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25/05/2006

Of Dragonflies and Parentheses

New responsibilities have uncovered a creativity black hole of unknown size and duration, and much of my writing mojo is missing. This post is an attempt to throw something, anything, into words so that maybe I can create a gravitational pull of my own :-)

The impetus behind this post was the shock of learning how short a lifespan dragonflies have. According to a now-forgotten fact site, they are supposed to live for only 24 hours. You can see why I began to worry that the newLISP logo might be some kind of omen :-)

A quick trip to wikipedia cleared that misunderstanding right up. With a sigh of relief, we find that dragonflies can live up to seven years! Oh no. What if that means that newLISP is . . . gonna . . . in seven . . . never mind ;-)

Speaking of omens, what could these foretell?

* Most of the life cycle is spent in the larval (nymph) form . . . . In the adult (flying) stage, larger species of dragonfly can live as long as four months. Wait! Four months? Oh no, let's keep newLISP in the larval stage :-)

* Much larger dragonfly species existed in the distant past than occur on earth today. Lisp machines!

* Dragonflies are the world's fastest insects. Lutz is already on it ;-)

* Dragonflies have very good eyesight due to their unique eye structure. Dragonflies have . . . nearly a 360° field of vision. This is starting to get spooky. With newLISP's well-rounded primitive functions, I'd say we closed that 5-degree gap ;-)

* It was recently discovered that dragonflies employ a particular optical illusion, termed motion camouflage, to stalk other insects that invade their territory. A dragonfly can move in such a way as to project itself as a stationary object while speedily attacking its victims. We're just sitting here, Common Lisp. See? Not moving at all. Little ol' newLISP, projecting itself and then invading your territory! Haha!

Enough with the wikiomancy. Now we've just gotta figure out which language is going to have a damselfly as its logo so we can prevent its birth :-)

m i c h a e l

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