Monday 28 July 2003
Pix of the Day: Invasion Day of the Paper Wasps
The corporate headquarters at ODAAT Towers was buzzing like a beehive during the preparations for today's feature item. Unfortunately the buzzing was quite literal rather than an onomatopoeic simile, and was eventually tracked to some wasps building in the eaves. Our research assistant went out onto the web and determined that the creatures were probably paper wasps. However, her talents are more suited to other areas of expertise and endeavor, so we are happy to stand corrected if anyone out there knows better.
Now a decision must be made on what action, if any, is appropriate in response to this invasion of our sovereign territory. At the moment doing nothing is favored: if the wasps are prepared to go their own way without bothering us then that leaves the way open for detente. Without wishing to cause an escalation of tension on the other side, we have thought it advisable to station a giant can of 'Raid' in a silo close to the incursion across our borders. The UNL (University of Nebraska, Lincoln) have a superb entomology resource at EntWeb (University of Nebraska Department of Entomology) with a page on the management of stinging wasps, including the symptoms and treatment of casualties.
One visitor advised that the best way to deal with this was to pour a kettle of boiling water on the insurgents: notwithstanding that this utterance was delivered while craning up to see the nest we thought this gravity defying requirement was beyond even our skills. All visitors seemed to have an opinion, though when asked for their experience with such incidents they frequently admitted their advice was hearsay.
Whilst we are not generally inclined to attrition or vindictiveness, we did wonder if we might be able to arrange an SCI (Scavenging Caterpillar Infestation) without fear of reprisal. Just uttering the name of such a dreadful WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction) would be terrifying, though we believe from that link that such things are actually quite hard to find. We also thought of asking the United Nations to intervene, but read that their deliberations are like elephants making love: they raise a lot of dust, but the results take a long time to be delivered.
Caricature of the Day courtesy of Caricature Zone
IDENTITY LINK: click the image below. Click this text for a BIO-FINDER LINK.
French actor (1917-1970). We thought this extract from his bio explains why today's subject is so difficult: 'Comparatively unknown to American audiences, [he] was given a wonderful moment in the Hollywood financed war epic The Longest Day (1962), in which as the Mayor of Colleville he effusively greets the invading allied troops at Normandy and offers his negligible services as a soldier.' His real name was André Raimbourg but, like his hero Fernandel, he was known by a single name derived from the area of Normandy, France, where he was raised. His last English language appearance was in another all-star spectacular 'Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies' (1969).
Searching for a picture for you to see we found one that includes our subject's likeness and his signature, on a French language web site by André Dupupet that specializes in such signed portraits of French stars, including two of our own favorite chanteuses, Edith Piaf   and Juliette Greco. Information on the Blockbuster web site was used in the preparation of this mini bio.
On This Day in 2002: Magic Circles Sunday 28 July 2002
This may be one of those 'You Had To Be There' photographs. The rocks in the foreground are what is left of the Neolithic age Elva Stone Circle, in a picture taken from Julian Thurgood's Visit Cumbria.com web site. I think that possibly one needs to be of a woowoo disposition to get the most from these places: certainly when I lived in nearby Cockermouth and visited this site the situation and the associations with the past set my skin a-tingle. Julian has a Cumbrian Stone Circles page and there are further links at the Open Directory. Visitors of a more prosaic disposition may prefer to just enjoy the fine view of the mountain in the background, called Skiddaw. [The following links have been changed from the original item because the resources used then are no longer available. Ed.] Andy Burnham has a section devoted to Cumbrian henges, which includes a detailed page and photo gallery on Castlerigg Stone Circle, which is close to Elva, but much better known and more often visited.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)