Category Archives: Weird Wonderful World

April Fools’ Day – Something’s Fishy

Creepy, manipulative, terrible hoax or a creative, fun-filled joke?

The positive view is that April Fools’ is good for one’s health because it encourages “jokes, pranks, and belly laughs and brings all the benefits of laughter including stress relief and reducing strain on the heart!

Here are some April 1st pranks pulled on whole populations.  You decide if they are creepy or fun-filled:

P.S.  Click here to find out the science behind WHY WE ARE SO GULLIBLE

Pasta Prank

1957: “Swiss Spaghetti Harvest. The BBC broadcast a film in their Panorama current affairs series purporting to show Swiss farmers picking freshly-grown spaghetti from the family “spaghetti tree”. At the time spaghetti was relatively little known in the UK, so that many Britons were unaware that it is made from wheat flour and water; a number of viewers afterwards contacted the BBC for advice on growing their own spaghetti trees.  The BBC was later flooded with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing them to declare the film a hoax on the news the next day.”

Welcome To Chicago!

1992: “Airline passengers descending into Los Angeles Airport might have experienced a momentary feeling of panic when they looked out the window and saw an 85-foot-long yellow banner on the ground that spelled out, in 20-foot-high red letters, “Welcome to Chicago.” It was raised above the Hollywood Park race track, which lay directly along the flight path for arriving planes, about three miles from the airport.”

Planetary Alignment Decreases Gravity

1976: “During an early-morning interview on BBC Radio 2, the British astronomer Patrick Moore announced that at 9:47 AM that day a once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event was going to occur. Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, and this planetary alignment would temporarily counteract and lessen the Earth’s own gravity. Moore told his listeners that if they jumped in the air at the exact moment the alignment occurred, they would experience a strange floating sensation. When 9:47 AM arrived, the station began receiving hundreds of phone calls from listeners claiming to have felt the sensation. One woman reported that she and her friends had risen from their chairs and floated around the room. Moore had intended his annoucement to be a spoof of a pseudoscientific theory that had recently been promoted in a book called The Jupiter Effect, alleging that a rare alignment of the planets was going to cause massive earthquakes and the destruction of Los Angeles in 1982.”

Orange-Bearing Pine Trees

1950: “Motorists driving along the scenic Rim of the World highway near Lake Arrowhead in Southern California encountered something remarkable. All the pine and cedar trees lining the road had grown oranges overnight. The transformation turned out to be the work of the residents of the nearby town of Skyforest, led by the cartoonist Frank Adams. They had crept out during the night and strung 50,000 oranges in the trees along a one-mile section of the highway. The fruit was left over from the recent National Orange Show in San Bernardino.”

The Tasmanian Mock Walrus

1984: “The Orlando Sentinel featured a story about a creature known as the Tasmanian Mock Walrus (or TMW for short) that many people in Florida were said to be adopting as a pet. The creature was four inches long, resembled a walrus, purred like a cat, and had the temperament of a hamster. What made it such an ideal pet was that it never had to be bathed, used a litter box, and ate cockroaches. In fact, a single TMW could entirely rid a house of its cockroach problem. However, the local pest-control industry was said to be pressuring the government to ban TMWs, fearing they would put cockroach exterminators out of business. Dozens of people called the paper trying to find out where they could obtain their own TMW. Skeptics noted that the photo of a TMW accompanying the article showed a creature that looked suspiciously similar to a Naked Mole Rat.”

FAT SOX – Loose Weight from the “bottom” up.

2000: “The Daily Mail revealed that Esporta Health Clubs had launched a new line of socks, dubbed FatSox, designed to help people lose weight. These revolutionary socks actually sucked body fat out of sweating feet, promising to “banish fat for ever.” The American inventor of this weight-loss product, Professor Frank Ellis Elgood, explained that the socks employed a nylon polymer called FloraAstraTetrazine “previously only applied in the nutrition industry.” As a person’s body heat rose and their blood vessels dilated, the socks drew “excess lipid from the body through the sweat.” After having sweated out the fat, the wearer could then simply wash the socks, and the fat, away.”

Bob Blowfish sez: “A fish out of water is not a prank, no matter what the occasion.”

In Italy, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and French-speaking areas of Switzerland and Canada, April tradition is often known as “April fish” (poissons d’avril in French, aprilvis in Dutch or pesce d’aprile in Italian).

This includes attempting to attach a paper fish to the victim’s back without being noticed. Many newspapers also spread a false story on April Fools’ Day, and a subtle reference to a fish is sometimes given as a clue.

http://hoaxes.org/aprilfool

Click here to Learn WHY WE ARE SO GULLIBLE

Learning to Walk

Baby Hippo Fiona is the cutest ever!  Mama Bibi and dad Henry probably not so much . . .

baby-fiona_wide-0495d60b84dcba6d79deffd4cb35a7eb3292b228-s800-c85

“A baby hippopotamus, born prematurely at the Cincinnati Zoo, has struggled to stand, eat, gain weight and breathe.”

“But on Sunday morning, the zoo announced “encouraging news from hippo headquarters.”‘

“Baby hippo Fiona, now in stable condition, has taken her first wobbly steps.”

“Fiona was born at the zoo on Jan. 24, six weeks early. She weighed 29 pounds, when baby hippos are normally 55-120 pounds, the zoo says. She was too weak to stand and couldn’t nurse on her own.”

Read all about Fiona, click HERE!

Brand new and nude – Puggles

If this isn’t the cutest, weirdest little critter I don’t know what is!

A Puggles Pome

Puggles are the puggliest

Their little snout the ugliest

Cuddle them quick

for when they’re grown

they’ll claw you

and won’t give a lick

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“Sydney Zoo is celebrating the arrival of the first baby echidnas, known as puggles, in almost 30 years.  The tiny (cute), and incredibly rare Australian mammals, hatched in the summer weighing between 250 and 500 grams.  Echidnas, sometimes known as spiny anteaters, lay eggs – which hatch after 10 days.  They’re then carried in their mother’s pouches for up to two months.”

 

Can you tell what this is?

poin·til·lism
ˈpwaNtēˌyizəm,ˈpointlˌizəm/
noun
  1. A technique of neo-impressionist painting using tiny dots of various pure colors, which become blended in the viewer’s eye. It was developed by Georges Seurat with the aim of producing a greater degree of luminosity and brilliance of color.
    cmass.0

    Click HERE to see if you were right!

A fish face to love, not to eat

A video of a diver in Thailand rescuing a porcupinefish caught in a net got my attention.  I posted it on The HeART of Spirituality to get your attention. (verrrrrrry clever)

It’s not for survival

when I take a drink

It’s for my revival

she says with a wink

This  is the black-blotched porcupinefish. These fish not only can swallow water and raise their spines to make themselves look bigger and fiercer, but they also harbor in their bodies a neurotoxin that contributes to self-defense.

Porcupine Fish
Porcupine Fish sez: “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

Take a look at a Porcupine fish being rescued while its fish friend watches.  Who said fish don’t have feelings!

Click here for the video!

“Some species are poisonous, having a tetrodotoxin in their internal organs, such as the ovaries and liver. This neurotoxin is at least 1200 times more potent than cyanide. The poison is produced by several types of bacteria obtained from the fish’s diet.[4] As a result of these three defenses, porcupinefish have few predators, although adults are sometimes preyed upon by sharks and killer whales. Juveniles are also preyed on by Lysiosquillina maculatatuna and dolphins. Wikipedia

And read about the nanofish cleaning out YOUR body here!

plus another pome . . .

 

 

DOODLEWASHing & monkey pome

Want to monkey around?
just blow with your nose
to create a sound
that tingles the toes

However, it’s said
if a monkey you bed
your kids will be hairy
swing from the trees
blowing their noses
and hang by their knees

Whoops, WRONG picture
Whoops, WRONG picture.  Sorry Charlie O’ . . .

“Unfortunately, like many of this unusual creatures, this species is classified as endangered. Though an odd face, they’re generally good natured with each other, but due to extensive loss of vegetation, there are only about 1,000 of them left. The government of Borneo has instituted strict penalties for those who kill them in an effort to protect what’s left of the dwindling population.”

If you want to see the PROBOSCIS MONKEY’S picture you will have to click here: DOODLEWASH

doodlewashing & wailing (the wailing part is me)

Found a grrrrrrrrreat new blog doodlewash.  The artist CHARLIE O’SHIELDS is good AND his subjects are weird and wonderful critters (at least the ones I’ve seen so far) My kinda guy!  To make it even better the information he posts about the animals he draws is fascinating.

As those of you who follow my blog know I’ve been in a slump – physically, mentally and creatively.  The minute I saw Charlie’s drawings and read about critters . . . well . . .  it inspired the poet in me.

judy’s jerboa pome

Long-eared jerboa
picky diet of insects
nibbles on their feet
but spits out their toa

Long Eared
Watercolor, Long Eared Jaboa by Charlie O’Shields

“Caught on video for the first time in 2007, this little creature may look like an odd little rodent, but it’s really quite distinct. There’s no other animal of its exact type on the planet. Looking a bit like a mouse-sized kangaroo, it’s humorously long legs give it the ability to jump over 3 feet (1 meter) high.”

To read the part that inspired my pome ya gotta click here: DOODLEWASH

When people can see TIME

Time . . . we pass through it . . . or perhaps it passes through us . . . but do we SEE it?  Take a look: 

“I photograph by hand; this is not a time lapse. It’s my eye seeing very specific moments.  I like to describe myself as a collector.”  Steven Wilkes

“Once Wilkes has all the images, he picks the best moments of the day and the night and creates what he calls a master plate. Those images then get seamlessly blended into one single photograph, where time is on a diagonal vector, with sunrise beginning in the bottom right-hand corner. That process of creating a single image can take about four months — though it’s photographed in a single day.
of magical moments.”‘

View from The Savoy, London, Day to Night, 2013. Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes
View from The Savoy, London, Day to Night, 2013.
Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes
Times Square, NYC, Day to Night, 2010. Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes
Times Square, NYC, Day to Night, 2010.
Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes
Pont de la Tournelle, Paris, Day to Night, 2013. Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes
Pont de la Tournelle, Paris, Day to Night, 2013.
Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes

In this last photo of Serengeti National Park in Tanzania – “For 26 hours, Wilkes shot 2,200 photos without moving the camera and while suspended in the air in a tent-like structure with a little window, so that animals wouldn’t see or hear him as he photographed them coming to a watering hole from sunrise to deep into the night.”

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Day to Night, 2015. Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes/National Geographic
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, Day to Night, 2015.
Courtesy of Stephen Wilkes/National Geographic

Read the interview and article by Nina Gregory here ‘When People Can See Time’: Photographer Captures Day, Night In One Image

Take a look at Stephen Wilkes Gallery Day to Night

Valentines NOT just from the heart

In case you’ve not gotten a valentine card for your sweetie it’s not too late to get something that’s personal, permanent and not just from your heart but from other parts of you too.

Lovey Dovey, Whenever I think of you I go crazy

Baby Boo, You are the lounge chair of my life. (Eames,no less)

Sweetie Pie, I could just eat you up!

My Love, Count on me to always watch your back.

Sweet Pea, I love you to the tips of my toes.

Baby, Take ALL of ME!

Giant Tree Lobster – pass the butter

Giant Tree Lobsters were thought to be extinct until discovered on a remote island near Australia.  And it’s not a hoax . . .  like the Tree Octopus.

To read about their “romantic” come back and take a look at what they look like full-grown click here: Meet the Tree Lobster, back from the brink

Take a look at the birth! . . . meditative and remarkable!


Green when young, and about the size of an adult human’s hand when full-grown, Dryococelus australis is more commonly known as the Lord Howe Island stick insect, or the tree lobster.
Courtesy of Rohan Cleave/Melbourne Zoo

“The nymph that comes out of the egg is about three times the size of the egg itself,” says Paige Howorth, the San Diego Zoo’s curator of entomology. “It’s just folded up in there like an origami piece or something — it’s amazing.”

It has been claimed that the males and females snooze together, cuddled up in pairs, with the male wrapping his six legs protectively around the female. But Howorth says assuming that the sleep position connotes affection would be premature.

“I don’t know if it means he loves her,” she says, laughing. “I’m not willing to say that.”

Hear! Hear!

If our bodies aren’t miracles I don’t know what is.

Great 3-D animation and a dramatic classical sound track, this 7-min. video by Brandon Pletsch takes us on a trip through the ear to vividly explain how we hear. It’s a National Science Foundation award winning film.

Turn the World Blue

“This small planet is not worthy of division. Is it not one home, one native land? Is not all humanity one race?”

“To mark this anniversary, monuments and buildings across the world are being illuminated in UN blue. As we shine a light on this milestone anniversary, let us reaffirm our commitment to a better and brighter future for all.” – Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations

Un Headquarters New York
Un Headquarters New York

Every year the U.N. and its member nations observe October 24th as United Nations Day around the world. This year, as the U.N. marks its seventh decade,

“Consider the creation of the infinite universe. This globe of ours is one of the smallest planets. Those stupendous bodies revolving in yonder immeasurable space, the infinite blue canopy of God, are many times greater than our small earth. To our eyes this globe appears spacious; yet when we look upon it with divine eyes, it is reduced to the tiniest atom. This small planet is not worthy of division. Is it not one home, one native land? Is not all humanity one race?” – Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy

Great Wildebeest Migration LIVE!

Oh my goodness!!!!!!! Go on Safari in Kenya without leaving home for the next 5 days!!!

“The live broadcast HerdTracker is a web-app that plots the precise location of the great wildebeest migration in real time to a Google Map and in a Twitter-style timeline. “The initiative is the result of collaboration between HerdTracker and the government of Kenya’s makeitkenya.com.
To watch the broadcasts, register your email address on discoverafrica.com/herdtrackerlive. Then on, you will receive reminders for the live broadcasts, which will be hosted on periscope.tv/herdtracker.”

Mara River Crossings – Great Wildebeest Migration by HerdTracker

What to expect:
1 The annual migration consists of wildebeest, zebra, eland and gazelle
2 Spot big cats, like the lion, leopard or cheetah
3 Get a glimpse of elephant herds
4 Keep an eye out for the endangered black rhino
5 Lastly, watch out for the massive crocodiles that wait for the migration to cross the Mara River

Pluto and beyond “. . . will a Race one day stand really tall”

IF ONLY WE HAD TALLER BEEN

By Ray Bradbury

O, Thomas, will a Race one day stand really tall
Across the Void, across the Universe and all?
And, measure out with rocket fire,
At last put Adam’s finger forth
As on the Sistine Ceiling,
And God’s great hand come down the other way
To measure Man and find him Good,
And Gift him with Forever’s Day?
I work for that.
Short man. Large dream. I send my rockets forth
between my ears,
Hoping an inch of Will is worth a pound of years.
Aching to hear a voice cry back along the universal Mall:
We’ve reached Alpha Centauri!
We’re tall, O God, we’re tall!

“NASA New Horizons Pluto Mission Tribute Video! | NPR Hundreds of images from NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto stitched together in retro newsreel form with audio of American science fiction author Ray Bradbury reading his beautiful poem “If Only We Had Taller Been.”‘

pluto-charon-false-color_wide-f242f06d28a8d782392397c78967cee8b205dda6-s800-c85

New false-color images of Pluto and the moon Charon exaggerate colors to highlight differences in their surface compositions, NASA says. http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/07/14/422840586/nasa-zooms-in-on-pluto-for-closest-views-yet

 


Not on my bucket list, never on my bucket list, but if it were I now check it off

Google Maps Now Lets You Scale Yosemite’s El Capitan Mountain

 by  

“. . . Google Maps users can use Street View for a first-person climb on both the The Nose and a portion of the Dawn Wall routes for scaling El Cap.”

The advantage of Google’s Street View mountaineering is that you don’t actually have to risk anything to do it, except maybe a static shock from your mouse depending on if you’ve been shuffling your feet around on carpeting.”

” . . . Alex Honnold, Lynn Hill and Tommy Caldwell performed the climb used to capture the imagery . . . “

http://techcrunch.com/2015/06/24/google-maps-now-lets-you-scale-yosemites-el-capitan-mountain/

 

Frankly Freddie – If your shadow is square you’re a hedgedog

Dear Chris, Maws & Paws, My personal Groomer – Human Being,

The next time you come please do not make me look like a hedge-dog*. 

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CGlwIzMWQAE3Hl4

Cutting dogs’ fur into perfect cubes, is the latest dog hairdressing trend to sweep Asia.  “It is not known where the inspiration for the trend originated, but the look has been cropping up at dog shows around Asia in recent months.”

“Hairdresser Tain Yeh, who runs a parlour in Taipei told the Daily Mail: “It came about because people were always looking for more impressive haircuts, and somebody came up with the idea of shaping the dog like a hedge.”’ (HEDGE!, sounds like the Organic Green Revolution has gone to the dogs) . . .  “The dogs don’t mind, (humph!, we are just too polite to complain) and the owners keep coming back for more. This sort of haircut needs a lot more maintenance than the regular type.”

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“She warned that the look isn’t one which works for all dogs and has this advice for any British dog owners seeking to emulate the slick cubes: “It is also not suitable for all breeds. The dog needs to have plenty of hair to play around with so that you can shape it around the face and body.” (I’d love to get my paws on a pair of clippers and trim human-beings to look like a poodle . . . or a HEDGE . . . or a  . . .)

If you don’t believe me read it here: Japanese People are Grooming their Dogs into Perfect Cubes  

*Frankly, I prefer the round look when I’m groomed

See you soon Chris!

Freddie Parker

P.S.  Chris, please bring treats

On my way to work

Portraits in Faith and Diversity

Portraits in Faith is a fascinating project which celebrates diversity of belief. For nine years, 27 countries and 400 personal spiritual journeys Daniel Epstein interviewed and documented spiritual experiences and the role of faith in people’s lives.   Take a look at the introductory video:

“The main objective was to save my life by helping me understand that there was reason to believe in a Higher Power. That sounds very self-serving, but I needed out of my old way of thinking and my old way of feeling about myself and the world.”

“Now I have a much bigger aim for the project — to help heal the world by bringing people together in humanity’s greater, common spiritual journey. The journey is all we undoubtedly share no matter how much we try to make each other out as different. I have a real love-hate relationship with religion. It really can give people the smallest view of the world when really we are beyond understanding.”  Daniel Epstein

 Read the Daniel Epstein interview on the Baha’i Blog

P.S.  The Bardo Group/Beguine Again is a blog I’ve followed for several years. Their theme for June is diversity  ” . . . in all its manifestations: sexual/gender orientation, race, religion, culture, national origin … even nature. . . .  celebrating respect – as inclusion – as a big step toward peace, understanding, justice … even environmental stewardship.” 

Take a look at the June issue of The BeZine

“Chimps are no chumps: Give them an oven, they’ll learn to cook”

For those of you aspiring script writers or producers read this article for inspiration . . .  a premise for a new reality show – The Real Housewives of the Jungle or . . .  for the Food Network – Jungle Cook-off . . . or . . .  ? 

___________

“If you give a chimp an oven, he or she will learn to cook.”

“That’s what scientists concluded from a study that could help explain how and when early humans first began cooking their food.”

“This suggests that as soon as fire was controlled, cooking could have ramped up,” says Alexandra Rosati, an evolutionary biologist at Yale and a co-author of the study  . . .  First, the researchers gave the chimps a device that appeared to work like an oven.”

Before he ate them, Kanzi cooked the vegetables in a pan on his own.

“Before he ate them, Kanzi cooked the vegetables in a pan on his own.”

“When researchers gave them a cooked potato slice, they simply ate it. But when they got a raw carrot, they immediately put it in the device. And their preference for cooked food was so strong that they would hold on to raw potatoes, or carry them to other locations, in order to have them cooked.”

“The study also offers a reminder that very few behaviors are uniquely human, Wrangham says. “What we’re seeing here is that the chimps are surprisingly similar to humans, even though the whole process of cooking seems like something that is a huge divide between humans and other animals.”

 Read the entire article by Jon Hamilton:

 

Escapegoats and other Eggcorns

Never heard of “eggcorn”? . . .  neither had I but now it’s a new favorite:

“A word or phrase that sounds like and is mistakenly used in a seemingly logical or plausible way for another word or phrase.”  Merriam-Webster, which included eggcorn among the more than 1,700 words added to its dictionary this past week

DSCN6290
judy’s non-dominant hand drawing of 2 Escapegoats

Examples:

  • Spread like wildflowers” is an eggcorn when used instead of “spread like wildfire.”
  • Coldslaw” is an eggcorn if you meant “coleslaw.”
  • Self phone” is an eggcorn of “cellphone.”
  • A very smart 4 year old was telling me about getting ready for school each day and he had to remember to take his furnace bottle with him.   “Furnace bottle?” I asked.   “Yes, you know, a furnace bottle………keeps your soup hot until lunch time………
  • She seduced him using her “womanly wilds” (womanly wiles).
  • For all Intensive Purpose

Eggcorn” itself is an eggcorn. Linguist Geoffrey Pullum is credited with coming up the word, which is the way some people say “acorn.”

click to read other eggcorns which pass the mustard

 

 

READ THIS! – There is hope.

This fascinating article helps me understand the Baha’i principle – The “greater good” outweighs the “lesser good”.   I do know that good things are born out of suffering and sacrifice but I must remind myself that this world isn’t instant cup-a-soup.  

Below are some excerpts  

judy journal page - collage
judy journal page – collage

How The World’s Largest Refugee Camp Remade A Generation Of Somalis

“The world’s largest refugee camp is also a giant social experiment.”

“Take hundreds of thousands of Somalis fleeing a war. Shelter them for 24 years in a camp in Kenya run by the United Nations. And offer different opportunities than they might have had if they’d stayed in Somalia.”

‘”Probably the most interesting and misunderstood thing about Dadaab is that the refugee camp has had a kind of liberalizing influence,” says Ban Rawlence.”

“They are a ready-made middle class,” Rawlence says. “Educated Somalis who are ready and waiting to move into Somalia to rebuild the country.”‘

“The Kenyan government wants the experiment to end, soon. It’s pushing the refugees to return to their home in Somalia, though the camp called Dadaab is the only home many have known.”

P1040319

“Habiba Abdurahman fled the war in Somalia when she was six, with her mother and sisters. She had lived in a village where girls rarely went to school. Suddenly she was in a camp where international organizations offered free tutoring for girls to catch up academically. In her village, female genital mutilation was common. In the camp FGM was not only illegal but there were constant messages against it.”

“At 27 Abdurahman was elected a camp chairwoman, under election rules designed to promote gender equality. Last year she went back to Somalia on a U.N.-sponsored “look and see” trip to the liberated city of Kismayo. The trip was meant to assure refugees that parts of Somalia were finally safe enough to return to. But what she saw shocked her.”

“What kind of person would she be if she’d grown up there instead of here in the camp?”

Click here to read the entire article: 

How The World’s Largest Refugee Camp Remade A Generation Of Somalis

by GREGORY WARNER

 

 

Sneek a peek into my journal

I’m either incredibly ego-centric or beginning to emerge from my creative black hole because this is the first Spark assignment (self-portraits) that has “sparked” me.  I’m also feeling a bit better – not great, but better – so my eyes are clearer, although a bit “chalky”, in this picture than my last self-portrait. 
It’s interesting (at least to me) that I’ve had a migraine-type headache behind one eye and I see it in both pictures.  Of course, it could also mean I’m delusional and seeing things that aren’t there. 
I smeared this journal page (literally) with acrylic paint.   A figure emerged who I “helped out” with pastel chalk.  It’s instant gratification since it only takes a few minutes and little thinking. 
I prefer doing “spontaneous quickies” (don’t read more into that!) since I don’t have the focus and energy to do anything that takes much thought or time – not that I ever did.
DSCN6277
judy’s journal page – Acrylic & chalk pastel
Year of the Spark, Carla Sonheim & Lynn Whipple
Year of the Spark, Carla Sonheim & Lynn Whipple

True Facts about the Octopus . . . . . and the Pentapus

Excess in life

just leads to strife

All I need is five 

to stay alive

One with which to eat

Two for feet

One to comb my hairDSCN6276

whether or not it’s there

and the last to procreate

Who on earth needs eight?

Thanks Daru!

 

 

“T” is for Terrible Terror Bird

Have you ever heard of the Terror Bird?

He was real,  it’s not absurd

At ten feet tall

his turds weren’t small

and his face alone

could turn you to stone

It would have frightened me so

to be kicked with his toe

knocked out with his breath

then  pecked to death

 What could I say to not be his prey?

“Good day, Mr Bird, I won’t get in your way”

“Whatever you want, whatever you say”

“It’s not nice to eat

my flesh for your meat”

It’s a relief to now know

His reign is no go

Terror Bird is toast

just bones at the most

or maybe . . . a 40 pound roast?

“An army of huge carnivorous “terror birds” — some as big as 10 feet tall — ruled South America for tens of millions of years before going extinct some 2.5 million years ago.”

“Now, with the discovery of a new species of terror bird called Llallawavis scagliai [in Argentina] paleontologists are gaining fresh insight into this fearsome family of top predators.”

o-LLALLAWAVIS-570

“Llallawavis likely lived around 3.5 million years ago, near the end of terror birds’ reign, according to the researchers. It stood about four feet tall and weighed about 40 pounds.”

An article describing the findings was published online March 20 in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/10/terror-bird-fossil-discovered_n_7040716.html

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

“N” is for Nineteen & Nude

Don’t fret little fellow

You’ll grow into a handsome lad

 and hopefully more mellow

_82229537_468983694

A 19-day-old Spix macaw* raised by a German conservation group for threatened parrots in Schoeneiche, near Berlin.

Spix-babies-2-ACTP-March-2011

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spix%27s_macaw

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

 

 

“i” is for illusion

I live a life of  illusion (and so do you).  My illusions include being a solid mass, living on a stationary planet.

My limbs don’t shake from the millions of vibrating and rotating atoms of my body, much less the vibrating chair I’m sitting which is being held together through an  electromagnetic force.  swirl-optical-illusion-300x203

I feel no pings of pain from the stream of neutrinos from space cruising through me at 186,282 miles per second.  I’m not dizzy as I hurtle through space on a planet traveling around the sun at approximately 66,000 miles per hour.

Take a look at this video – how’s your eyesight?

“The optical illusion can highlight vision problems – people who might need glasses are often unable to pick out the fine details of Mr. Einstein’s face, and are left seeing an image of Ms. Monroe – but also points out a quirk in how the human brain processes visual information.”

“The MIT team that created “Marilyn Einstein” performed a series of experiments in which they showed participants the hybrid image for different lengths of time. When people saw the picture in just a brief flash of 30 milliseconds, they could only see Monroe – their brains simply didn’t have time to pick out the fine details of Einstein’s face, no matter what how close to or far away from the image they were. When they saw the picture for 150 milliseconds, they saw Einstein but not Monroe.”

Read the full article explaining the “Marilyn Einstein” illusion.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

C is for Camel – one hump, not two – and Camping

Camels Crudely Chew their Cud

A camel doesn’t chew its food well

caring little about taste or smell

With 3 stomachs there’s no lack

of having room for food to pack

When hungry they just regurgitate

to satisfy their hunger state

Well-known gourmands and not gourmets

finding dietary delight in tents and hay*

This woman
“I think she’s obviously a Camel Connoisseur”
“I think she’s gone too long without water”
“I don’t know what to think”

Where to Next is the BEST travel blog.  Peggy and her husband John travel to the most interesting places. LeggyPeggy’s post about traveling by camel in Rajasthan India is my inspiration for the “C“-word!  Here’s an excerpt (Ya gotta read the whole post Where to Next and see the pictures):

“Poor John is never keen on riding animals. Horses are out. Bull-riding is out. Emus and ostriches are out. Donkeys are marginally okay because, as he says, it’s not that far to fall off a donkey.”

“So you can imagine he wasn’t at all impressed when he realised that our travels in India included two days in the Thar Desert on CAMELS.”

“Oh, you should have heard him grumble and grumble and grumble. But he swallowed his complaints, mounted a camel and was heaved high into the air.”

Poor John is not in this picture
Some of Peggy & John’s guides and camels. 

Read the post to get the full Camel experience Poor John survives two days on a Camel

*     *     *

*“Camels can go for days or even weeks with little or no food or water. Desert people feed their camels dates, grass, and such grains as wheat and oats. In zoos, the animals eat hay and dry grains–about 3.5 kilograms of each every day. When a camel travels across the desert, food may be hard to find. The animal may have to live on dried leaves, seeds, and whatever desert plants it can find. A camel can eat a thorny twig without hurting its mouth. The lining of the mouth is so tough that the sharp thorns cannot push through the skin. If food is very scarce, a camel will eat anything–bones, fish, meat, leather, and even its owner’s tent.

A camel does not chew its food well before swallowing it. The animal’s stomach has three sections, one of which stores the poorly chewed food. This food, or cud, is later returned to the mouth in a ball-like glob, and the camel chews it. The chewed food is then swallowed and goes to the other parts of the stomach to be completely digested. Camels, deer, cattle, and other kinds of animals that digest their food in this way are called ruminants.” Camel Farms.com

“A” , “B”  and “C” down, “D” to go!

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

“B” is for Blobfish, Better-known as Bob

Bob the Blobfish has been a regular on this blog for years.  His commentary is broadly heralded by readers as being bold, beautifully brash and brilliantly blunt

“In 2013 The blobfish was voted the “World’s Ugliest Animal”, based on photographs of decompressed specimens, and adopted as the mascot of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, in an initiative “dedicated to raising the profile of some of Mother Nature’s more aesthetically challenged children”‘

". . .  Now she's really got something to be scared about . . . "
“No BUTS about it, I tell it like I see it  . . . “

Behold Bob the Blobfish

I’m a blob and I know it

No need to show it

That’s why I live

3,000 feet underwater in the sea

so be a buddy and let me B!

_____________

Click here to see previous posts: “A” and “B” down, “C” to go!

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

Are we alone in the universe?

One septillion stars – 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.   That’s a lot of stars.

“The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens”  

Bahá’u’lláh, Baha’i World Faith

 

 

You Can See Invisible Images & Hear Silent Sounds

Watch and listen to this incredible technology!  AND there’s a Videoscope site where you can do it yourself

“Meet the “motion microscope,” a video-processing tool that plays up tiny changes in motion and color impossible to see with the naked eye. Video researcher Michael Rubinstein plays us clip after jaw-dropping clip showing how this tech can track an individual’s pulse and heartbeat simply from a piece of footage.”

“Watch him re-create a conversation by amplifying the movements from sound waves bouncing off a bag of chips. The wow-inspiring and sinister applications of this tech you have to see to believe.”

https://videoscope.qrilab.com/instructions.html

Videoscope

Videoscope is an online tool designed to reveal signals in recorded video that are normally invisible to the naked eye. This tool is based on methods and algorithms originally developed by researchers at MIT CSAIL and Quanta Research Institute. For more details about the algorithm, please visit the MIT project website.

15 Feathers per Square Centimeter

Oh baby, it’s cold outside!

so step on my feet we’ll go for a ride

Open your bill for a swill of krill

Mommy will make sure you get your fill

"Her poems are hair raising to say the least"
“Her poems are hair-raising to say the least”

Winter Zen: Taking A Cue From Snow Monkeys

Living in Southern California where it’s a few hours drive to see snow does not give me the credentials to write about winter.  So here’s a lovely piece written by Barbara J. King and a meditative-monkey glimpse  for all you living with winter-white:

“We are about 15 days away now from the spring equinox — but winter is not yet done with us.”

“By measures of temperature and precipitation, winter 2015 has brought ongoing hardship to many in the U.S., perhaps especially in and around Boston, where epic blizzards continue their toll.”

“At this point, those of us in snowy, icy locales may need some inspiration to make it through March. I have found mine in this three-minute film, produced by Art Gimbel, of Japanese snow monkeys in Jigokudani Monkey Park. The film is also featured online at National Geographic.”

“As primates, like us, these monkeys delight me: Look at the intelligence in their eyes, the delicate fingers as one monkey — clutching close a juvenile, perhaps her child — plays with a bubble in the water.”

“We see in the film the monkeys’ profound relationships made real by grooming rituals, and the animals’ calm as they seek, in warm spring waters, a respite from the snow and ice.”

“So, sure, who can resist red pandas cavorting in the snow? But if it’s winter Zen we need, it’s the Japanese snow monkeys from whom we may take our cue.”

“Barbara J. King, an anthropology professor at the College of William and Mary, often writes about human evolution, primate behavior, and the cognition and emotion of animals. Barbara’s most recent book on animals was released in paperback in April. You can keep up with what she is thinking on Twitter: @bjkingape.”

A story sure to warm penguin hearts along with yours

Tiny sweaters for penguins!!!  “. . .  knit by a group of volunteers that includes Alfred “Alfie” Date, who at 109 years of age is Australia’s oldest man.”

Australia’s oldest man knits sweaters for penguins

 |  By

“When disaster strikes, the wildlife clinic at the Phillip Island Nature Park will be ready, equipped to deploy hundreds of tiny wool sweaters at a moment’s notice.”

s-PENGUINS-IN-TINY-SWEATERS-480x360

“Date told Australia’s Ninemsn he started knitting the “easy single-rib and double-rib” sweaters shortly after moving to a retirement home in southwest Australia. After learning he could knit, two nurses who knew of the “Knits for Nature” program approached him to gauge his interest, Date said, adding, “I’m a sucker. I can’t say no.”‘s-OLDEST-MAN-KNITS-PENGUIN-SWEATER-480x360

“In the event of an oil spill near Phillip Island’s 32,000 little penguins, wildlife clinic workers put oil-covered birds in sweaters to minimize the amount of oil they ingest while preening themselves. According to the Philip Island Penguin Foundation, the substance also matts the penguin’s feathers, which both prevents it from regulating its temperature and reduces the animal’s buoyancy in water.”BiE9gr9IQAASNqQ

“Following a spill near Phillip Island in 2001, 483 little penguins ended up at the rehabilitation center, with 96 percent ultimately being released back into the wild.”

s-PENGUIN-IN-TINY-SWEATER-480x360

 

This is NOT a Kiss ‘n Tell moment. It’s not even Kiss ‘n Talk

How can you not admire people who are clear about what their priorities are . . . Ya gotta watch this to the end of the video! (I hope “green guy” has a sense of humor)

Thanks Sharon for the laugh!

My Retirement – be eaten or worshipped. Do I have a choice? (parenthetically speaking)

(Since this is the first time I’ve ever retired it’s important to understand what lies ahead . . . and behind.   I hope history doesn’t keep repeating itself even when I do.)

The History of Retirement, From Early Man to A.A.R.P.

By MARY-LOU WEISMAN for the New York Times
 IN THE BEGINNING

“In the beginning, there was no retirement. There were no old people. (Very true – in the beginning I was much younger) In the Stone Age, everyone was fully employed until age 20, by which time nearly everyone was dead, usually of unnatural causes. Any early man who lived long enough to develop crow’s-feet was either worshiped or eaten as a sign of respect.” (I’ll take the worship and pass on being respected)

“Even in Biblical times, when a fair number of people made it into old age, retirement still had not been invented and respect for old people remained high.  In those days, it was customary to carry on until you dropped, regardless of your age group — no shuffleboard, no Airstream trailer. When a patriarch could no longer farm, herd cattle or pitch a tent, he opted for more specialized, less labor-intensive work, like prophesying and handing down commandments Or he moved in with his kids.” (I have no kids to hand down my commandments to so I’ll concentration on prophesying)

ELDER HOSTILE

“As the centuries passed, the elderly population increased. (Very true – as time has passed I’ve increasingly gotten more elderly) By early medieval times, their numbers had reached critical mass.  It was no longer just a matter of respecting the occasional white-bearded patriarch. Old people were everywhere, giving advice, repeating themselves (I’ve always repeated myself, my occupation has been giving advice that is worth repeating), complaining about rheumatism, trying to help, getting in the way and making younger people feel guilty.”

Hanging on
Hanging on

“Plus they tended to hang on to their wealth (I hang on to the fantasy of being wealthy) and property.  This made them very unpopular with their middle-aged sons, who were driven to earn their inheritances the old-fashioned way, by committing patricide. (. . . a few benefits to having no wealth) Even as late as the mid-18th century, there was a spate of such killings in France. In 1882, Anthony Trollope wrote a futuristic novel, ”The Fixed Period,” in which he foresaw retiring large numbers of old men to a place where they would be encouraged to enjoy a year of contemplation, followed by a peaceful chloroforming. (ANYTHING peaceful at my age is appealing) But this was hardly an acceptable long-term strategy.”

 . . . to be continued . . . if I live long enough . . .

Part II of Retirement History

Frankly Freddie – Top 10 cutest animals in science for 2014

Dear Human-beings,

It’s never to early to plan ahead.  I’m thinking to qualify for the Top 10 Cutest Animals in Science for 2015.  I just have to figure out the science part.  Any ideas?

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CA

Freddie Parker Westerfield, CA Cute Animal
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CA
Cute Animal

What Cities Would Look Like if Lit Only by the Stars

“Carl Sagan once said anything shining in the night sky does so because of distant nuclear fusion. The physics involved are awesome, and so too are the billions and billions of stars seen from here on Earth. But with every passing day, increasing light and air pollution from growing cities diminishes our ability to observe the cosmos.”

‘“By combining two realities, I am making a third that you cannot see … but it exists! I am showing you the missing stars,” says Cohen. “Photography is way of showing things that we can’t see. Photography is a way to dream. I am not showing you post-apocalyptic cities, merely cities without electricity. I am bringing back the silence.”’  French artist Thierry Cohen

To really see the impact of the night sky view FULL size pictures at: Wired, Thierry Cohen, Darkened Cities

Rio de Janeiro 22° 56’ 42’’ S 2011-06-04 lst 12:34
Rio de Janeiro

‘“Photography is about poetry more than it is about reality,” says Cohen. “It is how you see the world. You can show the world you want to show.”’

San Francisco 37° 48’ 30’’ N 2010-10-09 lst 20:58
San Francisco

“French artist Thierry Cohen draws attention to this creeping loss in his seriesVilles éteintes (Darkened Cities), which imagines the world’s largest cities under clear night skies. His photographs are as impossible as they are beautiful. The dark urban landscapes and vibrant constellations are composites of two images—one of the city and one of the sky.”

Los Angeles, Disney Hall
Los Angeles, Disney Hall

“Cohen has visited nine cities including New York, San Francisco, Rio De Janeiro, and Hong Kong. Using an equatorial tripod mount and polar-scope, Cohen captures an urban landscape, then travels to a less populated location at the same latitude with greater atmospheric clarity. Using this method, the skies above Shanghai are actually in Western Sahara and Paris is illuminated by the stars over Montana.”

Darkened Cities is on show at East Wing Gallery, Abu Dhabi until November 20.

 

The ultimate Christmas present – a hand-held satellite!

When I was a child I didn’t understand what my father was talking about when he would explain to me that the future of all science was in what the naked eye couldn’t see. He was right.

“Satellite imaging has revolutionized our knowledge of the Earth, with detailed images of nearly every street corner readily available online. But Planet Labs’ Will Marshall says we can do better and go faster — by getting smaller. He introduces his tiny satellites — no bigger than 10 by 10 by 30 centimeters — that, when launched in a cluster, provide high-res images of the entire planet, updated daily.”

“He and his cofounders at Planet Labs want to show the earth what it looks like, in almost real time, via a new network of compact, capable satellites. They hope that up-to-date images will inform future humanitarian and commercial projects all over our planet and will help to enable people to make the best decisions for earth.”

 

 

Earth Smarts

Science always amazes me even if I can’t understand it.  Watch the flow of carbon dioxide traveling across the planet come alive in spectacular color.

An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe.”

The Perfect “Body” by Victoria’s Secret – What is “perfection” anyway?

When it comes to women’s bodies I strongly suspect that “perfection” is really in the eye of the beholder and not the eye of the possessor! _78846586_body Three British students took issue with Victoria’s Secret The Perfect Body ad campaign, resulting in the online advert being retracted, but no apology from the lingerie giant.

“According to the campaigners, the advert failed “to celebrate the amazing diversity of women’s bodies by choosing to call only one body type ‘perfect’.” They asked for the ad’s message to be changed, and for an apology from the company. As of Friday afternoon, the petition had attracted more than 29,000 signatures. US underwear company Dear Kate responded in turn, posting their own version of The Perfect Body, showcasing a variety of body types.” Here’s the full articleVictoria’s Secret Changes Course on ‘Perfect Body’ Ads

Take a look, if you haven’t already, at the video on What body part would you change?

MESMERIZING! Beyond Comprehension

  If this doesn’t help put things in perspective watch it twice!

“In the movie above, we get an eye-popping view of an epic arc of solar magnetic field rising above the surface carrying superheated 50,000-degree plasma with it. As the plasma cools, it forms blobs that rain back down along the magnetic field lines.”

“It’s an eerie, jaw-dropping view of solar reality. Make sure to make the video full-screen. If you can, let the whole four minutes and 16 seconds play out while you keep an eye out for small details. Watch the other parts of the surface boil and ripple. Later in the video, watch the bright patch on the lower right undergo its own smaller eruptions.”

“The recognition that this kind of Earth-dwarfing, mega-bomb-powered arcade of plasma hell is just another day at the office for the sun will, hopefully, remind you that there’s more going on out there than our worries.”

Read the entire article here.

P.S.  This was a MEDIUM sized flare – whoa! (make sure you watch long enough to see the image of the earth).

 

Only watch this if you sleep. On second thought – watch this if you DON’T sleep

Did you know your brain creates waste all day and gets rid of waste all night? Not enough sleep may be a key to Alzheimer’s disease research.

“The brain uses a quarter of the body’s entire energy supply, yet only accounts for about two percent of the body’s mass. So how does this unique organ receive and, perhaps more importantly, rid itself of vital nutrients? New research suggests it has to do with sleep.”

 

Warning! Google “Hanging Naked Men Orchids” at your own risk

Remember my 100 flowers drawing assignment (41 Flowers to go  and who’s counting) from Year of the Fairy Tale?  I still have 36 flowers to draw and occasionally I get sent “interesting” flower pictures from family and friends . . . .

ORCHIDS, no comment
ORCHIDS, no comment

unnamed-12

unnamed-11

unnamed-10

unnamed-9

It is called Orchis Italica, or The Naked Man Orchid.

They come in all sorts of shapes and . . . sizes.

I’m not telling you who sent these pictures to me cuz I don’t want to EXPOSE them. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What if . . . . ?

The European Space Agency has spent $1.7 million, 10+ years, crossing 4 billion miles of deep space travel to arrive at Comet 67P/C-G.  The Agency is planning on landing on the Comet in November.

Comet_on_3_August_2014_large
Comet 67P/C-G.

 What if . . . 

it’s a popcorn kernel?PopcornKernel

“The $1.7 billion (1.3 billion euros) Rosetta mission arrived at Comet 67P/C-G in early August, and since then, scientists have been using the spacecraft’s instruments to scope out the terrain of the comet in the hopes of finding a good site to set down Philae. If all goes according to plan, Philae should be released to the comet’s surface on Nov. 11.”

Philae will harpoon itself to the comet once it reaches the chosen landing site. The lander will study the comet from the surface while Rosetta takes measurements from orbit. Rosetta is expected to travel with the comet through space until at least August 2015, when Comet 67P/C-G makes its closest approach with the sun in its 6.5-year orbit.”

“ESA launched the Rosetta spacecraft and Philae into space in 2004. The probes traveled for 10 years, crossing 4 billion miles (6 billion km) of deep space before finally reaching their comet target.”

Rosetta Comet Landing Site, click here for full article

 

Nature Tops “Where’s Waldo”

Masters of Camouflage

AnimalCamoMantisInFlower
Source: 123 Inspiration
AnimalCamoFishOnRocks
Source: Aqua
AnimalCamoOctopusInCoral
Source: Business Insider
AnimalCamoDoveInSnow
Source: 123 Inspiration
AnimalCamoAlligatorInSwamp
Source: EHD Walls
AnimalCamoCaterpillarOnTree
Source: 123 Inspiration
AnimalCamoSeahorseInPlants
Source: Rocket Boom
AnimalCamoSealOnRocks
Source: SOCSD Teachers
Source: Kick Vick
Source: Kick Vick
AnimalCamoGreatPotooOnTree
Source: New York Daily News

Hooked on the Haiku BRANCH – tu haiku for yu

 Rooted in God’s love

we are all leaves of one tree

and fruits of one branch

“A fundamental teaching of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Baha’i faith,  is the oneness of the world of humanity. Addressing mankind, He says: “Ye are all leaves of one tree and the fruits of one branch.”  

“In this way His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh expressed the oneness of humankind whereas in all religious teachings of the past, the human world has been represented as divided into two parts, one known as the people of the Book of God or the pure tree and the other the people of infidelity and error or the evil tree.”

Photography by Becca Givens
Photography by Becca Givens

“The former were considered as belonging to the faithful and the others to the hosts of the irreligious and infidel; one part of humanity the recipients of divine mercy and the other the object of the wrath of their Creator.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh removed this by proclaiming the oneness of the world of humanity and this principle is specialized in His teachings for He has submerged all mankind in the sea of divine generosity. Some are asleep; they need to be awakened. Some are ailing; they need to be healed. Some are immature as children; they need to be trained. But all are recipients of the bounty and bestowals of God.”

Golden Snub Nose
Golden Snub Nose

When you’re stuck in mud

need to climb to higher ground

any branch will do

 

Haiku Horizons – prompt BRANCH

On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea, Becca Givens 

The Baha’i World Faith