The Greater Music of the Lesser Water Boatman

Pour yourself a glass of your finest Bordeaux, adorn your silkiest robe, fetch your most affectionate lap cat, and settle in for a treat, dear reader. What you are about to hear is the sumptuous song of the male Micronecta scholtzi, a small aquatic insect also known as the lesser water boatman.

Such skill, power, and grace! But especially power: The water boatman’s echemes can reach almost 100 decibels, as loud as hearing an orchestra play the first movement of Mahler’s 8th symphony from the front row. Yeah–that loud.  In fact, relative to its size it is the loudest animal on earth (Sueur et al. 2011).

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On My Incredibly Long…Absence

Brody "the Bodman" DickworthIt is clear that my readers have sorely missed me in my absence, and for that I apologize–my duties in the world of professional body building kept me away. I don’t build for a living anymore, but I remain a much sought after judge on the pro circuit. I love judging but there’s nothing like the forty-five minutes you spend stripping down and greasing up before getting up on that stage, ready to throw down a crushing sequence of poses that intimidates the whole room, leaving the judges in awe and the competition despondent.

I always varied my routine to keep the competition off guard, I was notoriously unpredictable. For example, in my 1997 performance which won me the Canadian national championship I started with an understated Front Abdominal-Thigh Isolation, which I deliberately held just slightly too long before transitioning slowly, almost imperceptibly into a coy Side Triceps Display, and then oozed myself into a classic Back Lat Spread and let them soak it in, nice and easy. I held that Back Lat Spread for a full thirty seconds until I could hear the spectators start to murmur nervously behind me; everyone except me was on pins and needles and so, sensing weakness, I spun decisively into the most brutal Front Double Biceps of my career. The audience gasped and I roared and started grinning like Zeus in the midst of a thunder bolt orgy. The room was mine now and I was fearless like a child in his own backyard. I decided it was time they had another Front Abdominal-Thigh Isolation, this time with gusto, so I thrust my pelvis at them forcefully again and again like a free man, and it was as though the energy of a thousand suns was rushing out of my body and washing over the entire room…

The rest is a blur. The audience had submitted to my will entirely, absorbing pose after pose after pose until, towards the end, everyone in the room was panting with exhaustion and close to tears, most of all myself. Finally I summoned the last of my strength for one last Back Lat Spread and walked firmly off the stage without even giving the crowd one final look goodbye. I collapsed as soon as I got back stage. Never have I felt a happiness so deep and complete before in my life as I did when I was lying on that floor listening to the standing ovation I was receiving outside…

I still feel a slight twinge of loss at the beginning of every competetion I judge, but it is nice seeing the next generation of great athletes go to work. This year’s victory came to the highly gifted Frank Jackinbeans. Athletes like him are truly a pleasure to watch. Indeed I hear they are starting to call him “The Bodman” now, though not when I’m around, of course.

Alas, those days are largely behind me, and it’s time to embrace this new phase of my life at PRIC. I see that Cox has kept himself busy filling the blog with personal attacks against my character and scientific ability, as well as making libelous posts questioning the authority and good judgment of PRIC. Doubtless there will be consequences for this kind of behavior, but I don’t plan on wasting another second thinking about it. No, I think it’s time to start doing science again, and I already have a very important project in mind.

A Letter to PRIC; The Good Fight Continued.

Brody, it’s a shame you’ve been AWOL for the last two weeks. I was hoping I could get you to sign off on this letter, make sure I didn’t forget anything. Well, no bother; I’ve already faxed it on its way.  The well-lubricated wheels of PRIC HQ are in motion, and there is nothing you can do to stop them.

Letter from Richard Cox

This Is the Echidna Penis. I Echid You Not.

The short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus acelatus), also called the spiny anteater, is one of those bizarre half mammal half reptile Franken-animals from down under known as monotremes, an order whose more familiar representative is the duck-billed platypus.

short-beaked echidna

The short-beaked echidna, Tachyglossus acelatus

In Greek mythology, Echidna was a half nymph half snake monstress, the mother of the fearsome Chimera, Hydra, Gorgon, and countless other creatures in the Greek pantheon. That this she-beast is the namesake of the humble and sometimes adorable short-beaked echidna may seem unfair, but this, dear reader, is only because you are unfamiliar with its great and awful penis.

What terrible secrets do you hold, little echinda?

What terrible secret do you hold, little echinda?

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A Letter From PRIC

I received a troubling fax this morning from PRIC headquarters. Well, maybe it’s best if you just read it for yourself:
Letter from PRIC
Needless to say, dear reader, Dr. Richard Cox, PhD., is not one to back down from a fight!  As the most senior research fellow at PRIC (excepting of course the poor comatose Prof. Wiener), I should not have to put up with this pushy bureaucratic nonsense.

And Brody, I don’t know how you earned such special favor with the higher-ups at PRIC, but I promise you it won’t last long. I’m currently writing a response to Mr. Fallace that will bright to light the true character of Brody J. Dickworth.

However, in the meantime I’m willing to put aside our differences to get back to the roots of Curious Cox: exposing the world to awe-inspiring animal penises.

I will keep you abreast of any further developments in my good fight. As always,

Stay Curious,

Dr. Richard Cox, PhD.