A milestone: 5

Congratulations to the Bird Phenology Project and its volunteer digital transcribers. Over the weekend, the project’s one-millionth migration record was transcribed to digital format. An observation of a House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) (AOU code 721a) by Vernon Bailey in Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico Territory in September, 1904 was the card that did it.

(Bailey was the husband of Florence Merriam Bailey, in whom I am currently interested.)

Calling all botany geeks

I invite you to participate in the development of a Q&A site for questions about botany. The site would be part of the successful Stack Exchange network, of which Stack Overflow is the flagship.

One of the features of a Stack Exchange site that makes it successful is the liberal awarding of brownie points to users who constructively participate in the site. Jeff Atwood and his team have figured out the alchemy that makes a community-managed site work.

At this point, the proposed Botany site is in the stage of soliciting sample questions. Follow the link below and add your own!

Stack Exchange Q&A site proposal: Botany

Update: The proposal for this Q&A site has been closed, alas.


Scott M. Fulton III explicates the idea behind Maria Popova’s Curator’s Code project, and gives a name to a practice that I try to avoid (with little success): LWIR.

Popova proposes the Unicode [CANADIAN SYLLABICS SH (U+1525)] as a shorthand for “via,” to indicate “a link of direct discovery,” and [RIGHTWARDS ARROW WITH LOOP (U+21AC)] to replace the various forms of “hat tip” that acknowledge indirect links and inspiration. I rather like these one-character squiggles of attribution, and the bookmarklet available at Curator’s Code makes it easy to snag them onto the clipboard. (Be it noted that the bookmarklet embeds its own link back to the project site.) I’ll give them a try; here’s hoping that G+ and Twitter play nicely with them.

Of course, half the time my trouble is making a note of my link source at the time I capture the link. It may be several days later when I get around to sharing the link. I use Instapaper’s summary field (available through the Edit link) to some advantage here.

And here I’d been using H/T incorrectly all along.