Category Archives: cool links

Space Oddity

…performed by Cmdr Chris Hadfield.

It’s marvelous.

In lieu of actual words

Because 3-D printing just boggles the hell out of me.

Check out the article for a photo of the ear that was grown. It looks very ear-like.

Fly-by post

Spam header of the day: “A complete line of products for failures in bed.”
Not much of a market for those, I would think.

In Real Science(TM) news, a spider has been discovered that builds decoy spiders, legs and all, possibly to deter predators.

Hope everyone who celebrates had a good Christmas, and everyone who doesn’t a nice vacation day. Mine was quiet. Cooking got short shrift for a number of reasons, but dinner still turned out surprisingly well. The initial plan was roast chicken with mashed parsnips and roasted carrots, but I lacked the time/energy. So.

Peeled and chopped the parsnips and carrots into roughly equal-sized pieces. Added two chopped onions. A couple of stalks of wilted celery I didn’t want to toss. Mixed it all in a bowl and tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Sautéed on medium heat until almost but not quite soft. Added bone-in chicken breasts, herbes de Provence, and chicken stock, and braised until the chicken was done. Removed chicken. Mashed veggies, which by this point were mushy, with butter, cream, and a tablespoon of cognac.

I served this with stuffing, but it didn’t need it. Forgot the cranberry sauce, and didn’t miss it. The chicken picked up the flavor of the veggies, and stayed moist. Call it Braised Chicken Breasts w/ Puree of Root Vegetables. Whatever you call it, it’s a keeper.

In other news, WordPress site is still getting killed with spam. I’ve gotten more in the last couple of months than I did in the last year and a half. Akismet snags the bulk of it, but still. How many counterfeit designerwear sites are there out there?

Real life PIXAR Lamp just wants to be your friend

Though I think I’d get even less work done than I do already if my office furniture started messing with me.

Dogs Teaching Chemistry!

(h/t to A Blog Around the Clock)


I can’t keep up with the changes over at Madame Agent’s critique auction for Sandy relief. We’re currently looking at the possibility of 4 critiques, with 4 folks donating $1500 each. Tune in tomorrow to see how it all shakes out.

King had a restless couple of hours this evening that I think was caused by an upset stomach. He seemed fine when I came home. I admit that I did give him a couple of biscuits, a new brand that might not have agreed with him. After a few minutes, the restlessness hit–he paced, drank water, and wanted to go outside. He went to the bathroom. He seemed anxious and a little clingy.

I had to give him his chemo tablets, so I did. I also gave him 10mg famotidine in case he had heartburn. I then fed him some chicken breast and rice. He remained restless for another half hour or so. Then he finally settled. He’s sleeping now.

I, on the other hand, am now the one feeling restless and edgy.

When I take King in for his next follow-up, I am going to ask about the best way to handle an upset stomach. I’d like to have something on hand to give him when it hits.

I hate when something like this happens now because I worry that it could snowball.

I need a cookie.

In other news, I just watched two minutes of STAR WARS–Episode 3. It was all I could take.

Ancient flower lives only on two Spanish cliffs, and uses ants to survive

I love stories like this. The reality that there are tiny, tiny corners of the world that contain plants or animals that exist nowhere else.

This story begins with a cliff-hanger. On the Spanish side of the Pyrenees mountains, around 850 metres above sea level, two adjacent cliff faces hold the entire population of Borderea chouardii – one of the world’s rarest plants. It’s a small herb that grows into crevices in the rock. Its leaves are heart-shaped and its flowers green and unassuming. There are around 10,000 individuals here, all growing on a square kilometre of vertical rock.

In 1973, I visited London for the first and, to this point, only time**. During that visit, I took a bus tour of Hampton Court and Windsor Castle.

Our very voluble guide took care to point out unique items, such as the notch in an outer wall–I have forgotten whether it at Hampton or Windsor–that marked the height of Cromwell’s tallest soldier. But there was something else he said that I remember, and I swear I am not misremembering even though I was 15yo at the time and not as engaged in soaking it all in and looking at all the old stuff as I would be, say, today. He said that there was a tree in the garden–again, I don’t recall at which site–that did not grow anywhere else in the world. I recall the phrase “Eden tree,” but *that* could be misremembrance. I have searched online every so often for information about the gardens, but have yet to find any reference to a unique tree.

**not counting a couple of quick jaunts through Heathrow on the way to and from connecting flights to Glasgow/Intersection ’95.

Once again, in lieu of actual content

Six servings of Thanksgiving factology, courtesy of DiscoverBlog

In lieu of actual content

An absolutely marvelous time-lapse video of the Earth, taken from the ISS.

Gacked from Bad Astronomy.

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael König on Vimeo.

Saints with White Hot Hammers

Over at Atlas Obscura, it’s Day 11 of the 31 Days of Halloween. Today’s entry discusses St. Foy, who sounds as though she would be right at home in a Discworld novel.

In life, St. Foy was one of many young Christians who was martyred for her faith by the Roman Empire, but it was several hundred years after her execution that her life got really interesting…Even when she was helping people, she often couldn’t resist tormenting them, so much so that in town her miracles were known as “St. Foy’s jokes.”

What follows is the tale of how St. Foy aided a knight with a herniated scrotum. I’ll let you read it over there.