Palaeo After Dark

The gang discusses two papers on insect behavior, one fossil study and one modern study. The fossil study illustrates a cool example of how amber can help us to understand the evolution of pollination throughout Earth history. The modern paper investigates how bury beetles care for and communicate with their young. Meanwhile, James’s computer lives in the past, Amanda has to deal with cat-nap related choices, Curt has his honor besmirched, and everyone is a little overwhelmed by how little people care about invertebrates.


Up-Goer Five (Amanda Edition):

 Today our friends talk about small things with six legs. Some of these small things with six legs go to green things with pretty colored bits and take their tiny baby parts, and take them to other green things with pretty colored bits. It might be that a long time ago, when green things with pretty colored bits were new, that small things with six legs and sort of hard parts over their flying parts were the ones that took the tiny baby parts of green things with pretty colored bits to other green things with pretty colored bits. The paper shows a small thing with six legs and sort of hard parts over their flying parts carrying tiny baby parts of green things on its body. That means that these small things with six legs and sort of hard parts over their flying parts helped these green things with pretty colored bits make more green things with pretty colored bits, but also that they ate the tiny baby parts. The other paper has different small things with six legs, and their babies. Their babies will ask the old small things with six legs for food. If they do not, they die. But if they ask too much, they also die, This paper takes away the old small things with six legs and shows babies will do nothing but ask for food and die.  



Bao, Tong, et al. "Pollination of Cretaceous flowers." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116.49 (2019): 24707-24711. 

 Takata, Mamoru, et al. "A Parental Volatile Pheromone Triggers Offspring Begging in a Burying Beetle." iScience 19 (2019): 1260-1278. 

Direct download: Podcast_179_-_Pollinators_and_Begging_Grubs_Studies_of_Insect_Behavior.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

The gang celebrates the end of the year by taking another break to play Fiasco, a crime/noir storytelling game by Bully Pit Games. Here is the conclusion of our two part episode.


Business in the Blue Label Diner was picking up, and Bill Larsen was all action; balancing plates, refilling coffee, and distributing orders with a speed that belied his aging body. All the while, he never ceased telling his narrative of the town’s recent history to the woman from out of town who was still sitting in that same seat at the counter. It was as though the act of relaying this history was somehow feeding him an otherworldly energy.

“So I know that a lot people from outside uh’ our town might not really get it… But ya see Mr. Cromwell brought somethin’ important to this town. The Hub brought more than just jobs, it brought a purpose. It made this town important, put us on the map. And sure, we don’t really go outside at night all that much anymore…” he looked out his window at the thick smoke which now pushed heavily against his diner like a layer of dense billowy cotton, “but my business has been doin’ better than its ever done, and I don’t think you’ll find another person in town who’ll tell ya any differently. Things…. things are good now in Paradise Falls.”

Bill picked up the carafe of coffee and made his way back to the woman sitting at the counter . As he poured her another cup, he glanced down at her notebook. It still sat on the counter, untouched; its blank white pages glaring back at him. For the better part of an hour she had sat silently, not writing down a thing; her face gradually contorting into a scowl of thinly repressed rage. That energetic confidence that had fueled him left him in an instance. His back once again twinged in pain. “Now I’m sorry but that’s all I know about what Mr. Cromwell has been doin’ around these parts. I think Sophie Bryant might have heard something about….”

“I don’t care what Cornelius Cromwell did or did not do Mr. Larsen.” The woman tilted her head to look directly into his eyes with a piercing glaze, “What I want to know are the whereabouts of Miss Tully and her relationship to Agent Cooper.”

Bill looked perplexed, “Agent who now?”

The woman stood up from her stool at the counter and stared him down. Bill crumpled, some of the coffee spilling out of the carafe which he still held clenched in his right hand. “Mr. Larsen, where is Miss Tully?”

The diner went silent, all eyes turned to look at Bill and this strange woman from out of town. As Bill shrank away he sheepishly asked “Now… now which… which paper are ya workin’ for?”

“I’m not.” The woman threw down a badge with the words ‘Bounty Hunter’ in large thick typeface onto the counter. “Now, what do you know about the whereabouts of Miss Theresa Tully?”

"Paradise Falling" is a surreal tale of paranoia, failure, and cold hard capitalism.


"Andreas Theme" Kevin MacLeod ( 
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Direct download: Podcast_178b_-_Paradise_Falling_Part_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT