Monthly Archive: April 2012

Apr 27

Why living fossils need to die

Encephalartos ferox [cc-by-sa-3.0 Steve Cook]

I’m the proud owner of a Madagascan cycad. He or she (I won’t know until s/he gets older) gets an annual decking with baubles at Christmas, but spends most of the rest of the year getting in the way of the television. Cycads look a lot like palms, but rather than producing flowers and fruits, they make cones …

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Apr 19

Community payback for undergrads

Brocchinia reducta, Hampton Court flower show 2003 [CC-BY-SA-3.0 Steve Cook]

Two acquaintances of mine, both teachers of one kind or another, tell me that they no longer feel comfortable steering students away from Wikipedia, because they can no longer maintain the prim pretence that they themselves aren’t consulting it on a daily basis. I’ve long appreciated Wikipedia for its convenience; and been amused by its unforgivable mis-prioritisation. On the other hand, I’ve been …

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Apr 16

Version 2

Several years ago, I pulled my old website, as it had become a compost-heap of reformatted lecture notes that I no longer had time to maintain, and which Wikipedia had rendered redundant in any case. The pleasures of writing HTML by hand had begun to pall, and the hand-rolled CGI guestbook made even a coding …

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