August 19, 2010

Doesn't everbody do barnacles?

One of the things that makes Charles Darwin admirable as a scientist was his ability to do detailed grunt work as well construct groundbreaking big picture theories. He also belonged to the last generation of gentleman naturalists, i.e. non-academic private individuals of some means doing scientific work in their Victorian homes.

As a prime example of detailed grunt work, Darwin spent fully eight years engaged with a study of barnacles, eventually producing four large volumes on the subject. I get bored just thinking about it.

The barnacle business was such an accepted part of the growing Darwin household that his children came to believe that every adult male did the same in his spare time. There is a great anecdote that his son Francis once asked his friend, "Where does your father do his barnacles?

A WAY OUT? Here's an op-ed by a friend of mine on the economic mess and how to get out of it.

COUNTRY LIVING. This item about country living in the New Yorker seemed familiar to me.

SOFT STYLE. Score another therapeutic point for tai chi.

ZOMBIE ANTS, ANYONE? This is just plain weird.



Anonymous said...

Now the raven's nest in the rotted roof
Of Chenoweth's old place
And no one's asking Cal
About that scar upon his face
'Cause there's nothin' strange
About an axe with bloodstains in the barn

There's always some killin'
You got to do around the farm
A murder in the red barn
Murder in the red barn

Now the woods will never tell
What sleeps beneath the trees
Or what's buried 'neath a rock
Or hiding in the leaves
'Cause road kill has it's seasons
Just like anything
It's possums in the autumn
And it's farm cats in the spring
A murder in the red barn
A murder in the red barn

- Tom Waits

hollowdweller said...

The farming thing you posted reminded me of the Tom Waits song above.