Friday, February 27, 2015

Link Log for February 27

Categories: Animals, Car Trouble, Chortles, Constitutional Rights, Gardening, Good Thoughts, Language Quiz, Obituary, Politics, Tourism, Weather, Writing...


The Guardian picks the world's best wildlife photos...regularly. After scrolling through this eye candy (warning: one distressing picture), you can open more wildlife photo galleries.

This clever heron is training a hippopotamus to carry it out into deeper water for better fishing opportunities. (Herons can actually swim--not like ducks, but enough to get back to shore.)

Owl gone wrong:

Car Trouble 

Chevrolet Impala recall:


Twitter absolutely refused to let me open this page from the Twitter link yesterday, but here it is... totally bogus factoids about Washington, D.C. (True fact: a statue of Diogenes housed in a Maryland suburban school library has long been rumored to prowl around the building at night, but I never heard any rumors of his flying out beyond the campus...)

The "birthday song parodies" invitation was too easy, considering which politician (1) has a name that rhymes easily, (2) does not represent this constituent's point of view in Congress, and (3) recently celebrated a birthday.

"Happy Birthday, Tim Kaine,
In the Senate you're a pain,
You should live long and prosper,
Only maybe in Spain."

Definitely not good enough for the Post. Youall can do better. Please use the comment section, or Twitter, or both, to prove it.

Here's a silly quiz...immigrants may face other challenges to "belonging" in these United States, but the creator of this poll certainly sets the bar low for "belonging" in Texas.

More chortles lie ahead...a new novel by Daniel Handler:

Constitutional Rights 

It's not only Christians who need to support these victims of violations of their "pre-constitutional" right to freedom of speech. It's anybody who doesn't want to be sued for doing or saying anything that puts some rich, neurotic individual into a snit-fit. People have the right not to like each other. People have the right to hurt each other's little feelings. People have the right to sabotage their own businesses by asking questions and making judgments about customers; employers have the right to fire employees who do this, and they should, but if the owner wants to do it, it's the owner's own business.

And those who believe that two women have a "marriage" had better think twice about tolerating censorship, or interfering with other people's right to hurt those women's feelings--because, if a business owner's turning down an offer is horrible, terrible discrimination, how much worse is either of those women's turning down a more personal proposition from a man?

Same issue, different's not been so very long since all people of African or Native American descent were "suspected terrorists," or "insurrectionaries" as they were then called, and were denied the right to use firearms.


This lightweight cardigan has a lot going for it--easy lace trim, subtly flattering lines, graceful shaping.


Looking forward to a real thaw next week, Virginia Living shares photos of three invasive plant species that can become pests. Pretty, maybe, but these are weeds. Why would I share this? Because it's not too late to get some use out of an ailanthus tree if you have one. They're not the best firewood, but they will burn.

Good Thoughts 

How to overcome fears of what "Everybody" will think:

How to laugh at the worries of the Actuarial Generation:

Language Quiz 

The Washington Post recommends a foreign language for each reader to study based on their answers to seven quiz questions. (The position of this web site is that any high school diploma should require at least tourist-level fluency in at least two languages.)


Eugenie Clark, ichthyologist, died yesterday.

Leonard Nimoy, the best-known "Star Trek" actor and "alien"-sounding singer, died at age 83.


For those who wondered why all those wood stoves were banned from the, it wasn't that they were defective stoves.

Y'know the Cold War ended in 1989. The democracies won. So where did the Communist Parties go? Did those people learn something...or did they quietly sneak into major political parties (and the U.N.) and continue their service to their religion unchecked? And have they succeeded? Allen West asks us to consider the extent to which the goals of Marx and Engels are being met. For those who were turned off by McCarthyism, I'll add a request: Consider how well these feel-good policies have served Russia.

Goaded no doubt by charges that two left-of-center talking heads have lied on their shows, Media Matters unleashes its dogs on Bill O'Reilly...Meh. Most TV talking heads look and sound interchangeable to me. O'Reilly happens to be the author of a book this web site has promoted. But I'm guessing that all Media Matters will get by trying to bash O'Reilly is tired.

Tim Kaine sheds some light on his left-wing philosophical roots in this memoir of working with Jesuits in Honduras. Very good, kind people...very vulnerable, perhaps especially in the 1970s, to Old Left ideology. The El Pais page does not have an English translation button. I checked; Bing produced a readable English version in less than two minutes.

Tourism has put Gate City on the map...of "22 small towns to visit."

"Vintage and antique seekers will enjoy a stroll through Gate City, so named for its role as the gateway into Virginia from Kingsport, Tennessee. If an old mercantile, family owned restaurants and a walk through time sound like a treasure of a day, then this is your place at a slow pace. Enjoy pastries from The Family Bakery and an authentic short-order lunch at Hob-Nob Drive-In. There’s also a special LOVEwork in Gate City for you to find!


The snow is finally beginning, very very slowly, to melt. Did the February thaw, which typically occurs in the last week of February, come early this year? Were those two warm days around the beginning of the month it? Forecasters anticipate a real thaw around the beginning of March...with the possibility of floods.


When I started this blog, the contract banned explicit or violent content. Since I want The Nephews to be able to read what I write, and had no plans to post explicit or violent content, I've had a good time imposing, playing with, and occasionally lifting a ban on any mention of any specific body part. So when Google sent out the message "You will no longer be allowed to post explicit content," I wondered whether ongoing harassment by a recently blocked troll was involved. Moi?

Well, no...apparently some of the blogs into which you might stumble, if you noticed and used a "Next Blog" button at the top of this page, have been posting explicit content. Did they not sign the same contract? Wottha...?

Reading books and writing poetry help former inmates stay out of the D.C. jail:

(Does anyone remember Richard Stratton's Slam? I still have the book.)