Quirky diatoms


diatom naviculoid quercus


Diatom \Di”a*tom\, n. [Gr. ? cut in two. See Diatomous.]
1. (Bot.) One of the Diatomace[ae], a family of minute
unicellular Alg[ae] having a siliceous covering of great
delicacy, each individual multiplying by spontaneous
division. By some authors diatoms are called
Bacillari[ae], but this word is not in general use.

2. A particle or atom endowed with the vital principle.

The individual is nothing. He is no more than the
diatom, the bit of protoplasm. –Mrs. E. Lynn

[You’re not the only pebble on the beach. – Norah Roberts, my father’s mother]


Navicular – \Na*vic”u*lar\, a. [L. navicularius, fr. navicula,
dim. of navis ship: cf. F. naviculaire.]
1. Of, pertaining to, or resembling, a boat or ship.

[My father worked on ships most of his life.]

2. Shaped like a boat; cymbiform; scaphoid; as, the navicular
glumes of most grasses; the navicular bone.


Quercite \Quer”cite\, n. (Chem.)
A white crystalline substance, C6H7(OH)5, found in acorns,
the fruit of the oak (Quercus). It has a sweet taste, and
is regarded as a pentacid alcohol.

Quercitrin \Quer”cit*rin\, n. [Cf. F. quercitrin. See
Quercitron.] (Chem.)
A glucoside extracted from the bark of the oak (Quercus) as
a bitter citron-yellow crystalline substance, used as a
pigment and called quercitron.

[Doors were painted yellow, he told me, to identify fellow communists.]

Quercus \Quer”cus\, n. [L., an oak.] (Bot.)
A genus of trees constituted by the oak. See Oak.

Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913), cited at DIE.net


We scattered our father’s ashes round a quercus robour, a common English oak.

I read on the Tentative key website that the the nomenclature of the current taxonomy of diatoms is in a state of flux.

We can name our own discoveries.


I engrave Perspex blocks and disks with diatoms. They are trapped in ice, frozen in suspended animation.

I find large Perspex disks, like giant ice core slices, to work on too.