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16 January 2005 @ 01:14 am
What I did during the LJ power outage  
Some of you may be familiar with this article about chemical weapons being developed by the US DoD for use in combat situations. Most famous was the homosexual aphrodisiac, which was concocted primarily for the purpose of upsetting troop morale among the macho men that we fight every day. While that is a very telling statement on the DoD's part, and others have commented on it, I would like to draw your attention to this sentence:

"Other ideas included chemical weapons that attract swarms of enraged wasps or angry rats to troop positions, making them uninhabitable."

Let us consider the first word, "attract". This word seems to imply that in many battle zones there are clusters of wasps and rats in various stages of anger and enragement. Understandably, the horror of war has taken a grisly toll on their psyches, and the wasps and rats are grouping together for comfort and support. Possibly, the wasps and rats were living peaceful lives of domestic tranquility until a chemical pheromone unleashed some sort of primal fury from within the core of their beings. This is unlikely, given that the wasps and rats seem to be, from the context of this sentence, already in a state of rage or anger. We will now consider what it might take to enrage a wasp and anger rats, chemically.

If you throw a rock at a wasp net, the wasps will come out and attack you, presumably enraged. One must wonder what it would take to chemically enrage a wasp. If you're standing right there spouting out sweat and human smells that the wasps have learned to associate (through the channels of their rudimentary civilization) with punk kids and homeowners who are trying to gut the nest from the inside out, that's a no-brainer from the wasp's perspective - there's a human being standing outside that the smells can be attributed to. Suppose that there was just this bizarre smell of human, and no human? Wasps use pheromones to communicate with each other - they leave little trails of stories, like "wasp 576C claims there's food at the end of this trail", and "intruder trying to attack the queen, wasp 34W in pursuit". Imagine that you are a wasp, and you come across a trail that says "nest has been burned down, queen in danger, fly around like an idiot until this message wears off". If you did, I imagine you would be pretty enraged - obviously some punk wasp just "sprayed wolf" all around the nest to fuck with all y'all, and it's time to beat him down. It is possible that the message could be more subtle, like "we can always eat your kids", or "your mom was a worker". Most wasps have probably learned to shrug these sorts of insulting chemicals off, and they would be of little use in encouraging them to make a living space uninhabitable.

The argument for rats flows naturally out of the argument for wasps and several viewings of The Secret of N.I.M.H., and is left as an exercise for the reader.

In the Middle Ages, a sound strategy for causing discomfort and disease among your enemies was to catapult rat-filled garbage behind your enemy's walls. I'm not sure if that violates the Geneva convention, but it seems a hell of a lot simpler than developing wasp-enraging and attracting chemicals that may or may not also affect rats. The DoD seems to want total control over these animals, and the gamers among you already know what I'm going to say - what the DoD really needs right now is a PHB, They could save themselves a lot of time by embedding 12th level druids and going from there.

Also, I have a new phone now. Number is the same, but many of your numbers are not in it. E-mail me your number (or leave me a message) if you want to be safe.
Hoc Est Qui Sumusdiscoflamingo on January 16th, 2005 07:17 am (UTC)
I also downloaded Solaris 10, and put it in some mad overtime. Now it's bed-time for Bonzo.
ninja in the shadows: demonannieseiryu_16 on January 16th, 2005 07:22 am (UTC)
Sounds like what they really need - if they can't get 12th level druids - is "The Pain" from Metal Gear Solid 3. Observe:

Also? You made me snort-laugh. Doc wins. ::grin::
ninja in the shadows: dancinseiryu_16 on January 16th, 2005 07:23 am (UTC)
And in case you were wondering, YES that IS a gun made out of BEES.
(Deleted comment)
ninja in the shadows: demonannieseiryu_16 on January 17th, 2005 04:27 am (UTC)
Nononono, MADE OUT OF BEES. Because it also shoots bees at you, some of which you have to dig out of your skin.

Hideo Kojima is so fucked up.

But GOD do I love that man.
Hoc Est Qui Sumus: Ominousdiscoflamingo on January 16th, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC)
That's disturbing.
ninja in the shadows: pocky?seiryu_16 on January 17th, 2005 04:35 am (UTC)
How could it NOT be? Gun! BEES! Shitfuck, how should these go together?! THEY SHOULDN'T! Not ever! And yet here they are! AUGH!
Flombertrichandfamous on January 16th, 2005 07:27 am (UTC)
I don't know your e-mail address, but I do want to be safe.
though she be but little, she is fiercehilabeans on January 16th, 2005 09:16 am (UTC)
Every single one of the ideas in that article sounds like it should be a card in Munchkin.
Angharad Elwes: southpark happyangharad on January 17th, 2005 07:22 am (UTC)
Yes. Yes, it should. Expansion set of blank cards, ahoy!
Do You Wanna Be Free or You Wanna Be Right?malcubed on January 16th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)
There are actually a wide variety of secondary metabolites that plants use to attract wasps in large quantities, with the intent of them either eating or stinging overly aggressive grazers. I would assume that the compound under discussion was either an extract or synthesis of one of these. I wouldn't be surprised if something similar was done with rats.
Hoc Est Qui Sumus: For Science!discoflamingo on January 16th, 2005 05:47 pm (UTC)
You know, I have fun pretending that laymen scientists are at all competent. Thanks for a heavy dose of the real world, Mr. Real Scientist :-(
atelierlune on January 16th, 2005 11:56 pm (UTC)
If nothing else, your userpic is cute.