Wednesday, April 16, 2003

On a day when an ex-DoubleClick executive is named to become a "privacy official" at the Department of Homeland Security, very little can top my absurd-o-meter. If it's a tie we're looking for, we can also review the information sheets that health-care providers are now sending to their patients, to explain revisions in patient-confidentiality law. For example, I was surprised to find out that both my dentist and my gynecologist can release my records for "intelligence or counter-intelligence purposes". I've heard of people being convinced that the feds had installed transmitters in their bridgework, but ... y'know, I really don't want to go there now that I think about it.

On a brighter, buggier note: The Polistes dominulus females took advantage of yesterday's warm weather to squabble for territory at the entrance to our (alleged) butterfly box. (Everyone knows that butterflies don't bother with those things, but they make terrific wasp condos.) It's a guilty pleasure, but I really like P. dominulus, even if their introduction and spread is creating problems for our native wasps. For one thing, they're fierce about protecting our kale from cabbageworms, and for another, they're really pretty (you gotta love those sporty orange legs and antennae)! Yeah, I know that they belong to an invasive species, but what the hell -- so do I.


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