The Deposition of Airborne Droplets on Dead House-flies [study]

When it comes to the question of the optimum droplet diameter for deposition on dead flies (in woodland), there aren’t many pertinent research papers. Possibly only one. A 2009 study from R. T. Jarman of Chesterford Park Research Station, UK, recounts attempts, by experiment, to find out. “An experimental laboratory study of the deposition of […]

Wine expert expertise news (2 items)

Two recent bits of news, unrelated to each other, about people who celebratedly taste wine: 1. The 2018 Ig Nobel Prize for biology was awarded to Paul Becher, Sebastien Lebreton, Erika Wallin, Erik Hedenstrom, Felipe Borrero-Echeverry, Marie Bengtsson, Volker Jorger, and Peter Witzgall, for demonstrating that wine experts can reliably identify, by smell, the presence […]

Superperson (girl, guy, whatever) glider: The patent

The new television series Supergirl [see below] shows the continuing public hunger to have flying superpersons. Thirty years ago, this hunger was very slightly served by a patented invention: “Flying figure toy glider,” US patent 4512690, filed November 14, 1983 and issued Apr 23, 1985 to ‎Mark E. Johnson of Escondito, California. The patent document […]

Finger mounted insect dissuasion device (new patent)

“During outdoor activities one is often annoyed or distracted by an insect. For example during static outdoor activities such as sun-tanning or reading, a single fly will often persist in annoyance despite repeated attempts to ‘discourage’ the insect. Such an insect persistently fly’s [sic] and lands on one’s arm or leg for example. Conventional fly-swatters […]

The tantalyzing fly

This 1919 animated cartoon by Max Fleisher shows many aspects of the motion of a fly. The Public Domain Review explains (basing its explanation on that in Wikipedia): Max Fleischer (1883–1972) was a pioneer in the development of the animated cartoon and served as the head of Fleischer Studios. He brought such animated characters as Betty […]

Fly flee? No, Fly medicate, parentally.

Flies, parasites, parent-child relations, and fly-administered drugs all figure into this study: “Fruit Flies Medicate Offspring After Seeing Parasites,” Balin Z. Kacsoh, Zachary R. Lynch, Nathan T. Mortimer, Todd A. Schlenke, Science, vol. 339, no. 6122, February 22, 2013, pp. 947-950. The authors, at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, explain: “Here we describe a behavioral immune […]

At the Centre for the Unknown: dilemmas of the gourmet fly

At the Centre for the Unknown, people (some well-known, some not) strive to make sense of dilemmas. This paper, which centers on Drosophilan dilemmas, has just emerged from the Centre: “The dilemmas of the gourmet fly: the molecular and neuronal mechanisms of feeding and nutrient decision making in Drosophila,” Pavel M. Itskov and Carlos Ribeiro, […]