. A person volunteering once a week at a shelter does more good for animals then a vegan does in a lifetime. 

If you actually wanted to help improve the life and welfare of livestock I’d look into actually being involved in animal welfare organisations that push for better stricter legislation.

But what do I know about this. I’m only a zoologist majoring in conservation and planning to do my Mres in honey bee behaviour and hopefully in the future study my PhD on Australian native bee species. I also am active in the Australian scientific community; assisting with research on emu’s, small native mammals, mange on wombats, and most currently helping create a database on all the information we know about alpine invertebrates found around the world in the last 25 years. I also volunteer (when I can, I’m obviously pretty busy) at an animal shelter. 

Discouraging people from helping at shelters, when that’s usually the only thing they might be able to do, is frankly stupid. Shelters are a good way to help animals and it’s always rewarding. 

There’s loads of other volunteering people can get involved with; especially when it comes to native / wildlife but this is often more difficult to get into, if you don’t have any qualifications. Hence why most people tend to help out at shelters. 

Another big way to help is to get involved in animal welfare organisations. 

Now there’s a huge difference between animal rights and animal welfare. Animal rights are groups like peta and vegan organisations that push an agenda as well as make money off people. Animal welfare organisations are properly regulated groups and are non-for-profit. They also have important roles in creating government legislation or laws in order to better the treatment of animals and are also often on ethics committees (these are committees that view animal ethics forms submitted by scientists, to ensure that animals within research are treated without cruelty).

Furthermore some animal rights groups are even labelled as domestic terrorist organisations and are often involved in vandalizing and terrorizing people and property. As well as “rescuing” or “saving” animals only to end up killing them or having them worse off. 

The biggest difference between animal rights and welfare is simple. Animal rights believe that animals should be completely equal under the law as humans; this means they get the same rights ect. (this is obviously ridiculous), while animal welfare ensure the proper treatment and care of animals. 

In short, don’t give a fuck about animal rights, give a fuck about animal welfare! 

Volunteer at shelters, get involved in animal welfare!, get involved in conservation efforts (important ones not pandas or other charismatic megafauna) even if that means just donating, fight for better government legislation for the environment and animals, support your local farmers and bee keepers! 

I’m now have my degree in zoology and am now half-way through my Mres degree, studying neruoethology in honeybees and I still 100% stand behind this.

I absolutely agree with everything @zoologicallyobsessed says here. Also, I absolutely disagree with everything a particular opinionated vegan says.

Ready for a plot twist? I’ve been vegan for so long I have to do math to answer “So how long have you been vegan?” Which is not a question I have to answer often because I purposefully remain in the vegan closet to avoid being associated with misinformed idealists with superiority complexes and an incomplete understanding of how the world actually works.

And I get it, I drank the peta kookaid when I was an outcast teen who had never met another vegetarian before, and I was an officer for the animal rights group at college in the early 2000s. So, as much as zoologicallyobsessed knows the ag industry from the inside, I know the “animal rights” industry (and YES it IS an industry) from the inside. I had friends who interned at peta, like, actually knew the people running the org. They are a bunch of heartless thieves who couldn’t give fewer craps about animals, and most of peta’s board (at the time, probably still is) wasn’t even vegetarian. Basically everything coming out of peta is propaganda.

Want to know what good being vegan does for the animals, from the perspective of a veteran vegan? It doesn’t. Being vegan is a personal choice, often one available only to those with considerable privilege. It confers no moral superiority over people who actually do something that actually helps actual animals, regardless of what that person chooses to eat for dinner. If you want to help animals? You have to do something.

I love animals. I love nature. I love the environment. So I volunteer hundreds of hours a year with organizations focusing on conservation and environmental stewardship. I go out into the community and give lectures on how insects are absolutely essential to healthy ecosystems. I contribute to citizen science projects tracking the effects of climate change on habitat and population distribution.

Did you know that hunters were instrumental in conservation and the development of the endangered species act? Or that without the funds received from the sale of fishing and hunting licenses, many state parks wouldn’t be able to stay open?

You can eat or not eat whatever you want, but if you want to make an impact on animal suffering, yelling at people on tumblr is not where I would personally start.

October 24, 2018

Hi! Could you please ask your followers what …

Hi! Could you please ask your followers what kind of things they've successfully used to prevent bird strikes on windows? I lost a little goldfinch yesterday & I'm just heartbroken about it. I really don't know if I'm helping or harming by having feeders up, the hawks seem to grab the birds at my feeders regularly as well. Thank you!

Hi Followers – please take a look and shoot your suggestions 🙂

My suggestion is, make sure the feeders are not too close to the windows. All about birds recommends either less than three feet (or attached to the window), or 30 feet away. There are also special decals available that you can stick onto your windows. They help making the glass “visible” to the birds, so they don’t crash in there. You can also leave your windows dirty or use blinds. As for the hawks… They are a part of nature and they have to eat too, as sad as it can be to watch. Healthy birds usually escape the attacks, so the hawk is actually doing a service to the health of the population. Make sure your feeder does not stand all by itself in the middle of an empty yard. There should be bushes or trees nearby that the birds can escape to if necessary.

Regular

botanyshitposts:

eyyyyy squishy plant post deleted bc i misunderstood the paper ✌️

thanks to people who contacted me about my being wrong, but it also should be noted that i’m literally 19 years old and an undergrad in college and i make mistakes in terms of understanding of certain things and that i do not make those mistakes intentionally or maliciously. like seriously im tryin my best here and learning things for fun but im by no means a professional, and i’m also not leading people on or intentionally lying to people when i make those mistakes. 

*high fives @botanyshitposts for being excited about stuff and getting TONS OF PEOPLE also excited about that stuff*

The first post I ever made that more than five people saw was when I noticed something weird and jumped to conclusions [link] because I’ve never actually studied entomology anywhere formally, then I got called out by somebody for being “sensationalist” 👍

Also worth noting, even professionals make mistakes, and they make them all the time. (ALL the damn time smh)

ALSO ALSO, many times, if you “misunderstood” something you read in an article, book, or paper, it means the authors did a poor job writing it. It says absolutely nothing about your capabilities as a scientist, and everything about theirs.

October 19, 2018

botanyshitposts: nanonaturalist: botanyshitpo…

botanyshitposts:

nanonaturalist:

botanyshitposts:

not plant related I know but i was walking home and saw the biggest FUCKING caterpillar I’ve EVER seen in my life just LITERALLY chilling on a tree….i left him alone to go about his life but holy shit like…..🅱️ode honestly

Hey I know these sausages! My blog is mostly just me updating my Polyphemus Moth faterpillar livepost right now. For variety’s sake, I just took these a minute ago for this post.

I legit have a bug room where I raise these turds. Yes they have their own room

Can you blame me? Look at this sweet face.

Their poops are as big as their head.

Here’s Mama laying the eggs they hatched from!

Polyphemus moths are very common in North America, ocurring in every US state except not as much in Arizona or Nevada, and in Canada as well. They will eat just about every leafy woody plant except hackberry.

October 6, 2018

oh my god theres so many im dying

also i saw on one of ur other posts u brought them in to see a class of first graders and like do u kno how this would have blown my mind as a first grader…..im a sophomore in college and the sheer Sausageness is blowing my mind like i would have just lost my shit man 

You imply that I’m not constantly losing my shit over these? Hell, I stare at them while making gurgling noises because they’re SO FAT, then I look at the clock and realize it’s 3 am and I haven’t eaten anything all day and I have to get up for work in four hours.

And this is me exercising extreme amounts of moderation after what I now refer to as the Tawnypocalypse, where my first experience raising caterpillars happened after finding a mass of 200+ Tawny Emperor eggs [link], and I spent 6 hours a day feeding them/cleaning their habitat/staring at them for months. The Mama Polyphemus Moth laid 90 eggs, and I gave away almost all of them, instead of raising them all myself.

But yeah, those first graders were questioning reality. A lot of the public schools in my part of Texas are bilingual–classes are taught in a mix of Spanish and English because most of the students come from families that speak Spanish at home. All of the kids speak English fluently, but I would occasionally say something, and the kids could not believe it in English, so the teacher would translate what I’d said into Spanish, and they still couldn’t believe it, so they kept asking me, “Is that real?!” But they’d ask in Spanish because English is the language of lies. It was great!