Archive for June, 2007

Nature-nurture

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There’s this nature-nurture debate; me, I’ve got neither nature nor nurture encouragement to wax a car.

Today I made an exception.

Pearly lipstick

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Yeah, I know, an old picture: Kitch-iti-kipi from 2004..

Pearly lipstick. Ever wonder what makes it pearly? I hear it’s ground up fish scales.

Ick.

Malodorous Casablanca

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Yes, proud owners and all that….

Michael McGough, in the LA Times, describes the message on the Alaska kid’s banner as ineffable. I looked it up and I’m still not sure what he means.

I said for the last two elections that neither the Democratic Party nor the outside interest groups made a big enough deal that your vote for President was overwhelmingly a vote for what kind of Supreme Court justices you want, and, because that would be such a powerful influence on what this nation will be, that one issue should be near tops in your decision about which candidate to vote for.

Now we’re living with The Shrub’s choices. Which may really mean Dick Cheney’s choices, although I can not believe The Angler was the one who picked poor Harriet Miers of the short-lived nomination. That had the stamp of The Shrub awarding loyal employees with important jobs whether or not they’re up for it. Brownie come to mind here? Alberto G?

Today’s vocabulary:

ineffable

too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words

Minutae

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Not an iPhone.

Living in a cell-phone-less household, I’ve been able to avoid learning about the boring intricacies (intrigue?) of calling plans. However, this week I’ve been checking out the soon-to-be-available iPhone to keep up with some of what the Guru’s talking about (since Leopard and Cocoa are way beyond my knowledge base, I thought I’d pay attention to the iPhone).

I’m struck by the basic offering: 5000 night minutes. Wow! I thought; that sounds like a lot! With the 450 daytime minutes, that means about three hours PER DAY. Plus a modest pot of text messages (do just sent ones count or both sent and received?—see: intrigue!).

Makes my ear hurt!

[I promise I wrote this before the Guru posted his entry.]

Tree of life

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Today’s NYT science section takes evo-devo as its topic. I had to look up the term, and only felt mild relief to find it’d been around less than ten years. (I think.) Still…. Evo-devo evolutionary development biologists look at how molecular and genetic changes put in motion a whole set of possibilities and take away another whole set.

So, here’s my contribution. Two thoughts….

Here’s an article on the bushy tree of life, and its many branches, a more technical explanation than what the venerable NYT offers. I provide it, not merely for the content, but also for the final subhead. My response: let me count the ways….

Second is the photo above, of a mature tree next to Lake Clara Meer. Its neighbor, disfigured by a streak of rot and a blob of uncontrolled growth (virus?), I noticed, has an orange dot at eye level. I’m guessing it’s slated for removal. So this oak will survive a little longer, offering its leaves to the sun-gods and its shade to the squirrels…and me. Another tree of life….

What color?

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Anthropologists have actually studied color names. Here’s what a couple of researchers concluded:

The application of statistical tests to the color naming data of the WCS has established three points: (i) there are clear cross-linguistic statistical tendencies for named color categories to cluster at certain privileged points in perceptual color space; (ii) these privileged points are similar for the unwritten languages of nonindustrialized communities and the written languages of industrialized societies; and (iii) these privileged points tend to lie near, although not always at, those colors named red, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, orange, pink, black, white, and gray in English.
So, what color is this? I say dark fuschia. Or purply pink.And what is it? No-fat Greek yogurt stirred into wild blueberries (slightly microwaved frozen ones), both from TJs.

PS Kevyn was back on the air today.

Athens memories

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A long time ago in another life, I worked for a contract archaeology firm in Athens, GA [no link]. Last week the NYTimes included a quote from one of my then-bosses, Tom Gresham.

Another friend, who works for the state DNR, wrote a book on Georgia cemeteries, in part because of this very problem: people, especially developers, buying land that has a special surprise, a cemetery. Several years back the state legislature ramped up laws regulating disturbance of human remains, which was aimed at preserving Indian sites. Since, lots of folks have found they’ve had to change their plans for lands that include historic cemeteries and burials, too.

And the picture, that was me jumping for an undergraduate acquaintance back when I was living in Athens (and Atlanta, at the same time: whew!) who had a journalism photography class and was assigned to take some action pictures of people jumping, to learn to click the shutter at just the right moment. How different that experience might be today using a digital camera!

Naming humor

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A year ago we spotted this boat in our neighborhood, passing through, I guess. Nothing so impressive as the freighters at the Soo.

BTW, the low levels of Lake Superior made the network TV news last week. Sadly, to avoid scraping bottom (or worse), they aren’t filling the freighters at the loading docks, which means less efficiency and increased shipping costs. Less green, too. Both kinds.

Fifteen milestones

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Someone turned fifteen today. Which, here in GA, means she can go down to the DMV and get a learner’s license, allowing her to drive accompanied by a licensed driver over twenty-one. If she passed a computer-administered “written” test.

Which she did. Unlike, she reported, a line of adults in front of her.

And in a year and a day, she can take more tests, and, we are confident, become a “real” driver. And then her laminated document will be the same color as ours.

City squash

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I do so applaud the urban vegetable gardener. S/he’s working against the odds. This squash/pumpkin (viney, not a single localized plant, so not zucchini?) is thriving from its setting between sidewalk and street.