About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Extinctions - blood-suckers, flesh-borers, meat wasps...

Why is the polity so tolerant of pestilence, and at the same time so willing to see wonderful forms of life disappear right before our eyes?

MOSQUITOES. As fascinating as this tribe is, they are not an essential part of a food chain (could be replaced by other creatures), and their hemotaphagous dirty needles spread immense suffering: The Culiseta family is the most dangerous disease vector known. WHO estimates about 250 million people are infected by malaria, and mosquitoes also spread West Nile virus, four forms of encephalitis, yellow fever, dengue fever, rift valley fever, meningitis, and other diseases. Not to mention they also cause sleepless nights and ruin fishing trips and the crepuscular magic of the tropics. Who could possibly miss them? Ironically, I still find people KILLING the "mosquito hawk", Toxorhynchites, in paroxysms of bug-ophobia. This giant of the mosquitoes actually cannibalizes its nasty little brethren. It should always be protected and released.

MEAT BEES ("yellowjackets"). I value creatures whose lifestyle includes eating the other undesireables in my neighborhood. It is my understanding that most of the Vespidae Family, and the Vespula Genus in particular, eat an assortment of insect pests. Our local picnic area and watering hole is often made tricky to use by invasions of aggressive flies which mimic wasps, and a few wasps. Although the sting, usually repeated, of a wasp is painful, and an altercation with a large hive can be fatal, I recommend letting them "be", so to speak. When the occasional paper wasp nest or hornet hole is found too close to my work in the garden, of course, I remove it.

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