Friday, January 22, 2010

Meet The Triops

The triops were initially a birthday gift that wound up being a science experiment in what not to do. They lived for a few weeks but the water temperatures varied, then dried up and the food was probably too sporadic so they quickly died. For Christmas, a new tank was purchased with a water heater and a plant for sustenance when a meal was skipped. Which reminds me... time to feed the triops. Excuse me... *

When they were small, they were fed every other day or so and the food had to be smashed up. Now that they have grown to a distinguishable size, they eat two pellets each, twice a day. When the fishy spheres are dropped into the water, two of the prehistoric crustacean propel themselves into the food and promptly snatch up their share (or more?). They will "grab" it with their tentacles, flip over, pass the food up from one "leg" to the next then to the mouth and nibble at it upside down-- almost otterlike. Each time I feed them, I can't help but pause to watch, amused by the acrobatic antics of the Notostraca family.

In fact they move so quickly, that it is virtually impossible to get a decent picture of their feeding habits. So here they are almost posing for the camera...

An up close gander at the triops, and you might recognize them from a sci-fi film. They look more like an alien space ship than they do their shrimp cousins, but shrimp they are! (Never fear! We won't be sauteeing these little guys!)

My son has several comic strips that he reads regularly. As a result he decided to name the Triops after the characters in the strips.

Meet: Quincy (Jason's Iguana in Foxtrot)

Peter & Jason (Foxtrot)

Calvin & Hobbes is his favorite comic strip but he already has a small stuffed tiger named Hobbes so the tadpole shrimp gets to be...


This is what they look like upside down. Amazing!

*Pictures taken by Aubrey Cloud on his birthday. Thanks Aubrey!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Don't pray for the Haitians

The hypocrisy and outright gall of Americans to send happy thoughts and prayers to the Haitians is outrageous. If any of us could solve the world's problems with "happy thoughts" or prayers, then the world would not have the problems it has. (Barbara Ehrenreich has a BRILLIANT book on this called "Bright-sided" which should be required reading- for ALL!)

But as to Haiti, the hypocrisy of now sending happy thoughts just cannot be born. In an article on Reader Supported News, James Ridgeway says this, "US policy has actually undermined Haiti's ability to be a "self-sustaining nation," especially its ability to feed itself. America's history of invasion, occupation, and intervention into Haiti's political and economic life stretches back two centuries, with plenty of help from homegrown Haitian despots. But since the 1980s, in particular, the United States has helped turn a nation of low-tech subsistence farmers into a dumping ground for American agribusiness."

You simply cannot rape a people and then wish the consequences away with prayer and support!

Read more of his article at:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

And breathe...

I get incredibly frustrated with politics in the U.S.-- well, it's really life in America because what happens in Washington does "trickle down" to the little folk in the library and the schools. So at times it's important to recall what is truly important--

Monet's "Woman in a Garden"

the poetic lyricism of Jeannette Winterson in "Written on the body"

a pas de deux to Chopin

Provofiev's Piano Concerto no. 3

dinner and a fine glass of wine (or 4?) with good friends

and sunset in Key West...

The Other Plot to Wreck America

New York Times Opinion

The Other Plot to Wreck America
Published: January 9, 2010

What we don’t know will hurt us, and quite possibly on a more devastating scale than any Qaeda attack. Americans must be told the full story of how Wall Street gamed and inflated the housing bubble, made out like bandits, and then left millions of households in ruin. Without that reckoning, there will be no public clamor for serious reform of a financial system that was as cunningly breached as airline security at the Amsterdam airport. And without reform, another massive attack on our economic security is guaranteed. Now that it can count on government bailouts, Wall Street has more incentive than ever to pump up its risks — secure that it can keep the bonanzas while we get stuck with the losses...

If they all skate away yet again by deflecting blame or mouthing pro forma mea culpas, it will be a sign that this inquiry, like so many other promises of reform since 9/15, is likely to leave Wall Street’s status quo largely intact.

That’s the ticking-bomb scenario that truly imperils us all.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The stars have aligned!

Sheriff Cody Jeremiah Jefferson: Am I early?
Star: Actually you're a little late cowboy. What? You want me to put on a pretty party dress so you spend all night trying to take it off me? Why don't we skip that part?

Star: Flowers?
Sheriff Cody Jeremiah Jefferson: Roses. Their organic.
Star: Thank you.
[takes bite of flower]
Star: Ever eat a rose?
Sheriff Cody Jeremiah Jefferson: No I've eaten a lot of thin-
[Star puts rose in his mouth]
Star: See?... That's just the first thing your going to learn tonight
Sheriff Cody Jeremiah Jefferson: Um, You know, I believe we knew each other before
Star: Now we're going to know each other now

Star: Listen to me. You might be one of the great lovers of the western world, I'll give you that. And if, broccoli juice and yoga can turn all men into the bunk bunny you are, I will start paying for group fares to India myself, just--- knock it off with the gooey stuff, okay?


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