Macho Flies

August 14th, 2006

So, I’ll have to admit that I never really thought about what flies are doing when they buzz around my house, sometimes rolling around on the table clasping each other like lovers going down on the Titanic. I guess I just assumed that they were after my food, having sex, or laying eggs somewhere. Never did the idea of territoriality come into my mind. Why would flies be territorial?

Well, it turns out that male fruit flies can be quite territorial, and that this territoriality for resources like food and women is probably genetically determined. Researchers recently assayed the genes of non-aggressive and extremely aggressive fruit flies and found that a gene called Cyp6a20 was highly correlated with aggression. Those flies with mutations in the gene were the most combative in territorial situations created by the scientists. No one knows exactly what the gene does yet, but it is interesting to note possible genetic contenders that might underlie behavior.

Here is a video of fighting flies (I can’t believe I always thought they were having sex!).

Birth Day…

August 1st, 2006

So, I am another year wiser today. Funny how the years are starting to progress so much more quickly. It’s all relative to how long I’ve been alive I guess. This year, while difficult in parts, has been one of the most exciting transition filled years of my life. The next will only be moreso. I will complete my dissertation and within the next few months become a Doctor with a capital D. Hopefully, I won’t go around sticking my PhD in my mouth too often. Marshall and I will move to someplace other than Davis. The most likely candidate is San Francisco because that’s where M wants to go, and I made him live in Davis for the past 4 years so I could finish school. It’s his turn to choose. Then comes the job. Where will I work? Who will I be? Will I be able to parlay my radio program into a career? The questions and more are yet to be answered.

There is so much adventure yet to come. I can’t wait for tomorrow.

But, in the meantime, if you were interested in getting me a present, I present the words as sung by Marillyn Monroe in Gentlement Prefer Blondes (ironically my grandfather sent me these lyrics today of all days… what is he saying?):

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

The French are glad to die for love
They delight in fighting duels
But I prefer a man who lives
And gives expensive jewels

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend
A kiss may be grand but won’t pay the rental
On your humble flat, or help you at the automat
Men grow cold as girls grow old
And we all lose our charms in the end
But square-cut or pear-shaped
These rocks don’t lose their shape
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

Tiffany’s! ……..Cartier!…….Black Star, Frost, Gorham
Talk to me Harry Winston,tell me all about it!
There may come a time when a lass needs a lawyer
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend

There may come a time when a hard-boiled employer
Thinks you’re awful nice
But get that ice or else no dice
He’s your guy when stocks are high
But beware when they start to descend
It’s then that those louses go back to their spouses
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend

I’ve heard of affairs that are strictly platonic
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend

And I think affairs that you must keep liaison ic
Are better bets if little pets get big baguettes
Time rolls on and youth is gone
And you can’t straighten up when you bend But stiff back or stiff knees
You stand straight at Tiffany’s

Diamonds!!… Diamonds!!…
– I don’t mean rhinestones –
But Diamonds, Are A Girl’s Best, Best Friend

For a hint as to my preferred type of diamond follow this link.