Friday, July 29, 2005

Image is everything!

Okay so now Blogger let's me include images with the post. Here's a nice one. Let us know what you think!

(Caption: Trunks of the cercropia tree. These trees are early colonizers of riverside sand bars and newly eroded banks. They are among the commonest Amazonian tree species.)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Rant over!

Okay, now I have said my bit, on to business. Things have been a bit slow, but not completely static. I've had some commitments to meet (what, my whole life isn't devoted to Jungle Photos!?) but those are mostly behind me so I'll do some catching up in the next week or so. A couple of days ago I finished updating the Zambia news pages. I am waiting on some help to finally put the Galapagos database online. The big deal with the Amazon part of the website was finishing up the large monkey natural history section, which took a lot of time because there is so much information available — see the list of links on that page! Upcoming is information on captive animals, whereas aforementioned pages on ethics of nature photography, definitions of endangered species and more are also in development. One exciting feature we're adding will be a model of the effects of city growth on biodiversity. It is being developed with the help of a group of students and staff of the Shodor Education Foundation, marking the first partnership of this kind for Jungle Photos. We're honored to be working with people from such a prestigious organization. The biodiversity model is based on Netlogo, a freeware program that enables users to develop their own models from scratch. The model will feature interactive variables that students can experiment with to see how a growing city affects biodiversity. Watch this space for the announcement of its "official" launch!

Comment on London

Recent events in London compel me to have my 2 cents worth, or in England, my ha'pennies worth. I was born in England, and now live in the United States. Obviously it is very painful to see what is happening over there. I was in England in March visiting my Dad who was ill at the time. Back then, it seemed that Britain was immune from the terrorists, perhaps because over the years it has been a free and open society and has offered asylum to people from more repressive parts of the world. It is a cruel irony that that very policy has made possible in some ways what we are seeing unfold. Nothing is more reprehensible and wicked than killing innocent people to achieve political ends. Yet, some would argue, that is exactly what the US and UK and other developed countries have done in Iraq. Then again, terrorist acts took place before the Iraq war. Whatever the truth of the various arguments, I can only do what is within my power, and that is to lead my life with the core belief in the ultimate value of peace; to love the people around me and to have faith in the human spirit. As my Dad once said, "Humanity's instinct to survive is stronger the instinct to destroy."

Monday, July 11, 2005


Now I am feeling really bad! It's almost a month since I posted anything to this blog. I wonder if it's worth it, as no one has written me about it or made comments to any of the entries, but I feel it is a good record (well, the only record!) of what I am doing with the website.

It's hard work keeping up with all the stuff that needs doing, especially when I have to make a living besides! But I just finished the Malawi news page which is now up to date. Next I will carry on updating news pages and add the other content I am working on. This is listed on the home page to give people an idea of what to expect. But the big news is that I have almost finished the beta version of the Galapagos islands database. This is very exciting as it provides users a way to access statistics and information about each island through a user-selected interface. Check out the test version (it's still got bugs!).