Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday Morning Awesome -- Flamboyant Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish are one of the more awesome animals on the planet. So, for the Saturday Morning Awesome, I figured a quick video of the Flamboyant Cuttlefish (Metasepia pfeferri) would fit the bill. This versatile subject matter counts as a "Little Dudes" post, a Random Biological Tidbits post, and a Saturday Morning Awesome as well. Efficient, no?

Here is some info from The Cephalopod Page:

Metasepia pfefferi is found in shallow (3 to 86 m) waters from Indonesia, to Papua New Guinea to the north shore of Australia, South Queensland to Western Australia. They are typically found ambling along (see below) on mud, sand or low energy coral rubble bottoms.

In the summer of 2006 three of us, the founders of headed to Indonesia. I was there for three weeks specifically to observe and photograph cephalopods. During this trip, despite many dives, I was able to find and photographed only two of these amazing animals.

These remarkable cephalopods are active during the day. They slowly “walk” across the seafloor using their arms and flaps on their mantle; this type of locomotion has been called “ambling”. Normally camouflaged, the beautiful colors that give this cephalopod its common name are warning colors and are displayed when the animal is disturbed, See this video. Recently, scientists discovered that these warning colors are not a bluff, the animal is indeed toxic.

Enjoy awesome, smart, toxic little dudes,


[via Estu, photo credit at the Cephalopod Page]

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Daily Show -- Jason Jones in Iran

A little direct interaction with these people that are 'completely cut off from the Western world' as is so often stated in the Media.

Really? Apparently not.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Jason Jones: Behind the Veil - Ayatollah You So
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJason Jones in Iran

Enjoy ground-truthing cultural assertions,


[via Bruce of Playwrite Inc.]

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Zoom into a Tooth

You know you want to. Click that video and see into one of your chompers. Come on, you know you want to. It's fascinating, honest.

Enjoy seeing videos that mimic recurring dreams from my childhood,


[via Boing Boing]

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Update on the Mushroom Tree

As I was out feeding the chickens this morning, I spotted something kinda gross looking, and potentially very exciting.

Last fall, some of you may remember, I got the idea to inoculate a stump in our chicken yard with wild edible mushrooms. Due to the species of the tree, I chose Chicken of the Woods mushrooms (Laetiporus sulphureus), and set about plugging the stump.

The beautiful bloom depicted on the right is not the stump in my back yard, but a bit of a dream picture of what it could look like as early as this fall.

Below is a picture of the state of the "dry" or "inactive-looking" plugs in the stump. If you click it to get a better view, you can see a number of the dowels sticking out from the bark, looking quite "dowelly", and not super biologically active.

And next are two picture of what look to me to be fully active, early-stage spots of growth at some of the "active" plugs. Unless this is newbish ignorance, like some kind of successful immune-response from the stump, I believe we have liftoff. They are even a creamy orange color, which fits the species of mushroom I chose to grow in this stump.

Enjoy turning waste wood into beautiful food,


[top picture courtesy of Wiki Commons]

Monday, June 22, 2009

Fever Ray: When I Grow Up

Trippy video, trippy song. It's growing on me. Lemme know what you think.

Enjoy new music and visuals when you can find them,


[via Doc Ock]

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Morning Awesome: ZeFrank is back

As long-time readers of this blog know, I'm a big fan of ZeFrank. This morning, ex-pat, Canunistani Uncle Ted sent me a link to a piece done by ZeFrank himself. Too awesome, I'm glad he found work.

I'll keep ya'll updated whenever I find him popping up again.

Enjoy underground artists getting paying jobs,


Friday, June 19, 2009

List of 50 classic Dystopian movies

Ok actually the list is "top 50 dystopian movies of all time" -- but that's a bit big in the britches don't ya think?

It's a good list, nonetheless.

Kinda freaky how many of these I've seen. What is so damned appealing about Dystopias?

Enjoy the future bummer, in art,


[via Uncle Ted, image credit in linked article]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gonzales's Advice to Bush on How to Avoid War Crimes

Isn't that a heart-warming picture there? What a smile, I tell ya.

Here is a piece about Gonzales and the Bush administration and torture. It's not heart-warming.

On January 25, 2002, then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales advised George W. Bush in a memo to deny al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners protections under the Geneva Conventions because doing so would "substantially reduces the threat of domestic criminal prosecution under the War Crimes Act" and "provide a solid defense to any future prosecution."


[photo credit in linked article]

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

PS22 Chorus performs Don't Stop Believin'

Ok look, I hate Journey. I know hate is a strong word, but -- well it's appropriate here.


These kids are so damned cute performing their song I had to post it. Check out the facial expressions, especially of the two little boys in the front right -- simply awesome.

The PS22 Chorus Blog has more videos and info.

Enjoy cuteness when you can find it,


[props to the Portland Mercury Blog for finding this]

Monday, June 15, 2009

Moyers Interviews Robert Reich on "Who Runs Government"

An interview worth your time over at -- click here for the full text:

Teaser quote:

BILL MOYERS: One of the problems with the Clinton health plan when you were Secretary of Labor was that it was too complex to explain to journalists like me, members of Congress, and the public. So in a sentence, if you can, tell me what a true public option would be in healthcare reform.

ROBERT REICH: Well, regardless of what you want to call it, Bill, it could be called liverwurst. I mean, it simply means that the public- average members of the public have a choice, if they want it- of either their private for-profit insurers like they now use or a public not-for-profit insurer.

And that public insurer would resemble ideally Medicare- low administrative costs. And it would have the economies of scale. It would be so large that it could actually negotiate low drug prices and very, kind of low premiums. That's what the private insurers are scared of. That's what the-

BILL MOYERS: Why are they scared of that?

ROBERT REICH: Because that means that their profits will be squeezed. They don't want anything that's going to squeeze their profits. And, they're putting up smoke screens. They're putting up other things that may look like public options but don't have the bargaining leverage to get drug prices down and also to keep the private insurers honest.

Enjoy keeping abreast of the health care crisis and its effect on Washington,


[photo credit in linked article]

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Morning Awesome: Best Photo Ever

First the photo:

I'm speechless. This photo so full of awesome I can hardly stand it.

And win. It's full of win too.

I saw it in the Portland Mercury Blog, Blogtown, Pdx. Apparently it was stolen by someone who worked in a photo lab. So it's not only awesome in its own right, it's anonymous and stolen -- which just punts it into the stratosphere.

I had to delay posting this a few days to make it the Saturday Morning Awesome. For all I know it's viral by the time this post goes up.

If you are into Haiku, Blogtown is challenging folks to Haiku the picture in the comments. Which is also awesome.

Enjoy bathing in anonymous awesomeness,


Friday, June 12, 2009

Federal Employee Sacked for Reporting Illegal Cougar Kills

Here is an article from the journal Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) about an upcoming whistleblower case in Nevada. Gary Strader, a professional hunter for U.S. Wildlife Services, had is position "de-funded" after he reported his agency co-workers had killed up to 5 Cougars from government aircraft and then filed false paperwork to cover up the act. Only the heads of the animals were taken, apparently for trophies.

This will be a good sample case for how the Obama administration deals with whistleblowers in the government.

(nothing to enjoy here)


[article originally found through, photo credit and explanation also at Truthout]

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Learjet Repo Man

Although I've been scooped on this story by at least one of my blogging friends, I had to post it.

Here is a great article on about Nick Popovich, a repo man of a different sort. He brings back planes, mostly big, huge planes. The situations this gets him into are almost unbelievably James-Bond-like. The article is a fun read, and the money involved gives one reason for pause I must say.

To all of you budding pilots out there, take note. With the world economy doing its twists and turns, this is guaranteed to be a booming business.

Enjoy reading about other folks doing dangerous things for a living,


[photo credit in linked article]

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Balancing a state budget, the home game

Here is a great widget from the Los Angeles Times with which you can attempt to balance the California State Budget. It's hours of diversion, trust me.

Enjoy playing with the politicians' toys,


[via my ex-pat, Canukistani Uncle Ted]

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mary Roach: 10 things you didn't know about orgasm

Thought we'd start this week out with a bang.

You've got to love the Ted talks. You'll even find out about "The Lazarus Reflex"in this one.

Enjoy the craziness that is our biology,


Friday, June 5, 2009

Terminator Salvation -- I tried, I really tried

I'm sorry folks, I tried, but I failed. By the end of the movie, I was completely overwhelmed by The Suck. Or The Stupid. Or The Horriblest writing you could imagine for such a high-budget movie.

I pride myself on my willing suspension of disbelief. I really do. I can watch schlocky action movies with the best of them -- until this. Excise the last 10 minutes of the film, and I may have been able to have walked out of the theater without feeling like I had just unnecessarily aged 5 years. Maybe.

The beginning has some action sequences (ok I'll say it, helicopter crash) that are awesome, inventive, and fun to watch. Hell -- the action sequences (UNTIL THE END) are all inventive and fun to watch. But EVEN THOSE fell down for the sake of cliche at the end. The demands of cliche that someone put on this movie are staggering. Holy hell it ruined a perfectly watchable movie.

The palette of this movie, most of the action sequences and special effects, the grittiness, the apocalyptic world -- all very decent. In fact, some of the monster and actions effects are in the "fucking great" category. But the writers and their overlords shit all over that high-budget work with some incredibly, mind-numbingly stupid writing.

I knew it was going to be a rough ride when a kid who never drove a car before pulls off an epic chase scene behind the wheel of a jeep in the first 1/4 of the movie. All for the sake of one crack joke. "Oh no," my gut told me, "this is too early in the movie for a fuck up that bad.... oh no."

I can only give this movie a C (very tempted to put a "-" on that). And I'm telling you -- that says A WHOLE LOT about the look and feel of the actiony parts of this movie. Even about the first 1/2 of the movie in its entirety. Because... well yeah, what I already said.

Enjoy what you can,


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A little peek into the workings of The Daily Show

Here is a bit of an interview with some Daily Show folks that ends up shining a light on how the show works in the field.

It's Colbert talking about how the show got sued over a piece they did in Southern California. In the process of telling the story you get a glimpse into how sneaky they are in pulling this stuff off.

Very entertaining.

Enjoy peeking behind the scenes a bit,


[via the fabulous Dani of Dani Boynton Photography, up in Canukistan]

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bad men in literature, specifically children's literature

Here is an insightful article called Why do my son's books tell him all men are useless?, by William Leith.

The article points out big huge problems, and doesn't propose to solve any. It's simply an exploration.

Looking at mass media, from cold remedy ads, to The Simpsons, I've had the same reaction as this author. All the men are idiots, distant, immature, and/or useless.

I'm not going to crack open this hive of hornets more than just to say it's a good thing to notice and wonder about.

Enjoy seeing your thoughts reflected in the media sometimes,


[image credit in linked article]

Monday, June 1, 2009

Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer perform "When I Go" (Portland, 2001)

I've heard this song before, but not for a while. My friend Lisa E. posted this and reminded me how effing fantastic it is.

Here is the youtube poster's note: "The late, great Dave Carter and the very much alive and vibrant Tracy Grammer performing at the St John's Pub, Portland, Oregon, 2001"

This is a song for the ages. Just one of those songs that gets it right and sets the bar. Definitely worth setting aside some time and having a moment.

If you enjoyed that version, check out Bryan Bowers covering it on autoharp.

Enjoy hearing music that you know carries weight from the past, and will survive long into the future,