Thursday, February 12, 2004

A second cousin once removed just found me on the net. She's about my age, and a direct descendant of my father's aunt. I remember Dad's aunt as the first eightysomething I ever met who had astounding energy, and she lived to be 94. It's been an amazing communication so far; I hope to keep up the e-link.

Rick found a small parasitoid wasp in the house today. For the life of me, I can't figure out what it's doing on the wing in Michigan in February. Apparently it's made a very, very bad mistake. Oh, well, at least we have a new pet for as long as it survives. It's now eating the honey that I smeared on the inside of its jar. If nothing else, I do know how to feed captive wasps.

For those of you wondering what Formica exsectoides looks like, there's a beautiful photo of one here. At least I think it's a very attractive ant. Check out the rest of the site, too, for more insect-errific photography by Alex Wild. (Thanks, Alex, for permission to link to your photos!)

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Okay, let's see how this one works:

create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

I could add Colorado and New Mexico if merely sitting around in an airport qualifies as "visiting", but that seems like cheating, somehow.

create your own visited country map

My world map, on the other hand, is really pathetic. Not only does it include only seven countries (and I only claim Mexico via the technicality of once having spent two hours in Nogales), but two of them (Netherlands Antilles, Antigua and Barbuda) are nearly impossible to see without a magnifying glass. (No slur intended against the wonderful people of those two nations -- it's just that the map is too small to do those beautiful islands justice.) I could actually claim an eighth, but the web site designers forgot French Polynesia. (The time I got stranded in Tahiti, they did let me out of the airport.)