Karl (louderback) wrote,

Spiders and chili

     Mine was a traditional Xmas. I spent it eating traditional Xmas chili. I watched traditional Xmas movies (Spider Man and Spider Man 3). I even had a traditional dream (after eating a bowl of chili and a half bag of funyums) of traditional spiders. I spent the entire dream squirting spider killer around my house and wondering why there were cats in my house.

Text from The Amazing Spider-Man volume 2, issue #46, pages 6-8: DOCTOR STRANGE: When you went off the path [on the astral plane, during a mission that Doctor Strange sent Peter on], which kept you safe from prying eyes, you were noticed. When you went off the path, you entered the food chain. Whatever the source of your power, you are tied to the Spider. It is your icon, your totem, the template for your identity. When you follow the spider, you inherit the ways of the spider, its natural powers -- and its natural enemies. They extend into the waking world just as their counterparts in the waking world have echoes in this place.

SPIDER-MAN: Yeah, but . . . what is it?

DOCTOR STRANGE: My time is done here . . . others are calling to me. I must go.

SPIDER-MAN: Waitaminnit . . .

DOCTOR STRANGE: So that you will know this was not simply a dream . . . there is an etymology [sic: entomology] book on your third shelf. Look to page seventy-three.

SPIDER-MAN: And then . . .?


SPIDER-MAN: . . . pray . . .

[Peter Parker wakes up from his dream (which was not simply a dream), in which Doctor Strange appeared to him and conversed with him on the astral plane. He finds the book on his shelf and opens to the page Doctor Strange described. The page has a picture and description of a "Spider Wasp."]

The spider wasp is the most efficient spider-killer in the insect kingdom. Its sting quickly subdues its prey by paralyzing the spider's central nervous system. But it does not kill the spider all at once. The spider wasp carries its prey to its nest, or if the spider is too large to carry in flight, the wasp simply drags it to the nest. In order to make the spider easier to drag, some spider wasps bite off the spider's legs, often drinking the blood that leaks form the wounds. The spider wasp places a single spider in each nest, which is often constructed after catching the prey.

[Peter Parker's face shows that he is rather horrified after reading this description.]

PETER PARKER/SPIDER-MAN: Hey, God? It's Peter again. Listen, not that I'm complaining or anything, but next incarnation, just for a change of pace, you think you could have me get bitten by a radioactive Jennifer Lopez? Just a thought."

         Now who'd've thought Peter Parker harbored these trans-geneder-ish aspirations?

         Apart from my traditional spider-drenched activities, I did nothing. I visited Walkers in Darkness for a few, unsurprised to find it a busy place on a holiday. I surfed the web rather incessantly, finding a number of RSS feeds to which to subscribe. Among them was a physics blog and a human speech blog. I have long been interested in actually understanding some of the physics behind the world. I also aspire to someday understand something of the mechanisms that make human speech communication. Wish me luck.

         To all, my best on this holiday, however you may celebrate it. I wish you well in the coming year. We're all in this together, let's hold hands and jump at the same time!


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