2007 — 14 June: I wish it would rain...

... and get it over with. That might discourage all the black ants from foraging in the kitchen too, courtesy of the nice, ant-sized "Anglian"-provided highway through the edge of the double glazing. As far as I can tell, they clamber up the grapevine (according to whispers) and then hightail it on through to one of the kitchen worktops. They don't find much, but they mill around like our local moody adolescents near the railway bridge. In fact, it's a good job they don't carry spray paint cans as I suspect we'd be seeing a lot of ant graffiti.

While I'm on galling subjects... department

What's this (spotted underfoot — and on a Dog Rose — at the top of Compton Hill the other day)?


Answer: Robin's pincushion if my reading of a 1984 edition of a Reader's Digest guide to butterflies and insects of Britain is to be believed. Isn't Nature remarkable?

My learned friend across the road informs me: Bedeguar galls are formed on the wild rose by larvae of the gall-wasp Diplolepis rosae. A bedeguar gall is not the product of a single larva but a group of larvae, each residing in their own chamber within the gall.

All too reminiscent of one of the deleted scenes from Alien if you ask me!

Professor Tufte

One of my heroes.

He was a professor of political science, statistics and computer science at Yale and senior critic in the School of Art when he retired in 1999, weary of what he calls the "bureaucratic bloat" of academia. He also stopped consulting, frustrated because managers forced to listen to his suggestions rarely followed them. (He once told an interviewer that products under development "are in one of two states — either too early to tell or too late to change.")

Edward Tufte, as described here

When he showed up at IBM Hursley1 one time, I seemed to be one of the few who already had his first book and, yes, I got it autographed, sad geek that I am! I remember one of his anecdotes. He said he'd been told that while many languages emphasise the negative by duplication of a negating word, no example had been found of a language emphasising the negative by use of a positive repeated in this way. Came an interjection from the audience: "Yeah, yeah!"

Betcha can't guess...

...what I had my beady lens on here, earlier this afternoon, at Figsbury Ring. It's an amazing site, with much to reward close scrutiny...


Take a peek. It's a good job us retired folk have plenty of time on our hands heh? Particularly with Marbled Whites to be seen.



1  He'd earlier consulted for us on the early look'n'feel of aspects of the OS/2 desktop; particularly (I'm told) the choice of colours.