Pangolins In The News

I started a Substack to publicise the threat to pangolins. And now the news has overtaken my intentions. So here is the current story: 

Why are pangolins poached?

They are poached for their scales and other body parts that are used in traditional medicine in China and Vietnam and China. And as luxury dishes on the menu.

What does ‘the most trafficked’ mean?

Pangolins account for about 20% of everything that is poached. A million pangolins poached and killed in the last decade.

Why are they in the news today?

Well, it’s tempting to say that Pangolins bite back against the cruelty done to them. They are in the news because investigators think they may be an intermediate stage in the transmission of coronavirus from bats to humans.

Here’s what Reuters says:

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese researchers said the pangolin, a mammal illegally trafficked for its scales and meat, is a potential intermediate host for the coronavirus that has killed more than 600 people in China.

“This latest discovery will be of great significance for the prevention and control of the origin (of the virus),” South China Agricultural University, which led the research, said in a statement on its website.

Photo of a pangolin by Adam Tusk on Flickr, under Creative Commons release.


Hedonist Font

Hedonist font is available at a very reasonable price from I like the way it behaves: Capital letters are wide, whereas lower case letters are narrow.

This is The Hedonist font. Capital Letters Are Wide
Whereas Lower Case Letters Are Narrow.

Liquid Nitrogen

When I saw the clouds I thought it might be liquid oxygen. I imagined the man breathing it in and wondered whether it might upset his system. Only now, thinking about it, I wonder whether clouds of oxygen boiling off might be a fire hazard.

I asked him, and he said it was liquid nitrogen. Then I thought of nitrogen narcosis suffered by deep divers. How the mind runs off with thoughts.

He said he was delivering it to the doctors’ surgery where they used it to burn off warts, etc.

For that amount of liquid nitrogen, how many warts must there be in Cambridge?

Photographed with my iPhone 8


Weaver Bird

weaver bird close up

It’s been a while since I posted here, or so it seems. So here is a weaver bird hanging in the nest it is building. Tamara and I watched weaver birds when we were in South Africa in September.

One thing I kept thinking was that the birds never seemed to step back and say ‘Right, it’s finished.’

Rather, they keep twisting, tying, adding and tweaking endlessly.

Here’s the full frame of the close-up above.


Do Not Adjust Your Set

TV set with distorted test card

Made in Photoshop

Image made in Photoshop. Because I upgraded to OS Catalina, and it does not support 32bit files, I am now using the subscription model of Photoshop. A pretty seamless transition, and Photoshop is nice to work with, as is Lightroom.

I have Affinity Photo, but I am not that impressed with it: It is not a Photoshop replacement and it doesn’t handle text very well. I will plug away at it when I have time to see what I may be doing wrong or missing.

I also have Capture One Pro 20 and that is a superb RAW converter.


Hartebeest and Young

The Red hartebeest was a long way off, so this is a crop from the full frame, and the quality has suffered. Still, I am putting it up because the young one looks so sweet.

I wrote about Red hartebeest in an article on my travel site at, if you want to take a look.