Monday, March 31, 2008

Forgotten English -- Uts!

First, a modern occurrence of Uts! -- it is one of the sounds I make when being awakened from a dead sleep by a profound cramp in my Psoas muscle (which I have complained about before). I make the sound to deal with the sensations I'm having (searing pain), while trying desperately to get out of bed in a timely fashion to stretch out the affected area, but not wake up The Wife. Hopping around half naked, huffing and puffing, most of the sounds are right out of old Batman fight scenes: Oof! Biff! Poosh! Kshawwwwww!

The real definition of Uts! -- "A term of encouragement to dogs, generally to incite them to fight."

[From: Jeffrey Kacirk Forgotten English 2008 Calendar: A Calendar of Vanishing Vocabulary and Folklore]

Enjoy words that are also simply sounds, and require exclamation marks as part of the proper spelling,


Charlie Brown quote

"Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, "Where have I gone wrong?" Then a voice says to me, "This is going to take more than one night."

- Charlie Brown, Peanuts, Charles Schulz

World's biggest particle collider may be delayed in court

There are fears that the Large Hadron Collider, near completion on the Swiss/French border, may not be safe. The safety concerns, which this article calls "Doomsday Fears," center around 3 main situations that are potentially possible at the collider: runaway black holes, Stragelets, and magnetic monopoles.

Yes, runaway black holes -- how rad is that.

Thanks to Trappin' Pat for heads up on this article -- a little early-morning science awesomeness for ya'll.

Enjoy the possibilities of ramming minute things together at unfathomable speeds,


[photo credit in second linked article]

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ya gotta love The Onion

Instructions: click on picture -- read fine print.

What more can you say, The Onion rocks,


Crop diversity and the Seed Vault

Despite the dramatic subtitle, "Around the world, scientists are risking their lives to retrieve seeds destined for a massive vault near the North Pole. Their work just might save mankind" this article on the Seed Vault and the folks working on it is well written and fascinating.

"[Loss of crop species genetic diversity] is the only world problem we know we can solve at this point in history," says Cary Fowler, the man behind the seed vault.

Enjoy global thinking, even if it tends towards the apocalyptic,


[article thanks to Yuri, photo credit in linked article]

Friday, March 28, 2008

American Drug War documentary

In case you had any questions about the connection between the U.S. Government and the illegal drug trade, here is a documentary for you.

In case you believe our government doesn't aid, abet, or outright control the illegal drug trade -- brace yourself, set aside a couple hours, and watch this video. It's not wingnut, it sticks to reputable sources, and covers over 30 years of the rise of the drug trade in the U.S.

It also makes very cogent points about drug laws, prohibition, the prison industry, class war, and "post 9/11" terrorism policy and spin.

I know it's a tall order for folks, but believe me the story is absolutely intriguing, even just taken as a narrative.

There is some seriously historic footage in here as well -- like Mike Ruppert directly challenging the head of the CIA in a public meeting in California.

Enjoy the stretch and strain associated with opening ones eyes,


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Hot Chocolate: You Sexy Thing

What to say about this video -- it defies simple description.

Enjoy one-hit wonders,


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Car that runs on compressed air

Looks like a truly innovative car is finally going to hit the market. The Air Car should hit markets in europe and India by next summer. It, of course, won't be sold in the U.S. Ostensibly, the reason is that the car doesn't meet safety requirements. I would like to see this company take the route some other ultra-light alternative car designs have taken and just remove a wheel and register it as a motorcycle, which have much lower safety requirements.

Now it's not quite right to call compressed air a new fuel for cars, because electric cars already exist and more than likely the fuel used to compress the air will be electricity. The technology will be a huge boon to emissions, however. This design will truly reduce emissions in India where small city vehicles are most often fueled by two-stroke diesel engines, which are atrocious from an air pollution standpoint.

Also, this style of fuel as well as the vehicle itself is very economical, which will encourage its use. I'd like to see this thing take off, and show some serious improvements in air quality in its wake. Time will tell.

Enjoy the beginnings of diversification in basic needs technologies,


Just barely posted this and already I've found an update that suggests within 2 years or so there will be an air car design available in the U.S. with a possible 1,000-mile range. It's still being developed, and uses a dual-fuel system but promises extreme increases in fuel efficiency and range over standard internal combustion cars.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Off to the Palouse to work on hives

I'm headed out to The Palouse Diary headquarters to visit Uncle Fester and finish up my bee hives so they'll be ready when my sets come in next month.

Today, as I have been many times this winter, I am thankful we sucked it up (with the help of Va Momma and John) and replaced our Outback with an Outback. I've driven on tons of crappy road and felt safe, slept in the car, and today loaded up all 3 hives with room to spare. Awesome.

Ya'll have fun, I intend to.



Awesomeness personified: Jackie Chan stunt tribute

Having just watched a fantastically horrible movie this weekend with Doc Ock and Tony, I am good on cheesy movies again. For a minute. It's been a long, long time since I saw a movie that was so bad it was good -- but that's beside the point.

I ran across this Jackie Chan stunt tribute today, and thought I'd post it. This guy is like a Bruce Lee version of Jackass, I swear. I knew he did his own stunts, but I didn't know how little safety equipment was involved. Crazy stuff -- and out of fantastically horrible movies to boot.

Enjoy your crazy masochistic stunt heroes,


Good spam: Toyota and Ford canoe race

Received this from a few people via email, and I wanted to repost here.

It's too true, way too true -- spam or no.


A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company (Ford) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order, American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India .

Sadly, The End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US The last quarter's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads.



Enjoy the wisdom available at the level of bathroom grafitti a-la-intarweb,


How to hack RFID credit cards

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology freaks a lot of people out. It is, of course, being billed as making things easier and more secure -- and of course, can easily be seen as a means by which to further centralize power and eliminate privacy.

In my ongoing campaign to (for the purposes of humor and irony only) encourage people to hack ridiculously insecure systems such as voting machines, here is a video discussing how radically insecure RFID enabled credit cards are. It takes, apparently, a little bit of technical know how and an $8 ebay purchase to grab card info from anyone you can get close to. With the right antennae, maybe anyone within 40 feet.

Check it out [I apologize for the ad in the middle of the video, I figure the info is worth the interruption].

Enjoy knowing the true loopholes in "secure and convenient" systems,


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Resonant frequencies used to create images

Little explanation is given in this video, but in general when something like this is created, there is a tightly stretched medium -- skin or rubber or plastic, then particles on top of it (in this case rice), into which sound is played.

I've always loved to see what forms arise, and to compare them with religious and sacred symbolism from around the world like the flower of life, mandalas, and other forms of sacred geometry.

They did a good job on this video, hit some serious shapes.

Thanks yet again to my Canukistani operative Yuri for sending this my way:

Enjoy repeated patterns that point to something unifying,


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Earthworms non-native, introduced by European colonists

I couldn't believe this when I heard it -- there were no big fat earthworms in North America before the Europeans arrived. At least, not what we would think of as earthworms. I should know things like this!

Apparently, their introduction changed the N.E. forests forever, and although farmers and gardeners generally love them not all of the impacts of the non-native worms are good. Something else I never would have imagined -- how could worms be bad?

Thanks to Chaz at the Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants for pointing this out to me.

[photo credit in "earthworm" link above]

Beekeeping Class in Portland, April 5 at Livingscape Nursery!

It's almost Bee Time -- most of the bee orders will be filled this time next month.

Anyone interested in beekeeping in or near Portland should consider This Class with local urban beekeeper and organic gardening educator extordinaire Glen Andresen. The classes will be held from 10 - 2 at the very cool Livingscape Nursery,3926 N. Vancouver Avenue(between Shaver and Fremont)503.248.0104.

For gear and information and bees, know about Ruhl Bee Supply -- a long-time staple N.W. business. The people are educated and helpful, and they'll have whatever you need to get set up.

I'm thinking that after the backyard chicken craze, Portland's next urban self sufficiency/food production movement is going to be bees. That couldn't make me happier.

I found out about this class from the lovely and talented Naomi at Concentrates agriculture supply, where we buy all our soil amendments, chicken food, and other knickknacks that we need (that come in 50 lb increments). Thanks Naomi.

Enjoy grassroots means to sweetness,


[photo credit in linked article about Glen]

Friday, March 21, 2008

Rubberband Man -- The Spinners

Some more awesome stepping -- and silver shoes!

[Personal note: survived finals, I'll be back to posting now]

Enjoy the original performance of songs that have since been devoured and shat back out by corporate culture,


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Label Clarification -- Walrus dancing to Michael Jackson = totally random

Just to be clear -- the "Awesome" label is different from the "Total Randomness" label in this blog. Some examples: Stevie Wonder performing on Sesame Street is Awesome, this photo of my own uncle in the 70's (handlebar mustache and aviator glasses flyin') is Awesome; whereas this video of a walrus busting a move to a Michael Jackson song is totally random. You feelin' me here?

[Technical note: I'll be fixing labels in the blog archives to accurately represent this clarification of philosophy, but not until after finals are over. Check the labels in a week or so if you are interested in how it shakes down]

Enjoy your blog clarifications,


Ps: Brick House synched to Star Wars Scenes is both Awesome and Totally Random -- to further clarify.

Awesome -- Japanese orchestra covers "smoke on the water"

Ok, I guess it's the week of creating new labels. This video of a Japanese orchestra covering Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water demands the label "Awesome."

There used to be a blog called Your Daily Awesome that I checked all the time. I didn't want to steal his schtick. But -- that blog is down, and I think he'd be proud to have some resonance of the meme floating around in the blogosphere.

Day one of the "Awesome" label:

Enjoy bizarre covers,


[thanks Estu for the link]

More info on those Blue Ice photos

Yuri (of Canukistan) has dug up a bit more information on those ice pictures I posted below. did a little piece on it, exposing the misnomer "frozen waves."

Here is a post talking about blue ice and how it is formed, with some great shots from Southern Patagonia. Included in the bottom of the post are the photos in question. The photographer is named as Tony, and there is a link to his Antarctic photoset, named "Dome C."

Therefore, it seems reasonable to assume that the photos are from the location in Antarctica called Dome C. To finish off the intarweb research, here is the obligatory wiki entry for the location as well.

This may provide Trappin' Pat more information with which he can further explain the ice formations -- though he did a pretty amazing job already in the comments below.

Enjoy the white tips of your personal celestial sphere,


[photo source: linked UADDIT blog]

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Army Sponsors 'Bring your Daughter to War' day

"Ya Gotta Love The Onion" (I'll be stealing this label title from Estu -- it's too good to pass up).

Army Holds Annual 'Bring Your Daughter To War' Day

Enjoy black humor, some days it's the only kind that really shines,


Robotic movement is way more advanced than I thought...

My geek uncle (oh, wait... that's all of them, sorry) sent me this video of the Boston Dynamics Big Dog robot. Watch long enough to see it slip around on the ice or be knocked to the side by one of the engineers. Truly amazing stuff -- way more advanced than I was expecting. Kinda freaky too.

Enjoy watching humans hobble along behind nature,


Monday, March 17, 2008

Forgotten English double-header -- muckinger, blackwork

muckinger: A pocket handkerchief.

blackwork: An undertaker's business.

No connection between these words really, just cool ones with short definitions. A muckinger is something I always carry, as well.

[From: Jeffrey Kacirk Forgotten English 2008 Calendar: A Calendar of Vanishing Vocabulary and Folklore]

Enjoy reviving archaic words into current usage,


Ice photos

Thought I'd start off the week with some beautiful photographs. The original post calls these 'frozen waves' which, though poetic, I believe is a misnomer. There are a number of other photos at the link.

[via Yuri, the Canukistani operative]

Enjoy the beauty of solid water,


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Colbert interviews a Gay Lobbyist

These videos cracked me up, some of Colbert's best work. And the lobbyist, Joe Solomnese, was the perfect interviewee. I can't imagine trying to keep a straight face during something like this -- true talent.

And Part Two -- where Colbert lobbies the lobbyist:

Enjoy the culture twisting in on itself in hilarious ways,


Friday, March 14, 2008

Marvin Gaye -- Let's Get it On

The newest selection of Burt Sugarman's Midnight Special: Marvin Gaye. I nearly forgot how damn talented this guy was. And, of course, this post is not only about his talent and voice, but about his background singers -- CHECK THAT SH!T OUT!

We all need some background singers like that -- matching white suits, moves... nothing better for personal morale than white bellbottoms, gospel-inspired hand gestures, and harmony.

Enjoy the talented presentation of prurient interest,


The Two-Party Pendulum -- what's your take?

I take a slightly different tack on the analysis than this Discovery News article about how political parties flip in their hold of power in D.C. at a very consistent rate. Seems the rate is somewhere around 12-15 years per flip.

Let's say that, no matter which party is in power, they end up rife with corruption, ineffective, and disappointing to the voters. At a rate just long enough to erase the (very short) memory of the voting populace, the voters are convinced that the other party will do a better job. That party gets in power, and soon is rife with corruption, ineffectiveness, and also exhibiting the exact same lack of will to represent the issues that people are ACTUALLY worried about as opposed to the non-issues that were trumped up from nowhere during the election cycle (to artificially divide people that actually agree on many other subjects). And, as the kids so like to say these days, "wash, rinse, repeat."

Seems a valid analysis to me, what do you think?

Enjoy poking it with a stick to see if it moves,


A baby kiwi is born

There is a new baby Kiwi at the Smithsonian National Zoo -- born March 7. Always good news to hear of endangered species births. Check this post for more info.

Enjoy the little round ones,


[picture credit in linked article, article brought to you by my Canukistani Operative Yuri]

Thursday, March 13, 2008

An open Letter to Oregon Conservatives

The blog Preemptive Karma has posted an open letter to Oregon conservatives regarding their fight to return special rights to heterosexual couples in Oregon. It's fantastic, I highly suggest you click the link.

Enjoy your fellow bloggers hitting the nail right, squarely, on the head,


The illusion of the solidity of matter

Found this quote in my old fire lookout journal:

....these high velocities make the atom appear as a rigid sphere, just as a fast rotating propeller appears as a disc. It is very difficult to compress atoms any further, and thus they give matter its familiar solid aspect.

---The Tao of Physics p. 58

Enjoy matter's "familiar solid aspect,"


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Edward Norton and Tim Roth in upcoming movie!

Edward Norton and Tim Roth can do some fine fine work, and having them in the same movie sounds totally awesome -- except, the movie is The Hulk.

Enjoy wondering where the world went so desperately wrong,


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Montana doesn't like the Transit Security Association

My good friend Shocho posted this a few days ago and I wanted to share it. Check out this NPR audio of Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer discussing his state's opposition to the Real ID federal unfunded mandate. He's my newest favorite politician.

I shared this link with another blogger friend, who said that this guy is a "netroots darling" and very popular. Why hadn't I heard about this? Keeping a sane distance from politics does sometimes leave me in the dust about the fun stuff.

PS: Posts like this contribute to "netroots" by the way -- kinda cool really. We are messing with the established politics a bit, I love that.

Enjoy listening to refreshing obstinacy,


Monday, March 10, 2008

Gary Hart brings the heat (to Clinton)

I'll let him speak for himself (well, I'll bold some too how about that):

Breaking the Final Rule
By Gary Hart
The Huffington Post

Friday 07 March 2008

It will come as a surprise to many people that there are rules in politics. Most of those rules are unwritten and are based on common understandings, acceptable practices, and the best interest of the political party a candidate seeks to lead. One of those rules is this: Do not provide ammunition to the opposition party that can be used to destroy your party's nominee. This is a hyper-truth where the presidential contest is concerned.

By saying that only she and John McCain are qualified to lead the country, particularly in times of crisis, Hillary Clinton has broken that rule, severely damaged the Democratic candidate who may well be the party's nominee, and, perhaps most ominously, revealed the unlimited lengths to which she will go to achieve power. She has essentially said that the Democratic party deserves to lose unless it nominates her.

As a veteran of red telephone ads and "where's the beef" cleverness, I am keenly aware that sharp elbows get thrown by those trailing in the fourth quarter (and sometimes even earlier). "Politics ain't beanbag," is the old slogan. But that does not mean that it must also be rule-or-ruin, me-first-and-only-me, my way or the highway. That is not politics. That is raw, unrestrained ambition for power that cannot accept the will of the voters.

Senator Obama is right to say the issue is judgment not years in Washington. If Mrs. Clinton loses the nomination, her failure will be traced to the date she voted to empower George W. Bush to invade Iraq. That is not the kind of judgment, or wisdom, required by the leader answering the phone in the night. For her now to claim that Senator Obama is not qualified to answer the crisis phone is the height of irony if not chutzpah, and calls into question whether her primary loyalty is to the Democratic party and the nation or to her own ambition.

[Thanks Msherm for the title and the article]

Enjoy politicians coming out of the woodwork to protect their party's integrity,


"Callipygian" -- definition

callipygian -- Of or pertaining to, or having well-shaped or finely developed buttocks. The name of a famous statue of Venus. From Greek kallos, beauty, and pyg, buttocks.

--Sir James Murray's New English Dictionary, 1893

[From: Jeffrey Kacirk Forgotten English 2008 Calendar: A Calendar of Vanishing Vocabulary and Folklore]

Enjoy spring and all its beauty,


Heinlein quote

...secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy . . . censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, "This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know," the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything-- you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.

Robert Heinlein, Revolt in 2100

[looks like I'll be adding another label to this blog, "Quotes"]


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Bringing the funk -- the Ohio Players perform Fire

Another Burt Sugarman's Video -- and this one's all about the hair.

I have received comments from folks that they don't care about the look of the performers, or their clothes, or the font style of the TV show -- just the music.

I agree, the music is good. I dig it too or I wouldn't post these... but dude, LOOK AT THAT HAIR -- I've always wanted hair like that! My genetics just couldn't kick down, sadly.

Enjoy the Funk,


Saturday, March 8, 2008

That Eisenhower guy still surprises me

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."

- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Enjoy knowing Presidents once had brains, and may yet again,


Kingfisher Action Photos

Here is a beautiful picture of a "Halcyon" Kingfisher. There is a slide show with more photos and some information on the bird here at There are a number of Halcyons, and the captions on the pictures claim this one to be a White Throated Kingfisher -- but the look doesn't match up. It looks almost, but not quite, like a Malachite Kingfisher as well. Since I'm no expert I won't hazard a guess -- the thing's gorgeous so that's all we need to know at this point, no?

I tend to cruise the Pravda site for (unintentional) humor on par with The Onion and -- but there are also interesting articles and photos on occasion.

[photo credits in linked slide show]

Enjoy technological help with seeing nature's beauty,


In response to cynicism -- a bit of poesy

My good friend wrote about cynicism recently on his blog. His post got me thinking, and commenting -- but I feel pretty inarticulate at the moment and so far haven't been able to explain myself well at his site.

Although this is many years old, I dug out a journal entry I wrote while up in a Fire Lookout in the Mt. Hood National Forest. I worked it over into a kind-of prose poem. In the comments on Stu's blog post, there is a bit of talk about the personal and the transpersonal, and I thought of this piece. I was young, but it still has some resonance.


Journal Entry 10/04/93

I'm sitting on a large, rectangular rock, on a humpy beargrass slope, facing West. A small bird, wingbeats quick & powerful, just landed on a tree behind me. It spots me sitting here & begins chittering.

The Huckleberry & Fireweed are both a deep maroon red, where they haven't gone brown already. The butt of a hand-rolled cigarette looks like a dry, curled leaf next to my bootsole. I'll tip its ashes in honor of the star nation; pour the tobacco to the ground for mother earth; and shove the paper in my pocket.

Earlier today when the sun was low, but not yet down, the sky was all creams, grays, and salmon pinks. Smoke from a nearby wildfire provided the effect. The sunset's colors are still soft -- soft, rosy oranges. Looking up and east, the light loses itself amidst all the haze, going indigo & gray.

As if it knew the sun just went down, a cold wind pushes gently against my back. Small birds shift positions in the trees and bushes along the slope -- a little, imperative "whumph!" as they flare & settle on the branches.

Somewhere in this maze of colors & quiet sounds, I hope to enter.

Maybe in the drooping tip of a young Hemlock tree, or the curious, mouselike scratchings of a songbird in the bushes. Somewhere, in all this beauty & wildness, there is a door. That perfect synchronicity of memory & a glance; of a sound & a desire.

"Just once," I ask in earnest, "just once."

So I come and sit at these sunsets -- waiting.

When found, I realize the door was in my bootsole the whole time; in the cigarette butt, or in the blue stripes of my plaid shirt. But the realization fades quickly.

Until that moment stays, my greatest hopes lie with the wild beauties. With the crimson sunset rebounding off the gray boulder and sparrow song -- rebounding off the missing of loved ones, and the other small, acute desires.


Enjoy employing whatever means you have at your disposal to survive, or even flourish,


Friday, March 7, 2008

Word of the day: Cabal

cabal \kuh-BAHL; kuh-BAL\, noun:

1. A secret, conspiratorial association of plotters or intriguers whose purpose is usually to bring about an overturn especially in public affairs.
2. The schemes or plots of such an association.
3. To form a cabal; to conspire; to intrigue; to plot.

From's Word of the Day emailing.

Enjoy the ability to name and identify,


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Armed robbers pick the wrong night to hit a bar

The robbers arrived the night a local motorcycle club was having a meeting in the next room over. Too funny.

Don't normally pass on stuff like this, but tonight (maybe it's been too long a day) it just cracked me up.

Hurray to internet tripe,


The War Election

Msherm sent me this Truthout editorial on The War Election. I agree.

A quote to give you the flavor:

But by taking the political path of least resistance - by condemning the Iraq war as unwinnable instead of inherently wrong - more restrained foes of the war helped to prolong the occupation that has inflicted and catalyzed so much carnage.

Norman Solomon's got this one right in my book.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I'm so proud I could just cry

Two Vermont towns vote to arrest Bush and Cheney for crimes against the constitution.

Yes, it's non binding, and they'll extradite the "dignitaries" to a different jurisdiction -- yadda yadda yadda -- it still just makes me so happy inside. Like eating jelly beans while holding puppies.

Enjoy towns with brass,


[via Piglipstick]

Little Dudes: Mary's River Turtle -- Eluser macrurus

Picked this Little Dude, the Mary River Turtle because the photos I found are just great. An amateur photographer got the photo presented here and a few others (shown in the article) while wading the Mary River in Queensland. The turtle is the center of a controversy as the government wants to dam the river, but this species as well as a number of other animals that reside in the river are endangered and need protection.

I hope the punk turtle lives long and well.

Enjoy British early 80's hair fads on aquatic reptiles,


[photo credit in linked article]

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Another Burt Sugarman's Midnight Special show -- Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac performing Rhiannon -- Stevie in all her besleeved glory. The music is a fun flashback, but these videos are really about the fashion maaan, like wow, groovy. We have, for instance, another man in a kung-fu/kimono-inspired shirt -- just awesome. The Wife is threatening to make me one now. Frankly, I don't think I have the hair to pull it off:

Enjoy the stylings-that-were,


Bear safety sign, an instant classic

Colbert would appreciate this:

The Colorado State Department of Fish and Wildlife is advising hikers, hunters and golfers to take extra precautions and keep alert for bears while in the area.
We advise that people wear noise producing devies such as little bells on their clothing to alert but not startle the bears unexpectedly. We also advise you to carry pepper spray in case of an encounter with a bear.
It is also a good idea to watch for fresh signs of bear activity. People should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear droppings. The black bear droppings are smaller and contain berries and possibly squirrel fur. Grizzly bear droppings have little bells in them and smell like pepper.

[via my Mother]

Enjoy country humor,


Monday, March 3, 2008

Truly Portland ride on the Max this Sunday

I took the light rail (Max) down to PSU this Sunday to meet with a study partner. It was early afternoon, on a Sunday, and the trains were nearly full to capacity. Not quite as tight as rush hour, but very bustling. Made me wonder what universe the conservitron radio personalities around here live in when they continue to claim no one even uses the Max. What??

Someone mentioned that there tends to be a big influx of "airport traffic" on mid-day Sundays -- people returning home from trips and commutes. I did notice some Japanese tourist couples, and other folks with big bags on the car.

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to see so many folks on public transport, it was a sunny day, and I was enjoying the people watching as I rode into town. I noticed a lady sitting near me reading The Botany of Desire, so I asked her what she thought of the book. She said his writing was very approachable, and interesting, yet still chock full of facts and figures. I hadn't realized that this was the same author as the high-on-my-reading-list book The Omnivore's Dilemna. I'm definitely looking forward to spring break or summer vacation to get reading on this stuff.

When she left the train, I looked up and noticed, for the first time, that the older gentlemen standing next to me was none other than our own former Mayor Bud Clark. He was in Carharts, and had a Hoyt Arboretum flannel vest on. He was riding with his nicely broken-in hybrid commuter bicycle. He was friendly and approachable, so we chatted about bike routes and public transit and beer at the Goose Hollow Inn, where he was headed to enjoy a pint after his ride.

This is a very cool place to live, I must say.

Enjoy our surroundings, they're conveniently placed,


Ps: the poster depicted above isn't completely random, that's our Former Mayor his'self.

Note to self -- fish for Golden Trout with a flyrod before I die

Just a reminder to myself lest I forget. Whether by foot or on horseback, or with pack goats or llamas -- BP, get thyself to the high sierra with flyrods in tow so you can catch (and of course release) some Golden Trout before you kick the bucket.

Been too long since I was in the High Sierra anyway.

Enjoy those pursuits that demand you venture into beautiful wilderness,


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Accurate summation of Iraq situation -- cringingly accurate

Piglipstick scores again, this was too good. Can't find info on who created this cartoon, but I think it's scary accurate.

[remember, click on the picture to get full size]


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ahhh electronic voting, my nemesis

Here is a list of information about electronic voting in the U.S. and who is involved. If you don't want to submit yourself to the full text, I've posted some of the more salient points below:

1. 80% of all votes in America are counted by only two companies: Diebold and ES&S.

5. 35% of ES&S is owned by Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who became Senator based on votes counted by ES&S machines.

[these next two go together]
9. Diebold's new touch screen voting machines have no paper trail of any votes. In other words, there is no way to verify that the data coming out of the machine is the same as what was legitimately put in by voters.

10. Diebold also makes ATMs, checkout scanners, and ticket machines, all of which log each transaction and can generate a paper trail.

17. 30% of all US votes are carried out on unverifiable touch screen voting machines with no paper trail.

18. Bush's Help America Vote Act of 2002 has as its goal to replace all machines with the new electronic touch screen systems with no paper trail.

and the coupe de grace:

19. All -- not some -- but all the voting machine errors detected and reported went in favor of Bush or Republican candidates.


Israeli minister promises Palestinian holocaust

Even though Israel is promising a holocaust (using the word Shoah even), even the UK paper only shows damage on the Israeli side of the fence.

The whole article is surreal, the whole situation is.