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Old 11-07-2011, 09:15 AM   #1
Barrett Dorko
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Default Nonlinear

True story.

Yesterday while mowing I suddenly felt a spear enter my right scapula. Well, okay, it wasn’t a spear, it was a wasp. I removed my shirt. Okay, I tore it over my head. I walked into the house. Okay, I ran. After spraying the spot with something I found in the medicine cabinet I took time for my respiratory system to return to normal. Then I went back to mowing, at which time I felt a shark bite my left medial malleolus. Okay, it was another wasp.

This time I didn’t move as quickly for the house because I had decided to limp. I don’t remember deciding this, and I’m certain it didn’t lessen the enormous pain but it seemed appropriate for some reason.

Pulling off my shoe and sock (rather vigorously), I discovered that I’d brought a “friend” in with me after I received a saber slash to the back of my knee. Applying appropriate first aid and dialing 911 (just kidding about that), I stalked my guest, made a plan and gently shooed her out the window to freedom. Well, okay, that last part isn’t exactly true but this is a public forum.

I started thinking about the nonlinear effect and perception of nervous stimulation and could certainly see how this was a good example of all that.

Then I stayed inside, collapsed in my recliner and took a nap.
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Old 11-07-2011, 11:25 AM   #2
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They weren't European wasps, were they, Barrett??

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Old 11-07-2011, 11:58 AM   #3
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Well, I was thinking of you when I wrote this Nari. Had I been in Australia they might have killed me.
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:20 PM   #4
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I was caught in a cloud of european wasps (in the american south we call them "yellowjackets") many years ago when rescuing my brother and a friend from having accidentally disturbed a nest. After sustaining stings, and getting them out of our clothes inside, the live wasps still in the house actively hunted us indoors instead of sitting on the windows, until we killed every last one. Their nestmates were bouncing against the outside of the house trying to get in for 5 days after that. Creepy. Since allergy to stings runs in the family and my reactions are worse with every sting, I have a particularly strong reaction to a presence of wasps or bees.
The sound of a certain kind of buzz near my head while outdoors can provoke a very aggressive defensive response. I can totally relate to Barrett's reaction. I probably wouldn't have gone back out after the first sting.

Another example of the ability of our nervous system to protect us based on past experience and the subconscious threat value of a stimulus...
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:03 AM   #5
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Jason,

I liked your story and feel that it clearly displays our brain's tendensies.

It lacks just one thing:

Humor.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:08 AM   #6
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humorous would be seeing my gangly arms and legs flailing about anytime I see a Bee/Wasp/Etc within a 10 foot radius of my current location...
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:52 AM   #7
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Only because you weren't there, Barrett. Looking back it was hilarious. Oh, wait, maybe not.

There aren't many people who could make being stung by wasps funny, but you are certainly one of them.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:59 AM   #8
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Barrett,

I really must get across to you North Americans that Oz is not a dangerous place to live in!

Far more people carelessly die here from drowning than are ever obliterated by wasps, snakes, bunyips, crocs, sharks and box jellyfish. Drowning accidents are largely due to people doing stupid things like swimming after dark and in dangerous areas like rivers and oceans.

We don't have bears, cougars, rattlesnakes and other dodgy beasts....

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Old 12-07-2011, 02:01 AM   #9
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I wouldn't mess around. I'd call in Billy the Exterminator. I'm pretty sure he'd have a strategy. Another link. Here is the insect page.
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Old 13-07-2011, 02:58 AM   #10
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Also nonlinear are the In Vivo Dynamics of the Musculoskeletal System. (links to the Motor Control Lab blog)

Of course, what makes it that way is that it is a neuromusculoskeletal system. (Yea for parentheses!)
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Old 13-07-2011, 05:57 AM   #11
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This is the map I was provided with for Australia:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg australia.jpg (42.0 KB, 21 views)
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Old 13-07-2011, 06:02 AM   #12
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Did you get this from a South African?
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Old 13-07-2011, 06:12 AM   #13
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Hey, cane toads aren't on that map! Not fair!
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Old 13-07-2011, 06:47 AM   #14
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Clark,

Hilarious.

Whoever made the map was a bit muddled re information and geography; however, with regard to deranged gunmen, those folk would litter a map of the USA!

They forgot about bushfires (something Californians and Texans do know about only too well) and cane toads. We're working on the toads, but can't do very much about the fire risk.

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Old 13-07-2011, 02:43 PM   #15
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That map was on a slide one of my undergrad anthropology teachers gave us (as a joke- kind of.) We also discussed soil erosion, land rights issues, and some sort of rabbit infestation?

Then I saw the youtube video of koalas asking hikers for water, and my heart was melted enough to forget that 9/10 fauna in that environment would kill you given the chance.
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Old 13-07-2011, 03:20 PM   #16
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Ok, I can't help myself.
Here's a set of maps for Canada:
http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/mapping/offthemap.asp
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Old 13-07-2011, 10:06 PM   #17
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I like that set of maps, Bas. Shows good imagination on the part of the cartograohers.

Clark,
Quote:
Then I saw the youtube video of koalas asking hikers for water, and my heart was melted enough to forget that 9/10 fauna in that environment would kill you given the chance.
The only things that will kill you ( I presume the video was set in the outback, or the Bush, or whatever) in that environment are heat, lack of water and a compass. The vast majority of snakes are more afraid of you than you are of them, and if you wear long pants and boots, spiders can't get to you.

Are all you guys paranoid about wildlife??

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Old 13-07-2011, 10:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nari View Post
Are all you guys paranoid about wildlife??

Nari
I have served with Australian Soldiers (great fighters and very professional), and listing the vast numbers of deadly creatures they contend with and the detailed stories of the horror awaiting you should you be attacked by one was a major hobby for them.
So - at least among several Australians I've met, they are proud of their deadly critters and talk about how tame field training must be in other countries...
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Old 13-07-2011, 10:44 PM   #19
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My impression of Aus has always been that you can't go on land because the spiders and snakes will get you like that snake got Lorimer, or a cane toad will squirt you in the eye and blind you, and you can't go in the water because if a croc doesn't bite your butt right off, some octopus will kill you or a jelly fish will make your life hell forever by messing with your ion channels. So I've never been tempted to visit, even though there's a lot of sunshine and nice beach front.
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Old 14-07-2011, 12:13 AM   #20
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Quote:
So - at least among several Australians I've met, they are proud of their deadly critters and talk about how tame field training must be in other countries...
True. We go to considerable lengths to protect all species which are under threat of disappearing, and that includes snakes and some crocs. That said, we do cull some freshwater crocs because silly tourists insist on swimming in places where they have been told they should not....

Another point about Aussie soldiers - we banned conscription after the Vietnam war, so every soldier is in the Army because he/she wants to be. I think that makes a difference in perspective under stressful situations.

Diane,

What a pity. if you ever do cross the Pacific, I can show you what NOT to do if faced with a brown snake or vicious koala.

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Old 14-07-2011, 02:12 AM   #21
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Nari, you work for Tourism Australia, right?

Seriously since living in Australia for over 5 years now, it's not so bad. As with any place, you learn how to live and deal with the dangers that exist. For example where I live we have a lot of brown snakes in the summer (that's a SERIOUSLY deadly snake). However if you know what to do, or not do, when you encounter a snake, as well as appropriate first aid, your chances of dying of snakebite are quite small.

I love the attitude of some Aussies that it's only poisonous if it really kills you. We asked some folks at the beach about the jellyfish, and they said "Oh they aren't poisonous, you'd only maybe be in hospital for a few days if it stung you."

Of course you're much more likely to die in a car accident than from any ferocious wildlife.
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Old 14-07-2011, 02:36 AM   #22
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Nari,

The word wild, as in wildlife doesn't concern me - it's the word deadly that keeps creeping into the conversation when we talk about your backyard.

For some reason this gives me pause.
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Old 14-07-2011, 08:08 AM   #23
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Gilbert,

That is true; most of us are pretty well laid back when it comes to bush and ocean wildlife (or, as Barrett would prefer, deadlylife).

From memory, you're in Inverell; we're also surrounded by bushland in parts of Canberra. Brown snakes are always around in summer but they don't put off anyone from bushwalking. I met a brownie once when walking on a narrow track and he was sunbaking right across the gravel. As I couldn't go around him (high slopes either side) I stopped and waited for him to move aside. He did, quite politely, slither into the ditch.

The worst that happens with our wildlife at home is when the cockys chew off branches of our favourite American cherry tree and drop them onto unsuspecting folk below. So, it's simple: don't sit under the cherry tree when the cockys are busy. (Translation for others: cockys = white cockatoos, large noisy and very social birds)

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Old 14-07-2011, 12:45 PM   #24
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nari, I grew up near the jungle in Indonesia - it was my older brother's and my secret playground (strong warnings by parents were great stimuli to explore this dangerous zone!)
We ran across some interesting animals, and like you said, most were more afraid of us then we realized.
Caught a baby python once - 5 feet long. Scared my mother to death when she found it tucked in our cold room (where it had gone into hibernation state when we "stored it there for later".

Let the tourists swim where they want! Circle of life - crocs need to eat too!
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Old 14-07-2011, 12:55 PM   #25
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Nari,

I don't actually prefer "deadly," I'm just being realistic. Please remember, I grew up in the Cleveland suburbs and there I remain. I try to remain indoors as much as possible (strange, I know) but if sitting under a tree around here were necessary I wouldn't be concerned about some bird dropping a branch on me.

If I had grown up in the Outback like you or in a jungle like Bas I suspect my brain would be a bit less likely to react violently to small (deadly) animals.

Personally, I like a nice mini-mall.
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Old 14-07-2011, 02:04 PM   #26
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I'll be interested in seeing whether Cadel Evans is a dangerous Australian animal in the Pyrenees today.
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Old 14-07-2011, 02:07 PM   #27
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Quote:
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Nari,

I try to remain indoors as much as possible (strange, I know)
consider me equally strange...nice to know I'm not alone in that respect!
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Old 14-07-2011, 04:02 PM   #28
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I'll be interested in seeing whether Cadel Evans is a dangerous Australian animal in the Pyrenees today.
<tangent> Nice to know that I am not the only one trying to hang out on these boards and watch the race! (waiting for ASchleck to get some redemption in the mountains). I am constantly amazed at how watching what these athletes are putting themselves through pertains to things I am learning on these boards.</tangent>
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Old 23-07-2011, 06:41 PM   #29
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Well the sting in the tail had to wait until today. Congratulations to Australia for their first ever Tour win.

Maybe next year will be Luxembourg.
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Old 23-07-2011, 06:57 PM   #30
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Well the sting in the tail had to wait until today. Congratulations to Australia for their first ever Tour win.

Maybe next year will be Luxembourg.
Congrats, indeed! Evans was amazing today; and to take the best that LeopardTrek had in the Alps and come back today with such vigor was an incredible feat. I only wish the finish today had been a little closer for the sake of suspense, as after Evans' first 15 mins, today's result was inevitable.

Respectfully,
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Old 23-07-2011, 10:25 PM   #31
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Have only just caught up with this thread, and learned an Aussie had won the Tour. That is the level of interest I have in sport. :

Barrett, the Outback refers to the 70% of Oz which is mostly non-arable land, available water only when it rains every few years and hundreds of miles from anything we call civilisation.
I didn't grow up in the Outback as we call it; in fact I spent my childhood on an island south of Hawaii, where I befriended spiders, lizards, maori wrasse and moray eels. (There was considerable mutal respect between the eels and me, limited to cautious hand feeding).

I imagine if I had grown up in a suburban environment things may have been different.

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Old 19-04-2012, 04:53 PM   #32
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Its not just the snakes, spiders, jellyfish, octopi and other assorted fauna, even our trees can kill you here...

River Red Gums are notorious for dropping massive branches with no warning, that's why you never set up your tent under one.

Other than that, its a really nice place with really nice people
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