MS MUFFET’S SPIDER

MS MUFFET’S SPIDER

spider Little Miss MuffetDid you know little Ms Muffet sat on her tuffet eating her curds and whey? Along came a great spider and sat down beside her and  frightened Ms Muffet away. Sci-Fi writers, take note. Never before had a great spider jumped on Ms Muffet. It had only been a small spider, and it was friendly like the red one below.

Webs allow a spider to catch prey without having to expend energy by running it down. Thus it is an efficient method of gathering food. However, constructing the web is in itself an energetically costly process because of the large amount of protein required, in the form of silk. In addition, after a time the silk will lose its stickiness and thus become inefficient at capturing prey. It is common for spiders to eat their own web daily to recoup some of the energy used in spinning. The silk proteins are thus recycled.

The tensile strength of spider silk is greater than the same weight of steel and has much greater elasticity. Its microstructure is under investigation for potential applications in industry, including bullet-proof vests and artificial tendons. Researchers have used genetically modified mammals to produce the proteins needed to make this material.

Little Miss Muffet – YouTube

spider red in ffld  crop 9.20.08 008Ms Muffet’s spider.

What web are you caught up in lately?

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5aywHM9KMMJul 15, 2008 – 2 min – Uploaded by musicfactorymusic
http://www.kidsstuffandthings.com Little Miss Muffet Children’s Animation.
ANIMAL ARCHITECTS

ANIMAL ARCHITECTS

animal architects glass-shell-hermit-crabSo you thought the ancient and modern wonders created by mankind and creative contemporary architecture were something? From underground ant colonies that extend farther than the Great Wall of China to termite mounds that tower at nearly twice the relative height of the Burj Dubai (tallest skyscraper in the world), and from the largest multi-species spider web ever discovered to the longest beaver dam on the planet, here are a couple of the most awe-inspiring animal architects and architectonic structures of the animal kingdom.

Towering Termites: Massive Earth Movers

Termites are amazing creatures by almost any metric. Their queens are 30 times the size of normal soldiers and workers and produce about 30 eggs per minute to keep the colony alive. Relative to their size, termites build the biggest structures of the animal kingdom – .4 inch creatures constructing towers weighing hundreds of tons and up to 25 feet in height and 40 feet in diameter (the human equivalent of 4,600 feet tall). And that is just 40 feet above the ground –  termites can also burrow as far as 225 feet underground.

ANIMAL ARCHITECTURE giant-termite-moundsDeparture from the typical architecture that I blog about. I did not make it up. The information comes from 7 Architectural Wonders of the Natural World.

To my friendly writer community, I found these amazing wonders looking up another work of architecture, for a later blog. For you writers of fantasy, subcultures and steampunk adventures, this is pretty good.  What do you think? Has your opinion of termites and ants evolved? Want more?

If you know anything about architects, they derive ideas from what’s around them. To my friendly architectural community, here are some ideas for your next skyscraper. What say you?

THE HIDDEN COLUMN

THE HIDDEN COLUMN

Versailles Palace

Versailles Palace

Dim sunlight filled the palace’s cavity. Sharp shafts of light shimmered on the decorative gold moldings. A distant sound, barely perceptible, echoed.  Marie Antoinette, in her flimsy night dress, caught her breath and swallowed hard. What could that be? I see no one. The sound came again. Marie listened.  She looked around, she saw no one, nothing, nothing but for her reflection. Tall mirrors, short mirrors, wide mirrors all framed in glittering gold. Her widened eyes caught the light as she turned to the sound. The sound of a muffled laugh. She bit her lip. But there is no one here, where would it be? She called, “Hallo.” Her voice reverberated. She walked towards the sound. It bounced off all the hard surfaces, mirror, wood, moldings, it got louder. She clasped her hands over her ears, but the sound boomed like she had an ear trumpet. Her night dress caught at the bottom of the column, she fell forward and stumbled over her feet. She gathered herself up, her heart pounding too many beats.

Hall of Mirrors

Hall of Mirrors

There it is, the laugh, its coming from the column at the wall. She put her ear to the column. Nothing. She gulped, swallowed her breath and slid her hand over the column’s edges. There it is again, that muffled laugh. Bang, a door smashed open right in front of Marie’s face. “Yikes.” Out popped her husband, a small jeweled box in his hand, he in his night dress, void of his powdered wig , slight of girth, tall and handsome, just the right size to squeeze into the boxy column.

Wall columns in hall of mirrors

Wall columns in hall of mirrors

She gasped and pushed her lips together, her hand over her heart, “Oh Louis, I will whip you for this.” He stuck out his hand and grabbed hers. He pulled her to him, so close their lips almost touching.
“My sweet wife, how could you be so crass? Might my peace offering  dissuade you?”

“Chocolates. Chocolates from France.Yes, I can be dissuaded.” She said as she placed the delicate bon bon in her mouth.

His gaze lingered on her lush lips and said, “Marie, did you remember  this day? It is the yearly celebration of our marriage. Will you permit me to take you to my bedchamber so that we can pleasure ourselves?

Marie’s face goes crimson as her mouth drops open. She glances with apprehension at Louis. She takes a breath, her mouth dry.”What would you like to have then Louis?”

He tilts his head to one side and smiles his oh-so-special smile at her. “I would like to have you.”

“This one time Louis, I will be what it is you like.”

What are you doing this chocolaty day? How are you celebrating the world of love? What do you remember from days like this that have passed?

Happy Valentine’s Day. Enjoy your bon bon’s.

A brief history of Versailles from Wikipedia:

The Palace of Versailles or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles.

When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a wealthy suburb of Paris, some 20 kilometres southwest of the French capital. The court of Versailles was the centre of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime.

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