Sunday, May 31, 2009

An act of terror occurred today in Kansas

Family planning provider Dr. George Tiller was murdered entering his church's Sunday service. People who call themselves "pro-life" rejoiced. This was an act of terrorism by definition. Think the traditional media will define it that way like they did over a bunch of idiots?

The right wing gets crazier by the day. Expect much more of this.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hold your head up

A new paper by Darren Naish, Michael Taylor and Matt Wedel is rewriting the book (again) on how sauropod dinosaurs looked. It compares the neck posture of living tetrapods with the iconic giant sauropods and concludes that they walked with their incredibly long necks held erect rather than held out in front of them, like commonly depicted. These guys know what they're talking about; they're hard core when it comes to the vertebrae of sauropods.
Image Credit: Mark Witton

Sorry. I just had to add this.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday, May 16, 1953

Lee J and I are at my mom and stepdad's house in North Carolina. Keith Fisher, my stepdad, showed us some journals that his grandfather, Edmund Redfield, kept obsessive journals about his life. We got a good laugh reading those so I decided to transcribe the entry exactly 56 years ago. I'll try to make this verbatim, but since this was handwritten in pencil on scraps of paper, some of the words I have to guess at.

Sat. May 16, 1953. Raised west window about 1", Slept to 6:10. Arose. Put on fuzzy-wuzzy slippers. Made a 9-view pencil sketch of a folding aluminum Bee Hive, complete with folding aluminum base, nesting aluminum cover, and lining inner cover, and floor in base. Worked sketching 8:40 to 9:40, up to 1st floor. N.B.E. extensive, loose. Down to basement 9:55. Built up fire in stove with some paper, a board, and a dozen sticks of wood. Put teapot on top of stove. It contained Fenugreek Tea. Added water. Put 74-grams of A&P Summerfield Quick Oats in the top bowl of Pyrex glass double boiler. Placed on top of stove, added 8-oz. of hot water 10:00, wrote diary 10:00 to 10:10. Lay down on bed. Tired and sleepy 10:15. Slept to 11:45. Ellen Bellars came to the door. I arose. Put on fuzzy-wuzzy slippers. Opened the door a little. Told Ellen I was not feeling well, and not dressed. She wanted to know if I wanted anything from the store. I told her I would make out a list if she would wait. Gave her the list and a bill of 40¢ due Eshleman's East Side Market, and some money. She left 12:00. I went up to 1st floor. Took along stainless steel frying pan, also covered aluminum frying pan. Down to basement. Dressed. Put on old white rayon "Du-Ons" underwear, 3rd best blue Kupenheimer pants, heavy wool, plaid work shirt, long, light brown cotton soxs, and old brown oxfords. Pored out 16-oz. of rather weak Fenugreek Tea. Added 64-grams A&P Spring bloom Honey, and stirred. Ellen Bellars got back. She couldn't get all the things I listed. She purchased 1-12-oz carton A&S Cottage cheese 23¢, a 1-14 oz, can of Taylor's Sweet Potatoes 29¢ and 1- Northern Paper Towel 20¢. Total 72¢, Tax 2¢, total spent 74¢. Ellen paid bill of 40¢. Total $1.14. I wrote a note to Vandenberg Paint Store for 1-Qt. of Turpentine 30¢. Gave Ellen 30¢, Tax 1¢, Total 31¢, and 5¢ for the errand, including picking up the turpentine and bringing it back from down town after the show at the Sterling Theater, which she plans to see. She left 12:25. I drank 16-oz Fenugreek Tea. Not very warm. 13:30. Up to 1st floor, bathed face and hands. Down to basement 12:35. Brought along an old face towel and hung on a rack at rear of stove. Wrote diary to 12:50, Got remaining sugar syrup in pt. glass jar and went outdoors. Uncovered the Package Bees under the lean-to shelter. Found a lot of large black ants were licking up the surplus sugar syrup. I killed a lot of them. Fed the Package Bees sugar syrup,  and covered them with a piece of old canvas 12:50 to 1:10. Back in the house, strong cold east wind. Cut out a sliver in left thumb and a couple slivers on back edge of right hand to 1:15. Wrote diary. Put a 5" dia x 19" long chunk of wood in stove. Up to 1st floor. Took along a roll of paper towels. Put in the plastic paper towel fixture. Washed some thin paper off top of a hive where stuck to paint. Down to basement 1:35. Put 13-(92 grams) pitted dates to soak in 200-grams hot water, added 36-grams of A&P Spring bloom Honey, added 20-grams of Lynne Goat Milk Powder, 8-grams of Live Wheat Germ, 10-grams Loma Linda Soyalac, Soy Bean Milk Powder, and about 260-grams of oatmeal. Ate slowly 1:45 to 2:15. Wrote diary to 2:25. Read "Prevention" magazine for April 1953 to 3:25, Earl Ellmaker came 3:25. We went up to 1st floor. Earl nailed together 10 Shallow Supers, and 5-Deep Hive Bodies, and 1-Base. Gave them all a coat of white shellac to 6:15. I nailed an aluminum top on a cover I had given 2-coats of Ivory Paint and sat around and talked. Too miserable to do anything. Bad pains in chest and a dry hacking cough. Down basement 5:20. Earl got a couple 2-Queen Separators. Earl also got a couple crates from the trunk of his car gave me. Earl left 5:25. Raining all afternoon. I noticed Charles Gaumer brought over the old rear porch steps he had a carpenter replace yesterday. I pulled off some board from one of the crates Earl gave me and got a fire started. Wrote diary 6:30 to 6:40. Opened a 1-14 oz. can of Taylor Sweet Potatoes. Put on top of stove to warm. Added a little hot water, and about 1/2-gram of Sage and 1/2-gram of Sweet Basil 6:45. Put on old rubbers, 3rd best Kupenheimer vest and coat, dark gray hat and neutral color Top Coat. Outdoors 6:55. Over to Bellars. Asked Mr. Bellars if Ellen got home. I mentioned I asked her to get a bottle of turpentine for me. He said she was expected home most any time. I walked home 7:00 Removed rubbers, Top Coat, and dark gray hat. Wrote diary 7:05. Knocked a crate apart, Pulled nails put some of the wood in the stove. Swept floor to 7:20. Up to 1st floor. Washed hands. Down to basement 7:25. 
I sat in old Craftsman chair too tired to move. Read a little in Sat. May 16th Gazette to about 9:00. Fell asleep about 10:00. Continued reading to 12:05 Wrote diary to 12:10. Miserable, and awful tired. Up to 1st floor. N.B.E. average, plastic. Down to basement 12:15. Built up fire in stove with some paper. Also put in part of a carton and some thin crate boards. Wrote diary. Sat in old Craftsman chair and read "Life" magazine for May 18th, 1953 to 3:25. Put part of carton in stove. Up to 1st floor. Found I left light burning in dining room. It had been burning since 12:25. Down to basement 3:35. Put part of an old carton in stove. Room chilly. Wrote diary.
Cash on hand $13:24.
Removed clothes. Put on old blue pajamas and old blue robe.
Retired 3:50. Awful tired and sleepy. Chest pains due to congestion, cough, digestive upset after eating. Nervous. Eyes hurt. Miserable, no pep or interest in things, indecisive, tire quickly everything I do, and weary beyond words to describe.
Weather, cloudy all day cold E. wind. Rain, mist all afternoon. To-night, cloudy, more rain. E. wind, miserable weather.

He lived from June 7, 1888 to December 19th 1954.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo

A little Bay Area flava for today: Pete and Sheila Escovedo with Rebeca MauleĆ³n kick up a latin groove.