Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Credo quia esse titillandum

5 Ways to Tickle a Strident Fawn Quonaggra

It’s that time again – the hot and humid season, when gravid Strident Fawn Quonaggras coast on the summer breeze through our parks and gardens, gliding aimlessly until the threat of collision or capture sends their rudder-like tails into action. Though hard to catch and harder to tickle, the benefits of lightly prodding a Quonaggra — before she unleashes her semi-hatched eggs into the wind — are obvious to all. Untickled Quonaggras release a high level of frantosicaniferine as they jettison their young, causing even the starchiest shirts to wrinkle. “The gargalesthetic response definitely reduces fabric warpage,” explains Dr. Beetarn Parnault, director of ovoviviparity studies at the Montosolini Institute. “But the tickling has to be humane and effective or it won’t help our clothes at all.”

Here are 5 tips for those wishing to attempt this classic summer pastime.

1. Strip down your feather. While a feather can be effective, Dr. Parnault suggests clipping the barbs along the side (leaving only a slender, wispy vane) for maximum efficacy.

2. Aim front and center. The Quonaggra has difficulty peering directly into its pouch area — which, as luck would have it, is highly sensitive and ripe for tickling. Aim above the eggs.

3. Use medium walnut phoscorinck tongs. Traditional images depict pioneer children chasing swollen Quonaggras with bulky hearth implements, which in fact can easily harm the animal. These tongs, specialized for a light touch, are a much better choice (although most experienced ticklers find tongs unnecessary).

4. Replace commercial bait wedges with peach slices. Should you need to attract Quonaggras, this fleshy stone fruit is more effective than any artificial lure, and cheaper.

5. Dribble molasses into your breast pocket and hold your breath. Yes, this traditional method does indeed work, and requires no further explanation.

Retrieved from worldnetdaily.com on 2009-6-24.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Taraxella electri

The titular secretion of the Amber gem spider is not true amber, nor any other sort of resin (a substance derived only from plants). This hard, pellucid material is in fact composed of the spider’s own silk. Being the only arachnid discharge released in such a large quantity all at once, its producer is the one species known to “amberlock” – that is, to set itself inside a rapidly congealing mass when menaced.

When amberlocking, a gem spider is thought to enter a state of dormancy rather than death (at least in optimal circumstances). This is not yet conclusive, although an expedition into Upper Sulepawak, planned by Professor Loömdorf for 1956, may yield a better understanding of the subject.

Natives have already accepted the frozen slumber of the spider as fact, resulting in several strict taboos that complicate possession of the rare nuggets: They can only be found, not given or traded. They may be set like jewels, but not threaded (like beads) or otherwise punctured. The extreme heat (such as that of a volcano) required to liquefy the amber must not be applied intentionally. But should fate cause the gem to melt, the revived animal will scuttle away bearing on its back the Uborlepoluk (the mischievous imp that acts as a spirit courier) desirous of the amber-owner’s soul — prolonging said owner’s life by at least another day, regardless of present circumstances.

From: H. Viveam Constanelle, Known Wildlife of Sulepawak: A Field Guide, Mandaroeb & Sons, 1955: p. 123.