Tuesday, September 13, 2016

September 13 Link Log

Another long Link Log; today's e-chore is moving the unpaid Blogjob posts to Blogspot, and in between I'm reading everyone else's posts. Categories: Animals, Book, Crafts, Food, Health, Poetry, Politics, Traffic Safety, Travel, Writing, Zazzle. (Amazon book link coming tomorrow.)


Outdoor cat models cat-friendly leash in tree...but note his human's comment: "I had to put him there." The cat has enough sense to know that climbing a tree while wearing a harness is a bad idea. Unfortunately, some cats do not know this...if your cat walks with you on a harness, hold on to the harness at all times.


(Bringing back memories: if scared while walking with me, Black Magic ignored trees and scrambled right up me. It wasn't exactly pleasant, but..."Faithful are the wounds of a friend.")

Remember your Dr. Seuss books? "We are men of screams and howls. We are men who eat boiled owls." Here's a man or woman who's sterilized, by boiling or whatever, owl vomit for photo documentation that owls help eat rodents. Owls, like hawks, eagles, and cormorants, lack teeth, swallow things they can't digest, and regularly spit up pellets of bones, hairs, and miscellaneous undigested garbage, which at least makes it easy to prove that they eat mice. Only little mice, though; few owls are big enough to tackle rats. We still need to protect outdoor cats at the top of the food chain. (In case that wasn't enough of a warning--this photo link is not one little bit cute. I'm sharing it for those who like a good gross-out.)


I'm surprised by the number of people who think these praying mantis images and fun facts are scary! Maybe it's because, as a child, I first met the praying mantis in kiddie books that mentioned that people keep these large to extra-large insects as pets. Yes, the Carolina Mantis and Chinese Mantis grow up to six inches long, so in theory they could at least nip humans--but they don't want to nip humans. They are reported to nibble at ground raw meat, but not living skin. They eat other insects. In July I was seen in the Friday Market posing with a big Carolina Mantis (the kind featured in +Sandy KS 's first photo) on my shoulder. I figured it knew something I didn't, about the best place to hunt for gnats or mosquitoes!



Wendy Welch has found one that should appeal to all who want to know more about Muslims in North America:


+Ruth Cox found this one some time ago; I didn't see it for several weeks:



If your browser can handle a photo post, here's a one-screen photo essay about fir tip tea:


I have mixed feelings about Cloette Zager's signature cat face as pentacle. I have mixed feelings about people who wear pentacles; some of them are soulmates who've left Christian churches for the same reasons I did, only they've gone farther than I have; and some of them are extremely confused, and some of them, well, stereotypes don't come to exist out of thin air. So, is it fair to identify cats, goats, dogs or any other innocent creature with down-pointed pentacles? Well...their faces do happen to have that shape...



Lloyd Marcus seems disappointed that the commercial news media didn't cover Saturday's #AllLivesMatter event. I agree with him that Detective Hernandez's contribution is worth reading:


Food (Yuck) 

Wasting food is very yucky. So is the idea of mandatory recycling experiments that may or may not work. Keep'em voluntary. But what this article prompted me to share was, first of all...The most dangerous adventure my church college offered students in residence, apart from special overseas programs open to only ten or twelve students per year, was working with the Community for Creative Non-Violence urban mission. In the early 1980s Mitch Snyder was still alive, still considered a bit of a kook, and he regularly led "garbage raids" where his housemates and students used to liberate day-old produce from dumpsters in the dead of the night. No one was actually shot, doing this, but people were shot at. And chased by dogs. I had a roommate who was keener on the C.C.N.-V. and on adventures than I was, who had been chased by dogs, on a garbage raid around 2:30 a.m. And now cities are talking about making it mandatory to offer day-old produce to poor people...and the question arises: what happens when something really is tainted, and poor people get sick?

I think what Jim Babka calls "voluntaryism" is the key. If I chose to eat something, not because I was forced to eat it or starve but because I thought the benefits outweighed the risk, then I feel responsible for making myself sick (if I do). If someone else told me to eat it, and it makes me sick, then I'm going to blame the person who thrust that food upon me.


Food (Yum) 

At my church college a sweet, doughy confection with creamstyle corn was called "corn fritters." My Significant Other calls cornmeal-based pancakes "corn fritters." Here's a different kind of "corn fritters"--more like high-fiber hush puppies--that I'd like to make: Substitute 1/2 cup more cornmeal and 1/2 cup either oatmeal or flaxmeal for that cup of flour, and they're gluten-free...if you can trust your source of corn and/or oats.


This one is not gluten-free...for those who still have zucchini...


+Thelma Alberts shares a recipe for hibiscus tea...another one of those tropical treats that may be healthy for some people but dangerous for others, specifically because of their effect on human hormones. Anyone who is pregnant, or would like to be, should avoid ingesting hibiscus.


And Black Forest Cake recipe from Germany. The interesting thing about this version of Black Forest Cake is that in Germany people seem to remember that "Black Forest" is a place name, not a description of the cake. U.S. versions usually seem to aim for a black cake with as much dark chocolate, and of course sugar to cut the bitterness of the dark chocolate, as possible.


And plantains--platanos, cooking bananas--as distinct from plantain, the herb. How two totally unrelated things wound up with the same name, I don't know. Plantains are sweet, though not as soft or as sweet as bananas; grated with garlic and nutmeg, they'd make pleasantly different cakes.


And fruit salad.


And lollipops to make with leftover cake crumbs, by mixing the crumbs with jam and covering with chocolate. (Yes, the link goes to German Blogspot, but the page opens in English. Go figure.)



Or mental health, or something like that...here's a cancer survivor's mother's take on "caregiver shame" and emotional exhaustion. The child is still alive. Emotional pain truly does suck the juices of joy out of life...


This one goes under Health not Politics. The top story at The Blaze this morning is Hillary Rodham Clinton's admission of pneumonia. It was also the top story at the Huffington Post; the Blaze version reached me first. On consideration, this web site is not going to promote either of those stories, because the report will be on the front page of the national news in your local newspapers anyway, and the commenters at the two big national news blogs are just plain mean. Instead, here's my comment as posted on Google + :

It's The Blaze, so people feel free to be mean. I'm having flashbacks to this time last year when GBP was still trying to work through insidious viral pneumonia, and I had bronchitis from the same dang virus. Empathy hugs to HRC. To all the mean people, flu shots *do not touch* the virus, it's still going around, and karma just might blow some your way.

What people in my part of the world had, late last summer and (in many cases) all through the winter, was not affected by flu shots because it wasn't flu. Different kind of virus. Sneakier. My corner of Virginia last saw it in the early 1980s. People who are "older, not 'old'" and have never had pneumonia before get pneumonia; people who don't get bronchitis with flu get bronchitis with this one. It's airborne, contagious, and a total pain in the neck. Grandma Bonnie Peters has (eventually) recovered, after a couple of pneumonia-related falls and broken bones, and gone back to work. I (eventually) recovered, after a lot of coughing, lost sleep, scared neighbors, and starving out the infection. So in all probability will Clinton if, as seems likely, the virus has spread to her part of the world; I don't think this virus is a serious threat to the nation if she's elected. I think it is a threat to Clinton's ability to campaign, because, if this pneumonia is caused by an airborne virus, there's no cure for it and talking, brisk walking, exercise, or deep breathing will continue to trigger coughing fits for several months. I think it's an equal threat to anyone else involved in the campaign, or in reporting it. Trump is likely to get it if he debates Clinton; people who never get flu, and/or always get flu shots, had a hard time with this virus last year. Bill Clinton is at risk. Chelsea is. Tim Kaine is. The guards are. The TV and newspaper people are. If you live in any big city where campaign activity is likely to occur, start watching your diet, getting plenty of rest, taking Vitamin C and garlic and drinking plenty of water, now. Here I stand to testify that those things won't keep you from feeling the effects of the virus (nor will youth--I had bronchitis the first time I encountered this kind of virus, age seventeen) but they may make the difference between "a cough," bronchitis, or pneumonia.

That's my reaction, written before reading Scott Adams'...well, obviously SA wasn't in a neighborhood where just about everybody spent the last third of the last year coughing, so he's not getting the emotional rush of empathy. Which means he may be right. If she'd had it at any other time in her life, viral pneumonia wouldn't have affected Clinton's political career; if she has it during the peak of a campaign, she will be a weak campaigner. If, on the other hand, the virus affects others involved in the campaign the way it affected my community last year, Election 2016 may become literally the worst and weakest election in history.


Does writing help? Hmm. All I can say is, if I get through a day without writing, I've been very ill indeed.


What about this flu survival list?



+Susan Zutautas :


Politics (General) 

The federal government has another mess to clean up...I feel sorry for anyone who was shocked by the idea that many people who feel desperate, either for what they (mistakenly) believe to be an opportunity to make more money, or for an opportunity to escape from either undeserved persecution or the rightful consequences of their actions, or for an opportunity to do harm, will lie.


Traffic Safety 

Should drinking (coffee) while driving be a crime? Strictly a secondary crime, of course, considered strictly from the point of view of traffic safety...I'm of two minds about this. I think further studies are needed. A hazard is created if a driver looks away from the road long enough to open a drink, stir, etc. A hazard is created if a driver falls asleep on the road; that's why many drivers use coffee and other caffeinated drinks. A hazard is also created if some drivers just pop a caffeine pill instead of sipping caffeinated drinks on the road, because some people become sick (some may faint) if they take caffeine on an empty stomach. The ideal is of course for everyone to drive only when they feel wide awake and healthy, and also undistracted by personal problems or by attention deficiency disorder...and, realistically, that ideal is not going to be achieved. Realistically, on overnight road trips where someone else signed the contract to drive a rental car, I've resorted to pinching or "beaning" the driver until we came to a designated rest area, settled in for a nap and been awakened half an hour later by a traffic cop demanding that we move on or rent a motel room. Much as local business bureaus might want all night drivers to rent rooms, that's not going to happen. All daytime drivers aren't going to be optimally alert, either. Under real-world conditions, is there really a pronounced difference between the three kinds of hazards presented by drivers who do and don't sip coffee?



+Thelma Alberts shares pictures of a tour of England:



Here's a call for content that obviously was not addressed to anyone at this web site, but an e-friend thought it worth circulating far and wide. Has anyone out there written a Halloween story featuring a character who identifies with a "sexual minority"? This call specifically includes asexuals, so I'm willing to share it:


And here's a rumor I was not aware of...sounds as if the idea that people who set up "free blogs" are scammers may be circulated by the agencies that rip off clients and writers?



Do you enjoy working jigsaw puzzles? Do you know someone whose waiting room could use a jigsaw puzzle? This is one of several +Jasmine Ann Marie has posted for sale at Zazzle. I was looking for an owl design, which I didn't find, but these llamas are cute too.

While I was there, I found +Thelma Alberts ' Zazzle page as well.

Tropical Bird Decorative Pillow
Tropical Bird Decorative Pillow by Thellys_Designs55
Find other Bird Accent Pillows at zazzle.com