News and commentary from the cross-platform scripting community.
cactus Mail Starting 8/26/98

From: carlick@eyegive.com (David Scott Carlick);
Sent at Wed, 26 Aug 1998 16:02:26 -0500;
Re:All About Bees

Dave, one of your more inspiring and poetic pieces. I think the language of programming, as it rises to higher levels from the near-numbers it once entailed, can approach poetry, if not in the cantata of the source code itself, then in the expression of that wellspring in actions. Sites saving search engines the sorry slurry of sloppy and mindless routines by categorizing their own evolution. Indeed.

From: tuckerg@inch.com (Tucker Goodrich);
Sent at Wed, 26 Aug 1998 17:58:01 -0400 (EDT);
Re:All About Bees

A few points on bee (or yellowjackets, whatever they are) biology--The bee hive has a queen, and only the queen reproduces. There's also a male, who services the queen. The bees in your trap are workers--the queen and the male don't leave the hive unless the entire hive moves. Workers are all sterile females who never have baby bees. Unless you kill enough workers to wipe out the hive, you won't affect the hive. They turn out new workers continously.

Have a great vacation--hope you go somewhere with fewer bees!

From: brent@userland.com (Brent Simmons);
Sent at Wed, 26 Aug 1998 14:14:55 -0700;

Bees, or probably yellowjackets, made me go blind once.

One day when I was a teenager I was weeding the ivy patch in the front yard, and I must have disturbed a nest, and I got stung twice -- once on each eyelid.

A very improbable event, but I suppose it had to happen to somebody sometime, and that somebody was me and the sometime was a summer day in the mid 1980s.

My eyelids swelled up and I couldn't open my eyes for an hour or so. At first I was shaking with the pain and the fear that it was my eyes, not my eyelids, that got stung.

I did put baking-soda-and-water ("mud" my family called it) over my eyelids, which seemed to help. Or at least gave me a reason, for a while, not to try to open my eyes. I just sat in the living room and listened to the soap operas.

Then in my 20s I always lived in apartments in the city. Only this year have I moved back into a house, to again face the possibility of vicious little yellow madmen who seem to have it in for me. So far, so good. Maybe they've forgotten.

From: editor@netprolive.com (Raines Cohen);
Sent at Wed, 26 Aug 1998 13:17:10 -0700;
Re:All About Bees

But to get up to date, a search engine like Alta Vista or Excite has to read all 4761 HTML files stored on our main server. It's a ridiculous waste of resources, viewed one way, and it slows down the indexing operation, from the other side.

Actually, the engine just has to read the header of the file to determine the last-modified date (if the authoring tools and server and CGIs serve that accurately, which they sometimes don't), not the full text of the HTML pages.

This doesn't take away from the value of the XML approach, however.

Have a great vacation!


From: bcox@gmu.edu (Brad Cox);
Sent at Wed, 26 Aug 1998 16:17:38 -0400;
Re:All About Bees

The bees showed up this August for me too. Two huge hives of them. I've always been interested in such little Dilberts, secure in their cubicles, beavering away quite voluntarily without "The Boss" to keep them on task. Yet accomplishing far more in their small way than most humans I know. Honey. Beeswax. Pollen. Pollenation. Etc.

So I bought two hives and beekeeping regalia a few weeks ago. Feeding them sugar water now so they can make enough honey to live through the winter. I find it deeply satisfying to take a break from XML/Perl/HTTP to suit up to feed the little critters.

PS: You don't have bees. You have yellowjackets. They're a kind of hornet, not a kind of bee. The thought of killing bees distresses me. Hornets are different.

From: asg@erols.com (Alan German);
Sent at Wed, 26 Aug 1998 15:31:06 -0400;
Hey, the Bees are back!

No shit!

I just got stung on the neck by a bee about 30 minutes ago while pumping gas into my truck. It's been 35 years or so since I've been stung. Man, it *hurts*!

From: sphillips@inetworld.com (Sam Phillips);
Sent at Wed, 26 Aug 1998 10:19:21 -0700;
More Bees

Ack! somehow I ended up sending the message before I finished...

The only real bee pests are 'killer' bees. These bees are both harmful to humans and harmful to the European Bees (the most common type). In Nevada (where I live) when a hive of 'killer' bees is found the Dept of Agriculture comes down and destroys all of the beekeeper's bees, to prevent risk of further contamination.

Sorry about the long spiel on bees.

My family is just really into them!

From: sphillips@inetworld.com (Sam Phillips);
Sent at Wed, 26 Aug 1998 10:14:31 -0700;

Yellowjackets are only like bees in that they look similar and buzz.

Bees actually tend to stay away from people, and do their pollenating business, unless they are provoked or under stressed conditions.

Many people seem to make the mistake of generalizing yellow jackets and wasps as bees.

The big difference: bees make honey ... which is good.

My Dad is a beekeeper, and bees are pretty amazing insects. During the hot months of summer the bees begin to get too hot in their hives. To cool down and for the well being of the hive they'll 'move out' with a new queen, and in some cases begin to build hives in trees, homes, or any other structure.

Most people view bees as pests ... especially when the bees are building their home in your bedroom!

That's where the bee-keeper comes in. He drives down to the location with his tools of the trade: a smoker, bee-suit with hood, and a wooden frame hive for the bees. The smoke causes the bees to slow down, and be less aggressive which allows the keeper to grab the bees and place them in his hive.

The keeper then takes the bees to where he keeps his hives, and reap the benefits of fresh honey every year.

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