Sunday, December 31, 2006

Drop Dead Gorgeous

another weird/funny site found by Yahoo!Picks. I think my favorite is the cotton candy tornado:

Drop Dead Gorgeous

screenshotYou think you've overindulged. At least you haven't succumbed to Slim-Fast, overdosed on M&M's, or been savaged by a flock of banana peels (at least we hope not). We all have food issues around the holidays, but the subjects of Daniela Edburg's lavishly posed, color-saturated photographs have more troubles than most. Hosted by The Morning News, this slide show and accompanying interview revels in the glamorous hedonism—and tragic consequences—of what happens when women's relationship to food is amped up one thousand percent. Pursued by cotton candy, smothered in Saran Wrap, betrayed by Live Savers, each vignette is beautiful and sly. Wander through the Mexican photographer's work now. Eye the Nutella and Gummi Bears later. (in Photographers)

Friday, December 29, 2006

my FL blog links

since my Florida blog entries have gotten lost in the "blog shuffle", here they are. I'm still referencing them regularly:

Thursday, December 28, 2006

google earth

Just before (I think) the map search engines started including satellite pictures in their sites, Google Earth came out. You have to download an engine to run it. (and remember: double-clicking on the plus or minus sign zooms in or out as long as you don't click again, so it can be frustrating if you're not sure what the heck it is doing)

Anyway, I was just prompted to reload the engine yesterday (I'd loaded it when it was new, but the hard drive died and I had to get a new one, etc, etc) when Wikipedia showed me that it has a Google Earth link for a town that I was curious to know about (actually, curious to know if there was any more info that I didn't already know about it - it's a small place).

Well, as coincidences show, there is an interesting article I just found today. It talks about how scientific research is being doing on Google Earth. Pretty cool.

Google Earth Embraced by Geologists

Monday, December 18, 2006

Episcopal Church split

I am a participant in the Episcopal church traditions and fellowship of my home church. Our church is "libaral", in that we support all that has happened in recent years with the Episcopal Church (gay bishop, female presiding bishop).

Here's the latest in the split. It's so unfortunate. I would agree that the congregations and dioceses that have chosen to move under African leadership are no longer Episcopalian, since they're abdicating one of the basic reasons that the Episcopal church started: self-governance. Now that they're willing to be governed by another nation, they're not observing that basic tenant. :-(

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I'm Comet

found this on the blog of my friend, Barbara. Who'da known this would be me?

You Are Comet

A total daredevil, you're the reindeer with an edge!

Why You're Naughty: You almost gave Santa a heart attack when you took him sky diving

Why You're Nice: You always make sure the sleigh is going warp speed

Saturday, December 09, 2006

bad public speakers

As should be obvious from looking at this blog, I love to read. So when I get the opportunity to see a writer whose works I've read, I am excited to hear, live, some of the sentiment that goes into the general soul of each of the writer's books.

I've seen a few writers who are very nice to see live. They have entertaining anecdotes, and, if they repeat something that's in a book, there's usually a new, refreshing twist on the material that causes the knowing reader to smile.

Oh, but I've seen some authors who were at risk for causing me to not want to read something of theirs again because I wasn't impressed at their "presence".

One author was supposedly a comedian. But I hadn't been real excited by his comedy. Then he wrote a book that I thought was very entertaining. Soon after that I got to see him as the keynote speaker for a conference I went to. I was reminded of why I hadn't been impressed by his comedy.

Well, this week I had a similar experience. I've been going to this local lecture series. I am so happy that my friend organized several of us to sit near each other. I hadn't even known about the lecture series and she brought it to my attention.

The speaker for this week was really not worth going to see in a "large audience" format. I liked his book, but he repeated most of it in the lecture, even reading approximately 10 pages at a time from it. Atop of that he was a very quiet, bedroom slippers, kind of personality. I really wished I could be at home laying on the couch (reading something, perhaps). I'm sure he would be nice to talk to 1:1, and there was a reception afterwards that I could have gone to, but I was just too darn sleepy.

Better luck next time. I'm told the lecture before this one, that I missed, was great.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

a little history of Florida

Like the Michener book on Texas I read in August, this book starts at about 500 years ago. The story is told, however, by a native north-Floridian at the time of the 2001 "hanging-chad" incident in Florida's capital.

Like one of the reviews that is on the page for this book, it tells a history of not only Florida, but of her own family as well. So, there is history on aborigines vs Europeans as well as "slice-of-life" history of an old-South family in a part of Florida that is a little bit more like Georgia to the north than the rest of Florida.

I found the aboriginal history to be an ok starting place for where I'd want to go to get better information. There were many tribes of "American Indians" as well as an aboriginal Cuban influence.

When the Europeans started wanting to colonize, there were battles between the French and Spanish, as well as the challenges for those who came from non-tropics dealing with tropical weather.

One thing I found particularly interesting (it hadn't occurred to me before) is that, since Florida is such a great place to have zoos, with wildlife that is native to all parts of the globe (except, perhaps, polar bears and penguins), that when one of the many hurricanes comes around, the wildlife in Florida gets an influx of all kinds of weird species. It appears that no one knows what is native and what is not.

Which brings me to a thought that was not discussed in the book. There is a lot of consternation these days over saving the Manatees.

This gentle beast is not too smart and apparently gets run over by motorboats very easily. It's endangered, I believe.

manatee picture

Well, a casual argument that I've heard when visiting Florida is that Manatees are not native anyway, so why worry; also, they eat all this native grass that messes up the ecosystem. But the other side of the argument says no, the grass is not native and cleaning it up helps the ecosystem.

But I digress. The book was worth reading. I really did not know anything about Florida except that I'd lived there (Orlando) for 6 months 20 years ago, it's flat and warm (with great waterways, including an ocean!), and has Disney and many other tourist areas.

I feel a little wiser now, when considering moving my family there. There are a lot of warts that come with the state. For instance, I read in the book it was late in understanding the need for civil rights among all Americans; still struggles today to get with the program.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini

In October, I went to the first of a series of lectures being held by renound authors. The October lecture was given by Amy Tan. In preparation, I wanted to make sure I read one of her books. I hadn't read anything of hers before.

I chose The Hundred Secret Senses.

I am glad I chose this one. What she said in her lecture was very much part of this book. I could tell that her philosopies were very much like those of the American sister (the protagonist).

The general story involves two girls/women (they're half-sisters) of Chinese descent, and the story starts somewhere in the US (California, maybe?). There is an awful wrong that the American sister does to the Chinese sister when they are kids. When they are adults they end up in China, and there is much that the American sister learns while they are there.

I recommend this book for women. There is another book, The Kite Runner, that had the same flavor, that may have more universal appeal.

The Kite Runner is about a kid growing up in Afghanistan in the 60s or something where one fanatic group, then another, invaded and ruined life for the people who were living there. Basically created anarchy somewhat similar to the anarchy that reigns in Iraq today. I hear that it's getting better? (but I digress . . .)

The kid does something awful to his best friend, and his Dad escape Afghanistan and go to live in California. Everything happens in California, I guess. There are stories about culture shifts, adapting, etc.

The reason I compare these two books is because they both discuss confusion surrounding different cultures, plus there is a deep regret that the protagonist in each story has about a wrong they caused in someone who was very important to them.

Friday, November 17, 2006


I was reading one of my many email newsletters today and saw the best picture of a tree. It inspired me to go searching for a tree in Yahoo. Here's one that was very cool:

picture broken for now - in the meantime, take a look at the search link

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Speaking of Faith radio show

This is a radio show I like to listen to every once and a while. A variety of religious topics is discussed, relating the topics to events that are happening today.

So I was happy to see a description of it on Yahoo!Picks. I recommend using the podcast option. I'm not a real fan of sitting and listening, unless I'm in the car. So I put the show on my iPod and listen if I'm taking a walk or something.

Speaking of Faith

screenshotIn this country, some people see religion as a debate between those who despise the theory of evolution and those who think God is a four-letter word. But Speaking of Faith, "public radio's conversation about religion, meaning, ethics, and ideas," takes a much-needed, more-nuanced approach. Hosted by Krista Tippett, who received a Masters of Divinity at Yale, the series ranges far and wide in examining different aspects of spirituality. While hot-button issues like gay marriage, religious fundamentalism, and "The Da Vinci Code" are not spared, the show also explores less-traveled areas like the challenge war poses to core religious tenets and the history of doubt. The program's archive goes back to 2001. Download each show in MP3 format, listen to it with RealPlayer, or subscribe to a podcast. And find yourself, possibly, thinking and speaking of faith with a broader perspective. (in Religion & Spirituality)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Leonardo da Vinci's Animated Illustrations

From: Yahoo! Picks

Leonardo da Vinci's Animated Illustrations

screenshotForget da Vinci's code, his notebooks are mind-boggling enough. And now that the Victoria and Albert Museum has translated nine of his drawings into mini-movies for a major exhibit of his books, the animated results are nearly divine. A human heart throbs, a church rises from the ground, and a beam of light moves slowly across a man's face. But if you only have a few moments, don't miss:

  • "Human figures in motion"—grown men hammer, dig, jump, kneel, and sprint off the page.
  • "Warfare"—Leonardo's thoughts on the "mechanization of war" were almost spookily ahead of their time. In this short, an armored tank rolls ominously across a modern-day battlefield.
  • "Anatomy of a bird's wing"—an avian limb morphs into a human arm, which sprouts a man-made "flying machine." When we think that the amazing Mr. da Vinci thought of this sometime between 1480 and 1519, our heads start to spin.
(in Visual Arts)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

don't wanna vote dumb

I have not been keeping up with politician's views lately, except for what they're putting into their TV ads.

Given the reliability of the above source of information, I've been looking around to see if I can find a source of objective information on each of the offices that I need to vote for. So far I've found the following:

If you've found any, I'll be interested in looking.

(added 11/3/06): Utne's Guide to Voter's Guides

Monday, October 30, 2006


this article really surprises me - "not the most intellectual of games" - seems to me chess is one of the most intellectually challenging of games:

"Chess may or may not be the most intellectual of all games, says Michael Dirda, but it is certainly the most romantic... more» "

But anyway, it is a book review on the history of chess. Looks interesting.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Can men marry if they have ovaries?

By Faye Flam
Inquirer Staff Writer

Recent efforts to pass amendments that define marriage as a union between a "man" and a "woman" are going to run into more than just political opposition.

Scientists are contending there's no clear definition of the gender divide.

There are at least seven definitions, but not everyone qualifies as male or female across the board, says Galdino Pranzarone, a psychologist at Roanoke College who has argued against marriage amendments on the editorial pages of the Roanoke Times. [more]

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Melbourne, FL

Well, it's looking more and more likely that we'll be moving to Florida (from Rochester, NY) at the end of this school year. The only thing that breaks my heart about it is knowing that it will break my son's heart. I'm confident that he will recover and thrive down there as much as he thrives up here. But at this emotional time, the thought of his recovery is not as much consolation as I'd like it to be. Fact is, his heart will be broken. And it will be my fault. How can a mom break her son's heart? Why should a mom cause her child to have to recover?

Regardless, I need to plan and learn as much about the area as possible. Here are some links I've found so far:

links on moving in general:

10/15/06 - re breaking heart - son seems like he's been thinking about it a lot, and noticing that changes are happening with lots of his friends. When I told him how I didn't want to break his heart, but that I was afraid that I would have to, he responded saying it would be hard, but I got the idea that he wouldn't feel completely heartbroken, even though he loves his life here (Roch).

11/29/06 - Over Thanksgiving we announced that it is quite likely that we are going. At some point since 10/15, son actually said that he was kind of excited about the idea. Now he's gone back to being really concerned about it and it's threatening to distract him from his schoolwork. :-(

Saturday, September 02, 2006

what I'm reading - Michener's Texas

I've been reading James Michener's Texas, written in 1985. It was hanging around on my bookshelf as one of the many "based on factual history" fiction novels that he has written, and I wanted a book to read without exerting too much effort to find one. Besides, I've been curious about the cultural background of our current president. I am a fan of the Michener books because I am interested in history, yet I have trouble reading it without a slice of life perspective.

This is a history of Texas from ~500 years ago to the present. It starts with Spanish migration from Mexico on upward (they tried, but never really had an interest, given all the troubles that were involved). It includes migration from many countries (how the Texas population got built), war events, including Mexico and US (I'm just past the Civil War at this point).

The first Michener book I ever read was The Covenant (about South Africa). It had a similar sort of slice-of-life style to it. Both books have characters returning through historical events and, coincidentally, they all are connected in one way or another.

The only thing different that he did in the Texas book, which I have not seen in the others so far, is that he frames the history around a modern day lecture series on Texas, and the lectures they provide are the historical story. I wasn't comfortable with that at first, but have, by now (about 800 pages into it) gotten used to it, and actually like tracking the current day characters to their respective ancestries.

10/30/06: I finished this book in the beginning of October, then quickly moved on to read a book by Amy Tan, in preparation for attending a lecture that would be given by her. I thought this (Michener) book was good, 'though I found the ending nothing special. But, with further consideration, I could not recall the endings of any of the other Michener books I've read. It's almost like they are "a slice of history." Like there is not necessarily any meaning to "it all," it just is.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

thinking of relocating?

I'm casually considering a move with my company from Rochester, NY to Melbourne, FL. I've found several handy tools:
  1. salary comparator - good for checking out the city you're considering to see how much you should expect to make for your line of work at the new place
  2. house price comparator - good for an initial look at what neighborhood might be good for you; 3/8/07 - this one's even better; it lists all the MLS listings as shown on a map
  3. a good old map program - I like Yahoo!maps. (added 10/29/06): National Geographic also has a mapping site; has a little bit of interesting stuff
  4. a real estate site - this is not my favorite, because I don't see addresses for all the houses (just the ones with fancy listings)
  5. a zip code boundary mapper - there are also other boundary maps available on that site
  6. a community comparator (added 10/17/06) - I found it easier to check the neighborhoods in the reverse manner: tell the zipcode of the new town and have it show the neighborhoods in the current town. It's easier to get a better picture when you know the neighborhoods. (note, this link is good, too, but I keep getting stopped because it wants you to give them money) - 3/8/07: here's a the best community comparator I've seen yet. My friend Barbara found it
  7. online sign-up for utilities (added 11/6/06) - I haven't completely tested this one, but it looks like it would be helpful, even if just to see what the options are

So, the salary comparator is a good first point, but if you really want to consider how to best move into the new place, you want to see about neighborhood types you like, what you would want to be close to, etc.

In our current location, we can walk to our church, work, and groceries (they're all within a mile of us). In a new place I would want to be able to do that as well (at least church and groceries), with a similar kind of neighborhood.

So I've got the map window up and the house window up. I browse around the city, using the "hybrid" setting on the maps site, and search for the landmark I'm interested. We go to an Episcopal church, so I look that up first. I get the address (at least the street name, then go back to the house price site, plug it in, and look at the house prices along that street and neighboring streets. It's pretty cool.

But, a house for sale is still what I need to find. This takes a combination of a real estate site and a zip code boundary mapper. The real estate site I've found doesn't always have the street addresses, so I resorted to looking at the area of the zip code.

After browsing around all this, I need to find a good school possibility for our 11-year-old.

Note, I got pointed to the house price site from the following:

Bird's Eye View of Famous Homes
We hate to shatter anyone's illusions, but the house depicted in "Beverly Hills 90210" actually sits in the 91001 zip code in Altadena. And Richie Cunningham's home from "Happy Days," supposedly set in middle-class Milwaukee? That's actually located in Los Angeles, and it rests in front of two large swimming pools. Although you can see the Playboy Mansion posed right where it's supposed to be, nary a traipsing bunny adorns the grounds. We learned all this while perusing the "Bird's Eye View" of 10 famous homes, including the "Beverly Hillbillies" mansion, the "Six Feet Under" house, and the Osbournes' reality show residence. Zoom in and out, check out satellite views, and gape at the estimate of each home's worth—this is the closest most of us will ever get to these domiciles of the rich and famous, so take a good long peek. (in Architecture)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

aging brain has emotional benefits

It is certainly encouraging to have stumbled across this headline in one of my many email newsletters. Gives you a good thing to look forward to.

Older but Mellower: Aging brain shifts gears to emotional advantage

Given all the bad news that science has delivered about brain cells withering and memory waning as the years mount, older people have a right to be cranky. But, instead, the over-50 crowd handles life's rotten realities and finds life's bright side more effectively than whippersnappers do. In no small part, that's because the aging brain makes critical emotional adjustments, a new study indicates.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Museum of Bad Art

Weekend Magazine celebrates TIME OFF, something I really value. This was a miscellaneous link towards the front of the current issue with this odd link:

I had to investigate. The Weekend Mag introduction says "It started as a joke". The person who started the museum actually had wanted the frame of an ugly painting he found in a trash can. But his friends said it was "so bad it was good". Thus the insperation to celebrate these grade B (and lower?) paintings.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

PARKitecture in Western National Parks

from Yahoo!Picks:

screenshotIn the early 20th century, National Park Service engineers, architects, and landscape architects embraced the notion of "designing with nature" to create rustic structures that commingled harmoniously with the surrounding landscape. The design ethic, since dubbed "parkitecture," resulted in much of the stone and wood creations we see today in parks throughout the West. It extended from entrance signs and entry stations to bridges, kiosks, and lodges. This online exhibit shows off some of the best examples from 10 beloved parks, among them the Grand Canyon, Petrified Forest, and Yosemite national parks. We loved the organic grace of the Triple Arches Bridge in Glacier National Park and the subtlety of the Grand Canyon's Hermit's Rest. The lobby of Mount Rainier's Paradise Inn, built in 1917, looks as fresh and modern as anything you'd see from another group that derives its moniker from "architecture": today's starchitects. (in Design Arts)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

religious China

China has had a reputation, since it became communist, of persecuting folks who practice one religion or another. An example is the Tibet situation. I believe there are specific types of persecution for Christians.

With that in mind, the following article caught my attention (in the e-newsletter, Science and Theology):

The Sleeping Giant awakes
China reconsiders the need for spirituality to balance scientific development and consumerism.

This article caused me to look at Wikipedia:
- China and Religion
- Opium of the People
- Karl Marx

Friday, June 09, 2006

GoldSmith / Fletcher Steele Birdhouse in Rochester Gardens

This bird house was designed for the Ellwanger Estate in 1939. Fletcher Steele, the designer, is considered to be the key figure in the transition between Beaux Formalism and modern landscape design.

The original design was given to me be by the Landmark Society, which was in possession of the Steele archives until transferred to Suny College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Please visit my web-site, I would appreciate your comments and impressions regarding the Ellwanger Estate Bird House birdhouse!

Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks for your time and attention!

Karl Goldsmith

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Learn and Serve

This is a site that was just broadcast during Saturday morning cartoons. Looks like it has good opportunity for getting involved in some of the biggest help needs that we often hear about.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

benefits of virtual reality

from the "Anxiety and Stress Management" blog:

Benefits of Virtual Reality
Exercise has been seen as a valuable addition to our lives not only because it promotes physical health, but because it keeps our mental health. The question of whether outdoor exercise or virtual reality exercise is better. Read on.

The February 2006 issue of the International Journal of Stress Management carries a report of just such a study. Evaluating the results from 112 psychology students who were put in one of three situations: taking a brisk outdoor walk, walking on a laboratory treadmill while viewing a virtual reality video of the same outdoor walk or viewing the video without exercise. The psychologists measured mood and "enjoyment" measures before and after the trials and guess what they found?

The students who were on the laboratory treadmill with the virtual reality video were more relaxed and "experienced the least tension of the three conditions". So, it seems that indoor exercise with a component that provides a bit of the great outdoors is beneficial to your mental and physical health.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


found this on one of Jeremy's blogs:

am curious to take a look - a bunch of personality tests; I suspect it's like topica (wonder if that's still around?)

Monday, May 01, 2006

more bird nests

Here in Rochester, NY, a pair of Peregrine Falcons are pretty famous, having nested on the Kodak Headquarters for several years. Here's a link.

I understand there are a number of birdcams. Here's one I found today:

from the Kim Komando show:

Millions watch eagles' nest
Two bald eagles have captivated millions of Internet viewers. A Webcam is set up over the eagles' nest. For weeks, people have been watching via the Internet, waiting for the eagles' eggs to hatch. The owner of the Webcam says he expects the eggs to hatch some time today.

Friday, April 28, 2006

the end of "aging eyes"?

Just in:

from SciTech Daily:
A new type of eyeglasses with electrically adjustable focus might someday render bifocals and reading glasses obsolete

Getting to break the 40-something age barrier, my eyes have started "the change". It really is a milestone when someone who has had 20:20 vision (or better) all their life finds they can no longer read what was previously taken for granted. Yet another reminder of being human . . .

Friday, April 21, 2006

Blogging Can Help a Career

from CareerPro news:

Blogging Can Help a Career
Blogs are turning out to be more than just a passing fad -- they're changing the way we communicate with friends, colleagues and employers. Career experts say that with the right approach, blogs can be highly effective in helping workers highlight their skills and accomplishments.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

TV Turn-off Week

TV Turn-off Week

I'm a proponent of this. We don't have cable, and I wouldn't mind if we got rid of the sets completely. It's mostly ads anyway.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Movie Timeline

from Yahoo!Picks:

The Movie Timeline
School kids since 1067 have been bored by the knowledge that the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066. 1215, Magna Carta; 1588, Spanish Armada defeated—snooze. But let's just say for a moment that every historical event, even if it's fictitious, is real, provided it has been depicted or referred to in a movie. Hey, now you're talkin'! Pay attention, kids, these may be on the final:
2897 BC: Predators arrive on Earth to feast on humans (as depicted in "Alien vs. Predator").
932 AD: King Arthur and knights search for Holy Grail ("Monty Python & The Holy Grail").
1933: Giant ape ravages New York City ("King Kong").
1996: Genetic superman Khan leaves Earth ("Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan").
2022: Soylent Green is people! ("Soylent Green")
40,000 Barbarella roams galaxy in skimpy outfit ("Barbarella"). Study groups now forming at the concession stand. (in Movies & Film)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

continuing human evolution

Scientists report finding more than 700 genetic variants that evolution may have favored in the past 10,000 years.

[the article]

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Smithsonian Journeys - Russia

This trip is WAY out of my price range, but it is so intriguing I had to do some research. The itinerary is :

Links found in my travels:

Monday, February 20, 2006


from SciTech daily:

Thoughtware. Let's stop talking about computers as if they are the salvation of education, but instead focus on a spontaneous, unprogrammed classroom buzz.

Sunday, February 19, 2006


from Yahoo! Picks:

This multi-contributor blog joyfully dabbles in "architectural conjecture, urban speculation, (and) landscape futures" above and below Earth's atmosphere. From electromagnetic "Grand Canyons" in space to the traffic galaxies of Los Angeles, there is no place that BLDGBLOG won't explore, or at least survey with some lush, interesting pictures. It plunges into such topics as India's super-highways, tourist photos of Las Vegas, and the Great Man-Made River of Libya. Reading through it, you may find yourself in an occasional state of disbelief: Russia has plans for mining on the moon? In 1960 a man named Joe Kittinger floated 30 kilometers above the Earth -- and then jumped? Which brings us to our final point about the writers of this site. They clearly have a finely tuned sense of wonder about the world. And for that we're willing to settle in and call BLDGBLOG home. (in Social Science)

Saturday, February 18, 2006

How many dogs does it take to change a light bulb?

1. Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned out bulb?

2. Border Collie: Just one. And then I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.

3. Dachshund: You know I can't reach that stupid lamp!

4. Rottweiler: Make me.

5. Boxer: Who cares? I can still play with my squeaky toys in the dark.

6. Lab: Oh, me, me!!!!! Pleeeeeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Huh? Can I? Pleeeeeeeeeze, please, please, please!

7. German Shepherd: I'll change it as soon as I've led these people from the dark, check to make sure I haven't missed any, and make just one more perimeter patrol to see that no one has tried to take advantage of the situation.
8. Jack Russell Terrier: I'll just pop it in while I'm bouncing off the walls and furniture.

9. Old English Sheep Dog: Light bulb? I'm sorry, but I don't see a light bulb!

10. Cocker Spaniel: Why change it? I can still pee on the carpet in the dark.

11. Chihuahua: "We don't need no stinking light bulb."

12. Greyhound: It isn't moving. Who cares?

13. Australian Shepherd: First, I'll put all the light bulbs in a little circle...

14. Poodle: I'll just blow in the Border Collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

How many cats does it take to change a light bulb?

Cats do not change light bulbs. People change light bulbs. So, the real question is:

"How long will it be before I can expect some light, some dinner, and a massage?"


Friday, February 17, 2006

Pollution Information Site

A few months ago I visited Denver, CO. The sky was so clear it was amazing. Especially compared to my hometown, Rochester, NY, which can be compared to Great Britain in its sunniness (or lack thereof). Well, the whole time I had trouble breathing (fortunately it was a business trip where I could stay in the same hotel the whole time if I felt like it - I did get out, but not for strolls, that's for sure). Turns out, Denver was on code red for air pollution the whole time. I was amazed. Because it was so bright I guess I assumed that the air should be fine.

So, when I fell upon this article, I just HAD to look. Only thing is, I don't know the zipcode for Denver & most other places. So I recommend gathering the zipcode from an online mapping service, such as Yahoo! Maps, first.

Update: I looked up both Denver and Rochester. Apparently Rochester is in much worse shape. Perhaps I became alarmed just because there is an air quality report on the Denver news every day? There isn't one in Rochester. Maybe there should be.

from Utne Web Watch:

Scorecard: The Pollution Information Site
By Staff, Scorecard
Curious about what's going into your air and water? Just plug your Zip code into -- a website that identifies the major polluters in your neighborhood. The site also contains valuable information on chemicals, watersheds, superfund sites, and animal waste. -- Nick Rose

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ben Franklin's 300!

From Yahoo! Picks:

The Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary
This year marks the 300th anniversary, or tercentenary, of Benjamin Franklin's birth. In honor of the founding father, printer, inventor, and irrepressible raconteur, the U.S. Congress established a commission to educate we publick about Franklin's well-lived life. This beautifully crafted online exhibit is one result. Follow Franklin from his disobedient Boston beginnings, to his role in shaping the U.S. Constitution and his tenure as an elder statesman. Along the way, dip into sections that detail what Franklin thought of self-improvement, how he created a colonial media empire, and the ultimate stance he took on slavery. Finally, don't miss the "Et Cetera" page, which includes such tidbits as what the great man predicted for the future and how he nearly became a swimming coach. (in U.S. History)

Thursday, February 02, 2006

This is So Cool

from Utne:

Ever wish you could look back in a year, five years, ten years, and remember exactly what you were thinking at this moment? Now you can. The website lets you type an email to yourself for future delivery on any date you set, through the year 2036. And in case your inbox changes, the site lets you update your email address any time, so your virtual time capsules never have to miss their mark.

They Always Shoot the Dog

Here's an article about how, when they are breaking into a home to arrest in the "war on drugs", police forces are quick to shoot any dogs. It's really a shame that there is no concern for the dogs or the affection that people, who may be innocent, have for them.

[the story, pointed to by Utne Web Watch]

Sunday, January 29, 2006

from Yahoo! Picks:

In 1984, a businessman and a mayoral aide decided that they'd had enough with "how difficult and time-consuming" it was to understand the hot-button issues of our time. So they formed a nonprofit corporation and set about compiling clear breakdowns of the arguments for and against a host of thorny subjects. As you can imagine, this calls out for the Web. And sure enough, in 2003 came into being. Since that time, it has provided overviews, historical summaries, little-known facts, and pro/con charts for such fun dinner table conversations as:

You're guaranteed to disagree with 50% of what you read here, but you'll come away better informed and -- if the site's founders are proved out -- a better citizen, to boot. (in Issues and Causes)

Thursday, January 26, 2006


from Utne Webwatch:

By Frank Furedi, Spiked
Frank Furedi argues that in the process of attacking the religious right, the left in the US has come to resemble a "fanatical Inquisitor," embodying the very traits that it derides. [the story]

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

rumor site

This is an interesting site: Snopes. I was forwarded to it by a fellow dog socialization club member, who had found that there is a poison problem with a particular breath freshener. But I've browsed around in it and found that it looks like it would provide some info on recalls in general, rumors on anything (including things like politics & religion, movie stars, . . .) . So, when all you feel like doing is browsing aimlessly, this might be a good place to tool around in for a little while.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Parent Advisor (from

exerpts from: GreatSchools <>
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2006 9:21:44 PM

Smart Money: Raising Financially Responsible Children
There's no doubt that learning money management skills early can have a positive impact on your child's future success in life. Unfortunately, it's not something you can count on your child learning in school. Parents can teach valuable life and money skills by taking some simple steps, according to Eileen and Jon Gallo, authors of the new book, The Financially Intelligent Parent: 8 Steps to Raising Successful, Generous, Responsible Children.

These steps include:
1. Encourage a work ethic. Parents can encourage their children to feel that they are responsible for what they do or don't do, an ability critical to long-term financial responsibility.
2. Teach financial literacy. Everything from allowances, savings and checking accounts, and credit cards should be utilized to educate children about the basics of money management.
3. Be aware of the values you model. Do you as a parent stick to a budget? Do you regularly over-spend? The vast majority of our communication is nonverbal and parents need to be aware of the money messages they are sending to their children.

To see all 8 tips, read the full article.

Bright Ideas from our Readers: Get Fit in 2006
Thanks to the many readers who responded to our question about ways to get your family off the couch and active in the new year. Here’s a sampling of what our readers had to say:
  • Keep it fun.A Connecticut mom suggests taking advantage of “must-do” winter snow removal to stay fit and have fun. Shovel the snow “as a family,” she says, “and when you’re done, start a snow ball fight. Sometimes we get the neighbors involved and have kids against parents. Just remember to tell the dads that they have to be careful not to throw too hard or mommy will give them a time out!”
  • From dumbbells to dusters.A mom in Arkansas writes, “I have found it interesting that my kids love playing with my dumbbells. So I bought them a pair of their own. Also kids love to help mom out with the household chores. I've found it very rewarding to buy kids their own cleaning supplies, such as feather dusters and mops."
  • Boogie on down.Music can be a great catalyst to keep them moving. One reader (alias “Dancing Mom”) writes,” We often check out CDs from the library and let loose to music from Broadway shows and other cultures. We really make a time of it. Once in a while, a couple of my kids’ friends will come over and we move furniture and boogie. We try not to use the same music and the only rule is when the music is on you have to keep moving no matter how fast or slow it is.”
Healthy Play Grants
Nickelodeon, the children’s television network, is distributing more than $1 million in grants to improve school and community fitness resources. The “Let’s Just Play” Giveaway invites kids, age 6-15 to take action. They fill out an official entry form, available on, and give their top three reasons why play is important to them, and why their school or club needs more play. Each month, through June 2006, 20 recipients will be chosen to receive $5,000 grants to support their school or club.

Nickelodeon Let’s Just Play Giveaway Grants

Make Fitness a Family Affair
Keeping it simple and fun is the key to making fitness part of the family routine. Try playing some old-fashioned games like Capture the Flag, Sardines (an updated version of Hide and Seek) or going on a treasure hunt in your neighborhood.Why not start a Family Fitness Night at your house?
Read the full article

Monday, January 09, 2006

ten reasons

1) Cultural Ambivalence; 2) Definitional Ambiguity; 3) Metaphysics Matters; 4) Relational Revelations; 5) Science as a Spiritual Quest; 6) The Sciences of Religion Revisited; 7) Healthy Semiotics; 8) Innumerate Nescience; 9) Philistine Fideism; and 10) Moral Muddles. [the story]

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

haven't posted lately

I haven't posted since last week. I have a number of other things going on, so haven't read too many online articles. Here's some of the stuff going on in my end of the world:
  • started a blog with Mom and Sis on what we're doing for exercise; Sis actually started the idea with email, but I'm a blogger possessed, and moved the communications
  • have been working on being more loving with hubby
  • have been cleaning out the home office - yuck

However, I still have a little bit of a book stack. I put the Richard Dawkins book aside temporarily to read Tuesdays With Morrie. The author seems to be a "death" writer. He also wrote The Five People You Meet In Heaven, which I enjoyed much more.

I didn't know such a person or set of philosophies existed, but there truly is a sentiment out there that talks to the idea that you should think of what you would regret if your life were coming to a close, and work to fix those possible regrets NOW. It is quite interesting to me, but I don't think I'll start a trend with "death" literature just yet. The one thought is good enough for me to ponder for now.