28 September 2008


Spider Update

I have done some research on spiders common to Denmark. The "evil" I know doesn't scare me as much as the "evil" I don't know, but I am not entirely sure that I am more relaxed about the spiders in my apartment now than I was before.

Well, let me share with you what I learned.
  1. I have a hoard of zebra spiders in my kitchen and some in my bedroom. They are cute and tiny (5-7 mm) jumping spiders. I don't mind them at all and find them quite entertaining at times.
  2. I have had at least one small house spider. They are funnel web weavers (only the females weave webs) and get about 7-11 mm long. The one I had (a female) had spun a net in one of my plants and was very effectively keeping the obnoxious plant destroying flies down. Unfortunately, the spider left at some point, which resulted in a drastic growth of the fly population and in the death of the plant. :-(
    I might have a second one living in the bookshelves next to my computer (I've seen one there a few times), but I have no idea what that spider is eating there. Actually, I don't want to think too deeply about that...
  3. There are lots of daddy long-legs spiders coming and going all the time. Mostly they hang out on the ceiling of my bathroom. Sometimes they migrate to the living room, but after a cleaning session they feel so unwelcome that they either leave or retreat to the bathroom again.
  4. Then there are the (in Denmark very common) hunting spiders. People here just call them hunting spider, but I think they are wood wolf spiders. At least I am pretty sure that they are a kind of wolf spider. I am not exactly comfortable with them (they get just a little too big and a tad too fast for my taste), but I've gotten used to them and don't freak out anymore. I usually catch them (with a glass! I am not touching yucky spiders) and throw them out.
  5. And then there is the kind of spider that I still want to hire an assassin for - the large house spider. They are, like the small house spiders, funnel web weavers, with the little difference that they can get scarily huge (up to 40 cm). The one I saw was "only" about as big as my palm. The males roam looking for females form July through October, so the one I saw was most probably a male. At least I hope so! A male will wander off again. The females are the ones that settle down and weave webs. (Please, let it be a male spider that has wandered off already!) I am a little worried about these spiders. Actually, to be honest, you could say that I am scared shitless, if you consider that I put on long pants, heavy boots, and only walk around armed with something big and heavy in my apartment whenever I start to wonder where that spider went...

So, what do I conclude?

Anyone out there brave enough to take the job? Please?

14 September 2008


More Physics #5


13 September 2008



I don't like spiders. I don't hate them either. I just prefer them not being too close to me. The bigger and hairier they are the farther away they should be. Any spider bigger than my thumbnail (legs included) is not overly welcome in my home. I won't kill them, but I do catch them and throw them out. And any spiders grace period ends instantly if I find them on my table, bed or armchair. They are welcome to live in my plants, and I ignore them in all other places. Or so I thought...

The spider I saw yesterday got me worried. It lives underneath or behind my living room book shelves. It is a kind of hunting spider, I think. Not the usual danish kind (brown, hairy and incredible fast) but one that looked more like the kind I found in my kitchen on August 14th. I think this one had longer legs, though. It was definitely a lot bigger! It was so big that I am not sure I could trap it in a drinking glass without crushing its legs. And since it is huge and a hunting spider, it is unbelievable fast, too. If I knew that it won't get any bigger, I would try to ignore it, but I have absolutely no clue how big these spiders get. I am definitely sure that I do not want to find out!

Is there anyone out there brave enough to help me catch this spider and throw it out?

(In this special case I am also willing to pay a spider assassin...)


Typical... (More Physics #4)

This is just so typical! Jorge Cham, the author of "Piled Higher and Deeper", comes to give a talk in Århus, and I am out of town. :-/ If any of you other lucky bastards wants to go, here are the dates: Sept. 19 - 3:15pm - Auditorium E, Dept. of Mathematical Sciences, Bldg. 1530, Aarhus University.


12 September 2008


More Physics #3

This series is very good at reminding me of what it is that I love about physics. Sometimes I miss working in physics...


11 September 2008


More Physics #2


10 September 2008


More Physics #1


08 September 2008


Physics Rocks! ...uhm Raps?

I really like theoretical particle physics and obviously I am not alone. See, someone made a rap song about particle physics. YAY for physicists! :-)

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