A meditation of capybaras

Nature's ottoman. The world's largest rodent. The cutest darn thing you've seen all week. The capybara is known by lots of names, but there is no collective noun. Let's change that.

W is for Wasps

It's summer time.  And you know what that means? Sure, summer means picnics, barbecues, and sun. But it also means the coming of the most dreaded outdoor villains: wasps. Some people freeze up when they see the stripey serial stingers, others try to wave them away.  I prefer the stoic strategy of a short, sharp …

T is for Tardigrade

Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew.  They're versatile! No, I'm not talking about taters.  I'm talking about tardigrades: quite possibly the most durable creatures on Earth. They might also be the strangest combination of cute and terrifying anybody has ever seen looking through a microscope. Tardigrades, also known as water bears, evolved 500 million …

S is for Simple Rules

Consider the following: schooling fish, roundabouts, segregation, and human consciousness are all examples of the same fundamental property of the world.  It may seem crazy to suggest that roundabouts may be interesting in some sense, but bear with me. The property in question, and this week's topic, is emergence.  In each case individual entities, by following simple …

R is for Ratzilla

An excerpt from my favourite scene in the 1987 film, the Princess Bride: Westley: Rodents of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist. [R.O.U.S. attacks Westley] Westley: Ahhhh!!! Why is that my favourite scene?  Because I laugh every time I watch it.  The R.O.U.S. is just so ridiculous-looking and shows up right after Westley disbelieves its existence. For the devoted …