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today I have been:

Worrying about Kleenex/Andrex using ancient woodlands in their toilet paper. This may or may not be the case in the UK: I've not hit a reliable confirm or deny. Greenpeace are currently more concerned about deforestation to grow soya for factory-reared chicken and tropical hardwoods in garden furniture, which suggests it's not the most massive issue right now, but it's somehow really offensive.

Delighted by the discovery of blind cave scorpions in an isolated ecosystem deep below an Israeli quarry. They've only had a cursory look, but they've already found eight new species; the cave has access neither to surface water nor to the main aquifers in the area, making it one of those weird ecosystems that are running off bacteria eating rock, possibly. They're not sure yet.

Regendering opinion and magazine pieces. It's a crude tool, as these things often are, but one that gives interesting results; try it on some of the many articles around at the moment about knife crime or computer game addiction.

Wondering if I should read Divided Kingdom. Anyone? INcidentally, I'm sanguine.

Amused by the (tentative) discovery that supposedly parthenogenic Darwinulidae may have been having sex all along, albeit rarely. They just found males, three of them to hundreds of females.

Looking at this objective look at pencils. In homesite terms, it's a stub, more interesting in the idea, but nevertheless...

Wondering where my hat is.


( 15 worms — Feed the birds )
1st Jun, 2006 17:47 (UTC)
I am sanguine too, but not too impressed by the extract on the site.
1st Jun, 2006 18:30 (UTC)
The sexual shrimps are interesting. It clears up a couple of Dr Tatiana's mysteries.
1st Jun, 2006 19:06 (UTC)
Provided you don't go to the toilet until the end of the year you are probably OK..
"We were the first tissue company to commit to using only virgin wood pulp from suppliers that had certified their
forestlands or wood fiber procurement activities to an internationally recognized standard. Approximately 88 percent
of the virgin wood pulp we purchased was sourced from certified suppliers. We expect all remaining suppliers to be
certified by the end of 2006."
(I would be more convinced if the report said which certification).
2nd Jun, 2006 08:50 (UTC)
the reports I was reading were very critical of the "internationally recognized standard" which Kimberley Clarke work to, calling it a standard made by logging companies for logging companies.
2nd Jun, 2006 09:11 (UTC)
Re: uhhhh
Now, there's a surprise...
1st Jun, 2006 19:17 (UTC)
2 points -

I was interested to discover that Brazilian sugar production has been growing, largely by tearing up orange orchards. As for the soya, it's true, and a lot of it is sold to China for hog feed.

Regarding cave species - a slightly unsurprising source of many new species. They are a pretty consistent source for isolated ecologies. :-)
2nd Jun, 2006 10:06 (UTC)
caves are cool
--- there was an entire episode of Planet Earth dedicated to the underground, including some real blinders, but this enormous Israeli cave would have been a wow beyond them all I think.
2nd Jun, 2006 08:35 (UTC)
Nancy Solo and Illya Kuryakin might work but Steed and Emmanuel Peel sounds distinctly odd.
2nd Jun, 2006 11:03 (UTC)
Nancy Solo sounds like a cocktail or a stripper. Possibly both.
2nd Jun, 2006 10:05 (UTC)
Divided Kingdom
I'm melancholic. I'd have to live in East Anglia, while you frolicked in the Home Counties. That notwithstanding, I thought it was a great book, maybe a bit gratuitously violent in a couple of places, but very funny, in a black sort of way, in others. My favourite character is another melancholic, called Brendan, who thinks he's made out of butter, so he can't go out in the sun in case he melts. jo
2nd Jun, 2006 10:11 (UTC)
Divided Kingdom
I've just read it. It's... alright. It's one of those books that I was quite into when I was reading it, but left me with a distinctly 'meh' taste in my mental mouth (Times Literary Supplement, here I come...) Still, I've got it, so I can lend it to you if you like.

Oh, and I'm phlegmatic. Empathic, passive, indecisive? If you say so...
2nd Jun, 2006 11:01 (UTC)
It looks like it'd be a fast read, and I could do with one of them after Iron Council (phew) so please, lend away -- cheers.
4th Jun, 2006 15:21 (UTC)
Cave shrimps
Quite a few species have a skewed sex ratio. It is in an X chromosome's genetic interest to have female descendents (twice as many copies) and for obvious reasons a Y chromosome cannot do the same (apart from being too runty to have any spare genetic material to supress female gametes). Looks like they have just not been looking hard enough.
5th Jun, 2006 12:42 (UTC)
5th Jun, 2006 13:18 (UTC)
clip art owls!
My favourite species!
( 15 worms — Feed the birds )