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Google, Silk Cranks and Crawler-type Vehicles

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I got an inquiry about an ivory-billed woodpecker painting today over the Net. As you might guess, with things being the way they are with ivory-bills, a Google search for ivory-billed woodpecker images leads photo-hungry publishers to email me with requests to reproduce one of my paintings. It was from natur+kosmos, a German magazine.

Before I fire back, I always Google people and publications that contact me, so I know a bit more about them before quoting a price, or agreeing to lend my work. One man gave me no information about his project, other than that he wanted me to paint a pink butterfly on a blue flower for a software CD cover. There are a couple of pink moths, but there aren't any pink butterflies around here. My antennae went up. A couple of questions, a little Googling, and I found out that he was developing organizational software for use by right-to-life organizations. It's good to know such things when I'm thinking about whether or not a job is a good fit for my work.

Another man wanted to commission some paintings for his Carolina beach house. Click, click: he's the CEO of an AI firm. Hmm. Good to know. Not that my prices vary that widely, but it's still nice to know you're not going to break somebody's budget if you charge what your work is worth.

The best Google disclosure ever: a gentleman who e-mailed several years ago, wanting to buy a black-billed cuckoo painting that had appeared on the cover of Birding, turned out on closer Googling to be David Sibley's agent. Needless to say, after jumping around the studio like Daffy Duck for a few minutes, I sold the painting to him. He owns the monk parakeets now, too. And represents me!

Back to the German magazine. I Googled it, and selected Google's automatic translation of the web page. You can find it here.

In the kids' section, I found an article about natural fabrics. As I read it, I started to laugh, and by the time I finished reading this paragraph, I was howling.

We owe silk to the butterfly with name silk crank. It puts eggs, out of which small crawler-type vehicles slip, which are gefrässig and grow, to it are ready for their conversion. But they produce themselves their abdomen a thread, with that them over? winding, until they eingesponnen completely in one about taubeneigrossenKokon are. Therein the crawler-type vehicle changes itself into a doll with firm covering, in which the butterfly develops. Before the silk crank slips, the Kokons are in-collected - the fine crawler-type vehicle thread is simply again completed. Two to three threads thereby to a sturdy silk thread are together-turned.

Yeah, Google. Thanks for the translation. To you, I owe much good and otherwise inaccessible information, and today, a good belly laugh. Headed to town today, but first, to change myself into a doll with firm covering.


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