Archive for August, 2011
Random thoughts on today’s earthquake, which I felt at our home in the Catskills:
1. Never felt anything like that in my life (earthquake virgin here). Home alone today, in the middle of a perfectly sunny day, no breeze …suddenly our two-story, 1850 house starts rocking back and forth and creaking and popping. Our cat went bonkers. I just looked around like WTF?! The most surprising thing: it was so QUIET! After a few seconds I just got up and ran far out into the front yard…the whole thing lasted about 20 seconds. My heart was racing! Everyone fine. House seems okay.
2. Okay, was over large part of East Coast. Got that now.
3. Feel so nervous right now, still. Feel “off.”
4. Still can’t get over how pin-drop quiet the whole thing was. “Sensurround” it was not! Weather-wise, this is exactly like what the weather was like in NYC on 9/11.
5. The weird thing about being in an earthquake is you think you just feel dizzy at first. That’s what my body was telling me: “…you have vertigo.” I couldn’t process what was happening.
6. Okay West Coast, we get it! California may have more earthquake experience, but today proved New York doesn’t necessarily hold the upper hand on sneering, shallow snobbery.
7. Hmm… I really hope nobody just happened to be masturbating for the very first time when that happened.
LIVE: Pitch! August 31st! Allison Castillo! Shawn Hollenbach! Rena Zager! …and John Russell of Essential Homme magazine!
Hey NY’ers! We’re fashionably late announcing this months Pitch! for good reason…it’s all about the male fashion world! Features Editor of Essential Homme magazine (and local gadfly) John Russell takes the seat at our editor’s desk, ready to rate the clothes of, and hear pitches from, the likes of Allison Castillo (Comedy Central’s Premium Blend, author of The Score: The Ultimate Quiz to Test Who He Is), Shawn Hollenbach (Here! TV’s Hot Gay Comics, Brunch at Night at Stand Up NY), Rena Zager (Comedy Central, Nice Jewish Girls Gone Bad) …and you! Audience pitches are encouraged! Have something you want to pitch to Essential Homme? Want to be a male model? Get on that water and lettuce leaf diet, get to the gym, gather your portfolio of tear sheets …and come show John Russell what you’ve got …as you gosee Pitch! this August 31st! MC’d by your well-dressed(?) hosts Greg Walloch and Mark Allen! Wednesday August 31st! The Lounge @ Dixon Place, 161 Chrystie Street, NYC (map it), 9:30PM! Only $7! (no drink minimum). Come find out who makes the best-dressed list, and who doesn’t!
Are you coming to PITCH! on August 31st? Are you an aspiring male model? Do you think you have what it takes to make it into the pages of Essential Homme magazine? Well, get on that water and lettuce leaf diet, get thee to the gym, gather your portfolio of tear sheets …and come gosee John Russell, Features Editor of Essential Homme, at Pitch! He (and the audience) will let you know if you’ve got what it takes! Or, if you’d prefer, email us some photos or a pitch for Essential Homme (email Mark Allen or Greg Walloch). Please show up with the following: 1. Stats: height, weight, hair color, eye color, waist size, wrist size, thigh size, shoe size, I.Q. 2. A list of your favorite designers. 3. Your model card, with contact info. We’ll be showing you and/or your photos off to John Russell of Essential Homme, and our audience, at “Pitch!” on August 31st! Are you ready to be on the runway?
If moving upstate to the country is what New Yorkers do to practice dying, then having brunch in Hudson must be the journey through the 9 circles of Hell.
Does everyone have their old, warbly cassette of 1950’s organ roller rink music cued up to play in the background while they watch the GOP debates?
A report on our July 27th PITCH! With David Crabb, Gregory Nalbone, Karl Marxxx, Nathan Phillips, Sarah Small, Sydney Etienne, Randy Jones …and Daniel Nardicio of Playgirl magazine!
Click here on the “Pitch!” blog to read all about it…
The common housefly, also known as the Musca Domestica, is a cosmopolitan pest that propagates in regions where there is human activity. The housefly is thought to have formed as a species about 65 million years ago on the part of the planet now known as the Middle East, and human migration has resulted in the fly’s dispersal around the globe.
A fly’s body consists of three main parts; its head, the thorax in the middle, and the back end which is the abdomen. There are two small antennae jutting out from the very front of the head, which help the insect to detect motion (also aided by the tiny hairs covering the fly’s body, which pick up changes in air currents, as well as smell and taste).
But the most recognizable part of a fly are its eyes. To actually “see,” flies have what are known as “compound eyes.” These orb-like structures, which exist on opposite sides of a fly’s head in some species, actually only detect lightness and darkness (and sometimes color) despite their elaborate construction. As is the widely-held perception, a fly’s eye does indeed refract and reflect many multi-faceted repetitions of an image, captured within the many “ommatidia” which cover the surface of the eye (from 12 to 1,000 depending on the type of fly) and transport them into the fly’s brain. However, contrary to science fiction and horror films, the individual images picked up by the ommatidia are nowhere near as crisp as the single-retina images that humans see. The ommatidia on the eye’s surface point in different directions to get a kind-of “all-around” view of things, and are the openings of tiny tunnels which lead inwards. The structure of these cone-like passages, and they way they reflect and refract light, are different with each species. The insides of the multiple tunnels are divided in half - one side designed to detect light and one to detect darkness. The fly’s tiny brain knows how to process the shifting, duplicate images.
The housefly’s reproduction capacity is tremendous, but because of harsh and shifting environmental factors, can fortunately never be realized. The birthing process of a fly is actually rather complex, and takes about 10 days. A female fly is ready to be impregnated 36 hours after hatching from an egg herself. Females can lay eggs 8-12 hours after impregnation, usually up to 500 eggs in several batches dispersed over a period of a few days. These eggs are bright white and about 1.2mm long. The female lays them in moist areas where there is nutrition, like decaying garbage or flesh or excrement. The larva, which become darker as they feed, grow to 3-9mm long and have black, hook-like mouths at one end, and sinuous slits (bleeaacchhh!) When the larva are fully-grown, they become one of the most universally recognized “gross-out” creatures known to man: maggots. Maggots are are creamy white and 8-12mm long. Contrary to popular belief, maggots do not “feed,” but instead are done eating as soon-to-be-flies, and ready to hide away and finish their birthing cycle. Maggots will crawl up to 50 feet away from the feeding area to a cool dry place, to quietly transform to the pupa stage. The pupa changes back to brown, and also red and then a weird ashy-gray during it’s various growth stages. When the fly is fully formed inside the pupa sac, it pounds it’s head like a pulsating hammer (which is actually designed to swell up and down quickly during this stage) to break out. Flies emerge fully-grown, and the appearance of small flies do not mean they are “children” flies, but simply ones smaller as a result of not having enough nutrition during the larva stage. A typical adult housefly is 6-7mm long, with females usually being larger.
As an adult, a housefly’s life-span is about 15-25 days. Males are very territorial and will duel with other males that enter what they perceive as their territory, and will also try to mount and inject with sperm all females who enter the area. Flies usually travel about one mile away from, and back to, the area where initial nutrition and reproduction have occurred in their lives. Flies are not active at night, and hide in cool dry places, like ceiling beams or window sills to rest. Flies have the ability to walk on ceilings and walls because the ends of their legs have tiny secretors which can emit a gooey substance. Flies only suck nutritional liquids, and do not have mouths to process solids. They can ingest solids by regurgitating saliva onto them to dissolve them. Flies are always cleaning their bodies and legs with their mouths because the many hairs on their bodies contain their smell and taste receptors, and need to remain unclogged.
There more than 100 pathogens of varying degrees associated with the house fly, which they pick up from landing on rotting foods and excrement, and then transporting them to surfaces they land on - through their feces, regurgitation and gooey legs. Seeing the odd single housefly land on your food is not a cause for extreme panic, and not necessarily reason to throw the food out (depending on how paranoid you are about germs) but an infestation with very many flies is cause for alarm. Households with infants or older people, or people with compromised immune systems should be more careful. Bug sprays are a bit pointless for flies, as they usually spray lots of poison in the air or on an indoor surface for just a single fly. Sticky pest strips and fly paper actually do work to control fly populations, and control of them is the best strategy - as total elimination is nearly impossible. Window screens are essential to keep them from entering your house and reproducing. Large numbers of indoor flies may be the result of rotting food, garbage or feces hidden somewhere in your home that you may not know about, or possibly a rotting animal hidden in the walls or under the home.
Fly swatters have a mesh design because flies detect the movement of air, and rely on this characteristic for survival. If you want to swat a fly and avoid it detecting you, you may be able to confuse it by swatting it from two directions at once. One clever way to sometimes capture a fly is to rather rapidly clasp your hands a few inches above it, which will usually cause it fly upwards - often into your just-closing hands.