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Joe Strummer Spiky Snail Joins Bob Marley Crustacean And Mick Jagger Trilobite

A recently discovered species of deep sea snail, the Alviconcha strummeri, has been named by scientists in honor of the Clash frontman Joe Strummer.

Why? “Because they look like punk rockers in the 70s and 80s and they have purple blood and live in such an extreme environment, we decided to name one new species after a punk rock icon,” Shannon Johnson, a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute that discovered the snail, told the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

The Alviconcha strummeri is the size of a golf ball, lives at the bottom of the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans in depths of up to 11,500 feet (3,500 meters), and, most importantly, has a cool yellow spiky shell.

To be precise, Joe Strummer wasn’t the one known for sporting blond spikes (that was his fellow Clash City rocker Paul Simonon) and only traded his rockabilly slicked back hairstyle for a Mohawk just before the Clash broke up.

The strummeri is one of five new Alviconcha species identified earlier this year by the team of scientists and reported in a publication in the scientific journal Systematics and Biodiversity this month. But the strummeri was the only one to get a fancy musical moniker, with the others getting stuck with names of research facilities or snail experts, according to The Guardian.

Explaining the etymology, the scientists wrote that “the name highlights the ‘hardcore’ nature of Alviniconcha snails, that inhabit the hottest, most acidic and most sulphidic microhabitats at Indo-Pacific hydrothermal vents. The name also recognizes the surface of Alviniconcha shells: the spiky periostracum resembles the fashion of punk rock bands.”

The Alviconcha strummeri joins a long list of living organisms that were named after musicians, celebrities or historic figures, including the Aptostichus angelinajolieae, the Aleiodes shakirae, the Aptostichus stephencolberti, the Eristalis gatesi, the Gnathia marleyi, the Loureedia, the Mandelia mirocornata or even the Aegrotocatellus jaggeri. Scientists are said to do this, no doubt to have fun and pay tribute to people they admire (hopefully not in the case of the Anophthalmus hitleri), but also to draw attention to their work and to such scientific matters.

It’s also not the first time Joe Strummer lends his name to an entity. Last year, a city plaza was named in his honor in Granada, Spain, which gets a shout out in the London Calling track “Spanish Bombs.”

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Iran's War On Abortion Rights, A Toxic Mix Of Theocracy And Demographic Panic

Ending a pregnancy has become a major complication, and a crime, for Iranian women who cannot or will not have children in a country wracked by socio-economic woes and a leadership.

photo of a young child surrounded by women in chadors

Iran's government wants to boost the birth rate at all costs

Office of Supreme Leader/ZUMA
Firoozeh Nordstrom

Keen to boost the population, Iran's Islamic regime has reversed its half-hearted family planning policies of earlier years and is curbing birth control with measures that include banning abortion.

Its (2021) Law to Support the Family and Rejuvenate the Population (Qanun-e hemayat az khanevadeh va javani-e jam'iyat) threatens to fine the women who want to abort, and fine, imprison, and dismiss the performing physician, if the pregnancy is not deemed to be life-threatening. The law also bans contraceptives.

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The measures are in line with the dictates of Iran's Supreme leader, Ali Khamenei. He was already denouncing birth control policies by 2018-19, though conservative elements among Iran's rulers have always dismissed birth control as a piece of Western corruption.

Today, measures to boost families include land and credit incentives for young couples, but it is difficult to say how far they will counter a marked reluctance among Iranians to marry and procreate. Kayhan-London had an online conversation with individuals affected by the new rules in Iran.

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