Worm Salad

About Taenia

About Me

This is me.

This is me.

My online alias, Taenia, is the generic name of a family of tapeworms, a number of which are medically important species for humans (and not in the good way). I chose the name partly from a black sense of humor, but also because the name reflects the deep fascination and wonder that the natural world holds for me, even in its ugliest parts. Tapeworms may be ugly parasites, but the adaptations they have to their niche are fascinating in their complexity. (The word taenia is also the Greek for ribbon … an obvious choice for the paper-thin, enormously elongate adults of the species.) I am a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder, were I am majoring biology and working on a number of projects with crocodylians, both living and extinct. I held a brief internship at the Denver Zoo’s reptile house, and share my home with nine beautiful snakes. My favorite animals are reptiles, trematodes and cephalopods. I am an adamant proponent of evolutionary theory, and have no tolerance for creationism in its various guises.

In addition to my interests in biology, I am also deeply interested in folklore, literature, comparative religion, history and languages. I am fluent in French, and am learning Latin, and hope to learn more languages in the future. I am an atheist (and many of my posts reflect this), but believe that sacredness is a phenomenon of fundamental importance to people everywhere and that a quest for the sacred should be a fundamental part of every person’s life. I am an adamant feminist and liberal, identify as genderqueer, and, by and large, dissatisfied with how America is evolving. I fence, and have something of an obsession with the late Middle Ages and the literature of courtly romance — I used to be a part of the SCA, but haven’t been as active as I would like in the past two years. I’m a fan of old-school sword and sorcery fantasy, science fiction, and the nineteenth century British Navy.

About The Layout

This layout uses a series of colored engravings by Ernst Haeckel. While Haeckel is probably primarily known for his fake embryo drawings (whoops), his naturalist art is some of the most beautiful ever created — especially that of deep sea life.  In order from left to right are illustrations of a copepod, an argiope spider, an octopus and a nudibranch. Haeckel was an early proponent of Darwinism, and though many of his theories, most notably that the development of an organism traced its evolutionary history, were flat-out wrong, he was a noteworthy zoologist and an important early contributor to the science of biology.


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