Fancy fly swatter probes the very nature of insect consciousness

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Don't buy this Rosendahl-designed "Fly Swatter". It's $92. If you can afford that you can afford to hire a whole dojo of karate champions to pluck flies from the air with chopsticks* or fill every room of your house with geckos. It is pretty, I'll grant you.

But here's my question: Apartment Therapy called this a "fly stunner," somehow divining that the long bristles would merely knock a fly unconscious, making disposal free of bug guts and perhaps more ethical. But can you knock a bug out? Aren't bugs basically little goop-and-chitin robots? Can you stun something that is almost solid state? If threatened, could I cold-cock a robot? These are important questions — the type only an designer-reduced horsetail can prompt.

Catalog Page [HenryAndLulu.com via Apartment Therapy]

* I once did this as a child. My finest hour. No one believes me, but my grandmother saw it.

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10 Comments

  1. A logical corollary of Rule 34 is that there has to be some sort of porn capable of stunning any creature with eyes, even a fly. Perhaps something involving maggots?

  2. Aren’t bugs basically little goop-and-chitin robots?

    I’m a deterministic robot, for all I know, and I would prefer to be stunned than to be killed. Even if a bug does not have a sense of “I”, I bet it prefers being well to being injured. Can it be said that a bug “suffers” if it does not have a sense of I? My RC plane does not “suffer” when I tug at a servo and watch it futilely try to pull back. You claim the bug is closer to the RC plane than it is to me, but who knows.

  3. Bugs can indeed be stunned, or something similar to it — short-term shock, or maybe just a reflex based on the hope that the predator which knocked them down will lose sight of them if they don’t move. I’ve lost track of how often I’ve knocked down a house fly, assumed it was a goner, than had to knock it down again when it gathered its scattered wits — OK, wit, singular — and took off again.

  4. You can go to a music store and by a pair of drum brushes for 12-15 bucks if you really want to go that route.

  5. Yeah you can stun flies. You can do this by hitting a fly with a regular flyswater if you hit them in the air, not against something.
    This works for yellow jackets too, so squish the little beeps before they wake up and sting you. Believe me.

  6. I have to agree about the ability to “stun” flies. I have had similar experiences to technogeek – swatting a fly out of the air with a rolled newspaper or similar, only to have it awaken later (this also works particularly well for wasps, which also usually get stunned). Of course it could be damaging their tiny brains, but I won’t be losing any sleep over that.

  7. Hmm, can a AAA battery be installed on it’s handle? Would it be enough to help the stunning? What about two batteries? Would it be enough to taser or fry the bug?

  8. I prefer to stun flying insects and toss them outdoors, rather than squishing them.

    For a fly, if you’re young and fast just snatch ’em out of the air and shake ’em up real hard. If you are old and slow like me, aim for a spot just above a perched fly and swing your whole arm in an arc so that you slap them out of the air and bounce ’em off a wall as they start to rise in response to your movement. You’ll have to adjust your aim depending on temperature and size of fly, practice makes perfect.

    Throw them outside and after a minute or so they will suddenly regain consciousness and go about their moscatelic business.

  9. I squash them and then leave them on the window as a warning to others.

    I hate those little fuckers…

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