Monday, December 28, 2009

Octopi officially deemed 'tool using' animal

Scientists seem pretty loathe to hand out the title 'tool using' to animals. The bar is set pretty high. But these rad cephalopods won the prize fair and square. Not only do they collect coconut shells to use as armor, or portable housing -- but they clean them, and move them, and use them when needed. They even store them.


The article is worth a read.

Enjoy watching animals rock it,


[via My Lovely Wife, photo credit in linked article]

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Saturday Morning Awesome: Balloon Bass and Box Jam

A couple nights off work unexpectedly, and ya'll actually get a Saturday Morning Awesome post.

Enjoy the video, worth sticking to the end, they ramp it up a notch.

Ballon Bass And Box Jam - Watch more Funny Videos

Enjoy folks makin' it happen,


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Pig and the Butcher

Here is a great short on Vimeo showing a butcher taking apart a pig with very little waste. Click the text link for more info on the film and the butcher.

It reminds me of a sentiment I got from Gary Snyder, from one of his books of essays -- simplistically paraphrased: If you want to learn about mastering something, hang out with masters of any sort. You can learn to be a master meditator by hanging out with a master mechanic.

Watch a master butcher.

The Pig & The Butcher from Quarter Productions on Vimeo.

Enjoy getting closer to your food sources,


[via my faithful Canukistani operative, "Yuri"]

Monday, December 21, 2009

R.I.P. health care reform

Great video that captures a bit of information, and a lot of emotion (that I share) about the current B.S. that's making its way through congress about health care. Is the host being helpful? No -- but I can relate to where he's coming from:


[via Faith in Honest Doubt, whose post is worth reading]

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

100 days in Glacier National Park

Here is a really awesome photo set from's "The Big Picture."

Part of their writeup:

This summer, Glacier Park Magazine editor Chris Peterson undertook a photographic project to take photos of Montana's Glacier National Park over 100 consecutive days, starting on May 1, 2009, for a traveling photo show in 2010 to commemorate Glacier's Centennial. He used a mix of film and digital cameras, including an 8 by 10 field camera, a Kodak Pocket Vest camera, circa 1909, and a Speed Graphic, among others. His idea was to use the cameras that would have been used over the course of the Park's 100 years.

Here is the whole set of 100 photographs with the artists comments, well worth your time. Some great reading, as well as more amazing shots.

[remember to click images for larger size]

check the foreground right on this one

The beargrass in this one reminds me of my days in the fire lookout.

Bufo! [that one's for you Wife]

[As is this one] Smallest bird in North America, Calliope hummingbird (Stellula calliope)

And you gotta have bighorns.

Enjoy phenomenal photography of nearly untrammeled nature,


[via my faithful Canukistani operative "Yuri", all image credits in linked photo set]

Monday, December 7, 2009

Half inch jellyfish that can take you out, quick

That little guy pictured on the right there can kill you dead, pronto.

Here is the post from Boing Boing, and here is the post they referenced at The Telegraph UK.
The jellyfish's sting can lead to "Irukandji syndrome," a set of symptoms that includes shooting pains in the muscles and chest, vomiting, restlessness and anxiety. Some symptoms can last for more than a week, and the syndrome can occasionally lead to a rapid rise in blood pressure and heart failure.

There is no antivenom, and people generally do not realize that they have been stung at first. The initial sting causes little pain, and it may be up to half an hour before a victim starts to feel the effects.

But those effects, Miss Gershwin says, can ultimately be disastrous, with some stings causing blood pressures to soar as high as 280 over 180.

Enjoy never meeting this organism in your whole life,


[via Boing Boing, photo Wiki Commons]

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Building a passive solar greenhouse

The chard outside in the garden is frozen and wilted. I hear it will perk right back up, but as of the moment, it's lookin' pretty sad.

What would be better this time of year than a nice, passive-solar greenhouse out in the garden. Here is a great link from the Bradford Research and Extension Center, University of Missouri, showing plans and instructions and design concepts for a very straightforward passive solar greenhouse.

An illustration with the basic concepts [click picture for a better view]:

The solar gain off of those water barrels is amazing.

So, for the serious geeks out there, here is the page with the construction details and materials list.

Enjoy dreams of season extension in the garden,


Friday, December 4, 2009

Time lapse photography of Antarctic giant sea worms and sea stars

Here is our favorite nature narrator, David Attenborough, in a series called "Life" on BBC talking a bit about antarctic scavengers. 3 ft. nemertean worms aren't to be missed.

Enjoy the diversity of wiggling things on our planet,


[via my faithful Canukistani operative "Yuri"]