A few things I learned the other day…

Jul 19 2011    

Here are a few things I learned the other day-

In the Koran, Mary mother of Jesus is a BIG deal. She is mentioned more in the Koran than in the entire New Testament and is also the only woman mentioned by name in the Koran. She even has her own book. Like many Catholic women in Latin America, Muslim women often see Mary as their connection to God. Who knew?

In the 1300’s, and into the 1600’s there were outbreaks of DANCING MANIA. Its well documented apparently. Groups of people, tens of thousands even, would start dancing wildly and without control. Like, really out of control, and they wouldn’t stop. not for days, weeks, sometimes months! Yes, some people danced themselves to death. No music required. In fact, they played music sometimes to help calm the dancers down. There are many theories about it, but not any with much evedence. It happened to people of all ages and genders across Europe and beyond.

Sliced Bread was INVENTED. Well, pre-sliced bread, in 1928. You can imagine bread would get pretty stale if you left it laying around open so I imagine the availability of the wax wrapping helped. “people ate more slices of bread at a time, and ate bread more frequently, because of the ease of eating another piece of bread” It took a while to get a bakery to try it, but then suddenly everyone realized it was a great idea.

Thanks to Ross for tipping me to the Minaret of Jam which showed me the light of the first idea here, and The Writers Almanac for informing me of the other two.

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Local checkpoint

Jul 03 2011    

Last night the police set up a check point near where I live, to check everyone driving down the boulevard.
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A few blocks up the street from them a bunch of people were spilling off the curb with signs that said “CHECKPOINT” and “RETEN” (spanish). They were yelling at all the drivers trying to look out and turn to go around the checkpoint.

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I asked them if maybe it would be better to write “DANGER POLICE AHEAD” or “POLICE AHEAD TURN” or something. Its kind of intense to drive down the street and have a bunch of people suddenly yelling and coming into the street at you vigorously waving signs that say ‘CHECKPOINT”. By the time I got over the shock and confusion I would already be at the checkpoint! But they said they do this all the time and people know what they mean.

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The police are looking for drunk drivers and such, but the reason people are out in the streets trying to get drivers to turn is because lots of people around here are here illegally. They drive with fake licenses and such. If they get caught its a tragedy for the whole family. So, people are yelling “CHECKPOINT!! RETEN!!!” at them.

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Butterfly collecting

May 16 2011    

mounted in boxes

I was going to title this post “butterflies” but then I realized that some butterfly lovers would be sadly shocked to encounter all these beauties dried on pins in white boxes. When they are juicy and lilting through the forests its really much more exciting. But, we cant see that at home.

I purchased these specimens for my dad at the Bug Fair. He wanted an atlas moth and a birdwing butterfly, but it turns out that birdwings are pretty endangered and cost over $250. So I picked up the Atlas moth and a whole lot of other beautiful ones that were $5-$35.

When I was a child, my dad helped me build a killing jar for butterflies and other insects. Its a mayonaise jar with a cotton ball in it soaked in fingernail polish remover (acetone). You put the butterfly in there and it dies pretty much immediately, and it doesn’t get damaged. The alternative is pinching their thorax in just the right place, but thats a little tricky sometimes and leaves them dented.

I became very familiar with all kinds of insects through my observations with net and jar. Im very respectful of them now and try to help them out. I think the killing jar led me to help preserve many more than I caught. It worked for me. Maybe not for everyone but it worked for me.

Altacus Atlas


Scenes from a phone

Apr 19 2011    

People holding dear things

Parties with projections

Small piles

I got a smartphone last month. Like most people, I stopped using my camera and started taking pictures on my phone. Quality going down! I took most of these through “Color” app, which is supposed to be a big social media tool. It would be great to get connected with you all on there, but we have to stand next to eachother and take pictures to do it. So, I have only one friend on Color. Its like we are alone in an empty mall at night. Which is also fun.


Living in plenty while others are hungry

Apr 08 2011    

Jimmie Hendrix quote: “When I die, I want people to play my music, go wild and freak out and do anything they want to do”.
Could you please do that same for my passing?

Sometimes we think of people suffering years in a mideast prison, or starving in Ethiopia, or just everything awful in Sudan.
We feel guilty, we feel we shouldn’t be having fun.
We shouldn’t have so much to eat.
I think that people in these dire situations do not want us all to suffer as they do.
If you asked, I think they would want us to know about their plight and do what we can to help them, and then they want us to be happy.
We dont have to suffer because someone else is, but we can help.
Most people in the world will never get close to having 10% of the things and security and comfort of you who are reading this.
They would really enjoy it if they could.
You should too!
Do your good works, and be happy.


Wallet seasons of life

Apr 01 2011    

Goodbye, old wallet,
made of tyvek
I made you out of a piece of tyvek so many years ago, cut from my camping tarp.
I still see that one corner missing when I spraypaint or set up the tent.
Also a handy dropcloth for spray-painting.

I remember your grandmother, the 10000 square foot roll of housewrap I bought to start a tablecloth business.
Gone forever.

made of tyvek
You are so thin, only holding 3 plastic cards.
You fit neatly in a shirt pocket.
No one noticed you.
Until recently.
When I noticed how nasty you have become.
I was becoming embarrassed to pull you out for purchases.
What was “minimal” slid into “gross”.
made of tyvek
Now, you are retired.
I have a new wallet!
Yo Gabba Gabba!

A comment

The face you get colors a whole world of reflections.

Mar 28 2011    

People have worked a long time on being treated fairly.
Some people because of their race, or their nationality, gender, etc.
But one thing that cuts across it all is being physically ugly or beautiful.
I dont hear people acknowledging it very much.
Its a range that is subjective and can’t be measured absolutely but its been here all along.
It makes a big difference in how your whole life plays out.
It’s how people react to you.
Its mostly in the face, especially for women.
It’s connected to weight.
It’s similar to attractiveness, but that includes much more external factors.
People’s wealth, integrity, status, personality all come into play for the one being attracted.

How much physical beauty you have makes a big difference in how your struggle will unfold.
But I just don’t hear people talking about it like so many other factors.

I had a friend who was chubby, and she went around making pictures and such in lots of places.
She was pretty invisible.
Then she lost a lot of weight and she was beautiful.
Then she couldn’t take pictures so many places because people would notice her and tell her couldn’t take pictures there. People paid way more attention to her, were interested in her and what she had to say. It was kind of a sad lesson on people for her.

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Anomalies of the uninformed

Mar 26 2011    

Saw a couple of odd things on the drive home today that didnt seem right.

Here is an exterminating alternative that is called “ChemFree” but its carrying a big tank of inhalation hazard.
Maybe its a non-chemical toxin, an alternative to non-toxic chemicals?
toxic non-chemicals

Ok, I thought there were a couple of mistakes on this wall but this is how things really go down:
defiant in socks
Oran does actually use a gluegun on his head, and yours too if you let him. Its part of his Wonder Weave.
And the Olympic Champs with fists raised on the podium were actually standing there in their socks, as part of their statement. It was hard to verify because there are a bunch of copies of this picture all cut off just at the knee, and another picture angle where the officials standing in front are just perfectly blocking the view of their feet. Weird. I could only find the answer in writing. Ill learn more when I finally make it into the museum.


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