Candid candidates?

I didn’t see the NBC Democratic debate last night, and have read/heard little about it other than this NYT piece. I’m wondering if Richardson, despite being an avowed candidate for the leadership position, is trying to position himself as a excellent VP choice. He seems far more conciliatory than combative and assertive:

The attacks on Mrs. Clinton grew so intense that one opponent, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who served in President Bill Clinton’s administration, scolded the others. “You know what I’m hearing here, I’m hearing this holier-than-thou attitude toward Senator Clinton,” he said. “It’s bothering me because it’s pretty close to personal attacks that we don’t need.”

Although, maybe not, as he went on:

“But the important thing is that we need to stay positive,” Mr. Richardson said. “We need to have disagreements on the issues, not on whether you can trust. I trust Senator Clinton but I don’t agree with her on a majority of issues.”

Trust? Of course we need to be able to trust our elected (and selected) officials. Maybe I’d think different if I’d seen the debate coverage, maybe different still if I’d been seated in the front row….

Oh, wait, the NYT gives me the option of listening/watching and reading! With a transcript! Wow!

I’m overloaded on my current events already…too busy…um…later?

Hey, and…

These are a great idea no matter what—three quick exercises that will help your back by strengthening your core muscles (from this article), which will help everything!

PS None are sit-ups!, although crunches are recommended!

Weather alert…

So, we’ve just passed the 24-hour mark of having our heat on to counteract cool autumnal temps.

Digestive aids

Usually, I try to take a few minutes each day to peruse the news online, just to keep up with current events (as we were taught in junior high). Now, the WashPost reports there’s a web page, Brijit, that distills the best of the best (depending on your point of view) of the latest news stories. With their wee abstracts, they offer more than a simple RSS feed with a few lines of text.

The trouble, of course, is whether their idea of “good stuff” matches yours or not. And, I guess, how fast you can scan/speed read to discover what you think is important/relevant/interesting….

Roughly each week I consult Arts & Letters Daily, which also digests, but not the whole spectrum of topics….

Maybe if I augment my usual browse with ALD and Brijit I’ll stay current?

And remind me again why knowing current events are important? Why I shouldn’t do the ostrich thing?

Fungal processes

A long time ago I noticed this circular pattern to fungi adhering to rocks, but this is the first time I’ve realized that they desiccate (age? die?) from the inside outward.

Digital identification

I usually forget to tuck ID books into the car when we take off on an outdoor exploration, yet it bothers me to see a plant, flower, or whatever strikes my curiosity and be unable to identify it. Instead of contemplating collecting a leaf or sample, the technique The Botanist taught me, these days I take a picture.

Of course, more often than not, I neglect to find the time to actually do the ID later.

This, from a dry ridgecrest in eastern piedmont Georgia, however, is I think a red maple, Acer rubrum.

Conversation pieces

Feathers are gorgeous; no wonder they’ve been used for millennia by people for adornment.

Probably I’m too cynical too much of the time, but tell me, there’re objects placed in rooms, like living rooms, by designers and those who fancy themselves as designers, which are called “conversation pieces.” Now tell me, have you ever conversed about one of these conversation pieces? C’mon, without sarcasm. Truly?

I subscribe to the standard Midwestern terminology—“dust catcher,” which makes far more sense.

My kinda conversation piece…

An estimated 25% of the nation’s baking soda is used as antacid for livestock.

That’s from a web site that seems legitimate, but maybe not (here’s the book he’s citing from…). I assume he means the non-organic livestock biz.

Oooh. Lemme get back to Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, where I’m sure I’ll find out more scary stuff about the food I have been merrily eating, which will spur me to make some changes in my diet, which means I’ll have to read more labels at the groc store or even contemplate finding a sunny space for a veggie garden (tough on our lot).

…’cause reading’s more fun than cleaning dust catchers!

Sprawl crawl

April 2006 (no, the drought’s not so bad the trees have no leaves).

Clever (perhaps) title, but it’s not a crawl…. According to the Georgia Conservancy:

Georgia ranks 3rd, behind Texas and Florida, in the amount of farm land and open space converted to development.

I not sure if they mean as a percentage of land in the state or sheer number of acres (the truths and subterfuges of statistics…). Either way (and I think it must be the latter), this is scary. Those are all big states, so it’s a massive land area.

Some years ago I tried to get a handle on the impact development has had on archaeological sites here in Georgia, which is particularly rich in prehistoric occupation. Look here if you’re interested. If you’re really interested, there’s a 2005 update (unfortunately, not available online as near as I can tell) by Steve Kowalewski in SGA’s Early Georgia, summarized in this press release.

Hot spot

The fires finally seem to be slacking off in southern California. Whew. Let’s see what this does to our national bottom line; will it amplify or dampen the national and international credit upheaval?

I suppose it depends on the time frame—in the next week, month, several years?

And ol’ Brownie’s buddy finally shows.

Breaking newz

Late yesterday I heard from Cousin M, who had been up at the Farm, that the lower right window in this view of the porch from last summer had been broken. By a raptor. Dead on the bed, left.

Thanks, M & D, for fixing the window for the winter!




“Dragon” comes to English via Latin from Greek drakōn, meaning ‘serpent,’ according to my Mac-dictionary.

Draco was a 7th century BC Athenian with a penchant for imposing the death penalty for even trivial crimes, hence our “draconian,” for harsh or severe.

And a Harry Potter character, of course.

File foto

Another huge symbol of colonialism looms in the sky….

I dug into the files to find this picture from St. Louis, this day in 2004. In truth, we got some rain off and on today here in ATL.