An Afternoon of

Multitasking. I’ve got the University of Oregon men’s basketball game on the old, but massive television. They’ve not been in the elite eight since 2007, which isn’t how I would have written it since two thousand and seven was’t that long ago. Sometimes media makes makes time seem older than it really is, though it’s all about how I perceive it. There’s more drama if a team hasn’t done something in a long time.

But the way the Ducks are playing against the number two seeded Oklahoma Sooners, it doesn’t look like they want to go to the final four. They steam rollered Duke, but the Sooners have the Duck’s number. I wasn’t watching the game when the mighty Ducks whooped the Blue Devils. Maybe I shouldn’t be watching the game. Maybe it’s my fault they are losing. Are you superstitious? I am. Sort of. If the Ducks continue to not rebound and continue to turn the ball over, like they just did again, I’m going to lose interest and multi-tasking won’t bed an issue.

While watching the game, blogging about watching the game, I’m considering adding magazine reading to the list. I recently subscribed to Texture. I’ve not taken advantage of all the magazines I could be reading once a month. I’ve never read ASK before. Arts and Sciences for Kids. Ages seven to ten is right in my wheelhouse. January 2015 is on my tablet just waiting for my eyes. Tame the Flame. Cover picture looks very inviting.

cyphbeetlev3A clear indication that the Ducks sub par performance has altered how much attention I spend when I am more interested in the Cyphochilus Beetle. Fifteen point deficit isn’t really that much in basketball, but the Ducks have looked awful from the get go. The white Cyphochilus Beetle intrigues me to read more, especially in how light deflects to give a beetle the pristine whiteness. Aphids are probably the only white bug I have ever seen, but I doubt it is even allowed to compare a Cyphochilus with an Aphid; they must be in different social circles with their hard shell and certain number of legs and other classifying body parts.

If the Ducks can at least cut the deficit to a single digit, I may unmute the elevation, but for now Chyphochilus get my sort of undivided attention. I have never thought about how insects get their color.

Chyphochilus. The more often I write and see the beetle name, the longer I will hold onto the name. Mostly I have seen it dissected in two. Chypo and Chilus. Neither part have stuck yet. It won’t be a horrible loss if my brain just refuses the information. Defensive slam to keep new information from entering the already crowded and overstuff brain. I feel like one of those overstuffed chairs that the fabric no longer can hold the contents back and things start to leak out.

This is why I write. I write to remember or try to remember. An Alley Oop by the Ducks did catch my attention, so I’m not totally cold-shouldering them. The Ducks are not playing like a number one seed. Maybe they are just tired after Thursday’s game.CyphochilusCool looking beetle that does something that most beetles can’t do with their scales, though I would think being white against green wouldn’t prevent other things from eating them. Maybe they have some special beetle power to keep from being eaten. Maybe they taste bad.

I love the internet; the internet can help me go down all sorts of rabbit holes to get further and further away from the basketball game.

Cyphochilus insulanus Moser:
An amazing example of evolutionary crypsis.

Cyphochilus is a genus of Melolonthinae that occurs in Southeast Asia. It is suggested that the beetle’s white dorsal coloration has evolved to mimic local white fungi as a form of crypsis or camouflage while it feeds on sugar cane.
I suppose a white on white picture wouldn’t be so good. It’s superpower is it’s evolutionary revolutionary ability. Now I’m going to have to read about chitin, not to be confused with Chitlin. Cyphochilus have these complicated scale things called chitin which is described as, “arranged in a think, messy net instead of a neat pattern.” Messy works for me. Hey, maybe I have discovered that I have been a Cyphochilus Insulanus Moser in a previous life. Why not? I’ve been a parakeet. Probably a dog a few times. Maybe a cat.
What really intrigues me is how scientists are trying to duplicate the whiteness to make brighter whites for paint and paper.
Moving on  from the ASK magazine, I’m reading about the Cyphochilus in

The Beetle That’s Whiter Than Paper

August 19, 2014 | by Janet Fang

bright white beetle in

I have never heard of Iflscience, but it looks like a worthy rabbit hole to explore since the Sooners are hogging the ball and not sharing with the ducks, not letting them cut into the thirteen point deficit and actually letting Oklahoma extend the lead. What’s with this? Is this the same team that man-handled the defending National Champions?
I enjoy being able to read about the Cyphochilus in a kids’ magazine and then turn around and  read about them in a scholarly magazine where I mostly just gloss over the words:
“Bright colors in the wild are produced for a variety of purposes, from camouflage to mate choice. For our eyes to perceive color, pigments like melanin in penguins and carotene in flamingos absorb certain wavelengths of light while reflecting others. To appear white however, all wavelengths of light must be reflected equally. “Current technology is not able to produce a coating as white as these beetles can in such a thin layer,” Silvia Vignolini from University of Cambridge explains in a news release.”
There aren’t any words that I don’t understand in the above paragraph, but  it’s a harder concept for my brain to handle. I’m feeling kind of like the Dung Beetle that rolls a piece of shit around until it needs it. Guess I’m doing the same thing with this little ball of knowledge that I know will not stick. The name Cyphochilus still hasn’t adhered to anything yet. The Ducks and I are running out of time. The consequences are about equal; it’s been great that the University of Oregon men’s basketball got to the Elite Eight and would have been amazing for them to get to the final  four, but it won’t have an impact on my life. If I never do remember the name of the cyphochilus beetle, it’s as inconsequential.
“Their coloration is achieved by exploiting the geometry of a dense and complex network of chitin — the same protein found in mollusk shells, insect exoskeletons, and the cell walls of fungi. These chitin filaments are just a few billionths of a meter thick, much thinner than paper. Over years and years of evolution, the beetles developed a compressed chitin network that’s “directionally-dependent” (or anisotropic), allowing high intensities of reflected light for all colors at the same time in one direction, while using very little material. This is what makes them appear so vividly white.”
My interest in the basketball game fades quickly as my interest in the Cyphochilus beetle increases. I find this so fascinating.cyphochilus1


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