The Advisory Boar

By Abhijit Menon-Sen <>

Greek and Latin Scientific names

My recent comment on names which mean the same thing in different languages reminded me of something slightly different: generic and specific names that mean the same thing; one in Greek, the other in Latin.

The Common Raven Corvus corax, revered in ancient cultures around the world, bears its own name in both languages, Corvus being the Latin name for the Raven, and corax likewise the name in Greek (even the name "Raven" comes from an ancient Proto-Germanic name applied to the bird). The related Carrion Crow Corvus corone and Hooded Crow Corvus cornix both take their specific names from Greek words for "crow". All three names were assigned by Linnaeus in 1758.

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Overloaded generic names

The Slender-Billed Scimitar Babbler Xiphirhynchus superciliaris has always felt somewhat mystical while flipping through the Babblers in any field guide. I've never seen one, but the photographs posted to the delhibirdpix list by Sujan Chatterjee in May 2008 and Ramki Sreenivasan a year later, both taken in Arunachal Pradesh, have stayed in my memory.

Unfortunately, I can find only one of these photographs on Google Groups now, and I can't figure out any sane way to link to that post here. But Google Images finds many photos of the species, including Sujan's photo.

Anyway, Xiphirhynchus superciliaris was somewhere at the back of my mind when I recently encountered a casual reference to the unrelated South American genus of Woodcreepers: Xiphorhynchus. These are essentially the same word, derived from the Greek xiph- (for "sword") and -rhynchus ("snout" or "nose", meaning beak)!

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Simvalley PICO RX-80 mobile phone

My long-suffering Nokia 6610i fell on its head a few days ago, and its screen died. My friend Arnt told me about the tiny Simvalley PICO RX-80 mobile phone, and was kind enough to send me one a few days later when I told him—sadly—that it wasn't available here.

There's surprisingly little information about this phone on the web. A bunch of blog posts copied almost verbatim from this one (they all have the same three or four photographs, and claim the phone has dimensions of "50x800x10mm"!), and this German video. Here are my brief but non-boilerplate initial impressions of the RX-80.

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Net::XMPP virtual hosting support

A patch to enable Net::XMPP to connect to Jabber virtual hosts.

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Dual-use scientific names

Why do the Yellow-footed Green Pigeon and the genus of Flamingos share the name Phoenicopterus?

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Life with two PPP links

Here's how I set up two PPPoE modems under Linux so that my default route always pointed to a working link.

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HTTP::Parser 0.04 bugfix

An HTTP protocol version parsing bugfix for HTTP::Parser 0.04

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A weekend calendar

A program to display a weekend-aligned calendar for the current year.

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Canon EOS D30 to 40D

In late 2003, Elaine Ashton very kindly offered to give me her old Canon EOS D30, because she was upgrading to a 10D. The camera travelled from Finland to Germany by post, then to India with a friend early the next year; and in August, I bought a 50/1.8 lens and took my first digital photographs. (Here's one of them.)

In January 2008, my parents very kindly got me a Canon EOS 40D for my birthday. Amazon shipped it to Chicago, and it travelled to India with a friend in February. We took it with us on a camping trip to the Himalayas at the end of the month (here's one of the first photos), and I've been using it ever since.

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OpenWRT and DD-WRT on the Linksys WAP54G 3.1

This page is about my experience with installing, using, hating, breaking, bricking, reviving, and reconfiguring the Linksys WAP54G wireless access point we bought in August 2008.

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