4 February 2000
FEBRUARY brings the rain, as the old children's rhyme goes, but also brings awakening from hibernation for some species of herptiles, although certainly in the UK most will not reappear until March or April, depending partly upon the latitude.
January saw a few additions to the site, most notably our Brief Overview of Penguins, as well as some stuff on the Film and Cult TV pages. However, it has been mainly a month of consolidation as we have made a fairly monumental decision to start putting graphics on our pages. This is mainly for the animal-related pages, most especially for reptile and amphibians, where we hope to try to get a thumbnail image for each species described. The discovery that there is a vast fund of thumbnail images for publicly downloading has been a great relief to us, since we have always felt that we should respect the copyright laws. Now you can see a thumbnail image of, say, a Rhacodactylus gecko, and by clicking on it you will also be taken to the web page containing the full-sized image. As we have described or at least listed hundreds of species on these pages, finding images for them all may take some time, nor will some be available, but we have already made considerable progress. We are also building our own library of scanned photographs, so within the next few months we hope to be able to place a few full-sized pictures on the site as well.
We haven't forgotten our other planned projects for this year, notably the guide to the lizards of the Lacertidae family and to boas, plus our ongoing project on the European Herptile pages. In the long run (hopefully this year) I still want to compile a lot of the E-mails we have received into a sort of FAQ page, which hopefully will be of use to people with similar questions in the future. We also want to complete the gecko and monitor pages as soon as possible, although I have always said that the gecko pages will take some time. The other project to watch out for this year is a Quick Guide to scorpions (a group of maligned but sometimes dangerous creatures), although this is more of a long-term project.
Although this is primarily a website for reptiles and amphibians, we do like to add other stuff, albeit irregularly. I have been reliably informed that the producers of SASL will be producing SASL II this year, so I am holding off producing any more material for that game until I see what they have provided as official manufacturers. I still have an Alternative History conference to write up, plus some more articles for the Weightier Matters page which will probably come first. Also expect to see the odd article appearing on the Music page. The non-too-serious IT page (computers, software and hardware, and our experiences of working with some of them) will probably be added, but it's not going to be a high priority thing.
Thanks again to everyone who has sent us E-mails recently. If for any reason I haven't replied to you, please let us know and I will try to do so again.
May 2000 (II)
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