Monday, April 13, 2009

The Stragglers.

There are just six silkworms left now. They seem to be suspended in some state half way between sleeping and consciousness. Maybe they are trying to resist the urge they have to throw out silk and yet gradually they must succumb. It must be like trying to stay awake in a dark warm lecture theatre with a speaker talking incomprehensibly about something that is of little interest, and each word that he utters is like something heavy on the eyelids. They close and then open, then close again, and the voice becomes more distant and dreamlike, and the listener slumps, mouth open, dribbling, each breath long and deep, becoming louder and more nasal, until at last...or is that just me?

But I digress. Back to the silkworms. They clearly have no energy left to expend on searching for food. Unless I place their food right in front of their noses they do not eat, so I have to fuss around for minutes, nudging it forward until they sense it and start to chew.It is as though they become insensitive to the smell that used to draw them close, and yet the reaction from another smell is as before. Chew, it says - and they do.

Meanwhile, another two cocoons have been made, one much smaller than the other. I learnt recently that the males produce bigger cocoons so maybe I have one male and one female. I think I will keep these now and let them develop. I think in a few days I shall cut them open so I can see the developing pupa - it is not supposed to harm them.

I should also like to see moths again, and maybe start the cycle again, just once more...



Blogger Ian said...

I'm getting worried about the Dolphin Man. I think he's hit a gravitational anomaly*.

*It is also known as diffeomorphism anomaly, since general covariance is symmetry under coordinate reparametrization.The anomaly usually appears as a Feynman diagram with a chiral fermion running in the loop (a polygon) with n external gravitons attached to the loop where n = 1 + D / 2 where D is the spacetime dimension.

I think he's struggling with that, don't you?

Mon Apr 13, 06:04:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Or just that one tectonic plate is more dense than another is how I like to think of it!

But yes, Ian, I am slightly worried about Dolphin man too - I think I'll see if I can contact someone who might know him. I've been thinking about doing this for some time so thanks for giving me a nudge.

Mon Apr 13, 11:30:00 am  
Blogger jem said...

I knew you wouldn't be able to resist letting at least a few start over again.

Mon Apr 20, 01:47:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...


Wed Apr 22, 12:31:00 pm  

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