Dragonflies Are Humongous Cowards

Tumbleweed comeback! Aspirin cancer! Goosebump fear! Star molecules! Cowardly dragonflies! Fish labeling! Python organs! Spider foreplay! And outer space's most popular costumes! It's your Friday Science Watch, where we watch science—with bravado!

  • Tumbleweeds: they're back! Did they ever go away? Ha, well, who the hell knows, but when the boss's kid wants to write a fucking story about tumbleweeds, you say yes.
  • Taking a couple aspirin daily can significantly reduce the risk of bowel and/ or womb cancer. What the aspirin industry doesn't tell you: it also destroys your ability to get headaches. Think twice, America.
  • Why do we get goosebumps when we're scared? You and your questions.
  • Young stars are always concocting the most complex molecules. Yeah, you're a star, your molecules are so great. We get it.
  • Dragonflies are such monumental pussies that they will literally fall down and die when they spot a predator—even if the predator can't get to them. Let's say because of a shield, or because the dragonfly was behind some sort of glass wall for some reason, looking out onto a field of predators yet actually in no danger. No, it's not a situation that occurs frequently in nature, but humans are part of "nature" as well. If dragonflies want to live in a world with us, it's conceivable they could end up behind a glass wall at some point, or encased in a force field—say as part of a science experiment, or as unwitting members of a dragonfly show at some sort of sci-fi convention. Or a movie role, perhaps. Or the predators themselves could have been trained not to attack dragonflies—by a rogue biologist, for example, or an exotic animal trainer who'd decided to branch out into exotic phyla. The point is, what a bunch of pussies.
  • Is that fish you're buying really labeled properly? Without being able to examine it for myself, I don't know why you expect me to be able to say for sure one way or another. Get over yourself.
  • Burmese pythons hugely expand their internal organs after eating, but let them shrivel up to 40% between meals. Maybe you should try that. Saying that as a friend.
  • Turns out that spiders engage in natural foreplay just like natural, perfectly healthy and well-adjusted humans do: by grinding inappropriately on females who are too young to have sex. Anyhow. Do you want to go out some time?
  • "Undead stars rise again as supernovae." For Halloween.
[Photo: Peter Rosbjerg/Flickr ]