Matthew Henry John Bartlett

+64 27 211 3455
email me

Saturday 28 November, 02009

Questions our rented feijoa tree provoked this morning

by Matthew Bartlett @ 8:34 am
  • There are lots of waxeyes hanging around our feijoa tree. The tree is in flower, so I wonder — are they drinking the nectar and helping pollinate it? There is a family of bumblebees who live in a brick wall at our place, but I don’t recall seeing them hanging around the feijoa. Can birds assist pollination?
  • The flowers of the feijoa (Feijoa sellowiana) look a lot like pohutukawa (Metrosideros excelsa) flowers, though the leaves are quite different. Are they related?
  • In a non-evolutionary framework, is there any such concept as species being related to one another?

6 responses to “Questions our rented feijoa tree provoked this morning”

  1. Ben Hoyt says:

    An answer to your question: sure there is. Any designer makes things that are related to each other — related can mean either a relative of or similar to (or a bit of both).

    I don’t know whether The Designer invented the principle of code reuse, but it sure looks like it sometimes. Code reuse isn’t exactly an evolutionary thing. :-)

    I think this happens a lot with creative and engineering work. Your mind can’t (and wouldn’t want to) start from scratch every time, so you produce works that are related to one another. For example, Gifty and DecentURL are two totally difference web apps I made, but there’s a kind of similarity in their minimalism.

    P.S. As an aside, while searching around just now, I discovered fractal broccoli.

  2. Ben Hoyt says:

    Oh, my bad, I intended to say, “An answer to your last question…”

  3. richie_f says:

    And also, biological taxonomy preceded evolutionary theory by millenia

  4. Matthew Bartlett says:

    That’s interesting, Richie. I wonder what Linneaus(?) thought about the relationships between species.

    Ben, web apps/sites I’ve developed (such as they are) show evidence of a history. For each new CMS-ish website, I used to make a copy of the previous one and change things where needed. Sometimes I would not copy the very latest one, but go back to an older site that more closely matched what I needed — so there would be branching; a tree-like relationship between designs.

  5. Ben Hoyt says:

    Yeah, interesting fact, Richie.

    Matthew, total tangent, but what CMSs do you use or recommend? (Where CMS of course stands for Website Revision System. :-)

    Oh, and happy 946728000th!

  6. Matthew Bartlett says:

    Thanks Ben. In recent times I’ve found WordPress (though intended for blogging) can be successfully wrangled in that direction (see:

Leave a Reply