All about me
Well . . . almost all
I'm a researcher for the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I've had no previous experience of this type of work but I have read the book and watched the tv programmes and judging from those, I expect it to be a varied and interesting job - so long as I don't have to listen to any Vogon poetry. I don't want to have to chew my own leg off (though, as a salamander I have every confidence in my ability to grow a new one if necessary).
I live in a rural area of Leicestershire with my dogs. We share our house with a community of woodlice and our gardens with more slugs and snails than I care to mention. When I'm not researching for The Guide or entertaining (or evicting) the local wildlife, my hounds and I work in an office, doing nothing very interesting and lots of it. The dogs' hobbies include sniffing, territory marking and barking and mine include reading, gardening and shouting "shut up" and "get your nose out of there" at the dogs.
Most of my friends are "cat people" and don't understand me at all.
The "cat people" should all read this guide entry that my friend Wazungu has just pointed out to me. It's a must for anyone who's interested in the preservation of indigenous species. It offers some humane ways of helping to stem the loss of species of birds and other small animals that are predated by pet cats. It's called Wild birds and domesticated cats.
Check out my Edited Guide Entries:
Prions - about the proteins that cause mad cow disease and CJD.
Bacteriophages - about viruses that infect bacteria.
Cicadas - about some fascinating insects and an amazing life-cycle survival strategy.
A beautiful and sensitive poem written by the talented artist
TO SALAMANDER THE MUGWUMP
O Beautiful, magical Salamander !
Every day on the calendar
You keep yourself nice and snug and warm,
Away from the rain and heavy storms
By living in the roaring fire
Dreaming of your heart's desire
Or a vampire
- or something you'd quite like,
or something you wouldn't mind having, on the whole, in a way, sort of.
In incendiary glory there you stay,
like a statue in a studio or the bridge o'er the river Tay,
Sending your messages on their way.
Unless you're a kind of newt.
Friends might call you Sal or Manda
Or speak of your literary-critical candour
But your duty
Is to be above all that,
The incarnation of Heavenly Beauty
Even if you're a newt
With a mugwump inside, observing all,
From servant's quarters to dining hall,
making up secret thoughts on science
And anything else that troubles your conscience
Great Mugwump Sal
Great wondrous, magical Salamander
All a poor poetic genius can do
Is lay this masterpiece at the feet of you
And make you by the power of Art even grander
- even if you're a newt.
(and if you are I bet you're a Heaven-sent beauteous one)
There now. Wasn't that moving? I can tell you're impressed with Hullabaloo's breathtaking poem. When you've regained your composure you'll probably want to mark the moment by doing something outrageous, so here's a possible outlet for your sudden urgent need. Join the
This is what I look like (only slightly more fierce)
Some entries that are definitely worth a read
I've found some excellent Guide Entries on my travels around h2g2. Here are just a few, to whet your appetite:
An entry about the History of the Oxford English Dictionary. Anyone who enjoys a good read and is interested in the English language, will enjoy this article.
An entry about Physics and the Knowledge of Ignorance. It could almost be a passage from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
An entry about The Common Ash Tree. Read it and you'll be surprised at how interesting a tree can be!
One of my favourites is the entry about The Sands of Forvie, Aberdeen, Scotland. It generates an image in your mind that you could meditate on for hours ... well, I don't know about you, but I could!
Vegetables Rule! Ok! Ok?
If you're a vegetarian, check out the h2G2 Vegetarian Society. They're a very friendly bunch and definitely won't eat you!
The Library and Museum
A splendid new edifice has been constructed within spitting distance of this very page. It is the H2G2 Library and Museum which every right-thinking person should visit. Nip over and have a look around and be blown away by the wonder of it all. If you were thinking that it wasn't all that easy to find things at the h2g2 site, you'll change your mind when you visit the Library where a logical and orderly world can be accessed with the greatest of ease. You can also get straight into the Natural History section by clicking on the stylish logo or text link below. I suggest that you pay a visit to Amy the Ant's dazzling home page too. You'll find it especially useful if you're new to h2g2 and would like to make your own page special and different. Amy has kindly given access to the GuideML code for her page so you can see how she built it.
The H2G2 Natural History Museum
You can email me here if you like.
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Name: Salamander the Mugwump
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