Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Link Log for February 11

Today's Categories...alphabetically! Animals, Annoyances, Bad News, Crafts, Fun Facts, Pictures, Politics (Good News), Valentines Day Message for Mature Readers Only,


Dog lovers, the voting is close! You get one vote a day for your favorite Dog Valentine photo. Help Valentino, a cute shelter dog from Florida, edge out the less appealing dog whose human sneaked a corporate trademark into the image! This link contains a video of Valentino above another link you can use to vote for him:

For those who want to be humane toward living animals, as distinct from humanely rendering them extinct, a petition:

How faithfully do, or can, pets follow their humans? I'm guessing that there's a small part of this story that Oliver Darcy isn't telling, but it could easily be true.


On Google + some of us have waxed passionate about the myriad forms of misrepresentation associated with GMO labelling, yesterday and today, and here's another blog post, with excellent intentions and a delightful header, that misrepresents facts...just enough that some people won't absorb the main message. It's not that vaccines-as-such cause autism, no. It is that young children's reactions to vaccines may include high fevers, which may cause or aggravate brain damage, including but not limited to autism, in a minority of all children. A great variety of other adverse effects can also be associated with vaccines. Having any vaccination is always a calculated risk. Part of that risk is that a relatively mild vaccine reaction may trigger something that might or might not have happened anyway, the way my husband's last flu shot was what really brought him down with multiple myeloma--no, that doesn't mean that flu shots cause multiple myeloma; with hindsight (the early stages of multiple myeloma are usually identified only in hindsight) he'd had symptoms for years. There are reasons why one child who's seemed bright (but might have had Aspergers Syndrome) seems autistic after a vaccination, and the next child to receive a dose of the same vaccine doesn't even run a temperature. Most people my age had half a dozen vaccines in early childhood, and most of us aren't autistic. So before endorsing an informative report on a young person whose autism probably was aggravated by vaccine, this web site has to say, once again: What are the risks and benefits? If your child inherited the kind of immune system I have, chances are that the poor little thing will have "summer colds" that are more inconvenient to him or her than measles is, and a two-degree fever that lasts six hours may be more dangerous to him or her than measles would be. If you or your child inherited a different pattern of immunities, who knows, measles could be dangerous enough to justify the expense of having the vaccine. Nevertheless, at the end of the rant, this web site does agree with the basic idea of Terresa Monroe-Hamilton's post: no vaccination should ever be required of, or even pressed upon, any person.

Bad News 

Virginians should empathize with the murder of three students at the University of North Carolina--reportedly a whole car pool of kids killed by a forty-something man over a parking space. This story gets worse. (Skip if you're depressed.) While some might want to spin this report into a story about Gun Violence and how those evil little pistols just load, aim, and fire themselves, dragging perfectly normal people behind them...Al-Jazeera is already reporting it as a hatecrime against Muslims. Yes, the students were Muslims. The girls wore head scarves, and even looked good in them. This web site encourages social media users to let Al-Jazeera readers know what (patriotic) (Christian) (American) readers, or any kind of readers for that matter, really think of this story.

(I flagged another comment that featured words Google doesn't like, on Google+, earlier. I'm not flagging the ones that used uglier words to describe Hicks, the murderer. If you can't call a murderer a d..., f..., m'f..., c..., rat-b..., etc. etc. sack of s..., whom can you call that? Of course, if you're an aunt, and the sense of rhythm for that sort of words departed from you when your first niece or nephew was born, you can simply call Hicks a murderer.)

(Not quite so bad) 

Well, in this news story nobody dies. And actually the position of this web site is that donations of money to politicians should be published. Nevertheless...thanks to +Kustom X for sharing:


Crafters, can you take the "One Project A Month" challenge? It's already February so it may be too late to sign up here...

...but lots of pretty pictures to inspire those who sew and quilt, anyway. (I'm in...actually in January I knitted several small things: two cowls, three hats, a pair of socks, and a cat blanket. The socks and blanket were from patterns in Knitting for Peace. The cowls and hats were original.)

I like the colors in the square quilt here:

From +Theresa Wiza, a free crochet cap pattern, easy enough to be a first crochet project.

Fun Facts 

How many "awareness ribbons" are there? +Theresa Wiza found a fairly comprehensive list here. I didn't even realize I needed a green one...awareness of the southward spread of Lyme Disease is still very low.

Good News 

Can New York City get through a week without anybody killing anybody else? Jon Street reminds us that the answer is still a hesitant "Possibly." I'm pullin' for'em, though. Come on, guys, you can do this...


Gate City, Virginia, got barely enough rain to dampen the dust yesterday, overnight lows barely below freezing, afternoon high around 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Once again, our nasty weather yesterday was the edge of someone else's disaster. Boston's...

And what are they doing with it?


+Brian Matiash snapped a stunning sunrise picture...if you click on this link you'll get a slideshow of about 400 more of his landscape photos.

+Stephen Ingraham shares a falcon picture:

+Jake Paredes shows us the of those little ground-nesting birds on whose behalf people should restrict the movements of pet cats, even in North America. As shown, the ovenbird looks like a lot of other small birds. It builds small covered nests on the ground that reminded some people of oldfashioned ovens, and warns us not to step on those nests by a distinctive call some people hear as "Teacher! Teacher!" Neither especially rare nor especially common, the ovenbird needs protection for only a few weeks, and is more likely to be attacked by mice than by cats.

(Fun facts about ovenbirds:


This news is so's posted at the place where U.S. readers should go to read my political posts, post their own, discuss, debate, and e-mail their elected officials when indicated...

But it's worth posting here too:

Isn't that lovely? Fifty-one U.S. Senators think so too! Fellow Americans, would you like to pop over to Popvox and congratulate yours, or do you need to lean on them? If you type "" into a browser, you'll find a big banner ad for a petition form you can use when leaning on them. The form looks as if it's designed to demand editing--it contains typos--and I recommend working in the keywords "S.77" and "Senator Vitter" somewhere; both the bill and the man deserve commendation.

Valentines Day Message for Mature Readers Only 

When we think about Valentines Day snuggling, computers are not usually part of the mental picture. Scott Adams' blog suggests that they could eventually be...the title contains another one of those words our contract bans, so, mature readers only, click here. (Immature readers won't get the point, anyway; the post is frank, not explicitly detailed, about what aunts are supposed to call Marital Relations.) I actually think a lot of readers won't need to wait for the type of computer devices Adams imagines. Quite a lot of Highly Sensory-Perceptive women have been doing this for years. Some men do it, too, but don't have it under conscious control and think of it as a problem.