Our dog owns me every time she gives me “THE LOOK”


Our Sheila

❝ New research suggests that over thousands of years of dog domestication, people preferred pups that could pull off that appealing, sad look. And that encouraged the development of the facial muscle that creates it.

Today, pooches use the muscle to raise their eyebrows and make the babylike expression. That muscle is virtually absent in their ancestors, the wolves…

❝ The researchers believe dogs, over their relatively short 33,000 years of domestication, used this eye muscle to communicate, possibly goading people to feed or care for them — or at least take them out to play. And people, perhaps unwittingly, obliged.

No, she’s not winking. The Española Humane Animal Shelter where we found and adopted her said she was born with only one eye. Her loving look simply counts for twice as much.

Summertime is here

Installation by one of my favorite critters. Variously called balloon spiders or parachute spiders [generation dependent?] – they are tiny – and they spin out a long filament of their web into the wind till the lift is greater than their miniscule weight. Take off and fly like a balloonist until they reach a useful obstacle which they homestead.

Checked back through the blog and they’re 3 days earlier than last year. Pretty much always a June discovery and a solid sign of summer for me.

Comeback of the Century


Best Example

❝ In the digital age, the printed book has experienced more than its share of obituaries. Among the most dismissive was one from Steve Jobs, who said in 2008, “It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore.”

True, nearly one in four adults in this country has not read a book in the last year. But the book — with a spine, a unique scent, crisp pages and a typeface that may date to Shakespeare’s day — is back. Defying all death notices, sales of printed books continue to rise to new highs, as do the number of independent stores stocked with these voices between covers, even as sales of electronic versions are declining.

❝ Nearly three times as many Americans read a book of history in 2017 as watched the first episode of the final season of “Game of Thrones.” The share of young adults who read poetry in that year more than doubled from five years earlier. A typical rage tweet by President Trump, misspelled and grammatically sad, may get him 100,000 “likes.” Compare that with the 28 million Americans who read a book of verse in the first year of Trump’s presidency, the highest share of the population in 15 years.

❝ So, even with a president who is a historic, borderline literate and would fail a sixth-grade reading comprehension test, something wonderful and unexpected is happening in the language arts. When the dominant culture goes low, the saviors of our senses go high.

RTFA. Short, to the point, illustrative.

I have personal feelings about the subversive reappearance and growth of documentary film, as well. I think this growth parallels the growth in books. Personally, I’m tired to death of all the Murphy Brown wannabes who think the only thing called news is in the “magazine format”. The same topics, of course, on every other magazine format “news” show the whole damned day.

I think some of us really miss learning stuff.

10 years difference in Euro Parliament elections

I am honoured to have been elected as a Green party MEP. I can’t wait to get to work on behalf of all those who put their faith in me and in our movement’s vision of hope. We are truly building a common world, rooted in the aspirations of the young and set to deliver lasting change for all.

❝ Millions of citizens from Sheffield to Stuttgart have grown weary of the same old politics of tribal allegiances…Ten years after Yorkshire and the Humber sent a member of the BNP to the European parliament, we’ve elected a black, Muslim refugee standing for the Green party. Now isn’t that something?

❝ The election results from across Europe are bittersweet. Yes, they show that dark shadows of hatred continue to enshroud us – reminding us that xenophobia and hate are by no means a uniquely British problem. Yet we have also witnessed the mighty Green wave cascading through Europe and landing on our shores. We have seen the light of hope beaming not only on the distant horizon, but right here and now in front of us – where we comfortably beat the Tories in all parts of the country, with seven elected Green MEPs. Through this spirit of resistance, we are able to see clearly the path that will carry us to a kinder, fairer, more tolerant Britain and to a greener, more welcoming and more democratic Europe.

Good for you, brother. A significant portion of the American Left would self-identify as Green. Yet, time and again, we confront a one-time lurch into electoral politics by a seemingly isolated solo Green candidate. I don’t know if this is rooted in American impatience or what; but, this kind of effort rarely produces more than disappointment. Maybe our Euro brothers and sisters are accustomed to the building – and the role – of minor parties, Dunno.

I register as Democrat so I can participate in their primaries. That’s about it. Feels like the number of folks doing the same thing grows every year. Believe me, I’d much rather register as Green.

Watch independent testing of the sidearm just adopted by the US Army

This is from a couple years ago and Sigg and the Army didn’t perform this test back then – and I don’t believe they do, nowadays. I’d be pleased to be corrected.

Though I embrace pretty much every progressive legal requirement for gun ownership, I’ve been a gun owner my whole adult life. I come from an extended family that had beaucoup years working for gun manufacturers all the way up to prototype gunsmiths. I still own guns. I still shoot pretty damn good for an old geezer.

I think if a firearm is passed for military use it should be able to pass more rigorous testing than what is apparently considered sufficient. If the folks who produced this video still have it right.

‘Nuff said.