Cats and Ping Pong

Let’s end the work week with cat videos, since every reader save one (see previous thread) likes cats. There are quite a few videos on YouTube showing cats purporting to play ping-pong, but this one really does. Of course, he’s playing the net and is powerless to deal with corner shots to the left. . .

This one came up right after the one above, and I found it amusing.  Happy weekend!

Readers’ Ask Me Anything

Okay, I’m dead tired and can’t brain, as I’ve had a bit of insomnia since coming back from Poland, so don’t expect gravitas and substance today. What I can do, which someone suggested earlier, is have the equivalent of a reddit “AMA”, or “ask me anything”. So, instead of writing a post or two this afternoon, I’ll have a look at questions that readers ask.

  1. Ask me anything
  2. Except very personal questions, of course. . . .
  3. I can’t guarantee that I can answer every question; I might pick the ones that look intriguing, just like when I did the reddit AMA
  4. You have to have a question, not just a comment
  5. You get one shot, which means one comment, though you can have two or three questions in your comment.

So, I am at your disposal (from time to time between other tasks).  I’ll try to answer questions today until I go home and then clean up stuff until about noon Sunday.

French courts overturn burkini ban

As CNN reports, and as I expected, the French Council of State, an administrative court, has overturned the bans on “burkinis”—the full body coverings for beachgoing Muslim women—enacted in 15 French towns. What were these people thinking? Why would a burkini be banned but a full-body covering for a non-Muslim deemed okay if it were worn to prevent sunburn? What about wetsuits for surfers? The reason, of course, is that burkinis are a symptom of religion, and to many French people violate the national policy of laïcité, the absence of religious influence in government.

The French (and now two German schools) have also banned niqabs, or face coverings, as I reported yesterday. (That ban includes burqas, the cloth sack that invariably covers the face as well.) One can make an argument that those bans are more reasonable, as niqabs impede your ability to see another person’s face, essential in many circumstances. And the niquab bans have been upheld by the European Court of Human Rights. However, as opposed to French law, I’d favor banning niqabs in certain situations—schools, banks, government offices, and so on—rather than the existing complete ban of the garment in public. The French also ban the hijab (headscarf) in schools, a move that I favor so long as symbols of other faiths are also banned.

A lot has been made, and rightly so, of this photograph of a burkini-wearing Muslim woman being forced by police to remove her garment in Nice:


That’s a hideous picture from a liberal democracy; it’s simply shameful. As CNN adds:

Authorities in Nice say the officers were simply exercising their duties. Deputy Mayor Christian Estrosi denounced the photos, saying they put the officers in danger.

“I condemn these unacceptable provocations,” he said.

Online and in the streets, the bans have sparked protests and criticism around the world.

In London, demonstrators created a makeshift beach Thursday outside the French Embassy for a “Wear what you want beach party.”

Jenny Dawkins, a Church of England priest, told CNN she joined the protest after seeing a photo of the incident in Nice.

“I think it’s a frightening image,” she said. “I find it quite chilling to see an image of a woman surrounded by men with guns being told to take her clothes off.”

So the French government did the right thing, and I hope this will start a national conversation about the regulation of religious dress.

But we need that conversation in the U.S., too. That’s because the outrage by liberals against the burkini ban, exacerbated by that photo, misses some other “frightening images”, like these:


Taliban religious police beating a woman in Afghanistan. You can download a short clip of the beating here.

And here’s a video of the religious police in Iran:

Beside Iran and Afghanistan, there are Islamic religious police, enforcing sharia law, in Gaza, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia. As I’ve said before, it didn’t used to be this way: the forced covering of women, and policing of it (note that “policing” can be done by families and peers as well as state officials!) is largely an innovation of the 1980s, when several Muslim states became theocracies:


Google Image for yourselves using the captions of the pictures above, and you’ll see the point. These women didn’t choose to cover; they were forced to. When regulations weren’t in place, the women were pretty much uncovered.

My point? Yes, the burkini ban is ridiculous and unworthy of a liberal state. The French have rightly overturned it. But those people who are revulsed by the photo from Nice largely ignore the even worse fate that befalls women in Islamic countries who violate their countries’ dress codes. As Maajid Nawaz wrote yesterday, it’s entirely consistent to oppose burkini bans but decry the much greater oppression that befalls Muslim women in Muslim countries:

. . . it is simply an undeniable fact that most Muslim women judged and attacked around the world for how they dress are attacked by other Islamist and fundamentalist Muslims, not by non-Muslims. These are religious fanatics playing the Not Muslim Enough game.

I am a liberal. The headscarf is a choice. Let Muslim women wear bikinis or burkinis. Liberal societies have no business in legally interfering with the dress choices women make. I have consistently opposed the ban on face veils in France, just as I oppose their enforced use in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Outside of this legal debate, though, and as a reforming secular liberal Muslim, I reserve the right to question my own communities’ cultural traditions and taboos.

As a liberal, I reserve the right to question religious-conservative dogma generally, just as most Western progressives already do with Christianity. Yet with Muslims, Western liberals seem perennially confused between possessing a right to do something, and being right when doing it.

PuffHo, the biggest aggregator of Regressive Leftism, went into a dither about the burkini ban, publishing article after article about it on their virtue-flaunting website. A few screenshots of articles:

Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 9.13.13 AM

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Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 9.17.58 AM Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 9.17.16 AM Screen Shot 2016-08-26 at 9.17.03 AM

But yet you’d be hard pressed to find on anything on PuffHo about the repression of women in Muslim countries. So strong is PuffHo’s coddling of faith that they simply cannot bear to discuss what Islam does to gays, atheists, and women in their theocracies. The first article above, for instance (click screenshot) mentions “the frightening reality of policing women’s bodies,” and yet contains no mention of the much more severe policing in Muslim countries. (Ironically, one of the tweets in that article shows a cartoon of religious policing in a Muslim country, but it goes unremarked.)

Is this a “dear Muslimah” argument I’m making, engaging in “whataboutery”? Maybe it’s easier to change clothing police in our own lands than it is in, say, Saudi Arabia, and that’s true. But the whole issue of Islamic oppression of women will be ignored unless we express the same anger aroused by the photograph in Nice to the greater oppression of Muslim women by other Muslims—and not just in Islamic countries, but in the West as well. The burkini, while it should be legal, is oppressive: a way for men to exercise control over women, seen as temptresses whose hair, or ankles, can drive men to uncontrollable lust. (Burkinis, by the way, would be illegal in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.)

So yes, call out the French extremism shown in the photo. A progressive liberalism demands that. But we have only a limited amount of anger and attention at our call, and we (and unthinking “progressives” like HuffPo) need to devote most of that to the true policers of women’s dress: Muslim ideologues. What we need to do is efface women’s feelings that they need to wear the burkini, hijab, niqab, and burqa—in all countries— so they can be “modest Muslims.” And to do that, we need to engage a religious dogma that leads, among other things, to policing of clothing. We can at the same time allow some religious veiling, the symptom of a religious misogyny, but still attack the disease that produces those symptoms.

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Kurt Andreas’s Instagram site describes him as “a naturalist in Queens,” (a borough of New York City) as well as an “amateur dolphinologist and beeologist.”  He sent some varied photos, and his captions are indented:

Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon) on Lantana sp., male, Glendale, NY (August 3, 2016)


Hoverfly (Toxomerus geminatus; female). Glendale, NY (June 10, 2016):

hoverfly Toxomerus geminatus

Leopard slug (Limax maximus). Glendale, NY (August 8, 2016). The hole seen in one of these pictures is the pneumostome, the respiratory opening of the leopard slug.

Leopard slug 1

Leopard slug 2

Bluebell / Grape hyacinth (Muscari sp.); New Paltz, NY (May 2, 2015):

Grape hyacinth

Tiger Crane Fly (Nephrotoma sp.)New Paltz, NY (May 15, 2013). I’ve noticed that casual observers think crane flies are giant mosquitos, and I try to sing their praise as non-bloodsuckers. Many crane flies do not feed on anything as adults, and the ones that do are pollinators.


Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus); Bronx Zoo, Bronx, NY (May 19, 2014):

Polar bear 2
Odontocolon sp., female. Glendale, NY (May 23, 2016) A parasitic wasp that lays its eggs in Cerambycidae and Melandryidae beetles.


And some feline lagniappe:

Kitten Mittens, New Paltz, NY; Maine Coon berserker:

DSC_0470 %282%29 (1)


Friday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

The week has gone by quickly, but the text of my children’s book is now in pretty good shape. If it ever sees the light of day, every reader should buy it. Note that August 26, as in every year since 1972, is Women’s Equality Day, the day that the 19th amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote, became law in 1920.

On this day in 1498, Michelangelo got his commission to carve the Pietà, one of the greatest sculptures of all time. I remember seeing it at the World’s Fair in Flushing in 1964; like all viewers, I stood on a conveyer belt that moved past the statue. It now reposes in the Vatican, and I hope to Ceiling Cat they never try to ship it again. Here it is; have you seen it?

 One other fun fact from Wikipedia:
According to Giorgio Vasari, shortly after the installation of his Pietà, Michelangelo overheard (or asked visitors about the sculptor) someone remark that it was the work of another sculptor, Cristoforo Solari, whereupon Michelangelo signed the sculpture.Michelangelo carved MICHAELA[N]GELUS BONAROTUS FLORENTIN[US] FACIEBA[T] (Michelangelo Buonarroti, Florentine, was making this) on the sash running across Mary’s chest. The signature echoes one used by the ancient Greek artists, Apelles and Polykleitos. It was the only work he ever signed. Vasari also reports the anecdote that Michelangelo later regretted his outburst of pride and swore never to sign another work of his hands.
And his signature:
pieta' firma
Notables born on this day include Antoine Lavoisier (1743); those who died on this day include Frans Hals (1666), Matthew Cobb’s hero Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1723), and Charles Lindbergh (1974). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili will have to settle for a domestic rather than a wild dinner:
Hili: Let’s go home.
A: Why?
Hili: My dinner flew away, I have to see what’s in the pantry.
In Polish:
Hili: Wracamy do domu.
Ja: Dlaczego?
Hili: Obiad odfrunął, trzeba zobaczyć co jest w spiżarni.
And in Southern Poland, Leon faces a dilemma:

Leon: A nap or a hike? That is the question.


Seal leaps into boat to avoid orcas

Poor seal! It’s being stalked by nasty and hungry orcas, and these people let it stay in their boat till the murdering whales left. Here’s the YouTube notes:

We were out with the family looking for whales and a pod of 12 trainsiet killer whales where chasing the seal. It ripped towards the boat in a desperate escape and scrambled on the deck. It fell of three times in panic and finally stayed on untill the whales gave up after about 30-45 minutes. Most intense epic experience ever. Love you Nature. What a lucky seal.

Look at its scared face!

h/t: Heather

German school bans the niqab

As I’ve said before, the “burkini ban” passed (and enforced) by three French towns is ludicrous and counterproductive.  It’s no different from wearing a wetsuit, though of course the motivations differ, and that was what the French, in their misguided way, were addressing. But what about other forms of veiling in Islamic women’s dress?

This issue comes up perennially, and surfaced once again with the recent notice that an 18-year-old Muslim student in Germany will not be allowed to wear the niqab (a full-face veil with an eyeslit; see below) in her school. Suing the school, the Sophie Scholl evening gymnasium (curiously, Sophie Scholl is one of my long-time heroes), the student lost. As The Independent noted:

The court in the north-west of the country rejected the teenager’s appeal when she did not appear in person to make her case following huge media attention. She herself was born and grew up in Germany, according to the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

It is one of the first rulings of its kind in Germany to forbid the face veil in classes, in a clash between the country’s principle that each state may decide educational rules, and the principle of religious freedom. Both principles are signed into constitutional law.

The school had argued that it could not ensure the educational development of its student, who was admitted in April this year, when her face was fully covered. Clearly identifying the student was also a problem, it argued.

When the student suggested that a female teacher lift her face veil to identify her, the school said this measure did not solve the overarching problem of effective communication.


A niqab

Another Bavarian school has also banned the niqab, and Germany (with Angela Merkel’s support), is now considering banning the burqa, the full-body garment that invariably includes a niqab on the head.

In 2010, France completely banned the niqab from being worn in public, and in 2014 the European Court of Human Rights upheld that ban. Their ruling was based on this: “The court was therefore able to accept that the barrier raised against others by a veil concealing the face was perceived by the respondent State as breaching the right of others to live in a space of socialisation which made living together easier.”

I support the German rules to ban niqabs (though a German teachers’ union doesn’t), but I wouldn’t go so far as the French. My view is that anyone should be prohibited from covering the face in public when viewing the face is necessary. And that means in schools, in banks, in government offices, in hospitals and doctors’ offices, and perhaps in shops (as a protection against robbery).  That, of course, goes along with banning the burqa so long as it covers the face—as it always does.  And this isn’t just true for Islam: insofar as anybody conducts public business, they should be prohibited from covering their faces, whether the motivation be religious or not. Revealing the eyes is not sufficient.

I was heartened to learn that Christopher Hitchens agreed, though I don’t know whether he ever wrote about the hijab (headscarf), which in my view shouldn’t be banned, though it’s not a clearcut case. (I always tell the story about the Muslim women at a Turkish school who told me they were in favor of the existing hijab ban because, if it were allowed, social pressure would devolve on them as “bad Muslims” to wear the scarf, too.)

In 2009, Hitchens wrote an editorial in the Daily News decrying covering of the face. I’ve put a bit of this excerpt in bold, as it brings up the relatively un-discussed question of how much of a “choice” veiling one’s body is—even in Western countries where there are no bans. And I’ve put the last sentence in bold, too, because we often forget (as I learned in Turkey) that allowing religious garments removes an element of choice from women subject to social pressure.


Of course you would have to be crazy to try to rob a bank while wearing a burka, even if you were a heavily armed man: The whole point of the garment is that it weighs you down, restricts your movements and abolishes your peripheral vision. It’s like being condemned to view the world through the slit of a mailbox.

But that observation – if you will excuse the expression – brings us to another and even more powerful objection to this mode of dress. It is quite plainly designed by men for the subjugation of women. One cannot be absolutely sure that no woman has ever donned it voluntarily, but one can certainly say that, in countries where women can choose not to wear it, then not wearing it is the choice they generally make.

This disposes right away of the phony argument that religious attire is worn as a matter of “right.” It is almost exactly the other way around: The imposition of burkas or even head scarfs on women – just like the compulsory growing of beards for men – is the symbol of a denial of rights and the inflicting of a tyrannical code that obliterates personal liberty.

. . . Thus the two questions – of rights and of security – actually merge into one and dictate that we must insist on seeing people’s faces. It’s an elementary aspect of civilized life: If you want to teach my children or be my doctor or even be the clerk on the other side of the counter at my bank, I demand, as my right, to be able to read your facial expression.

In France, the government already says that when you are in school you leave your religious identity behind. Many young Muslim women support this ban because it gives them legal protection against cruel and illegal pressure to wear items of dress that they have not chosen.

It’s important to remember the two points in bold in every discussion of Muslim women’s attire, discussions that are sure to multiply.

Patricia Churchland on the effects of neurobiology on criminal law

Scientific American has a new article, “20 big questions about the future of humanity“, in which twenty well known scientists prognosticate about our collective fate. It’s not clear whether the questions were generated by the scientists themselves or by the magazine, but most of them, and the answers, don’t inspire me much. It’s not that I think the answers are bad, I just think that predictions of this sort—will sex become obsolete? will humans survive the next 500 years? when and where will we find extraterrestrial life?—are shots in the dark, and the answers not that enlightening. After all, the extraterrestrial question is simply a big fat unknown.

But one question and answer, called to my attention by reader John O., intrigued me for obvious reasons. The respondent is the well known philosopher Patricia Churchland. Here’s the question and her answer, and the bold bit in the answer is my own emphasis.

Will brain science change criminal law?

In all likelihood, the brain is a causal machine, in the sense that it goes from state to state as a function of antecedent conditions. The implications of this for criminal law are absolutely nil. For one thing, all mammals and birds have circuitry for self-control, which is modified through reinforcement learning (being rewarded for making good choices), especially in a social context. Criminal law is also about public safety and welfare. Even if we could identify circuitry unique to serial child rapists, for example, they could not just be allowed to go free, because they would be apt to repeat. Were we to conclude, regarding, say, Boston priest John Geoghan, who molested some 130 children, ‘It’s not his fault he has that brain, so let him go home,’ the result would undoubtedly be vigilante justice. And when rough justice takes the place of a criminal justice system rooted in years of making fair-minded law, things get very ugly very quickly.”
     —Patricia Churchland, professor of philosophy and neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego

This seems to me both wrongheaded and very superficial, especially when you consider that punishment is part of criminal law. But at least she’s a determinist and a naturalist.  We can argue (not this time!) about what this means for conceptions of free will, but I think it’s almost a given that a philosophy involving determinism (either hard determinism or compatibilism) will have implications for criminal law different from those coming from a philosophy of dualism.  

That’s certainly the case in practice, for the concept of whether someone could have done otherwise, versus whether he was “compelled” by uncontrollable circumstances in a criminal situation, has played a big role in our judicial system. If you’re considered mentally incompetent, for example, or have a brain tumor that makes you aggressive, or don’t “know right from wrong”, your punishment can vary drastically. If you’re considered mentally ill, you may be hospitalized; if you do know “right from wrong” (even if your circumstances allow you to know it but not act on that knowledge) you will be put in a pretty bad prison situation; and if there are extenuating circumstances that may have influenced your behavior (like an abused woman killing her abuser), your sentence may be light—or you may be even set free.

Under determinism, nobody has a choice of how to act, in other words, there are always “extenuating circumstances” in the form of environmental and genetic factors that caused you to transgress. The way the justice system deals with these factors will, of course, differ from person to person; but it’s vitally important to realize that no criminal had a free choice about what he did. (I’m using “he” here since most criminals are male.) And we can’t deny that lots of punishments are based not on deterrence, rehabilitation, or public safety, but on pure retribution: a vile sentiment that presupposes that someone could have done otherwise.

Even Sean Carroll, a compatibilist, realizes the implications of neuroscience on our justice system. As I quoted him the other day from his new book The Big Picture:

To the extent that neuroscience becomes better and better at predicting what we will do without reference to our personal volition, it will be less and less appropriate to treat people as freely acting agents. Predestination will become part of our real world.

Now I’m not sure I agree with Sean that predicting behavior has anything to do with treating people as “freely acting agents,” for we already know that they’re not freely acting agents. Prediction has to do with your strategy for “punishing” the offender (it affects recidivism and public safety); perhaps that’s what Sean means, but it’s not clear.

Further, Churchland goes badly wrong when she thinks that determinism is solely about understanding why someone does something, and then exculpating them when we do. That’s ludicrous. We need to prevent an offender from reoffending if they’re freed, which means rehabilitation; we need to protect the public even if we do understand why someone commits a crime (what if their neurons make them psychopathic?); and we need to deter others by example from committing crimes. (Deterrence is certainly compatible with determinism: seeing someone get punished affects your brain, often making you less likely to transgress.) I have no idea how Churchland draws a connection between understanding the correlates of behavior and letting people go free, and then—vigilante justice! We already know that “criminal law is about public safety and welfare,” and no determinist thinks otherwise. Determinists are not a group of people hell-bent on freeing criminals!

At any rate, the more we learn about brain function, the more we’ll be able to understand those factors that compel people to behave in a certain way when faced with the appearance of choice. And when we know that, we’ll be better able to treat them. But as we learn more about the brain, my hope is that we will be less and less willing to punish people on the assumption that they made the “wrong choice”,  avoid retribution, and begin to design a system of punishment that not only protects society and deters others, but, above all, fixes the problems, both social and neurological, that lead people to break the law.


Hooray! My university sends letter to incoming students decrying safe spaces and trigger warnings, promoting free speech, and refusing to cancel controversial speakers

I’m not much of a jingoist: I don’t root for America in the Olympics, I don’t favor my home-town sports teams, and, although I like the University of Chicago, which has treated me very well, I don’t go around touting it as The Best School in the World.

But today I’m feeling quite proud to be here, for the U of C has just affirmed its commitment to free speech in a letter sent by the Dean to all incoming first-year students. So suck it up Oberlin, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, Amherst, Portland State, Yale, and all the other timorous schools that want to restrict speech. We’re better than you! We’re not going to cancel invitations to Ayaan Hirsi Ali; we’re not going to bow to protests about “culturally appropriated” food, and we’re not going to let students shout down speakers. In other words, we’re going to expect our students to act like adults rather than spoiled babies, and to learn to deal with opinions that differ from theirs. In short, we’re going to give them the opportunity to examine their views rather than simply buttress their preconceptions.

For a long time, the U of C has been a bastion of free speech, adhering strictly to the principles of untrammeled and open discourse. Those principles are encapsulated in a report produced in 2012 by a committee appointed by the President and headed by constitutional lawyer Geoff Stone. You can see the short version here (“Statement on principles of free expression“) and the full report here (“Report of the committee on free expression“). Here’s an excerpt from the shorter statement:

Fundamentally, however, the University is committed to the principle that it may not restrict debate or deliberation because the ideas put forth are thought to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed. It is for the members of the University community to make those judgments for themselves.

As a corollary to this commitment, members of the University community must also act in conformity with this principle. Although faculty, students and staff are free to criticize, contest and condemn the views expressed on campus, they may not obstruct, disrupt, or otherwise interfere with the freedom of others to express views they reject or even loathe.

For members of the University community, as for the University itself, the proper response to ideas they find offensive, unwarranted and dangerous is not interference, obstruction, or suppression. It is, instead, to engage in robust counter-speech that challenges the merits of those ideas and exposes them for what they are. To this end, the University has a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.

As Robert M. Hutchins observed, without a vibrant commitment to free and open inquiry, a university ceases to be a university. The University of Chicago’s long-standing commitment to this principle lies at the very core of the University’s greatness.

In light of all the mishegas going on in colleges throughout the U.S., doesn’t that just curl the soles of your shoes? And the principles of the “statement” have served as a model for speech regulations in other schools; FIRE reports that at least 11 universities have modeled their regulations after Chicago’s.

But things have got even better. According to many sources, including Inside Higher Education and Intellectual Takeout, incoming first-year students at the U of C have received the letter below, written by the new Dean of Students John “Jay” Ellison.  It’s a no-nonsense affirmation of freedom of speech, intended to let the students know what to expect when they get here. It also points them to websites about free-expression policies and provides them with a monograph to read.

The most telling paragraph is the third, to wit:

Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called trigger warnings, we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial and we do not condone the creation of intellectual safe spaces where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.

You can imagine the huge smile that splayed across my face when I read that! We have had incidents in the past in which speakers were shouted down and forced to terminate their talks early, and I expect that the College will now do all it can to prevent that.

Anyway, good for the U of C, and kudos to Dean Ellison for standing up for principle in his letter. Read and smile!

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Readers’ wildlife photographs

We have two sets of urban wildlife photos today, the first from reader Diana MacPherson, who’s been absent for a while. Everyone’s captions are indented.

Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) Among the Seeds:

Eastern chipmunk %28Tamias striatus%29 Among the Seeds

Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) Nibbles Seeds:

Eastern chipmunk %28Tamias striatus%29 Nibbles Seeds

Red-legged Grasshopper (Melanoplus femurrubrum) Perched on Bean Trellis

Red-legged Grasshopper-%28Melanoplus f. femurrubrum%29 Perched on Bean Trellis

And these are from reader Christopher:

I hope these meet your standards for inclusion, even though I lack both equipment and skill to take great pics. These were all taken with my iPhone, the first five are from a Northern Cardinal, Cardinalis cardinalis, nest found on a back patio shelf in Olathe, Kansas back in 2014.  The exact dates are 4/9, 4/23, 4/25, 4/29, and 5/2. Unfortunately I missed the fledging, which happened a few days after the last pic.






The Three-Toed Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina triunguis, is from Fiery Fork Conservation Area, in the Missouri Ozarks near my grandfather’s home town of Climax Springs, MO. I have always loved how colorful and different each individual is, especially the males of this subspecies. I would love to know why they are so bright and wonderfully colored. Any ideas? [Readers?]



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