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Just-Stam
things that just are

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What's in a Name

Slime-Mold Beetles Named for Politicians
From the WSJ Evening Wrap:
Grumps and cynics often compare politicians to worms, bugs and other creepy-crawly creatures. Now, some bugs have been named after three of the world's most powerful politicians. Two American entomologists have named three newly discovered species of slime-mold beetles after President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Lest anyone think that Agathidium bushi, Agathidium cheneyi and Agathidium rumsfeldi were named out of spite for Messrs. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, their nomenclators insist it's a sign of respect.

"We admire these leaders as fellow citizens who have the courage of their convictions and are willing to do the very difficult and unpopular work of living up to principles of freedom and democracy rather than accepting the expedient or popular," said former Cornell entomologist Quentin Wheeler, now the head of entomology at the Natural History Museum in London.

Think of that next time you see the Agathidium bushi feasting on mold in its stomping grounds in southern Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia (all red states, in the last election).

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