Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dasypus crotalus

Vaspaïme Paris joins forces with The Arkadelphia Free Range Armadillo Ranch to present


Extrait de Parfum


Charangoûté is an arresting fragrance for a woman who radiates a sense of adventure.

Embolden yourself with this scent that seduces with Animalic, Apple Blossom and Halüfaronniér notes. Allow it to access the inner depths of your rustic enigma.

The Five-banded musk rattler is the only species of Armadillo with a rattle (composed of modified scutes) in its tail. The rattle houses a musk-secreting gland whose aroma inspires caution in predators but affects humans differently. Vaspaïme Laboratories have tinctured the dried exudate only so much as is necessary for use. The result is pure Ozark exhilaration.

The bottle is a masterpiece of enhanced nature. The shell of a real armadillo’s rattle has been coated in transparent Acrylplast and set on a sumptuous Art Deco base. Its eclectic fusion of smooth curves and rough edges suggest mystery and excitement to come.

Experience Charangoûté, and enter the wilderness of the woman who wears it.

Vaspaïme. You can smell the difference care makes.©

Friday, November 28, 2008

A. fragilis fremoris

The serpent known as LAQUEUS FREMORIS is called this because it makes a loud noise when handled roughly, and because despite its ability to break off a section of its back end, it is so long and sturdy that, even when so broken, it can be tied into a noose suitable for hanging a man. The animals were used for this purpose during the reign of Gallienus, when the Appian Way was beset with bandit attacks led by the dissolute philosopher Pidepibus (known earlier for his translations of Zeno), who demanded a blood oath from his men not to exhibit any signs of remorse, sorrow or pain once in custody. In response, the wily Praetor Titurva chose to eschew crucifixion and execute the captured bandits by hanging them at a certain distance from public spectators — so that the type of noose employed was less evident, and so that the serpents’ cries could more effectively displace the stubborn silence of the condemned. It is said that a bandit and his rope would often expire at the same moment.

From: M. M. Trevevemme, Trans. & Ed., Selections from Three 13th Century Bestiaries. London: Bungrove Press, 1973: p. 166.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


…that when shattered, a sheet of this brittle alloy will cleave into equilateral truligons, hence the name. Despite its delicacy, truligonium’s remarkable heat-retention property has made it a staple material for builders in Estonia’s colder regions. Its presence is often announced (especially in public buildings) by a wallpaper
pattern incorporating prominent truligons. This décor warns of the fragile component within the walls, but also assures that the room can maintain a safe level of warmth if heated by a government standard-issue stove unit. It is with this common knowledge that Lt. Mandrõkin locates, inside a wall, the corpse of the missing youth (chapter 32): Using a thermometer, he deduces that despite the wallpaper design, there is no truligonium insulation in one room of the engineer Närviarst’s bungalow — and so the details unravel of Närviarst’s murder and concealment of his crippled son.

Despite a decent premise, the thrills are few and the characters fairly flat, making A Cold Reception one of the weakest entries in Ulfsak’s Lt. Mandrõkin series.

From: Veronibeth Jenkins-Uusberg, “100 Years of Estonian Crime Fiction.” Yellow Spines Quarterly Review, vol. XLIV, no. 7 (Winter 1993): pp. 76.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Magnolia Rognolfiana

Q: Are there any flowers more dynamic in behavior than the insects that pollinate them?

A: Yes, at least one. The self-fertile Rognolfi’s magnolia (M. Rognolfiana) flourishes only in climates subject to intermittent rainfall. The bloated, lethargic female of the Sloth cricket species prefers the low-hanging blossoms of this plant as her permanent shelter. In fact, the most vigorous act of her life occurs when instinct drives her to heave herself beneath the frond-like tepals. Soon the blossoms will dust her rotund husk with pollen specially adapted to cling fast to the chitin. When the rain comes, the drop-pelted flower gently batters the insect, connecting the pistil to the pollen grains, and mating is completed. Thus, in this case, a pollinator is required merely to be present, while all the necessary movement is the plant’s duty.

From: Nylo Jamesolver, Answers to 444 Routine Questions about Pollen, New York: Loarme, Drean & co., 1957: p. 85.