Jun. 9th, 2017

cincinnatus_c: (Default)
I guess it probably isn't the case (or maybe it is, I don't know) that elections everywhere keep getting more demographically deterministic, but it does get more and more maddening to look at maps of electoral results and see, yep, there's that again. That being that you can see where all the cities are, because they're the little islands of little districts won by the party on the left, in the big sea of big districts won by the party on the right. It strikes me looking at the British electoral map this morning--you've got to love the plucky little red dots like Plymouth and Exeter--that the single biggest demographic factor determining the likelihood of your voting Labour may be how far you live from your nearest (say) thousand neighbours. (It is interesting that it works that way much more than the other way around--i.e. it looks like the SNP may control as much British territory as Labour if not more, and the LibDems aren't too far behind them by virtue of holding northern Scotland and most of Lake District National Park ... overall it looks like the Conservatives probably have the sixth-highest territory-to-seats ratio behind (in some order) the SNP, LibDems, Plaid Cymru, Sinn Fein, and the DUP. Anyway on the whole that may make sense if you suppose that Labour is the we're-all-in-this-together party and all the others (except the LibDems, which ... exist for some reason) are different varieties and degrees of screw-you-guys parties. [ETA: I'm not unaware of the irony (not to say evidence of bias) in identifying a party with an explicit class base as the we're-all-in-this-together party.])

In other numerical curiosities this morning, right now there are two teams in the American League with losing records at home, and they are the first- and second-place teams in the Central division.

Currently at Havelock: 19.9.
cincinnatus_c: (Default)
It's around this time every late spring that I get to compiling my list of reasons why, actually, blackflies are very much preferable to mosquitoes. Which includes:

1. Blackflies mostly don't follow you inside, and if they do, they mostly just want to get back outside. This is apparently because they mostly navigate by sight, and they apparently need pretty bright light to do so.

2. Following from #1: blackflies never attack you in your sleep, or when you are trying to sleep. (I mean, assuming you are not sleeping outside in the daytime.) This is a very important point in favour of blackflies. It is so important that pretty much everything else could swing in favour of mosquitoes and blackflies might still be preferable.

3. Blackflies are slower to bite than mosquitoes: they spend a lot of time swarming around you without biting you, and when they land on you they generally crawl around for a while--sometimes for a remarkable distance inside your pant leg (which, I concede, does not seem like a point in their favour)--looking for a place to bite. This gives you more time to notice them and kill them before they bite you.

4. Blackflies pretty much never escape when they're on you and you try to kill them. They don't seem to ever even try to escape.

5. Blackfly bites are less painful than mosquito bites at the time of biting (although this varies, especially depending on where they bite you).

6. Blackfly bites generally don't get as itchy as mosquito bites (although this also varies).

7. I've never heard of blackflies carrying any diseases ... although I've been bitten by so many (so, so many) mosquitoes in my life without any apparent medical consequence that this is really not a thing I'm worried about. (I mean, until the tropical mosquitoes arrive, or I go to them for some reason.)

The main point in favour of mosquitoes over blackflies is that you don't generally get a cloud of mosquitoes around your head like you do of blackflies--when you get clouds of mosquitoes, they're most likely to be around your legs. Also, mosquitoes don't crawl into your hair--but see #3 above. Also, mosquitoes don't make bloody holes in you, but if you let them bite you for too long before you kill them, they do make bloody splatters.

All in all, blackflies are the clear winner! Tune in next month for mosquitoes vs. deer flies.

Currently at Havelock: 24.7 ... hanging around 24 and change all afternoon.
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