Monday, 18 July 2011

Quote: GK Chesterton from 'Orthodoxy'

Let us suppose we are confronted with a desperate thing—say Pimlico. If we think what is really best for Pimlico we shall find the thread of thought leads to the throne or the mystic and the arbitrary. It is not enough for a man to disapprove of Pimlico: in that case he will merely cut his throat or move to Chelsea. Nor, certainly, is it enough for a man to approve of Pimlico, for then it will remain Pimlico, which would be awful. The only way out of it seems to be for somebody to love Pimlico: to love it with a transcendental tie and without any earthly reason. If there arose a man who loved Pimlico, then Pimlico would rise into ivory towers and golden pinnacles; Pimlico would attire herself as a woman does when she is loved. For decoration is not given to hide horrible things: but to decorate things already adorable. A mother does not give her child a blue bow because he is so ugly without it. A lover does not give a girl a necklace to hide her neck. If men loved Pimlico as mothers love children, arbitrarily, because it is theirs, Pimlico in a year or two might be fairer than Florence.

Chesterton GK. 1908. Orthodoxy. Image, New York (2001 Edition)
Chapter V: The Flag of the World. Page 66.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

New Zealand Weevil Image Database now online

Etheophanus sp.
In the last couple of days, the TFBIS funded New Zealand Weevil Image Database has been put online. The project involves taking high-quality photos of representatives of every weevil genus (including the Etheophanus sp. shown above) known from New Zealand. It is a great effort, and one that I will make full use of in my research. Not only will it help assisting others to identify NZ weevils, but it will also serve as a useful aid for overseas workers wanting to become familiar with the diversity of weevils in this country, and help in the efforts to produce a coherent classification of the world weevil fauna. Mainly though, it is a splendid showcase of the diversity and beauty of the weevils in NZ, and shows some of the extraordinary forms of many of our species. My picks for the most bizarre are Stephanorhynchus, Geochus, Ectopsis and Colabotelus.