Friday, December 28, 2012

Ode To Coffee



BC (Before Coffee)

Who moved the kitchen?
Cats! Why are there so many cats?
Why is it that one has to be awake to make coffee before one is awake to make coffee?
Where did all the cats come from? Why are they in the kitchen?
Incomplete thoughts and senten
Write to do list: TOO Do Dodo Thndo Frodo The ffpmppp TO DO
1. Fix something
2. Can't remember
3. Still can't remember
4. Can't believe how much work I have to do
5. Write to do list
6-10. Do something
11. Drink coffee

AD (After Drug)

The molecular structure of coffee is enhancing my neuronal activity. To do today:
1. Feed cats, make coffee and breakfast for HQ, paint cabinets, organize papers
2. Say YES to any new project
3. Paint masterpiece fresco on ceiling
4. Speed read 5 books
5. Prove new theorem
6. HOMG! I AM A GENIUS!!!!
7. World domination
8. Design groundbreaking new space ship
9. Go for a run

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Post Apocalypse 2012

 Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Since the beginning of time there have been literally hundreds of thousands of predictions for the end of the world and we're still here. 
(Carl Sagan)

To all the pseudoscientists out there: WE TOLD YOU SO! Please stop scaring children in the future.

The Milky Way. Not as crowded as it looks.

To everyone, including those folks who are currently "surviving" in a cave or bunker, have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Technological Miscommunication

Me: Where are you?

                        Waiting for my rectal can. 

Are you shopping online again?

                        Rental Car.

Please cough.

                        I hate technology right now.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Something Weird Happened...Really Weird.

SpriteVinny and I, as well as our significant others spent some time at a stunning resort in the tropics. The pools were designed by Gaudi and even featured underground organically shaped water slides. We decided to take a day trip to a small quaint town, while our spouses stayed behind to enjoy the pool.

We got to a small white-washed restaurant that served chicken sandwiches. Vinny and Sprite decided that they were going to explore the local outdoor market and left while I waited for my order.  My order arrived and I looked at my sandwich on the plate. I was about to pick it up, when I noticed that something was moving between the lettuce leaves.  A green head poked out and a groggy black eye looked at me. I was looking at a small parrot, a beautiful orange-beaked conure. He was drowsy, his wings clipped so he could not fly away. "They serve parrots instead of chickens here?" I whispered. He nodded. " I will get you out, but you have to be really quiet." He understood and immediately crawled into a drawstring pouch that I was holding open for him under the table.



I had to find Vinny and Sprite. I walked out of the restaurant into the sunny street and started to run....

Then I woke up.

WTH???? This was as strange and disturbing as it gets. Fellow bloggers whom I have never met had shown up in one of my dreams! No offense to the bloggers who were involuntarily involved, but that dream crossed my twilight zone traumatized for life creepy threshold.

I am a science geek; I have to figure out why my brain does the things it does, especially when it does incomprehensible and disconcerting things.

Scientific theory:

Dreams are no more than our brains staying active while sleeping, usually digesting events and emotions of the day. If we happen to wake up during REM (dream stage), we "remember" the dream. Dreams during daytime naps, which is what I was doing, are particularly vivid, bizarre and frequently disturbing.

Precipitating events and numbered thoughts:

1. I got home. Tired. Made a healthy sandwich with greens, tomatoes and goat cheese on organic rye.
2. On my way home, I daydreamed about a desperately needed vacation, preferably in the tropics, sketching birds, taking photographs.
3. Read the news, came across a certain parrot species, which was going to be my first post and is still sitting in draft. Gotta finish that. I want a conure.
4. Different cultures eat strange things. Anthony Bourdain, Jane Goodall...
5. Quick alphabetical blog rounds. Read Sprite's and Vinny's posts, decided that I am too tired to leave any coherent comment.
6. Take Nana nap. [See Sprite: "Daytime nap"]

Interpretation:
This explains green parrot sandwich, as disconcerting as it may be.
The parrot communicating with me is "normal" in my dreams. I have been rescuing wildlife and animals ever since I was capable of picking them up. Dreaming that they would understand that the big scary ogre is there to help is wishful thinking.

Conclusion:
Strange dreams lead to interesting thoughts about social media.
To be continued...right after I take another napzzz...

Monday, November 12, 2012

If Supervillains Were Real...


I AM GALACTOR, DEVOURER OF GALAXIES. I WAS FORGED IN THE HIGH GRAVITY WORLD OF DARKSOR. I SURVIVED MY TRANSFORMATION AFTER I WAS RADIOACTIVATED. EXPERIMENTED ON. DROPPED ON MY HEAD. BORN THIS WAY. 

I AM PURE EVIL. I SHALL DEVOUR YOUR PUNY LITTLE GALAXY. PREPARE TO BE EATEN, PEOPLE OF EARTH. MUAHAHHHAAHHA...

Sir?

WHAT?!?

I have a telepathic transmission from your wife. She says that humans are not very nutritious and cetaceans contain too much fat. She also says that if you do not stop with this nonsense of "DEVOURING GALAXIES", she is leaving you and moving to a parallel universe. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cognitive Dissonance And Then I Lost The Plot

By Dan Golden
Confusion has set in. Belief systems are being tested. Paradigm shifts are in progress. The chronic pull of internet distraction (the new drug of complacency), has replaced the increasingly insubstantial television programs (the old drug of complacency).

Like a prospector at the height of the gold rush, too much time is spent sifting through the dirt searching for precious metals.  Too much time has been spent arguing, discussing and explaining the most basic principles of science to the ignorant; without action. Futility is the new exercise program.

Then came a storm, which took too many by surprise. "T'was foretold". There is nothing like being faced with the most elemental of forces to trigger primal responses. The strange exhilaration of experiencing a real threat that requires immediate action. Then comes the satisfaction of knowing that one is as prepared as one can be, and that there are alternatives. Alternatives that are not necessarily comfortable, efficient or convenient, but nonetheless available.

*Hugs can opener*

Some need a reminder of how precarious life is. Others express gratitude for what they realize they actually have. A few pretend it never happened.

The story writes itself. Much is irrelevant, but everything is subject to change.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Russian Cats Are Evolving

It is no secret, at least in the blogosphere, that I peruse cat videos. During my recent cat video travels I noticed something, because I am strange and notice patterns in trivial things.

Russian cats appear to be evolving at a rapid rate.

In America, cats sleep in sinks. In Japan, Maru entertains by reposing in boxes.  But in Russia, cats are washing dishes.

Exhibit One: Cat washes dishes.



Meanwhile, Flirt, our resident lovable calico moron, (trust me on this, she is as affectionate as she is stupid), spends 20 minutes trying to pull a door open that needs to be pushed. I have been forced to endure her desperate struggles for years. She still has not figured it out. In America, many videos show cute kittens that are still playing with round objects. But in Russia, cats have begun imitating human behavior and are feeding themselves.

Exhibit Two: Cat holding human container with food.
 


Conclusion: The Russian cats are going to invade us. Nobody will see it coming. You have been warned. Do not worry; I am training a highly effective cat army to defend our scented absorbent kitty litter by... *plaintive meowing*

...hang on. One of our cat soldiers is stuck behind the couch. Again. Walking backwards does not occur to her. Rescue team has been deployed.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Perspective Through Prehistory



From time to time, particularly in the current global climate, a reminder of how all of Homo sapiens spent the majority of its existence is required.

Here is is a brief and highly selective list of "It was much worse in prehistoric times."

1. Prehistoric humans had to hunt their food with flint on a stick. In return, the food hunted them back with teeth and claws. When the food left, humans migrated with them.

2. Public transportation was by foot only.

3. There were no stores or cities. They had to craft and make their own belongings.

4. There was no medication. There were no hospitals. At best, there was a healer, who administered ground up plants while chanting.

5. There was no one to sue if things went wrong.

6. If they fell off a mountain, they died. If something became infected, they died. If something ate them, they died. They ate what they found and hoped for the best. There were surprises. Average life expectancy was probably 30.

7. They lived with parasites and without toilet paper.

8. The infrastructure was usually trying to kill them.

And if you live somewhere where none of this sounds familiar, you are fortunate.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Truth In Fiction: Titans

By R. Leinweber


Tragedy befalls us all. No one escapes loss or death. Thankfully, over the course of a lifetime, tragedy does not occur on a regular basis. That is not what this post is about. This post is about the losses we have all experienced, some more than others. The losses that have slowly turned the majority of the world's population back into Davids. David's Goliath might have been no more than an unfortunate person with acromegaly; possibly being described as "larger than life". Metaphorically speaking, today's Goliaths are closer to the ancient Titans.

This is not the world I grew up in.  This is the world we have been warned about, particularly through fiction, one of the methods used to circumvent suppression of opinion and truth. It is sometimes difficult to separate fact from fiction, especially when the media employs the latter so readily.

I was too young when I read the prohibitive future envisioned by George Orwell in his novel 1984.  Too inexperienced to appreciate its meaning or understand the context.  The current list of "something is wrong" is long: mergers, dividends, recession, collapse, climate change, globalization, overpopulation, dumbification, newsspeak, technology that permits control, the illusion of freedom and choices, the future cost of cutting funding to sciences and the arts, profit margins and call centers.

Even George Orwell did not foresee the unimaginable evil of call centers.  Call centers that pay employees a dollar per day to accomplish one thing; keep your money, while wasting your time so that profit margins for lemons increase.

This is Kratos:



Kratos, for the uninitiated non-gamer, is the protagonist in the series God of War. The plot is very brief, the gratuitous violence is not. Kratos has been wronged by the Gods of Olympus and seeks revenge. On his journey to destroy Olympus, Kratos eliminates a number of monstrous nobodies and mythological creatures until he encounters the Titans.

This is Kratos fighting the Titan Cronos:

Right there. Between Cronos' fingernails is Kratos.


Actually, there is not much or any fighting when it comes to the Titans. Kratos spends most of his time with the Titans avoiding being blown away or squished. Orwell's Winston failed where Kratos succeeded:

1. YOU DO NOT TAKE ON THE TITANS.
2. You figure out the puzzle on how to get around them.
3. There is a metaphor here.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Dear Blogger: Powered By Google, Powered By Bloggers. Part 1.

I thought I should address the recent changes you have made. We need to have a little chat. Please step into my office.

1. I preferred the old word verification system. It created fun, imaginary words that we could comment on. The new verification system requires a thorough knowledge of cryptography, hieroglyphs and the evolutionary benefits of compound eyes. I cannot tell whether I am looking at an "i" with serious stomach cramps or a zombified "8". Nor do I want to squint at images of people's house numbers.
2. I do not have time for this.
3. Neither does anyone else.
4. You have taken the FUN out of commenting, which is how we communicate.
5. The new dashboard is not "streamlined" as you claim. It looks like email dating back to the 80s.
6. I miss my horizontal tabs; they were efficient. Now I have to click 3 times instead of once. Then I forget why I signed in to begin with.
7. This takes the FUN out of procrastinating.
8. Which makes me angry. 
9. Do you know what happens when I get ANGRY????

Jean Paul Sartre


10. I read a book. Made out of paper. With cats.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

December 21, 2012. The day before December 22, 2012.

Ladies and Gentlemen. Start your hoarding and don't forget to use your extreme coupons. Less than 3 months left before absolutely nothing happens.

In recent news, it was discovered that the Mayans did not run out of rock, but continued their astronomical calculations on a different piece of rock. Note: They never predicted the end of the world.

 I am not certain whether the cultural significance
of sticking out your tongue has changed
over the last 5000 years.

Some debunking is in order:

The Planet
The "planet" that defies all laws of physics and is heading our way with its magical thruster system has yet to appear. It should be visible by now. Even amateur astronomers should be able to pick this one up. If it actually existed.

During my own procrastinating investigation of this "planet" on the interwebs, I found many images of stars. Stars are stationary. Relatively speaking. I am being imprecise, but if stars start moving out of their solar systems to go on a little galactic trip, the galaxy is falling apart and then we have bigger problems than stockpiling. If something planet-sized were to collide with our planet, I do not think learning how to survive underground would be very useful or productive. Earth gone. Good luck in space. With your camping gear.

The Alien Invasion
Call me a geek, but I think this one could be really exciting. They would unite us as a species, because the human race would now have a common enemy to hate. I smell global cooperation.

Supernovas
Supernovas? Nothing close enough to go supernova and affect us. If there was, think "Big Bang". Moot point.

Rather than blaming the universe for our sins, maybe we could focus our energy and resources right here on our pale blue dot and do something about climate change, renewable and sustainable energy, overpopulation, mass extinction, pollution, famine, poverty...

In the meantime watch for the unused camping gear sales in January 2013.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Conversation Stopper


At least every 4 years I get dragged into conversations that I do not want be having and gain no knowledge from. Depending on the company, these monologues often contain conspiracy theories, unverifiable information, little humor and various doom and gloom scenarios.

Devout self-preservationist that I am, I have developed a repertoire of responses, which stop any attempt at talking about pol*litt[icks:

1. I completely agree. We need to start taxing babies. All that free-loading suckling and cooing needs to come to an end.

2. Sooooooo. Which corporation are you voting for?

3. I have been experimenting with gamma radiation as a solution to the world's problems. You might not want to stand so close....I think my ear fell into you drink. Sorry about that.

4. I cannot talk about it. It's classified. *whispers* Phase 1 of the dumbification project is complete. Let the Age of Ignorance begin. Huzzah!

5. That's why I have been stockpiling. Toothbrushes are on sale and I need about 3000 of them. I am guessing we can all come to the surface in about a century or so.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

I Took A Blogging Break And Then...

During my blogging vacation the following virtual headlines kept appearing; did VinnyC find an employer who actually appreciates his skills? What is the talented Sprite creating now? Did she post any pictures? I wonder what insightful or hilarious moments dbs is sharing. I have got to tell him about the incomprehensible post-it note I found. *Clap*. I hope Meg's move to Japan went smoothly. Life-saving Nubian disappeared for awhile. Hope she is alright. DocCyn, last I heard he was suffering from happiness.

I thought about other fellowers. Laoch, what information is he sharing and which denizens did he meet on his recent excursions? Alistair, who writes about history while cuddling his girls. Al, who is probably in the process of making fun of the last sentence. Marylinn, Claire and Jayne, whose lyrical writing relaxes me. Fellow geek David, who I could not visit during his GOT reviews. I wonder how his scifi writing is going.

Since I think about the lives and writings of my fellow blogger friends even when I am off the grid, I will have to rejoin the blogging world to find out how everyone has been faring. And please pick up this award while visiting.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Breaking Summer News

We briefly interrupt the blogging break for these important summer brained thoughts:

The summer reading project was abandoned on page 20.

One brushstroke was successfully completed.

Careful observation of a sparrow chirping on a branch is a valuable use of my time.

Either found enlightenment or got severely sunburned while hypnotized by the tides playing with seaweed.

Local farmer is missing some of his crop....Sorry???

Have joined the collective consciousness with brilliant obvious statements. "It is hot." Yes. It is. The leaves are green. The sun is bright. The night is dark....

My thumbs are too big for barbie sized keyboards. How is everyone?

There is a tractor heading my way. Gotta run.

Pssst.*whispers* You didn't see me. I wasn't actually here. Stay cool.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I Know It Is Time For A Blogging Break, When...

1. I post lists.
2. I ran out of cat videos and am considering replacing them with dog videos.
3. I procrastinate by trying to catch a moth in a cup, because it has only 1 day to find a mate.
4. Time is infinite, life is not.
5. My other hobbies have been sending me complaint letters for being neglected.
6. I have written about being overworked. Most boring information. EVER.
7. The can opener is back in the fridge. Why am I in the kitchen again?
8. I stll have not passed on the awards that I was kindly given months ago. *Cough* They are still on my To Do list.
9. My posts are written in email style.
10. I perpetually apologize for not being able to catch up with your blogs. *Hangs head in shame*
11. I miss blogging already.

I believe that I have just managed to write the most boring post in the history of Blogger, so here is an image of a T-shirt that reflects the amazing and talented people I have met in the blogosphere.

Image by TopatoCo.com


Update: Click on the image to enlarge. Thought the idea was so clever, I need to buy one. T-shirt that is.

Wish you all a great summer/winter and good writing thoughts. Stay healthy and fresh. Live long and prosper. Don't forget to feed the animals. Water the dog. Plant the cats. Watch the grass grow. Buy toothpaste.
Feel free to stop by and leave a message. I will see you soon.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Climate Change: When Scientists Rap And Swear In Public.

This video has been up for exactly one year. It did not go viral. Comments were disabled due to considerable (ignorant) backlash.

The climate has changed. It is too late to reverse the effects, but there are solutions.

This is the extended NSFW version. There is a clean one. Share. Pass it on. 





Our Planet. Our Future.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sleepy Typing


I have recently been invited to the Overworked VIP Club, which unfortunately means that I will be unable to enjoy everything that the blogosphere has to offer.

It seems strange that at a time when sleep would be beneficial, my brain has chosen to experience the novelty of insomnia. As we all know; in life we have to try everything at least once.

Me: Alright. Bed-time.
Mind: No.
Me: I am going to be tried tired tomorrow. Sleep!
Mind: Nope. 
Me: Why not?
Mind: Mind over mattress.
Me: Is there something on your mind, Mind?
Mind: Deadlines, projects, stuff.
Me: If you let me sleep, I'll get everything done.
Mind: Let's do something fun.
Me: Let's not. How about dreadful late night television?
Mind: Whaaat?!? No.No.No...That's not fair....Zzzzzz.

I do not know why anyone needs a zombiepocalypse. Why not just call it Friday?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Cat Video Awards

If cats had their own Oscars, their selections might be different than ours.

Best Sound Effects:



Best non-foreign foreign existential documentary: Henri

Best Action Movie (subtitled):




Harley: Hey Bambi. Whatchya doing?
Deer: Doe.
Harley: Oh, it's a game? Okay, I'll play.
Deer: Doe doe doe.
Harley: You're a...ummm...a riverdancer?
Deer: Doe doe.
Harley: Dances with grass?
Deer: Doe doe.
Harley: This is getting a little boring. The Wizard of Oz.
Deer: Doe doe doe doe dee.
Harley: No? Maybe I'm approaching this the wrong way. I think it's trying to communicate. It's Morse code, right?
f-mmpls---smlafrmp----a-k. That makes no sense.

Why do the weirdos always find me? Maybe if I ignore her she'll go away?

Harley: HEY! WTH? DOROTHY! WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH YOU?!
Deer: Doe big.
Harley: I don't know what you're talking about.
GO ON, SHOO! GET OUT OF HERE!
I SAID NOW, DEER TOURETTES. Go impress the tall green stuff over there with your tap dancing.
You're not a bull, buckaroo.
VACATE MY PREMISES OR I'LL EAT YOU!

Jeesh. Wildlife walks onto my property and shows no respect for the food chain. What's the world coming too?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Self-Help Industry. Use With Caution.

By Comiclife

There they are. In the self-help book section. Which I have to walk through, pass by or climb over to reach the science fiction section. Which, in some bookstores is located in the back, next to witchcraft, obscurities and uncategorized miscellany.

With dismay, I have watched this section grow over the economic crisis, promising the achievement of happiness in a certain number of steps or habits.  Sometimes they are no more than an oversimplified version of how to practice Buddhism. On occasion, I follow a link only to find myself confronted with yet another one of those lists; different version, same thing. Banal advice with little application or truth.

In RL, I occasionally have to listen to summaries of such books, when a friend is excited about the possibility of self-improvement only to discover the disappointment of being marketed to. Secrets are not revealed, but maybe his life did not need improving to begin with.

I have a habit of looking at people's bookshelves when I am invited to visit their homes. Seeing 10 books on the shelf on organizing, makes me wonder if de-cluttering would not be more easily achieved by donating them. Just wondering.

This is not to suggest that some of these books do not offer value or great insight or that one cannot find useful (why did I not think of that) ideas and suggestions in a select few.

It is the heavy-handed approach of homogenization rather than accepting individuality that bothers me.  I have flipped through a few and what appears to be ubiquitous is the following promise:

Self-help: This is what is wrong with you. If you follow this 52 week program and 365 steps you will be the deliriously happy person you have always wanted to be. If you cannot complete it, no wonder you are miserable. You are as useless as this book. Thank you for making us wealthy. No refunds.

There are no instructions for life or living it. No one provided us with the blueprints of the outcome of choosing option A versus option B. The insightful fellow blogger Marylinn Kelly put it aptly when she described us all as amateurs at life in her post named "Community Theater". Now. That is useful.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Visual Journal

As children, we draw and paint without giving any conscious thought to composition, materials or color theory.  Looking at some of my childhood creations, I see the unrestrained freedom of mixed media; collages, cutouts, stickers, crayolas and markers mixed with watercolors and found and flattened ephemera. If it could be glued down, I apparently did.  I created comic books, game boards and experimented with pop-up books.

While some stop drawing and creating altogether, my artistic endeavors became "serious". In my spare time, I studied the old masters, realism, art movements and focused on sketching and painting images inspired by the natural world.

At times prolific, at other times other interests took over, but I have always tried to keep some connection to the artistic needs of my right hemisphere. When lack of time prevented me from planning and executing completed paintings, I was restricted to sketching and doodling. Then I discovered the visual journals of Peter Beard; raw, visceral, sometimes graphic, yet always authentic.  I was familiar with his wildlife photography, but I had never seen a grown-up version of creating for the sake of creating with his childlike abandon.

Image by Peter Beard


Image by Peter Beard
Peter Beard's natural studio
I was fascinated and inspired by his journals and began combining writing journals with sketches, found images, paint and markers, without thinking about the end-product or attempting to create "art". It was liberating and allowed me to continue creating, when I had little time to devote to anything artistic.

Visual journals are not a new invention, they have been described as notebooks, field books, visual diaries, scrapbooks and recently resurfaced as "art journals". What they offer in their various guises are infinite possibilities to experiment, observe and explore the world around us and within us.  They require no artistic skill, art supplies or time-commitment. They are not restricted to subject matter or creating a work of art and can contain anything from mundane to-do lists to deep thoughts.  Eventually, they will add up to represent ones life, guiding memories through visual imagery.

I highly recommend them.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spontaneous Humor In The Produce Section

I was given the mission of hunting and gathering a variety of edibles, which included tomatoes. Upon arriving at my destination, I was positively excited that my prey was lethargically stacked in pyramid formation waiting to be selected, weighed, clubbed and dragged home.

Standing next to me at the tomato pen was a very polite looking gentleman, equally tasked with providing nourishment for his family.  As we carefully selected this fruit by color and ripeness in contemplative unison, I noticed that some of the tomatoes had some white dust on them.

Closer inspection revealed that the miniscule white dust was moving.  Unless one is married to an entomologist, this presented a problem. Wistfully, I placed them back. "Bugs," I sighed. My fellow tomato hunter paused, confirmed my observation and followed my lead.

I had moved on to a different, less ripe, non-heirloom variety, when I noticed that he had changed his mind and had decided to buy the infested tomatoes after all.

"The bugs. Maybe they're tasty," he explained.
"Some cultures consider insects a delicacy."
"I think I'll boil them."
"Well, it is extra protein."
"And the store is only charging for the tomatoes. I think it's a great deal."
"Never pass up a great bargain," I agreed.
"You're not getting any?"
"I'll be quarantined if I bring those home."
"Aah! She's a vegetarian," he stated.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Things I Learned As An Adult.


 

Everything should be as simple as possible,
but not simpler.
Albert Einstein

1. Keys need a home.

2. Always purchase black socks. This way the Ankle Crossing Syndrome is easily avoided in professional environments.

3. If a conversation starts with "Is this Atnaros Caryptos?" it will likely end there.

4. A smile goes a long way.

5. Geeks have an advantage. Being called weird is a compliment. Embrace it.

6. Nourish the inner child. It is good for your health.

7. Play nice. Failing that, get some art supplies.

8. Multiple minds are better than one. Share.

9. Sometimes one needs to say yes. Sometimes one needs to say no.
It is important to know the difference.

10. Listen to your own advice.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Women. The 52 Percent.

If women ruled the world, there would be no more wars.
But once a month there would be intense negotiations.
(Robin Williams)

Several years ago, I read an article in which authentic cave paintings were discovered that depicted women hunting alongside men. It shed light on our modern misconception of gender-based division into hunters and gatherers during pre-historic times.

It made sense. At a time when daily life was inconceivably harsh and mostly life-threatening, the "luxury" of excluding capable hands and minds based on gender probably did not exist, due to the limited resource of available human beings.

At least 52% of the world's population (and climbing) are female. That the 21st century still has inequality based on gender is confounding. Their exclusion from decision making positions is cultural rather than ability or capability based. One hopes that one day we will celebrate international best persons day. In the meantime, I extend my gratitude to all the courageous women, who improve our lives.

Given the current global economic and environmental climate, one cannot help but notice that tribes and countries led by women appear to be more successful in the humanitarian sense.  Some of our most intelligent co-inhabitants live in matriarchal societies; dolphins, elephants and bonobo chimpanzees. Considering that their ancestors have been playing the survival game longer than ours, maybe they are onto something.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Today Is A Celebration

A seemingly random collection of videos.

Interspecies friendships between two fish connoisseurs:




If only our diplomatic relations were that endearing.

An amusing commercial:



That ought to take care of that sparkly fanger Eduardo. For good. Drrakoola iz not happy.

Something about Hayao Miyazaki's borrowers over here

What is the underlying theme of all of these videos, you may wonder? That would be Sprite's birthday, a hilarious and talented fellow blogger. You can send her your best wishes at A little Sprite.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
 TO
A LITTLE SPRITE 

Sprite, hope you have a wonderful birthday celebration with copious amounts of cake and chocolate. And journals. And books. And art supplies.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Unbreaking The News

The Dystopian Times February 2212 Edition
Breaking News:

Another Outbreak of Mass-Panic
"We wanted to keep people in a healthy state of fear, but we are still adjusting doses of the government issued Perplexor TM,"  explained Brian vonNut, PharmCity official.
Read less here.

Escalation of the Bean Wars
The State of New Cucumber has declared war on Mesopotamia in an effort to find the last coffee bean on earth.

Healthy People Under Attack 
Pro-aging groups are demonstrating for their fundamental right to experience illness. 

Other News
Construction of the DeathStar has ceased due to budget cuts.

Owner of Chihuapoodle reunited with her beloved pooch after 80 years. "I have no idea how he got into the cryogenic chamber," stated relieved 182 year old Ethel Bimbrack.

Senator Bombastic still denies climate change as he paddles to work.

LaLa, the world's most successful singer recently released her new album "Humming just one note for 61 months".

Science News
Startled scientists discover that the Andromeda galaxy will collide with the Milky Way much faster than previously calculated. Possibly. In 3 billion years. Or so. Give or take 1 billion years. Maybe.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Antares Teleportation Agency

At the Antares Teleportation Agency we seek to provide excellent customer service to anyone who needs to get somewhere instantaneously.

Late for work? Need a vacation but cannot take time off? Dissatisfied with poor spaceline travel, long wait times at spaceports and cancelled flights due to space storms? Has your luggage been sent to a different galaxy, yet again? Have you returned with an extraterrestrial parasite? Has the FTL drive malfunctioned and your grandchild returns older than you?

Then welcome to the Antares Teleportation Agency. We use star-powered teleportation units to disintegrate you at your original location of origin and reassemble your molecular information at your destination of choice. Imagine the possibilities that we offer:

You could be here for your lunch hour:

Rainforest Botanical Garden, Brazil

Explore ancient ruins during a day trip and return to your own bed at night:

Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia

Unique adventure destinations for those "extra-special" people in your life are also available upon request.



Special discount rates apply to teleportation commuters.

Why wait? Life is infinite, teleportation is instant.
We accept payment by thought, DNA patent and local planet currency.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Three Second Story

Saw this challenge of writing a three sentence story at dbs, who created an ominous but engaging piece of writing in three sentences. Thought I should give it a go:

Man ponders bridge.
Man crosses bridge.
Man gets to other side.

Your turn.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

When Animals Talk Funny.

I suppose when nature gives you quills that embed themselves in flesh, you can startle off predators with THE VOICE:




I had to check as I initially assumed this was fake, apparently they really do sound like they have inhaled helium or are auditioning for a cartoon.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

There Is Something Wonderful About Blogging

Several posts about social media were supposed to precede this one. Then life happened. In hindsight, if I could have predicted certain events, 2011 would have been one of the worst years to start a blog. A year later, I am somewhat surprised that this blog is still here.

Blogs are (as we all know) time-consuming. Everyone blogs for their own personal reasons, I can only write about my own experience as a "hobby blogger". Blogging does not offer the same relaxation or benefits that some of my other hobbies or passions do. In my case, painting, reading and writing. They are mostly solitary activities and are not intended to be shared. I do not sketch or write into my journals thinking about submission or publication. They simply offer a diversion and the enjoyment of creating something for myself.

Blogging is different. It is meant to be shared. Publicly.

Blogging was not on my list of "things to do". It seemed like a huge waste of time; I am not promoting anything, I was not looking for on-line friends nor am I one of the digital natives, who is willing to trade privacy for social media.

I was aware of the stats related to compensation through blogging. Less than 10% of bloggers earn any remotely significant revenue through their blogs. An even smaller percentage are able to rely on blogging for their full-time income and those are usually tech bloggers. The only way I was going to join the blogosphere (beyond commenting) is to treat it as a new hobby and have fun.

Personally, the most challenging part was that the posts that I had planned to write took too much time and I had to get used to the idea that I was publishing unfinished and unedited posts. In the absence of time, I frequently thought of returning to commenting, but instead posted cat videos. *Ahem*. No one told me blogging was going to be addictive.

I think that it goes beyond having fun and reading shared experiences. I have heard the term "social evolution" being applied to our new digital age.  We are communicating across all boundaries, forming friendships with people whom we will probably never meet, but that are no less genuine. (For a recent post on virtual friendships see Vinny C.) This particular aspect of social media breaks all demographic barriers.

Our backgrounds, place of origin, age-groups, gender and/or level of education are virtually irrelevant. It is our thoughts, opinions and writing that matter. Within moments any of us is in the company of writers, thinkers, artists, poets, scientists, humorists etc. as suits our needs and schedules. There is an unspoken mutual respect for acknowledging individual copyright or ideas. In this particular community, I have yet to encounter the lack of tolerance for diverging opinions that I sometimes come across in other social media platforms. If this is social evolution, I want to be an active participant.

Thank you for visiting. Nice to meet you all.
And zere ya go.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Eulogy For Spawn. The Cat Who Did Not Like To Be Touched.

Source: Wikipedia
Spawn was one of Terry's gifts. His history was unknown, except for the fact that he was too aggressive to remain in adoption for long and had been returned to the rescue group.

We speculated that he was likely a purebred Maine Coon that had failed to meet the personality expectations associated with the breed. Spawn was the most beautiful cat that I have ever owned or was owned by. He was black, long-haired, lion-maned, big with large tufted paws and green predatory eyes. He somehow managed to make any posture look regal.

Unfortunately his beauty was only fur-deep. He was deceptively friendly, would greet everyone, invite being petted by rubbing against legs, hands and heads, until he would deliver one of his bone-scraping bites. The predictably unpredictable sequence of events was nudge, pet me, purr, *CHOMP*...Emergency room. Repeat. New visitors, drawn to his beauty, would be met at the door by a stern and well-rehearsed: "don't touch him, he bites". I felt an odd sense of camaraderie when I discovered that the writer and artist Neil Gaiman was dealing with similar feline issues

For a while I considered Spawn my animal whispering failure. The biting did not stop. His idea of playing with the other cats was to chase them off his favorite furniture, then ignore them. His other hobby was stealing and shredding their toys.

He liked human company and he would always join us on the couch to sleep through a movie. It took some time for me to realize that while I was trying to socialize and train him, Spawn was asserting his own personality and training me. What he was clearly trying to tell me was:

"Alright, human. Here's the deal. My ancestors used to set sail with the Vikings, hence the water-resistant fur. Notice the big paws? They were made for walking on the snow. Got some Siberian from my mother's side.
All this incessant absent-minded stroking of fur is aggravating. Try it on the bimbo calico in the next room. She lives for that sissy stuff.
When I roll on my back, it is because I am happy or hungry. It is not an invitation to rub my belly. How would you like that?
Yeeahh. Didn't think so.
Gotta stay in shape though; you throw a ball, I'll fetch it for ya'.
There's a squirrel that needs my attention. You're dismissed."

I shall miss my majestic untouchable beast.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

If Cats Ruled The World




We would live in colonies without hierarchy.
There would be no wars. Only the occasional posturing, hissing and growling.

Our mothers would teach us to play with our food.

The Olympics would include: Short-distance rolling, endurance napping and target grooming.
There would be no catnip doping scandal.

The government would offer cuddling rebates for energy efficiency during the winter.
Everyone would be responsible for their own waste disposal: Don't forget to dig, deposit and cover.
Vacuum cleaners would be banned due to noise pollution.
China would manufacture high quality bottle caps, string and other battable objects. 
['battable': See Revised Cat Dictionary]

We would get to play with new kittens several times a year for early human training, behavioral conditioning and educational purposes.

I have to go. My master just purred my name.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Top 10 Reasons For Posting A Video On My Blog

1. It must be shared because it is humorous or inspiring.
2. I do not have the time or inclination to finish my drafts.
3. Lassitude.
4. I like multimedia.
5. Sometimes videos are better than television.
6. Great filler post.
7. Good reason.
10. And ten.

What better way to celebrate my first post of 2012 than with an amusing commercial?