'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.
Go here to find out more.
Thursday, 20 February 2014
A number of my regular visitors will remember that I spent pretty much a whole academic year back in 2011 very involved with bugs and small critters. I was doing my post-graduate degree in art and design, and during the year went from intensively studying aspects of beetles to cockroaches, and then finally ended up with honey bees.
I did a survey here and elsewhere. I asked about 500 people what they thought of various insect/arachnida species, and also 'watched' my own reactions. (We still have a felt-pen cockroach on the lounge wall as part of an ongoing experiment). Spiders were the least liked critter. Next came cockroaches and wasps and other biters and stingers. Most liked were butterflies. Bees were interesting to me because they sting but were also liked because they were a role model for industry ('worked hard') but unlike the other 'good worker', the ant, they also 'gave us honey'.
But back to spiders. Despite huge amounts of knowledge that we now know about the critical importance of spiders to almost all of the world's habitats, we still find their predatory air and 'confident' or stealthy movements disconcerting. Perhaps because we see them as challenging to our position as ruler of the Earth?
Anyway, all this is a long way of getting around to saying that I was especially fascinated to see this latest in robotic technology. What's your reaction? A tingle of fear to see it 'crouching' to 'look' up?