Sunday, April 29, 2018

Monday, April 23, 2018

Happy St. George's Day, all!

Today it is traditional to gather dandelions for wine. I will not be doing so, since, not to put too fine a point on it, dandelion wine is terrible stuff.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

From the Atlantic: Was There a Civilization on Earth before Humans?

"We’re used to imagining extinct civilizations in terms of the sunken statues and subterranean ruins. These kinds of artifacts of previous societies are fine if you’re only interested in timescales of a few thousands of years. But once you roll the clock back to tens of millions or hundreds of millions of years, things get more complicated."

Hey guys, try to keep up. I can't be the only one that's read Toolmaker Koan or The Green Marauder. Or Jack Vance, come to that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

In November 1917, a local oil baron united Chechen, Ingush and Ossetian peoples in a Mountain Republic, allied with Germany. The Republic had the distinction of being defeated by both sides in the Russian civil war – first by the Reds, in March 1918, then by the Whites, in May 1919.
Just one of many very obscure and short-lived nations from Russia's civil war. The Republic of Uhtua, the Soviet Republic of Soldiers and Fortress-Builders, Green Ukraine (which was in the Far East), the Confederated Republic of Altai, the list goes on. Some of them had interesting flags too.

Friday, April 06, 2018

"An Inordinate Fondness for Wasps" is a damn good title.

Here is the paper itself.
>We challenge the oft-repeated claim that the beetles (Coleoptera) are the most species-rich order of animals. Instead, we assert that another order of insects, the Hymenoptera, are more speciose, due in large part to the massively diverse but relatively poorly known parasitoid wasps.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Iranian pigeon towers.

The brief note below the pictures claims that the guano was used as fertilizer; I will simply add a link here to Encyclopedia Iranica's entry on the history of firearms in Persia and point out that guano has more bellicose uses, too.