21 December 2008

A very good, cute Christmas idea for pets :)



Look how smart those Australian Shepards are! The Golden Retriever's all like confused about what's happening, but they're not! The sad thing about this, if you read the comments by the lady who posted it, is that this was the dark one's last Christmas and now all of the dogs in the video have passed away :(

This makes me want to give my kitties presents, like catnip, and Georgie always likes to try to break into dry cat food and treat bags, maybe I will actually let her get away with it once. I'm sort of sad that I'm leaving them for Christmas now, but its not like they care which day we pretend some guy was born two millennia ago. Maybe we will celebrate the winter solstice today! :)

I also wanted to mention that I made my first batch of Wild Kitty raw cat food yesterday. I had been feeding them the frozen Primal raw cat food that I got from the Whole Pets food store in town, so they are used to eating raw and I think that it is good for them. ANYWAY, all of the garbage from making the raw cat food, like the bag the ground chicken thighs were in, went into the garbage, and when I came home after leaving for a while, my coon-cats had gotten into the garbage and made a right mess out of everything. I think the stuff is a success!

19 December 2008

No Acorns?! Squirrels are starving!


Everybody feed your local squirrels this year! There is some sort of crazy tree nut problem where none of the trees have produced anything this year. Supposedly it was supposed to be a big year? No one is overly alarmed yet, but there are whispers of some sort of horrible climate calamity! To be continued next year...

On the other hand, I have seen some SERIOUSLY FAT squirrels this year, in Boulder and in Madison. They get lots of college student trash to eat, I'm sure.

01010100 01110010 01101001 01110101 01101101 01110000 01101000 <3

This is a Mars Phoenix Tribute. The title is the last Twitter that came "from" Phoenix on the day that scientists decided it was shut down for good on Mars. It says 'Triumph' in binary (apparently). I realize this is over a month late, but I've been slow with things lately. Anyway, the people at NASA lost contact with poor Phoenix on Nov 2nd and subsequently released a bunch of videos, etc on Nov 10th that they had prepared to commemorate their most popular mission. I just want to say that I have totally anthropomorphized Phoenix, and when the trumpets come in in this video, it really gets me. Hopefully we can go to Mars someday and bring him back!


Be sure to check out the higher quality versions on the JPL website! I've literally watched this video probably 10 times. The final descent as seen from above, showing Phoenix and his little parachute is the best!

This is the goodbye from Gizmodo. Here is another tribute from WiredScience. And there was also this series of thingies from Stardate radio. AND there was also this highly entertaining series of pictures from people that show what Phoenix discovered that the gov't will hide from us.



And you know, since I'm a chemist or something, I thought I should mention some science. Apparently they found water, calcium carbonate, and perchlorate salts. This doesn't really mean anything to me... The one thing I found interesting is that they said the salts went into solution very quickly, not like salts in earth soil that are trapped and take some time. This leads us (or others) to believe that the salts formed from evaporation from water. That sounds pretty exciting, although I'm sure it is not concrete at all, but us (those) scientists like to make grand postulates like this.

Sigh! I love you, Phoenix!

Poor Loris! :(

I have just learned from a youtube video and its comments that people are capturing live lorises, which are endangered, to be sold as pets. Apparently they often kill the mothers, and the babies are unable to groom themselves. Slow lorises have poisonous glands; the poison of which they mix with their saliva to deliver upon biting an attacker. As a result, the teeth are knocked out before they are sold, leaving the animals unable to properly eat. A lot of them die from disease. The slow loris in this video is obviously scared shitless. I don't really know how we are going to be able to stop horrible stuff like this from happening. :( :( :(



The most sickening part of this video are the comments by people who want to know how to find one in their country to buy. Disgusting.

17 December 2008

The Earthworm

In strange news, the earthworm appears to have made it onto a stamp in the Faroe Islands, which I have just learned are part of the Kingdom of Denmark, and are in between Scotland, Iceland, and Norway, says Wikipedia. For those of you who do not know, I like worms, I actively "save" them off the sidewalk when it is raining. Don't they know if they go too far onto the sidewalk, they will be stuck there when the rain stops? Maybe they should invest in some gills so they can breathe above and below water, like Apple Snails can. Apparently there are many theories for why earthworms come to the surface, but I would think the main one would be that they need to be exposed to the air to exchange gases through their skin. Although there appear to be species of earthworm that can survive immersed in oxygenated water for a while.

For a bit on interesting knowledge, earthworms sexually and asexually reproduce. They are hermaphrodites and in sexual reproduction, exchange sperm with another earthworm, where it is stored in little pockets that have "nourishing fluids" to keep them alive. When the earthworm is ready, it secretes a cocoon, releases the eggs into it, and then the sperm it received from the other worm. The cocoon then seals up and the little worms grow. Wikipedia does not say how long it takes the baby worms to develop, but apparently it takes earthworms a year to become full sized, which is somewhat longer than I would think. Pretty crazy!

And NOW, I have just learned that earthworms are non-native to the Great Lakes region and are changing our forests? Poop. That is sad. They convert the thick forest floors that are full of decaying debris into a black topsoil, which most people would think is good. Apparently our native Great Lakes earthworms died out in all glaciated areas and the native earthworms recolonize at 1/2 mi/100 years so the Great Lakes ecosystems developed without earthworms. Sigh. ON THE OTHER HAND.... This has only been going on for ~14,000 years, so you would think that these ecosystems Originally developed with earthworms and that things havent evolved much since then. I tend to think the earthworms are ok. They do the same thing native earthworms would have done, don't they?

16 December 2008

Hey I Got an Idea... : )


Saw it on reddit.

Also:


Can't quite understand everthing he's saying, but its still cute/funny. And try to do one thing for ANIMALS!

15 December 2008

A Treacherous Journey (or, My Car Fing ROCKS)

So, I went skiing this weekend. While driving out to Beaver Creek on Friday night, I was thinking I was pretty fing lucky to live out in Colorado and be able to just drive to whatever ski resort I wanted, because some people spend their entire vacations to go skiing and whatnot. So that was a nice thought.

The skiing was cold. And good. There was powder, and I'm not good enough to be super excited about powder, because I get stuck in it and fall over sometimes. But it was still fun. I learned a lot. I ALSO learned that rich people (at Beaver Creek) do not want to be above the treeline and that they cannot properly design a ski resort. There were WAY too many boring traverses that you had to go on to get from any given lift to any given run that you were interested in. At least thats what I gathered while I was up there.

The real excitement came when I decided to stay Saturday night instead of driving back even though I knew there was a giant storm coming and a Winter Weather advisory that said traveling during said storm would be hazardous or impossible. Whatever. I was nervous in the night and checked the status of Vail Pass and the roads and the snow on my SUPER COOL BLACKBERRY WITH DATA PLAN. Still open. Good. I really didn't want to get stranded in Beaver Creek because my kitties will run out of food and I had (have) SOOOOOO much to do.

I woke up at 6:38 am. I was out of the house by 6:50 am. It took me like 15 minutes to dig my car out (with my boots and arms, shovels are for pansies) of the 14 inches of snow that had fallen in the night. A nice plow-boy that was going around helped to dig me out a little. Scrape the snow away from my back tires with my boots, AND we're off! Sweet! I was a little worried I would be stuck there.

I might mention at this point that I have a 1994 Chevy Cavalier. Front-wheel drive. AND my blower motor, which has had previous issues, decided to stop working on the drive up. That means NO defrost and NO heat. Fun!

Open the window to defrost my windshield, wipe it down a little with a random piece of clothing. Out of Avon and onto I-70, yay! I was gaining confidence, probably got up to 55 tops on the journey on those lovely snow packed roads. Passed SUVs. HA! Fuck you guys, I don't need no four-wheel drive! At some point I realized that my jacket was unzipped. And I was wearing a t-shirt underneath. But no time to take my hands off the wheel, and I didn't want to stop. Vail Pass was fing cold and there were lots of people driving the OTHER way, you know, since 14 inches of powder had just fallen onto the resorts. Making it over Vail Pass was a relief, until I realized I had hours more of driving to go. And it was SO cold, opening the window every once in a while. Balled up hands in the ski gloves (not the safest for driving with).

FINALLY I make it out of the mountains. Go to the mandatory 7-11 in Golden, get me some goddamn hot chocolate and cream cheese & jalapeno taquitos. ZIP UP MY JACKET. Scrap off the ICE that had formed on the interior of my drivers side windows. Ha. Fun. I also passed a bunch of people on 93 back to Boulder because I was so used to this driving after being on the highway, these people were being totally overly cautious. In fact, I might say that you have more control (by control I mean you slide less, obviously you want to maintain safe following distances) when youre at speed than if youre sliding around all slowly. Back into Boulder, and cranked the heat! YAY!

ANYWAY. That is the rundown of my winter driving prep. I am totally prepared for all that is to come. Winter Weather Driving Conditions, HA!!!

For any of you that are worried about my carefree attitude about winter weather driving, I ASSURE you that I know all that tricks, and best of all, I know my car and what she can do! Yay Carrot! (her name is carrot these days) In fact, I could do a winter driving tip blog, if necessary. Maybe I will. I did learn to drive in WI and now live in CO, after all.

12 December 2008

Yay Nintendo!

Nintendo is dominating sales on the Wii and DS. Older games, like Mario Kart DS and Wii Play are still selling strong. It is a little disappointing to note that all of the popular Nintendo games seem to be these sort of multiplayer, non-story games. Meaning that games like Mario Galaxy and Zelda are not as popular anymore, at least among Nintendo users. In fact, most games on the list are not story-heavy. I just think this is weird because most of my favorite games are all story-based, and I feel like they were the standard in the past. Perhaps this shift can be attributed to the internet for shortening our attention spans and giving us instant gratification.

11 December 2008

Captive White Tiger Inbreeding.


I stumbled across this quite by accident, but it appears as though the people who breed white tigers for entertainment have to resort to a lot of inbreeding because they are so rare. Along with this, they are now pretending that white tigers are a distinct species from other tigers, are so are worthy of these breeding efforts. In reality, white tigers just have different alleles for color genes, and so are no different a species than two siblings that have different colored eyes. This is the sort of breeding that they say Hitler endorsed, blonde haired and blue eyed. IN ANY CASE, this inbreeding results in horrible mutations, and apparently many of the offspring are disposed of. This article shows pictures of poor Kenny, who has facial deformities that we are very unused to seeing in wild animals. It is quite startling. He cannot close his mouth because of his teeth and is said to be mentally disabled.

I realize the article is a little alarmist. I'm not sure if its all entirely accurate, but it is a not a stretch of the imagination to think that white tigers are bred for entertainment purposes and that such inbreeding may result in deformities. People do sad things to animals.

Humane Society's Victories for Animals 2008



This one's a tear-jerker. :') :'(

Yay Humane Society!

But we have so much more work to do. :(

09 December 2008

China Needs to Enter the 21st Century

WHY?! Tiger numbers have decreased and most animals in India are on protected reserves, so now poachers are targeting leopards and selling their parts as Tiger parts for traditional Chinese medicine. A TIGER PENIS WILL NOT HELP YOUR SEX LIFE.

GOD. I'm sorry, it makes me very angry. How the fuck are we going to fix this problem? The Chinese are responsible for SO MUCH poaching of endangered animals, its sickening. And the Japanese need to stop eating fucking Bluefin Tuna before those go extinct too.

08 December 2008

Sweet MFing Squid!


This crazy deep sea squid with elbowed tentacles was captured by a Shell Oil Company remotely operated vehicle at a drilling site. Click the link for the video. Apparently scientists are collaborating with oil and gas companies to use their ROVs regularly because they are so expensive to operate.

Megafishes!



I learned about the Mekong Giant Catfish back when I took Limnology at Univ of Wis Madison. This Zeb Hogan person is the hardcore megafishes advocate that lives to protect these fishes. Megafishes are huge freshwater fishes that are all critically endangered because their huge size is attractive for fisherman and their slow growth-rate. There are megafishes on most of the continents and efforts are ongoing by the National Geographic Society and WWF to protect them. Here is a lovely slideshow of Megafishes. On this page, you will also find links to other Megafishes articles. I think Megafishes are pretty fucking awesome.

Super Smart Mouse



I wonder how long this took to teach him all these tricks. It's too bad that we do experiments on these guys when they have so much potential! I like how he runs up into his owners hand at the end, he so obviously likes her!

Peter Schiff, I don't know who you are, but....

You were totally fucking right and everyone was laughing at you back then! And we're all crying now, aren't we?



Free Press Action Fund

25 November 2008

Shrimp on a Treadmill!!!!

Ok, so I'm a little slow these days; this had to make it onto the Today show before I saw it. Slacking on my game, sorry people. ANYWAY, David Scholnick at Hollings Marine Laboratory made this video while testing whether shrimps had decreased activity and fitness levels when infected with pathogens. The videos have become sensations on YouTube, and many people have put various music to the shrimp video. Anyway, I think the shrimp is super cute and should help people to not eat shrimp as much, hopefully, since they are not very sustainably fished. I think it is interesting how they mostly run with their back legs, and sort of trot every once in a while with their front legs.



I think this is probably the funniest version:


Along with the Rocky one:

20 November 2008

This Shit is Incredible


This is a series of electron microscopy pictures of nanoshit, plants and bugs. This stuff is mind blowing to me, and I'll tell you why. You can see WHOLE cells in some of these. Like, hey, theres a cell. In some of the pictures, there are reference structures that are delineated as, say, 50 microns. Now, I crystallize proteins in 2 uL drops, in which, I can sometimes get 50 micron crystals... So I almost feel like I may be able to see the 50 micron crystals in the drops, and I at least can imagine how big they are... SO, now I feel like... I can imagine how big a plant cell is. Another crazy thing is the sharpness of some of the insect structures. ALSO, the cells of the compound eye that they show. Also keep in mind that the whole insects and bacteria they show are ALIVE (Well, not for the microscopy, but they used to be alive). It's crazy. Just crazy shit. Isn't our world fabulous!?

19 November 2008

Back From Extinction!


YAY! A tiny primate believed to have been extinct for 80 years has been rediscovered in Indonesia! It's called a pygmy tarsier! And they didn't even have to clone it from frozen cells!

This guy is also cute, but he was never extinct. I think he is a roach?

14 November 2008

Super Cool Stuff


Look at these bugs! This is just downright amazing.

Also, if you haven't yet, be sure to check out Dark Roasted Blend's Mixed Links & Images from Nov 12. The crane climbing up the tower is especially amazing. I have no idea how they did that. It's a little over half way down the page.

13 November 2008

... Revolution?

Gerald Celente has predicted the there would be a revolution in America within the next four years punctuated by tax and job marches and food riots. Also lots of homeless people. He is supported by the British Ministry of Defense, which says that the middle class will take back their government as the disparity between the super rich and the rest of us grows. This person has supposedly predicted the fall of the Soviet Union, the 1987 Stock Market Crash, the 1997 Asian currency crisis, the sub prime mortage problem and devaluation of the dollar, and supposedly said this year would be known as "The Panic of 2008." The above linked article also lists a bunch of quotes from news sources attesting to his accuracy.

As we all know, Americans are generally an optimistic bunch, I think. Just ask someone how their day is, and even if its crappy, they'll say "good," right? So, as an American, I don't know how much of this I would like to believe, considering it is unpleasant. But, perhaps I will just stay in grad school and not make any risky job moves. I think colleges are generally pretty stable places to be in times of crisis. At least, that's what I would like to believe. I certainly don't want to become a squatter. What would I do with my cats?

All in all, this is not really the sort of revolution I would like, although I admit it is probably necessary. The food issue is especially poignant, and luckily, Obama has expressed interest in Michael Pollen's Resolarizing the Food System article. I guess everyone should rip up their sod and plant vegetables as soon as possible to become more self reliant. I doubt my landlord would go for that, though.

Ancient Whale Fossil Uncovered in Egypt


This crazy complete fossil of Basilosaurus isis was found in Wadi Hitan in Egypt in 2005. Basilosaurus isis is awesome because IT HAS LITTLE BACK LEGS and lacked a blow hole. Beautiful, beautiful evolution. It apparently was the first of the giant whales. Other species of the same genus have been found in the SE US, like in Alabama and Mississippi. It lived 40 to 34 million years ago and was super long and serpentine-like, with elongated fluid-filled vertebrae. I also learned while reading about this that boas have baby hind legs too! Male boas' are called spurs and are supposedly used for "clasping and tickling" during mating.

I realize that I have seen one of these guys at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. I recognize him from the picture of this fossil in the wikipedia page, linked to above. Sweet! Here is a picture I took of him. I'm pretty sure you can see his back legs in the picture! It makes me wonder what current whale skeletons look like.

09 November 2008

Sweet Harvest Potato Pies/Pancakes with Squash, Carrots, Apples & Onion

This is the god damn best thing I've made in a while.  Holy hell.  I was inspired by Justbento.com 's Oyaki potato dumpings.  Of course, because I don't eat meat, I had to fill them with something else - and I had been thinking about squash and carrots, and apples and onions - subsequently I decided that they would all go quite nicely together!!!

Sweet Harvest Potato Pie/Pancakes
1 acorn squash
2 carrots
1 sweet onion
2 apples
1 pkg mash potato mix
6 Tbsp corn starch or so
salt
brown sugar
maple syrup
cinnamon
fenugreek
coriander powder
olive oil
rosemary

1. Cut up the squash.  This was the most unpleasant part.  There has to be a better way to do this.  Maybe if I cooked it first and then cut it up, it wouldn't be so bad.  I worried the entire time that I was going to cut a finger off.
2. Cut up the carrots and put them a foil-lined pan with the squash.  Drizzle with olive oil, a little salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, rosemary, cinnamon - whatever.  Mix it up a little.  Bake at 400 for a while ~20 min?  I dunno.
3.  Chop and saute up the onion until it starts getting translucent.  Throw in the chopped apples.  Cook until the apples are soft.  Put some cinnamon, salt, fenugreek, and coriander powder on there.  
4.  When the apples are soft, put the onion and apple mix in with the squash and carrots, which would be getting softish at this point.  Mix and bake together until the squash and carrot are soft, to your liking.  Turn it up to 425 and bake for 10 min, I'm guessing.
5.  At some point, you will want to mix up your instant mashed potatoes, however it tell you to.  Try not to eat too much of it before you start adding the corn starch.  Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing, so I just was adding corn starch and mixing without measuring until it seemed sort of dough like.  It also helps if you cool the mashed potatoes down a bit?
6.  Make flatish patty like potato thingys, and when your squash mixture is done - spoon some into the center and pull the dough over it to cover and make a dumpling!!!  Add some olive oil to the frying pan and fry until the potato is brown.  It helps not to check on the potato too often, otherwise the browning part will flake off instead of staying on your dumpling.  Serve with maple syrup.  Amazing.
7.  Alternatively, you could add a little water to your dough and make potato pancakes!  (This sort of happened by accident, but it all worked out)  Serve with your squash mixture and drizzled with maple syrup.

SOO.. In my opinion, cooking onions with apples is the yummiest way to eat an onion.  Forget about the apples, the onions are SOOO good.  Maybe if you cook onion with apple juice or sauce, or apple cidar vinegar, you would get the same effect.  ANYWAY, that dumpling was positively the best thing I've made in a while.  SOOOOOO good.

(Sorry I take crappy food pictures.  Ha)

Guess the Vegetables!!!


What do you do if you want something healthy - like a salad - but you want something warm?!  You make mixed vegetables!!  This is the ultimate in mixed vegetables.  There are nine different vegetables in here (that I can remember)!!!  Can you guess?

I put some white wine vinegar, MSG and garlic powder on there to top it off.  I then proceeded to eat the entire pot.


I also made a similarly delicious soup with many of the same vegetables in vegetable stock. I also added some rotini. No pictures though. It was delicious, I burnt my tongue on it pretty badly since I was so eager to eat it.

08 November 2008

Obamerican Update


There are some updates regarding the upcoming OBAMA PRESIDENCY.

Here is a very good interview by Obama that showcases how thoughtful and determined he is in leading our country to a new, better place.

Here is the google books link to the first two chapters of The Plan by Rahm Emanuel and Bruce Reed.  It lends some insight into how Obama and those in his campaign were thinking about running and convincing the American people to go Democrat.  The chapters that are missing are about what democrats should do once they reach the White House, and might have some importance now that Rahm Emanuel is Obama's new chief of staff.  The names of the chapters give a clue: Universal citizen service, universal college access, universal retirement savings, universal children's health care, fiscal responsibility & an end to corporate welfare, tax reform to help the non-wealthy, a new strategy against the war on terror, AND the hybrid economy!  Sounds basically like Obama's platform to me!  Looking good!

I would also like to point out that the Obama transition team has its own website now, change.gov.  You have to admit, the combination of change and .gov is pretty... amusing, meaningful?  Many emotions...

The Obama people have also posted a flickr slideshow of election night - the Obamas watching the results come in, watching the concession speech, congratulations, and then going to Grant Park.

Sad Phoenix Lander!!!


The poor Phoenix Lander powerded down for the first time on Oct 28 after a cloudy day and a dust storm combined to decrease the sunlight getting to its solar panels.  It was trying to finish up some science at the time, and the temperatures dropped, kicking in the heater for the very first time, which subsequently drained all the power, and poor Phoenix shut off :'(

Phoenix has come back on a couple times since then using the Lazarus mode, which jumpstarts the batteries when the solar panels have collected some power, but it was only on long enough to blep its status to the orbiters and nothing more :(

The blog linked to above tries to keep a positive outlook about the Phoenix, with all its data it collected and so on, but it is still sad.  It probably will suffer insurmountable damage over the winter due to the frigid temperatures and carbon dioxide snow, but MAYBE the Lazarus mode will wake it up in the spring!!!  

Here's hoping someday we can go and find it and give it the thanks it deserves!!!

Don't forget to read the two other parts of Phoenix's guest blogging spot: here and here.

06 November 2008

Cloning Mammoths?

This is straight out of a science fiction. We are now able to clone a mouse from frozen brain tissue. It's crazy!! People are talking about using it to clone endangered species that haven't bred yet. This is important because every individual of an endangered species is genetically distinct, and that diversity is important for maintaining a healthy population. If only we had some frozen dinos lying around.... Honestly, we should really be getting to work, searching the permafrost and melting glaciers, in case a potential subject melts out! It's too bad Michael Crichton died recently, he may not have heard about this yet, and I'm sure he would have liked it.

Obamerican!


Here's hoping that the Obamas adopt a dog from a shelter!!! I'm glad that other people have been suggesting and talking about it also.

Let me just say that I was completely and entirely overwhelmed from the time they announced Virginia through much of the day yesterday (crying and the like). This is a sign of great progress in America, that we can all come together and make a difference! I really feel like Americans have waken up and taken back their country. Now, we have to stay inspired, doing whatever we can to stay involved in the process, and help Obama make this the most successful Presidency ever! This is our generation's candidate, and as such, we should all take seriously his call to service and sacrifice for the sake of upholding our ideals throughout the entire country. Everyone deserves a chance at their best life, and with Obama at the helm, we can all make sure America reaches her most lofty ideals. The status quo is not good enough with the raging inequalities that still exist and are widening in our society.

Yes We Can!

So inspired by all of this...  I love America!  :D  :D  :'D

04 November 2008

YaY! Election Day 08!


I actually already turned in my mail-in ballot here in Colorado last Friday. I checked on the county clerk's website, and it has been received!!! Today is an exciting day, but I assume exit polls can't tell us anything because of the vast numbers of people who have done early voting, or mail-in ballots. I would just like to point out that the ballot here in Colorado is the longest in the nation. It took forever to fill out. And also, you need to do your research about an initiative before you go to the polls, otherwise don't vote for it. In fact, take whatever information your state or county mailed you about the issues and read them in line!!! Otherwise, just fill in Barack Obama for president ;), and whatever other issues you are educated about, and that's fine!

I am actually planning on calling my grandparents and maybe some other choice relatives later this afternoon to ask if they voted. They probably want to hear from me anyways, so I figure its a good time to do it! Go vote! Don't be lazy! We're going to make history in our sheer turnout numbers, regardless of what the actual outcome is!

Michelle's Ultra-Healthy Please-Jesus-I-Don't-Want-To-Be-Sick Vegan Curried Cauliflower Stew

I feel a sickness coming on. How to stop it? I don't know if I can, but I will sure try with teas, vitamins, lots of water drinking, and eating healthily like I've never eaten before. Why have boring old canned (no) chicken noodle soup, when you can make the healthiest, nutrient-punched soup I can conceive of?

Ingredients (roughly, cuz I don't measure anything):
1.5 c vegetable broth
1.5 c water
1.5 c chopped cauliflower
2 smallish red potatoes, chopped
3 cloves garlic
.5 c chopped carrot
.5 c chopped beets (fresh)
1 smallish green pepper
5 brussel sprouts
handful of fancy garden greens (spring mix or spinach or whatever)
1.5 tsp curry
1.5 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cardamom
.5 tsp cayenne pepper
.5 tsp Accent
2 tsp dried cilantro
Some cloves (don't eat them!!!)
1 bay leaf

First, boil some chopped cauliflower and potato in 1:1 vegetable broth:water (you don't need that extra sodium). Throw in some chopped garlic. When those are nice and soft, whiz it up in the food processor until it is as smooth as you want it.

Throw in lots of nutritious vegetables. I used more potato, carrots, beets, green bell pepper, and brussel sprouts. Spice with curry, turmeric, cardamom, cloves, cayenne pepper, cilantro, bay leaf and Accent (which is naughty, since we are trying to cut down on sodium intake - alternatively, you could use salt, if you decide you don't care about your body). I ALSO put in a couple leaves of the cauliflower head because that is supposed to be good for flavoring, but don't eat them. Simmer gently, covered, until the potatoes are soft (not sure how long that took 20 min?). At the very end, I wilted some garden greens on the top since those are healthy too! Now, it is ready to consume and fight off your cold virus!!!

Remember! Take out the cauliflower leaves and don't eat the icky cloves or bay leaf.

If I had been able to find the coconut milk I swear I had, I would have put that in there. I was also making quinoa and lentils to add to the soup, but I decided that it wouldn't fit quite right, so I didn't. You could add tofu or white beans or something to boost the protein levels, if you wanted. Something else you could do that I totally forgot about: add some ground flaxseed! I have some in my freezer, but I always forget it is there...

01 November 2008

I'm a giant softie


THIS SLIDESHOW IS THE BEST THING EVER.

It's of zoo animals eating their birthday cakes. It is so sweet. I cried a single tear.

Hilarious! Adorable!



Also: Awesome!


AND: Lego minifig timeline!

This is the Avatar, from a Disney series that ROCKS. Unfortunately, it is over though.

ALSO... Don't forget to watch Barack on the Daily Show, if you missed it. Good episode.

Halloween!



My favorite holiday. A sad fact, though: one of my co workers has two kids, and they only get one piece of candy a day, and then shes going to take all the candy away from them in a couple days! What is halloween without stuffing yourself full of candy?!

Anyway, I was a zebra. I made the shirt and shorts without patterns. It was hard, but the shorts have a zipper! So that just shows that you can make things work. It was a lot of trying on and pinning and sewing over and over again. The second night I got hardcore and put some stripes on my face and some lipstick, which I never wear. I even delved into lip liner. The CROWNING achievement is the mane, which is awesome. It went all the way down the back of my neck and was connected to a headband that had ears on it. I also have a tail that you can't see.

Here is an awesome transformer video. These people really put some thought into their costumes:


Also, here is a link to an album of awesome (I think) color-altered photos I made today. Apparently I have nothing better to do.

27 October 2008

Hooray!

YaY! A doggy refuses to abandon four kittens in a burning building and all are saved!!!

Lion Cub v. Pup!



I don't know the story behind this, BUT this puppy and lion cub are apparently being raised together, as buds! More pics in the link!

Madison & Boulder

This is part of a two-part series describing the similarities and differences between Madison and Boulder, the cities & the schools. Now that I have lived in Boulder for a year, I feel as though I can make an accurate assessment. First, the similarities:

Both are:
College towns
Party schools
Various kinds of bars
Bike towns
Public transit
Microbrews
Great scenic beauty
Near larger citi(es)
Liberal
Ethnic restaurants
Pedestrian malls
Farmers markets
Sailing

Anyone got anything else?

26 October 2008

25 October 2008

Tips From a Poor Graduate Student: On Being Poor

So, you're poor. We all know you would rather spend those student loans on that ski pass, rather than food or other necessities, so here I will outline my personal sacrifices I make to save money. I am beginning to think that being poor, at least for a little while, is good for you; my dad would agree.

Turn your thermostat down. Mine is at 60 right now. This has several benefits. First, you will get use out of those slippers and all those blankets and sweaters you only used sometimes before. Second, you will get used to the cold much faster in the winter. This is useful for when you go skiing!!! Third, your cats will get nice and fluffy winter coats, and may start sleeping under the covers with you. Then you will have a purring, furry heating pad. Downsides to this is that it is COLD.

Go on a diet. You will save money on food, lose the weight you may have gained during or after college when you were not so poor, and then when you have lost weight, it will be cheaper to maintain! Then, you can also spend more money on booze. Make sure you are not replacing your caloric reduction in food with caloric intake in alcohol, because that just doesn't work.

Insulate your water heater and turn down the temp. I have yet to do this, but it is a very sensible thing to do. Water has a super high heating capacity, and any benefit you think you may get from having your water heater give off heat is WRONG. You are wasting gas trying to keep all this damn water warm. If you are so cold, just turn up your thermostat, you pussy. Or bake more. Also, turn down the temp on the water heater. In theory, I think that you don't need the water any hotter than what you would shower in. Then you won't have to turn the cold water on at all. I don't know if this actually saves money, because then you are using all the water up in your water heater faster, but it seems like a good idea. At least turn your water heater down a little. I will do the calcs for you at some point. Or I will suggest to my dad to do it. *hint hint*

Get a cheap fucking car. My car is awesome. It is paid off, it hardly has any problems ever, and the insurance on it is SO CHEAP. Seriously, I just got a quote this morning. $141 for 6 months of coverage. Unreal. My car is going to last forever. It also helps to live in a town where you don't have to drive very often. I get gas less than once a month, so my car doesn't get used much => it will last longer! I am thinking about putting goldleaf on it, since I think it would be pretty, and lets be honest, I will never sell it. Til death do us part.

Develop a taste for a cheap alcohol. This is essential because drinking is very important in grad school. Cheap beer is hard for grad students to handle; we like micro-brews. I don't know why. I am allowed to drink PBR on occasion because I am from WI. Otherwise, I think I will start getting cheap wine again, though, because I do not mind it. My grandpa would be disappointed, but what do I care if it comes out of a box.

Use your disposable contacts for way longer than youre supposed to. The optometrist is lying to you anyway. I'm sure he is in the pocket of the corporations who make the contacts. I currently have one-a-day type contacts. I wore my last pair for three days (and then I slept in them last night, but that was an accident). Combined with glasses, my year-long supply of contacts will last me two, maybe three years if I'm lucky. Your parents may express concern for the health of your eyes, but just assure them that your young, healthy eyes are just that: Young and healthy. Take that, Corporate America! Plus, that red-eye look just makes your blue eyes look so much bluer! Kidding.

Share a wireless internet connection with neighbors. Seriously, this is such a great idea. I spent $13 a month on internet, because we split it three ways. It is awesome. The only problems arise when the guy leaves for a couple days, and the internet goes down and he's not home to reset the modem. It can be annoying to be without internet for a couple days. But just remind yourself that it is so goddamn cheap. You may have mixed feelings about torrenting on such a connection, but just do that under the cover of night so they don't know youre sucking up all the bandwidth. Another kick in the balls of corporate America. (I have recently decided that a real internet connection is probably fairly priced. It is like going to the movies like four nights a month, and you use the internet way more than that. Maybe that just shows that movies are overpriced?)

That's all for now. I have more sensible tips for some other time. Now, I have to get ready to go to an all day symposium on infectious diseases! Free food and booze, that's all you need to know. That's another tip I unknowingly put in there. Ha!

24 October 2008

Rice farming the way it should be.

Yay Ducks! Some Chinese farmers are putting ducks back in their fields to help fertilize, clear weeds, and eat pests!

Awesumest Thing Ever!



Are YOU ready for the Zombie Apocalypse?! I am!

TED: Ideas Worth Spreading.

Here is what I will be doing with all of my free time, besides working on my Halloween costume and working on the oil painting I started.

This TED conference seems like a good thing to strive for in life. It means your ideas are great. I don't know if I am capable of great ideas, but it seems like a good purpose in life, to try to forge great ideas. Maybe I'm saying everyone should be philosophers at heart.

Here is the talk that brought me to this site. Good ideas, man, about the spread of ideas:



I would just like to point out that I could put all my tags on this post, because I'm sure you can find a talk about any given topic. Vgames, nutrition, religion, atheism, animals, etc. Jane Goodall, Richard Dawkins, Al Gore, Stephan Hawking, lots of great thinkers you've heard of, and many others we all should become familiar with.

22 October 2008

Graduate School



There are a surprising number of comics created by graduate students (or recent grads), who are probably supposed to be doing real work instead of creating comics. Oh well, it makes for a great time waster. Other comics by graduate students, off the top of my head:

xkcd.com
PhD comics

Ok... I know there are other ones, but I forget.

8-Bit Theater is also a classic, but more for dorks. Those other two I listed are also by science dorks, but the pictures for sad children I have been posting is by a lit grad student, from what I can gather.

21 October 2008

Oh geez.


Sorry, I'm a giant slacker. I think I was ahead of my one a day mark anyways, so this is fine. You can't complain. I don't really have anything to say right now except things are busy and that last night I got some antiques from a nice lady! Went on craigslist because I was looking for a smallish kitchen table type thing, and I found this old library desk made of mahogany that I will attempt to fix because the veneer stuff on the top is torn off in a part. I will have pictures later. ANYWAY, I drove for over an hour in rush hour traffic and then the nice lady sold me an antique chair for a third of its price AND she felt sorry for me and gave me a free rug! Sweet! For some reason, middle aged women love me. I can't explain it.

Anyway, here is my new favorite comic. There are many good ones. This particular one is about a travel weary "ghost", Paul.

17 October 2008

Take that, Intelligent Design!

The Miller-Urey experiment was conducted in 1953 with water, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen, spurred by an electric shock! The vials were reexamined in 2007 and 22 amino acids were discovered, as well as several amines! Ok, so all the normal amino acids aren't there, but seriously. Awesome.

AND, it also turns out that the Bee Gees "Stayin' Alive" has the perfect beats per minute, 103, to do CPR to!!!

16 October 2008

Space, Solar, Super-cute.



The sad Phoenix watching the two moons of Mars go by. They must have timed this so both would go by at once. Awesome. I know I'm anthropomorphizing Phoenix, but it HAS to be sad. It is such a romantic, tragic situation. It is HIGHLY SUGGESTED that you click on the picture if its not moving.

Here is a really cool slideshow of different kinds of solar panels. Pretty fucking awesome!

AND we also have this super cute picture of a chimp who raises big cat cubs!

And if you missed it, The most Adorable post ever about Platypus and Echidna Babies.

14 October 2008

Eat Sunlight, Not Oil

THE MOST IMPORTANT ARTICLE YOU WILL READ. Maybe not ever. But very important. This is not related to the most important video you will ever watch, over in the sidebar of the blog. Honestly, it is probably more important. ANYWAY. On To It.

My summary of important points in the article since it is long and I know people are lazy (you know who you are):

INTRO
Food policy has been focused over the last few decades on maximized food production. The policies of yesterday will no longer work today because we have the more complicated issues of health care, energy independence, and climate change to deal with, and they are all, SURPRISE!, interrelated. It turns out that the current food system uses 19% of the fossil fuels consumed in this country, and also releases ~37% of our greenhouse gases, which is more than any other sector. What has made our food so cheap in the recent past is this dependence on oil, which has lead to the production of chemical fertilizers, and pesticides, and allowed the use of machines and transportation to process and transport food. This all SUCKS because food is made from sunshine, dammit, the cleanest, freest, most abundant energy of all. Cheap, crappy, processed food is the cornerstone of the Western diet, AND is the sole cause of many of our problems, like obesity, diabetes, heart problems, etc. But you all knew that. So stop eating processed foods if you want to live and be healthy. AND good to the environment. One of the other problems with our food system is the transportation aspect, where we import a lot of our food, which leads to a problem in food security. The author notes that over 30 nations worldwide have had food riots in the past several months. So this ain't no joke. In short, we need to get people off of fossil fuels and back on sunshine.

BACKGROUND
Our food system provides cheap, abundant calories. The downside is low nutritional value. Cheap energy allowed for the creation of monocultures, where only corn and soy were grown, to the detriment of the diversity farmed in prior generations. This was the result of a series of government initiatives, whereby the WWII munitions industry was reworked to produce fertilizer and pesticides, and the government subsidized crops like corn, soybeans, wheat and rice. The government money allowed these grains to be sold cheaply. Animals could now be raised more cheaply on this cheap grain, and factory feedlots were born from factory farms. Animals, whose waste was once used as fertilizer and could till the feeds wi' their feets, now produced waste which became pollution, an ongoing problem. FURTHER, cheap energy made it economical to start shipping food around, all over the world, to be processed and consumed far from the fields. All in all, we're running out of cheap energy, so this process must change, regardless of how you feel about your health or the environment.

GOAL #1: Resolarizing the Farm
The good news!: The government has a lot of say in what happens in the fields. Right now, farmers can't receive government subsidies if they also grow "specialty" crops (ie anything with any nutritional value). What we are ignoring is that diversity on farms would make chemical fertilizers and pesticides less necessary. This is proven in smaller scale alternative farmers here, and in large scale productions in China and Argentina. There, farmers rotate fields between 5 years of grazing land for cattle, and 3 years of grain, without relying on any chemical fertilizer. The author suggests that subsidies be given to farmers based on the number of different crops they grow, or the number of days per year that their fields are green (farmers used to plant cover crops in the fall to retain fertility and reduce erosion).

Also, COMPOST! He suggests a municipal composting program which would benefit local farmers, AND cut down on landfill waste. He also mentions that research into perennial grains that can be grown like prairie grasses, which promotes biodiversity in the fields, and reduce the need to fertilize and till! (As I understand it, seed companies have been very into "annualizing" seeds so farmers have to buy every damn year). Animals and crops together again, circle of life!


Animals right now live in what amounts to crowded cities of animals. Three things made this situation possible: the availability of grain which is cheaper to buy than grow, routine use of antibiotics to permit crowding, and the lack of waste treatment requirements by the feds. This permits factory farms to dump waste loaded with antibiotics, instead of requiring them to clean up their waste like any other industry. This situation is also a waste of water, as one pound of beef from these factories takes 5000 gal of water to produce. INSANE. The author also makes the case that meat is far too cheap now, and should cost the real price of raising a grass-fed, healthy animal, which would lead to less meat consumption, thereby transferring gains to our health, the environment and water conservation.

Will sustainable farming feed the world? Basically, it has to, because we have no choice. Organic farmers get 80 to 100% of conventional yields off their fields and significantly more during drought years. World agriculture is not yet at even these levels of productivity, and if we all were to apply these principles, food supply could increase by 50%. This type of farming is also complicated, and will require more farmers to be trained. The author suggests programs which will train a new generation of farmers in ecological farming - "more highly skilled small farmers in more places all across America." This would also include curbing out-of-control urban sprawl to save land for farming.

Idea #2: Regional Food Economy
We need to build the infrastructure to support regional, diverse food by supporting stores and markets that purchase locally. Regionally obtained food is fresher, requires less processing and engineering, and thus is more nutritious. Decentralizing the food system also protects our food system from threats and accidents that can contaminate our food supply. Luckily, this move towards regional food is already happening, with growing farmers markets and community-supported farms. The author suggests supporting this further with grants to build indoor farmers markets for year-round use, decreased regulations for smaller-scale operations and local meat-inspections agencies. He also suggests the government have a strategic grain reserve, like the one for oil; increase regional purchases of food within government agencies, like for school-lunch programs, prisons, and the military; and to redefine food as meaning something with nutritional value, which would effectively tax junk foods (Ha!).

Idea #3: FOOoood Culture
In order to make all this work, Americans need to be on board and stop eating crappy junk foods! We can create a healthy school lunch program. One of the cooler ideas is providing grants to culinary school graduates to work in a school lunch program and get real, healthy cooks in the kitchen. Public-health campaigns from the surgeon general about the dangers of unhealthy food would help curtail consumption, as it did for smoking. Food labels could even include that amount of oil wasted in the production of your food to promote eating low-energy-cost foods. A bar code system could also be used to call up data about a particular food source, such as pesticides used on plants and drugs used on animals. He also suggests cameras in the farms and slaughterhouses so that people are more connected to where their food comes from.

The President and White House chef should also provide guidance and set an example of healthy eating and living, with a chef's blog about recipes and where the food comes from. The author suggests tearing up part of the White House lawn to put in a garden, as Eleanor Roosevelt did in 1943. Back then, Americans followed suit, and by the end of WWII, a staggering 40% of produce was from home gardens. Excess crops could be donated to local charities and foodbanks. This self-reliance can be equated to home-schooling to gain support from conservatives who tout family values. Who doesn't love eating with the fam' around the kitchen table, anyway?

In the end, the author (Michael Pollan, I suppose I should mention his name), successfully argues that even though our food is cheap, it is "unconscionably expensive."

And even though this post is very long... I am going to post ONE MORE LINK to a picture and article about the dwindling water sources in America. The picture shows how draining the aquifer dropped the LEVEL OF THE GROUND by 30 feet. Unreal.

UPDATE: Here is another blog talking about Pollan's argument about meat consumption. He makes good points himself. Meat is not cheap. Also, I am posting a MUTTS comic strip the creator, Patrick McDonnell, is doing to promote awareness for Prop 2.

Politicking Away...

SUPER CUTE slideshow of Barack and Biden love.


AND:

11 October 2008

Sweetest Fish EVER


DUDE! This fish is awesome. Let me explain. The fish I am speaking of is the Antarctic icefish, which lives in supercooled minus 2 C water. This fish has No swim bladder, a demineralized skeleton, AND its blood is clear, due to the LACK OF HEMOGLOBIN. Scientists are studying how its proteins fold at this frigid temperature. A new grant was obtained for comparing its skeleton development to a normal fish in hopes of elucidating the demineralization process, which is similar to osteoporosis. THE COMPLETE LACK OF HEMOGLOBIN in these fishes only exists in this family of species of all the vertebrates in the world. These fish absorb oxygen directly from the water because of its increased solubility in cold water. UNREAL. AMAZING. These fish are my new heroes. I mean, the protein folding problem is cool enough, but then throw in the lack hemoglobin?! Crazy. Another thing: it takes 9 MONTHS for their eggs to hatch. That seems like a crazy long time for a fish. Watch, the Japanese are going to get a taste for these fish and drive them to extinction because theyre so slow growing.

As you might expect, these fish are highly evolved for their niche. Scientists have noticed that the winters are less drastic at the Antarctic base where they visit the fishes. That's right, folks, this wonder of the world could disappear if their oceans warm up enough. So SAD.

10 October 2008

GAH! SO CUTE!



This is basically what Georgie does when she's hungry to. SO FUCKING CUTE. There are also other videos by this man that I will leave you to discover, if it pleases you.

Yay! These are OUR lakes, bitches!

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Compact has successfully been passed, ensuring responsible regulation of their waters by the bordering states, and to prevent the water from being stolen by remote cities/states, like what has happened to the Colorado River. The National Wildlife Federation has more information about conservation in the Great Lakes region.

I took a limnology class in college, which was very interesting, and we learned about things like this, as well as other super interesting things. I actually thought about going into it for a while, but the actual work didn't seem very exciting. Not that sittin in a lab all day growing up and crystallizing proteins is, but whatever.

IN ADDITION, NWF has answers to important conservation issues by the presidential candidates. They are limited to 200 words per answer, so its not terribly heavy reading. Just looking at it, it appears as though Obama has given longer, but more thoughtful answers, with actual policies stated! So, yay. Obama believes in conservation!!! The last question asks what animal they would want to be; McCain answers a jaguar, but sadly, Obama doesn't answer directly :/

09 October 2008

Back Off Man, I'm a Scientist


Don't piss scientists off. McCain did when he said he said it was a waste of money to fund a planetarium in Chicago. Granted, I expect that most scientists weren't planning on voting for McCain anyway, but its not really in your best interest to piss them off when the US is trailing behind other nations in science and math education, and there are Universities and opportunities abroad for bright minds. Did I mention I was thinking about picking up and leaving for Montreal if McCain wins? That is, unless martial law is somehow declared and our borders are closed. More about what I've learned about that later... if I really want to seal my place on the no-fly list.

If you click on the picture, it takes you to the website where you can donate to fund the Sky Theater Projector, which actually never received the funds McCain was talking about.

Yay Monticello on Beating the Big Guy

You may remember that, a while ago, I mentioned a small Minnesotan city, Monticello, had been trying to build its own fiber-optic network, only to be sued by the local telecom company (turns out that I just mentioned that Monticello was sticking it to the man, and linked to an article, but same difference, really). I was particularly pissed at telecom's at the time because I was in the market for an internet connection, after my month-long theft of an insecure internet connection came to an end (They discovered me and my bandwidth-hogging ways). Today, I learned that Monticello won! So hooray! This means that telecom systems can be considered basic conveniences, like sewers and whatnot. SOOOOOO- I hope that other cities (Boulder) follow suit! Internet prices are ridiculous. We all know that.

07 October 2008

Fishes Post!

This post is all about fishes! (With some doom n gloom thrown in, of course)

First! Scientists have been watching some ciclids evolve in Lake Victoria! From what I understand (I didnt read the journal article, but I DID download it!), some of the fishes are changing to a reddish color, thus have red pigmented eyes and can better see red? And other fishes are turning bluer. The strange thing is that both populations are in contact with one another, and that this selection is occurring by female preference towards the colorful males. In any case, fully expect a crazy fundie person to claim that they made up the data and that proof of evolution in process has to be false! (BTW, that whole sequence of articles is highly entertaining. The back-and-forth between the prof and the crazy person, etc)

Second! Some sweet-ass fishes that live 5 miles beneath the surface of the ocean! They were captured on video tape swimmin' around and bein' cute, much more actively than you would expect these deep-sea fishes to be. These are the deepest fish ever captured on tape! They "see" with little vibration sensors on their noses. They kind of look like big tadpoles. Anyway, the incredible thing about them is the PRESSURE on their little heads! I personally calculated the pressure at 7.7 km for you, and I came up with roughly 746 atm! OR 75561325 Pa! Which is nearly 11000 pounds per sq inch!!!! Amazing adaption. (You are all free to check that calculation. I readily admit I do not often do fluid statics calcs) I also want to mention that when they tried to bring one up to the surface a while ago, it died before it got there, so maybe it NEEDS this pressure, OR they weren't very gentle with it on the 5 mi elevator ride up!

Anyway, SUPER CUTE! Like little gollum fish!

Heres some doom n gloom to damper all the cuteness. Apparently the world will be "extinct" by 2050. All these poor fishes MAY live through the environmental catastrophe we have caused. Those ciclids might make it, since they're also evolving. Anyway, seriously, stop consuming, people!

Happy Penguins!



Some penguins that had mysteriously washed up in north Brazil were released to the ocean in an area closer to their home! Scientists think the penguins got off course either as a result of altered ocean currents, or a change in the food supply. While the release of the penguins was a happy occasion, many more penguins had died before they were washed ashore, or shortly afterward.

Nature's Best Photography 2008 & Some Alarm


Nature's Best Photography, on msnbc. Gorgeous photos!

Photos like these underscore the importance of conservation and slowing global warming. Turns out our carbon dioxide emissions were higher than expected last year. Sigh.

06 October 2008

Argh! Protons!

Weird! This guy had a proton beam go through his goddamn head!

My Little Funky Pony!


My Little Pan by ~Spippo on deviantART

Holy hell, the person who makes these is amazing!

05 October 2008

In Case You Don't Pay Attn.


I highly suggest today's Dark Roasted Blend postings. I have a link to it down there on my blog listings, but just in case you don't pay attention.... Theres a lego V8 engine, fully functional, and a steampunk clock-fetus. And a baby deer. And other cool stuff. Don't forget the abandoned urban building posting from earlier today. Does this person have a job, or do they just sit there and dig up cool stuff ALL DAY LONG?!

Unreal



This is Odin, who lives at a zoo in San Francisco. He reminds me of Chinese scroll paintings of tigers with his vicious face. Apparently they make that face to scrunch up their nostrils so water doesn't get in! He looks like he's out of a dream. There are other pictures here and here.

Spending Some Time with Seeds


Yesterday I volunteered with a local conservation group, Wildlands Restoration Volunteers, to collect seeds of the wildgrass, Mountain Muhly. Let me tell you, I never knew grasses were so different. After we knew what to look for, every other grass seemed so obviously not the right one, and it was easy to spot the Muhly even when walking at a briskish pace. It was an interesting experience, the people were all very talkative and interesting, and I learned lots of new things. Lots of plant dorks. We were collecting the Muley because you can't buy it commercially, and it is needed by the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Dept to restore meadowlands after fire, reclaimation, etc. They're going to take all the seed we collected and grow it up in a field to get even more seed! We collected a surprisingly amount of seed.

In addition to meeting interesting people and learning things, I met a woman who does oil portraits for a living on commission. We were talking about the idea of the starving artist, and she encouraged me to pursue art, even if only on the side. And that one thing always leads to another, the paths that we take should lead us where we are supposed to be. I don't know how much I believe that, but it's nice to think about because it negates regret. She suggested I read "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron. We also talked about Jan Michael Vincent for some reason, and I'm supposed to google him because he's some 70s hottie.

I never realized seeds were so important and that there really were all these different species of plants in any given meadow. There are a lot of strange and distinct plants when you're down there looking at them. In related news, an international seed storage facility, Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, that wants to save seeds from every flowering plant on Earth, is lacking funds. I didn't really realize that this was an important project, but they already think they have six species of extinct plant seeds there. I picture a world like in Wall-E, where all the seeds kept in this facility are released onto a dead planet and the Earth returns to its former glory!

Today I'm canvassing for Obama for the last time since voter registration closes tomorrow. Next week I'm going to volunteer with WRV again and restore a local creek by clearing out non-native water-sucking trees and replacing them with native species.

02 October 2008

Amazing Speech



This guy almost had me in tears, he is so passionate.

This is cute

An Addiction: Fantastic Contraption


This is all I've been doing recently.

It is fantastic. And involves contraptions. The image is an example of one of my vehicles.