Will the sex life of insects ever stop interesting us?

I just read about the humble pond skater. More precisely, about how male pond skaters are forced to dance for sex.

Apparently, the females of one species have evolved a genital shield (now there’s a scary thought; sort of like a portcullis/guillotine (both of these French words, I note) clamping shut when she’s not happy) and only mate with the male if they like the song he taps out on the water surface.

Reminds me of Sting’s eight-hour sexathon claim, which he says included “four hours of begging then dinner and a movie”.

Yes, according to New Scientist it takes “an elaborate mating ritual lasting about 15 minutes” before the poor male will get a nod and a leg over. Which makes you wonder how much energy he’ll have left…

You can’t make these things up, and here’s the proof. The next time I see a male red-backed water strider, usually found in stationary pools beside mountain streams in Korea, Japan and China I’m reliably told, I will send a genuine wave of empathic feeling his way.

Lies and videotape

As a kid I used to cycle out to libraries to rent videos for the family. There was one movie on the shelves called “Sex, lies and videotape” that always caught my eye, but the 18 certificate meant I couldn’t rent it. That movie title really teased me all my youth.

So imagine my disappointment when I watched it over the weekend. It was just “Lies and videotape”.

Note to self: Any adult movie around when I was a kid will not live up to the expectations.

This James Spader fella also seems to be in a lot of oddball movies. He was in Crash, and in Secretary. Looking on imdb.com I see he’s been in The Rachel Papers as well, but not as Charles Highway.