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Editor-in-Chief
Alex Carnevale
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Managing Editor
Kara VanderBijl
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Features Editor
Mia Nguyen
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Senior Editor
Durga Chew-Bose
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Senior Editor
Brittany Julious
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This Recording

is dedicated to the enjoyment of audio and visual stimuli. Please visit our archives where we have uncovered the true importance of nearly everything. Should you want to reach us, e-mail alex dot carnevale at gmail dot com, but don't tell the spam robots. Consider contacting us if you wish to use This Recording in your classroom or club setting. We have given several talks at local Rotarys that we feel went really well.

Pretty used to being with Gwyneth

Regrets that her mother did not smoke

Frank in all directions

Jean Cocteau and Jean Marais

Simply cannot go back to them

Roll your eyes at Samuel Beckett

John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion

Metaphors with eyes

Life of Mary MacLane

Circle what it is you want

Not really talking about women, just Diane

Felicity's disguise

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Wednesday
Sep172008

In Which We Fear The Future

The History Of Science (Corner)

by MOLLY LAMBERT

Time to get ready for 2012! When the poles will shift and all the DMT in our brains will be released and the skies will open up and pour out ANSWERS. Or maybe not. Still, best to be prepared.

VOLUME I.

New Planets & Monkeys That Make Daggers & Live In Caves

VOLUME II.

Mega-Galaxy Milkdromeda & Face Reading & Napping Helmets

VOLUME III.

Wandering Black Holes & Underground Rivers & Robot Children

VOLUME IV.

Martian Oceans & Bonecrushing Wolves & The Origin Of Sex

VOLUME V.

H.P. Lovecraft & Red Pandas & Panspermia

VOLUME VI.

Lost Forests & Paper Bones & Axolotls

VOLUME VII.

Nematodes & Ginger Cavemen & Ancient Legless Crabs

VOLUME VIII.

Stellar Explosions & Toxic Algae & Forced Lobotomies

VOLUME IX.

Dark Matter & Thermoballing & Salamander Crossbreeds

VOLUME X.

Aquanauts & Peruvian Meteorite Hysteria & Dinosaur Fellatio

VOLUME XI.

Cloned Glow Cats & Purple Earth & Parasitic Stars

VOLUME XII.

Ice Quakes & Cannibalistic Jumping Spiders & Hubble Pix

VOLUME XIII.

Singing Mice & Booby Divorces & Walking Whales

VOLUME XIV.

Giant Jellyfish & Immortal Hydras & New Age Sea Condoms

VOLUME XV.

Mating Balls & Frog Polyandry & Sexual Selection Debunked

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording.

"End of the Road" - Eddie Vedder (mp3)

"In the Light of the Miracle" - Arthur Russell (mp3)

"Love Defined" - Daniel Johnston (mp3)

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.

Me keeping Danish and Molly happy.

The blue streak.

This Recording Is What You Think About When You're Holding That Squid

Thursday
Aug142008

In Which Spores Take Control of Your Brain But It's Nothing Personal

Something Is Growing Down There

by Melanie Strong

I dream of fungus.

My dreams see me in the in the dark labyrinth of the underground, deep in its secret cortex. The body of the beast spreads out for thousands and thousands of miles. Its network spreads itself across the entire earth.

Fungus DNA more closely resembles animal DNA than plant. Some sources cite at least a 50% similarity between fungi and human genetic makeup.

Something is growing down there.

The largest and oldest creature in the world is a fungus that is the size of 1665 football fields.

In my dreams, I can hear the fungal thoughts. I attribute this to the overwhelming amount of spores seeping in through every space of my body. The entity is calm, peaceful and patient. It is not malicious but still planning our demise.

In the same way that it sucks the water away from the tree roots, killing them so that other species may flourish, it will infect us and destroy us to allow the return of the natural order.

Fungi are classified as their own distinct kingdom, totally separate from plants and animals in their cellular structure, their reproduction and their feeding habits. While animals and plants have two classified sexual genders fungi have no gender, only mating types. Fungi do not use photosynthesis to obtain food but instead act as scavengers or parasites. Feeding on decomposing or sometimes living organisms, fungi ingest their nutrients by excreting enzymes into their food source.

Fungi exist as molds, yeasts and mushrooms as well as morels, rusts and a whole bunch of other adorable names. We commonly think of mushrooms when we think of fungus but fungi live all around us: in our homes, on our food, on our skin and in our bodies.

Fungi travel as tiny spores which are genetic clones of their parent. They take hold and grow tiny threads called hyphae which function as scary feeding tubes. In large numbers, hyphae form mycelium. In this structure, fungi are among the largest organisms on earth. Malheur National Forest in Oregon is home to the most impressive creature, which spans an estimated 8.9 square kilometres (5.5 square miles) or 2000 acres. Conservative estimates place its age at 2400 years but it could be as old as 7200.

Mushrooms and their fellow above-ground buddies constitute the sexual component of a fungus. These fruiting bodies exist only to give off spores and recreate the cycle once more.

It is hungry. It adapts, it destroys. In the dank recesses of the tangled maze I can feel its need. It is not mindless in its desire, but relentless and ruthless.

Aside from the expected soil nutrients, insects and various discarded remains, fungi have been known to consume asbestos, jet fuel, plastics and resins (including CDs), men's faces, the MIR space station and radiation from Chernoybl.

They are parasitic. The terrifying Cordyceps fungus takes total control of its victims and forces them to their death in order to continue its own life cycle. What if this fungus becomes transmittable to humans? One astute gentleman says:

So what if this fungus moved onto humans? What if there was infact [sic] a whole range of sub species of fungus that turned not only humans but turned the whole place into a veriable zombie apocalypse scenario? Now your going to ask yourself "well why the frick would it be a zombie apocalypse" and I'd awnser [sic] "because it's better then a non zombie apocalypse".


 

Fungi normally found in decaying trees have also been found living in humans. To reiterate, a man lost his face when a strain of fungus invaded his nasal passage. We already live in a world where yeast infections take over our bowels, our genitals and our skin. Fungi live and thrive all over us and we don't even notice. "Before panicking, it’s worth remembering that even while you’re reading this you’re probably breathing in some fungal spores," says the same site that also told me about wood-loving macrofungi living in some poor unsuspecting people.

john cage

The benefits of Psilocybin mushrooms aside (John Cage, Jefferson Airplane and that time I looked at fractals for six straight hours), fungi are responsible for innumerable allergies, illnesses and deaths (it even killed a man gardening). It only tempts us with its visions of fluid realities and its chewiness in sushi. There is something called a slime mold and it can do this to you. The X-Files had it right.

I cannot deny that fungus has its positives. Penicillin, anti-termite foam and a possible cure for OCD can't be ignored. I think it has us right where it wants us.

Mold will cover everything. The waters will ferment. Toadstools will spring up while we sleep. The mushroom cloud that destroys us will not be atomic.

"End of the Day" - Beck (mp3)

"Ending Song" - Keren Ann (mp3)

"How's It Gonna End" - Tom Waits (mp3)

Melanie Strong is the senior contributor to This Recording. She forms part of the Canadian contingent and is doing her best to keep the area immediately surrounding her free of spores. She writes at Assholes, Binge and Purge and Our Hell.

"Evil Urges" - My Morning Jacket (mp3)

"Evil is Coming" - Broadcast (mp3)

Mushroom conspiracy

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

Journey to the land of Sasha Grey.

Hook-Ups And Gnumbers

Masturbating On Radiators

Friday
Aug012008

In Which We Hear The Sounds of Silence

Observable Noise

by Melanie Strong

The ancient Greek philosophers considered there to be five elements of which the earth around us and beyond us is comprised. These are Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Ether.

Technology has enabled us to create devices which allow the observation and manipulation of these elements. The resulting auditory investigation of the Earth's phenomena is chronicled here: the sounds that they produce and the resulting musical instruments or artistic concepts that have emerged from these sounds.

Earth

Auditory Seismology

Using time-compression to accelerate the vibrational waves of global seismic activity, Florian Dombois makes landscape events audible to human ears.

Listen
Time Compression
Distance
Region
Site Response
Tectonics

Fault Whispers

Artists Po Shu Wang and Louise Bertelsen will soon install two stainless-steel spheres measuring seven feet in diameter and standing fifty feet apart in a new San Diego park. The installation will allow East Village Park visitors to eavesdrop and monitor the earthquake fault that cuts diagonally through the city.

Wang and Bertelsen are also responsible for the piece titled Earth Song, which allows passersby to hear the tonal centre of the earth.

Sonusphere

Mark Bain, American artist based in Amsterdam, enjoys sharing unheard sounds. His creation, the Sonusphere, acts as a low frequency acoustic radiator for the normally unheard movements of the earth.

Listen
Sonusphere Sample

Sound Dunes

Thirty-three sand dune sites around the world are known to sing and were recorded in the travels of Marco Polo and Charles Darwin.

Avalanches are known to cause this phenomenon and may cause a low rumble or even a high-pitched tune.

Watch
Musical Sand Dunes

Earth’s Hum

There is an earthquake happening somewhere on earth all but sixty days of the year. On those sixty days, the earth groans. If it's not the plates shifting, it's the ocean brewing trouble.

Listen
NPR Broadcast

Mark Bain Again

Using the seismic readings from Columbia University taken during and after the World Trade Centre attacks, our buddy Mark Bain created a 74-minute vibrational recording. The Guardian writes. "It certainly does not make easy listening. [...] Bain says the vibration of the towers as they were hit by the hijacked passenger planes sounds like 'tuning forks'." He then seems quick to add that he "sees nothing morally questionable in making an artwork out of the event."

Listen
Excerpt

Score For a Hole in the Ground

Jem Finer, of The Pogues fame won the PRS Foundation New Music Award on the basis of his proposal to bury bowls in holes in the ground and provide amplification to hear the rain drop into them.

Watch
Jem's Explanation

Wind

Weather Harp

Hanging on a dirty brick city wall, it is made from formed goat skins impregnated with a marine epoxy and some serious math.

Watch
With the power of wind!

Aeolian Wind Harp

These ancient Greek instruments play the notes the wind wished it could.

Listen
Nature's breathy rhythm

Fire

Fire Organ

Liquid nitrogen plus flames plus oscillations equal pretty much the only heat-powered instrument capable of producing a recognizable melody.

Watch
Explanation plus recognizable melody

In less controllable but more visually stunning forms:

Orgue-a-Feu

Watch
The Insanity

Lead-acid batteries and pulse jets:

Watch
Groans from Hell

Sunwaves / Sun Singing

The sun rings like a bell and has over ten million notes.

Listen
Solar Storm

Solar Music Box

Music boxes powered by the sun, just what you thought.

Make one.
Buy one.

Water

Glass Harmonica

Invented by Benjamin Franklin, musicians play the instrument by touching moistened fingers to the edges of the rotating glasses. Thomas Bloch is considered among the best players.

Watch
Thomas Bloch plays Mozart

Bubble Organ

Built by Aaron Wendel, it is made out of pieces of old furniture, wood and rain gutters collected from the alleys and dumpsters around his apartment.

Watch
Explanation and gurgling

Waterphone

Described by Tom Waits as "a cascading crystal waterfall of light amidst the songs of a whale", it has been used by animal activist Jim Nollman to communicate with whales and has provided an eerie backdrop to a number of films.

Watch
The bronze monolith

Wave Organ

Twenty-five pipes descending into the coastal water off of a San Francisco Bay jetty collect and then amplify the soothing sound of surf.

Watch
The story and the sounds

Sea Organ

This Croatian staircase has whistle openings in the sidewalk and hides thirty-five tuned tubes that betray the secret sound of the tide.

Listen
Unity of architecture and environment

Ether
Ether or aether “of which the cosmos and all celestial bodies are made.”

Theremin / Aetherphone

One of the earliest electronic instruments and the first one to be played without touching, the theremin inspired Bob Moog , found its home in orchestras and provided atmosphere to vintage sci-fi films. It is pretty much the reason this article came into being and it will blow your mind.

Watch
Theremin virtuoso Lydia Kavina
The Legend of Zelda
Even cats can experience the ether

Listen
My first time playing a theremin! Hot cross buntastic.
The Heavy Blinkers - End of Summer Suite (Sweet)

Terpsitone

Also invented by Léon Theremin, the terpsitone was a difficult to control dance platform where the dancers could create music from their body movements. There is only one known to remain in existence.

Universal Hum

Space is full of sounds.

Listen
The Big Bang or the Big Hum?

Electronic Music / Virtual Instruments

Because ether also includes cyberspace and the unknown space all around us, any sound which is created from the intangible is considered a product of ether. MIDI instruments, analog synths and by extension, Justice's Cross album are excellent examples.

The addictive yet relaxing Longplayer (again from Jem Finer) "is a one thousand year long musical composition. It began playing at midnight on the 31st of December 1999, and will continue to play without repetition until the last moment of 2999, at which point it will complete its cycle and begin again."

Listen
Because you'll never hear it the same way again.

Melanie Strong is a contributor to This Recording. She posts sporadically at Assholes, Our Hell and Binge and Purge. This is her first appearance in these pages.

portrait of the author with some long hair

KEEP LISTENING

"Earth Intruders (Mark Stent Extended Mix)" - Björk (mp3)

"Sexy Boy" - Air (mp3)

"Who By Fire" - Leonard Cohen (mp3)

"Heavy Water" - Foals (mp3)

"Good Vibrations" - The Beach Boys (mp3)

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

George in The Believer.

Just Out of Reach

They Call It Football.

Monday
Jul282008

In Which Perchance You Need A Vacation To Jellyfish Lake

Not For A Million Dollars

by MOLLY LAMBERT

So the jellyfish are showing up extra early this summer, murdering triathletes, turning beaches into horror movies and normally staid swimmers into quivering lumps of goo. The NYT had my favorite quote in a recent news story; a Hudson River boat patrolman said “I looked over and in this massive soup of trash and debris was this beautiful pulsating jellyfish.”

Why should you be scared of jellyfish? Because after the evil all-seeing eyeless vermin sea scourge breed like crazy, choke the wildlife from the oceans, eat the humans and all the other creatures of the world, and repopulate the Earth with slimy many tentacled maliciousness, THE FIRST SHALL BE LAST AND THE LAST SHALL BE FIRST

Jellyfish Lake is completely isolated. In the distant past, it had an outlet to the ocean, but it was closed off and the high jellyfish population started to feed on quickly-reproducing algae.

Earth's first animal was the ocean-drifting comb jelly, not the simple sponge, according to new finds that shocked scientists who didn't imagine the earliest critter could be so complex. The mystery of the first animal denizen of the planet can only be inferred from fossils and by studying related animals today.

Is Jellyfish Lake the most terrifying place on the planet? Yes.

The new study surprisingly found that the comb jelly was the first animal to diverge from the base of the tree, not the less complex sponge, which had previously been given the honor. "This was a complete shocker," said study team member Casey Dunn of Brown University in Rhode Island. "So shocking that we initially thought something had gone very wrong."

Very, very wrong. Cthulhu wrong. Bloop!

Dunn's team checked and re-checked their results and came up with the same result every time: the comb jelly came first. Unlike sponges, comb jellies have connective tissues and a nervous system, and so are more complex.

Though squishy and tentacled, comb jellies are not, however, true jellyfish as they lack the classic bell-shaped body and characteristic stinging cells. The finding was unexpected because evolutionary biologists had thought that less complex animals split off and evolved separately first.

At night, the jellyfish descend into a layer of hydrogen sulfide which is found below 15-20m of depth. SCUBA diving in the lake is prohibited to avoid disturbing the jellyfish

Dunn says that two evolutionary scenarios can explain why the comb jellies would actually have been first among animals. The first is that the comb jelly evolved its complexity independent of other animals after branching off to forge its own path.

The second is that the sponge evolved its simpler form from the more complex form. This second possibility underscores the fact that "evolution is not necessarily just a march towards increased complexity," Dunn said.

oh! get me away from here I'm dying

Though scientists can say which animal branched off first, they can't date precisely when this early comb jelly diverged away.

The jellyfish of Jellyfish Lake actually do have small stinging cells, or nematocysts. However, the stinging cells are so tiny, their sting is not detectable on most human tissue.

"Unfortunately, we don't have fossils of the oldest comb jelly," Dunn said. "Therefore, there is no way to date the earliest jelly and determine when it diverged." Though comb jellies are a common creature in the seas today, these modern specimens likely look very different from their early ancestors.

ancient jellyfish fossil is older than your fossil

Dunn and his team hope that their approach will fill other gaps in the tree of life, including where the branches of many of today's species belong.

"On The Beach" - Neil Young (mp3)

"Rooming House On Venice Beach" - Jonathan Richman (mp3)

"On Some Faraway Beach" - Brian Eno (mp3)

"Beach Chair" - Jay-Z ft. Chris Martin (mp3)

Molly Lambert tumblr here

"Let's Hit The Beach" - Arabian Prince (mp3)

"Rockaway Beach" - The Ramones (mp3)

"Cool Cool Water" - The Beach Boys (mp3)

"Don't Go Near The Water" - The Beach Boys (mp3)

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording.

PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING

What light on yonder window breaks.

You change in real life while staying the same on the interwebs.

A film that more than disappointed us, it insulted us.

This Recording Is Bobbing Along, Singing A Song
On The Bottom Of The Beautiful Briny Sea

Friday
Jul182008

In Which Science Corner Resurrects Your Distant Memories of Being Primordial

I know I keep hammering this point home, but it's just so insane to me that scientists believed until very recently that sexual selection was dependent on male animals being slutty and females being monogamous. Animals are sluts! They will do whatever the hell it takes to ensure reproduction occurs. We are talking about Nature!

To use a couple of true clichés, variety is the spice of life and one animal's trash is another animal's treasure. We all like wildly different things, often at the same time. I have some sort of weird predisposition towards Blond Men, but that doesn't mean I'm not also constantly attracted to Dark-Haired and/or skinned dudes as well. Sexual attraction is not exactly a mutually exclusive thing.

I am not so attracted to fellow Gingers though, that'd be sick.

There is no such thing as a dysgenic trait. Genetic variety rulez!

It takes all kinds, and debating the "genetic fitness" of traits is what led to Eugenics, forced sterilization of the mentally ill, and the Holocaust concept of "life unworthy of life".

Anthopometry proves nothing! Social Darwinism is a lie!

Amplexus is like frottage (dry humping) that gets you pregnant. If you're a frog. It's literally Latin for "embrace" and it can involve more than two frogs, kind of a froggy swingers' party where everyone tries to knock a girl frog up. When multiple partners are involved (toads, newts, snakes, and other animals do a similar thing for sex) it's known as a "mating ball."

Froggy Went A Courtin' And He Did Ride

Basically female frogs fuck all the male frogs in the area and let their sperm fight it out. Competing sperm will literally form a circular barrier around the egg to stop a rival male's sperm from fertilizing it first. Similar behavior has been observed in other species, especially birds and monkeys.

Like many snakes, the male garter snake has two penises, called "hemipenes," on each side of its body. The male will try to use the best-positioned penis to mate with the female in the center of the mating ball.

Polyandry is a type of mating system where females mate with more than one male during a breeding season, resulting in the offspring of one female having more than one father. Polyandry has been traditionally thought of as a rare phenomenon, however recent research has shown this trend is widespread throughout the animal kingdom, with evidence of multiple mating by females in many groups. This trend is surprising because it appears to go against the basic principles of sexual selection.

Funfact! The form of polyandry in which two (or more) brothers marry the same woman is known as fraternal polyandry, and it is believed by many anthropologists to be the most frequently encountered form. Double funfact, the most well known human practitioners of polyandry are in Tibet.

Scientist Kate Hutchence lays it out for you:

The current consensus is that females are mating multiply to gain genetic benefits for thier offspring. There are several different ways this might be happening, and it is possible that a combination of these factors may be driving polyandry:

1. Genetic bet-hedging: females mate with many males to gain greater genetic diversity in their offspring, thereby hedging their bets against a changing environment.

2. Genetic improvement or Trade-up: females are remating with a good quality male in order to 'trade-up' on a previous mating with a low-quality male.

Everybody pile on now! Let's go eighths on a baby!

3. The good genes model: females mate multiply to gain access to 'good genes' for their offspring by trading up, or post-copulatory cues (this assumes that there in one best male for all females).

4. The genetic incompatibility model: females are mating multiply to gain access to the male that they are most genetically compatible with by trading-up, or postcopulatory cues (this assumes that there is no one best male for all females, and that due to the genetic complexity of organisms each female has her own best mate).

The belief that Polygyny is somehow the "natural" order of the world is how the FLDS Mormons convince themselves and their followers old dudes should get to have 400 little girl wives. The fact that (founder of Mormonism) Joseph Smith was a total wingnut is something they tend to leave out.

Comfort Wives: Big Love Style

Charles Darwin believed and taught that women were biologically inferior to men, and this idea greatly influenced his theories of natural selection and the hundred plus years of scientific research that followed. It was also taken for granted that white people were superior, and that "nature" was to thank for all this. This is also how white dudes got to have ethnic "comfort wives" and not consider it cheating.

Comfort Wives: Creole Plaçage Style

That we are just now untangling the ingrained sexism and racism in Science is one of the many reasons I am thrilled to be living in the 21st century and not any other, when I would probably have been burned at the stake.

My science hero Stephen Jay Gould

The tremendous Natural Historian polymath Stephen Jay Gould is to thank for debunking much of the pseudoscience that passed for evolutionary psychology in the past. He would be stoked about this election, that's for sure.

Charles Darwin listed the advantages of marrying, which included: "constant companion, (friend in old age) who will feel interested in one, object to be beloved and played with—better than a dog anyhow—Home, and someone to take care of house". Darwin reasoned that as a married man he would be a "poor slave, worse than a Negro," but then reminisces that, "one cannot live the solitary life, with groggy old age, friendless and childless staring in one's face" Darwin concludes his discussion on the philosophical note, "there is many a happy slave" and shortly thereafter, married his cousin.

Darwin concluded that adult females of most species resembled the young of both sexes and from this and the other evidence, "reasoned that males are more evolutionarily advanced than females". Many anthropologists contemporary to Darwin concluded that "women's brains were analogous to those of animals," which had "overdeveloped" sense organs "to the detriment of the brain".

Carl Vogt, a University of Geneva natural history professor who accepted many of "the conclusions of England's great modern naturalist, Charles Darwin," argued that "the child, the female, and the senile white" all had the intellect and nature of the "grown up Negro"

Gustave Le Bon (1841-1931), a pioneer in the fields of social psychology and collective behavior, whose classic study of crowd behavior (The Crowd; 1895) is a social science staple, wrote:

"Even in the most intelligent races are a large number of women whose brains are closer in size to those of gorillas than to the most developed male brains. This inferiority is so obvious that no one can contest it for a moment; only its degree is worth discussion. Women represent the most inferior forms of human evolution and are closer to children and savages than to an adult, civilized man.

They excel in fickleness, inconsistency, absence of thought and logic, and incapacity to reason. Without a doubt there exist some distinguished women, very superior to the average man but they are as exceptional as the birth of any monstrosity, as, for example, of a gorilla with two heads; consequently, we may neglect them entirely."

Superior Women = A Gorilla With 2 Heads = Double Bananas!

Pseudocopulation:

It is most generally applied to a pollinator attempting to copulate with a flower. Some flowers mimic a potential female mate visually, but the key stimuli are often chemical and tactile. This form of mimicry in plants has been titled Pouyannian mimicry.

Orchids commonly achieve reproduction in this manner, secreting chemicals from glands called osmophores located in the sepals, petals, or labellum, that are indistinguishable from the insect's natural pheromones. The pollinator then has a pollinia attached to its body, which it transfers to the stigma of another flower when if it attempts another 'copulation'. Pollinators are often bees and wasps of the order Hymenoptera, and flies.

Orchids by Ernst Haeckel, master Zoologist and World Riddler.

Ontogeny does not really recapitulate phylogeny, but it's still a great turn of phrase.

Ernst Haeckel and friend

Parthenogenesis: In hybridogenesis reproduction is not completely asexual, but instead hemiclonal: half the genome passes intact to the next generation, while the other half is discarded. Hybridogenetic females can mate with males of a "donor" species and both will contribute genetic material to the offspring.

When the female offspring produce their own eggs, however, the eggs will contain no genetic material from their father, only the chromosomes from the offspring's own mother; the set of genes from the father is invariably discarded. This form of reproduction is seen in some live-bearing fish of the genus Poeciliopsis as well as in the waterfrog Rana esculenta and the donor waterfrog species Rana lessonae.

MARMORKREBS, the Amazonian crayfish civilization.

Komodo Dragon virgin births

Kaguya the bamboo princess mouse.

Female shark parthenogenesis

Apomixis is the process whereby plants produce asexually, and it very rarely involves a male. Meaning the mother produces a copy of herself using only her own DNA.

A unique example of male apomixis has recently been discovered in the Saharan Cypress, Cupressus dupreziana, where the seeds are derived entirely from the pollen with no genetic contribution from the female "parent."

Gregory Goodwin Pincus experimented with parthenogenesis in rabbits and later invented birth control. Thanks for The Pill, Mr. Pincus! It's helped all us liberated womynfolk to become more polyandrous than ever.

tasmanian devils breeding the wrong way

Remember the singing mice from Babe? Turn out they are real, and they were just trying to get laid.

What this says to me is uh, animals can do whatever the fuck they want without emotional consequences? That's why they're animals.

But what do I know? Maybe even their shit is complicated, like Big Love with penguins and bonobos.

In the Galapagos, Nazca boobies get divorced because female boobies are cougars.

The chance of successfully breeding probably improves as the pairs of birds get older and are together longer, as has been found in other birds. But, often the female seeks a divorce after a few breeding seasons. Since males significantly outnumber females in the colony studied, there are plenty of bachelors available if the female has a wandering eye.

"Our study population has 50 percent more males than females, creating the opportunity for females to trade a current mate, which may be worn-out from recent breeding effort, for a 'refreshed' non-breeding male."

"This study really predicts that the probability of divorce increases with the birds' success at breeding and raising a chick, because the effort required may tire out the male and consequently his mate may reject him."

I mean, is being a male butterfly inherently emasculating?

Contrary to expectation, we also find that female promiscuity actually rises when male numbers are reduced. Greater numbers of female partners leads to fatigue in males. They start producing smaller sperm packages. Unfortunately, the female butterflies instinctively know that the packages are smaller and that their chances of having been impregnated after mating are lower than usual. This just makes them more rampant!"

Sounds like Brooklyn to me.

Molly Lambert is the managing editor of This Recording. She lives in Los Angeles, and she tumbls here.

MATE WITH THIS ONE MAYBZ?

"Oh My Sweet Carolina" – Ryan Adams (mp3)

"Bartering Lines" – Ryan Adams (mp3)

"Call Me On Your Way Back Home" – Ryan Adams (mp3)

"Damn, Sam (I Love a Woman That Rains)" – Ryan Adams (mp3)

PREVIOUSLY ON SCIENCE CORNER

VOLUME I.

New Planets & Monkeys That Make Daggers & Live In Caves

VOLUME II.

Mega-Galaxy Milkdromeda & Face Reading & Napping Helmets

VOLUME III.

Wandering Black Holes & Underground Rivers & Robot Children

VOLUME IV.

Martian Oceans & Bonecrushing Wolves & The Origin Of Sex

VOLUME V.

H.P. Lovecraft & Red Pandas & Panspermia

VOLUME VI.

Lost Forests & Paper Bones & Axolotls

VOLUME VII.

Nematodes & Ginger Cavemen & Ancient Legless Crabs

VOLUME VIII.

Stellar Explosions & Toxic Algae & Forced Lobotomies

VOLUME IX.

Dark Matter & Thermoballing & Salamander Crossbreeds

VOLUME X.

Aquanauts & Peruvian Meteorite Hysteria & Dinosaur Fellatio

VOLUME XI.

Cloned Glow Cats & Purple Earth & Parasitic Stars

VOLUME XII.

Ice Quakes & Cannibalistic Jumping Spiders & Hubble Pix

VOLUME XIII.

Singing Mice & Booby Divorces & Walking Whales

VOLUME XIV.

Giant Jellyfish & Immortal Hydras & New Age Sea Condoms