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Nerd Nite SF #112: Parasites, Octopuses, and Superheroes!

“Mindsuckers: Tales of the Most Badass Bugs on the Planet” by Anand Varma

The stuff of nightmares: Parasites that hijack their host bodies. They control their minds. Force them to become their bodyguards, steer them into their burrows where the will be devoured alive, or compel them into the mouths of predators. How can they do this? Why? These parasites will change how you think about the evolution of life on Earth.

“The Bigfoot of Octopuses” by Richard Ross

In the 1980s, accounts emerged of an octopus that behaved so unlike anything previously observed of octopuses - beak-to-beak mating, food sharing by mates, den sharing, strategic hunting, and the ability to stay alive through multiple spawns. The cephalopod research community deemed these early observations unbelievable, and attempts to publish a behavioral study by Panamanian marine biologist Arcadio Rodaniche were not successful, except for two tantalizing paragraphs that appeared in a notes section of a journal. For decades, these two paragraphs fascinated octopus enthusiasts but were largely still thought to be fantasy.

“The Carbon Footprint of Superheroes” by Miles Traer

Our noble heroes are always ready to take action to save the world. But holy polluters, Batman! Those superpowers and super-gadgets can have super-carbon footprints! Geologist Miles Traer does the math on just how much CO2 our favorite so-called heroes produce. Avengers, disassemble?

Wednesday, 09/18/19


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