I love New Scientist. For me, it’s the original data mining experiment for people. A hundred stories, written by people interested in understanding something, and delivered weekly to see if the sieve of my mind can catch ideas or make multiple stories cohere into a new pattern.
This week, there was this story: “Animal with an anus that comes and goes could reveal how ours evolved”
“His observations show there is no permanent connection between the gut and the rear of the body. Instead, as waste accumulates, part of the gut starts to balloon out until it touches the outer layer, or epidermis. The gut then fuses with the epidermis, forming an anal opening. Once excretion is complete, the process is reversed and the anus vanishes.”
It explains a lot about civilization (a membrane between humans and nature), politics (anuses appearing and disappearing) and the general confusion of people who can’t tell if the System of systems is treating them like food or waste.