Thursday, 3 July 2008

Colour blind elephants

I'm off to Chicago again at the weekend, 2 days in Dayton, Ohio and 2 days in Milwaukee, then back on the red-eye next Friday. I wasn't really looking forward to this traveling much, in fact I'm still not, I hate flying and I usually think that most trips to the US could be pretty easily replaced by a Webex, but that's another story entirely. I was treating it as a chance to meet some new people and see a bit of some new places, until I remembered that last time I came out to San Francisco I'd polled all my security contacts in advance to see who'd be there. I met up with quite a few, but one who I'd always wanted to hook up with was all the way out in Columbus... Ohio. See where this is going?

I quickly rattled off a mail to Alex Hutton on Tuesday, and by close of play yesterday we had not only arranged to meet up, but he's picking me up from the airport and depositing me at my hotel. I think that just about sums up what I love about the Security Bloggers Network, security people in general, and particularly Alex. From the very moment I started waffling in these pages about data, PCI, certificates, encryption and the like, I have had a warm reception and made some great friends. Yes, yes, I realise you're waiting for the reference in the title, and no, as far as I know, Alex is neither colour blind, nor an elephant.

At the same time as I was writing my mail to Alex to say thank you for his hospitality, another email landed in my inbox. A spam mail, which I usually ignore as they refer to me reclaiming my manhood or enlarging it somehow. This one I could not, the sender name held my attention for far longer than necessary, and the title I had to explore more.

Mr. Rottenberg Bonson has sent me a mail about "proboscidean tritanopia". Two words so obscure even my spellcheck questions them (but then it questions 'spellcheck' too.) I had to look them up, but on closer inspection this does of course refer to a subject close to my heart:

pro·bos·cid·i·an (prō'bə-sĭd'ē-ən) also pro·bos·ci·de·an (prō-bŏs'ĭ-dē'ən)

A mammal of the order Proboscidea, such as the elephant or its extinct relatives, having a long trunk, large tusks, and a massive body.

tri·tan·o·pi·a (trī'tə-nō'pē-ə)

A visual defect characterized by the inability to discern blue and yellow.

Yes, my interest in colour blind elephants has emerged, my fame is spreading. Rottenberg and I would now be firm friends, except the body of the mail then complete ignored my interest in dichromatic pachyderms and instead waffled on about Viagra. Boo. Sorry Mr. Bonson, if indeed that IS your real name, I won't be following you up on that one.

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