Lewis Thomas in Seven Wonders wrote:Sixth on my list is, I hesitate to say, another insect, the termite. This time, though, it is not the single insect that is the Wonder, it is the collectivity. There is nothing at all wonderful about a single, solitary termite, indeed there is really no such creature, functionally speaking, as a lone termite, any more than we can imagine a genuinely solitary human being; no such thing. Two or three termites gathered together on a dish are not much better; they may move about and touch each other nervously, but nothing happens. But keep adding more termites until they reach a critical mass, and then the miracle begins. As though they had suddenly received a piece of extraordinary news, they organize in platoons and begin stacking up pellets to precisely the right height, then turning the arches to connect the columns, constructing the cathedral and its chambers in which the colony will live out its life for the decades ahead, air-conditioned and humidity-controlled, following the chemical blueprint coded in their genes, flawlessly, stone-blind. They are not the dense mass of individual insects they appear to be; they are an organism, a thoughtful, meditative brain on a million legs. All we really know about this new thing is that it does its architecture and engineering by a complex system of chemical signals.
Paul Cooksey wrote:I'm not happy calling Mr Giddins's the anteater. It suggests something higher than a termite, and worse he seems to like it. I toyed with Giddiness blog, but that implies frivolity where I think there is mean spiritedness. I pointed out before he meets all the criteria for a termite, but as above there is no such thing as a "no comments" termite
How about Mr Toad? If he improves, I'll claim the name is for the A A Milne character, an arrogant but lovable eccentric. If he doesn't, well the Isacis Migrans Nematode is a parasite that lives off termites. A lesser man might also claim a physical resemblance, but as I said at the beginning, I am above such cheap attacks.
Kevin Thurlow wrote:"After the forum meltdown of the last couple of days I find myself harbouring disturbing pro-anteater sympathies. I fear expulsion from the colony if this continues. Is there a cure?"
Practise a rook ending three times a day after meals.
CJ de Mooi did NOT put Â£15k of his own money into the event.
...so far as I am aware, CJ has never publicly claimed to have put the money in out of his own pocket
The British Championships this year received 2 donations - one of Â£250 from a private benefactor and one of Â£16585 from me.
Paul Cooksey wrote:His most recent article suggests Carl is guilty of a double standard, in suggesting people disclose facts themselves here rather than leaking them anonymously through a third party.
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