Category Archives: Miscellany

Beef Creature

What do you call one of these?


Image courtesy of Wikipedia

A whole herd of these animals are cattle, a girl is a cow, and a boy is a bull. But what’s just one of them if you don’t know what it is?

Gabe Doyle at UC San Diego already beat me to an examination of this question. His main point is that there is no word for the critter, though most people seem to have settled on “cow.” That solution works pretty well, since most of the ones you’ll ever see are cows. But I think it would be cool if one of the animals was called a “beef.”

Happy Birthday, Herbert

This is my betta fish, Herbert.


I bought Herbert from a pet store in the fall of 2011. He’s been a good companion fish ever since, swimming around in his aquarium and adding a touch of something alive to my apartment.

He is also a really old fish.

I’ve had a hard time finding definitive information on betta fish lifespan. Various sources on the Internet disagree with each other, but most say that a betta should live two to three years in captivity. Herbert was already an adult fish when I bought him, so he should about four by now. I’ve gotten to the point where I get up in the morning and check if my fish is alive. This fish just won’t die.

So congratulations, Herbert, and many happy returns.


My boyfriend clearly knows me well. He gave me a ball of algae for Christmas and I’m delighted.

Meet my Marimo.


Marimos are formed from a kind of algae that lives on the bottom of cold freshwater lakes. The water currents roll the algae into balls. They’re good luck in Japan, and apparently, some people keep them as pets.


My marimo came with a baby marimo.


The Imitation Game

Benedict Cumberbatch is going to play Alan Turing in a movie. I’m not sure how to feel about this. He’s an excellent actor but he looks really weird as Turing.

The real Alan Turing:

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Um … nailed the hairdo?

Image courtesy of the Flicks and Bits blog.

Image courtesy of the Flicks and Bits blog.