Beetle byte (11 October 2013 edition)

This week a few infographics, along some other mandibular tidbits.

How to resurrect extinct megafauna (infographic)


How about just halting extinctions of extant megafauna? (infographic)


Did that spider really bite you? (infographic)

On the topic of spider bites, please also read this and this.


Your weekly dose of cute

 This (video) captures the first moments of life at a windswept Spoon-billed Sandpiper nest. When the young finally hatch and emerge from the nest, after 21 days of incubation, they stumble about on well-developed legs and feet and begin to feed themselves. Females lay 4 eggs in a simple tundra nest in a shallow depression, most often in mosses, lined with a few dwarf willow leaves. Both adults incubate the nest, taking half-day shifts. The male most often incubates during the day and the female at night. After the last chick hatches, the male begins his job of leading the chicks as they grow and become independent about 20 days later. The female departs soon after hatching and begins moving south.


Click. Click. Click. Click…

We watch a 30-second ad in exchange for a video; we solicit a friend’s endorsement; we freely pour sentence after sentence, hour after hour, into status updates and stock responses. None of this depletes our bank balances. Yet its cumulative cost, while hard to quantify, affects many of those things we hope to put at the heart of a happy life: rich relationships, rewarding leisure, meaningful work, peace of mind.

What kind of attention do we deserve from those around us, or owe to them in return? What kind of attention do we ourselves deserve, or need, if we are to be ‘us’ in the fullest possible sense? These aren’t questions that even the most finely tuned popularity contest can resolve. Yet, if contentment and a sense of control are partial measures of success, many of us are selling ourselves far too cheap.



The emergent cultural prominence of this more nuanced bro has been accompanied by a rise of new coinages based on the word. With its instantly recognizable consonant cluster, bro lends itself not only to compounding, as in bro-hug (an awkward hug between bros) or bro-step (dubstep for bros), but also to blending, that favorite technique of humorous neologists, who have coined such portmanteaux as bro-down (from hoedown), bromance (from romance), and brohemian (from bohemian).