Wayne's Trivia Notes #20
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Wayne's Trivia Note #483 (25 December 2017)

Ancestry DNA & 23 and Me testing kits were given as gifts at the annual Sonoda family Christmas party. With a last name of Armstrong it is no surprise that the main ancestry route for me was the United Kingdom. For members of the Sonoda Family the migration routes should be significantly different. It is amazing how our maternal & paternal chromosomes got reshuffled and transported around our planet!

Wayne's Trivia Note #484 (29 December 2017)

Storm Glass: Christmas gift from Stephanie & Corey. So far, I have not noticed any change in crystals. I can't imagine using this device to predict approaching storms before embarking on an ocean voyage aboard the HMS Beagle! According to chemist extraordinaire David Boyajian, any observed changes in crystals are probably the result of temperature changes.

Wayne's Trivia Note #485 (30 December 2017)

How time flies: As of today (30 Dec 2017), 6,208 days have passed since the 3rd Millennium and 21st Century began on January 1, 2001. New Year's Day 2018 is day 6210 on my Millennium Calendar. Remember Y2K problem 18 years ago: My old Superworks program (Appleworks On A PC) worked just fine at 1:00 AM on Jan 1, 2000!

Wayne's Trivia Note #486 (1 January 2018)

Western yellowjacket (Vespula pensylvanica), 2nd place winner on Daley Ranch Family Walk New Year's Day 2018. I set up a contest with all the grandkids for the most interesting & unusual insects/spiders they could find. I didn't think anyone would bring me one of these! BTW, 1st place winner was a golden huntsman spider (Olios fasciculatus):

Wayne's Trivia Note #487 (5 January 2018)

5 Jan 2018: Found this cold, dehydrated baby tarantula on Owens Peak. It seemed to like the warmth of my hand & was very thirsty. In fact, it drank so much water that its abdomen almost tripled in size. I rushed over to Petco and purchased fresh crickets, house, calcium sand, and water dish. Now it has bonded to me--stay tuned on Facebook! [Following image shows its modest little house.]

Wayne's Trivia Note #488 (7 January 2018)

Trapdoor spider (Bothriocytum californicum) from the old Life Sciences prep room, circa 1970. 40 years ago these remarkable spiders were fairly common in coastal sage scrub and vacant fields around Palomar College, along with horned lizards, burrowing owls & beautiful vernal pool brodiaeas. This land has been mostly replaced by housing tracts, apartments & strip malls.

Wayne's Trivia Note #489 (11 January 2018)

After spending about $100 on tarantula accessories, our tarantula prefers to hang out in an empty toilet paper roll. He also appears to be afraid of the crickets I bought for him! I think I am a man with too much time on his hands.

Wayne's Trivia Note #490 (23 January 2018)

Setting ant pitfall trips under palo verde trees west of the Superstitions. I marked the traps with red flags & waypoints on my Free GPS App for iPhone. If it leads me to within 30 ft I can spot the red flags. On my 1st trap I found a hispid (covered with stiff hairs) little ant (Tetramorium hispidum) that was new to me! I also found a Tetramorium last fall in downtown Toronto: See Canada Trip (Scroll Down)

Wayne's Trivia Note #491 (14 February 2018)

Distinctive nest of honeypot ant (Myrmecocystus) in foreground. Union Pacific tracks near Dateland, AZ is the only place I found these sugar-loving desert ants on my recent 2018 road trip. I always carry several Werther's in my pocket to quickly identify these ants from other genera.

Wayne's Trivia Note #492 (18 February 2018)

I just sent my saliva to National Geographic. To sequence DNA from a tiny sample it must be amplified by a process called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) using an enzyme (DNA polymerase) and cycles of heating & cooling. Most DNA polymerase cannot withstand high temperatures. Did you know that a DNA polymerase capable of withstanding high temperatures was discovered in a bacterium (Thermus aquaticus) from hot springs at Yellowstone National Park!