Friday, April 18, 2014

American Atheists Art Auction

Hello Everyone, 

I hope you are all having a great holiday weekend. Some of my readers might be in Salt Lake City this weekend at the American Atheists Convention. If you are, be sure to check out and bid on some of my art work. I may not be there, but it sure is! 

Enjoy and I hope you have a great time! 

Woman On Fire
Starting Bid: $55

Creation
Starting Bid $55

Think Again
Staring Bid $55

Light-Bearer
Starting Bid $55

Blind Faith
Starting Bid $60
(Blind fold made of real bible pages)

Beneath the Cherry Blossoms
Starting Bid $100

Flying Universe
Starting Bid $50

Idle No More
Starting Bid $45

A percentage of all the sales goes to American Atheist's Charity Fundraiser, the rest will be put towards offsetting the cost of shipping the art work, and paying my bills. ;)
Remember, even if you are not at the convention other pieces of mine are available on my Etsy Page. Also, if we meet our WiS3 goal, I will be getting a table for that conference and selling both original pieces and prints.

A Sex Ed Manifesto

An accompaniment to Ania's sex-ed curriculum: a manifesto for how sex ed classes should see themselves and their role.

"
We are here to inform you that consent is an ongoing negotiation that can be withdrawn at ANY time and that if you EVER ignore that withdrawal, you are a rapist. We are here to inform you that a rapist is not something you want to be. We are here to inform you that you are never, ever, EVER "entitled" to any kind of sex with ANYONE, no matter what they say or don't say, do or don't do, drink or don't drink, if they do not enthusiastically consent to it. We are here to inform you that, no matter what gender you are or what gender your partner is, YOU have the option to say no, and they have the OBLIGATION to acquiesce to your refusal, and they are bad people if they do not.

We are here to inform you that how often you have whatever kinds of sex you like having is between you, your partner(s), and whoever controls the spaces where you'd like to engage in this amazing and wondrous facet of the human experience. We are here to impress upon you NO ONE--not your church, not your parents, not even the rest of this entire society--gets to decide that for you. We are here to inform you that other people will have opinions about the hows and whys and whos of your sex, and it is up to YOU to decide which ones you take seriously and which ones you discard. Nothing about your preferences, interests, and tastes indicates that something is wrong with YOU. Not one thing. Your value is not dictated by what kinds of sex you have, how many partners you have, the genders of those partners, or anything else related.

We are here to inform you that some partners actually are bad news, and will do things that make you feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Some partners will try to isolate you from your friends and family or control your life in other, stranger ways. Some partners will try to use their positions of power over you--teachers, police officers, bosses--to get you to do things with them that you don't want to do. Some partners will try to use violence against you to make you do what they want you to do. Sometimes, your friends or family will notice these patterns before you do. We are here to inform you that you do NOT have to tolerate that, that being in that situation does NOT reflect badly on you, and that there are places for you to go in order to escape that horror.

We are here to provide information about every intervention you might take to avoid becoming pregnant, avoid acquiring STIs, avoid getting your partner pregnant, avoid giving your partner STIs, stop being pregnant if you desire to not be pregnant anymore, and get rid of STIs. We are here to enthusiastically recommend any and all of those options that work for you. We are here to remind you that NOT ONE SINGLE THING IN THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE can make a claim on your body that supersedes YOURS, regardless of what properties that thing has or doesn't have. We are here to remind you that the most effective way you will ever have to make sure you mire your family in poverty for a generation is to have a baby before you finish high school, and the second-most-effective is to have a baby before you finish your first post-high-school degree. We are here to remind you that you have the option to seek child support from your partner if you have a baby and they refuse to be part if its life. We are here to remind you that there are other resources available for people with children in difficult situations, some of which are provided by organizations like Planned Parenthood that are most famous for other services.

We are here to provide information on how to engage in sex acts safely and pleasurably that has nothing to do with STIs. We are here to give you the tools you need to understand your body and to know whether a partner has your safety appropriately in mind. We are here to encourage you to explore that body on your own and understand how it works and what YOU like, ESPECIALLY if you are a young woman and virtually everyone else in your life has been telling you the opposite. We are here to make sure that you do not think you are defective or weird or at all unusual if you need to add clitoral stimulation to your PiV sex to reach orgasm, if you need extended foreplay to reach the point where PiV is not painful for you, if you find that you enjoy stimulation of your prostate. We are here to make sure you understand that paraphilias exist and are not shameful or signs of mental dysfunction or indicative of abusive tendencies or whatever other nonsense people have fed you. We are here to make sure you understand that sexual pleasure, whatever form it takes for you, is something wonderful, and not something about which you need to EVER feel shame.

We are here to provide information on the ways that the sex depicted in pornographic materials can differ from the sex you'll be having. We are here to provide information on the ways that porn actors and sex acts in porn are optimized for viewing, not for the pleasure or enjoyment of any of the participants, and that porn actors (and regular actors, for that matter) are held to standards of attractiveness that are impossible, unhealthy, or both for the vast majority of the human race, including most of you. YOU will have to navigate that space and assert your place in it in order to have one that isn't dictated by the wishes of those around you.

Your and your parents' patriarchal, probably-religiously-motivated attitudes about sex, sexuality, and any 'morality' associated therewith that has nothing to do with consent have no place here, and if you retain them by the time we have finished providing this information, we will regard ourselves as having failed you.
"

That's the mission statement I want to see for sex ed classes.  That right there.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rant: Internet Harassment is a Fucking Big Deal

I just don’t have the energy to be eloquent anymore. I don’t have the energy to come up with ways to make what should be self-evident arguments sound polished.
I am so sick and tired of this bullshit argument that the internet doesn’t matter. That the harassment people face online is somehow not as bad as if it were happening through some other medium. That it is less dangerous, less personal, just less. What’s worse, is when I defend the validity of the paint and terror felt by victims of internet harassment, I am accused of somehow saying that stalking is somehow less serious or even not serious at all.

Frankly I am fucking sick of it.

To ignore the importance to the internet in our society is essentially to ignore our society. Our entire lives are dictated by the internet. It is where most of us get our news, how we keep in touch with friends and family, most of our work involves the internet in some way.

When I was working for law firms, and real estate agents, people’s cases, closings, purchases, sales, depended on my ability to access the internet. On my ability to be able to check my email, to be able to send emails.  While working, a significant majority of my day on the computer and most of that on the internet (if only with my email open and frequently refreshing).
When I came home I would also spend the majority of my time back home on the computer, talking to my friends,  writing on my blog and promoting my writing to help build my writing career, promoting my businesses which took place almost entirely online.

Since having to give up work due to disability, I still spend close to 12 hours a day either on the internet directly or connected to it in some way. Especially when my ability to interact with people in person and go out is hindered, the internet can be my only connection to the outside world. When (as it is now) my ability to pay my bills and buy groceries was hindered by my ability to work, it was the internet that came to my aid by donating money. When I needed help funding the ability to write my book it was the internet that did so. My connections with other writers who will introduce me to publishers happened entirely through the internet.
We rely on the internet, but it can be a tool against us as well. When harassment occurs through the internet it can feel more personal. The barrage happens in your own home, in your place of business, anywhere and everywhere where you have an internet connection. Even if you block everyone at the first hint of harassing behaviour, that first hint still has to occur. With the ease of creating accounts, your harassers can keep coming after you even after you have blocked them 3, 4 even 20 times.

If your harassers have access to your email, you have no choice but to browse through the endless tirades and hate messages. Even if you never open and read the emails, the previews give you an indication of their content. If they are using your work email, you may not even have the option to read and delete those emails.
When harassers doxx their victims, they are revealing private and identifying information. They give perfect strangers information about your phone number, your address, your place of business, and a variety of other identifying information.  They release this information on public sites where the information is accessible by strangers. This information is a where and when guide to stalking you.
You don’t even need to be in the same city to stalk someone anymore. With access to their information you can call their work, their home, you can email them, leave comments on their blogs or pages they frequent.
If like me, you operate online businesses, harassers can destroy your business without ever leaving their home; or worse, from their phones. Fake reviews, reporting false violations, all of these are simple for anyone of a mind to destroy someone.

Imagine everyday finding endless threats of bodily harm, of life, of safety, or of one’s ability to support oneself. Imagine these messages coming at you through your twitter, through your Facebook, through your email, left as comments on your blog, sent to your friends and coworkers when they cannot reach you. Imagine that the same people who harass you and/or your friends show up at conferences that you help organize or at which you are speaking. Imagine that your harassers donate money to the legal defence of another harasser who is suing his victim for speaking out about her harassment.
Imagine that your harassers make trouble for you with your online store, or through your websites.
Imagine that the companies you work for facilitate that harassment by siding with the harassers in public statements. Imagine that when you speak out about the devastating psychological impact that the constant harassment has had on you that people demand, DEMAND, that you release your private medical information to prove that the psychological consequences are real. That when you rightfully don’t want to release your private medical information to complete strangers that they accuse you of lying. That they make up lies about you and claim you are a professional victim.
Imagine that after releasing private information, or making you the target of their harassment, that they claim no responsibility when someone who is a stranger to you decides to assault you while knowing your name.
If you still think that internet harassment doesn’t matter or is no big deal, you can seriously fuck the fuck off.

*The scenarios presented are a composite or several different occurrences and not targeted or related to any one specific event.

** I have no interest in debating this or tolerating any abuse on this post or anywhere else. If I don’t like what you have to say I will block you and you can complain about how your rights to Freeze peach were violated by some big bad feminist on her personal feeds. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Why and the How

My mother likes to tell me that “God put me on this earth for a reason,” or liked to.  There are a lot of things like that she used to say to me that she tries not to anymore, after my last few sorties into our conversational DMZ.  I want it to feel welcome, like a level of acceptance I never expected to get, but that’s not what it feels like.  She reflexively reaches to place an affectionate sign of the cross on my forehead at night and instead pulls back, eyes full of pain, and I can tell she doesn’t see the situation at all like I do.

It’s a common refrain, in its numerous forms.  “God put you on this earth for a reason.”  “You have to find what you’re here to do.”  “Seek your destiny.”  “God has a purpose for you.”  Purpose.  Purpose.  Purpose.

That’s something many religions say, and that Christianity and Islam are most famous for demanding of atheists they come across.  What’s your purpose?  What are you here for?  And they don’t like our answers: biochemistry, evolution, primordial soup, parturition, the Roman Empire, colonialism, a bottle of wine sometime in February, the love of two people who had far too little else in a cold and scary world.

What’s your purpose?

What they’re really asking is, whom do you serve?  What is your role in the grand design?  What’s the item number on your cosmic cog?  How do you know who you are if no one tells you?

There is a terror underneath their aggression, a terror one can almost see as they demand to know what “purpose” we all serve in an atheistic universe.  The Abrahamic theist’s universe is carefully crafted, not a nut or bolt out of place.  Every twig and caterpillar, every wave and breeze, every traffic snarl and TPS report, every rape and genocide, has a role to play in the cosmic scheme.  Every little thing is part of YHWH’s design, they rejoice, endowed with meaning by its importance to this cosmic game master and the downstream effects it was lovingly and specifically created to mobilize.

Whenever I describe a weird and wonderful animal to Mom, especially a scary one like the giant Japanese hornet, I get the same question: “But…what purpose do they serve?”  She wants to hear an ecological role like “scavenger” or a habit of eating agricultural pests, something to indicate the animal’s utility to this planet’s human masters or at least to maintaining an ecosystem.  I’ve described a part of the machine that she didn’t know about, so I have to tell her what it does.

And it has to do something, or its existence is without meaning.  This attitude brings many atheists to bemusement, but it leaves me dripping with horror.

For what is the meaning of the football stars of Steubenville brutally raping a teenage girl?  What is the meaning of 800,000 people being burned and drowned and plagued and shot and stabbed to give Russia a little more Black Sea coastline?  What is the meaning of dracunculiasis and Ebola?

What was the role in God’s great design for the multitudes who spent their last days in iron lungs before Jonas Salk’s vaccine could make polio virtually disappear?

It all has to mean something.  All of that suffering has to serve a broader purposeSome good has to come of all that bad.  All of those people’s pain is the raw material of some grander edifice that this god-monster is building, an edifice that is good and therefore justifies and absolves all of that bad.

What does that make those among us who desire to end suffering?

And what is the meaning of three children three-and-change years apart?

When Mom was infuriated with us, she would sometimes say, “I brought you into this world, and I can take you back out!”

It was an idle threat, meant for its shock value more than anything else.  Yet in between that is the notion that sets up the plot of most “creature feature” films: if you created it, it owes you something.  We serve a purpose.  They are sprockets in God’s widget, and we were sprockets in theirs.  Atop the respect and love they deserve for being the parents they are, this view demands the unswerving loyalty of the screw and hinge, objects that serve the purposes their creators and owners declare.  God is the King of the world, the King is the father of the country, the Father is the head of the household, and the household are heads of nothing.

That is what we repudiate when we declare that there are no gods.

All of these roles, all of these goals and events and happenings, must serve a purpose for the believer.  They contemplate a world without this purpose, without a cosmic organizer who painstakingly put all the parts together in the best way possible, and they see meaninglessness.  They see a world whose guinea worms and gang rapes do not even have the redeeming glimmer of some grander goal that could be advanced no other way, a world filled with terror and pain for no reason at all.

They ask us what is your purpose because they are afraid the answer is nothing—only to suffer.

They ask us what is your purpose because they imagine themselves totally impotent—only by alignment with the will of the Purposer is anything accomplished.

They ask the what and the why, but the only answer is how.

Why did my grandmother die?  A series of strokes and heart attacks after a life of sickliness and dementia.

Why does the sun rise?  The earth rotates, continuously changing what half of its surface faces the sun.

Why am I here?  Biochemistry, evolution, primordial soup, parturition, the Roman Empire, colonialism, a bottle of wine sometime in February, the love of two people who had far too little else in a cold and scary world.

A cold and scary world whose trials and Japanese hornets and brutal, senseless evil serve no grander purpose at all, so we can defeat them.

A cold and scary world that has become less cold and less scary every year for thousands because of thinkers who were not content to imagine that the world’s suffering was mandated from on high.

A cold and scary world whose hills and tides and inhabitants simply are, to do with that incontrovertible reality what they can and what they will.

A cold, scary, beautiful, amazing, terrifying, sublime, monstrous world that imposes no purpose on us, and in which we can choose what our purposes will be.


That is our lot: to live.

That is my purpose: what I choose it to be.


And there is more meaning in that choice than I could ever have extracted from a life of mindless service to a demiurge of horror from beyond time and space with a lunatic’s preoccupation with seafood and genitalia.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Who Rocks? My Sister Rocks!!!

So, I had to come on here and brag. My amazingly awesome-opposum super duper 13 year old sister just won second place in the regional science fair, AND she won a medal from the US Army for having one of the best projects with defence and peace applications, AND won the top French project award.

What did she make?

She created a program that reads the text on screen and allows the user to control their computer with voice commands rather than by hand. That's right! My sister created an accessibility program and is helping make the world a better place for those of us with disabilities!!

Why? Because the Bula sisters rock, that's why!

And anyone who says girls can't math, science, or program can suck it!

YSI Excerpt: Disability and Mental Health

When struggling with pain, constant fatigue, nausea, malnutrition, loneliness, and a variety of other symptoms, it is not hard to believe that it is common for people dealing with chronic illness and disability to be vulnerable to depression. Whether this is because at times everything becomes overwhelming, due to circumstances influenced or worsened by your condition, or because of deficiency in necessary vitamins and chemicals, it doesn’t ultimately matter. The result is the same: depression. 

                With all the concern about managing your apparently more serious chronic symptoms, it can be tempting to simply ignore the mental health concerns. It makes sense that you are depressed. Who wouldn’t be if they lived like you? You already have all these other drugs, do you really mean anti-depressants. It’s not like you are going to hurt yourself, you don’t have the energy. And even if you did, would anyone care? You would stop being a burden. No one would have to worry about you anymore. It would stop the pain…

                Just like that the depression becomes severe and cause for concern. At the worst moments during a flare, you might be stuck indoors for long periods of time alone. You might be in a hospital bed, your only human interaction the occasional visitor and the nurses, not to mention the person who comes to take your blood every morning. Regardless of whether you see a lot of people or not, you are stuck in one place for a long time. Imagine having to spend your entire day in a small, somewhat uncomfortable bed.  The only time you get up is to go to the bathroom, and to do that you have to push an IV pole that is attached to your arm.

Even if you aren’t hospitalized, the exhaustion can create the same results at home. After a while it starts to drain you even further. Your life starts to stretch out before you, and endless miasma of pain and boredom. You don’t even have the energy to watch TV. You just want to lie in bed, and wish you could get up the energy to have a shower.

 What can further complicate the situation is that symptoms of many chronic conditions and depression overlap: fatigue, difficulty falling asleep, lack of energy, pain, and so forth. It can be difficult to tell when you are dealing with one thing or another. Are you unable to get motivated because your Crohn’s kept you up all night, or because your depression is making it hard to care about anything? Is the exhaustion mental or physical? Is my joint pain a physical response to inflammation or to psychological pain? Moreover, sometimes physical pain can cause the psychological pain. It all intertwines until it is almost impossible to tell.
             
          Despite the frequent connection between disabilities, illnesses, and anxiety/depressive disorders, the medical community still has a hard time understanding the correlation. Frequently depression, anxiety, or any psychological diagnosis is treated very negatively. Even if you have a documented disorder that you are getting treated for, a diagnosis of any psychological condition could mean a decrease in the quality of care. Suddenly, every trip to the doctor or ER becomes suspect. Some doctors will wonder if you are faking your symptoms in order to score drugs, while others will assume you are over reacting or confusing mental symptoms with physical ones. It creates a situation where there is an incentive for people with chronic conditions not to seek help for their related psychological conditions.

              
       I have seen this manifest personally. The usual procedure when I come into the hospital is to be given an anti-nausea agent and pain meds. Regardless of whether they think I need to be admitted or not, the usual assumption is that if the pain is bad enough for me to feel the need to come in, then controlling the pain is a concern. On one such occasion, I noticed a slight change in how I was treated. Usually there is an effort to reduce my pain symptoms as quickly as possible. This time around, it seemed that there was a hesitancy to do anything about it. I was offered some anti-nausea medication, but not once was there even a mention of anything to do about the pain. 

         When the doctor came in to see me, the first questions were not about why I was there, but clarifications about my last visit to the hospital being labeled “psychiatric”. I was confused, having never come to the hospital for anything mental health related.  I wracked my brain for every time I had been to the hospital in the last few months: visit with my gastroenterologist, visit with my rheumatologist, weight management clinic…. Bingo. It seems that the clinic that my GI had sent me to to see about getting help in losing weight with the difficulty of Crohn’s and arthritis, registered as a psychiatric visit on my hospital file.  In combination with my medication for anxiety and ADHD, they has assumed that I had come in to be treated for something else. The pallor of having sought help for a mental health problem changed how they viewed my physical health. I never was offered anything for pain, and I was sent home without any satisfactory aid for what was wrong with me. For the first time I was given the answer that it was “just Crohn’s”. A condition that had such a profound impact on my life was suddenly seen as no big deal because of one tick on my chart that might suggest that I also had depression. That the Crohn’s might be the cause of the depression was never considered. That a person can have two things wrong with them and have them be equally valid and serious was never considered. No clearly, despite the fact that I had a documented condition, depression, anxiety, or any other form of mental health disorder had to mean that the pain was all in my head. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Hate is not a Dissenting Opinion

The other day, a woman protesting an MRA event being held at Queens University was violently beaten by a man who knew her name, but was otherwise a stranger. The fact that this attack came right after she received several threats related to her protest of this event has created speculation that the attacker was in some way connected to one of the many MRA groups attending the event.

The event featured a professor who was “revealing the double standards in feminism”.  This is the same professor who was quoted as saying “I don’t believe in equality” during her talk, and was apparently completely unable to see the irony of a woman who became a professor complaining about feminism. The event drew the attention of MRA organizations like CAFE and AVfM. For those unfamiliar with it, AVfM was added to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of known hate groups. 

The MRA movement is one that is inherently violent. On the surface, it brings up legitimate concerns including the tendency of men to be less likely to be granted custody and the lack of support for male victims of sexual assault. In fact those two issues should be given more attention and are frequently discussed in feminist circles (including but not limited to my talk at Eschaton 2012).

A closer examination of the movement shows that they do not actually care at all about sexual assault victims, and the men who consider themselves deserving of custody are actually violent abusers. One of the founders of the movement, Tom Ball, for example (who later committed suicide by setting himself on fire in front of a courthouse) would talk about how “All he had done was smack his 4-year-old daughter and bloody her mouth after she licked his hand as he was putting her to bed”. To many proponents of the movement, beating a child or a woman is no reason not to get custody. Clearly any man who hits his children hard enough to draw blood is just being unfairly discriminated against by the court system. 

Male victims of sexual assault fare no better. Many who have gone to the sites in the hopes of finding support and resources often find themselves being denigrated and their manhood insulted.
In fact what the movement’s main actions seem to be are frequent threats of violence and rape against any woman who dares bring up issues of inequality, perpetuation of rape culture through campaigns to shame victims of sexual assault while denying that rape culture and victim blaming exists, and misrepresenting statistics to make it seem as though discrimination against men is taking place.  

The movements main goal seems to be to bring us back to the “good old days” when women didn’t have the vote, weren’t allowed to work, and where men made all the decisions (as opposed to just most of them like they do now). The movement uses different forms of violence to achieve their ends, from microagressions, to rape and death threats, to revealing private information that was at times illegally obtained to the public (ie. doxxing). All of these employ psychological violence to achieve their end, and the escalation to physical violence is but a small step.  What’s more, studies show that even relatively benign behaviour, like jokes, legitimizes and encourages violence. If your movement is built on violence you will attract violent people and encourage violent behaviour even if that is not your intention. When your movement includes avowed abusers and admitted rapists that becomes a guarantee. 

The underlying error of the MRA movement is that life and society are a zero sum game, where the only way that women gain anything is by taking something away from men. This is only true if we consider privileges like treating a segment of the population as property and objects and not as person’s within their own rights a human right.  The fact that the movement is made up predominantly of middle class to well off libertarian white men who also support and espouse racist, ableist, and homophobic ideas, shows that this is not a movement that cares about defending a population’s human rights so much as a bunch of whiny privileged assholes who are complaining that they are no longer the presumptive betters in our society. 

While it is possible, though in my opinion unlikely, that the person responsible for the Queen’s student’s assault is not affiliated with any of the MRA groups, these organizations still bear a large part of the responsibility. Any and all universities, including Queens and Ottawa U, should think twice about their association and thus their implicit support of any and all persons who promote their ideology. In giving them a platform, they too bear responsibility of their hate speech and violence ideation, and the results thereof.  

The MRA movement is nothing short of a hate group and should be treated with the same lack of respect as the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, or any other organizations whose purpose is to promote the hatred of vulnerable populations. This is NOT a valid response to feminism. This is NOT about celebrating men in the way that feminism celebrates women. This is NOT a reasonable other side of the debate. This is a terror organization that promotes fear to the extent that women attending a university event feel the need to use pseudonyms when asking questions, and feel the need to go to absurd lengths to protect their physical safety.  That we do not call them terrorists is in my opinion due to a societal bias that violence against women is somehow more acceptable than violence that includes male targets. 

*If universities used to have 100% male attendance suddenly allowed women to attend university and increased their class sizes, then the fact that the male university attendance is 50% doesn’t mean that spots were taken away from men. That is not how percentages work. If University had 100 attendees all of whom where men, and now has 200 attendees of whom 100 are men, and 100 are women, you have 50% men but that 50% still amounts to the same number of men. This is just one example of the way in which MRAs misrepresent statistics. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Animal Form and Function 5: Chelicerates

The chelicerates are likely the most primitive of the extant arthropod groups, and they are the simplest anatomically.  Chelicerates are one of the first groups of animals known to have made the move from water to land, but their dominion over terrestrial ecosystems has not lasted.  Nowadays, the spaces that once belonged to this ancient lineage mostly belong to crustaceans in water and insects (so, different crustaceans) on land.  Still, chelicerates remain a major ecological force, thanks to the multitudinous mites and ticks and the prevalence of spiders and scorpions as insect predators.

And, they are magnificently weird.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Animal Form and Function 4: Crustaceans

The arthropods are the only phylum covered in my course that is split over multiple sessions, and with good reason.  Arthropods are a majority of the species known to science.  Parse that carefully: not a majority of invertebrate species.  Not a majority of animal species.  A majority of species, period.
That massive diversity means that arthropods are also impressively different from one another across their various groups, and covering that diversity requires an extended fraction of the lecture course's time and two entire lab sessions.  Which groups are covered in which sessions changes from year to year, so for this series I'm doing the three "classical" arthropod subphyla--crustaceans, chelicerates, and "atelocerates"--each as their own post.  Today's topic is crustaceans.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Animal Form and Function 3: Annelids and Nematodes

After the tour of seashore beauties in the previous chapter, the annelids and nematodes may seem dull.  The very limited array of annelids that most people encounter--mostly just the one--certainly don't help that impression, and nematodes all look more-or-less alike.  Like any other animal phylum, though, the annelids have a few surprises for us.

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