|Spiders on drugs|
|click image to open video page|
Do you want to know the effect a drug has on a person? well, the quickest way is to drug a spider and see what happens.
The wood spider is the most accomplished of all web-building species. Recently, scientists gave these tiny creatures a variety of psycho-active drugs to observe their effect on web building.
When given a minute dose of LSD, the spider’s web took on an unfamiliar minimal structure.
When given caffeine, the web structure was not affected, but the spider’s behaviour was.
Given THC, the active ingredient in marihuana, the spider didn’t build a web. It built a hammock, where it lay all day and watched the caffeine spider go.
When given alcohol, the spider built a web, found a mate and raised over a hundred young. But the mate got a restraining order, and now the spider can’t go within a hundred centimetres of the web.
The crack cocaine spider figured building webs was for suckers, waited till the caffeine spider was exhausted then came up behind it and popped a cap in its ass. Nice web, Mr Crack spider.
When winter came, the marihuana spider had no place to live. It ended up in the crack web as the crack spider’s bitch. For more information on the crack spider’s bitch, contact the Canadian Wildlife service in Ottawa.
THE WOOD= "The woods" means "the forest". Here it plays the role of an adjective, so there’s no –S (The wood spider= the spider that lives in the woods)
WEB= the kind of net that spiders build to trap insects.
TINY= very very small.
MINUTE= /maɪnju:t/ it means "tiny, very little". The time word "minute" (as in "an hour has 60 minutes") is spelled the same, but it is pronounced /mɪnɪt/.
BEHAVIOUR= your behaviour is the way you act in general, specially the way you act in the situation we’re talking about. So in this video, the spider’s behaviour is the way they build their webs.
MARIHUANA= it can also be spelled "marijuana", but the pronunciation doesn’t change, we pronounce the -J- as an H, to imitate the original Spanish pronunciation of the word.
HAMMOCK= a kind of bed made by tying a net to two trees the way some people still do in the tropics (especially Mexico). (See picture)
LAY= lie-lay-lain. "To lie" is to be in a horizontal position.
(do not confuse this verb with "lie-lied-lied", which means not to tell the truth, to tell a lie)
MATE= in this context, a sexual partner. "To mate" is, for animals, to have sex.
RAISE= to have babies and look after them till they grow up.
OVER + number = more than
YOUNG= "the young" of an animal is its babies. It’s a collective noun, so it has no plural.
A RESTRAINING ORDER= an order from the judge stopping you from living with or visiting your partner and/or children.
CRACK= a very strong and poor-quality substance derived from cocaine, with worse effects and more deathly.
FIGURED= in this case, it means "realized, thought".
A SUCKER= a stupid person, a loser.
POPPED A CAP IN ITS ASS= slang. It means to shoot someone to hurt him painfully but not kill him. That way, the other person knows that you’re the boss and they should be more careful (a tactic sometimes used by gangsters and the mob). Your ASS (BrE "arse") is your bottom, the part of your body on which you usually sit (a rude word).
BITCH= it is a female dog, but also (as here) a woman who behaves like a prostitute (a rude word).
THE CRACK SPIDER’S BITCH= Yes, I know, the Saxon Genitive (expressing possession with ‘S) is only used with people and time expressions. Well, in this example we’re talking about the crack spider as if it were a human gangster, so we can also humanize its grammar. Nevertheless, don’t take grammar too seriously.