Some Good News From Researchers Studying the Novel Coronavirus

We pulled the following from an article on sequencing the genome of COVID-19.  It seems that researchers are hopeful the virus can be stopped.  When is still the unknown.  The link to the full article is at the end.  We’ve highlighted with color what we find “good news”.

“While researchers caution they’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg, the tiny differences between the virus strains suggest shelter-in-place orders are working in some areas and that no one strain of the virus is more deadly than another. They also say it does not appear the strains will grow more lethal as they evolve. 

“The virus mutates so slowly that the virus strains are fundamentally very similar to each other,” said Charles Chiu, a professor of medicine and infectious disease at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine.

Different symptoms, same strains
COVID-19 hits people differently, with some feeling only slightly under the weather for a day, others flat on their backs sick for two weeks and about 15% hospitalized. Currently, an estimated 1% of those infected die. The rate varies greatly by country and experts say it is likely tied to testing rates rather than actual mortality.

Chiu says it appears unlikely the differences are related to people being infected with different strains of the virus.  “The current virus strains are still fundamentally very similar to each other,” he said.

The COVID-19 virus does not mutate very fast. It does so eight to 10 times more slowly than the influenza virus, said Anderson, making its evolution rate similar to other coronaviruses such as Ebola, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

“It’s also not expected to spontaneously evolve into a form more deadly than it already is to humans. The SARS-CoV-2 is so good at transmitting itself between human hosts, said Andersen, it is under no evolutionary pressure to evolve.”

Shelter in place working in California
Chiu’s analysis shows California’s strict shelter in place efforts appear to be working.

“Over half of the 50 SARS-CoV-2 virus genomes his San Francisco-based lab sequenced in the past two weeks are associated with travel from outside the state. Another 30% are associated with health care workers and families of people who have the virus.”

“Only 20% are coming from within the community. It’s not circulating widely,” he said.

“That’s fantastic news, he said, indicating the virus has not been able to gain a serious foothold because of social distancing.”

“It’s like a wildfire, Chiu said. A few sparks might fly off the fire and land in the grass and start new fires. But if the main fire is doused and its embers stomped out, you can kill off an entire strain. In California, Chiu sees a lot of sparks hitting the ground, most coming from Washington, but they’re quickly being put out.”

The virus, he said, can be stopped.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2020/03/27/scientists-track-coronavirus-strains-mutation/5080571002/

Frankly Freddie – Social Distance from people not FOOD

For the Foodie
If you don’t know what a “foodie” is you are probably around the same age as Peggy & Judy. For all you “oldies” . . . “gastronome” and “epicure” define the same thing.  If you don’t know what gastronome and epicure mean it’s a person who enjoys food for pleasure.

  • Have a picnic on the floor (benefit-no ants, just dust).
  • Get takeout. Support independent restaurants which are hurting right now by eating their food. It’s reported that takeout service Grubhub will stop collecting commission of up to $100 million to support independent restaurants that use their service. (Just make sure you limit your contact with the delivery driver and wash your hands after unpacking the food.)
  • Have your own wine tasting of whatever bottles you have.  No wine?  Have a tea-tasting.
  • Make a new recipe, like dog biscuits.
  • Perfect grandma’s special recipe.
  • Make coffee, and study how many beans you use, which types, how hot the water is, how long it brews and whether any of that even makes a difference.
  • Read your cookbooks and find new culinary sites on the internet.
  • Make doggie biscuits – peanut butter should be the #1 ingredient
  • Watch “The Great British Baking Show,” and bake something with the ingredients you have on hand
  • Organize your spice rack alphabetically.
  • Make a cocktail or mocktail (if you don’t know what a mocktail is you’re over the age of 21)  Don’t forget the garnish.
  • Cook something special – make a double recipe and give half to an elderly neighbor and the other half to your dog.

 

 

4 FREE Resources for Social Distancing & Isolation

Here are some fun, FREE resources for social distancing and self isolation-check them out!

Online University learning of all kinds of subjects

click here for  Coursera

Join Coursera for free and learn online. Courses from top universities like Yale, Michigan, Stanford, Imperial College-London, Tel Aviv University, Duke, Johns Hopkins, University of Cape Town, University of Tokyo etc. . . . and leading companies like Google and IBM.

I (judy) have taken 2 of the courses and they were excellent.  Since I don’t need any more degrees or certifications I never did the papers or took the tests . . .  just watched the lectures and did the reading.  There is a large catalogue of classes from colleges and universities all over the WORLD.  Fabulous resource.

Online exercise classes – Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness, one of the nation’s largest chain gyms, is offering free online exercise classes 

The at-home workouts are streaming on the company’s Facebook page, open to anyone, including non-members.

Because I love all of you I (Peggy) sacrificed myself and tried two Planet Fitness on-line workouts.

I tried 2 Planet fitness workouts.  They were actually great!  The instructors made it easy to follow all the exercises, all of which could be modified to easier levels.  

To make sure all of you could do the routines I did the easier levels, even though I didn’t NEED to, of course . . .   

I am recovering from a sprained ankle and didn’t want to jump on my foot, so I was clever enough to figure out ways to keep both feet on the ground.   (I couldn’t think of other excuses to modify more exercises but carefully watched how they were done.)

Instructors do warm ups and cool downs. Have a chair handy and water.  You get 15 second rests in between the exercises.  

Another thing I liked is the instructor stopped exercising in order to continue talking.  That allowed me to stop early too so I could hear what he was saying without the distraction of exercising . . . The workouts are scheduled for 4pm PST. I was late but no one said anything. There are many workout videos on the Planet Fitness Facebook page so if you’re late I’m positive they’ll let you in the class.

Fun things to do from NASA for kids and adults

https://www.space.com/free-nasa-space-projects-at-home-coronavirus.html

“NASA’s website has a plethora of opportunities for kids and adults alike to learn more about astronomy and spaceflight. Whether you want to be an astronaut, kill some time learning about the universe or help the agency work on future space exploration activities, there’s no lack of things to do.”

“So, if you’re looking for a little out-of-this-world escape while you’re stuck at home, There is a list of free space-themed activities from NASA to keep you occupied.”

 

Get out in the open -no charge at National Parks

The National Park Service is waiving entrance fees at all national parks that remain open during the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to aid public social distancing.

“This small step makes it a little easier for the American public to enjoy the outdoors in our incredible National Parks,” Bernhardt said in a news release Wednesday.
“Our vast public lands that are overseen by the Department offer special outdoor experiences to recreate, embrace nature and implement some social distancing.”
 
Scroll down for more posts in this series.

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Things to do when Virus Fears Overwhelm you – Hand-washing and Social distancing for your Brain

The constant flood of precautions and warnings, whether it’s from the medical authorities or recirculated, dubiously-sourced information on social media, can take a toll on our mental health.
The uncertainty of what a pandemic portends for our future, the drastic changes it means for the present can be unnerving.

It’s ok, it’s normal, to feel anxious and stressed when everything familiar has seemingly come to a halt in the entire world and when experts, whom we normally turn to, have no answers, no treatments and are impacted in the same way we are.  We feel helpless and our fears are heightened when we can’t see or predict where the threat may strike.  

Yes, it’s a serious situation, and deserves your vigilance and attention.   However, there is a happy medium between ignoring the biggest story in the world, and panic. Here are some tips. 

Social Distancing for your Brain

Pare down your sources of information

  • Continually tell yourself it’s ok not knowing every little thing because there will always be an update a click away.
  • Don’t carry your phone around so you’re not tempted to check it.  
  • Leave your phone on a charging station, put it in “airplane mode” or turn off notifications
  • Limit time on social media.  Your friends and acquaintances filter what they share through their own fears and lenses.
  • Unfriend those who are conspiracy theorists.
  • Install social media apps or tools that limit access to content, or limit aimless scrolling.
  • Schedule a set time, and no more, to get updates from reliable news or health organizations.

Hand-Washing for your Brain.

Don’t Chastise Yourself for Worrying

“You are allowed to worry or feel bad. When discussing how to talk to children about the coronavirus, health experts say people should acknowledge a child’s fear and let them know their feelings are valid.”

“Surely, you can afford yourself the same compassion. The key is to work toward understanding and contextualizing your fears so they don’t keep you from living your healthiest life.”

Name your Fears

A virus can’t be seen by the naked eye.  It’s threat is abstract.  Writing things down makes the worries concrete and stops your brain from going over and over the worries.  Here’s what to write to reassure your brain that you’ll remember everything it’s been reminding you of.  You may do all steps at once or over several days.

1. List what specific threats worry you. Do you think you will catch the coronavirus and die?  (The fear of death taps into one of our core existential fears).  Someone you love falls ill?  Would you need treatment?  What would happen if self quarantine was necessary?  Not able to work?  No access to support or childcare?  

Keep writing small fears, big fears, rational and irrational, until you can’t think of anything else.

2.  Mark the ones that are REALISTIC.  Consider your personal risk and how likely it is that you will actually come in contact with the virus, lose work etc.

3.  Write down what you are in CONTROL of  – what you are currently doing and what you might consider doing.  

4.  Make a plan – Brainstorm options and write them down even if they seem out-of-reach or impractical.   Being prepared for your fears will help keep them in scale.

5.  Review and add, delete, rearrange, update all the steps frequently to keep your brain in the know.


Think Outside Yourself

Since action can allay our anxieties, also consider what you can do to help others who may be more affected by the outbreak than you. Service workers, medical workers, hourly workers and people in the restaurant or entertainment industries may have their livelihoods paralyzed or have to put themselves in disproportionate danger.

Talk to your brain: “Most of the precautions put in place to help stall the spread of the virus aren’t just for me. They’re intended to keep entire communities and vulnerable people safe.”

There are ways to reach out that don’t demand a lot of time or energy.  Examples:  Double the recipe you are making and give half to a neighbor, donate money, (if you have the means) to a reputable charity, write a letter or a note to someone in quarantine, e-mail friends who are isolated . . .  

Seek Support Wisely


Talking to friends about the latest news, outbreak cluster or your family’s contingency plans is a good idea so you don’t feel alone.   However, if you are overwhelmed, don’t seek out someone who also is overwhelmed.  Find someone who does not support or inflame you on your anxiety and can provide some advice.  Always consider professional help which can be short-term.  Most psychotherapists and doctors are offering phone sessions.  There are community agencies or religious clergy that are free or low fee.


Enforce or Create Healthy HABITS


Pay attention to your daily basic needs – healthy practices that affect your wellbeing. 

If you haven’t practiced self-care, NOW is the time to create healthy habits that will last after this crisis is over.

  • Get adequate sleep
  • Have proper nutrition
  • Go outside as much a possible
  • Engage in regular physical activity
  • Practicing mindfulness, prayer, meditation, yoga or other forms of self care can also help center you in routines and awareness, and keep your mind from wandering into worry and fear. 

Remember!  Fear and Anxiety is . . .

. . . overestimating the likelihood of something bad happening, and  underestimating our capacity to deal with it. 

Source: CNN.com

Frankly Freddie: Why You Can’t Herd Cats


Dear Human-beings,

Peggy is on the look-out for a long-haired kitty to adopt.  After she reads this I hope she adopts a dog or . . .  a lion.  

  • edited for precious blog space
  • emphasized the scientific proof and
  • pointed out the obvious (in red) 

How hard can it really be to herd cats?

“Ask Daniel Mills, professor of veterinary behavioural medicine at the University of Lincoln, UK. In a recent study, Mills and his colleague Alice Potter demonstrated that cats are more autonomous and solitary than dogs. Carrying out the research for the project was as difficult as the cat’s reputation might suggest.

“They are challenging if you want them to do certain things in a certain way,” says Mills. “They tend to do their own thing.”

“Cat owners (with the exception perhaps of Peggy) everywhere will sympathise. But why exactly are cats so reluctant to cooperate, either with each other or with a human? Or to flip the question around, why are so many other animals – wild and domestic – willing team players?”

1. It’s a well known that cats are greedy and don’t share.  (Not nice).

” . . . domestic cats . . .  hunt small animals. “You don’t want to be around somebody else when they’ve just caught a mouse, because they’re going to eat it whole,” Packer says. “It’s gone. There is not enough food to share.” 

Proof by Peggy

2.  Cats are gate-crashers which is rude.

“All domesticated cats are descended from Middle Eastern wildcats, the “cat of the woods”. Humans did not coax those early cats out of the woods; the cats invited themselves into our grain storehouses, where an abundance of mice fed unchecked. Gate-crashing this mouse party marked the start of a truly symbiotic relationship. The cats loved the well-stocked storehouses, and the people appreciated the pest control.”

3.  Cats are stubborn at best and unsociable at worst.

“They retain a large degree of independence and approach, or stay close to us, only when they want to,says Dennis Turner, a cat expert and animal behaviourist at the Institute for Applied Ethology and Animal Psychology in Horgen, Switzerland.”

“Cats have evolved lots of mechanisms to keep themselves apart, which aren’t exactly conducive to herding,” says Mills. Cats spray their territory to help avoid awkward meetings with each other. If they do accidentally come face to face, the hackles rise and the claws come out.”  

More Proof by Peggy

“In some circumstances it can appear that domestic cats have embraced group living; for instance, a colony living in a barn. But do not be fooled . . . “

“They’re very loose aggregations and they don’t have any real group identity,” he says. “They just have a common place they come to keep their kittens.”

“In keeping with their solitary, uncooperative reputation, cats turned out to be neurotic, impulsive and resistant to being ordered around.”  (I didn’t say that the SCIENTISTS did).

4.  Cats are uncooperative which creates unnecessary tension in an already tense world.

“In fact, even in the face of extreme danger, which often brings animals together to form a defensive unit, it is unlikely cats would cooperate. “It’s just not something that they typically do when they’re threatened,” says Monique Udell, a biologist at Oregon State University. Cats just do not believe in strength in numbers.”

“A study published in 2014 in the Journal of Comparative Psychologysaw scientists probe the personality traits of domestic cats. In keeping with their solitary, uncooperative reputation, cats turned out to be neurotic, impulsive and resistant to being ordered around.”  (SCIENTISTS know.)

Lions live together, unlike other cats (Credit: Images of Africa Photobank/Alamy)

Lions live together, unlike other cats 

(Credit: Images of Africa Photobank/Alamy)

I rest my case.  Please Peggy, get a cuddly canine. We don’t raise hackles or claw furniture.

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CCT, RET

If you don’t believe me here’s the full article:

It is Almost Impossible to Herd Cats Thanks to Evolution

Originally posted on Max your Mind. To see more from Max Your Mind, click here.

Why don’t bats get sick with Coronovirus (COVID-19)?

“It turns out that the answer to that question has to do with the bat’s status as the world’s only flying mammal.”

“During flight, a bat’s body temperature spikes to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Its heart rate can surge to more than 1,000 beats per minute.”

“For most land mammals, these are signals that would trigger death,” says Linfa Wang, who studies bat viruses at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. But bats live it every day.”

Wang says it seems that bats have developed special immune systems to deal with the stress of flying.

“Their bodies make molecules that other mammals don’t have, which help repair cell damage. And their systems don’t overreact to infections, which keeps them from falling ill from the many viruses they carry (and also prevents conditions like diabetes and cancer).”

“This shows that it’s not always the virus itself but the body’s response to the virus that can make us sick, explains Wang.”

“Olival at EcoHealth Alliance says let’s be clear: it’s not the bats’ fault that people are getting diseases. “They’ve just sort of coevolved with these viruses and these bugs that basically don’t cause them any harm.”‘

“The problem, he says, is when the viruses jump to new species. And it’s human activity that makes that likely to happen.”

“In wildlife markets, like the one in Wuhan, Olival says animals that would rarely mix in nature come together. A bat in a cage could be stacked over a civet. And those animals are then mixed with humans — for example, butchers handling animals without gloves.”

“The way that we’re coming into contact with these animals, hunting, selling, and trading them is to a scale that really we haven’t seen before,” he says.”

“Investigators found traces of the virus in 22 stalls and a garbage truck at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, which also sold live animals. The market was shut down in early January, as it was tied to many of the early cases.”

“While the animal in the middle is still a mystery (some early reports point to pangolin), Wang says it’s easy to imagine how an infected animal could spread the virus to humans. “The animal can sneeze, the animal can urinate,” he says, “If a human touches [it] and blows their nose or whatever — they’ve got it.” Infection could also spread through eating undercooked meat.”

Cute Bat

“And bat researchers stress that bats aren’t just a possible source of viruses. They play a hugely important role in Earth’s ecosystem. They eat tons of insects and pollinate plants and disperse seeds for hundreds of plant species. And they’ve found a way to coexist with the viruses they carry — which means, says Wang, that even though bats may be the source of viruses that affect humans, they could also be the source of potential therapies if we study their immune systems.”

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/09/803543244/bats-carry-many-viruses-so-why-dont-they-get-sick

In the interest of not spreading false information we have reproduced this article in it’s entirety.

The RIGHT way to Kiss

An international research team suggests that humans are hardwired to favour leaning to the right while kissing their romantic partners, which may have wider implications for neuroscience and cognitive sciences.

“According to an academic study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, over two-thirds of the kiss initiators and the recipient of the kiss have a bias to turn their heads to the right and men were about 15 times more likely than women to initiate kissing.”

“Psychologists and neuroscientists at the universities of Bath Spa and Dhaka, Bangladesh, invited 48 married couples to kiss privately in their own homes, and after kissing they were asked to go to different rooms, open an envelope and then report on various aspects of the kiss independently of each partner.”

“The setting for the study was significant as kissing in Bangladesh is not typically observed in public and may censored from television or films. That means similar results from the western countries could be attributed to cultural factors or having learnt how to kiss through influences on TV or film.”

“Building on the previous studies from western countries, which have involved couples kissing in public places, this study is the first to investigate an inherent bias for turning the head to one side while people kiss in a non-western context. And it is also the first study in the world to show that the kiss recipients have a tendency to match their partners’ head-leaning direction.”

“Head turning is one of the earliest biases seen in development – even in the womb a preference for turning the head to the right is observable before that of favouring the right hand or foot. Whether this fundamental bias is innate and extends into adulthood is a lingering question for neuroscience and psychology,”

“The new research suggests that the act of kissing is determined by:

The brain splitting up tasks to its different hemispheres. Different hormone levels in each hemisphere and neurotransmitters might be unevenly distributed to each hemisphere as giving rise to a bias to turn right.”

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-07/18/c_136451252.htm

This post was originally posted on Max Your Mind. Click here to see more from Max Your Mind.

 

Tickled Pink

Wondering if your pet rat is feeling happy? You should check its ears, researchers say.

rat-1_custom-90adc1ff3c94c404321504e9da8d8e53a1ca8b84-s800-c85

A team of scientists in Switzerland found that a rat’s ears are more pinkish and are positioned at a more relaxed angle when it is experiencing positive emotions. The researchers recently published their findings in the journal PLOS ONE.

Scientists have not yet pinpointed what a rat is feeling when it is experiencing a “positive” emotion. As Melotti explains, they are currently at the point where they can distinguish “positive” emotions from “negative” – but not finer emotional graduations between happiness, joy and optimism, for example.

Tickled

It’s interesting that rats show emotions on their faces because they are not particularly visual creatures, Melotti says. They’re nocturnal and rely primarily on their sense of smell and touch.

The team says their findings could indicate that rats “may at least partly sense … the facial expressions of their partner, along with other body postures, to gather information on the likelihood the partner will initiate play, and how intense that play is likely to be.”

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/12/16/505727648/tickled-pink-scientists-have-determined-what-a-happy-rat-looks-like

“Playboy Tortoise had so much SEX he saved his entire species”

DISCLAIMER: We’ve taken note that sex sells . . . or at least boosts the number of hits (no pun intended) . . . on the blog, not us . . . So in an unabashed ploy to raise our “ranking” . . . this article is by Rob Picheta, CNN, not Peggy, Judy nor Freddie.

  * .   * .   *

(CNN)”A womanizing tortoise whose rampant sex life may have single-handedly saved his entire species from extinction has retired from his playboy lifestyle, returning to the wild with his mission accomplished.”

Diego’s unstoppable libido was credited as a major reason for the survival of his fellow giant tortoises on Espanola, part of the Galapagos Islands, after being shipped over from the San Diego Zoo as part of a breeding program.”
“When he started his campaign of promiscuity, there were just two males and 12 females of his species alive on the island.”
“But the desirable shell-dweller had so much sex he helped boost the population to over 2,000. The Galapagos National Parks service believe the 100-year-old tortoise is the patriarch of around 40% of that population.
“He’s contributed a large percentage to the lineage that we are returning to Espanola,” Jorge Carrion, the park’s director, told AFP. “There’s a feeling of happiness to have the possibility of returning that tortoise to his natural state.”‘

Diego’s good looks made him a hit on the island.

“A total of 15 tortoises took part in the breeding program to boost the island’s population, but none played a big a role as Diego.”
“About 1,800 tortoises have been returned to Espanola and now with natural reproduction we have approximately 2,000 tortoises,” Carrion told AFP.”
“This shows that they are able to grow, they are able to reproduce, they are able to develop,” he said.”

Now that’s what we call WILD LIFE.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/11/americas/diego-playboy-tortoise-sex-life-galapagos-scli-intl/index.html

Sex on the Fly

February is the month of love.  And here at CURIOUStotheMAX love includes all God’s creatures as we are fascinated by this CURIOUS, WONDERFUL and WILD World we all share.  Marvel with us at the incredible lengths nature goes to help mayflies survive.

Mayflies have an curiously interesting life cycle. Adult mayflies have no mouths, don’t eat, only live for a few days and their only purpose is TO REPRODUCE.

Males swarm above the water in a thick colony while females fly into the colony to mate. The males hold onto the females and mate in air. (No, it’s not the mile-high club since they stay a bit closer to the ground.) After mating, females fly down to the surface of the water to lay eggs and die – usually devoured by hungry fish either before or after death. The males also die, though on land. 

Mayfly mating season-fish come to the surface looking for a tasty meal,

and fly fishers come looking for a tasty fish

The eggs fall to the bottom of the water where they land in mud and attach or stick onto stones or vegetation. The eggs remain in the mud for anywhere from a day to weeks before hatching. After hatching, the mayflies turn into their nymph stage (which you might attribute to teenage years). The mayfly nymphs are an aquatic life stage and do not have wings or contain gills.

Nyphs spend their time, anywhere from 1-2 years, searching for food in the relative safety of the lake bed bottom. When the time is right, the nymphs rise to the surface, molt and rest on the water’s surface to allow their wings to dry.  After drying, they fly onto land where they wait in the vegetation before they molt once more and become a more colorful specimen..

Frankly Freddie, My Valentines Day evidence linking chocolate to heart health

Roses are red

Violets are blue

I’m not allowed chocolate

Valentine’s day . . .  pooh

Did you know chocolate has been linked to lower rates of heart disease and stroke?  You would think that my humans would want me to have a healthy heart.

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Published Poet

  I sit alone, no valentines, no candy, no cake.  The only thing I get is dog food.

If you are sitting home alone on Valentine’s day with dog food you are not alone.

___________________________________________________

Find out how:

Sugar Increases the “happiness” neurotransmitter serotonin.

Puffin & Scratch’n

(CNN) Perhaps puffins aren’t as bird-brained as previously believed.

“A team of animal experts observed two Atlantic puffins, more than 1,000 miles apart, spontaneously scratching themselves with sticks — the first time wild seabirds have been spotted using tools, according to new findings in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .
It’s exciting for a few reasons, author Annette Fayet said: It could mean wild birds are capable of using tools and have a reason to use them. Animals who use tools typically have higher cognitive abilities.
What’s more, the birds exhibited the same behavior on different islands — so while it may be rare for the swollen-chested birds to scratch themselves with branches, the behavior isn’t restricted to a single population.”

An itch their beaks couldn’t scratch

Researchers observed two puffins — one in Wales, one on an Icelandic island (where researchers planted a camera) — using a stick to scratch themselves.
In footage from Iceland, a puffin toddles toward the camera, picks up a stick in its beak, then reaches under its chest to scratch itself with the tiny branch.

The Icelandic puffin dropped its stick to pick up grass and feathers to line its nest. Pointy sticks, while good for a scratch, do not make suitable bedding for persnickety puffins.

The authors aren’t sure just why the puffins picked up sticks, though they assume it needed to knock off seabird ticks that plague coastal populations. Perhaps the branch was a more effective removal method than its beak.”

Stick scratching is the second type of tool use in birds

“The study rules out any doubt that the birds were merely building nests — puffins are particular, and prefer lining their burrows with softer materials, like grass and feathers. The footage shows the puffin in Iceland collecting both.
The stick it used to scratch its chest, meanwhile, remains on the grass, right where the puffin dropped it.
Animals use tools for a few reasons, researchers noted, mainly to feed. It’s not uncommon for some creatures to maintain themselves using tools, like chimpanzees that groom or wipe themselves with natural objects and captive parrots that scratch with sticks.”
The puffins’ scratching is only the second type of tool use related to body care spotted in wild birds — the first is “anting,” when birds smear ants all over their plumage to fight parasites.
“Our observations alone cannot solve the puzzle of the evolution of animal tool use,” Fayet told CNN. “Many more species may also be using tools, but we simply haven’t observed them yet.”

Fiona the Hippo – Cute comes in ALL sizes and shapes

We’re so blessed to coexist

with creatures hard to resist

Hip Hip Hooray

It’s Fiona’s Birthday!

Fiona was born at the Cincinnati Zoo six weeks premature, weighing only 29 pounds. She is the smallest hippo to survive, according to the zoo. Since then, Fiona has captured the attention and love of people all over the world.
Now a mighty animal weighing 1,300 pounds, Fiona marks another year of spreading joy to everyone she meets.
In celebration of Fiona’s birthday, the zoo gave her a bubble bath and a healthy birthday cake made of fruits and veggies. Fiona and her hippo pals shared the cake.
Businesses all over Cincinnati also celebrated the birthday, selling Fiona-themed beer, ice cream bowls, T-shirts, coffee and more.

Frankly Freddie’s early Valentine Greeting

Roses are red
violets are blue
sugar is sweet
but I wouldn’t know

So send me treats

I can eats

bananas, apples and meats

Every year I protest that I’m the only one who doesn’t get to eat chocolate. I’m told that if I eat chocolate I could die but I suspect that is my human’s ploy to keep it all to herself. When I want a cookie she says sugar causes inflammation. She said she read it on the internet but it undoubtedly is an Urban Myth.

Get your Sweetie a USEFUL Valentine!

Click here!  https://CURIOUStotheMAX Zazzle Store

 

Valentine’s Day collection

The Hope for Peace & a Prayer

Every morning I say Baha’i prayers which include family, friends, those who have passed.  I know there is war, violence, inhumane actions in all parts this world – on personal levels, small scales and large.  The current escalation between the United States and Iran, however, triggered the anxiety I felt as a child during the cold war between The USA and Russia. (jw)

  Several months ago I began including this prayer:

O God!  Let his American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees even as it has aspired to material degrees, and render victorious a JUST government.  Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world.

You can change it in any way that fits your own thoughts, feelings and country.  The full prayer is on The HeART of Spirituality where is also a selection of  Christian, Jewish, Native American, Hindu, Jainist, Native American, Muslim, Sufi, Zoroastrian etc. prayers

Click here to find the prayer that best speaks to you:

Prayers for Humanity & Peace

Also see: Frankly Freddie – Guide to World Peace & Goodwill toward All

How to keep my New Year’s resolution, and yours too –  (parenthetically speaking)

(I never make New Year’s resolutions because NEVER is how I keep them.  However, I’m rethinking it this year to resolve to eat healthier based on these tips.)

1. Know who you are . . . and who you’re not

“Do the activities that make you who you want to be rather than just focusing on your goals. Decide the type of person you want to be: A healthy person? A strong person? A writer? A musician?
Then prove it to yourself with small wins over time: Gym classes, writing, practicing . . . Every time you do something toward the goal of you who want to be, tell yourself that you are becoming that person.
(I want to be healthier . . . healthy might be a bit too big a stretch.  And because food is medicine I want to eat healthier)

2.  Make it something you like or enjoy.  

(no problem – I LOVE to eat)

Avoid resolutions that sound great but are unattainable. Make them them something you will enjoy. They can still be hard, but that doesn’t mean they have to make you miserable.

3.  Make it specific
Resolution idea: Eat an apple every day for lunch or snack.
Resolution idea: Have one donut on Saturdays for breakfast
Eating better and exercising more are all nice ideas, but they’re too general and don’t give you a plan of action. People often think they lack motivation when the problem is really a lack of clarity.
“The simple way to apply this strategy to your habits is to fill out this sentence:

I will [BEHAVIOR] at [TIME] in [LOCATION],”

(I’ WILL keep a bowl of fruit on the counter and cut-up vegetables in the refrigerator.  I DO NOT ENJOY chopping vegetables so I’ll buy them already cut-up.

When I want to eat my go-to sugar with a side of carbohydrates I WILL EAT A PIECE OF FRUIT OR VEGETABLE.)

8 x 8 inch canvas – very small fruit by judy

4. Change it up. Swap it out. Write your own rules
Instead of one year-long resolution set yourself monthly micro-resolutions.

(I might have to break it down into weekly . . . or daily . . . maybe hourly resolutions since I eat all day and all night)

5.  Start Small
(I’m going to eat small pieces of healthy fruit and vegetables).

6.  Allow yourself to fail

“Everyone screws up. Expect to have occasional slips. But don’t let the occasional missed exercise class or donut throw you off course. Most successful resolvers slip in January, but 71% of successful resolvers say their first slip strengthened their efforts through a combination of guilt, increasing awareness of their problem’s severity, and the slip reminding them to refine their plans.”  (Who ARE these people?)

And if you do slip? Focus on getting back on track, not the slip. “The people who show more compassion for themselves are more likely to get back on the horse and try again.”  (This might be a problem since I show compassion for myself by eating sweets.)

7.  Set yourself up for success

(Since I want to “limit” sweets I must get them out of the house. I resolve: I WILL give them a stern talking to EVERY TIME they appear so they know they should leave.)

8.  Make it public
(I just did)

“If you’re surrounded by supportive friends and family, making your goals public and asking for accountability can help. So can joining a gym with friendly competition or a group.”

(Probably the key to my past failures at keeping resolutions starts with the fact I prove myself right by thinking I can’t/won’t keep my resolve.)

“Think you can’t do it, you’ll likely prove yourself right.  But if you believe in yourself, you are 10 times more likely to change via a New Year’s resolution, compared to non-resolvers, when both groups have comparable goals and motivation”.*

*University of Scranton psychology professor John C. Norcross, who has studied resolutions for decades.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/01/health/keeping-new-years-resolutions-wellness/index.html

“Eat in” the New Year with Old World Food

As the new year arrives around the globe, special cakes and breads abound. The particulars vary, but the general theme is the same:

Share food and drink with family and friends to usher in a year of prosperity!

1. Hoppin’ John, American South

Field peas or black-eyed peas are the base for Hoppin' John.

Field peas or black-eyed peas are the base for Hoppin’ John.
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

In the American South, Hoppin’ John said to bring good luck in the new year:

  • pork-flavored field peas or black-eyed peas (symbolizing coins) and rice
  • served with collards or other cooked greens (the color of money) and
  • cornbread (the color of gold).

Different folklore traces the history and the name of this meal, but the current dish has its roots in African and West Indian traditions and was most likely brought over by slaves to North America. A recipe for Hoppin’ John appears as early as 1847 in Sarah Rutledge’s “The Carolina Housewife” and has been reinterpreted over the centuries by home and professional chefs.

2. Twelve grapes, Spain 

In Spain, they bring in the new year with 12 grapes. The tradition has spread to many Spanish-speaking countries.
In Spain, they bring in the new year with 12 grapes.
JAIME REINA/AFP/Getty Images
The people of Spain watch the broadcast from Puerta del Sol in Madrid, where revelers gather in front of the square’s clock tower to ring in the New Year.
Those out in the square and those watching at home partake in an unusual annual tradition: At the stroke of midnight, they eat one grape for every toll of the clock bell. Some even prep their grapes — peeling and seeding them — to make sure they will be as efficient as possible when midnight comes.
The custom began at the turn of the 20th century and was purportedly thought up by grape producers in the southern part of the country with a bumper crop. Since then, the tradition has spread to many Spanish-speaking nations.

3. Tamales, Mexico

Tamales get special attention in Mexico during the holiday season.

Tamales get special attention in Mexico during the holiday season.
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock
Tamales, corn dough stuffed with meat, cheese and other delicious additions and wrapped in a banana leaf or a corn husk, make appearances at pretty much every special occasion in Mexico. But the holiday season is an especially favored time for the food.
In many families, groups of women gather together to make hundreds of the little packets — with each person in charge of one aspect of the cooking process — to hand out to friends, family and neighbors. On New Year’s, it’s often served with menudo, a tripe and hominy soup that is famously good for hangovers.

4. Oliebollen, Netherlands

An oliebol is a doughnut-like product, traditionally made and consumed in the Netherlands during the New Year's celebrations.

An oliebol is a doughnut-like product, traditionally made and consumed in the Netherlands
BAS CZERWINSKI/AFP/Getty Images
In the Netherlands, fried oil balls, or oliebollen, are sold by street carts and are traditionally consumed on New Year’s Eve and at special celebratory fairs. They are doughnut-like dumplings, made by dropping a scoop of dough spiked with currants or raisins into a deep fryer and then dusted with powdered sugar.
In Amsterdam, be on the lookout for Oliebollenkraams, little temporary shacks or trailers on the street selling packets of hot fried oliebollen.

5. Marzipanschwein or Glücksschwein, Austria and Germany

Fresh marzipan made in the shape of little pigges.

Fresh marzipan made in the shape of little pigges.
PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images
Austria and its neighbor Germany call New Year’s Eve Sylvesterabend, or the eve of Saint Sylvester. Austrian revelers drink a red wine punch with cinnamon and spices, eat suckling pig for dinner and decorate the table with little pigs made of marzipan, called marzipanschwein.
Good luck pigs, or Glücksschwein, which are made of all sorts of things, are also common gifts throughout both Austria and Germany.
Vienna bakeries this time of year will be filled with a variety of pig-shaped sweets: Champagne truffles, marzipan and chocolate in a variety of sizes.

6. Soba noodles, Japan

Many Japanese slurp down bowls of delicious Soba noodles to welcome the new year.

Many Japanese slurp down bowls of delicious Soba noodles to welcome the new year.
Nishihama/Shutterstock
In Japanese households, families eat buckwheat soba noodles, or toshikoshi soba, at midnight on New Year’s Eve to bid farewell to the year gone by and welcome the year to come. The tradition dates back to the 17th century, and the long noodles symbolize longevity and prosperity.
In another custom called mochitsuki, friends and family spend the day before New Year’s pounding mochi rice cakes. Sweet, glutinous rice is washed, soaked, steamed and pounded into a smooth mass. Then guests take turns pinching off pieces to make into small buns that are later eaten for dessert.

7. King cake, around the globe

The French do enjoy their galette des rois.

The French enjoy their galette des rois.
margouillat photo/Shutterstock
The tradition of a New Year’s cake is one that spans countless cultures:
  • Greeks have the Vasilopita
  • French the gateau or galette des rois
  • Mexicans have the Rosca de Reyes
  • Bulgarians enjoy the banitsa.
Most of the cakes are consumed at midnight on New Year’s Eve — though some cultures cut their cake on Christmas or the Epiphany, January 6 — and include a hidden gold coin or figure, which symbolizes a prosperous year for whomever finds it in their slice.

8. Cotechino con lenticchie, Italy

Cotechino con lenticchie is the yummy Italian pairing of sausage and lentils.

Cotechino con lenticchie is the yummy Italian pairing of sausage and lentils.
barbajones/Shutterstock
Italians celebrate New Year’s Eve with La Festa di San Silvestro, often commencing with a traditional cotechino con lenticchie, a sausage and lentil stew that is said to bring good luck (the lentils represent money and good fortune) and, in certain households, zampone, a stuffed pig’s trotter.
The meal ends with chiacchiere — balls of fried dough that are rolled in honey and powdered sugar — and prosecco. 

9. Pickled herring, Poland and Scandinavia

Rolled herring in vinegar, served with onions and pickles.

Rolled herring in vinegar, served with onions and pickles.
gkrphoto/Shutterstock
Because herring is in abundance in Poland and parts of Scandinavia and because of their silver coloring, many in those nations eat pickled herring at the stroke of midnight to bring a year of prosperity and bounty. Some eat pickled herring in cream sauce while others have it with onions.
One special Polish New Year’s Eve preparation of pickled herring, called Sledzie Marynowane, is made by soaking whole salt herrings in water for 24 hours and then layering them in a jar with onions, allspice, sugar and white vinegar.
Scandinavians will often include herring in a larger midnight smorgasbord with smoked and pickled fish, pate and meatballs.

10. Kransekage, Denmark and Norway

This is a traditional Norwegian marzipan ring cake.

This is a traditional Norwegian marzipan ring cake.
V. Belov/Shutterstock/Shutterstock / V. Belov
Kransekage, literally wreath cake, is a cake tower composed of many concentric rings of cake layered atop one another, and they are made for New Year’s Eve and other special occasions in Denmark and Norway.
The cake is made using marzipan, often with a bottle of wine or Aquavit in the center and can be decorated with ornaments, flags and crackers.
Those who can’t make it to Copenhagen for Danish treats should check out Larsen’s Danish Bakery in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. They have a long-running mail-order business to accommodate kransekage lovers across the country and carefully pack each ring on the tower individually for easy assembly right before your New Year’s Eve feast.

Here’s to a delicious New Year!

Frankly Freddie – A man for ALL seasons (and a calendar too)

Santa CLAUStrophobia:

Fear of fly-by night men who are partial to the color red, use environmentally appropriate transportation and make their employees wear pointy shoes.

This phobia is often triggered by anticipation of shoveling snow and spending time with relatives in closed quarters.   It is characterized by over-spending, over-indulging, delusions of family harmony, leaving cookies and milk out to spoil and . . .  lying to children.

Have a HUMAN(E) Christmas!

Lickingly LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL,

Freddie

P.S.  My Humans say to tell you to have a DOG-GONE

Merry Christmas AND . . .

buy EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT MEN I LEARNED FROM MY CAT 2020 Calendar

It’s the purrrrfect mini size –  6 3/4″ w x 5 1/4″ H

Remember 50% goes to

The Gentle Barn Charity!

Click HERE to get your 2020  mini calendar

Click HERE to get your calendar

Sneak Peek into my Mixed-up . . . media life

Because of my limited energy and never ending search for whimsey I took one of Carla Sonheim’s on-line classes The Painting Techniques of Anne Marie Grgich (Portraits).   Carla is one of our Well Done Women and her classes are filled with experimentation and whimsey.  This one didn’t disappoint.

3 paintings – Mixed media, acrylic paint, collage, markers, pens, pencils, crayons, scratching, scrawling, smushing, doting and dabbing . . .

Anne Marie encourages working fast, loose and intuitively . . . my kinda artist!  She described her technique like frosting a cake – layers upon layers of media building the surface with color and texture. 

We were to work on 6 portraits and keep moving spontaneously between all six.  My work space (concentration & energy) was limited so I did three.

judy

 

 

 

Abdu’l-Bahá writes: “If religion is opposed to reason and science, faith is impossible; and when faith and confidence in the divine religion are not manifest in the heart, there can be no spiritual attainment.5

To have faith is not merely “to know” the truth. True faith is conscious knowledge expressed in action. Bahá’u’lláh states that “The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds…6 On the same subject, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá writes: “it is first ‘to know’ and then ‘to do’.

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Rats Taught How to Drive Tiny Cars (Parenthetically Speaking)

Rats can learn the complex task of navigating a rodent-operated vehicle (ROV) to a desired area, according to new research from the University of Richmond.  (They are not allowed in car-pool lanes which require 2 or more rodents per vehicle)

Dogs don’t need to drive, they have their meals delivered — click here!

A team of behavioral neuroscientists led by University of Richmond’s Professor Kelly Lambert taught rats how to drive specially-designed ROVs.

“The driver compartment of the ROV was a plastic container with an aluminum floor plate and cut out windows spanned by copper bars,” they explained.  (Kinda like a Kia or Fiat?)

“The ROV was designed so that the rat could move the car by touching or grabbing a bar and stop movement by releasing contact.” (No self-driving technology?)

The research involved five young adult male rats (Female rats don’t need enrichment to learn) that had lived in an enriched environment (i.e., environment with interesting objects to interact with) for four months and six control rats raised in standard laboratory housing.

Driving training began when the animals were approximately 5 months of age.  (Legal rat-age to acquire learner permits)

Compared to standard-housed rats, enriched-housed rats demonstrated more robust learning in driving performance. (It’s long been known that standard-house-wives need enrichment too.)

“We found that rats housed in a complex, enriched environment learned the driving task, but rats housed in standard laboratory cages had problems learning the task (i.e., they failed their driving test),” Professor Lambert said.

“That means the complex environment led to more behavioral flexibility and neuroplasticity.”

“Among other outcomes, the research could help scientists better understand the effects of Parkinson’s disease

(The next time you see a rat driving erratically, smile.  They’ve learned how to escape from the lab and go joy riding.)

Freddie’s JOY RIDE – Dog  Driving Bowl – Buy it here on Zazzle! 

Remember, a Dog’s Share of proceeds go to The Gentle Barn Animal Rescue Charity

The Gentle Barn

Teaching People Kindness and Compassion to Animals, Each Other and our Planet.

http://www.sci-news.com/othersciences/psychology/rats-drive-cars-07731.html

paper describing the research was published October 16, 2019 in the journal Behavioural Brain Research.

 

Sneeeek Peeek – Painting my way to THIN

On doctor’s “orders” I’ve been struggling to lose weight.  The biggest problem I’ve discovered is swallowing.  Now that art classes have resumed I think I’ve solved the “swallowing problem” . . . I’m painting . . .

APPETIZER

MAIN COURSE

DESSERT

Haven’t gained a single pound . . . So far so good . . .

judy

Ode to Tom

A Turkey’s Tail

by Freddie

His story is such, so they say

Waking at dawn

he’d peck at the lawn,

searching for bugs,

nibbling on slugs

of which he was particularly fond.

Then a Thanksgiving day, out of the blue

Gobbledy gobbledy gone.

So if  YOU took Tom from off his farm

in the middle of the night

please give him due thanks

for gracing your table.  (It’s  fitting and right).

And for all the bugs and many slugs

which make him an organic delight

Dear Human Beings,

  1. I am thankful that I was not born in places that eat dogs.
  2. I am thankful you are all my best friends and fans.

 

P.S.  I was told to tell you my Human wishes that you things to be grateful for in your life, like me for example.

Don’t ignore this turkey tip!

It’s THAT time of year again for “Cooking with Judy”  Here’s my yearly Thanksgiving post — cuz it’s tooooo good not to be shared!  

img_00131 I have a reputation, among those who know me,  to have an “interesting” sense of humor.  Even though How to Cook A Turkey with 500 degree heat sounds like a joke IT IS NO JOKE.

The turkey comes out brown, beautiful and MOIST.   I’ve done this every year for over three decades and it’s never failed. 
All the people who have tried it do it again and again. . . except for the woman bought a ButterBall Turkey* . . . to see why, keep reading.
 
Ingredients:
10 – 18 pound turkey* and a sense of adventure
 
Directions:
  • Pre Heat oven 500 degrees (this is not a typo)
  • Clean the bird
  • Throw it into a covered container – put on lid or aluminum foil
  • Do not add ANYTHING to the pot and/or the bird.
  • Do NOT baste or look at until time is up  (you will hear burbling, don’t worry, by the time you hear burbling the turkey is dead)
  • Bake (and I do mean BAKE), 7 minutes per pound, unstuffed at 500 degrees FARENHEIT
  • 7 1/2 minutes per pound, stuffed
*WARNING: Do NOT buy any *turkey that has ANYTHING injected under the skin (especially butter!) or the fire department will join you for dinner after you scrub the black soot from your ceiling.
Q & A (I won’t bother you with the Q-part)
  • Yes, it comes out brown and beautiful.
  • No, it is moist and delicious
  • I always put the stuffing in a casserole rather than the turkey – others have stuffed the bird and said it was great.
  • Yes, it will smell like Thanksgiving not like a house-on-fire.
  • No, PETA would not endorse this because it is more humane . . . for the cook
  • Yes! 500 degrees.  It is not a typo
  • Yes, 7 minutes a pound
P.S.  A typical turkey will take a little over 1 hour to bake. The first year I made the turkey this way I had the critter sitting out raw and naked as a J-bird when the guests arrived.
When they found out nothing was in the oven everyone nervously inquired what time we were going to eat.
Made me smile.

 

PEM’s and PEM – How I try to cope

Peggy loves to use multiple exclamation marks when she writes. Probably to her chagrin, I edit them out. I refer to it as PEM’s or “Peggy Exclamation Marks”.

One of the reasons I retired was after seeing clients I was exhausted for days.  Because I felt fine when I was in session I largely ignored crashing afterwards.  Besides I was used to feeling exhausted socializing, exercising or even taking a shower.  

Having been diagnosed with fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue in 1996 I am relatively well versed in research, symptoms and treatment.  However, I just recently came across the term PEM!  I did a double take.

Turns out that, in relation to chronic fatigue and fibro, PEM stands for Post-Exertional Malaise and has nothing to do with Peggy’s excitement.  I was gobsmacked to find a name for what I thought was just a weird reaction, I alone had, to anything stressful, whether positive or negative.

This is how “gobsmacked” looks

How do I explain that I dread taking a shower because it fatigues me.  How do I tell friends I don’t want to get together because “they” exhaust me?  I constantly evaluate cost/benefit of whether any activity is worth hours or days of exhaustion afterwards.

It’s a relief to put a name to my experience:

“Post-exertional malaise (PEM) is the worsening of symptoms following even minor physical or mental exertion, with symptoms typically worsening 12 to 48 hours after activity and lasting for days or even weeks. PEM can be mitigated by activity management (pacing). The goal is to avoid PEM flare-ups and illness relapses by balancing rest and activity.” CDC.gov

Some of my coping mechanisms.  

  • I avoid telephone conversation.  E-mail is one-way – my pace, my time and not as energy depleting as two-way conversations.
  • I watch lots of Hallmark TV moviesthere’s always a happy ending.  Any violence or tension sends my brain into over-drive.  
  • I eat constantly Food gives us energy.  So far all it’s given me is a roll of fat around my middle.
  • I live vicariously through friends and fellow bloggers who travel to far away places. I daydream of moving to live in another country.  My day dream always includes a villa in Southern France with servants. 
  • I try to find humor in life . . . “try” being the operant word.  
  • I never take a daily shower.  I figure the sweat will help the dirt roll off.
  • I take 3 hour naps immediately after I wake up in the morning.

Now I know why I edit out PEM’s (the Peggy kind).  Exclamation is exhausting . . .

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t let her kid you, Judy is very successful at finding humor in life, to the delight of us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Peggy

I’m so disappointed

When I was in grade school we did “duck ‘n cover” drills. Ducking under a desk and covering your head was suppose to protect us from an atomic bomb drop. It was the height of the cold war between the United States and Russia.

I lived in Phoenix Arizona which was a small (by today’s standards) city surrounded by miles and miles of uninhabitable dessert where many alien spacecraft had been observed.
I prayed that the aliens would land and the entire world would then, out of necessity, come together in solidarity to protect the planet.

Alien Baby, by judy – acrylic on cardboard box

“Weird space object ‘Oumuamua’ was not an alien spacecraft after all, scientists say. The 1/4-mile long rock was first spotted in October 2017 by astronomers peering through a telescope atop Mount Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii. In the weeks after that, other ground-based telescopes around the world and space-based telescopes in orbit continued to monitor Oumuamua (Hawaiian for “scout” or “messenger”) as it zipped through the solar system at about 85,700 mph.”

There was also wild speculation that it came from an alien civilization.

“After a fairly exhaustive search, scientists couldn’t find any artificial radio signals coming from the interstellar objet known as Oumuamua.”

“The alien spacecraft hypothesis is a fun idea, but our analysis suggests there is a whole host of natural phenomena that could explain it,” said Matthew Knight, the study lead author from the University of Maryland, in a news release.

‘”While Oumuamua’s interstellar origin makes it unique, many of its other properties are perfectly consistent with objects in our own solar system,” said study co-author Robert Jedicke of the University of Hawaii. In fact, Oumuamua’s orbit, its path through our solar system, matches a prediction published in a scientific journal by Jedicke and his colleagues six months before Oumuamua’s discovery.”

One theory is that the object could have been ejected by a gas giant planet orbiting another star.

“Even though we know it’s a natural phenomenon, “we have never seen anything like Oumuamua in our solar system,” Knight said. “It’s really a mystery still,” he said.”

Decades later “duck ‘n cover” has been replaced by “lock down drills” for shooters.  The aliens are still waiting for us to figure out how to come together without their help.

judy

The new study was published in the peer-reviewed British journal Nature Astronomy.

Frankly Freddie – CAPTIONIt! #9 & 10 and the WINNERS #7 #8

Dear Freddie Fans,

Create a Caption and I’ll post them to share with all my fans.

To get you started, check out CAPTIONit!  Part I  and CAPTIONit! Part 6 or 7 or . . .?

#9

#10

    *     *     *     *

The WINNING captions from my  And as you know by now, your prize is MY delight receiving entries and YOUR WORLD blogging fame.


#7, The WINNER!!! Shari B-P 

“Left foot, left foot, can’t you tell your left from your right?”


 #8, The WINNER!!! –Joyce K.

Prisoner of Love

Shari, Joyce, human-beings,

You are currently my favorite winners!  Thank you from the bottom of my treat container,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Humor Editor

 

Letter to Lucy

My granddaughter, Lucy, has always loved pictures.  When she was small I lived two hours away so I sent her “letters” in the mail.  Since she couldn’t read I made stick figure drawings. 

This “letter” chronicled a weekend we spent together–building a fort (a common interest of ours), shopping for food, eating dinner with her mom, and playing on the floor. It was the first of many “letters” that still remind me it’s the small pleasures I cherish spending time with those I love. 

Peggy

 

Frankly Freddie – CAPTIONit!, #7 & #8

Dear Freddie Fans,

Create a Caption and I’ll post them to share with all my fans.

Get inspiration – check out CAPTIONit!  Part I  and the  Winner of  #5 & #6 below*

#7

#8

Congratulations Bernice!!!!

*You wrote The WINNING captions (Actually, you don’t win anything except my gratitude for participating and WORLD blogging fame.):

Caption It #5 – Money DOESN’T grow on trees.


Caption It. #6 – Portrait of “Screaming Mimi”


Send me your captions for #7 & #8 . . . . for consideration

Frankly, Freddie

Humorist Editor-in-Chief

Still hysterical – I’m well practiced

1995: The end of life as I knew it:. I began experiencing excruciating burning pain in my hands, arms and legs. In 1996 fibromyalgia was not recognized by the medical community as a “real” ailment. Doctors considered it to be a syndrome: unexplainable, unverifiable and in all probability psychosomatic. Their unofficial diagnosis was “Hysterical Middle Aged Woman’s Syndrome”.

Doctor after doctor, told me, test after test after expensive test came back negative, that nothing was wrong with me and to go home and “Get a life”. Some looked at me knowingly, like we shared a secret “You’re a psychotherapist. You know about psychology” – Wink, Wink. The only reason I winked back was to blink away the tears that were threatening to disrupt the façade that I wasn’t a hysterical middle-aged woman.

I just wanted someone to put a name to what I had. Gynecologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, neurologists, rheumatologists, environmental specialists, acupuncturists, immunologists, chiropractors, Yup you are reading right! They are ALL in the plural. I didn’t just see one of each. I saw private practitioners, researchers, and heads of hospital departments. I’m sure each of them wrote “HYPOCHONDRIAC” on their charts.

Over two-plus decades later I’m no longer middle-aged, just hysterical.  I still struggle and some mornings I wake up feeling like a locomotive hit me and the bottoms of my feet on fire even tho the only thing they touched for 7 hours was a sheet.  BUT now that the pharmaceutical companies have realized there’s over 10 million people, in the United States alone and millions more world-wide, with this condition the research is progressing.  

 Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue/ME are finally recognized “officially” as an illness.  The research now points to the possibility these conditions are auto-immune, neuro-inflammatory disorders in the brain.  

Those doctors were right after all — it IS all in my head!

judy

Frankly Freddie, CAPTIONit! – #5 & #6

Dear Freddie Fans,

Create a Caption and I’ll post them to share with all my fans.

To get you started, check out CAPTIONit!  Part I 

   *     *     *

 #5

 

#6

   *     *     *

The WINNING captions from my CAPTION IT! Part II  (Actually, you don’t win anything except my gratitude for participating and WORLD blogging fame.):

#3 -Cheesey CATatonia

and

Who moved my mouse?

#4 – “Taking ZEE Nap” . . . as they say in France

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CCH

Did you know . . . Anteaters prefer termites

Its food consists mainly of termites, which it obtains by opening nests with its powerful sharp front claws. As the insects swarm to the damaged part of their dwelling, it draws them into its mouth by means of its long, flexible, rapidly moving tongue covered with sticky saliva.

  • Their tongue can be flicked up to 150-160 times or more per minute.
  • Giant anteaters have a two-foot-long tongue and huge salivary glands that produce copious amounts of sticky saliva when they feed.
  • They have small spikes on their tongue that help keep the ants and other insects on the tongue while they are swept into the anteater’s mouth, where they are crushed against the hard palate.
  • What we call an anteater’s nose is actually an elongated jaw with a small, black, moist nose, like a dog’s nose
  • A full-grown giant Anteater eats upwards of 30,000 ants and termites a day and also eat ripe fruit if they find it on the ground.
  • The Giant Anteater and regular anteaters have no teeth. Their physical digestion is aided by the pebbles and debris that they consume when they ingest insects.
  • The giant Anteater lives above ground. The anteater finds a place to sleep, curls up, and covers itself with its bushy tail. 

The female produces one offspring per birth. During much of its first year of life, a young Anteater will ride on its mother’s back. It is generally acknowledged that giant Anteaters have a poor sense of sight but a keen sense of smell. Their sense of smell has been estimated to be some 40 times stronger than that of humans.

Frankly Freddie – Guide to World Peace & Goodwill toward All

My 5 simple rules EVERYONE should follow for Peece on Earth

and Goodwill toward Man

  1. Instead of raising arms, raise your leg. No one ever dies from a squirt of pee.
  2. Never bark at strangers, greet everyone with a friendly sniff . . . below their belt.
  3. Raise your tail, not your flag.
  4. Rolling over is not a sign of defeat, it’s an invitation for a belly rub.
  5. Don’t wait for others to scratch your back, give love.

DSCN6116

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDT RET

Wishing you a life of treats, back rubs and bowls of plenty.

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield, Canine Dog Therapist, RET.

“It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world.

The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.”

 Baha’i World Faith

 See also: The Hope for Peace and a Prayer.

 

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s SUPERMOUSE!

They created a Supermouse.Superman can see the world in infrared.  Humans can’t.

Mouse eyes, like human eyes, are limited to seeing “visible light”,

which makes up just a tiny portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. 

SuperMouse by SuperPeggy

Researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China

and the University of Massachusetts Medical School developed an

“ocular nanoparticle” that can detect near-infrared light (NIR).

They injected it directly into the eyes of mice. Their study* 

shows that the mice were given “super vision”, allowing them

to see beyond the visible spectrum, without any effects

on their regular vision.

The team ran the mice through a series of water Y-mazes in an effort

to determine whether they could make out visual patterns in infrared

light to find a hidden platform. They trained the mice to associate an

infrared light pattern with the platform and then tested both injected

mice and non-injected mice to see how they fared.Mice that did no

t receive the ocular injections only correctly found the platform 50 percent

of the time, but those with the nanoparticles in their eyes were abl

e to do so around 80 percent of the time even in the dark.

Moreover, the nanoparticles continued to work for up to 10 weeks

without any residual side effects or long-term damage to normal vision.

Because the new technology is compatible with regular vision,

it could provide a new way for mammalian vision enhancement

or even open up new avenues to repair normal vision —

the nanoparticles could be tweaked so they parse different

wavelengths or alter them to deliver drugs into the eye.

*Published in Cell

Fake Snake

Snake

When my granddaughter was a baby, I started keeping old toilet paper rolls, thinking we could make something to of them together, maybe a giraffe or other animal. Our first project was the easiest: a snake. We painted the rolls, then put a string through them. We used a small matchbox for the head. She trailed it behind her, letting it slither around the house.

Peggy

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My Brain on Non-standard Time

“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one.

Each day is a different one, and each day brings a miracle of its own.”
— Paulo Coelho

This morning  I woke thinking that today was yesterday.  This afternoon I thought that today is tomorrow. Holy Toledo! (wonder where that expression comes from?) Time is mushed in my mind.  

If cells in a petri dish can be taught to tell time I need a petri dish.

Cultured Brain Cells Taught to Keep Time

The UCLA findings are the first to suggest that networks of brain cells in a petri dish can learn to generate simple timed intervals.

The ability to tell time is fundamental to how humans interact with each other and the world. Timing plays an important role, for example, in our ability to recognize speech patterns and to create music.

In a three-year study, UCLA scientists attempted to unravel the mystery by testing whether networks of brain cells kept alive in culture could be “trained” to keep time. The team stimulated the cells with simple patterns — two stimuli separated by different intervals lasting from a twentieth of a second up to half a second.

After two hours of “training cells”, the team observed a measurable change in the cellular networks’ response to a single input. In the networks trained with a short interval, the network’s activity lasted for a short period of time. Conversely, in the networks trained with a long interval, network activity lasted for a longer amount of time.

Duke Researchers Find Brain’s Motor Center Keeps Time Too

By measuring activity in the brain as reflected by blood flow, Duke researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the brain’s motor control center also keeps track of time. Their experiments show that in both animals and people, the striatum, a portion of the brain once thought only to control movement, keeps track of timing short intervals, from seconds to minutes.

“In addition to providing the first map of a neural circuit for an internal clock, the results have implications for Parkinson’s disease patients, because the timing mechanism is located within the basal ganglia, which is damaged in people with Parkinson’s disease. The findings also may help define the role of timing in learning and memory, said Dr. Warren Meck, associate professor of experimental psychology at Duke University.”

“We believe timing is the foundation for learning and memory,” Meck said in an interview. He suggests that defective timing mechanisms may underlie some learning disabilities and may contribute to dyslexia. Before these experiments, how the brain keeps track of time intervals in the seconds to minutes range was unknown.”

ScienceDaily

Creative Expression – Running Out

My husband is always after me to exercise. In Southern California it’s difficult to use weather as an excuse so I’ve been using fibromyalgia brain fog rather creatively:
  • “What!? It’s midnight already!? I was just about ready to go for my walk”
  • “Are you sure? I could swear I exercised today”
  • “I couldn’t walk today. I locked myself in.”
  • “What do you mean the doctor stressed exercise?! I swear she said not to stress over exercise.”
I really had a good reason not to exercise when I began to get light-headed on my walks and figured out it wasn’t the heat, lack of food or dehydration. I suspected my heart arrhythmia.  
(It was heart arrhythmia that led to my getting Tullulah, my pacemaker.)
This is a series of pictures I did when I was first diagnosed with atrial tachycardia.  I wasn’t focusing or even thinking about my heart when I was painting.  I painted spontaneously and very quickly.  The only reason I painted 3 was that I didn’t want to waste paint and throw away what I hadn’t used.  About 6 months later as I was putting together a presentation it hit me that these paintings represented my heart.

It’s easy to identify which picture is my heart in normal rhythm and which paintings represent the various stages of arrythmia.
That is the wonder and power of Therapeutic Creative Expression.
Whether it’s painting on canvas, crayons on paper or magazine pictures in a collage we express our unconscious knowing and inner wisdom.

Now that my arrhythmia’s are under control the most exercise I’m getting is running out of excuses.

judy

Why do so many Egyptian statues have broken noses?

The most common question that curator Edward Bleiberg fields from visitors to the Brooklyn Museum’s Egyptian art galleries is a straightforward but salient one: Why are the statues’ noses broken?
(If you don’t want to read the entire article, which is fascinating, we’ve highlighted the answer to the question in blue and red.)

Face of Senwosret III, ca. 1878-1840 BC

Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Written by Julia Wolkoff

Bleiberg, who oversees the museum’s extensive holdings of Egyptian, Classical and ancient Near Eastern art, was surprised the first few times he heard this question. He had taken for granted that the sculptures were damaged; his training in Egyptology encouraged visualizing how a statue would look if it were still intact.

It might seem inevitable that after thousands of years, an ancient artifact would show wear and tear. But this simple observation led Bleiberg to uncover a widespread pattern of deliberate destruction, which pointed to a complex set of reasons why most works of Egyptian art came to be defaced in the first place.

The bust of an Egyptian official dating from the 4th century BC.

The bust of an Egyptian official dating from the 4th century BC. Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y. 
Bleiberg’s research is now the basis of the poignant exhibition “Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt.” A selection of objects from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection will travel to the Pulitzer Arts Foundation later this month under the co-direction of the latter’s associate curator, Stephanie Weissberg. Pairing damaged statues and reliefs dating from the 25th century BC to the 1st century AD with intact counterparts, the show testifies to ancient Egyptian artifacts’ political and religious functions — and the entrenched culture of iconoclasm that led to their mutilation.”
“In our own era of reckoning with national monuments and other public displays of art, “Striking Power” adds a germane dimension to our understanding of one of the world’s oldest and longest-lasting civilizations, whose visual culture, for the most part, remained unchanged over millennia. This stylistic continuity reflects — and directly contributed to — the empire’s long stretches of stability. But invasions by outside forces, power struggles between dynastic rulers and other periods of upheaval left their scars.”
“The consistency of the patterns where damage is found in sculpture suggests that it’s purposeful,” Bleiberg said, citing myriad political, religious, personal and criminal motivations for acts of vandalism. Discerning the difference between accidental damage and deliberate vandalism came down to recognizing such patterns. A protruding nose on a three-dimensional statue is easily broken, he conceded, but the plot thickens when flat reliefs also sport smashed noses.”

Flat reliefs often feature damaged noses too, supporting the idea that the vandalism was targeted.

Flat reliefs often feature damaged noses too, supporting the idea that the vandalism was targeted. Credit: Brooklyn Museum
“The ancient Egyptians, it’s important to note, ascribed important powers to images of the human form. They believed that the essence of a deity could inhabit an image of that deity, or, in the case of mere mortals, part of that deceased human being’s soul could inhabit a statue inscribed for that particular person. These campaigns of vandalism were therefore intended to “deactivate an image’s strength,” as Bleiberg put it.”
Tombs and temples were the repositories for most sculptures and reliefs that had a ritual purpose. “All of them have to do with the economy of offerings to the supernatural,” Bleiberg said. In a tomb, they served to “feed” the deceased person in the next world with gifts of food from this one. In temples, representations of gods are shown receiving offerings from representations of kings, or other elites able to commission a statue.”
“Egyptian state religion,” Bleiberg explained, was seen as “an arrangement where kings on Earth provide for the deity, and in return, the deity takes care of Egypt.” Statues and reliefs were “a meeting point between the supernatural and this world,” he said, only inhabited, or “revivified,” when the ritual is performed. And acts of iconoclasm could disrupt that power.”

“The damaged part of the body is no longer able to do its job,” Bleiberg explained. Without a nose, the statue-spirit ceases to breathe, so that the vandal is effectively “killing” it. To hammer the ears off a statue of a god would make it unable to hear a prayer. In statues intended to show human beings making offerings to gods, the left arm — most commonly used to make offerings — is cut off so the statue’s function can’t be performed (the right hand is often found axed in statues receiving offerings).

“In the Pharaonic period, there was a clear understanding of what sculpture was supposed to do,” Bleiberg said. Even if a petty tomb robber was mostly interested in stealing the precious objects, he was also concerned that the deceased person might take revenge if his rendered likeness wasn’t mutilated.
The prevalent practice of damaging images of the human form — and the anxiety surrounding the desecration — dates to the beginnings of Egyptian history. Intentionally damaged mummies from the prehistoric period, for example, speak to a “very basic cultural belief that damaging the image damages the person represented,” Bleiberg said. Likewise, how-to hieroglyphics provided instructions for warriors about to enter battle: Make a wax effigy of the enemy, then destroy it. Series of texts describe the anxiety of your own image becoming damaged, and pharaohs regularly issued decrees with terrible punishments for anyone who would dare threaten their likeness.”

A statue from around 1353-1336 BC, showing part of a Queen's face.

A statue from around 1353-1336 BC, showing part of a Queen’s face. Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Indeed, “iconoclasm on a grand scale…was primarily political in motive,” Bleiberg writes in the exhibition catalog for “Striking Power.” Defacing statues aided ambitious rulers (and would-be rulers) with rewriting history to their advantage. Over the centuries, this erasure often occurred along gendered lines: The legacies of two powerful Egyptian queens whose authority and mystique fuel the cultural imagination — Hatshepsut and Nefertiti — were largely erased from visual culture.”
“Hatshepsut’s reign presented a problem for the legitimacy of Thutmose III’s successor, and Thutmose solved this problem by virtually eliminating all imagistic and inscribed memory of Hatshepsut,” Bleiberg writes. Nefertiti’s husband Akhenaten brought a rare stylistic shift to Egyptian art in the Amarna period (ca. 1353-36 BC) during his religious revolution. The successive rebellions wrought by his son Tutankhamun and his ilk included restoring the longtime worship of the god Amun; “the destruction of Akhenaten’s monuments was therefore thorough and effective,” Bleiberg writes. Yet Nefertiti and her daughters also suffered; these acts of iconoclasm have obscured many details of her reign.
Ancient Egyptians took measures to safeguard their sculptures. Statues were placed in niches in tombs or temples to protect them on three sides. They would be secured behind a wall, their eyes lined up with two holes, before which a priest would make his offering. “They did what they could,” Bleiberg said. “It really didn’t work that well.”

A statue of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut wearing a "khat" headdress.

A statue of the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut wearing a “khat” headdress. Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“Speaking to the futility of such measures, Bleiberg appraised the skill evidenced by the iconoclasts. “They were not vandals,” he clarified. “They were not recklessly and randomly striking out works of art.” In fact, the targeted precision of their chisels suggests that they were skilled laborers, trained and hired for this exact purpose. “Often in the Pharaonic period,” Bleiberg said, “it’s really only the name of the person who is targeted, in the inscription. This means that the person doing the damage could read!”

“The understanding of these statues changed over time as cultural mores shifted. In the early Christian period in Egypt, between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD, the indigenous gods inhabiting the sculptures were feared as pagan demons; to dismantle paganism, its ritual tools — especially statues making offerings — were attacked. After the Muslim invasion in the 7th century, scholars surmise, Egyptians had lost any fear of these ancient ritual objects. During this time, stone statues were regularly trimmed into rectangles and used as building blocks in construction projects.”
“Ancient temples were somewhat seen as quarries,” Bleiberg said, noting that “when you walk around medieval Cairo, you can see a much more ancient Egyptian object built into a wall.”

Statue of pharaoh Senwosret III, who ruled in the 2nd century BC

Statue of pharaoh Senwosret III, who ruled in the 2nd century BC Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Such a practice seems especially outrageous to modern viewers, considering our appreciation of Egyptian artifacts as masterful works of fine art, but Bleiberg is quick to point out that “ancient Egyptians didn’t have a word for ‘art.’ They would have referred to these objects as ‘equipment.'” When we talk about these artifacts as works of art, he said, we de-contextualize them. Still, these ideas about the power of images are not peculiar to the ancient world, he observed, referring to our own age of questioning cultural patrimony and public monuments.”
“Imagery in public space is a reflection of who has the power to tell the story of what happened and what should be remembered,” Bleiberg said. “We are witnessing the empowerment of many groups of people with different opinions of what the proper narrative is.” Perhaps we can learn from the pharaohs; how we choose to rewrite our national stories might just take a few acts of iconoclasm.”
This article was published in partnership with Artsy, the global platform for discovering and collecting art. The original article can be seen here.
Striking Power: Iconoclasm in Ancient Egypt” is on at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St Louis, Missouri, from 

Did you know? Octopuses: not alien, and very cool

Octopuses, which for the record is the correct pluralization of octopus. (It can also be octopodes, since the word is Greek in origin, but never octopi.)

Blue Bloods

“For starters, octopuses have literal blue blood. There’s a common misunderstanding that human blood is blue inside your body when it’s deoxygenated, but that comes from the fact that your veins look blue through your skin. Deoxygenated blood is still very red because of the iron-based mechanism by which our bodies transport oxygen molecules. Octopuses said ‘no, thanks’ to iron blood, though, and swapped in a copper-based protein that binds oxygen instead. It’s more efficient than iron in the cold, low-oxygen environments that most octopuses live in. It sure does make them spookier, but they’re not alone. The ocellated icefish has clear blood and there are lizards that run green. Both are from Earth.”

octopus on rock

An octopus just hangin’ out, Pixabay

Octopuses’ brains are in their arms

“Two-thirds of an octopus’ neurons reside in the long appendages (tentacles). This decentralized way of thinking means that even severed arms can “think” for themselves, or at least respond to physical stimuli and try to escape whatever is trying to eat them, which is why people die from trying to swallow live octopus arms only to find that the arm is still fighting back (a reported six people die this way on average each year in South Korea, where the dish is popular).”

Intelligent 

But their peculiar approach to brains hasn’t stopped them from ranking among the most intelligent creatures that we know of. Octopuses regularly use tools, solve puzzles, and generally cause mayhem by sneaking in and out of their enclosures. They also sometimes accessorize by hopping inside old coconut shells and using them as little mobile homes, all while looking more stylish than most humans.

Suckers and 3 Hearts

As they travel, they also taste everything that they walk on since their suckers are all sensory organs. You’d think that would motivate them to swim everywhere, but unfortunately one of their three hearts has to stop beating whenever they swim, which is quite tiring and means that many octopuses prefer to stroll. Their other two hearts provide blood to the gills, but that third heart circulates blood to the central organs.”

“The main organs reside inside the octopus’ bulbous head (called a mantle), which contains no bones. The only truly hard part of an octopus is the beak, which is basically its mouth. This means that the critters can squeeze through almost any opening as long as it’s bigger than the schnoz. Everything else is negotiable.”

Short Life

“But perhaps the weirdest thing about octopuses is that, unlike many of the other highly intelligent creatures populating our planet, they don’t live long. Some live just six months, others a few years, and most males die shortly after mating. The females last long enough to protect their clutch of eggs, during which time they slowly starve to death.”

https://www.popsci.com/octopus-aliens#page-2

Frankly Freddie, Doggone Good Dog – Remi, fashion hound

Dear Freddie Fans,

Remi is a consummate human-trainer.  After a lot of trial and error Lyn, his human, finally has learned exactly when it’s time to eat, time to walk and time for treats.  Remi has also taken on the task of helping her be charitable.  Every week he takes her to a Senior Care Facility.

As a reward for Lyn’s good behavior Remi took her to the Annual La Chien Fashion Show because he was walking the runway . . . wearing a priceless couture fur coat.

This show helped raise money for no-kill shelter, pet adoptions and pet rescue programs. 

Remi is certified by the AKC as a “Canine Good Citizen” and a Certified Therapy Dog and now adds runway model to his resume.  Being a working canine can be exhausting . . .

Frankly,

Freddie Parker Westerfield,

Exhausted Roving Reporter

Click below to read more about Remington

The Tail of Remington.

I love Lucy – Painting Party

My granddaughter has always loved to do art–draw, paint, use play-doh, make things from cardboard, glue “treasures” onto paper (her definition of “treasure” is quite broad).  For her 4th birthday party my daughter planned a mural project.

Materials & Supplies

  • A looooooooong piece of butcher paper or painter’s paper (hardware store)
  • Tempera paint, it’s WASHABLE or Water-color washable markers, several containers to put along the paper
  • Brushes, lots – you can use sponge brushes – buy them in packets at hardware stores (they’re cheaper)
  • Plastic palettes for them, to use for mixing colors, available at Aaron Brothers, Michael’s and elsewhere
  • Baby wipes, rags, paper towels (a hose) for clean-up

Possible Themes to Paint

You can just let the kids loose (meaning paint anything they choose – which they will probably do anyway . . .) or tell them to paint:

  • A Happy Birthday picture to the birthday child
  • A birthday present they would like to get and/or give
  • Self portrait
  • Portrait of the birthday child

Where and When

  • Garage floor, patio, driveway
  • After they have a a chance to run around a while

The kids all had a blast and Lucy had a party souvenir.

I might do the same for my own birthday.  The only hitch is my friends are too old to sit on the driveway.

Peggy

 

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