September 8, 2008

"If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster." -- Isaac Asimov.

I wanted to tell you about these fabulous photographs -- "Violent Death in the Insect World" -- but I was utterly charmed by that Isaac Asimov quote. And that's the thing about death -- isn't it? -- it reminds you of life.

But man, the photographs and the amazing creatures they depict are fabulous. Don't overlook page 2. More quotes too.

"You only live twice. Once when you are born and once when you look death in the face." - Ian Fleming.

I found "Violent Death in the Insect World" via Metafilter, where the commenters question the very quotes I liked so much:
Amazing photos, but the accompanying text is, um, a little off.
posted by nasreddin at 7:07 AM on September 8

What, you don't like "inspirational" death quotes mixed with your bugicide?...
posted by madamjujujive at 7:15 AM on September 8


Rick Lee said...

I happened across a Robber Fly dispatching a bee a couple of years ago. I was transfixed. I'd never seen one before. It was stunning. They are large and fearsome looking. The thing was so intent on his work that he didn't pay any attention to me and my camera only an inch away.

Ann Althouse said...

Wow. Cool. But they look like they are in a passionate embrace.

goesh said...

sorry but the one shot looks like bugs having anal sex and the other shot oral sex

sean said...

The Ian Fleming quote is supposed to be a haiku. You have to write:

You only live twice./Once when you're born; once when you/Look death in the face.

Prof. Althouse's version has too many syllables.

Henry said...

you only live twice:
once when you chew through the egg;
once when you pupate.

UWS guy said...

Violence in the insect world is Lovecraftian in it's dispassionate cruelty.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Another cool Asimov quote: someone asked him what conditions he needed in order to write, and he said, "To be awake."

Subtly different, Keith Richards was asked how he prepares for a concert, and said, "I wake up."

vbspurs said...

sorry but the one shot looks like bugs having anal sex and the other shot oral sex

You say that like it's a bad thing.

(Welcome back, goesh!)


KCFleming said...

"If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a .... nnnnhhnhn"
-- Isaac Asimov.

"Sorry about that."
-- God.

Trumpit said...

Spider, Spider,
Does whatever a spider can.
Spins a web, any size.
Catches bees- just like flies.
Look out! Here comes the Spider.

Is she strong? Listen, bud.
She's got radioactive blood.
Can she swing, from a thread?
Take a look overhead.
Hey, there! There goes the Spider!

In the chill of night, at the scene of a fight,
like a streak of light,
she arrives, just in time!

Spider, Spider,
friendly neighborhood Spider.
Wealth and fame? She's ignored.
Action is her reward.
Look out! There goes the Spider!

To her,
life is a great big bang-up.
Wherever there's a hang-up,
you'll find the Spider!

There's a big yellowish one in my front yard garden, just like that picture you linked to. I think I'll call her Charlotte. Sorry, I'm not too original.

George M. Spencer said...

Isabella Rossellini demonstrates how insects mate.

Deeeeeply weird.

George M. Spencer said...

Also snails and earthworms.

Lady is messed up.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld said...

Video of violent death the the insect world.

Praying mantis vs. some damn ugly bug.

Eli Blake said...

It's such a pity that Asimov died before blogging. He'd have been a master blogger.

My favorite science article by Asimov: How hot is hot?

My favorite science fiction novel by Asimov: The Gods Themselves.

I remember Asimov writing a short article during the 1960's in which he predicted the world of 2014. I wish I had a copy of it now. One prediction I remember from the article (and this was a time when everyone smoked) was that by 2014 smoking would be confined to "smokatoriums" in which (his wording) "smokers could give themselves and each other lung cancer without affecting the rest of the population." He sure nailed that prediction right on the head.

Eli Blake said...

My other favorite memory that involves Asimov (though I was miffed at the time):

I remember writing a paper in high school. I began a sentence with the word, "And." Of course my English teacher nailed me for beginning a sentence with a conjunction.

I'd been reading an article by Asimov a couple of days earlier and I explained to her that he had taken some literary detours and began a sentence in it with "And."

She tipped her glasses down so that she was peering at me over the top of the rim and said in her best and most authoritative English teacher voice, "Isaac Asimov has earned the right to write whatever he wishes. You have not!

Jacob said...

Asimov said "six months" not "six minutes" and was always annoyed about how it got misquoted.

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, but 6 months is 6 minutes in insect time.

Ann Althouse said...

Where is Archy the blogging cockroach? He knows all about fast insect typing.

docweasel said...

Sorry, while I enjoy a very few Asimov stories, I find him incredibly over-rated. While Bradbury consistently wrote quality work that often transcended sci-fi, Asimov's stuff is rarely inspired, original or even entertaining. A lot of is it badly written and damn boring.

It's become a "given" that Asimov is this superior writer. I just don't agree.