Monday, December 18, 2023

Very Odd "Evolved" Behavior?

 So I have never heard of "Ruffed Grouse " before. They have a reputation for being game birds that are almost impossible to shoot.

But a relatively large number of grouse have now become "friendly grouse." They seem to enjoy the company of a man. Scientists are studying these Grouse and might have found an answer. It seems 

A genetic anomaly called a chromosomal inversion was present in a significant number of samples. Such inversions happen when a segment of DNA breaks off and reattaches in reverse order.

They aren't sure this is the reason, but regular reversals make changes to their coloring or weight. More studies are being done, but it seems the reversal here made them no longer fear people.

The New York Times has the story, and it is very, very cool.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Headed out to Dunfermline Tomorrow

 Eddie and I are heading out to Dunfermline, Scotland tomorrow. We are dog sitting for a couple of days from the 21st to the 28th. We then go to visit friends near London until the 1st. It should be great. Here is some info and pictures of Dunfermline.

  • Dunfermline's most famous son is Andrew Carnegie, whose steel industry helped build America
  • His philanthropy started the world's public library system, and he gave away the equivalent of £5.5bn in today's money
  • Its annual fireworks display attracts some 30,000 local people, while the Christmas light event packed the town centre with 10,000 people
  • Dunfermline, with a population of 58,508, was one of the seats of the kings of Scotland in the middle ages and is known as the "ancient capital of Scotland"
  • Robert the Bruce - who defeated the English army at the Battle of Bannockburn - was buried in Dunfermline Abbey after his death in 1329

More pictures

Monday, December 11, 2023

As you bumble around the internet

 I found this gorgeous poster / map of Los Angeles done for the 1932 Olympics. In 2028 LA will host its 3rd Olympics, like London and Paris. But this map is so very very cool.

I think you can select it and enlarge it. It also has other LA Landmarks on it (at least those from the early 1930s).

Saturday, December 9, 2023

The Voice of Great Writers

 Ask Ed, and he will impart that I have an inability not to take on the accent of where ever we are. In the South, Boston, Texas, where ever. It is an almost involuntary response that is probably very annoying. When I notice it, like England, I can make it bigger and stupid and can fall out of it. But I still find myself having to actively keep regular phrasing and cadence - at least for a while.

I remember once I was in Germany for a date (long story) with Peter, who's first language is German. The difference in verb / noun placement, the stutter of thinking, and trying to find the easiest words to say, I was unconsciously mimicking. So it was Mother's Day, and I called my mom from Frankfurt. I remember saying Happy Mother's Day to her, and trying to find the right words and order. She asked, seriously albeit nicely, "Scott, are you drunk?"

It broke me out of my head, and I was able to talk normally again. I did confirm that I was not. And it was true, the time difference meant I called her very early in the morning.

Well, that isn't the central point of this. 

I do the same thing when reading or seeing a play (TV - not so much). It is like falling into the moment and enjoying the hell out of it. If I read my old play reviews, the reviews from Shakespeare are pretentious. The reviews of avant-garde shows are full of half phrases connected in spirit but not always in purpose. 

But my most interesting turn is reading and writing. After reading E F Benson, my writing takes on the run-on sentences, completely with commas where one should put periods, and modeled so that every sentence contains at least one, possibly three new thoughts.

This is all very much apropos of nothing much, except I say the end of Good Omens 2, and I found myself thinking in that style.

Friday, December 8, 2023

I Just Finished Good Omens 2

 It is funny, irreverent, inventive, and gorgeous to look at.

And I am a wreck.

In the best possible way.

It is a wonder that things still surprise and move me unexpectedly. Of course, so much of this one is up to the talents of David Tennet - and to a lesser extent, Michael Sheen.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Hello World

 I'm back this week. I didn't really leave, but I am setting up our new house, and getting wifi / TV is not as easy as I would expect. Miles easier than years ago, but not instantaneous. And I have no patience to try to post via my phone over cell lines (the horror).

So anyway all is up.  The house is great. We bought all his furniture and it is nice but still working kinks out. It took a while, and I have to use overrides until I figure it all out, but the jacuzzi is aces. The only TV is upstairs, which is annoying when making food, but doable. We all know how I love TV as a background.

So, don't worry. Scooter hasn't dropped into some major depression.

Okay, back to the important things. This is cool!

Friday, December 1, 2023

Just one more reason i love them....


Return of the Aurochs

 Many moons ago (hundreds of years), mankind domesticated cows from wild cows - referred to now as Aurochs. Then they domesticated the land, turning it into fields, towns, mines, and roadways.

Now Europeans have abandoned much of these because cheaper food and minerals can be imported. But the wilds of Europe did not bounce back. So scientists have been busy recreating the Aurochs, with the hope they repair nature. And it has worked from the forests of Bavaria to the deserts of Iberia.

Here is how the Aurochs repair land.

Expand to learn more about how creating this works. Note that "Tauros" is the Spanish word for Auroch hence "Toro, toro".

Vonnegut Quotes

 The Blinkist ran a set of Kurt Vonnegut quotes. I don't know if everyone has access to The Blinkist, so I will copy them here. I love his books and thought process, so I am going to share.

He is the Stoic of today. Well, the Stoic of the late 1900s, since he est mort.


We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anybody tell you any different. 

Kurt Vonnegut This quote emphasizes the idea that our purpose on Earth is not necessarily to constantly strive for productivity or conform to societal expectations. Instead, it suggests that we should embrace a more relaxed and carefree approach to life. The quote encourages us to prioritize enjoyment, spontaneity, and being true to ourselves, rather than getting caught up in the pressures of society or the pursuit of external validation. It reminds us to not let others dictate how we should live our lives and to embrace the freedom to simply “fart around” and find joy in the present moment.

A sane person to an insane society must appear insane. 

Kurt Vonnegut 

This quote highlights the challenging and often misunderstood nature of individuals who question or challenge societal norms. It suggests that when someone’s thoughts or actions deviate from what is considered “normal” by society, they may be labeled as insane or irrational. However, this quote encourages us to consider that sometimes it is the society itself that is flawed or irrational, and those who are deemed insane may actually be the ones who see the truth or have a different perspective. It prompts us to question the status quo and not be afraid to stand out or be labeled as “insane” in order to bring about positive change.

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be. 

Kurt Vonnegut 

Kurt Vonnegut offers a thought-provoking insight into the power of our actions and the role they play in shaping our identities. This quote suggests that our outward behaviors and the roles we assume have a direct impact on who we become. It serves as a reminder to be mindful of the personas we adopt and the values we embody, as they ultimately shape our true selves. Vonnegut’s quote encourages us to be intentional in our choices and to consider the long-term consequences of the roles we play in our lives

Laughing is good exercise. It’s like jogging on the inside. 

Kurt Vonnegut 

This quote highlights the health benefits of laughter and the joy it brings to our lives. It suggests that laughter is not only a source of happiness, but also a form of exercise for our bodies and minds. Just like jogging, laughter can energize us, release tension, and improve our overall well-being. This quote encourages us to embrace laughter as a natural and enjoyable way to stay healthy and fit, reminding us of the power of humor and its positive impact on our lives.

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country. 

Kurt Vonnegut 

Once again, Kurt Vonnegut presents a thought-provoking observation about the state of society and the potential consequences of our actions. This quote highlights the fear and concern that can arise when individuals who may not possess the necessary skills or knowledge are entrusted with positions of power. Vonnegut’s words serve as a reminder that the decisions made by those in authority can have a profound impact on our lives and the direction of our society. It urges us to be mindful of the choices we make and the individuals we elect to represent us, emphasizing the importance of informed decision-making and responsible leadership.

The world is full of people who are very clever at seeming much smarter than they really are.

Kurt Vonnegut 

This quote, from Kurt Vonnegut’s works, provides a witty observation about the nature of intelligence and perception. It highlights the prevalence of individuals who excel at creating an illusion of intelligence, often through cleverness or manipulation. Vonnegut’s quote reminds us to be cautious of those who may appear smarter than they truly are, urging us to look beyond surface-level impressions and seek genuine intelligence and wisdom in others. It serves as a reminder to value substance over appearances and to approach intelligence with discernment.

You meet saints everywhere. They can be anywhere. They are people behaving decently in an indecent society. 

Kurt Vonnegut 

This line emphasizes the importance of recognizing and appreciating the presence of goodness and decency in the world, even in the midst of a society that may seem indecent or morally compromised. It reminds us that acts of kindness and decency can be found in unexpected places and in ordinary people. By acknowledging and celebrating these individuals, we can find hope and inspiration, and work towards creating a more compassionate and just society.

It’s a terrible waste to be happy and not notice it

Kurt Vonnegut 

This quote emphasizes the significance of recognizing and appreciating moments of happiness in our lives. It suggests that it is a great loss to experience happiness but fail to acknowledge its presence. The quote serves as a reminder to be mindful and fully present in the moments of joy and contentment that we encounter. It encourages us to cultivate gratitude and awareness, so that we can fully embrace and cherish the happiness that comes our way.

Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow. 

Kurt Vonnegut 

This quote highlights the transformative power of engaging in artistic pursuits. It emphasizes that the purpose of practicing any form of art is not to seek external rewards such as money or fame, but rather to embark on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. By immersing ourselves in creative expression, we have the opportunity to explore our inner selves, uncover hidden talents, and expand our souls. This quote encourages us to embrace art as a means of self-exploration and self-expression, reminding us that the true value of artistic endeavors lies in the process of becoming and the inner fulfillment it brings.

Read more at:

About sums it up