posing questions to the internet in general

Twice now I’ve been able to find answers to questions that search engines couldn’t provide (yes, they still exist) just by posing them in online arenas in which I had no right to expect answers.

The first time my question was rhetorical. After reading the wikipedia article about Stephen Colbert‘s controversial performance at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Association, I wrote a post asking…well…no one in particular…how Colbert managed to get invited to speak there in the first place.

Given the, shall we say, rather small readership here at kenspeckle.net, I was astounded to receive a reply from one of the article’s editors who apparently keeps close tabs on its url (Hi again, Raul654!).

mystery bug

Then my brother pointed out this extremely mysterious bug upon picking me up at the Tampa International Airport last Thursday. Neither of us is exactly what you’d call an entomologist, but we were both fascinated by the optical illusion of the bug’s wings that make it look like a model airplane and its complete immobility despite our intrusion on its personal space with not one but two camera phone pictures.

Since there’s no way to do a reverse image search—yet—I figured I’d try my luck with the void once more, but this time I chose a bigger void than the itsy-bitsy kenspeckle audience: flickr! I only had to wait one day for the correct answer. It’s a white-lined sphinx moth, aka Hyles lineata. There’s a great closeup of one at photo.net.

Now I just need to figure out how to get the internet to tell me what the heck the name of the extremely steep hill between E. 102 and E. 103 Streets on Lexington Avenue is. I’m convinced it’s the steepest hill in Manhattan, and it must have a name.