Random Linkage

Pluto and Eris – The debate continues.

No-Bake S’mores Cheesecake – Oh damn. Another thing I don’t need that I have to try.

Odd front entry – I don’t know what happened here but I’m pretty sure this doesn’t qualify as a handicap access ramp.

The Mystical World of Mushrooms – Great photos of fascinating and bizarre mushrooms. Most of these I’ve never seen before.

Online Etymology Dictionary – Oooo! I must spend some time with this later.

Weather in a Box – Nifty. If you had this thing you might actually wish for rain.

Fantasy Forests – Beautiful photographic art

Dream House – I don’t care that some people think this house is haunted. It’s beautiful! My ultimate dream house looks something like this.

A Spot of Tea History

You know… It has never occurred to me to ask “Why are Brits so obsessed with tea?” any more than I would ask, “Why are Americans so obsessed with coffee?” Actually, as a tea drinker, I am a bit more puzzled by the latter question than by the former. (but not really)

Oooo! Books!

23 Books That Everyone With Wanderlust Should Read – I do not have much wanderlust. I like to go and see places but I’m not fond of extended travel – the packing and worrying that I’ll forget something, the living out of a suitcase, the not sleeping in my own bed – bah humbug! But we’re talking about books here! So let’s have a look at the list. I’m just going to skip through it, to the ones that interest me.

There is one book on the list that I have read. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. It’s about hiking the Appalachian Trail and is both fascinating and funny. It was the first of Bryson’s books that I read and I immediately became a fan.

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera – Honestly, I don’t know that I’m really interested in this one. I just like the title.

Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk – I definitely do want to read this one.

The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier – Maybe, but not high on my list of must reads.

The Blue Sky by Galsan Tschinag – Definitely.

The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois – Balloons? Imaginary islands? Sounds like fun.

Crowfall by Shanta Gokhale – Maybe.

Shantaram: A Novel by Gregory David Roberts – Definitely.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel – We watched the movie recently and I liked it. Strangely, I don’t have any really strong desire to read the book but I’m going to call this a maybe.

Sea and Sardinia by D.H. Lawrence – Another maybe.

About a few of the ones I skipped: I almost put Richard Halliburton’s Complete Book of Marvels down as a maybe. Strangely, perhaps, I have never had any desire to read On the Road. I feel like I need to read something by Hemingway. I think I did read one of his books a long time ago but I can’t remember which one it was and I didn’t find it exactly thrilling. And The Sun Also Rises involves bullfighting. Not a turn-on. And finally, The Paris Wife doesn’t really sound like my kind of thing but for some reason I almost put it on my list as a maybe. Let’s say just a very slight maybe.

Mid-Week Music

I was curious about the NCIS: New Orleans theme song so I went to Youtube and, among others, I found this version.

Oh Sunny Days!

I have to mention this, because I was complaining about the rain last week and wishing for “just three warm, sunny days in a row”. Well, I’m getting my wish and more. But, of course, that puts a little pressure on to get out and do something. Weed those flower beds! Plant more flowers! Pick up that trash that blew in from the next county. But, you know, it’s really humid out there, plus, the mosquitoes and ticks are really bad…

Still, I’m really happy about the change in the weather. I love warmth and sunshine.

Random Linkage

No-Bake S’mores Cheesecake – This looks so good.

Directory of Culinary and Medicinal Herbs – Seems fairly comprehensive

Dr. Pepper Cherry Marshmallow Cake – Darn. Another one. There really is way too much food on the Internet.

“Eat Chocolate, Lose Weight” – A science journalism sting. And by the way, it’s “psych” not “sike”. Sheesh!

Golden Ratio Myths – It’s really not “everywhere”.

Brain-Controlled Bionic Legs – “are finally here”

Starship Office Building

13 Things – I was particularly interested in the “kitschy” Paris apartment but my firewall doesn’t like the Architectural Digest website so I can’t link directly to that one. Also interesting: the shell grotto.

Ancient science fiction novel – I wonder if that’s on Project Gutenberg. Yes, it is.

“Just Shoot ’em”

The husband and I spent this morning doing what we call “running around,” which means, “going to a lot of stores and only buying stuff at a couple of them.” When we were done with the running around, we noticed that it was a few minutes after noon and decided to stop at a fast food restaurant for some minimally nutritious tummy filler. Among the few other people who were eating in was a pair of not sweet, not little, old ladies who were forgetting to use their inside voices as they conversed about all manner of topics, about which they knew more than anyone else in the entire world, at least according to themselves. Though the volume made it a little difficult, we tried to ignore them and have a conversation of our own and were partially successful but a couple of sentences stood out: “Anyone who runs from the cops oughta be shot,” and “Just shoot ’em and get it over with.” One of the women repeated the last one several times.

Let’s start with the first statement: “Anyone who runs from the cops oughta be shot.” I’m not a saint. I will confess that the thought has crossed my mind that, “If you run from the cops of course you’re going to get shot. Don’t run! Duh!” But let’s consider the reasons a person might run. 1. He (or she; that’s the last time I’m going to say it) is guilty of murder. I don’t have any statistics to back this up but I’m guessing that this is the least likely reason. 2. He is guilty of a crime that does not carry the death penalty – for example, robbery, drug possession, being in the U.S. illegally, failure to pay traffic fines, etc. 3. He is not guilty of any crime but has been raised in an environment where he has learned to fear the cops. So, what these women were saying is that running from the cops merits the death penalty regardless of whether or not the runner has committed any other crimes. Further, they are saying that every cop has the right to be judge, jury, and executioner in all situations.

Now regarding the second statement, a notion which the woman seemed particularly proud of: “Just shoot ’em and get it over with.” In a certain kind of mind this is perfectly logical. If they’re obviously guilty why waste time and money on a trial? Make the world a safer place for law abiding citizens by taking the criminals out quickly and efficiently. But, aside from the obvious moral problem with this, in places where this is the way it’s done, the crime rate is not lower than in countries where it is left up to courts and juries to decide who is guilty and how the guilty are to be punished. Quite the opposite, in fact. I’m sure these two old bats are confident that they would never have to worry about getting shot by the police because, “obviously,” they are not guilty of any crime. This attitude is, at best, extremely naive. It’s been a long time since those two were in school and I’m thinking they have forgotten everything they learned in history class, if they were even paying attention in the first place.

As we were leaving the restaurant, the husband made dire threats of what he would do if I ever turned into that kind of old lady. He needn’t worry. However, there’s a distinct possibility that in another ten or twenty years I might turn into the kind of old lady who doesn’t hold back from giving other old ladies a good tongue lashing when I think they need it. Right now, I’m actually thinking it’s too bad those two old biddies will almost certainly never read this.

Quotes From Here and There

Social media just lets people be awkward to a bigger audience.here

This spring, I haven’t done a whole lot of relaxing in the sun: the weather has seen to it that I am none too relaxed, and, well, there’s hardly any sun.there (slightly TMI?)

Ms Wentzy was never asked to chaperone the 8th grade dance again.here (Probably NSFW. (Wow… TMI followed immediately by NSFW. I’m on a roll this week. Too bad it’s downhill.) )

Because I have that kind of time, and am so very very susceptible to clickbait, I often read stuff like thisthere

Why Didn’t Somebody Tell Me?!

We never watch CNN. I don’t even notice what’s on it when we’re scrolling through the listings. I just assume it’s all news. But this evening, after we had finished watching Life of Pi which I had recorded a few days ago, while I was looking for the cats the husband picked up the remote and when I got back I heard a delightfully familiar voice: Mike Rowe! Must be a Dirty Jobs rerun, I thought. But it wasn’t one I remembered and nothing about it looked particularly dirty. Even more strange, I noticed the CNN logo in the lower right corner of the screen. Hmmm… interesting.

Finally, at a commercial break we learned that the name of the show is Somebody’s Gotta Do It. And it’s in its second season and I had never heard of it before! How can this be? Never mind; what’s important is that OMG! MIKE ROWE IS BACK ON TV EVERY WEEK! Let it rain.

Lame, Lazy Weather Blogging

Yeah, I know… I’m a terrible blogger and that’s why no one reads this nonsense anymore. But the only thing that’s going on in my world is that it’s raining. Well, it seems to have stopped for the moment but the weather forecasts show no real break in sight. I’m trying to think about the drought years and be thankful for the rain but all I can think is, “Just give me three days without any rain. Just three days.” Okay, seriously? I would like a week or two but even just three warm, dry days would be glorious.

Go look at this satellite image of flooding on the Arkansas River and the one from a year ago for comparison. They’re not terribly impressive until you really start looking and realize the large areas covered. I live on top of a small hill, myself, and have not actually seen any flooding personally. Even the lower part of my yard is just wet with a few puddles, not totally under water like it has been in previous wet years.

So… not too bad here, really. But I really, really, really, really would like to be complaining about the heat for a while instead of the rain.

Planet Fangirl

I think I might be a David Attenborough fangirl. Don’t worry, we’re a little less screamy than your typical fangirl.

Thought for the Week

This one isn’t a quote (At least I don’t think it is) it’s just something that came to me.

No matter what you do or how you do it there will be people standing in line to tell you you’re doing it wrong. If you really don’t need any help just smile and ignore those people.

A Few Links

DuckDuckGo – Search engine that promises not to track you. I have tried a few searches and it seems to work as well as Google. Not that I have anything against Google or that I even care, especially, that they are tracking me and are basically taking over every aspect of my life… Well, maybe they do creep me out just a teeny bit sometimes.

Star Trek Gnomes – I want to hate these but I just can’t.

True Face of Shakespeare? – Probably not but some people want to believe.

20 of the Creepiest Places on Earth – I’ve always wanted to see Winchester House and there are several other places on the list that would be fun to explore. Not the Island of the Dolls though. [shudder]

This Is Why I’m Broke – Possibly the best name for a store, ever. They have some very cool stuff and a few seriously creepy items.

Words I Need to Remember

I actually did already know six of these 13 Useful Words You Didn’t Know Existed. I had seen “overmorrow” somewhere fairly recently but had forgotten about it. I want to remember to use that one. I really do. I also knew tintinnabulation, ferrule, philtrum, pooh-bah, and vamp. Seriously? Who doesn’t know those last two?

How do you pronounce eigengrau? It means, “The dark grey color seen by the eyes in perfect darkness, as a result of signals from the optic nerves.” That’s interesting because the color I see is not dark grey; it’s a color but I never can pin down exactly what color. Orange? Green? Teal? Mustard yellow? And it’s not that it changes. It’s strange and hard to explain. It’s a color that only exists in my eyes in the dark but it’s definitely not grey.

Other words that I like from the list: Eyesome. That sounds old fashioned (probably because it is) and you can immediately tell what it means. And, because most people haven’t heard of it, if you used it they would think you just made it up on the spot. Pandiculation. Come to think of it, I think I might have seen that one before. That’s a fun word.

Several of these words would be really fun to use but I probably never will due to my chronic lethologica, a truly frustrating condition. And by the way, the Firefox spellchecker did not know most of the words on the list.

Random Linkage

Street Art – Several of these are very cool and clever.

Dr. Pepper Cherry Marshmallow Cake Recipe

Kids’ Meal – Second graders’ reaction to a fancy NY restaurant meal.

Australia’s Stonehenge – Interesting

Freebook Sifter – thousands of free e-books organized by category

Sandwich Knife – good idea

R2-D2 Bus

Just Pics – a little collection of odd, interesting and funny photos

Owl Myths and Superstitions – Weird

Distances in Lord of the Rings – a series of maps comparing Lord of the Rings distances with the real world

Thought For the Week

Human beings make life so interesting. Did you know, that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to invent boredom?

— Terry Pratchet