Sunday, October 29, 2006

Pictures: Ghostly Toast, and other unexpected faces

Yes, I ate him.

But perhaps I shouldn't have, because a few days later I saw...

And then, after another ill-fated meal....

What does it mean?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Oh, that smarts....

You scored as A college textbook. You're an authority on something, you just know it. Everyone else does, too, but that doesn't mean they like you. Since you think very highly of everything you say, you charge a pretty penny to entertain your listeners. Those forced to pay do so grudgingly and try to defray the costs of learning from you by selling portions of their access to your charms to others. As a result of this speedy dissemination of your knowledge, you constantly add to your repertoire--and then hike your price. Despite your usefullness, which is rarely in doubt, nobody likes you. They find you didactic, boring and irrelevant--but still necessary.
A college textbook
A classic novel
A coloring book
The back of a froot loops box
An electronics user's manual
A paperback romance novel

Your Literary Personality
created with [via]

Monday, October 23, 2006

Fifty Foods Meme

via. Bold the ones you've eaten and italicize the ones you didn't like.

American diner breakfast
Australian meat pie
Chinese food
Clam chowder (Manhattan style)

Cornish Pasty
Cream tea
Durian fruit
Fresh fish
Greek food
Guinea pig
Ice cream
Jerk chicken/pork
Lamb Kebab
Mexican food
Moreton Bay Bugs

Roast beef
Thai food

Friday, October 20, 2006

New Toy; New Bug Pictures

I got a new camera this week. Still getting used to it (it's a pretty good step up from what I had, and it handles very differently) but, as always, I'm happy to share bug pictures here!

The common black fly is one of the hardest things to catch on film....

I was surprised how fierce ants can look from from the right angle.

I think it's time to dust.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Quotations #086

"The day of small nations has passed away. The day of Empires has come." -- Joseph Chamberlain, 12 May 1904

"We have learned that we cannot live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other nations, far away. We have learned that we must live as men, and not as ostriches, nor as dogs in the manger. We have learned to be citizens of the world, members of the human community." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt, Fourth Inaugural Address (20 January 1945)

"We hope the world will not narrow into a neighborhood before it has broadened into a brotherhood." -- Lyndon B. Johnson, 22 December 1963 (national Christmas Tree lighting)

"The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes." -- Stanley Kubrick, 5 June 1963

"It is well to observe the force and virtue and consequence of discoveries, and these are to be seen nowhere more conspicuously than in those three which were unknown to the ancients, and of which the origins, though recent, are obscure and inglorious; namely, printing, gunpowder, and the mariner's needle [the compass]. For these three have changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world." -- Francis Bacon, Novum Organum (1620)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Official Seal Generator and Nietzsche Family Circus

Official Seal Generator

If you don't want all the decision making trauma, how about pairing random Nietzsche quotes with random Family Circus cartoons? Try it!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Quotations #085

"Rabbi Elazar ben (son of) Shamua said, the honor of your student should be as dear to you as your own; the honor of your colleague should be as the fear of your [Torah] teacher; and the fear of your teacher should be as the fear of Heaven." -- Pirkei Avot Chapter 4, Mishna 15(a)

"No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe the doctors, nothing is wholesome; if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent; if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require to have their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense." -- Lord Salisbury, 15 June 1877

"An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less." -- Nicholas Murray Butler, Columbia U. commencement, attributed. [concludes in some versions "until he knows nearly everything about almost nothing."]

"I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor hate them, but to understand them." -- Baruch Spinoza, Tractatus Politicus (1677)

"Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn." -- George Bernard Shaw, Back to Methuselah (1921)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Quotations #084

"Speech is civilization itself ... It is silence that isolates." -- Thomas Mann

Mao Tse-tung (1893-1976) (or not, it's hard to tell. HT to Scott McLemee), on the meaning of the French Revolution: "It's too early to tell."

"Who are you? Why are you here? What do you want? What do you live for?" -- J. Michael Straczynski

"Of all our studies, history is the best qualified to reward our research." -- Malcolm X (Al Jajj Malik Shabazz, 1925-1965)

"History is the discovering of constant and universal principles of human nature." -- David Hume (1711-1776)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Thursday Lyric: Montreal, December '89

True stories make the most powerful songs. Obviously, this one was brought to mind by recent events.
[Sorry, but the lack of punctuation marks drives me nuts. I'm gonna put them in.]

Montreal, December '89
by Judy Small

It was a cold December afternoon, the line stretched round the block,
And some of them were weeping and some were still in shock.
Seven thousand came that day to pay their last respects
To fourteen women slaughtered for no reason but their sex.
And the cameras and the mikes were there to record the grief and fear
Of the ordinary people who worked and studied here,
And a woman in her fifties in a gentle quiet tone
Summed up her sisters' outrage at the murder of their own.

She said, "I wonder why, as I try to make sense of this,
Why is it always men who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist?
Why does 'gunman' sound so familiar while 'gunwoman' doesn't quite ring true?
What is it about men that makes them do the things they do?"

And the man behind her in the line, he started getting steamed.
He said, "It wasn't because he was a man, this guy was crazy, mad, obscene."
"Yes he was crazy," the woman replied, "But women go crazy too.
And I've never heard of a woman shooting fourteen men, have you?"
And all those other times came flooding back to me again:
A hundred news reports of men killing family, strangers, friends.
And yes I can remember one or two where a woman's hand held the gun,
But exceptions only prove the rule and the questions still remain.

And don't you wonder why, as you try to make sense of this,
Why is it always men who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist?
Why does "gunman" sound so familiar while "gunwoman" doesn't quite ring true?
What is it about men that makes them do the things they do?

And I know there are men of conscience who aren't like that at all,
Who would never raise a hand in anger and who reject the macho role.
And if you were to ask them about the violence that men do,
I know they'd say they hate male violence too,

And so we wonder why, as we try to make sense of this,
Why is it always men who resort to the gun, the sword and the fist?
Why does "gunman" sound so familiar while "gunwoman" doesn't quite ring true?
What is it about men that makes them do the things they do?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Image: Bumblebee

Another in my continuing series in which I get really lucky with inadequate equipment and preparation, and actually take an interesting insect picture.