Wednesday

Wednesday 30/04/2003If there's a theme for this week, it's worms. Not only has some unnamed miscreant in the office found and installed a networked copy of the Worms game -- thus bringing all work to halt at distressingly frequent intervals -- but accident investigators raking through the bits of space shuttle Columbia have found a live colony from one of the orbital experiments.

Wednesday 30/04/2003

If there's a theme for this week, it's worms. Not only has some unnamed miscreant in the office found and installed a networked copy of the Worms game -- thus bringing all work to halt at distressingly frequent intervals -- but accident investigators raking through the bits of space shuttle Columbia have found a live colony from one of the orbital experiments.

These particular worms, called C. Elegans, are beloved of scientists because they have very few cells, their genome has been mapped and they're well on their way to becoming the most thoroughly understood animals of all time. What's particularly impressive is that not only have these specimens survived a fiery catastrophe followed by weeks in storage, but they're now four or five generations on from the originals. In other words, while utter destruction reigned all around them and they plummeted to almost certain doom in a Texan cornfield, they just carried on. At it, as it were.

I mention this to a friend of mine, who said "Nothing puts worms off their stroke. Their entire lives are spent eating and having sex with themselves" -- hmm, perhaps I'm not as evolved as I once thought.

[More evidence of this came with the fact that two of our number at ZDNet are getting married in the near future, Matt B and Marissa. No, they're not getting married to each other. Now, Marissa is an elegant woman with poise and considerably more class than the rest of us rabble, so I wasn't going to put my usual crudities in her wedding card. But I try to affect a vaguely louche demeanour, so I signed it "Another one off the menu!" when it came around. Embarrassing to admit? Not half as embarrassing as my subsequent discovery that it was in fact Matt B's card.]

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