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Saturday, June 05, 2004

Insects In Your Flesh 

Last night at a dinner party, a friend related the horrid tale of someone infested by the larvae of the botfly, which lays its eggs in the flesh of mammals. I didn't believe her until I looked it up for myself -- and it's true. They struck a three-year-old in the neck and back ("The neck lesion continued to enlarge, and by this time a small hole was visible at its center.") They struck one man in the scrotum ("One lady Doc picked up Marks chart & said 'I'm not touching that'!"). The larvae has even shown up in the human eye. (Warning: very nasty picture!)

The moral of the story: When you go to South America, make sure to bring lots of Off! (Alas, I can't find an online version of one of my favorite Far Side cartoons: Two explorers are being attacked by bugs in the jungle; one of them holds a can of "On!" and says angrily: "You idiot! This isn't what I told you to bring!")


The pen really is mightier than the sword. Especially when it fires .22 bullets!

Is Google the new Big Brother? Some of the points made here are intriguing and important: "Matt Cutts, a key Google engineer, used to work for the National Security Agency. Google wants to hire more people with security clearances, so that they can peddle their corporate assets to the spooks in Washington." Meanwhile, some are just silly: "Anytime you land on a Google page, you get a Google cookie if you don't already have one. If you have one, they read and record your unique ID number." That would be like if you had to give your name and address when you order something from a catalogue. Insidious!


Check out the video of toad botfly parasitization. (Fourth, fifth and sixth videos on the list.) Nasty!

Today I'm listening to: Blue Room Released!