Stepping in the same river

I spent the weekend walking around Boston and Cambridge, revisiting old haunts and enjoying the leading edge of what will eventually turn into Spring. Among the locales I visited were Harvard’s Agassiz Museum (nowadays it’s called “Natural History”) and Peabody Museum of Anthropology, both of which I frequented at several points in my young and not-so-young life. Many of my favorites were still in place, and I could trace the distant origins of later fascinations. The stuffed animals were pretty startling because I remembered expressions and postures very exactly. Even the basic smells of the place are pretty much the same as they were when I first knew them about !! 60 !! years ago… Amongst the ornithological specimens I found illustrations for

Auk! that’s no puffin I know
Can’t pronounce “guillemot”
...can't pronounce 'guillemot'
That’s a murre
...that's a murre

(Hark back to mid-2006 for other “That’s amore” variants)

Another bit of resonance was the ceiling-hung skeleton of a Right Whale which I can remember being especially impressed by as a child:

business end of a baleen whale

…which was (doubtless) the source of the image I used to retail to classes of students as an analogy for the search process: you take in a LOT of information and sort through it as a baleen whale sieves krill, keeping the tasty bits…

Another image, from a later date, is provided by the Pirarucu


…the namesake of the Collaborative Information Management tool I was working on in Summer 2002 –a scheme that was Ahead of Its Time.