Englishman in Bandung

By Vodkaman

Spiny Crab

Identification - Gasteracantha kuhlii.

This is the second time I have found this spider. It is very easy to miss, at about 6mm across. It builds a vertical web, above head height, just off the side of the path. If you even see it, you would think that it was just a tiny spider and not worth the effort to raise your camera. But, once you focus up the 105, the splendor of this creature becomes apparent.

I saw one of this type of spider, not long after arriving in Bandung for the first time. Only then did I truly understand that I was in a strange and distant land. Back then, seventeen years ago, I was interested in bugs, although I had long since given up on photography. I craved to see some spectacular spiders and I also wanted to see a praying mantis.

Back then, there was no internet and research was done in libraries, so after finding a large spider after several months, we had to treat it with the utmost respect, as we had no idea whether it was deadly poisonous or not. It was a few years before I saw my first mantis. Now, we just wiggle the mouse to wake the computer up, type in a few words, and the entire knowledge base of a bug is presented to you – love it.

I have read articles about people of the opinion that kids today are spoilt by the technology, that spelling and numerology skills are being ignored – I disagree.

The youth of today have so much to learn with the logarithmically expanding knowledge and technological advances, that learning time could be better spent than tackling spelling and numerology, especially as the tools at their disposal take care of anyway. It won’t be long now until the school years will be increased to age 20 and further education will extend to age 30, necessary to soak up all the knowledge from a chosen subject.

The rapid expansion of knowledge and technology has basically happened over the last 200 years, even though we have had the brain potential for some 700,000 years. Some creatures have been around for 400 million years. Just imagine if the human species survives another 100 million years. With old age a thing of the past, schooling will probably last several thousand years. This is what we are up against, should a species from a distant galaxy visit earth to study primitive life forms. I believe that this is an on-going occurrence. We suspect as much, but we don’t know for sure.


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