'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.

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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Spider

 
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?


17 comments:

  1. Luckily I have no fear of spiders. But had it been a robotic SNAKE.......

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  2. It's about time engineers looked at the natural world for things that work. I like spiders!

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  3. Delighted that you two first commentators share my lack of fear of spiders too. Yes Red, the movements are very natural, aren't they?
    Cro, I don't have much to do with snakes as there are none in NZ, but I once saw a sea-snake below me (in Vanuatu) as I snorkeled and it made me swim fast away. My feet still twitch at the recounting.

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    1. This is so much fun! I like the box he made to put the spider in.

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    2. Yes! the box is REALLY classy Ben!

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  4. YUK ! YUK ! YUUUKKKKKK !!!

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  5. My reactions:-
    (a) How brilliant and inventive people can be - to produce a robotic spider. Amazing work.
    (b) re, spiders - no reaction. I like spiders and would be very comfortable about having a dozen spiders crawling over my body - as long as none of them were venomous. I am still dumbfounded about arachnophobia. It is totally illogical.

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    1. Thanks for your input YP. I was ok until the 'having a dozen crawling over my body'. I'm not that happy with them!
      Many feelings are illogical, I guess.

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  6. I was absolutely mesmerised. I would so enjoy one of those. I certainly wouldn't want spiders crawling all over me (any more than I'm sure the average spider would want a Yorkshire pudding crawling all over it). I'm very happy with them close up provided I've got a camera in my hand. I do not tolerate White Tails and I don't like spiders in my bedroom. But then I'm not keen on any insects in my bedroom.

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    1. Geeb, I feel safer behind a camera too. :-) Puts a bit of emotional distance.

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  7. I like insects, and try my hardest not to harm any of them.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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    1. Thanks for that kind thought Andrew. Bye.

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  8. I love these geeky guys who can make and repair wonderful, useless things, but I wonder: Do they remember to take the garbage out without being asked? Have they modified the kitchen appliances so less creative people are afraid to use them? Who cleans around all those stacks of junk in the background?

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    1. Good points Jan. And do they put the lid back on the milk bottle when they've drunk directly from it? ... that sort of thing.

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  9. I am not afraid of spiders, but i dont like them either. Most spiders i just catch and trove outside, i never kill them. We have lots of spiders in our house because we live in a house with straw roofe. We have also lots of spiders web and today i was around with a broom to get rid of it.

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  10. Do you know Kirsten, you have made me think about all the extra guests one would have with a straw roof. Fascinating!

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