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First day back to work and I filled and filed yet another grant application. That makes four, of which three successful so far.

I do not like this process. I do not like the language, I do not like the angle (“which ethnic groups will your project benefit?”). Above all, I do not like that there are pools of (nearly always taxpayer) money sloshing around for opportunists (like me!) to grasp at.

We don’t need the money. But if not us, some other grubby parasite will get it. Grants like this seldom trickle down to fill a genuine need in society.

Speaking of, I once read a book about parasites and nearly lost the will to live. You can get a taste of it from this string of Tweets by the author, Carl Zimmer.

The image is an Ophiocordyceps, taken from this NYT article by Zimmer with the charming headline, “After This Fungus Turns Ants Into Zombies, Their Bodies Explode.”

Sweet dreams!


Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: January 3, 2023, 8:59 pm

Fungal Exploding Hairy Aunts!

And now you know why the proper way to pronounce that word is not “ant”(pretty much everywhere in America except parts of New England)

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: January 3, 2023, 9:38 pm

Not to run away screaming and try to COMPLETELY change the subject: I have a last year’s MAC laptop. Charlie don’t surf, and I don’t game much, but I have decided to give it a go, seeing as the dark days of February are nearly upon us.
I was surprised to discover how few games there for MAC; so I did a search for “Best Games for MAC 2022”

I got this link.


Now, I don’t know Tom from Adam, and his opinions are just, like, his opinions, man. Foolish as it may seem to others, I trust ya’all’s opinions a lot more.

Are any of his selections any good, or alternately, do you have any other ideas?


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 3, 2023, 10:54 pm

Speaking more about parasites, do not…DO NOT…search for pictures of eyelash mites in their natural habitat. Knowing such creatures even exist is bad enough.

And don’t get me started on the many hideous varieties of the dreaded parasitic bureaucrat. May they all be infested with Diphyllobothrium latum. That would be apt AF.

Comment from Greg
Time: January 4, 2023, 12:59 am

Parasitology is without a doubt more bizarre than any sci-fi I’ve read, and I grew up on science fiction. Uncle Al above references a Cestode. Trematodes, Nematodes, Malaria may be microscopic, but get an enlarged view of them and it’ll really make you queasy. Two, and sometimes three different intermediate hosts before the mature stage goes burrowing in yer liver and lungs. Stuff of nightmares.

Comment from Tim Carlson
Time: January 4, 2023, 3:49 am

As a resident of the Philippines, I truly regret having read this post, as it has reminded me of all of the nasty Filipino vermin that have been, are, and will be feasting on my body.

Sometimes I question my life choices. A lot.

Comment from dissent555
Time: January 4, 2023, 6:39 pm

Cordyceps fungi! Some of the grooviest time-lapse video subjects you will ever find.

“Invasion of the Body Snatchers” anyone?

Comment from Drew458
Time: January 4, 2023, 7:45 pm

Nothing to do with parasites at all, but …

Any new news on that Elizabethan ship found in the quarry by Dungeness back in April? It’s making the rounds at the woo-woo ancient wonders web sites again.


It’s not often you see Wessex mentioned in the news.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 4, 2023, 7:56 pm

The only game on the list that I know is Civilization, Some Veg, which is a turn-based strategy games. I like I and I liked II and I loved III, but after that it got away from me.

I can take a guess which you might like if I knew the kind of gameplay you enjoy (afaik Stardew Valley is a gentle, mellow world building game and Cuphead is a fast and furious arcade-style game, for example).

I think I heard about that, Drew. Programs like Digging for Britain get a lot of publicity on particular projects, but there’s an amazing crap-ton of archaeology going on here at any given time.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: January 4, 2023, 10:06 pm

Thanks for answering -Ms. Weasel. I too am a fan of Civ III and feel like all versions beyond that suffered the same fate as Sim City: the creators mistook increased complications for improvements. So instead of just “increasing commerce”, you had to choose farming or fishing or raising livestock, and then they improved it again by making you choose which crops. It was just too much busywork. I also liked the simpler graphics of Civ III.

My secret confession is that I have kept my old Win laptop around just to play Civ III, and my reason for asking about MAC games is that I feel guilty for not using my new one.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: January 4, 2023, 10:49 pm

I came to see that Paris-sites.

I was told I could get water color postcards?
So…what color water is that?

Oh! Look! A door! I’ll show myself out.

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