Geckos mean stickier tape — and one last action movie for Bruce Willis

(Given that it’s Mother’s Day, I realize there are a lot of you who, to celebrate the joy of motherhood, have already had one too many mimosas. But that’s OK! Because it’s also Flashback Sunday, that other special day when we dust off the archives and go into the past, back when I thought “Freshly Pressed” was something that happened to new inmates. Some of you may be thinking, “Ned, why didn’t you flashback to a Mother’s Day post?” And to you I say, “What mother doesn’t want to look at Bruce Willis?”)

Bruce Willis will team up with geckos for the new action movie “Van der Waal Forces,” due in time for the AARP’s 65th anniversary.
It’s true I sometimes make fun of scientific discoveries that, in my opinion, seem a little silly — such as genetically altering a mouse to glow in the dark. That’s because I just can’t see any benefit to creating a rodent with its own built-in night light. While it might make for goofy fun at the lab when all the lights are out, should one of these neon mice manage to escape and reproduce, I’ll be the one stuck taking my cat to therapy twice a week.

However, from time to time, there is a scientific breakthrough so significant, so far-reaching, so groundbreaking that even I — a trained humor columnist — must stop and say:

WOW! This is quite possibly the most important scientific discovery since….
…The glow-in-the-dark mouse!

(For me, the yardstick by which all modern scientific discoveries are measured.)

Thanks to researchers at Lewis and Clark University and the University of California Berkley, we are on the verge of another milestone in scientific achievement — something that could quite possibly change the world as we know it!

At least in terms of adhesiveness.

I’m talking, of course about Gecko Tape.

After hearing this exciting news, you’re undoubtedly thinking the same thing I was:


But rest assured that this new tape is NOT actually made from geckos. However, it is strong enough to support the entire body weight of a full grown elephant — which apparently is just one of its many practical applications.

However, before we get to that, part of my job as a journalist is to take highly technical information and, through a rigorous process of study and research, find a way of explaining it to you, the reader, in such a way that I, the journalist, look smart. To do this, I will be using terms like setae, and spatulae, and Van der Waal forces. I might even include the term proluminal crotominoids (pronounced pro-loom-i-nal crow-tom-i-noids), which essentially means that I’ve run out of actual scientific terms and am now making them up.

That said, I will explain the science behind Gecko Tape. To begin with, geckos have 100 times the wall-climbing ability of spiders. Something that, back in the 1960s, nearly led Marvel Comics to pass up spiders and introduce The Amazing Gecko-Man! who, along with his ability to climb walls, would possess other gecko-like superpowers — such as licking his eyelids and detaching his rear end as a means of escape. (The idea was shelved after sketching just three panels of a fight between Gecko-Man! and Doctor Octigrab.)

The secret to the gecko’s clinging ability lies in its toes, each of which contain microscopic setae (tiny hairs). At the tip of each setae is a spatulae (pad) that is approximately 10 millionths of an inch across, which the gecko laces with poluminal crotominoids (Super Glue) before climbing. This produces an effect called Van der Waal forces, which I haven’t figured out yet, but nonetheless would be a really great name for a Bruce Willis movie.

After years of study, researchers have discovered that the combination of setae and spatulae cause electrical charges around molecules to become unbalanced, resulting in an unnatural attraction to each other, such as Brigitte Nielsen and Flava Flav.

Scientists have now found a way to duplicate the gecko’s setae and spatulae in order to create the most adhesive tape known to man.
The next big challenge, of course, will be packaging. It’s not like you can sell it in a roll like duct tape. How will you ever get it apart?

Still, when they do eventually figure it out, I’ll be the first one in line. I plan to buy several rolls and leave strips of it all over the house.

I mean, heck; what better way to catch a glow-in-the-dark mouse?

(You can write to Ned at, or at Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, Or. 97439)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

27 thoughts on “Geckos mean stickier tape — and one last action movie for Bruce Willis”

  1. I started reading – read mimosa. I started going blurry. You always go alcohol first. That’s why I follow you.
    Bruce don’t look half bad, a few Mimi’s later. The gecko even moreso.

      1. Ha! I always wanted to be Demi. I see now I was going for the wrong look. Or maybe just drink a few more mimosa’s. Or ………..just drink mimosa’s. I like your style Ned. I like your style.

  2. i am so upset that this was not invented during my childhood with my siblings, it would have worked better than the duck tape we used to stick each other to the wall

    1. Haha! I said the same thing to my kids, who replied: “Did they have Geckos back then?” Hahaha…. They are now experiencing, firsthand, the power of Gecko Tape as a mouth accessory.

  3. Duh, Ned … you are soooo dim sometimes.

    The purpose of a glow-in-the-dark mouse is so you know when to scream and jump up on the furniture hastily tucking your PJ bottoms into your bed socks whilst your missus gets something to catch the mouse with (not the cat obviously as he will have mountaineered up onto your shoulders all crampons extended) so she can put it out in the garden to scare the bejassus out of the other night time lurkers and assorted Peeping Toms.


    1. Lol! I suppose if my cat ever gets brave nough to actually catch and eat one, I’ll know by the glow-in-the-dark fecal matter in the yard 😉

  4. I love the way you think outside of the box. Like you, my mind went to packaging….I don’t know if I should feel good about thinking like you, or scared. 😀 Maybe I should have a Mimosa before I decide!

  5. Wow, a new means to hair removal. Although from the sound of it, I think dermal removal is more likely. Don’t make a place in your junk drawer yet. It will be so prohibitively expensive that only the military will be able to buy it.

  6. Ned sometimes I dont know where your jokes end and your science begin. I will be standing in line behind you. It’s only fair since i learned about this from you…… …..uh……Oh well i cant think of anything clever to use it for. Well talk in the line.

  7. This is actually really cool! I had gone to the Museum of Science here in Ft. Lauderdale and saw the research they were doing with that when we got to the gecko display. Needless to say, I was singing the batman song the entire time… I don’t know why, but I thought of superhero’s with incredible climbing powers and was like “Tada…dada…Tada…dada.. BATMAN!!” Yeah, I know, makes no sense lol.

    1. I TOTALLY get that. I mean, whose to say Batman couldn’t keep a gecko in his utility belt for climbing? Makes perfect sense to me. Plus it’s environmentally friendly 🙂 Well, except for the gecko…

      1. I have the most clear picture of Batman and his handy Gecko… I also see Robin trying to be like Batman only he has a couple of lizards. Thank goodness his strength is in acrobatics! 🙂

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