Nick Matzke posted Entry 983 on April 26, 2005 01:30 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/981

http://www.abc.net.au/reslib/200504/r45562_118414.jpgPZ Myers notes that toads are exploding for reasons unknown in Hamburg, Germany.  This story is apparently not made up, although I am not yet convinced that we are getting the straight story from the media — after all, the widely reported three-headed British frog of 2004 was, after vigorous discussion, decided to most likely merely be multiple amplexus, inexpertly observed, on one Evolution/Creationism forum (see also “Three-headed frog — not!” for the apparently definitive analysis).

Let’s assume that frogs really are exploding.  Unexplained phenomena like this are a great chance to test William Dembski’s Explanatory Filter to see if it detects intelligent design.  Let see: Is the phenomenon specified?  You bet.  In fact, it is specifiable in advance.  Humans have been blowing up animals for some time now — for example, in 1970, the Highway Department of my beloved home state of Oregon decided to dispose of a stinky eight-ton whale carcass with 20 cases of dynamite.  See the Exploding Whale Website for the video.  Can known natural laws account for the explosion of live frogs?  Apparently not.  The known natural laws say that frogs, particularly live ones in a cool climate, shouldn’t be exploding (dead ones in the hot sun might be another matter — see the story about the natural exploding of a 60-ton sperm whale in Singapore in 2004).  Can chance explain exploding frogs?  Nope.  Chance might explain some dead toads, but I estimate the chance of 1,000 dead toads, exploding rather than just dying, and all in Hamburg, to be less than 1 in 10^1,000 (and this is very generous probability estimate).  Furthermore, we know that intelligent designers can and do blow animals up intentionally.  So, we can safely conclude intelligent design is the best explanation for Hamburg’s exploding toads.  QED.  Somebody alert the authorities.

Commenters are responsible for the content of comments. The opinions expressed in articles, linked materials, and comments are not necessarily those of PandasThumb.org. See our full disclaimer.

Comment #26737

Posted by Boronx on April 26, 2005 1:41 AM (e)

Does the President happen to be in Hamburg?

Comment #26739

Posted by John Wilkins on April 26, 2005 2:02 AM (e)

Curses. You have stumbled upon our fiendish plot to rid the world of toads. We shall send the Enforcers around to re-educate you.

[signed]

The Evil *th**st Conspiracy

Comment #26740

Posted by Stan Gosnell on April 26, 2005 2:14 AM (e)

I may have hurt myself laughing at the Oregon explosion. The stupidity of humankind never ceases to amaze me.

Comment #26743

Posted by khr on April 26, 2005 2:48 AM (e)

Posted by k.h.ranitzsch on April 26, 2005 02:43 AM (e) (s)

First, congatulations on your nice weblog, which I read regularly.

I live in Hamburg and the story is true (though it has been blown up in the transmission through the media). It has been reported in the local press.

If you can read German, here are three stories from the “Hamburger Abendblatt”, which is a solid paper and not prone to sensationalism:

9.April
http://www.abendblatt.de/daten/2005/04/09/419493.html
It is a localized outbreak in a single pond in the suburb of Hamburg-Altona. It is not people blowing up frogs with firecrackers or crows picking them to death. The sick frogs have been observed “exploding” by watchers from an environmental groups. They do not actually explode with a big bang. Rather, they blow their body up to large size (normally, a natural reaction when threatened to look more imposing to attackers), but then, the stomach comes out and the animals die.

12.April
http://www.abendblatt.de/daten/2005/04/12/420435.html
The epidemic seem to be over. Healthy-looking toads have been observed at the pond

16.April:
http://www.abendblatt.de/daten/2005/04/16/422357.html
Reason for the frog deaths still unclear - they are being examined by the “Hygieneinstitut” health laboratory. No bacterial infection or environmental pollution that could cause it has been detected.

21.April
http://www.abendblatt.de/daten/2005/04/21/424147.html
Reason for the frog deaths still unclear. The laboratory is investigating for viral infections.

One suspicion is that the agent causing this has been carried in by horses from the nearby racetrack. Apparently, similar phenomena are known from South America.

Greetings
Karl Heinz

[duplicate comments, fued by Nick]

Comment #26744

Posted by khr on April 26, 2005 2:52 AM (e)

Sorry for the double posting. The response when I posted the first time looked like an error message.

Note that the second message refers to an extra article reporting that the epidemic is over.

Comment #26745

Posted by cymric on April 26, 2005 4:32 AM (e)

Please, next time, post warning tags to alert for exceedingly humorous links ahead. I hurt my sides about the Oregon whale, and the Taiwanese ‘Thar she blows!’ specimen is still giving me snorts of laughter.

Comment #26747

Posted by Stuart Weinstein on April 26, 2005 6:01 AM (e)

I predict that it requires the intelligent agent kiss the frog before it can explode.

So, I predict that at least we know a few things about the intelligent agent that causes frogs to explode.

It has lips, an inordinate fondness frogs, and explosives.

I predict the intelligent agent is an ID lawyer.

Comment #26751

Posted by Aard Vark on April 26, 2005 6:46 AM (e)

I blame Anne Coulter.

Comment #26755

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on April 26, 2005 7:47 AM (e)

GACK! I can’t believe I’m seeing this on Panda’s Thumb, of all places. Repeat after me:

Toads != frogs.
Toads != frogs.
Toads != frogs….

Comment #26756

Posted by bill on April 26, 2005 7:51 AM (e)

According to the “Predigested Evolutionary Hyperthesis” the frogs were encoded to explode. Right on time, I might add. Uncontested proof of PEH.

How do you like them tadpoles?

Comment #26759

Posted by Ray on April 26, 2005 8:27 AM (e)

> Toads != frogs.

Yep: The Hamburger Abendblatt is clear on this point; they use “Erdkroete” (oe = o umlaut), which is the common toad, Bufo bufo. Frog would be Frosch.

Comment #26762

Posted by Ken Shackleton on April 26, 2005 9:30 AM (e)

That blowed up real good…..too funny.

Comment #26763

Posted by Ken Shackleton on April 26, 2005 9:33 AM (e)

Toads != frogs.
Toads != frogs.
Toads != frogs.

Would they not be the same “kind” from an ID perspective? The only differences between frogs and toads would be the result of simple “micro” evolution ;-)

Comment #26764

Posted by Ken Shackleton on April 26, 2005 9:35 AM (e)

The Hamburger Abendblatt is clear on this point

Toad-burger anyone?

Comment #26766

Posted by bill on April 26, 2005 10:04 AM (e)

Toads != frogs.

As a chemist they look the same to me. Mostly water and some sludge.

Comment #26768

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 26, 2005 10:33 AM (e)

Ambushing Ants = Intelligent Design

Nature 434, 973 (21 April 2005) | 10.1038/434973a
Insect behaviour: Arboreal ants build traps to capture prey

Alain Dejean, Pascal Jean Solano, Julien Ayroles, Bruno Corbara and Jérôme Orivel1

Abstract:
To meet their need for nitrogen in the restricted foraging environment provided by their host plants, some arboreal ants deploy group ambush tactics in order to capture flying and jumping prey that might otherwise escape. Here we show that the ant Allomerus decemarticulatus uses hair from the host plant’s stem, which it cuts and binds together with a purpose-grown (emphasis added) fungal mycelium, to build a spongy ‘galleried’ platform for trapping much larger insects. Ants beneath the platform reach through the holes and immobilize the prey, which is then stretched, transported and carved up by a swarm of nestmates. To our knowledge, the collective creation of a trap as a predatory strategy has not been described before in ants.

See graphic here:
http://www.charliewagner.net/ants.jpg

Comment #26770

Posted by Ed Darrell on April 26, 2005 10:41 AM (e)

Um, so, Charlie: Do you propose that someone is teaching the ants how to do this?

A refugee from a flea circus, an evil refugee from a flea circus, teaching the ants to ensnare larger critters? Do you think this intelligent agent is from North Korea, Al Quaeda, or the Republican National Committee, perhaps?

Who, do you think, is training these ants?

Comment #26774

Posted by Mark Perakh on April 26, 2005 11:03 AM (e)

A few days ago a Russian TV channel ran a brief news piece (in that marqee running at the bottom of the screen) saying that thousands toads (not frogs) exploded all over England.

Comment #26775

Posted by Henry J on April 26, 2005 11:14 AM (e)

Something about this reminds me of some scenes from the “Tremors” movie series. Yuck. And also Ewwww.

Henry

Comment #26777

Posted by Ken Shackleton on April 26, 2005 11:30 AM (e)

Ed Darrel wrote:

Who, do you think, is training these ants?

Another interesting question would be HOW are these ants being trained. Do they attend class and are shown diagrams on PowerPoint? Are the neural pathways “zapped” into their tiny little brains? If so, how is that done?

I would really like to hear at least ONE mechanism proposed to support the notion [it is no more than a notion] of some unknown intelligent agent that can perform all of this otherwise “impossible” stuff while still using natural processes [since the agent is not necessarily God according to ID].

Comment #26778

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 26, 2005 11:31 AM (e)

Ed Darrell wrote:

Um, so, Charlie: Do you propose that someone is teaching the ants how to do this?

Yes.

Not directly, of course, but this behavior is apparently hard-wired into the ant’s brain* and emerged as a result of information encoded in the genome. That information, in my humble opinion, was intelligently generated.

*the truth is, the ant colony is behaving like a single organism, with each part (ant) contributing to the functioning of the whole colony to accomplish a single task. This is beyond fascinating and I just don’t see how it can be explained without intelligent input. Certainly there’s no evolutionary explanation that I’ve ever heard.

Comment #26781

Posted by Enough on April 26, 2005 11:37 AM (e)

I just don’t see how it can be explained without intelligent input. Certainly there’s no evolutionary explanation that I’ve ever heard.”

There we have it folks.

Comment #26782

Posted by Ken Shackleton on April 26, 2005 11:42 AM (e)

Interesting drawing of the ant-built grasshopper trap. It looks to me like an example of something built for one purpose and co-opted for another use.

The ants build a framework that surrounds the stem. This would allow them safe access to other parts of the tree since they would be hidden from predators.

Ants build nests all the time….not much of a stretch to extend it out to cover the twigs they walk on.

As other insects walk along this covering, they provoke a defensive response from the ants, who attack the insect en masse.

Once they have killed the interloper….they might as well cut him up and take him back to the larder.

So…a protective covering for the ants becomes a trap for other insects….evolutionary processes can explain this much better than design.

Comment #26783

Posted by Ken Shackleton on April 26, 2005 11:46 AM (e)

Charlie Wagner wrote:

That information, in my humble opinion, was intelligently generated

How? What is the mechanism? What observations have been made to support the existence of this mechanism?

Comment #26784

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 26, 2005 11:46 AM (e)

enough wrote:

There we have it folks.

Doesn’t that make your job so much easier? All you have to do now is explain it to me without intelligent input and in accordance with evolutionary theory.

Comment #26785

Posted by Great White Wonder on April 26, 2005 11:58 AM (e)

I think the ants are causing the toads to explode with their psychic powers, a phenomenon documented, e.g., in David Cronenberg’s “Scanners”.

Such psychic activities are well-known to consume high levels of nitrogen (hence the documented “sweet” smell of urine excreted by telekinetics and clairvoyants).

Somewhere in my files I have several papers which describe a similar set of events in the foothills of the Xia-Jing range in northwest China where a profoundly psychic Stetter’s Gray fox caused over 3,000 domestic chickens to explode in an 8 week period.

I know somewhere there is extensive 35 mm footage of a colony of psychic humans living underneath a dilapidated section of the New York City subway system. I have been waiting for scientists to revisit that observation, although I’ve heard rumors the colony was moved in order to construct a Starbucks on the site.

Comment #26786

Posted by Jim Harrison on April 26, 2005 11:59 AM (e)

The development of behavioral routines in arthropod species matches up with their phylogenies. It isn’t just body plans or biochemistries that evolve in sequences. Two classic series are the ways in which wasps bury their prey and the gradual elaboration of spider webs. Russian entomologists did a lot of work on the former topic. Any good book on spiders will lay out the evolution of spider webs.

Comment #26787

Posted by Greg on April 26, 2005 12:00 PM (e)

Charlie’s ant story (complete with Ripley’s Believe it or Not! style cartoon, no less) took me by surprise. I didn’t realize Charlie was an ID proponent since this is such a clear example of the power of UNINTELLIGENT design. The ants, which individually have nothing that could remotely be called intelligence, are able to, collectively and through the execution of a handful of simple “commands,” construct a complex trap. Well, not too unlike a mousetrap, I suppose. Yet clearly there is not guiding “intelligence” at work in this construction–just the simple blind obedience of basic laws acting through the random and the necessary. In other words, if blind agents acting in accordance with simple rules can construct an impressive mechanism, is it not obvious that analogous blind processes could have (and did) construct the trap-builder? I have never seen a finer example of shooting oneself in the foot.

As counterproductive as Charlie’s story might be to his point of view, I am grateful that he brought it to my attention. I was not previously aware of this remarkable adaptation. It certainly inspires awe and wonder. But as Douglas Adams said, “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”

Comment #26790

Posted by jaimito on April 26, 2005 12:34 PM (e)

I see no sign of Intelligent Design in Exploding Toads. I see typical Niedersächsisch humor.

Comment #26796

Posted by HPLC_Sean on April 26, 2005 1:11 PM (e)

Charlie Wagner said:

I just don’t see how it can be explained without intelligent input.

Is there any life process whose origins, in your opinion, CAN’T be explained by intelligent input or is that explanation universal? For instance, does intelligent input explain tectonic plate theory, relativity, radioactivity, dark matter, supernovae and nebulae too?

Comment #26799

Posted by Hai~Ren on April 26, 2005 1:34 PM (e)

The sperm whale exploded in Taiwan, not Singapore.

And this is really quite bizarre. Although it may really be some infection that seems to weaken the skin of the belly, such that when the toads puff themselves up as a natural response to threats, the skin is somehow unable to hold their guts in. But then again, I’m just making wild guesses here.

Comment #26802

Posted by Ken Shackleton on April 26, 2005 1:45 PM (e)

Hai~Ren wrote:

But then again, I’m just making wild guesses here.

Ha….so is Charlie….at least you are being honest about it.

Comment #26803

Posted by Harq al-Ada on April 26, 2005 1:46 PM (e)

I had always assumed that ants behaved ultra-altruistically because most of them were sterile. Since the workers don’t reproduce, there is no selective pressure on them to save their own lives, just the queen’s life. Colony insects will risk their lives to protect the queen (and perhaps the fertile males as well) because they hold the code to their species.
What’s so hard about that, Chuck?

Comment #26804

Posted by Ken Shackleton on April 26, 2005 1:55 PM (e)

Harq al-Ada wrote:

Since the workers don’t reproduce, there is no selective pressure on them to save their own lives, just the queen’s life.

Yes….and the queens that produce sterile offspring that protect her WILL BE strongly selected for.

I view [possibly incorrectly] the ant colony as a single organism, the different castes of ants acting as “organs” that serve the functioning of the complete organism in order to support the reproductive organ [the queen].

If the queen is lost, can they hatch a new one like bees do, or is the colony doomed?

Comment #26805

Posted by bill on April 26, 2005 1:56 PM (e)

I must have had too much coffee. You mean that Charlie was “serious” with his comment? I thought he was spoofing Davison like I was.

According to the “Predigested Evolutionary Hyperthesis” the frogs were encoded to explode. Right on time, I might add. Uncontested proof of PEH.

Talk about a circular argument, I’m quoting myself!

So, if Charlie’s right then ID explains nests, burrows, termite hunting monkeys and my cat who can unlatch the back gate. Thanks for clearing all this up, Charlie!

Comment #26806

Posted by PZ Myers on April 26, 2005 2:03 PM (e)

As a chemist they look the same to me. Mostly water and some sludge.

I’m a biologist, but I say the same thing about ID creationists, other creationists, and Charlie Wagner.

Comment #26807

Posted by P. Mihalakos on April 26, 2005 2:08 PM (e)

Mr. Wagner.

Please Google: “stigmergy”. You will see that blueprints for social insect construction is not “hard wired” in the brain in any meaningful sense.

Comment #26808

Posted by Greg on April 26, 2005 2:10 PM (e)

A “theory” that can explain everything, explains nothing.

Comment #26810

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on April 26, 2005 2:23 PM (e)

Greg:

A “theory” that can explain everything is more appropriately called religion.

Comment #26811

Posted by Greg on April 26, 2005 2:27 PM (e)

I guess that’s why we keep putting those scare quotes around “theory.”

Comment #26812

Posted by jeebus on April 26, 2005 2:33 PM (e)

Greg (an Evilutionist) said, “Yet clearly there is not guiding “intelligence” at work in this construction — just the simple blind obedience of basic laws acting through the random and the necessary.” What? Did you hear that?

He just used the word, “random” - when talking about evolution!

Ha! Don’t you see what this means? Human life can’t be random! No way that could ever happen… at least through any processes that I’m aware of.

Therefore, Creationism is true! Praise the Lord! humans were Intelligently Designed.

Furthermore (just to clarify), I am not a random bunch of billiard balls.

Also, my existance is absolutely not just a coincident result from a so-called “big bang.”

Finally, I am not related to “goo.”

Comment #26814

Posted by Greg on April 26, 2005 2:48 PM (e)

Putting the “ant” back in “quantum.”

Funny bit, Jeebus. I hesitated on the word “random,” actually, because I’m not convinced there’s any such thing as true “randomness,” just causation we can’t detect. If LaPlace’s demon were real, I bet it could see that everything, even the so-called stochastic activities of sub-atomic particles, is in fact determined somehow. But seeing through this glass darkly, a great deal looks random to me. Perhaps I would have been better off using “regularity” and “variability.”

Comment #26815

Posted by Bing on April 26, 2005 3:08 PM (e)

jeebus wrote:

Also, my existance is absolutely not just a coincident result from a so-called “big bang.”

Don’t sell your dad’s prowess short.

Comment #26816

Posted by Rasmus on April 26, 2005 3:09 PM (e)

Coming soon to a lake near you?

Exploding toads have recently been observed in Denmark as well (Link in Danish: http://www.dr.dk/nyheder/indland/article.jhtml?articleID=250361). No new info as to what causes the phenomenon, though.

Comment #26819

Posted by HPLC_Sean on April 26, 2005 3:39 PM (e)

jeebus can have his feeble Eureka moment.
In his blind ambition to defend his dogma he has declared that his life and life in general is exempt from randomness. He sees intelligent design everywhere while he raises his status as a human being to something above and beyond the universe. Isn’t that a little like him believeing that he is God? I think so. I’ll bet he thinks God will give him next week’s winning Powerball numbers too. His arrogance is amazing.
I take great comfort in the fact that inexorably, every molecule in my body came from the Earth both organic and inorganic via random occurrences and the spontaneous chemical reactions of atoms BILLIONS of years old. It gives me great comfort to know that my existence is the result of an elaborate trial and error mechanism leading, through adversity, environmental upheaval, and competitive natural selection to the appearance of the most complex being in the known universe.
While jeebus raises himself above the universe fruitlessly, I revel in the fact that I am ONE with the universe as I struggle to understand it.

Comment #26824

Posted by tytlal on April 26, 2005 4:25 PM (e)

I apologize if this is off-topic but:

Is there a direct connection between people who do not understand/comprehend the age of the Earth and creationism/ID? I assume theisic evolutionists understand(?)

Thanks,

Tytlal

Comment #26826

Posted by Greg on April 26, 2005 5:06 PM (e)

Boy, unless the line between idiocy and parody is even thinner than I realized, I assumed that Jeebus was writing parody. Even if it weren’t parody (which the strikethrough portion convinces me it was), HPLC’s response is a little silly. Sean, I’m very pleased to be a total naturalist with no supernatural beliefs, but your purple prose tirade doesn’t strike me as helpful.

Comment #26827

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 26, 2005 5:18 PM (e)

Paul wrote:

I’m a biologist, but I say the same thing about ID creationists, other creationists, and Charlie Wagner.

Thanks for putting me in my own category.
My mother always said that after they made me, they broke the mold.

Comment #26828

Posted by Just Bob on April 26, 2005 5:20 PM (e)

Ever WATCH a colony of ants, building nests, foraging, “designing” ingenious traps, etc.? A huge percent of their activity is aimless, needless, duplicated effort, and practically random. It’s only the cumulative effort of the colony that “averages out” to something productive–there’s a little more productive effort than counterproductive, so something gets done.

Now would an intelligently designed bunch of critters run around in useless circles as much as ants do? If they were WELL designed, a colony could acheive the same results with a tenth the number of ants–or a colony of the same size should be able to accomplish 10 times as much.

Blaming the incredibly inefficient behavior of ants on a “designer” would seem to impugn the capabilities of that “designer.”

Evolution is always sloppy, jury-rigged, and less than perfectly efficient. Why would design be–unless the designer is?

Comment #26829

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 26, 2005 5:29 PM (e)

p mihalakos wrote:

Please Google: “stigmergy”. You will see that blueprints for social insect construction is not “hard wired” in the brain in any meaningful sense.

I agree. The term “hard-wired into the brain” really is not meaningful in this context. It is indeed, as you point out, a stigmergistic system. That’s why I used the asterisk and tried to expand on that simplistic characterization.
But I continue to assert the fact that intelligent input was required to set up this system in such a way that it could generate a useful function.

Comment #26831

Posted by Great White Wonder on April 26, 2005 5:31 PM (e)

The profoundly psychic Stetter’s Gray fox which caused over 3,000 domestic chickens to explode in an 8 week period in China was captured only after 300 local and semi-local shaman used the force of their collective will to erect a prayericle shield around the animal. At that point, a marksman shot the beast through the head with the traditional aluminum bullet.

The fox’s fur was divided into several hundred squares and sold on eBay, to pay the shamans’ travel expenses. The animals brain was reported missing almost immediately and is now believed to be in the possession of Muqtar al-Asaani, an obscure al Qaeda sympathizer last seen playing stand-up bass in an east Kansas barbecue joint. Whether the brain possesses any residual powers is unknown. Some have speculated that a curiously shanking foul ball at the Kansas City Royals home opener suggests that it may be more powerful than ever, albeit in an erratic and presently unharnessed way.

Comment #26835

Posted by Great White Wonder on April 26, 2005 6:07 PM (e)

Speaking of exploding organic matter, my head nearly exploded when I watched this Fox News broadcast.

http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/showdetails.php/id/1298

Pour yourself a stiff one.

The pathological liars at the IDEA Center can’t help themselves.

In fact, there are some very recent examples where evolution made some very poor predictions, but intelligent design has made good ones. Here’s a quickie:

In 2003, Scientific American published an extensive article discussing how much “junk-DNA” may have functionality.

.

How warped does a human have to be to pretend that any of the ID peddlers have contributed a single freaking thing to scientists understanding of the genomes of any organism???

Is Luskin the lying dissembling snake who writes these scripts?

For some odd reason, no one takes credit for the lengthy exercises in obfuscation which appear on many of the IDEA Center’s web pages.

I wonder why?

Comment #26836

Posted by Andy Groves on April 26, 2005 6:22 PM (e)

But I continue to assert the fact that intelligent input was required to set up this system in such a way that it could generate a useful function.

We know you continue to assert it, Charlie. We know you do. Over and over…….

Comment #26839

Posted by Stuart Weinstein on April 26, 2005 7:34 PM (e)

Charlie says: Paul wrote:

I’m a biologist, but I say the same thing about ID creationists, other creationists, and Charlie Wagner.

Thanks for putting me in my own category.
My mother always said that after they made me, they broke the mold.

Mold indeed.

Comment #26844

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 26, 2005 8:14 PM (e)

Andy Groves wrote:

We know you continue to assert it, Charlie. We know you do. Over and over …… .

Sauce for the goose, Dr. Groves.

Let’s not have a double standard here.
You have no problem with trashing ID and creationists at every possible opportunity.
Why should I sit back while people disparage those who disagree with them with vile invectives, immature rantings, name calling and personal attacks?

Just look up this thread and you’ll see what I mean.

You should be glad that I at least stick to the science and speak to people who disagree with me in a civil and respectful manner, even though I am not similarly indulged.

Comment #26847

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 26, 2005 8:22 PM (e)

Charlie Wagner wrote:

You have no problem with trashing ID and creationists at every possible opportunity.
Why should I sit back while people disparage those who disagree with them with vile invectives, immature rantings, name calling and personal attacks?

I was not referring to you. Our conversations have been pretty civil. It’s mostly people who hide behind a perceived shield of anonymity. I generally do not respond to anonymous posts, but I have made exceptions from time to time.

Comment #26848

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 26, 2005 8:38 PM (e)

Just Bob said:

“Evolution is always sloppy, jury-rigged, and less than perfectly efficient.”

indeed, that is why when i was a student, they were even talking about removing the term “optimal” from the whole theory of optimal foraging strategy. Optimal was a bit of a misnomer, once you get down to the actual details.

Comment #26849

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 26, 2005 8:42 PM (e)

CW said:

“You should be glad that I at least stick to the science “

quote of the day?

Comment #26862

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on April 26, 2005 9:45 PM (e)

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 26, 2005 10:33 AM (e) (s)

Ambushing Ants = Intelligent Design

Nature 434, 973 (21 April 2005) | 10.1038/434973a
Insect behaviour: Arboreal ants build traps to capture prey

Alain Dejean, Pascal Jean Solano, Julien Ayroles, Bruno Corbara and Jérôme Orivel1

Abstract:
To meet their need for nitrogen in the restricted foraging environment provided by their host plants, some arboreal ants deploy group ambush tactics in order to capture flying and jumping prey that might otherwise escape. Here we show that the ant Allomerus decemarticulatus uses hair from the host plant’s stem, which it cuts and binds together with a purpose-grown (emphasis added) fungal mycelium, to build a spongy ‘galleried’ platform for trapping much larger insects. Ants beneath the platform reach through the holes and immobilize the prey, which is then stretched, transported and carved up by a swarm of nestmates. To our knowledge, the collective creation of a trap as a predatory strategy has not been described before in ants.

See graphic here:
http://www.charliewagner.net/ants.jpg…

Hey Charlie, where did you get that spiffy graphic? (http://www.charliewagner.net/ants.jpg ) That Nature paper is like a week old, are you an artist or something?

PS: I have a fondness for biological traps, I’ve been planning to read that paper and see what is known about how it might have evolved. Haven’t had a chance yet, however.

Comment #26865

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on April 26, 2005 10:03 PM (e)

GACK! I can’t believe I’m seeing this on Panda’s Thumb, of all places. Repeat after me:

Toads != frogs.
Toads != frogs.
Toads != frogs….

Yes, I woke up in the middle of the night realizing I had blatantly mixed up frogs and toads. However, I promptly rolled over and zonked out again. You’ve seen one eukaryote, you’ve seen them all, that’s my philosophy. Nevertheless, the editors in the PT Herpetology Division have been sacked.

Update: Never mind! According to AllAboutFrogs.org, Most are surprised to hear that all Toads actually are Frogs!

Victory is mine!

PS: More from the USGS. Modern phylogenetics trumps folk taxonomy!

What is the Difference Between a Frog and a Toad?

The terms “frog” and “toad” are not taxonomic terms used by zoologists to classify tailless amphibians or anuran amphibians (order Anura). These words are old English words that have been used as names for the two most common species of anuran amphibians found in the British Isles: the Common Frog, Rana temporaria, and the Common Toad, Bufo bufo. As the science of zoology advanced scientists began cataloging species from around the world. For this purpose Linnaeus developed his system of classification in the 1700’s which is still in use today. For common names, however, there is no standard system for naming animals. As a result, the words “frog” and “toad” have been applied to new species depending upon how much they look like Rana temporaria or Bufo bufo. All anurans that are closely related to Rana temporaria have been termed “true frogs” and those that are closely related to Bufo bufo are called “true toads”. However, these two groups represent only two families (Ranidae and Bufonidae, respectively) out of the 29 families of anuran amphibians recognized today.

Looks like we’ll have to rehire PT’s Herpetology Division, they were way ahead of us, and with exploding frogs everywhere, they have work to do.

Comment #26866

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 26, 2005 10:05 PM (e)

Nick wrote:

Hey Charlie, where did you get that spiffy graphic? (http://www.charliewagner.net/ants.jpg … ) That Nature paper is like a week old, are you an artist or something?

It was on page F1 of the New York Times Science section this past tuesday and is credited to the April 21st issue of Nature.

Comment #26868

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on April 26, 2005 10:20 PM (e)

First, congatulations on your nice weblog, which I read regularly.

Thanks! Watch out, the creationists have Europe in their sights, it’s not entirely crazy Americans.

I live in Hamburg and the story is true (though it has been blown up in the transmission through the media). It has been reported in the local press.

Nice. Thanks!

If you can read German, here are three stories from the “Hamburger Abendblatt”, which is a reasonably solid paper and not prone to sensationalism:

9.April
http://www.abendblatt.de/daten/2005/04/09/419493.html …
It is not people blowing up frogs with firecrackers or crows picking them to death. The sick frogs have been observed “exploding” by watchers from an environmental groups. They do not actually explode with a big bang. Rather, they blow their body up to large size (normally, a natural reaction when threatened to look more imposing to attackers), but then, the stomach comes out and the animals die.

16.April:
http://www.abendblatt.de/daten/2005/04/16/422357.html …
Reason for the frog deaths still unclear - they are being examined by the “Hygieneinstitut” health laboratory. No bacterial infection or environmental pollution that could cause it has been detected.

21.April
http://www.abendblatt.de/daten/2005/04/21/424147.html …
Reason for the frog deaths still unclear. The laboratory is investigating for viral infections.

One suspicion is that the agent causing this has been carried in by horses from the nearby racetrack. Apparently, similar phenomena are known from South America.

Greetings
Karl Heinz

If I were to actually be scientific rather than just assume that unexplained-based-on-my-personal-lack-of-investigation = IDdidit, it seems to me that a likely explanation is some kind of nasty infection that putrefies the insides of these poor toads, producing gas buildup and eventual explosion. That’s gotta be near the top of bad ways to go…

Comment #26881

Posted by jeebus on April 26, 2005 11:27 PM (e)

For the record, I just have to apologize to HPLC_Sean.

My rant was, in fact, a parody. I admit, that this post resulted from my frustration at the number of anti-evolutionists who site the “randomness of evolution and natural selection” argument as being damning to the evolutionist cause (and apparently to their perception of beauty/worthiness/security).

Of course, calling evolution “random” is the dryest of all the dry Straw Men in the desert.

On the whole, I agree with you 100%, brother. Sorry to get your feathers ruffled.

Greg -

You mean it wasn’t the “related to goo” comment that tipped you off… or have you actually heard that one lately?

:)

Also, even though I was parodying, I still wouldn’t be surprised if the line between parody and idiocy was just a bit thinner than we all thought.

If the Bush Administration has taught us anything…

Comment #26888

Posted by Air Bear on April 27, 2005 12:37 AM (e)

Charlie Wagner says

Ambushing Ants = Intelligent Design

Hmmm… wonder why the Intelligent Designer gave this neat trick only to those species of ants, and didn’t share it more broadly with other species. But I guess the mind of the Intelligent Designer is inscrutible and not open to question. Maybe it was those alien beings (the true Intelligent Designers) having a little fun.

Comment #26892

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 27, 2005 1:33 AM (e)

naw, the “intelligent designer” did it just for Charlie.

All examples of evolution on this planet that appear incredulous to Charlie were special creations done just for his benefit.

Ain’t it grand.

Comment #26903

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 27, 2005 8:26 AM (e)

jeebus wrote:

I admit, that this post resulted from my frustration at the number of anti-evolutionists who site the “randomness of evolution and natural selection” argument as being damning to the evolutionist cause (and apparently to their perception of beauty/worthiness/security).

Of course, calling evolution “random” is the dryest of all the dry Straw Men in the desert.

Saying it doesn’t make it so.

Evolution by mutation, natural selection and drift is totally, 100% random.

Natural selection and drift can only act on what is already there. They have no creative power unto themselves. They simply choose from among variations that are already present in the gene pool, based on fitness.
Now these new variations in the gene pool are the result of random mutations. Evolutionists have long concurred that according to their theory, mutations are random.
So if mutations are random and natural selection can act only on what’s already there, how is the whole process not random? Where is the insight and the creative power to produce new processes, structures and adaptations?

Comment #26909

Posted by Ken Shackleton on April 27, 2005 9:43 AM (e)

Charlie Wagner wrote:

Now these new variations in the gene pool are the result of random mutations. Evolutionists have long concurred that according to their theory, mutations are random.
So if mutations are random and natural selection can act only on what’s already there, how is the whole process not random? Where is the insight and the creative power to produce new processes, structures and adaptations?

The mutations are not entirely random since the changes possible are limited by the chemical properties of the molecules involved. Chemistry is not random, but new combinations can [and do] give rise to new processes, structures, and adaptations.

The selection process is not random at all, not even close. Mutations that affect [reproductive] fitness are selected for or against by the conditions of the environment at that moment.

Even if it is conceded that one part of the process is entirely random [which it is not], you cannot say that the entire process is random….this is simply a logical fallacy.

Example: [The following is not a model of evolution, it is a random production process followed by a selection process to demonstrate that the end result is non-random.]

Let’s say that I have a machine that makes jelly-beans, and it colours them at random from 10 possible colours. It then spits these jelly-beans onto a conveyor belt. The colouring process is “random”, but in a limited sense, as there are only 10 colours possible.

Now…..I don’t like black jelly-beans, and I really like red ones. So I create a scanner that kicks away all the black ones that it sees; randomly kicks away 10% of the rest, but will not kick away any of the red ones…..by your logic, this is still a “random” process; even though there are clearly non-random elements involved.

At the end of this process, I should have no [or very few] black jelly-beans. I should have a reasonably even mix of the remaining colours, except for red….which should number about 10% greater than the others.

Would you call this a random process Charlie? I wouldn’t…even though there are random elements to it.

Comment #26915

Posted by Jim Wynne on April 27, 2005 10:08 AM (e)

Ken Singleton wrote:

At the end of this process, I should have no [or very few] black jelly-beans. I should have a reasonably even mix of the remaining colours, except for red ….which should number about 10% greater than the others.

I’ll try to predict CW’s response…

“But they’re still jelly beans. They haven’t morphed into Hershey bars.”

Comment #26920

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 27, 2005 10:33 AM (e)

Ken Shackelton wrote:

So I create a scanner that kicks away all the black ones that it sees;

I rest my case…

Remember Erector sets?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erector_Set

It contained a variety of beams, screws, nuts, pulleys, gears, and connectors. Let’s say I create a scanner that sorts these parts by mass. The part falls onto an electronic balance and is massed. I program the balance to reject any part that masses at 1.2 grams (the mass of a screw). All the other parts are likewise sorted according to their respective masses.

So what?

I will never assemble these parts into a structure like a bridge, car or building without intelligent insight.

NEVER!!

Likewise for evolution by mutation and selection. You can increase and decrease the frequency of alleles or fix alleles or eliminate alleles based on environmental fitness. But you will NEVER assemble these alleles into a new organized structure, process or adaptation without intelligent input.

And that settles that.

Comment #26921

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 27, 2005 10:39 AM (e)

Jim Wynn wrote:

I’ll try to predict CW’s response …

“But they’re still jelly beans. They haven’t morphed into Hershey bars.”

Snag!

OT: The new Springsteen album is dynamite. Snag yourself a copy as soon as you can.

Comment #26922

Posted by Enough on April 27, 2005 10:41 AM (e)

And that settles that.

I’m sure the Nobel prize is on it’s way. Congratulations.

Comment #26923

Posted by Les Lane on April 27, 2005 10:44 AM (e)

My experience is that CW likes deterministic arguments, but is distinctly uncomfortable (perhaps hostile) with probabilistic and statistical arguments. If you wish to convince him you must deal with the handicap.

Comment #26924

Posted by Jim Wynne on April 27, 2005 10:46 AM (e)

Charlie Wagner wrote:

Snag!

I didn’t miss it by much though, did I? “It’s still a jelly bean” isn’t very far removed from the tired “tornado in a junkyard” canard.

Comment #26926

Posted by Charlie Wagner on April 27, 2005 10:53 AM (e)

Jim Wynn wrote:

I didn’t miss it by much though, did I? “It’s still a jelly bean” isn’t very far removed from the tired “tornado in a junkyard” canard.

Not even close…

Gotta run outside and catch the sunrise.

Comment #26927

Posted by Flint on April 27, 2005 10:54 AM (e)

So if mutations are random and natural selection can act only on what’s already there, how is the whole process not random?

What exactly does this question ask? Mutations are not “already there” in an evolutionary sense – new ones are constantly being made available. But if Charlie is demanding that selection be defined as a random process, he may as well demand that black be defined as white. Selection is a synonym for nonrandom. This is denial reductio ad absurdum.

Comment #26928

Posted by HPLC_Sean on April 27, 2005 11:07 AM (e)

To jeebus:
Thanks for clearing up the parody issue. I took your post seriously. My feathers weren’t too ruffled, but my beak changed shape ;-).

Onto Mr Wagner:

Evolution by mutation, natural selection and drift is totally, 100% random.

Although randomness does play a part, evolution is not random in the lottery draw or a roulette wheel sense as Mr Wagner proposes. Genetic mutation is most often triggered by changes in the organism’s environment, clearly a causal factor. Natural selection is far from random and depends strongly on causal factors like the fitness (real or perceived) of prospective mates, the ability to survive long enough to reproduce, and the fitness of the environment, etc. If natural selection were truly 100% random, all organisms would have an equal chance of being selected for. This is clearly not the case.
Genetic drift is not completely random either and depends strongly on the number of progeny surviving long enough to reproduce in turn. In favorable environmental conditions, more progeny survive to represent more of the parents’ alleles in their own progeny thus attenuating drift, while in unfavorable conditions, less children survive leading to increased drift. Furthermore, certain genes are consistently selected for regardless of the number of surviving progeny. If drift were truly random, all genes would have an equal chance of drifting out of the gene pool.
The common theme here is ENVIRONMENT. In all three of the evolution mechanisms cited, reproductive conditions and not 100% randomness are the most important factor promoting or attenuating evolution.

Comment #26930

Posted by jeebus on April 27, 2005 11:11 AM (e)

Charlie Wagner wrote:

And that settles that.

Just because Ken Shackleton’s analogy wasn’t perfect, it doesn’t mean this scenario isn’t feasible.

What, you can’t imagine any combination of molecules that could “randomly” (just so happened to) result in fewer black jelly beans?

And, what if Ken’s fitness is (coincidentally!) increased when there are fewer black jelly beans… don’t you think it’s possible that his initial combination of molecules will be conserved in following generations?

From there, more “random” mutations can improve on the group of molecules (thus increasing fitness), change the group so that more black jelly beans are allowed (reducing fitness), or a neutral change with will have (more or less) negligable effect on the organism.

The medium of natural selection didn’t just appear (physically) out of no-where.

And that settles that.

And that settles that.

Comment #26931

Posted by jeebus on April 27, 2005 11:15 AM (e)

Oops. Scratch that last “And that settles that.”

Comment #26937

Posted by Ken Shackleton on April 27, 2005 12:16 PM (e)

My jelly-bean scenario was not designed to minic evolution [as I stated from the beginning], it was designed to show Charlie that a process that involves random productive elements, followed by non-random selection processes IS NOT a random process overall.

Charlie seems to think that a process that involves ANY random or pseudo-random elements will be a random process overall….this is simply untrue.

Comment #26938

Posted by Henry J on April 27, 2005 12:22 PM (e)

Re “Charlie seems to think that a process that involves ANY random or pseudo-random elements will be a random process overall ….this is simply untrue.”

For an obvious example, just consider quantum mechanics. Every interaction of quantum “particles” is random, yet solid matter is somehow built out of them.

Henry

Comment #26948

Posted by Jon H on April 27, 2005 1:32 PM (e)

Maybe it’s the rapture, and only toads are going to heaven?

Comment #26950

Posted by Sir_Toejam on April 27, 2005 1:39 PM (e)

lol, god’s ultimate joke! it was actually the toads that were the chosen ones all along.

Comment #26962

Posted by Henry J on April 27, 2005 2:49 PM (e)

Toads? Not beetles?

Comment #26963

Posted by Aureola Nominee, FCD on April 27, 2005 2:53 PM (e)

No, the Beatles are going one by one…

Comment #26971

Posted by jeebus on April 27, 2005 4:09 PM (e)

“My jelly-bean scenario was not designed to minic evolution [as I stated from the beginning], it was designed to show Charlie that a process that involves random productive elements, followed by non-random selection processes IS NOT a random process overall.”

Right, you make a very important point. Still, I had to jump at Charlie’s mention of the “designed” element in your scenario.

Designed elements need not apply for natural selection to emerge.

Comment #26976

Posted by Ken Shackleton on April 27, 2005 4:40 PM (e)

You know something that is interesting…..human design follows an evolutionary process [descent with modification, followed by a selection process] much the same as is found in nature:

Example: designing a better mousetrap

1. The human takes an existing mousetrap design and imagines modifications that will more closely suit his needs, [but he could instead decide to make small random changes to the design].

2. He builds his new prototypes.

3. He tests the prototypes by trying to catch mice.

4. Those designs that have problems, or are no better than the original are discarded.

5. Those designs that show improvement are the basis for further modifications [descent with modification].

6. Repeat the process until you can no longer improve upon the design by modifying the original. If he thinks up an entirely new process or design….he can discard the existing design and start the process again by following this new insight….Biological evolution does not have this option, it is locked into using only pre-existing models from which to make changes.

Most human designs follow this process, many designs are simply contemplated and rejected before the build stage….these could also be considered mutations from the original design.

What the ID/Creationist/Charlie seem unable to grasp is that its does not matter if the mutation is random, or intentionally designed. The selection process will work in any event. They also do not seem to be able to grasp that it does not matter if the selection process is performed by nature, or by human intervention….it will also work in any event.

Comment #26978

Posted by Henry J on April 27, 2005 4:55 PM (e)

Yep. Humans have the advantage of being able to look ahead, but have limited time and resources which limits the number of working trials.

Nature otoh doesn’t have look-ahead, but can try an astronomical number of trial cases in parallel, over geological time.

Comment #26999

Posted by Donny on April 27, 2005 8:33 PM (e)

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that all toads are frogs, but all frogs are not toads.

Comment #27005

Posted by Henry J on April 27, 2005 10:02 PM (e)

Here’s one opinion:

Salientia (Frogs and toads) (by David Cannatella, Linda Ford, and Lori Bockstanz)

Although there is no scientific distinction between “frogs” and “toads”, frogs are typically smooth-skinned, have long hind limbs for leaping, and live in water, while toads have warty, drier skin, with shorter hind limbs for hopping, and live on land (Halliday and Adler, 1986).

—–
Henry

Comment #27007

Posted by Henry J on April 27, 2005 10:07 PM (e)

The subdivisions of the Salientia clade as given on that webpage seem to alternate between “frog” and “toad”; neither is a superset of the other.

Henry

Comment #27036

Posted by jaimito on April 28, 2005 5:59 AM (e)

To Mr. Karl-H. Ranitzsch: Any follow up on the Hamburg Exploding Toads (Krötensterben)? I remember watching toads explode when jumped on by children. Not me, of cause.

Comment #27037

Posted by jaimito on April 28, 2005 6:02 AM (e)

To Mr. Karl-H. Ranitzsch: Any follow up on the Hamburg Exploding Toads (Krötensterben)? I remember watching toads explode when jumped on by children. Not me, but those bad “street boys”, of course.

Comment #27117

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on April 28, 2005 2:51 PM (e)

Explanation for ‘exploding toads’

Now a veterinary surgeon, Frank Mutschmann, who has examined the remains of the toads, said they had been pierced with a single peck by crows trying to eat their livers.

This in turn caused the toads to explode.

“The toads swell up as a form of self-defence. But when their livers are taken away and their stomachs are punctured, their blood vessels explode, their lungs collapse and the other organs come out,” Mutschmann said.

I’m having trouble buying this. Is he saying that the crows are stealing the livers of still living toads, who then burst the next time they swell themselves up? Or is he saying that the crows are directly and immediately causing the explosions? Eyewitnesses have reportedly seen the toads explode, it was in the middle of the night and no crows were at the scene.

Comment #27243

Posted by Nick (Matzke) on April 29, 2005 12:58 PM (e)

News flash: It was probably all bogus after all. The depressing thing about being a skeptic is being right so often…

Has bubble burst over exploding toad tale?
Michael Hopkin
Evidence points to bloated toads and hungry birds, but not explosions.

A mystery of exploding toads has turned many people into armchair zoologists this week. Amphibians in a previously obscure German pond have reportedly been blowing up in their thousands, leaving a grisly trail of innards stretching several feet in their wake - and observers desperately trying to work out why.

[…]

In the wake of the confusion, reports have also emerged of toads meeting a similarly gruesome fate in Denmark.

Despite much puzzling, experts have yet to find any reason for the amphibians to balloon to three times their size before literally exploding, as eyewitnesses to the unfortunate incidents have claimed.

Various theories independently explaining observations of bloated toads and messy remains lead many biologists to think that observers have been leaping to conclusions, and that the toads are not really exploding.

[…]

The water from the pond and from the nearby River Elbe contains no pathogen or pesticide that is known to be lethal to wildlife. And when Himmelreich and her colleagues carried out a biotest on the water (they put fish and shrimps in to see if they could survive) it came out clean.

Frank Mutschmann, a Berlin-based veterinarian, has examined some of the corpses and says that they bear the scars of a predator’s attack. He thinks birds may simply have made a very messy job of eating their favourite parts of the toads, such as the liver.

April and May are the months when toads migrate to ponds to spawn, Himmelreich points out, which means that this season could represent easy pickings for birds. Perhaps the walkers let their imaginations run wild when they chanced upon the victims, she proposes. Himmelreich says she has never seen a toad explode.

There are some symptoms that might lead an observer to think that a toad was on the verge of blowing up, Himmelreich adds, particularly if a wounded toad wandered into a pond. “Maybe they were full of water, and in their agony they were also trying to suck in air,” Himmelreich says. People watching bloated, rasping toads might well think an explosion was imminent, she says.

Some toads are also known to puff themselves up as a defence reaction, perhaps as a means of warding off attack by snakes aiming to swallow them whole. But zoologists doubt that a toad could swell to three times its usual size.

“I really think someone needs to go back and check the primary source,” comments Barry Clarke, a herpetologist at the Natural History Museum in London. “I’ve learnt never to say with animals that anything is impossible. But the idea of exploding toads - well let’s face it, it’s pythonesque.”

So, perhaps all anyone actually saw were puffed-up toads, then later dead toads with their entrails dragged out by birds. Someone concludes, “The frogs MUST have EXPLODED!!” and an international media firestorm begins.

Comment #27306

Posted by Henry J on April 29, 2005 3:49 PM (e)

Oh, good - guess that means that while a few of them croaked due to birds, they weren’t croaking en masse.

Comment #27316

Posted by Karin on April 29, 2005 4:20 PM (e)

While I’m curious about the crow theory, my understanding is that crows are not generally nocturnal birds; since the toads seem to be “exploding” mostly around 2 and 3 a.m., it seems a bit uncharacteristic of the crows to be the sole cause for this. I’ve also heard that biologists have been posted at the sites in order to monitor any possible predatory causes for the phenomenon - does anyone think they might notice crows pecking the livers out of hundreds of toads? I’m just saying…

Comment #27395

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on April 30, 2005 8:44 AM (e)

Exploding toads are obviously the future of toad ‘design’ as only someting intelligent can be behind explosions such as these. After all, we’re the most intelligent animal on the planet and we blow things up all the time; bombs, cars, mountains, Iraqi civlians and many other things.

Comment #27410

Posted by Dave on April 30, 2005 10:23 AM (e)

Do you think ants can comprehend who we are? If we were created you think we could comprehend who made us?

Comment #27411

Posted by Joseph O'Donnell on April 30, 2005 10:33 AM (e)

Ants may not be able to understand what we are, but an ant is still very much aware of an ant-eater that tries to break into its nest or a human for that matter. In terms of some designer, we have more chance of being able to understand such a designer than an ant, unless you are claiming that ants and humans are equally as intelligent? Of course, you can never establish if there is any intelligent designer so this is nothing more than an appeal to ignorance. Not a good debating style I’m afraid.

Comment #27461

Posted by Chris Howard on April 30, 2005 2:51 PM (e)

You might want to look at the German sites (just a thought). You will note that the municipal site http://fhh.hamburg.de/stadt (Your editer wouldn’t let me include the rest of this url)
says only that hundreds of toad were found dead. Nothing about exploding. You have to look in the popular press for exploding stories eg http://www.sueddeutsche.de/,trt2m1/panorama/artikel/65/52013/
Such stories mostly seem not to be from Hamburg papers.

Comment #27814

Posted by Chris on May 2, 2005 8:51 PM (e)

We need to get some camera men to hang out at the Pond Of Death for a few days so I can see all the action :D