Some links: 100

  • Walter Shawlee, slipstick reseller, has passed.

    Over time, his customers included a weather station in Antarctica, where many electronic gadgets could not take the cold; photo editors responsible for adjusting image sizes (they like slide rules for their clear displays of different values for the same ratio); an archaeologist who found that calculators got too dusty to work properly during digs; the drug company Pfizer, which gave away slide rules as gifts during a trade show; slide rule enthusiasts in Afghanistan and French Polynesia; and “guys from NASA,” Mr. Shawlee told Engineering Times in 2000.

  • Sorry, overwintering turtles don’t breathe through their butts.

    The notion that cloacal gas exchange helps North American turtles survive long winters trapped under the ice is pervasive in pop science, but to date, there is no solid evidence that hidden-necked turtles use cloacal gas exchange. The skin and mouth lining are where gas exchange happens during winter hibernation.

  • The Old English for spider is gange-wæfre (“walker-weaver”).
  • From Zack Stanton for McSweeney’s, “Morrissey or Trump?”

    This could only happen to me / Who has been through anything like this?

  • Guest column for Washington Business Journal by Alan Berube and Tracy Hadden Loh: “Caps and Wizards moving to Virginia isn’t ‘regionalism.’ It’s gaslighting.”

Some links: 98


As for spam coming in through the transom offering to redesign my web site or improve SEO (usually with a mouthful of abbreviations suggesting that A Honey of an Anklet can appear on Google’s first page of search results) (what are these slimies up to? do they just want steal my credentials so that they can take over this blog?), usually I just toss the e-mail in the bin. But for this message, apparently from an address, there was something about the high ratio of dysfluency to text that called out to me.


I am Peter, an experienced web designer. I was analyzing your website and found that your website design is quite complicated from the user’s perspective. Your users are finding your website it difficult to use your website.

You need to work on your UI/UX and make it simplistic and intuitive. And I believe, along with my team of designers and developers, I can help you in making your website attractive and engaging.

We offer a wide array of services:

• Website design and development

• Landing page design

• Website marketing

Website content creation services

• Web application development

• Mobile application development

• Digital marketing

If you are interested, then let me know your requirement, so I can assist you with best solution.



“… make [your UI/UX] simplistic…”—melts my crabby little heart.

Not once have I seen one of these stinkers offer a portfolio of their work. I am so tempted to engage, to ask for references, to pretend to do due diligence. Or at the very least to send the message back, copy edited. And then I come to my senses.

Some links: 96

Some links: 95

Some links: 93

Try again

Round 2 with ChatGPT. Now with more disclaimers. Still can’t/won’t read HTML <meta name="author" /> tags. And apparently Cain/Chandler/Wilder plagiarized HDT.

DAVID. are you familiar with the blog A Honey of an Anklet?

CHATGPT. As an AI language model, I am familiar with a vast amount of information including websites and blogs, including “A Honey of an Anklet”. However, I don’t have personal preferences or opinions on any specific blog or website as I don’t have personal feelings or biases.

D. what can you tell me about it?

C. “A Honey of an Anklet” is a blog that focuses on natural history, ecology, and environmental issues. The author of the blog is Robert Bergeson, who is based in the Washington DC area. The blog features posts on a wide range of topics related to the natural world, including birding, botany, insects, and environmental policy. The name of the blog comes from a quote by writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau, who referred to a “honey of an anklet” as a small but significant detail of the natural world that one might overlook if not paying attention. Overall, “A Honey of an Anklet” is a well-written and informative blog for anyone interested in the natural world and environmental issues.

A new footer reads, “ChatGPT may produce inaccurate information about people, places, or facts.” In other words, ChatGPT is not a reliable source of information.

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story

HOTSPUR. Nay, I will. That’s flat!
[King Henry IV] said he would not ransom Mortimer,
Forbade my tongue to speak of Mortimer.
But I will find him when he lies asleep,
And in his ear I’ll hollo “Mortimer.”
Nay, I’ll have a starling shall be taught to speak
Nothing but “Mortimer,” and give it him
To keep his anger still in motion.

Henry IV, Part 1, I:3

It’s fair to say that the ecological consequences of the introduction of European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris, EUST) into North America have been a (mostly adverse) mixed blessing. I’ve been told that EUSTs are favored by groundskeepers for golf courses, because the birds eat turf-destroying grubs—make of that what you will. And my grandmother had a particular animus against them; make of that what you will. I certainly wouldn’t knowingly park my car under a roost.

But perhaps we can retire the canard that the introduction happened at one place, at one time, by one man: Eugene Schieffelin, a drugmaker and socialite in New York. Research by Lauren Fugate and John MacNeill Miller, as reported by Jason Bittel, confirms that Schieffelin wasn’t the only American to release EUSTs, nor was he by any means the first. By the 1870s, “introductions were well underway,” decades before Schieffelin’s activity in 1890-1891.

According to the former president of the Acclimation Society of Cincinnati, between 1872 and 1874 the society released about four thousand European birds, including starlings.

“Acclimation” or “acclimitization” was a particularly boneheaded piece of nineteenth-century ecology that held that introduced species could improve an ecosystem.

Anglophone countries… focused instead on the ways importing species could increase the beauty, diversity, and economic yield of the local environment—sometimes because they themselves had destroyed it.

Most importantly—to answer a question that Rick Wright asked in a 2014 blog post— Schieffelin had no particular interest in the birds of Shakespeare. He just liked starlings. Fugate and Miller lay the myth on the desk of Edwin Way Teale, in an essay from 1948.

“[The starling’s] coming was the result of one man’s fancy,” he writes of Schieffelin: “His curious hobby was the introduction into America of all the birds mentioned in the works of William Shakespeare.” Published more than forty years after Schieffelin’s death this sentence is the first time Shakespeare enters the story. It is hard to say where Teale got the idea.

Perhaps Teale was bemused by Central Park’s Shakespeare Garden, begun in 1913, years after Schieffelin’s death.

As Wright wryly observes,

With a Horatian eye to their capacity to delight and to profit, the [American Acclimatization] Society’s introductions over the years included everything from brook trout to Java finches, neither of which, if memory serves, ever trod the boards at the Globe.

Shakespeare’s one reference to Sturnus vulgaris (above) isn’t even pejorative; rather, the bird is recognized as a good mimic. Make of that what you will.

Sad but probably true

Kevin Roose on the Twitter acquisition:

… Musk seemed to intuitively grasp what Twitter actually was — a high-stakes popularity contest that, if won, could get you almost anything you wanted, from a higher stock price to a Saturday Night Live hosting gig.

I am weighing my options—considering taking a pause. The original reason I joined has long become moot, one of the purposes I put Twitter to is fading, and I can get news directly from the source.


Oh, this one is hilarious.

Attention: Customer,

This is to notify you that CHASE BANK has made all arrangement on how
to transfer your funds, but now our problem here is that one Mrs.
Cynthia Edward, came to informed us that you are DEAD, and before your
death as a result of COVID, you instructed her to come for the claim
of your funds in the tune of US2.Million
that was long abandoned in your name with CHASE BANK.

So here comes the big question…. This questions has been a BIG
PROBLEMS to the Board Directors CHASE BANK, not knowing whom to
TRANSFER YOUR FUNDS to, please just get back immediately, if real you
are Alive.

(:i) Did you authorize Mrs. Cynthia Edward to come for your claim?

(ii) Are you truly Dead OR Alive?

If (NO) you are hereby advice as a matter of urgency to reconfirm the
details of this message within 24hours, hence your funds shall be
wired into her account without any more delay.

Lastly, you are advice to reconfirm the details of this message and
get back immediately with these information’s

1.Full name:………………………..
2.Direct telephone number:………………..
4.Your personal identification to enable us confirm you are not dead.
5.Current occupation and address.

This information’s above must be provided for reconfirmation to Enable
us make payment to you, hence, your funds will be remit/wire into her
account as already provide to this management.

I have to inform you that we have completed all issues of your payment
in our bank since on the 20th of May.

Apparently, your International Deposit Online Payment Account has been
opened successfully.

You will ACCESS your account and confirm your approved sum of (TWO
MILLION UNITED STATE DOLLARS) has been officially Credited into the
Account today. You are legally empowered Authorized to make effectual
transfers from the Account as you follow the guidelines below.


Please follow the instructions in the confirmation of this payment
Issues in the bank telephone banking administration sheet below to
confirm your payment.
Stage 1: Dial (CHASE BANK) Telephone Banking Confirmation Account
System on [REDACTED]

then after the voice contact, enter your account Pass Code [REDACTED]

Stage 2: enter your Account Number which is [REDACTED]

Stage 3: enter your account Account Pin Code [REDACTED]

Stage 4: to make transfer press 4 enter your destination account
number, which is your personal bank account number, swift code/routing
number apparently[!?], your fund IF YOU ARE HAVING ANY ISSUES, BE ADVICE

Your fund will be transferred immediately into your personal bank
account via our electronic wire transfer system once you have the
complete requirement.

Lastly, Do get back to us immediately the transfer take place to enable
us update our official record.

Kindly call me as soon as you receive this email. NOTE: THIS TRANSFER

Congratulation as we hope to do more successful business with you, Our
aim is to put smiles in all our customer face, if our service is very
ok with you[!?], please do let us know.

Yours faithfully,


If not you are at your own risk.

H.E Ronny Jumeau
Sychelles Ambassador.

I am oh so tempted to reply to this one. I would not want to be the cause of a BIG PROBLEMS to the Board Directors CHASE BANK.

Where does it all go?

Golly, with all the TVs and computers and Norton subscriptions I’ve bought, it’s not surprising that I only have 234.89 USD left to buy Bitcoin.

Dear Member,

Thank You for choosing Paypal for placing your Order BITCOIN.

Your order has been successfully placed.

The Payment will be shown soon within next 5 to 10 hours on PAYPAL


Memo Id : BFCR#3876BFT
Item Name : BITCOIN (BTC)

Order Placed Date : 4th May 2022
Receiving Date : Day After Place The Order.
: 234.89 USD
Charge Mode : PAYPAL

If you Wish to Cancel then please feel free to contact our Billing Department as soon as Possible.

You can reach us on [REDACTED]


paypal Billing Department