Screw you

Is the word screw came from the study on duck sex? Read this article from Discover Magazine.

“In brief, Brennan wanted to understand why some ducks have such extravagant penises. Why are they cork-screw shaped? Why do they get so ridiculously long–some cases as long as the duck’s entire body? As Brennan dissected duck penises, she began to wonder what the female sexual anatomy looked like. If you have a car like this, she said, what kind of garage do you park it in?

Brennan discovered that female ducks have equally weird reproductive tracts (called oviducts). In many species, they are ornamented with lots of outpockets. And like duck penises, duck oviducts are corkscrew-shaped. But while male duck penises twist clockwise, the female oviduct twists counterclockwise.

Brennan speculated that all this bizarre anatomy is the result of a peculiar form of evolution known as sexual conflict. A strategy that allows females to reproduce the most offspring may not be so good for males, and vice versa. For example, male fruit flies inject their mates with lots of chemicals during sex, and those chemicals make her less receptive to other males, thereby boosting his chances of fathering her eggs. But those chemicals are harsh and will make female flies sick. Females, in turn, have evolved defenses against those chemicals, blunting their effects.”

Jane Austen turns aquatic

After Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Ben H. Winters take another Jane Austen classic to his wild imagination and create Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Here’s a review of the book by Patricia Calzo Vega for

“Sea Monsters introduces the existence of carnivorous aquatic creatures matter-of-factly. The lead characters have to deal with a giant jellyfish, killer tuna, and the like. All this is well and good—considering that Winters had to supply 40 percent original material—but situations featuring sea creatures literally steal the thunder from the quiet emotional scenes that endeared the original novel to fans, especially when they have no relevance to the development of the characters whatsoever.

Whether one likes Sea Monsters or not, readers must always keep in mind that it is a deliberate Austen parody and must be read with a grain of salt. After all, the author wrote a lot of comedy into her novels, and would surely appreciate the tongue-in-cheek homage that the novel pays her. “

Zombies in our midst.

Zombies mutate during Christmas. They come in different forms and sizes.

1. Inaanaks who knocks on your door begging for gifts.

2. Officemates who leave messages on your Facebook wall greeting you Merry Christmas, and hints for gifts.

3. Parents who asks for aginaldo, when in fact, it’s supposed to be the other way around.

4. Taxi drivers. Self explanatory.

5. Scheming street vendors.

6. Drunks.

7. Inattentive waiters and waitresses. Must be tired from influx of customers.

8. Hold-uppers.

9. Friends in vacation break, while you are left in the city due to some effing work.

10. GMA, and politicians in general.

See, we are all zombies. And we live in Zombieland.