Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 280SE 280CE 560SEL
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RE: type 1a supernovas
It's likely that you would have found all kinds of new to science species in that bog, particularly insects, nematodes and mites. Quite a taxonomic challenge, though. A friend of mine is a mite guy and has great scanning EM images - some of the predatory mites have these tin-opener protrusions to extract the contents of their heavily-armoured prey. We're trying to get a mite competition project off the ground this year.
My biggest bit of academic name-dropping was working very briefly with Murray Gell-Mann, the Nobel laureate particle physicist. Scientific royalty, I guess. Didn't seem to rub off - I was soon back at base being hassled by obnoxious IT department staff (why are these people always so unhelpful?).
The tropical deforestation is pretty much unstoppable, and as you say, it is easy for we comfortable westerners to wag fingers from our economic ivory towers. I took a look at Indonesia recently too, and it is even more trashed that SA.