Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sunday Morning Eye Candy

Now, that's more like it. The pear, that is generally ahead by several lengths, is playing catch up to both magnolias and the plum this spring.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Friday Random 10

1. Love of My Life -George Benson
2. Vienna - The Rippingtons
3. Still ... You Turn Me On -*EL & P
4. Cotton Candy Sandman-Reprise -Kenny Rankin
5. Guess Who -B.B. King
6. Time After Time -Cyndi Lauper
7. Driving -Po Girl
8. Wonder Why We Ever Go Home -Jimmy Buffet
9. Travelin' Soldier -Dixie Chicks
10. This Old House -**CSN&Y

*If you have to ask.

**Surely not.

The Downside of Upgrading

This is tangentially related to the previous two posts. I am generally one of the last persons to update my system software -because 1) I wait for the kinks to get worked out first, 2) I don't want to tempt fate (the corollary to if it ain't broke ...) and 3) does the latest version have something I would like to have or absolutely cannot survive without.

So, I sat on the sidelines content with Jaguar (and older versions of iTunes, Quicktime etc. -although I did upgrade as far as Jaguar 10.2.8) through all iterations of Panther but then along came the Tiger. It appeared to be a more efficient system and had some features that I thought would be useful and/or fun -so I went for it. One such feature was podcasts through iTunes.

So I was checking out the podcast directory and looking at the various 'science' podcasts (Nova, Scientific American, Nature, Ockham's Razor and more) - all good, right? But there lurking in the science podcasts was this:

Ahh, yes a 2-minute daily dollop of delusion from *Ian Taylor purporting design in biological functions. As you can see from this laughable podcast description:

you can report a concern about a podcast (you can also wirte a review). Several people have written reviews indicating that the podcast has nothing to do with science and, therefore, belongs in the religious category and this may be reflected in the fact that if you look through the 5 pages of science podcasts it's not there now -but I didn't find it in among the religious podcasts either. Fortunately it's no longer among the top 100 podcasts as it was a couple of weeks ago but if you search for creation in the podcast directory it is still categorized as a science podcast -maybe a few submitted concerns would take care of that problem.

Steve has come to the point where pity for these people is waning and forgiveness dependent on their corrective actions - I moved from pity to disdain a long time ago. These people and their religiousity may not be the root of all evil(?) but they are the root of way too many of our society's ills.

*Yet another reason NAFTA was a bad idea.

Adding Fossil Fuel To The Flame


So as the gaps continue to close and missing links such as the fish that didn't flop are discovered - doesn't there have to be some tipping point at which people will stop deluding themselves? Yeah, that was a rhetorical question.

That's two hits in one week. First the discovery of water-land gap lobe-finned fish, Tiktaalik, then the announcement that Judas wasn't the traitor they believed him to be.

There's a quote that is often used when addressing issues of conservation:
In the end we conserve only what we love.
We love only what we understand.
We understand only what we have been taught.
The quote is from Baba Dioum, a Senegalese conservationist but I think it applies here as well.

*As you can see, Ray Troll has updated his art collection in a timely fashion - I can't wait for the T-shirt!

Good For The Soul

They say confession is good for the soul -so here goes ...

First I have to preface the confession with a little discussion about widgets. The latest Mac OS supports the use of widgets which are small applications that come on and off of your desktop at the touch of a key (or mouse depending on your preference settings). Thus far there are 1893 widgets available for download and they range from useful or entertaining to merely ornamental. Anyway, one such widget-type is a little application that searches internet site(s) and fetches album art for what's currently playing in iTunes. You can then apply the art to your song tracks if you so desire. For music that is either older or, how shall I put it, less mainstream - the widget can make some very creative guesses at what the corresponding album art should be.

Now for the confession part. As usual, I'm listening to my iTunes while I peruse the news and my favorite blogs when 98.6 by Keth begins to play (from a compilation CD - *45s on CD volume 3, '66-'69 and no I don't have volumes 1, 2 or 150). Imagine my surprise when my widget retrieves this for album art:

Who says Mr. Keith isn't an honest man - I'm fairly certain Natalie Maines (along with many of the rest of us) already figured out the white trash part though and, in case you haven't heard, the Dixies Chicks are Not Ready To Make Nice.

*Hey that's 16 tracks out of 8467 to date and ... I still like the song, so there. I suppose I should leave well enough alone and not mention the next CD was a Jim Croce 50th Anniversary Collection ...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Thinkin' 'bout Givin' Back the Promise Ring

Long distance relationships are always difficult but some much more than others. Check out Adam's Dear John Iraq letter.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Any Day Now

We'll be inundated with lovely pink and white flowers. Here in Idaho, for obvious meteorological reasons, we don't have the majestic Magnolias of the south with their impressive white blossoms but we do have a smaller species and to tell the truth I'm not sure if it's classified as a tree or a shrub.

Anyway, when we planted our pair five seasons ago, the guy at the nursery tolds us that it will take a good three seasons for them to establish and then they'd either flourish or die. So, last spring we anxiously watched our Magnolias and noted a handful of buds (which was more than previous years so we were hopeful) but a late freeze took care of any spectacular display.

Last summer we decided to increase the 'drip area' at the base of the Magnolias, nearly doubling the area, and replacing the landscaping stone with cedar mulch. The effect was almost immediate - within 2-3 weeks new blossoms were flourishing -we had maybe a dozen on each tree where at most we'd seen a few. Mr. CJ thought this was just a coincidence but I was sure it was the direct result of the new environment.

This spring we have so many buds, almost too numerous to count, on the trees so I guess it's safe to say we're in the flourish stage.

1 Down

So, Tom Delay's leaving office and Texas. But let's face it -the Repugnican establishment, not so much a political party as a fundamentalist religion, have many more like him waiting in the wings. Granted it might take a little effort on their part to find someone quite as vile as The Hammer but if it's one thing they've proved themselves particularly adept at ...

Anyway, there is no shortage of commentary on the topic today but none quite as educational as the Rude One's.

Two Things That Don't Bear Repeating

So, of course, I'll mention them here. I always enjoy hearing about research dollars being put to good use -evidently it's just been demonstrated that:

1) "Children who spend more time watching television and movies and playing video games may be more likely to ask their parents for toys, food and drinks they saw in advertisements, according to a study in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a theme issue on children and the media."[link]


2) A review of 87 different studies finds that people on low-fat vegan diets generally aren't obese. [link]
The authors found that the body weight of both male and female vegetarians is, on average, 3 percent to 20 percent lower than that of meat-eaters. Vegetarian and vegan diets have also been put to the test in clinical studies, as the review notes. The best of these clinical studies isolated the effects of diet by keeping exercise constant. The researchers found that a low-fat vegan diet leads to weight loss of about 1 pound per week, even without additional exercise or limits on portion sizes, calories, or carbohydrates.
But did the "best of these clinical studies" keep the Hostess Ho-Hos and MickeyD's fries constant as well?

via Boing Boing

Geography Lessons

Reading the article from the ABC News site the other day I was surprised to find:
...The Sunday storms caused a clothing store to collapse in Illinois, overturned mobile homes in several states, and pelted thousands of concertgoers with rain in downtown Indianapolis. Power was knocked out to at least 300,000 customers in Illinois, Missouri and Indiana.

Half a dozen tornadoes and softball-sized hail were reported in northeast Arkansas, where about half of the town of Marmaduke had evacuated because of gas leaks and other concerns, police said.

In Tennessee, eight people died near Newbern in Dyer County and seven in neighboring Gibson County, local emergency officials said... [my emphasis]
The storm was evidently so severe that it picked up Arkansas and Tennessee and transplanted them to the Midwest (I also question the inclusion of Missouri - have you heard those people speak? But as it is sometimes included in an extended definition of Midwest - I'll concede).