Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Every day when I set out for office in the morning I am trailed by a pesky fly, which keeps on buzzing around and irritating the hell out of me. Lately, I have been wondering why the fly takes a fancy to me. An it occurred that it may be my cologne. (Now I know it's not a very flattering thought. But what the heck, anything for the greater cause of scientific inquiry.) The question that came to my mind was: Do flies have the powers of olfaction? Common sense says the do but anyway I turned to the omniscient Mr Google! And bingo! I was immediately informed that not only do these buggers have a phenomenal sense of smell, their favourites include old pork meat, damp stale bread and chicken manure (Ugh!).
"The fly has on its head two antennae, a kind of fleshy trunk for sucking up food and two palps. The antennae and palps are covered in hairs that have sensory cells inside which react to odours," says Dr Frits Kelling, who recently earned a PhD from the University of Groningen, in the north of The Netherlands, on this subject. (Next thing you know somebody will have a PhD thesis with a title like "Flatulence in African Killer Ants")
To discover these nauseating facts Kelling caught flies and stuck electrodes to the hairs on their antennae. (Now, this is what you call dedication, maan!)
More enlightening stuff: When a young fly is emerging from the pupa it can already smell. And there are a few differences between the olfactory habits of males and females. (Oh no! How could I have been so completely ignorant about all this.)
Anyway, it so happens that Kelling's research is not meaningless academic indulgence. Apparently, Dutch researchers are going to use his findings to improve fly traps. Hurrah! Death to the shit-eaters!

P.S. I want my blog to be totally apolitical. However, I can't help but make an honourable mention of James Lyngdoh. This man knows how to cut the crap. I mean, these politicians and their bureaucratic cronies have been bullshitting us on Gujarat for a long time… but Lyngdoh's kick on their collective butts has landed them face down on their self-manufactured manure.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?