Wednesday March 16, 2005

Fairy Shrimp My Ass!

I was reading the science news over at Yahoo! News, and I came across this article, which says in part:

Biologists with the Idaho National Guard have discovered a new species of fairy shrimp living in the oft-dry lake beds of Idaho's desert.

Though they look delicate enough to match their name, they are strong enough to survive, unhatched, for years in the baking heat of summer and the frozen tundra of winter until enough rain falls and the pools return. Once they awaken they live a few frenzied weeks, mating and leaving behind tiny cyst-like offspring, and die.

This may not seem alarming at first, but that's because you haven't seen the picture...

Somebody better warn those biologists—hey, eggheads, those aren't fairy shrimp, they're friggin' facehuggers!

The article goes on (in blissful ignorance!) to say:

"This is a large, predatory fairy shrimp. This guy is about three inches long. That is huge for a fairy shrimp," biologist Dana Quinney said Tuesday during a press conference announcing the discovery.

You're damn right it's large and predatory.  Whoa!  Don't lean in so close, or it's going to jump up, grab on to your head, stick an ovipositor down your throat, and leave its "tiny cyst-like offspring" growing in your chest, man.  You'll beg us to kill you then.

It is too soon to know how common the big shrimp are, Quinney said. Out of 22 playas in the land used for training for the Idaho National Guard, only two were found to hold the shrimp.

Well, thank God they caught the problem early.  As anyone who has done the proper research knows, the best thing to do now is take off and nuke both sites from orbit—it's the only way to be sure.

Tangential True Story: Back in 1994, my friend/boss and I attended the Internet World conference in San Jose on behalf of the startup company we were working for.  The company's name and plans weren't widely known at that point and we didn't want to have it listed on our badges.  So, I signed up with my real name and address, but as an employee of "The Weyland-Yutani Company".  I got junk mail for several years after that addressed to me at the Big Evil Corporation from the Alien movies.

[Now playing: "Sour Times" by Portishead]

[Update (a linguistics question): Does anyone know the meaning and origin of the phrase "assholes and elbows" that Sgt. Apone uses in Aliens?  I don't recall hearing it anywhere else.]

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Thank you for pointing this out to us and helping to avert the danger. Have you heard the stories of the strange deaths here in Brazil. It appears that people are being hunted down and killed, bodies are being found all over the place with the spinal columns removed!!!!

Posted by: Alistair at Mar 17, 2005 7:52:42 AM

I gather if someone is running away assholes and elbows is all you see of them

Posted by: Idle Fellow at Mar 17, 2005 9:45:01 PM

It's an expression stating what the sgt. wants to see ... if he can still see your face, you're standing around and aren't yet doing what you should be doing.

Posted by: wheels at Mar 22, 2005 3:21:34 PM

My goodness, as a little old lady, I had no idea that my dear little face-huggers would frighten anyone. I use them for disappearing my enemies. This works very well. I bury them in the 20 no-shrimp playas.

Posted by: Dana Quinney at Oct 21, 2005 7:44:41 AM