Thursday Respite Open Thread

And some make their own dreams come true…

At Last, An Explanation For The Death Of Reason In The Republican Party

This news out of Hawaii explains so much!

Hawaii’s health department has released fresh warnings about a parasitic worm that can infest human brains after officials confirmed that three more visitors to the state picked up the infection.

Not just any worm, either, but one perfectly named in the context of Republican political gamesmanship:

The parasitic worm in these cases is the rat lungworm, aka Angiostrongylus cantonensis. As its common name suggests, the wandering worm primarily takes up residence in rats’ lungs, where female worms lay their eggs. Young worms leave the nest early to find their own windy homes, though. Larvae get coughed up into rats’ throats then swallowed. The hosting rat eventually poops out the young parasites, which then get gobbled up by feces-feasting snails and slugs (intermediate hosts). When other rodents come along and eat those infected mollusks, the prepubescent parasites migrate to the rats’ brains to mature before settling into the lungs and reproducing. The cycle then starts again.

Except, when intercepted by an allegedly wise primate, the journey shifts:

Humans are an accidental host, typically infected when they inadvertently eat an infected slug or snail that has slid into their salad fixings or other produce…

In humans, young worms make their way to the brain as they would in a rat. But the rambling invaders rarely survive long enough to make it to their final destination in the lungs. Instead, they usually die somewhere in the central nervous system. In some cases, the infection is symptomless and resolves on its own. In others, the worm meanders around the brain, and its presence, movement, and death in the central nervous system all contribute to symptoms.

I wish I could here paint a precise picture of the symptoms afflicting, say, Nazi-sympathizing Fox News hosts, but I’m guessing the actual sequence would be enough to irritate many into similarly bad behavior:

Those can vary wildly but sometimes include headaches, neck stiffness, tingling or pain, low-grade fever, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, the infection can lead to nerve damage, paralysis, coma, and even death.

All apparatchik-rat lungworm jokes aside, this sounds truly nasty; something to avoid; and the latest reason to distrust a salad-based lifestyle.

This thread! It is open!

Image: Luther before the Diet of Worms, 1877

2nd place finisher decries Derby results

You’d think if anyone would blithely accept the elevation of a second-place finisher over the first, it would be Pendejo Naranja, but no:

Does anyone know what prompted the fool to babble about “political correctness” in this context? I don’t think the disqualified horse is white…

Meanwhile In Canada…

Apparently since all of the Canadian teams have been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs, there’s not a whole lot going on in the Great White North…

From The Ottawa Citizen:

An apparently dog-tired pooch diverted traffic in Oxford Mills on the weekend until police picked him up to continue his snooze in the back of an OPP cruiser.

Grenville County officers got the report at 3:30 p.m. Saturday of a large dog lying in the middle of Water Street.

“The dog appeared content and refused to move, thus causing vehicles to drive around him,” officers noted.

“Fortunately, police were able to persuade the uninjured dog to continue his apparent much-needed rest in the back of the cruiser.”

Officers returned the pup to his home in the village about 50 km southwest of Ottawa where he’d escaped from a fenced backyard.

“The dog was happily reunited with his owners but sadly missed by the officers,” police said.

The dog, having successfully slept on the yellow line, is now a member in good standing of the local outlaw motorcycle club!//

Open thread, if you can stay awake.

Fuzzy Things Open Thread

Here’s 3/4ths of Badger, who was photographed recently while basking in the last sunbeams before nightfall:

I posted this on Twitter the other day, and a friend said Badger looks like he should have a martini and cigarette holder in his paws, which is true. He’s still a fuzzy boy, though — too young to drink or smoke!

There are all sorts of fuzzy things to look at in the swamp these days. I could swear I saw one of those adorable limpkin chicks I shared with y’all the other day achieve brief liftoff from its ground nest on a nearby island. Could be wrong though.

I keep trying to get a photo of a Sandhill crane pair and their two long-legged fuzzballs, but I can’t seem to catch the family at a time when I have a combination of my camera, good lighting and adequate cover so I don’t disturb them.

Moving to not-so-fuzzy critters, the frogs, cicadas, etc., were deafening last night. The weather was nice, so I had the windows open, and I almost shut everything down and turned the A/C on just to drown out the din of the frogs and insects.

The alligators are frisky too. Have you ever heard a gator mating call? It’ll make the hair on the back of your neck stand up if you happen to be outside in the dark when you hear it. Sounds like Satan’s drainpipe or something — hard to describe.

Anyhoo, all topics welcome in this open thread, even further re-hashing of Biden 2020. But talk of fuzzy things would be nice.