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Saturday, March 29, 2008

20 Ways The World Could End

And there you were, thinking the worst that could happen to you is a rogue truck kissing you on the way to work. Well, think again. I wasn't aware of half of those possibilities. So, what's your favorite? Me, I like the roving black hole..and of course, number 20!

Quotes and Durians

Want to kill a few weeks' worth of time? Well, look no further than Wikiquote!

As an aperitif, I suggest you move straight on to what A. R. Wallace's contemporaries had to say about his odes on Durians:

The durian — neither Wallace or Darwin agreed on it.
Darwin said 'may your worst enemies be forced to feed on it.'
Wallace cried 'it's delicious.'
Darwin replied 'I'm suspicious,
For the flavour is scented
Like papaya fermented
After a fruit-eating bat has pee'd on it.

After that, you're on our own. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Damn the torpedoes - I love SciFi!

“Sci-fi can be succinctly defined as speculation, whether based on established scientific facts or on logical pseudo-facts consistent with the framework of the fiction in question, involving smelly green pimply aliens furiously raping or eating, or both, beautiful naked bare-breasted chicks, covering them in slime, red, oozing, living slime, dribbling from every horrific orifice, squeezing out between bulbous pulpy lips onto the sensuous velvety skin of the writhing sweating slave-girls, their bodies cut and bruised by knotted whips brandished by giant blond vast-biceped androids called Simon, and written in the Gothic mode.“

Peter Nicholls, True Rat 7, 1976

Friday, March 28, 2008

Nepenthes ampullaria heaven

Mr Apis from Thailand posted a few pictures of his world-class Nepenthes ampullaria collection on, and Sehtnepen was so kind to create a collage from these photos:

This is hands-down the most stunning array of N. ampullaria varieties I've ever seen - talk about a man with ten dark-green thumbs!

Thank you, Apis and Sehtnepen, for permitting me to post your creations here

Saturday, March 22, 2008


No, that's not the science of bugs - you're thinking of entomology.
  • Etymology is the study of the history of words - when they entered a language, from what source, and how their form and meaning have changed over time
Thank you, Miss Wikipedia. So where do you go if you want to know where the word "jabberwocky" comes from, or why striped cats are called "tabbies"?

Well, look no further than here, in the best Online Etymology Dictionary on the Web.

Achtung! If you desperately need to understand why the frick your parents named you Winston-Wilbur, this should be your next stop. Disclaimer: sometimes knowing the origins of your name only makes it worse ...doesn't it, Joystone-Desirefortress?

The Adorkable Spork and the Crapsicle

As a language enthusiast and owner of a wacky personality, I love new linguistic inventions, and here's a whole dictionary of word melanges, aka portmanteaus. If you're anything like me, this page will suck the productivity right out of your workday.

Friday, March 21, 2008

National Geographic Photo Awards '08

No comment - all stunning!

Just before the sakura season ends...

...two blog entries from a friend who's clearly more gifted with a camera than me. All pix taken within walking distance from my house.

Up on the hill

Down by the temple

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Spring's back! (Part 2: Assorted Greenery)

While the cherry trees might be the 800-pound gorillas in the special effects department, a closer look around quickly reveals thousands of other beings that also have arrived for the spring bash. Beings that might not be as obviously spectacular, but highly attractive nonetheless.
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Fern trees...

Things that grow on trees...



..and even those usually better known for their no-frills attitude than their frilly accessories.

Of course, once the afternoon fog rolls in from the sea, even the palm trees find it difficult to keep up the feeling of spring in the tropics.

Spring's back! (Part 1: Cherry Blossoms)

The bittersweet days of back-to-back cold fronts from Mongolia, soaking in hot springs, and six-pepper-alarm fondues are over, and nothing proves it like cherry trees in bloom.

There are only two native cherry species in Taiwan, but in their effort to thoroughly Nipponize all their colonies, the Japanese spared no effort and brought at least eighteen other species to La Ilha Formosa – and all of them are in full splendor from February through April, during which time Yangmingshan National Park (our quasi-backyard) displays breathtaking vistas: entire hillsides covered in rich greenery and interspersed with all sorts of pink splotches in every conceivable shade from almost white to deep magenta. Here are a few impressions from the last few days.

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