Hello folks who wonder if taxing the monthly allowances for kids is the only viable way that any government can get out of its debt,

What is something everyone interacts with on a daily basis, is the most appropriate solution to so many problems, yet no one really appreciates this invention?

Before you start shouting answers like Instagram and Tinder, let me tell you the answer I am looking for. The "door". A really simple solution to so many problems.

  • Parents nagging you over failing grades? Slam the door on them.
  • Changing clothes? Lock the door.
  • Suspect not responding to the arrest warrant? Break the door.
  • Kids can't sleep with all the lights and sounds? Close the door.
  • Want a nice little something for yourself without paying for it? Pick the lock on a door.
  • Amazon package outside? Open the door before the porch pirates get to it.

The door is something that gives us a feeling of privacy(even though Alexa and Google Home listen to all your conversations) and a sense of security from randos, annoying cousins and the door-to-door solicitations.

Do you remember from a previous post I mentioned that whichever creek I go to, I turn over rocks in the creek to see what is hiding on the underside of the rocks. Passersby who are unfamiliar with this behavior tend to think I am just late for the Gold rush party that started back in 1848. This time while at Stevens Creek, I came across something fascinating.

This tiny aquatic snail is an adult of the infamous New Zealand Mudsnail. These snails came over from you know where and love to live in you know what. These snails are the true female chauvinists and believe males exist only for the purpose of malesplaining. They take the slogan "the future is female" a little too seriously and create clones of themselves without any male intervention. This female army can be found under rocks in the creek. So if you see one, you know that is just the tip of the iceberg.

You remember the evil clown from Stephen King's novels. This snail is what gives nightmares to present day ecologists working in watersheds. How they are so successful is the fascinating part. You see, these snails are like a fish out of water when interacting with local invertebrates, partly because when asked what sport do they watch, they answer with "Rugby" instead of "American football". Who in their right mind watches a sport that finishes in 80 minutes flat instead of several commercials for 4 hours with a couple minutes of actual play in between. This social anxiety is what helps them to be so successful. Whenever these snails sense a predator nearby or if they are taken out of their aquatic habitat, these snails will seal themselves shut using a trapdoor like structure called an "operculum". See the one below lifting the manhole cover(operculum) to see if the coast is clear.

This adaptation allows them to survive in the stomach of predators as well. Since they have a rigid door(or operculum for those geeks out there) that they shut tight and a thick shell, most fishes and birds cannot digest this snail. Below is how the shell opening looks like once it closes that door shut.

This adaptation is not present in most land snails, who think it is rude for guests to have to knock on a door before coming inside.

So the predators might eat dozens of these New Zealand Mudsnails in a single sitting, but their stomach cannot dissolve it and they emerge from the other side unharmed. Hence the predator got none of the nutrition but will always walk around with a full stomach, so they don't eat anything else that is more nutritious. Think of it this way, if you were to eat a bucket of corn but swallow them rather than chew them what would happen the next time you hit the restroom.

But don't lose all hope though, there are some fishes which are able to digest these snails but they are few and far between. Below is how the snail looks like when it feels at home.

Do you remember this post where I was talking about the joys of looking at eggs masses hiding under a rock in the creek. The best part of flipping the rock is that you don't know what stage of embryo development you might stumble upon if its an snail egg mass.

For example, this one where you can see external features like the eyes beginning to form.

Or this one with its heart beating(or some muscle working overtime), where it is almost ready to take over the world.

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