Thursday 22nd of August 2019

of spiders' webs...

spider

The image above (Gus picture of a spider eating a fly that the spider has wrapped up in a cocoon) is representative of how we've manipulated our nature to believe and how we behave. We have augmented our natural needs of consumption into an art form, in which we cannibalise our environment by being too successful with bullshit — a concept allowed to be by our pinch of too much faith...

More Gus musings at the end of these quotations...

But first, at the religious coal faith...

Tony Blair is preparing to launch a "faith offensive" across the United States over the next year, after building up relationships with a network of influential religious leaders and faith organisations.

With Afghanistan and Iraq casting a shadow over his popularity at home in Britain, Blair's focus has increasingly shifted across the Atlantic, to where the nexus of faith and power is immutable and he is feted like a rock star.

According to the annual accounts of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, a UK-based charity that promotes cohesion between the major faiths, the foundation is to develop a US arm that will pursue a host of faith-based projects. The accounts show that his foundation has an impressive – and, in at least one case, controversial – set of faith contacts. Sitting on some £4.5m in funds as of April last year, mostly gathered through donations, it is now well placed to make its voice heard.

The foundation's advisory council of religious leaders includes Rick Warren, powerful founder of the California-based Saddleback church. It attracts congregations of nearly 20,000 and is reportedly one of the largest in the US. Warren, who has addressed the UN and the World Economic Forum in Davos, has been named one of the "15 world leaders who matter most" and one of the "100 most influential people in the world".

His influence was confirmed in December 2008 when Barack Obama chose him to give the invocation at his presidential inauguration. But the decision angered many liberals, who see Warren as an opponent of gay rights and abortion on demand; a prominent alliance with Warren is likely to attract similar attacks on the former British prime minister.

Also on the council is David Coffey, president of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), a Virginia-based network of churches that spans the globe and is particularly active in the US.

Another initiative has been to team up with the Belinda Stronach Foundation in Toronto. Unknown in the UK, Stronach, daughter of a Canadian billionaire, is hugely influential in Canada where as a philanthropist, businesswoman and former politician she has served in both the Conservative and Liberal parties. Attractive and barely into her 40s, media commentators have dubbed her "bubba's blonde", a reference to her friendship with Bill Clinton.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/14/tony-blair-faith-foundation-america

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Meanwhile at the forefront of disbelief


With the Global Atheist Conference about to kick off this weekend, it might be a good time to assess where atheism is at the moment.

Atheism appears resurgent, but beware, looks can be deceiving.  Hitherto, atheism has been a bit of a fizzer.

The Godless are entranced by this Third Wave of English Atheism.  The First Wave was led by Jeremy Bentham in the nineteenth century.  He famously founded Utilitarian philosophy and more infamously inspired the design of the Port Arthur prison.  The Second Wave was in the early twentieth century with the growth of secular Humanism.  And the Third triumphant Wave is led by its unholy trinity of storm troopers Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchins and AC Grayling. 

This Trinity and others have inspired unbelievers everywhere to crawl out from under the bed and proclaim our Godlessness with pride.  But beware of hubris.  The problem is, we are so small in number.  On many estimates, 85% of the world is still entranced by faith.  Of the rest, only 2.3% are card carrying, badge wearing self proclaimed atheists.  That makes us numerically an irrelevant splinter group.  Humanity is still deeply religious and atheism is a marginal pursuit 300 years after its reincarnation in the Enlightenment.


http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/godless-gross/atheism--a-fizzer-or-fantastic/20100311-pzwu.html

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Gus: roaming the planet with a torchlight...


Atheists, like myself, have nothing to sell. no promises to make, no rituals to follow, no death embalming to sublimate our illusions into eternity. But this does not mean we have no compassion nor feelings for the hurt and the suffering. This does not mean we are not engaging in philanthropy. Atheistic humanism without faith is possible and it is practised without fanfare — nor golden hats — although it is sometimes difficult to be generous without having to donate to faith-based charities... and charitable is not much part of my vocabulary... I'd rather be helpful.

Sure, some of the great civilisations were faith based, but most of what was built with grandiosity was done for the privilege of a few from the toil of many. Gory glory in this unjust organisation of social slavery, in which those who could become king made the rules that no one else could become king. This structural set-up goes along well with most religious groups, from the catholics, the muslims to the scientologists. They often declare themselves the keeper of the only truth and they give themselves the right to declare war on those who challenge this truth such as another faith that also holds the only truth...

It has been my observation that atheists will often lay low and try no to rock the boat, for good reason.

In some countries at least one can escape the tyranny of religious fanaticism but from Texas to Dubai, the common interactions are devised to favour those with faith. You shall not kiss in public but underaged camel drivers can die without care.

In fact, the only country where faith is barely tolerated is China. I could add here that becoming "faithless" has helped China to surmount its enormous problems and achieve a greater harmony with reality, though China still has a work to do in regard to protecting its environment. But we shall leave this for a rainy day.

I somewhat believe that the "non-elimination" of faiths, back then, when "enlightenment" came mostly to European "humanity", has retarded human progress and smudged the understanding of our place on this planet — including fogged our assessment of the damage we have been doing to it... Under the circumstance of atheist humanism, there would be a greater chance to have been treading more lightly. I do use the word circumstance here rather than the word "guidance" with intent. Guidance in the past has mostly been attached to religious hooks.

With proper atheism, wars, that have had their roots in the control by a few over most — mostly in the game of faiths — would have been things of the past, as I believe that most atheists and humanists vie for a greater equality and a positive peace between individual, with less selfish trapping of greed than any of our present systems, including capitalism.

It is a pity that the US constitution was loaded from the onset with a godly element: "Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" Pox!. From the onset, this undervalues non-believers, even if "we" have certain unalienable rights. This also undervalue the female position as "men" is the word used while "human" should have been. Some people can argue that the word "men" encompasses "women" in its generality but I can argue fiercely to the contrary.

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The purpose of life is that there is no purpose.

This is the third Gus paradox. Life is a structure with no purpose.

The universe could exist without life on Earth and no-one would be the wiser. Would not make an ounce of difference. Life is as purposeful as a spoonful of nothing. Life, as a chaotic non-purposed structure, is the resultant of accidental events, including a universe-forming event in which matter and energy are interchangeable at certain levels of status. "Life" grew from basic amino-acids till what it is today, a continuum of existence over billion of years carried over by individual bits, who all can play a very short part in this continuum. Most bits carry the ability of duplicating should the environment provide the necessary elements for this duplication. Over this long existence, events of evolution, devolution and extinction with no meaning other than the continuum of the non-purpose of life, created an array of various "life-forms" all stemming from the original accidental template(s) of amino-acids.

Within these "life-forms", complexity of reactivity developed as the environment — in which they existed — changed and were changed by the life-forms sheer existence. Adaptation to circumstances became the key of "survival". These complexity of reactivity led to the development of memory — first within the structure of the non-purposed chains of amino-acids to achieve duplication — then into a more "complexed" reactivity in which interaction with the environment could be resonated with — via adaptation.

These complexed reactivity led to the development of secondary memory in which knowledge of reactivity past is "recorded" for better adaptation to future changes, but not necessarily successfully so — not a fool-proof insurance against change in the environment. Change in the environment can be sudden or progressively slow, giving time, or not, for adaptation — first of the duplicating memory and second of the memory of reactivity.

So far so good. This evolution, devolution and extinction, within various environments, themselves created by the cosmic position of this planet — position around the sun, timing of rotation, angle of rotation, angle of sunlight, cosmic events such as bolides hitting the surface, amount of certain elements in the formation of water and atmosphere, etc. — created an array of interacting life-forms, with more and more specific characteristics stemming from their origin of duplication and place in the environment. It took a couple of billion years to achieve the next "complexed" life-forms, in which multi-cellular structures became more successful at protecting their individual integrity against the environment in which other life-forms could become aggressive and "steal" existing structures from other life-forms for duplication — and "survival". Two trait of core reactivity/activity came to be for successful survival: aggressiveness and receptivity. further traits such as deception in various formats became paramount to hide from the aggression of other life-forms. This lead also to the next stage of memory (third memory), indivdual complex centralised memory with sensors (senses) designed to feel the environment better.

By many steps of differentiation of species, the evolution of some complex structures came and went — such as the placoderms, fishlike animals, who had an exoskeleton and sexual reproduction — sexual reproduction being a "necessary" accidental possible step in the evolution of more complex multi-cellular life-forms. Had this step not been taken, it is possible that life would have stayed mono-cellular till today and still be a broth of viruses and bacteria.

But thanks to the adventurous processes of evolution of a non-purposed life-force embedded in the original amino-acids, which duplicated BECAUSE THEY COULD, the human species is running riot on the surface of this little planet.

As I have written before, memory is the essence of life, from the duplicating bits to the construct of a brain that can record the past to prepare for reaction to future changes in the environment, as well as having the ability to interfere with the environment to help profitable changes versus environmental factors that can induce fear. So far so good. Our individual memory (third memory) is the seat and generator of our self. No soul no thetan no angels no spirit... full stop. Our consciousness results from the delta of our memory in continuous change.

As explained before on this site — extracts from one of my unpublished books — by whatever accident of evolution, humans have got more memory than what we know to do with. This has led us to become more stylistically inclined — style being the invention of who we are in our own minds (the seat of memory). We can decide who we are, once we are away from the necessity of survival. This ability and its resultants has resonated and been channelled with the fourth memory — the cultural or social memory.

There are many varied "social memories" that exist within the human species. Some of these overlap, some of these conflict when facing each other. These social memories were "necessary" for survival within certain environments — stemming from small groups of interacting individuals developing basic and shared survival mechanisms (such as birds feeding their young) into a more ritualised group activity.

Eventually as groups became larger, stronger and more streamlined stylistic dictums were devised for the group to function with individuals at various stages of development (young and old). The memory of individual's death was also recorded by the group and valued as a step towards becoming part of the dust of the earth, then part of individual features or animal, then part of the greater sky — rather than be an end of individual life. Imagination — during social time, especially at night, in which everyone was fed, was warm and covered — spurred by fear of the "dark" environment let to the notions of spirits, gods, ghosts, gremlins, avatars, you name them... they're all here. Illusions of what is imaginable for the mental comfort of the group (explaining the "unknown").

We all know where these mantras are at now. They're a mix of superiority, smugness, compassion, aggression, strength, illusion, control and structuralisation of the group with master layers deemed of importance from the grand doodah to the janitor. They keep us on our place, unless we are prepared to follow THEIR STEPS (often for a fee/donation). To maintain the power of these mantras, specific weird and fanciful story-lines are also embedded with rituals — as well as "beliefs" in the "mysterious" and arcane. Some of the processes are directly extracted from our naturalness and manipulated into this concocted virtuality, hence taboos of sexual behaviour and such.

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If Rhubarb was still alive, he would be laughing his head off, for the giant hoax he played on gullible people.

If Christ was alive today, he would cry at what his hypocritical tormented followers turned into...

If Confucius was alive today, he would be alive.

If Muhammad was alive today, he'd be a more tolerant man, giving greater freedom for people to be.

If Buddha was alive today, he would have to start from scratch again...

If Vishnu was alive today, she'd scratch itches, with her many arms, everywhere...

If god existed, the Jews would rule the earth by now, having pushed other people's buttons to self-distruct...

Ah ah...

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Meanwhile the pedlars of illusions continue to promote their religious wares like bait on hooks... and some of us get caught in the web they weave...

Good luck. Peace.

dust to dustbin...

Pope: 'Without faith in the Resurrection, everything falls apart'


"it is the certainty that Christ has risen that imparts courage, prophetic audacity, and perseverance to the martyrs of every age."


VATICAN CITY (AsiaNews) - If faith in the resurrection diminishes in the Church, "everything stops, everything falls apart. On the contrary, the adherence in heart and mind to Christ dead and risen changes lives and illuminates the entire existence of persons and of peoples".

Benedict XVI made these remarks today during the general audience held in the courtyard of St Peter's basilica, in the presence of about 50,000 people. Immediately after the audience, the pope spent a few moments with some children who survived the massacre of Beslan, hosted in Italy by the association "Reset".


The pontiff, who dedicated his catechesis to the resurrection of Christ, emphasises how "it is the certainty that Christ has risen that imparts courage, prophetic audacity, and perseverance to the martyrs of every age. Is it not the encounter with the living Jesus that converts and fascinates so many men and women, who ever since the beginning of Christianity have continued to leave everything in order to follow him and put their lives at the service of the Gospel?".

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Gus: Crappo. Without "faith" the earth still spins around the sun and the marmosets still do what marmosets do... Without faith, only faith bites the dust... 

read blog above this one. Peace...

innate goodness

from the SMH

...

When I asked what the difference was between a religion and a cult, someone replied "a good accountant''.

The ''atheism is a religion'' question is best answered by the Non-Stamp Collector, a YouTube animator who says: "Saying atheism is a religion is like saying not collecting stamps is a hobby, off is a TV channel or bald is a hair colour".

Why are you atheists so angry? If beauty is in the eye of the beholder then anger is in the sphincter of those people whose beliefs are being confronted. No one who agrees with Dawkins has ever called him strident.

The word ''militant'' has become synonymous with atheist. Militant is simply a word used to describe someone showing opposition in a way the people being opposed don't like.

And yes, atheists have killed, tortured, lied and stolen - never in the name of atheism, but because they're bad.

Jews, Muslims, Christians and atheists are generally moral people. But that's not because they're Jews, Muslims, Christians or atheist. It's because they're people.

I do hate. I hate religion taking credit for most people's innate goodness.

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Gus: Good article but why use such a horrific title: "Atheism is a broad church".... Was the sub-editor in charge trying to do a wisecrack or was the title chosen by the author herself? This description makes atheism fall into the trappings of chiché religious hubris when it's not...  Should "Atheism is a lovely broad*..." not be a better title?

*slang term for a woman; "a broad is a woman who can throw a mean punch"...

May be a better title could be found somewhere. We should ask Steve Fielding...

see toon at top and read article below it.

we should avoid messiahs...

from Phillip Adams

When I was a child I was the only person who didn't believe in God that I knew. Everyone else had either been born into one of the major brands of Christianity, or at very least they'd accepted, by a process of social osmosis, the idea of God, even if they remained, for all practical purposes, indifferent.

And that's the good thing about the recent ascendancy of our belief, or rather our disbelief. For atheism does not presuppose, let alone impose, a set of views. All it does is unite us in religious scepticism about the existence of gods. Gods plural because, of course, even within one of the religious brands quite a few variations on God are made available.

So today is important because it tells people that atheism is all right. I didn't know it was all right. This greatly intensified my loneliness as a child. When I tried to tell my grandmother my doubts - I was raised by grandparents on a tiny farm -she boxed my ears. Ah, the solitary dissidents, the lonely thinkers, the people who may be the only disbeliever in a family or community. To that extent we need to borrow from our enemies and have some missionary zeal. Whilst we should avoid messiahs we need disciples to go out and spread the word and seek converts. But as I'll be arguing this morning we must also have to use our intellectual convictions to calm down the frenzies of faith.

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Gus: read more of Phillip at the drum and see picture at top and read more at the usual suspect. especially "Sapiens in the mist" and comment below picture...

Please NOTE: some new theory (being DNA tested as we speak) proposes that Neanderthals were "absorbed" by mating into the greater human species, rather than "butchered" into oblivion. Apparently we're all carrying Neanderthal ancestry to some degree. This would explain the variety of behaviour and the extraordinary gamut of individual faces that humans have. It could explain nothing... as well.

cute killers...

A number of non-native mammal species are damaging the UK countryside by eating crops and threatening wildlife, a conservation charity has warned.

A report by the People's Trust for Endangered Species identified 14 problem species including rats, American mink and muntjac deer.

The trust said some of the creatures have been in the UK for so long, they are thought of as indigenous.

It said it was important to stop the extinction of native species.

Practical action

According to the report, two of the UK's fastest declining native species - the red squirrel and the water vole - which has declined by 90% - are under threat by mammals introduced by humans in the last two centuries.

American minks prey on water voles while grey squirrels, which were introduced to the UK in the 19th century carry the deadly squirrelpox virus and outcompete the native red squirrel when it comes to hunting for food and habitats.

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In Australia, we all know about the (cute bunny) rabbit plague and of mouse plagues (billions), not to mention the moggies gone back to the wild (I've seen some cats the size of rottwielers), the foxes and the cane toads (some as big as cats) and other cute exotic things such as some lovely water plants that kill everything else... Did I mention the feral pigs, the goats, the wild horses (brumbies) and the camels... and the white humans of course... At least the feral buffaloes were erradicated from Kaladu National Park...

meanwhile at pollen central...

British plants are flowering earlier now than at any time in the last 250 years, according to new analysis.

Researchers stitched together nearly 400,000 first flowering records covering 405 species across the nation.

Writing in the journal Proceedings B, they show that the average first flowering date has been earlier in the last 25 years than in any other period.

Flowering dates are closely linked to temperatures recorded in the Central England Temperature Record.

This is the longest continuous instrumental record of temperatures anywhere in the world, dating back to measurements made in 1659.

netcasting spider...

netcaster...

picture by Gus...

balance of nature...

Cane toads have driven the northern quoll to extinction in many parts of northern Australia and they are threatening to invade Western Australia's Kimberley regions, one of the quoll's last strongholds.

But scientists from the University of Sydney have trained a group of 62 young quolls to associate cane toads with feeling sick - a process called "conditioned taste aversion".

Before releasing the quolls into the wild, Professor Rick Shine, Stephanie O'Donnell and Dr Jonathan Webb fed each marsupial a small dead cane toad.

The toads were not large enough to kill the quolls, but they were laced with a chemical that made the quolls feel nauseous.

Dr Webb said the quolls quickly learned to avoid eating toads.

Note: the cane toad were introduced in the 1930s in Australia to fight pests in canefields, until they became pests themselves. Cane toads are poisonous to eat for most animals who can't peel their skin off...

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 Meanwhile at spider central:

spider&roach

This spider is digesting a cockroach (picture by Gus)

and this lovely St Andrew's spider (picture by Gus):

staspider

 

and this creepy huntsman spider (picture by Gus):

huntsman

 


pearls of nature...

I may appear to have a fascination with spiders... Sure.

But here I am only trying to locate the "atheist" aspect of life. This is nature, in evolution, in which spiders of many deceptive tricks exist. Take this netcasting spider below for example... It's large enough to be tempted by a lizard... but I believe these spiders prefer insects... It's a question of digestion... The lizards may be interested in catching the spider, but its mouth may be too small for this large spider, although lizards may catch some small cockroaches, bugs, ants and smaller spiders...

Some large orb spiders sometimes eat small birds. It's a fine balancing act out-there, at times like a Mexican stand-off... and on some cold rainy mornings, spider webs become like pearl strings... No godly reason nor purpose in all of this... Just a fascinating natural play-off in a corner of evolution (pictures by Gus). Note the rainbow coloured prism effect from the reflecting scales of the lizard...

spider and lizard

peralsz

spider eyes

Most spiders have eight eyes and the netcasting spider has two of them huge at the front... picture by Gus.

a golden moment...

golden orb spider

a golden orb spider. Picture by Gus. See images and articles from top...

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Scientists have described a Chinese spider they say is the biggest fossilised arachnid yet found.

The female, which lived about 165 million years ago, belongs to a collection of spiders well known today - the golden orb weavers.

These creatures make webs from a very tough and distinctively golden silk.

The researchers tell the journal Biology Letters that Nephila jurassica, as they have called their specimen, would have had a leg span of some 15cm.

"She is the largest known fossil spider," said Professor Paul Selden from the University of Kansas, US.

"Her body is not the biggest, but if you add in her long legs then she's the largest," he told BBC News.

Today's Nephila species are found around the globe in tropical and sub-tropical regions.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13134505

of spiders, breast cancer and the penis...

spider eyess

picture by Gus Leonisky

Monday, April 9, 2012 CAIRNS scientists are studying spider venom with the hope it could hold the key to curing breast cancer.

James Cook University prof Norelle Daly has received a $200,000 research grant from the National Breast Cancer Foundation to analyse whether the venom of tarantulas and funnel web spiders can kill breast cancer cells.

"Spider venom could hold great potential," said the biochemist, who joined JCU last month.

"This is early days and we're doing preliminary research that we hope will go somewhere."

Prof Daly will test her theory in the lab by isolating the hundreds of molecules in spider venom and exposing them to cancer cells to see how they react.

She hopes the complex mix of molecules in the venom could offer a solution to breast cancer treatment.

http://www.cairns.com.au/article/2012/04/09/213831_local-news.html

MEANWHILE IN BRAZIL...

In Brazil, emergency room staff can immediately spot the victims of a bite from the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer). Patients not only experience// overall pain and an increase in blood pressure, they also sport an uncomfortable erection. And therein perhaps lies the key to the quest for more Viagras. Scientists say they have figured out the chemical that seems to be responsible for the penis boost. 

“The erection is a side effect that everybody who gets stung by this 
spider will experience along with the pain and discomfort,” said study team member Romulo Leite of the Medical College of Georgia. “We’re hoping eventually this will end up in the development of real drugs for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.” 

http://www.bio-medicine.org/medicine-news/Brazil-Spider-Offers-Hope-for-Those-Suffering-from-Erectile-Dysfunction-20394-1/

Of course women do not get bitten by "these" spiders... thus they do not have an erection???... But it might cure them from breast cancer.... See all Gus' spider pictures from top down...

 

stop killing everything that's out there....

 

''I've always been scared of spiders,'' Mr Dusheiko said.
Mrs Dusheiko said: ''I'd just prefer a bug-free house and that includes spiders.''
The family has just had its house treated with pest control after the creepy crawlies started emerging about a month ago.
After one of the warmest winters on record and an exceptionally hot start to spring, Sam Yehia, of Sydney Best Pest Control Services, said the bugs had started moving early.
''People have noticed things more and I guess when people notice things more then the calls jump up,'' Mr Yehia said. ''If the spiders start coming up, it means the season's coming up and people want to be ready for it.''
Ms Lowe suggests that instead of using pesticides, we should aim for a more ''biological control approach'' in an effort to balance urban systems and get more biodiversity.
''If you have one huntsman in the house, he's going to eat quite a lot of cockroaches,'' she said. ''If you have a couple of orb- weaving spiders in the garden, then you're not going to have so many mosquitoes and so you can naturally restore some of that balance instead of killing everything that's out there.''

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/animals/killing-spiders-risks-an-increase-in-other-pests-20131005-2v0sc.html#ixzz2gvPXEnnr

See pictures from top down...

 

rubbish and lampposts...

If you think the spiders at the bottom of your garden are getting bigger, you're probably right.

A new study shows that golden orb weaving spiders (Nephila plumipes) living in highly urbanised areas grow bigger, fatter, and are better at reproduction, than those in their native habitats.

The research reported in the journal PLOS ONE, helps scientists understand why some animals do better in human habitats than others.

"Spiders are important because they eat lots of pest insects, and are also food for birds, making them a key part of the food chain," says the study's lead author Elizabeth Lowe of the University of Sydney.

"Golden orb weaving spiders are very obvious in Sydney and really love living in urban areas. I wanted to work out what it was that attracted these animals and what affect the city was actually having on them."

Lowe and colleagues found spiders in highly urbanised areas weighed about three grams, while those in more rural locations were only about one or two grams in weight.

"We think this is probably a result of increased temperature, from the urban heat island effect, and because more prey is available for them to eat," says Lowe.

The heat island effect in urban areas occurs as the Sun warms hard surfaces like roads and buildings, increasing temperatures and also keeping environments warmer overnight.

"Because spiders are cold blooded animals, so to speak, the warmer it is, the more energy they have to grow and get bigger," says Lowe.

"There's also a lot of trash in a city which attracts flies, providing them with more food. Increased lighting at night attracts more insects as well."

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2014/08/21/4068061.htm

 

See also all articles in this line of blogs from top down...

a shy and deadly killer...

redback (black widow) spider

Picture by Gus leonisky... See pictures and articles from top

more spiders from gus...

small jumping spider

small jumping spider


St Andrew's cross spider underbelly

St Andrew's cross spider underbelly

 

green and yellow spider

green and yellow spider

 

Read from top...

he is looking at you, kid...

garden orb spider...

Garden orb spider... all pictures by Gus Leonisky.

dinner time...

dinner time

Dinner time: Small jumping spiders do not make webs, though they still make silk strands which they can use as a bungee cord... They launch themselves onto a pray, catch it and they winch themselves back up. Here This jumping spider has caught a bee. But then the whole lot —bee and spider — is under attack from a swarm of fruit flies... Quite fascinating as the breeze makes the whole lot dangle like a pendulum (hence difficult to take a sharp shot)... read from top...

more spider... impressive.

spider caught a cicada

a peacock spider...

pearls of rain...

pearls of rain

pearls of rain

never seen this guy before...

 

"stripey" garden orb spider
"stripey" garden orb spider (picture by Gus)

Standard Common Name

Garden Orb Weaving Spiders

Alternative Name/s

Garden Orb Weavers

Number of species

100

Identification

The commonly seen Garden Orb Weavers are stout, reddish-brown or grey spiders with a leaf-shaped pattern on their fat, roughly triangular abdomens, which also have two noticeable humps towards the front. They sometimes have a dorsal stripe which may be white or brown edged with white.

 

- See more at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/garden-orb-weaving-spiders#sthash.Zf44FQtr.dpuf\

 

See from top... I have seen many garden orb spiders but not this species. 

loving the warm weather...

 

garden orb spider (picture by Gus)

garden orb spider (picture by Gus)

Sydney is experiencing a booming spider season due to the warm, wet weather which is supporting insect survival.

Spiders you can leave alone

  • Hunstman — "they can bite but it's rare," Mr Bock said.
  • Black spiders — regularly seen leaving webs on window sills.
  • Daddy-long-legs
  • Orb-weaving spiders in the garden

Spiders to get rid of (usually seen on ground)

  • Sydney funnel web
  • Trapdoor spiders
  • Mouse spider


"Insects breed up in such big numbers, so usually we have the Charlotte's Web story where your female spider will lay an egg sac with hundreds of eggs inside and babies all hatch out and only a few of them will make it to adulthood," David Bock from the Australian Museum said.

"But because there are loads of insects around at the moment, a lot more [spider] babies are going to eat and survive and so you're just going to get really big numbers of spiders around."

Mr Bock told 702 ABC Sydney that most people had an "unreasonable fear" of spiders and that we should "absolutely embrace them", particularly those that spin intricate webs in the garden.

"There's a lot of fear out of proportion with the spiders and so people just decide to destroy the spiders and then they decide to complain about the mosquitoes, the flies, the cockroaches," he said.

"If they left most of the spiders there, they'd have less problems."

That advice is well practiced by 702 ABC Sydney listener Brendan, who said he worked hard to protect the spiders that kept the pests out of his cotton plants.

"The harvest gets covered in spider webs but the staff are encouraged to ignore the spiders," he said

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-09/spider-season-booming-in-sydney-thanks-to-warm-wet-weather/7151568

 

So far the Sydney temperatures for early February are on "average" at about 27 degrees Celsius — plus a bit (the minima are about 1 to 2 degrees Celsius above). And this should worry the punters. Why? Because so far the wind has been coming from the south/south-east. The temperatures should be quite BELOW average under such wind conditions. Should the winds change and come from the west, the average will shoot through the roof. The temperatures are predicted to creep towards 30 degrees by the end of the week. Humidity is quite high at 50 per cent.

spider wasp

 

A brown huntsman spider caught by a “spider wasp”, named from the notable behavior of hunting and killing spiders, often larger than themselves, as food for their larvae. Picture showing the "underbelly". This BIG spider wasp is nearly 50 mm long. Gus Pix. 

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a new batch....

baby spiders

out of the cocoon, a new batch of small spiders...

A controversial episode

 

A controversial episode of Peppa Pig has been pulled off the air in Australia for a second time, after complaints it told children to pick up and play with dangerous spiders.

Mister Skinny Legs, a 2004 episode of the popular children’s show, was removed from online publication by the national public broadcaster, the ABC, in 2012 for sending the “inappropriate” message that spiders were friendly and not to be feared.

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/sep/05/peppa-pig-spiders-c...

Gus: There are many venomous spiders in Australia. The red-back and the funnel-web spiders being some of the deadliest creatures on the planet. But some other spiders can inflict some nasty ailment, such as the white-tailed spiders which can induce necrosis. The list of venomous spiders in Australia is available at:

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/wildlife/2012/08/australia...


Meanwhile many Australian spiders are not dangerous to humans. It's a matter of knowing which one is which... read from top.

 

 

 

camouflage...

spiderX

I've never noticed such spider before. It seems to hide on the trunks of palm trees... It could be a hunter, similar to the huntsman spider, but is not a huntsman (picture by Gus).

 

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crazy spider web...

crazy web


female and male st andrew's spiders...

the male is the small one

the male is the small one

another view.

st A spiders male and female

st Andrew spiders — male and female (same as picture above — different camera)

 

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another jumping spider...

jumping spider

jumping spider. barely 7 millimetre long. Read from top.

this netcasting spider caught a lizard...

These spiders actually catch lizards...

this netcasting spider caught a lizard...

this netcasting spider caught a lizard...

 

 

 

See: 

pearls of nature...

webs of drugs...

Back in 1995, NASA researchers gave spiders drugs to see what effect they would have on how well the creatures spin their webs. After all, what better way for space researchers to spend their time?

In April 1995, an article in NASA Tech Briefs described how researchers at the US space agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama gave spiders different drugs, from caffeine to marijuana, to study the effect the substances had on how well they spin their webs. While the results produced a startling visual aid to complement the Reagan-era Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program’s “just say no” message, scientists say it’s a mistake to directly translate the effects substances have on spider brains to how they’ll affect human brains.

https://sputniknews.com/science/201906141075879696-nasa-spider-study-sti...

drugged

See: 

crazy spider web...

another new batch...

new batch

picture by Gus Leonisky

 

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catch of the day...

catch


a hairy fellow huntsman...

huntsman spider

 


of jumping spiders...

Queensland Museum arachnologist has helped identify five new species of tiny brushed jumping spiders the size of a grain of rice.

The group includes a spider named after Karl Lagerfeld. Arachnologist Danilo Harms, said the spider had a distinct look that was reminiscent of the late fashion designer.

“Jotus karllagerfeldi is a black and white spider which we looked at and instantly thought of Karl Lagerfeld and his signature look, as the spider has large black eyes, which reminded us of sunglasses and its black and white front legs were reminiscent of Lagerfeld’s kent collar,” he said.

Barbara Baehr, another member of the team that discovered the new spiders, said more than 70% of Australia’s spiders remain unclassified.

Some 3,500 species of Australian spiders have been classified but scientists believe that number will eventually soar past 10,000 species.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/02/karl-lagerfeld-spide...

 

 

Read from top. see also: 

another jumping spider...

 

dinner time...

 

more spiders from gus...