Never get in a drinking contest with a fruit fly

Everyone knows that war can tear a man’s soul apart, sending him running for the bottle. But what about animals?

Todd Schlenke, an Emory University biologist, and his team of researchers discovered that at least one species of fruit fly self-medicates with booze. Drosophila melanogaster has been fighting its own war with tiny parasitic wasps for so long that it will intentionally seek out fermenting rotten fruit whenever one believes it’s been infected.

In most cases, it works. Feeding on alcohol that’s often stronger per volume than beer induces fetal alcohol syndrome in their parasitic wasp larvae, causing the little bundles of terror to shoot their internal organs out of their anuses. Talk about rot-gut, knowwhatwemean? In fact, fly schnapps is so strong that even adult wasps “laid 60 percent fewer eggs, possibly because of the fumes wafting from the food.”

But, that was one species of wasp. Another, Leptopilina boulardi, is capable of drinking toe-to-toe with D. melanogaster. And they lose only 10 percent of their eggs to fly booze. This leads us to only one conclusion: if evolution is an actual thing, then it is creating the mother of all drunken bar fights over child custody.

Scientist tells Hollywood to knock it off already

Hollywood has always been fairly … liberal with their application of science, even when they get it right. This is not a new revelation, as some of you might point out. Well, physicist Sidney Perkowitz is tired of it and wants it over and done with-now. As such, he’s decided to to ask them nicely: please break the laws of physics only once per movie.

The Emory University scientist believes that good science in science fiction is beneficial for both scientists and filmmakers. Scientists can rest easy knowing pop culture isn’t purveying crap science, and Hollywood wins by not insulting the audience’s intelligence. Now, he’s not totally against science used in movies, he just wants it to be good science.

“I am not offended if they make one big scientific blunder in a given film,” Perkowitz added. “You can have things move faster than the speed of light if you want. But after that I would like things developed in a coherent way.”

“If you violate that you are in trouble. The chances are that the public will pick it up and that is what matters to Hollywood. The Core did not make money because people understood the science was so out to lunch,” he added.

As friends of mine can attest, the reason I think The Core didn’t make money was because it was a crappy movie. But I digress.