Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Alberta Wildlife Cam Snaps Bear Tree Party

Huh, so this is where Uncle Walter has been going all these years.


Surfing Tanzania

This is so cool. My old Oregon and Australia friend Jeff Stanley provides the music for this video, made by his photographer brother Peter Stanley, of he and friends surfing Coco Beach, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (Pete has lived there for several years.)

More Jeff here.

Pete's National Geographic page.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Noise of the Green Wall

Walking in Narrabeen on July 10, 2013, the day of the death of my friend John, I stop and hold my phone to a green wall, to hear the sounds in my head.

This video is not sideways.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Recommended Blog: Prof Chris Daly's Blog

Just learned about this blog via comments on this review of that blogger's book, Covering America: A Narrative History of a Nation's Journalism, on Amazon, which was recommended by Reuters' Jack Shafer in this article which I got to via this tweet.

Alrighty then.

Chris Daly is a writer, journalist, professor, and historian. I live near Boston and teach at Boston University. Before that, I worked for many years for The Associated Press and for The Washington Post, where I was the New England correspondent. 
I'm going to read this newly found blog because I think it might make me smarter. Here's hoping.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

RIP, Tunch

I have never met this cat, or his owner, John Cole, blog master of the very good Balloon Juice, but it was an awful kick in the gut when I read about his very unfortunate passing this morning. This just sucks.

We kidded John about Tunch:

...but we all of course grew to love that good kitty over the years.

So sorry, John. And thoughts to your sister, and your brother, who both must be devastated in their own very painful ways. Too sorry.

Here's a link to John's "Cat Blogging" tag, where you can read hundreds of hilarious and tender Tunch posts (example), along with maybe even more cat rescue posts, as BJ is an animal rescue internet haven. (Please see the note at the end of the sad Tunch post.)

Too sad.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Reporter: To prevent pedophilia, we should give pedophiles children to have sex with! [update]

Josh Barro
Okay, not exactly, but close enough, theory-wise.

Josh Barro, politics editor for Business Insider, wrote an article yesterday with this headline:
Implosion Of Virginia Governor Shows Why We Need To Pay Elected Officials More
The Virginia governor he's talking about: Bob McDonnell. Barro tells us about him right off the bat:
Alex Burns of Politico expresses incredulity that McDonnell has apparently tossed away his presidential ambitions by accepting gifts like a Rolex watch—and a $120,000 payment that may or may not have been a loan—from one of his top donors.
That really doesn't give us the whole story: McDonnell is being investigated by both Virginia law enforcement agencies and the FBI on allegations of very serious wrongdoing:
The money to the corporation and Maureen McDonnell brings to $145,000 the amount Williams gave to assist the McDonnell family in 2011 and 2012 — funds that are now at the center of federal and state investigations.
Williams, the chief executive of dietary supplement manufacturer Star Scientific Inc., also provided a $10,000 check in December as a present to McDonnell’s eldest daughter, Jeanine, intended to help defray costs at her May 2013 wedding, the people said.
Virginia’s first family already is under intense scrutiny for accepting $15,000 from the same chief executive to pay for the catering at the June 2011 wedding of Cailin McDonnell at the Executive Mansion.
All the payments came as McDonnell and his wife took steps to promote the donor’s company and its products.
What's Josh Barro's response to this?
Politicians are human. They want sex and money and power like anybody else. They make crass and boneheaded errors in pursuit of them like anybody else.
But at least on the money dimension, we have a way to reduce the likelihood that elected officials will err: Pay them more. The Governor of Virginia makes $175,000 a year, and that is, in some sense, a lot of money. It’s about three times the median household income in the state. It’s plenty of money to live a nice lifestyle on.
But it’s not nearly enough money to match the lifestyle of the sort of people you become surrounded by when you are a powerful political leader. And while some people have the ability to make peace with that (Pope Francis comes to mind), many don’t.
There is a really lot of bad reporting and writing on politics in the U.S. (and the world) these days, so it's easy to write another plop on the pile like this off. But this is really in a league of its own.

• A powerful elected official is being investigated for what looks like taking bribes.

• Political reporter Josh Barro's response: If only we gave the guy taking bribes more money in the first place—he wouldn't have taken the bribes!

I'm finding it hard to follow that. Honestly. A prominent political reporter responds to allegations of bribery by an elected public official not by focusing on that possible crime against the public—but by saying the public should give elected officials more money.

The only thing I can honestly right this second come up with for a finish: What the fuck is wrong with us?

Update: Virginia's governor is 4th highest paid governor in nation.

Image of Josh Barro from here.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

RIP, John Koch

Born in Denmark, 1957; died in Sydney's Northern Beaches, July 10, 2013.

So long, my friend.

Update: From John's wake.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Donut Mitosis

This may be the funniest thing that ever happened:

The sprinkles are the chormosomes and micotubules and whatnot. Oh heck, that is hilarious.

By New York artist Kevin Van Aelst.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Song: 'Inside Joke'

From my CD Bottomfeeders:

You can get that song for mere pennies at iTunes! (Look in "LT's Music" in the sidebar on the right for more places to get my songs. And you can listen to some others at MySpace.)

Lyrics and musician credits, from the liner notes:

Bonus: Forgot about this.

That is all. Thank you!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Four Wild Lorikeets in My Lap, Eating Apples

Don't quite know how this happens, but these guys are simply unafraid of people. It's probably something that's been passed down through many generations—evidenced by the fact that these four are made up of a mating pair and their two young (they ocassionally feed them via their crops still), who they have already taught that humans like us are suckers.

Full video, with exciting (not exciting) pixellation interruptions for first minute-and-a-half:


Rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) information at Birds In Backyards.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Man catches 200-year-old fish

I find this story depressing:
Fisherman Henry Liebman recently made a deep-sea catch he’ll never forget, reeling in a record-setting shortraker rockfish. Caught off the coast of Sitka, Alaska, Liebman’s fish weighed in at nearly 40 lbs. (the previous high was 38.69 pounds). That’s impressive and all, but here’s the mindblowing part: The fish is estimated to be nearly two centuries old.
From Yahoo!
News: Troy Tidingco, Sitka area manager for the state Department of Fish and Game, said the fish is still being analyzed but he believes it is at least 200 years old. Tidingco said that would beat the current record of 175 years. Researchers are able to determine the age of a shortraker by the number of growth rings along its ear bone.
That fish has been going about its business since Abraham Lincoln was learning cursive. Maybe longer. Now, some doofus has his hands in its dead gills, smiling for press photographers.


The shortraker rock-fish.

Hand-Cranked Wooden Toy Does Sleight-of-Hand Trick

Very cool:

Made by Swedish artist Per Helldorff. Much more at his website.

One more: