Saturday, 25 November 2006

You know that summer's just around the corner when cricket's on the radio and Readings sends out its new book catalogue. Does it get any better? (Possibly. But I don't have much of an imagination.)

I should be getting some work done, of course. I've marked my exams and consolidated those results but I'm still waiting for responses from the sessionals in the other four subjects that I co-ordinate. It's difficult to get those results in on time because the multiple markers are all outside the university. We have interesting deadlines, by the way. Friday was the last day of exams and Admin are expecting the results on Monday.

Apart from the cricket (and England's all out for 157, trailing by ... well ... hundreds of runs), we're going to be enthralled by another contest this evening—coverage of the state election. Okay, so it's not quite as exciting as the Ashes but there's something very entertaining in the ABC's impish Antony Green's enthusiasm for elections. Any elections. Whoever's compiling the Age's television guide seems to agree:
6.00 Victorian State Election: Victoria Votes. Tune in and watch in awe at the talented and charismatic Antony Green—the Ricky Martin of election commentary. Check out his massive swing.


Igor said...

Snail, Antony Green is a twerp – and an increasingly muddled one. The Age smarties are trying to be droll (not that they would know droll from a chic roll). All Age smarties are hanging out for a call from the Chaser team, another group of under-educated smartarses, law graduates of course. But that's not why I'm writing. Here's a technical question that you are superbly equipped to answer: what would you expect to find feeding on a body in a Queensland rainforest?

Snail said...


Which part of Queensland? What sort of rainforest? These might sound like picky questions but the latitudinal range of rainforest is huge, so what might be cleaning up a corpse in Iron Range won't be doing the same near Brisbane. There's also a difference between the fauna of complex lowland rainforests, dry forests and upland fern forest.

But generally, ants are always around. Flies aren't as abundant in rainforest as they are in more open habitats but they'll be there with bibs on and cutlery in hand if the remains are close to the forest edge. Cockroaches and beetles will tuck in. Among the larger animals, I can't vouch for this but I wouldn't be at all surprised if rainforest goannas (such as the spotted tree monitor, Varanus scalaris, I think) had a go after a while.

Is that any help?

Igor said...

Picky is what's needed here, Snail. Does the vegetation in the valleys around Maleny count as rainforest?

Snail said...

Maleny backs on to the Conondale Ranges, which is subtropical rainforest and wet sclerophyll (eucalypt) forest.

Unfortunately, I don't know southern Queensland very well. (I lived much further the north.) But I do know people who'll be able to come up with an answer, if you can hang on for a few days. This isn't a by-the-close-of-business-Monday thing, is it?

Igor said...

My business never closes and hanging on is my speciality. I knew you could meet this challenge.

Snail said...

This morning, I rang a friend who lives in that area and knows about carrion fauna. She says that the most likely things to be eating a corpse in the rainforest around Maleny would be the locals.

I think it was a joke.

Anyway, my friend is going to make some calls, so I'm guessing we'll have a satisfactory answer sooner rather than later.