Ptera Hunter

Loki, by Ptera Hunter

I have spent the better part of my life learning about the behaviour of organisms. From tapeworms to vertebrates, animals are amazing. But, I am loathed to admit, so are plants and fungi. (Just don’t tell my botanist and mycologists friends I said so, or I’ll never live it down.) My books have sprung from my years of teaching

The Wisdom of Loki

We learn more about the art of lying every time we turn around. Here are some discoveries that have made the news–well, at ones that caught the eyes of animal behaviourists!

Ptera Hunter’s book recommendations

Cow Pox and the Propaganda of the 19th Century’s Anti-Vaccine Society

In June 1802, James Gillray published the Cow-Pock or “The Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation!”  a publication of the Anti-vaccine Society.  It used bald-faced lies and misinformation to discourage people from taking the first vaccine in European medicine.  In his classic propaganda cartoon, he implied that vaccinations would cause people to become more bovine, possibly sprouting cow’s ear, horns, or hooves. More on the use of lies and deceit can be found in the book: The Wisdom of Loki by Ptera Hunter. On May 14, 1796, Jenner inoculated the first person with cowpox to prevent smallpox. Although crude by…

Some Paint Choices That Can Cut Your Carbon Footprint and Reduce Your Chemical Usage.

Silent Consent looks at a dystopian world where easy access to energy and power has become part of our past.  Although fiction, its prediction of a polarized world is very plausible.   A caste system with a few powerful elites have controlled many of the pre-carbon era civilizations.  The many others, who serve as their energy source, often scraped for subsistence.  This book proposes a possible scenario, including the resurrection of an extreme caste or slavery system that is used to provide the energy to the fortunate few at the top of the social structure. Remember: Western civilizations began to shun…

Microlending

Many people need a small loan to get them through a hard time or to expand their business.  Microlenders tend to charge higher interest rates than traditional banks, but they also take more risks.  They loan to many people who might otherwise be turned down for a loan. Kiva is one of these organizations.  They act as an umbrella that unites many microlenders across the globe.  They can provide small loans to people whose poverty would otherwise bar access to finances.  You can help by volunteering to cover one of these loans for a small amount.  Twenty-five dollars would not…

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A Totally, Unabashedly Incomplete Book About Bugs

Kudos to a Great Graphic Artist Rubin Bolling: Alternative MAUS Hits Home

-by Ptera Hunter Among the best responses that I have seen to date about the recent mashugana decision by the Tennessee School Board to ban a book about the holocaust (because a cartoon mouse shows a breast) comes from graphic artist Ruben Bolling (a.k.a., Tom the Dancing Bug.) One of Mr. Bolling’s most recent parodies, the Approved Maus, features two mice desperate to be themselves in a world that demands masks and vaccines. In lieu of a license to post it, I am providing a link to his blog and cartoon: https://boingboing.net/author/ruben_bolling As the author of a book on deceit,…

Dinner and a Date with a Twist

Organisms lie, exaggerate, and scam their way to food, to territory and to sex. In one species of firefly, females can dine on the males of another species if they send a phony mating signal. The duped male becomes dinner rather than a date. Because of this threat, males will approach females with caution. Sometimes the deceptive females win, and sometimes the endangered males avoid the trap. As a consequence, the best liars among the females will get the most dinners, and the males that survive to pass on their genes are the ones that either never encounter the larger…

The Lying Fiddler

Everything lies. For virtually every species, lying and lie detection are essential survival skills. Fiddler crabs that have lost a claw will re-grow a bigger but weaker claw. When challenged by a smaller crab, the weak-clawed fiddler will bluff. It will display a fighting stance that tells the smaller crab that a confrontation would be foolish. Learn more about the art of lying in the natural world. Buy The Wisdom of Loki on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B094HJNTPG

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We’ve asked our authors to recommend some of their favourite books. Here is what Ptera Hunter submitted:

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Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, human populations have sky-rocked.  In 1800, approximately one billion people lived on our planet.  At that time, we lived on the energy of the sunlight that came down each year or stored in trees and crops over a few years to decades.  Once we learned to exploit fossilized…

Tennessee School Board Bans MAUS Over a Naked Mouse.

an editorial by our writer, Circa24, author of Silent Consent Now, in 2022, the Tennessee school board wishes to ban Maus by Art Spiegelman (1980).  It claims that it doesn’t mind people learning about the Shoah, as long as it’s sanitized!  “A naked” picture in the Pulitzer-winning graphic novel Maus displays one character after her…

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