Bug Girl's Annex

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Apr 9
If you don’t know about the Heartbleed exploit, you need to. Here is a small list of websites affected, for which you need to update your passwords. Including Tumblr.

If you don’t know about the Heartbleed exploit, you need to. Here is a small list of websites affected, for which you need to update your passwords. Including Tumblr.

Greatest GIF ever? Yes. Yes it is. 

skunkbear:

This is Skunk Bear’s 100th post! It’s only right that we celebrate with a GIF that combines Charles Darwin and an internet meme.
Thanks for following, liking and reblogging! If you’re a new follower, here’s what we’re all about.

Greatest GIF ever? Yes. Yes it is. 

skunkbear:

This is Skunk Bear’s 100th post! It’s only right that we celebrate with a GIF that combines Charles Darwin and an internet meme.

Thanks for following, liking and reblogging! If you’re a new follower, here’s what we’re all about.

Mar 7

A very cool video tour of The Crop Trust seed vault.

Crop diversity is therefore the raw material for improving and adapting crops to meet all future challenges.  Yet at the moment much of the world’s crop diversity is neither safely conserved, nor readily available to scientists and farmers who rely on it to safeguard agricultural productivity.  Diversity is being lost, and with it the biological basis of our food supply….”

Deep inside a mountain on a remote island in the Svalbard archipelago, halfway between mainland Norway and the North Pole, lies the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a fail-safe, state-of-the-art seed storage facility, built to stand the test of time – and of natural or manmade disasters. Permanent protection for the world’s food crops The purpose of the Vault is to store duplicates (‘back ups’) of all seed samples from the world’s crop collections.

Permafrost and thick rock ensure that, even in the case of a power outage, the seed samples will remain frozen. The Vault can therefore be considered the ultimate insurance policy for the world’s food supply. It will secure, for centuries, millions of seeds representing every important crop variety available in the world today.”

Mar 4

sinobug:

Female Common Bluetail (Ischnura senegalensis, Coenagrionidae)Braconid Wasp (Braconidae)Golden Leaf Beetle (Podontia lutea, Chrysomelidae)Braconid Wasp (Braconidae)Spiny Leaf-Rolling Weevil (Paroplapoderus sp., Attelabidae)Tussock Moth Caterpillar (Lymantriinae, Erebidae)Early Instar Stinging Nettle Slug Caterpillar (Cup Moth, Setora sp., Limacodidae) "Red Devil"Bottoms UP!Robber Fly (Pegesimallus sp., Asilidae)Hover Fly (Syrphidae)DragonflyLady Beetle (Coccinellidae)

Click individual images to see identification (linked to my Flickr page)…..

See my other posts in the Colours in Nature Series HERE.

See more Chinese insects and spiders on my Flickr site HERE……

Mar 4
If you are not already following Sinobug, you really need to! Lovely photos.
sinobug:

Day-flying Moth (Soritia sp., Chalcosiinae, Zygaenidae), female   by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr. Pu’er, Yunnan, China  See more Chinese moths on my Flickr site HERE…..

If you are not already following Sinobug, you really need to! Lovely photos.

sinobug:

Day-flying Moth (Soritia sp., Chalcosiinae, Zygaenidae), female

Chalcosiine Day-flying Moth (Soritia sp., Chalcosiinae, Zygaenidae)

by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu’er, Yunnan, China

See more Chinese moths on my Flickr site HERE…..

Wow! Tarantula pancake (shaped like a spider, not made of spiders :)

griddlemethis:

Tarantula pancake by request of arachnophiliacs

Wow! Tarantula pancake (shaped like a spider, not made of spiders :)

griddlemethis:

Tarantula pancake by request of arachnophiliacs

Looking for a volunteer for a quick ento web project!

EDITED TO  UPDATE: 

Holy cow. Overnight, an amazing reader did the entire list! Here it is:

https://naturegeek.wufoo.com/reports/zoo-and-museum-report/

I’m sure we are missing something. If you know of a great bug zoo that should be on that list, you can add it here:

Add an Insect or Arthropod Zoo!

Thank you SO MUCH. You are all awesome.

<3 <3

———————-

The Entomological Society has a web page that needs some updating!

http://www.entsoc.org/resources/links/zoos

This list of insect collections and zoos has lots of broken links. I really wish it was updated, because it would be a great resource!

Basically, the ESA staff doesn’t have time to update the list, and I am too stretched to do it as well. I bet somewhere I have a reader with some time on their hands that thinks making a spreadsheet of insect zoos and insect collections you can visit would be a fun project.

Also, cool butterfly stamps!

image

Feb 4

This would be hilarious if it happened to someone else

image

I’ve been snowed in all month, so pretty much everything I own needed to go to the laundromat today. More snow is predicted tonight, so I have a narrow window to get out and get stuff clean.

I loaded up some washers, and pretty soon… realized that one washer had an issue. It was stuck on spin cycle for about 15 minutes, while all the other washers finished and I’d moved clothes into dryers. 

I talked to the laundromat attendant, and she tried re-setting the fuse for the machine.  Nope, machine is still stuck and still locked.  BTW? Every freakin’ bit of underwear I own is in that washing machine. 

The laundromat person does not have the key to open the washer. Only the manager has keys to open the front loaders. He won’t be in until 7pm. 

Apparently all of my underpants and bras are being held hostage for an undisclosed reason. Looks like this storm I’ll be going commando.

A Day in the Life of a Freelancer

A lot of people have said “You’re a freelancer, right? That’s Awesome! You only work when you want to!”

Well, not exactly. I love working for myself, but the perception that I’m not….working…isn’t accurate. I actually work harder and longer hours now than I did as a salaried employee.  (Except for when I was junior faculty trying to get tenure.)  

You are correct that I rarely wear pants, though.

Here’s today’s schedule:

7:00 am: Wake up
7:30 am: Stop staggering around the house in a daze and manage to actually put coffee in coffee maker, brew, and drink it.

7:30-8:00am: Catch up on social media and comments that may need moderating; discover that someone has written nasty things about me. Consider deleting all of my content from the internet forever.

8:03am: Get over it.

8:04-9:00 am: Read emails for business. Schedule conference call with CDC (!!). Check in with editor about photo use permissions. Send email to vague acquaintance about potential full time job opening to schmooze for info.

9:00am-10:00am: Respond to scope change on a web form I’m building for Client A. Make changes. Back and forth emails, schedule conference call.

10:00am - 11:00: Respond to questions about budget for conference I’m organizing. Intense, multi-email ‘cc thread about just how much liquor is needed by 120 scientists. Consensus: LOTS.

11:00-11:30am: Put on pants. Shovel snow. Say many bad words.

11:30am-Noon: Take off Pants. Cook and eat Lunch.

Noon-1:00pm: Prepare for afternoon conference calls with Client B. Checklists, questions, names of all involved, action items. 

1:00-1:30pm: Conference call with 2 CDC scientists and a Media handler for a Wired story. They are fabulous and it’s really interesting.
1:30-1:35pm Dance around the house in excitement because ‘EFFIN CDC YA’LL.

1:35-1:40 pm Make more coffee

1:40-2:30pm Print stuff for next conference call. Test to make sure screen-sharing on Skype is working. It is not working. Panic.

2:30-3:00pm Frantically research Skype screen-sharing and call some friends to test. Get it working.

3:00-3:30pm Client B calls on my cell phone, not via Skype. Whatever. Get a couple of important project questions answered. 

3:30-3:40pm Worry I sounded like a complete space cadet on the phone; get over it and it’s too late to change it anyway, eh?

3:40-4:10pm  Make client B requested changes on site.

4:10 pm Realize sun is out, and there is a tiny window of time for me to try to make it to the store before more snow falls. Delay client B changes and try to get milk. Put on Pants.

4:45pm Return with milk, tortillas, yogurt, carrots, and a box of chocolate donuts. DON’T JUDGE ME.

5:00-6:00 pm Remove Pants. Settle down to work on finishing client B forms. 

6:00 pm Puzzle about cryptic note from client A requesting an “Otter Choice Box” for their web form.

6:10pm  Figure out they mean an “OTHER” Box. Sadly delete otters.

6:15-6:30pm Take a break because of Otter disappointment, and look at Twitter. Someone set their house on fire by trying to get rid of cobwebs and spiders with a blowtorch.  Disseminate important insect news.

6:30pm-8:30pm Work on Client A website and forms. Wonder why Client C hasn’t contacted me about their site launch. Decide I have enough to deal with, and the ball is in their court. Make note to contact Client C tomorrow.

8:30pm: Start to get very tired and have trouble focusing. Realize that plan to write up CDC story is not going to happen. Also realize that email to vague acquaintance about job went unanswered; hope it’s just that they are busy and maybe that will happen tomorrow too. Oh well.

8:35pm: Make some lemon tea, and try to decide if I want to finish Client project A, project B, or write something. 

8:40-9:45pm Work on Project B, since it’s mostly testing logic rules to make sure the form works, which is low brain power.

10:00pm Climb into bed.

2:00 am Wake up and try to do something constructive with insomnia. Write this instead.

Things I did in 2013: WIN and FAIL

This may not be of interest to anyone but me, but I like to do an end-of-year review. It’s sort of a personal Annual Report. (I was inspired to put this online by Jen, who is amazing.)

In chronological order, from January to December:

FAIL: I got an interview for a job I really wanted at MSU in January, and somehow managed to give the worst job seminar EVER. UGH.
WIN: I got my first contract as an independent web freelancer in January, to help revise a bird club website.

WIN: In February I attended my second ScienceOnline, which was a blast. I toured the Duke Lemur Center. I moderated a pretty successful session (I think) on outreach in unusual places with Seelix. I also wasn’t the only bug person this year—a whole infestation of bug people attended SciO13. Hurray!

WIN: I did a re-design/update of the OBFS website in April, which I think looks a lot nicer.  
FAIL: In April I managed to get hired by Automattic (parent company of WordPress) as a Trial Happiness Engineer.  That’s very good; they are quite selective.  What I didn’t know is that the WP hiring process is….strange. You are hired on spec; you get 6-8 weeks to prove yourself before consideration for a permanent position.  Ok, I can deal with that… but the first day of training they told us there is a 70-80% FAIL rate for trials. 

That Freaked Me The Fuck Out, since I’ve been laid off/had my position cut twice now. So, while I was trying to learn new stuff, in my head all I could hear was "Don’t screw this up! You need a job! Don’t screw this up! You need a job!"

The WP learning curve is Intense and STEEP.  It’s an incredibly complex system with millions of customers and a tiny number of staff. Lots of new stuff, new code, new ways of working.  At the same time I was trying to learn all that, I was also uprooting my entire life and moving to Toledo.

The first week was awesome and I loved it. It’s basically getting paid to help people and solve puzzles. Best. Thing. Ever.  The second week…didn’t go so well, because I was too slow. Now the voice in my head was "Go faster! But don’t screw this up! You need a job! Go faster!" I stopped being able to sleep. I spent lots of late nights trying to learn everything.

I had some great interactions with WP users; and the folks at WordPress.com are awesome.  It was a combination of bad timing, too much stress, and just personal fail.  I actually resigned before the end of my trial. And immediately was able to sleep again. 

WIN: I moved to Toledo May 1. I love Toledo; I love living near my sister; I feel like part of a community here. It’s good to be back in the Midwest.

WIN: ZOMG I WAS INVITED TO BLOG AT WIRED in July.
WIN: I joined a writer’s group in July. They don’t know quite what to make of me (“Too much penis!!!”), but have given me a lot of good feedback, and helped me through the horrible, horrible writer’s block I developed after I was invited to blog at Wired.  I could not write anything for a whole month. Total. Panic. 

Then, when I could finally write again, what I did write was terrible.  It got better, thanks in part to help from the group.  

WIN: I attended my 5th (I think?) Convergence in July, where I was on the Penis Panel, had an awesome, awesome time, and saw many friends. 

WIN: In August I built my first Drupal site from scratch. And got paid for it. And it works. Go me!  The project isn’t finished yet, alas (waiting on content), so I can’t link it.

WIN: in September, I attended the OBFS Annual Meeting, did an invited presentation, saw many friends, had awesome time.

WIN: In October, I took on a commission from an old friend to do a “personal branding” project for him. It’s been interesting, because it’s an industry I know nothing about.

WIN: The ESA invited me to the Annual Meeting in November to blog for them. Got to meet some amazing new folks, see old friends, and wrote stuff that folks liked.
WIN: In November I interviewed 2 top EPA/USDA officials for Wired. Like, their offices returned my phone calls.  Whoa.

WIN: So far folks have been saying nice things about my work at Wired in November/December, and my stories have been promoted to the Wired Home page pretty consistently. I feel like I’m finally getting back to normal in terms of writing, with fewer freak outs.

Yearly Summary Review: Mostly WIN.

It seems a bit odd to say that, because I applied for 4.2 jobs/month in 2013, and I still don’t have a full-time job. But I actually am still feeling very good about my decision to walk away from my high-level job in Connecticut in December 2012, because 2013 really has been (with a couple FAIL exceptions above) an amazing and happy year for me.  

I managed to pay my way for a full year entirely from freelancing website work. I don’t know if I can do that again in 2014, but I do at least have one project scheduled.  

The one constant in my year is my amazing, wonderful, brilliant friends. You all are awesome. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement. Much love to you all.

Bug