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Phil and Richard visiting

I put in a full day's work today and now I'm on vacation. This morning, I met with a guy who's working with tiger beetles and scale insects. I always enjoy talking to Rodger. We took a brief field trip across the street so he could show me the scale insects he studies. In the picture, you're looking at a single pine needle from a White Pine. In the picture,you can see one adult scale insect and a couple of first instar nymphs. Rodger has been travelling all over the hemisphere collecting scale insects to do PCR on them and build a giant phylogenetic tree of scale insects. You might not understand why until you realize that pines are a commercially important species -- and that with global warming, the scale insects are increasing their range into higher elevations where they previously were excluded by cold weather.

Last night was the Marks Meadow picnic. I took the opportunity to talk with Daniel's teacher for next year to pitch the idea of doing Muppyville again. This time, Charlie wants to run Muppyville -- I (supposedly) will just provide the technology platform. I set up a jhcore with the lambdamoo server again and let Charlie try to give it a try. It's a pretty steep learning curve, but he's got all summer. Daniel's teacher was intrigued. I'm hoping we can persuade her to actually participate. It will be a lot more successfuly if she does.

Tomorrow, Phil and Pop arrive for a week. I'm planning to not go into the office for most of the week. On Thursday, there will be the trustee's meeting, so I'm planning to attend that -- and the following press conference where we'll provide a faculty response to what the trustees have done (or not done). But otherwise, I'm planning to spend the week with my family. A vacation. It's been a while...