Sunday, March 12, 2006

Give 'em what they want...

The net is a strange place. Ok, technically it isn't a place at all, but it's strange. The latest example is the Furry Lobster Meme. I mean, I assume it's a meme (assuming I understand the whole "meme" thing), because a remarkable number of people have arrived here looking for info about Kiwaida, the new family of crustacea I wrote about a few days ago. Far more than I would have expected, especially since I haven't gotten a single visitor looking for choice Laonastes tidbits.

Updated: Here's another Kiwa post of mine from a few days after this one. Enjoy!

So since everybody seems to be showing up here anyway, I guess I'll appoint myself Your Unofficial Kiwaida Headquarters, and pass along a few quotable Furry Lobster Links (TM) for your zoological enjoyment.

  • Ma planète actually links here for all your Kiwaida needs, so obviously this item comes first in the list. Thanks for the link!
  • The above item also points readers at a Greenpeace blog. Be sure to follow the "blobfish" link if you want to see something really weird. Don't be eating anything when you look, though. I'm serious.
  • Here's the original source material, the researchers' paper [PDF] about the creature. It's a bit technical for non-specialists, but there are several more pics of the creature, including closeups of the "fur", and in situ pics of the little beasties crawling around on the ocean floor.
  • BadmintonStamps comments "The real question now is whether the blind albino dinner for two will receive fair treatment in a prejudiced market. Higher-ups at the notoriously close-minded Red Lobster restaurant chain were already rumored to be the ones applying pressure on the scientific community to assign the creature a non-lobster classification. If Kiwaida Poppers aren't on the menu come summer, you can chalk it up as just one more sad reminder that our nation still isn't nearly as color-blind as we'd like to think."
  • At onepotmeal: "Now that I know about furry lobsters, other lobsters just seem so plain. Also cool, that there is a goddess of crustaceans."
  • Another blogger remarks: "I wonder now, if the Polynesian resort in Disneyworld will put a big painting of this "goddess" up on the lobby wall...heheheh..."
  • 7610 has this to say: "Don't worry though, it's only about 6 inches long. Well, this Kiwaida anyway.". True enough, but the one that attacks Tokyo will be much, much larger.
  • In that spirit, here's a post titled "Attack Of The Blind Albino Yeti Crabs!".
  • Another post, this one titled "Blinged Out Lobster is Pimp of the Sea". Which you have to admit is a truly vivid image.
  • The discovery was not entirely unexpected. At least one blogger sort of predicted it over a week before it was announced.
  • Yet another blogger goes a step further and speculates that he may have accidentally created the new creature.
  • That may or may not be true. A blogger from Lynchburg, VA wonders if there may be a connection with French nuclear testing in the South Pacific.
  • This page is not strictly a kiwaida page, it's a page of current science stories put together by the Wisconsin State Science Teachers. So I figured it was worth passing along.
  • Another blogger notes a striking resemblance I'd completely missed: "First of all, I think that a better name for the lobster might have referred to the fact that it looks like it's wearing leg warmers--is this some throwback to the 1980s? I feel ilke it should also be wearing a headband, an off-the-shoulder t, and be carrying around a Walkman listening to Cindi Lauper.".
  • More than one person has made this same connection. Here's someone's MySpace profile, in which both Kiwaida and Laonastes (and also Madonna) are pictured against a Nagel-print background. Wow.
  • Uber_technica sees it as a sign of the apocalypse. And let me suggest that this and the 80's-retro hypothesis are compatible, and may both be correct simultaneously.
  • Another blog draws what I think is a comic book analogy, which is entirely lost on me. But perhaps you'll enjoy it more than I did, so here ya go.
  • Kiwa hirsuta features in a poem at Watermelon Moon, and is described as "a dazzling brooch only Phyllis Diller could wear".
  • Again, more than one blogger draws this conclusion. The Chaotic Mind includes a pic of Phyllis Diller for comparison. Yikes!
  • Junktopia , on the other hand, says "To me Kiwa Hirsuta looks like an H.R. Giger creation.".
  • The fuzzy lil' crustacean's inspiring more than just poetry. Here's a Kiwaida stuffed animal someone's created. I think there's a definite market for these.
  • Non Compos Mentis also talks about lobster plush toys. It seems like word hasn't gotten out about the toys in the previous item, which just goes to show -- yet again -- why my services are desperately required, in my self-appointed role as Kiwaida information clearinghouse.
  • Just to show how evenhanded I am, here's a rival site aggregating Kiwa hirsuta stories. Mine's better, though. Everybody knows that.
  • Another pic, this time of a bunch of Kiwaidas in all the colors of the rainbow. Groovy, man. One visitor comments: OH MY GOD! i can't stop fantasizing about the yeti crab. i'm writing a short story called micro knights where the yeti crab assists in folding space time because of the hairs on their claws that reacts to bacteria so that they can survive by the toxic vents in deep water...THX! such inspiration!!!.
  • Seibei Industries has the usual photo, plus a photo of a "regular" albino lobster. What you really want to look at here is the user comments. Here's one:

    my friend and i are obsessed with the lobster thing. i want it to reach out and hold me with it’s fuzzy arms and mitten claws.

    i drew a picture of my friend with it -
    click here to see it.

  • A song about furry lobsters, although it's actually about sea otters, not our furry lobsters.
  • Ballpoint Wren speculates about the cullinary possibilities: "I'm certain the scientists who discovered this character also lost their appetites when they realized what garlic butter would do to all that blonde hair.". I dunno, myself. Garlic butter can work wonders. Given a sufficient amount of garlic butter, bricks are delicious, for example.
  • Many Bells Down also expresses alarm about all that sheer hirsuteness: I’m not sure I’d be so keen on getting meat out of those pinchers! I hate it when there’s hair in my food. ".
  • Others are much more enthusiastic. A lobster afficionado at Jawbone Radio says "Get some drawn butter!".
  • A user comment at the previous item points readers at a more technical article at Practical Fishkeeping, which indicates that Kiwaida is a hydrothermal vent organism, and thus would be toxic, or at least really sulfury and disgusting, if you tried to eat one. Alas. And yet, there are a lot of things that are inedible unless prepared just the right way, like manioc, or rhubarb, or pufferfish. So don't give up all hope. There may still be a way, if you care. I actually don't, myself. I don't even like plain old "bald" lobster, and the evidence doesn't suggest the new beastie would be an improvement. It's hairy and all sulfury and brimstone-ish. If, hypothetically speaking, Dick Cheney wore a toupee, and you were to eat it, it would probably taste a lot like a Kiwaida.

While searching for Kiwaida stuff, I came across a couple of tidbits about Polyrhachis sokolova, a newly-discovered species of aquatic ant. Yes, you read that right. It's an ant that can swim. The original ABC (where A=Australian) story is here. Zoiks!

On a mostly-unrelated note, people have also showed up here due to one recent, very brief, passing mention of the B-movie actress Julie Strain (a pic here). These Cyclotram guests came here seeking knowledge (of a sort) and presumably went away empty-handed, since the post as a whole was about something else entirely. I actually feel a little guilty about that, like I'm being a bad host or something. So here are a couple of reviews I found of one of her most recent films, Exterminator City, by rumour_man and Dr. Gore. Reviewers on Netflix were rather stingy with their praise, a couple of them calling it the absolute worst movie they'd ever seen. That kind of talk always intrigues me, so the thing's in my queue now. I've seen a lot of atrociously poor movies, and I'm hard to impress. So we'll see how this baby stacks up. So to speak.


No comments :