Saturday, October 11, 2008

on roaches

I think Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches are gross. I’m sorry; you might think I’m just being a girl, but I in general do not like bugs. It might seem stupid but if I find an insect in my home and it isn’t a tiny dust spider, or a mosquito, most of the time I will try to get it to crawl on a piece of newspaper & then toss it outside, a few meters from the edge of the driveway. If it is a mosquito or cockroach, I have no problem killing the thing & tossing its remains in the trash because I guess I’m just cruel like that. Dust spiders I know may grow large & multiply but for some reason seeing them crawl along my windowsill every once in a while, does not bother me, so I leave them alone. Last week in Ecology lab, we observed that the larger an organism is physically, the smaller its surface area to volume ratio. I think. Well anyway, the point of the matter was that larger ectoderms will take longer to warm up after being cooled than smaller ectoderms because the smaller the organism, the more readily it exchanges heat with the environment to achieve a stable internal temperature. So when we took the ladybugs out of the fridge they began to move about after just a few minutes had elapsed. But then we got to the Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches and our all girl group got uncomfortable-except Liz because she’s awesome like that. She handled them with ease and laid them out, placing them on their designated spots. We waited around for more than half an hour without seeing them start walking around as we (or really only Liz) had hoped they would. The people in my group thought it was funny that in the beginning of the experiment, I named them so that if they started moving we could tell who was who. I gave them male names just because in my opinion, they were big, grotesque things that in no way reminded me of anything female. It wouldn’t have been right to name them say I don’t know, Annie or Mae or Bridgette, but then I was criticized for being gender-biased. Geeze man, you can’t please anyone these daysJ! Anyway, the only thing they did was move around in place a bit but none of them were able to move out of their starting circle, which was a tiny bit disappointing but in the same respect also kind of cool because that meant we wouldn’t have to do any cockroach wrangling. In truth, I did not want to see them start crawling around, possibly in my direction or have to save one from falling off the edge of the lab counter like we did with the ladybugs. I did not want them to get upset about being shoved together into an undersized container and begin hissing as their name implies they might. So overall, it went well and I think I grasped the concept. <<<>>> But alas, the insects went back into the fridge & I felt a bit guilty.

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