Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Dead Roach Trigger Warning

So I was looking at something involving cockroaches and robots intended to mimic their social behavior... (The relevant bits are about forty minutes in.)

...And I was rather startled to realize that the video involved a bunch of dead roaches at one point.

It probably caused that reaction because a lot of arthropods have the ability to provoke empathy in me.

In fact, I generally feel much worse about having to squash spiders than I do about accidentally running over squirrels and such. (Admittedly, my lack of reaction to running over furry animals probably has to do with the fact that I worked at a factory for a few summers running the mowing tractor, and I ran over a number of animals without seeing them, especially rabbits, and couldn't really afford to get too upset over it*. The only animal I ever really got upset over hitting was a turtle I hit one year. ...How that turtle managed to get so big when it was living so close to those train tracks, I'll never know.)

*As much as I hated that job, I got to see a lot of nature in less harmful ways, too. Like the local bird of prey that knew that following the tractor would bring it food (and the huge horde of little birds that were after the bugs the tractor kicked up). And then there was the day I must have seen half a dozen praying mantids in one stretch of five hundred feet or so, which was nearly as many as I'd seen in the wild in my entire life to that point.

And then there was the time I was mowing a particularly wet place, and I met two or three entire species of mosquito** that I'd never met before. Ah well, you take the good and the bad together, I guess.

**My general insect empathy doesn't extend to little jerks that want to bite me or people (or animals) I like. I.e. mosquitoes, fleas, those big biting flies, etc. But spiders, roaches, beetles, etc. are generally pretty harmless. Also, I like ants, but honestly anytime they're in one's house, one must be on a war footing with them, and empathy is something you can't afford in that situation.

-Signing off.

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