Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 14 Link Log

Whew...I got the carol posts done, and (finally) caught up with some readers on Google +. Now what else am I going to be able to do online this winter? Virginia bill readers' "training" e-mails are coming out again...I've enjoyed bill reading, as much as it's possible to enjoy bill reading, but given the tendency for everything to shut down if it snows, will I be able to commit to that? If paid to report on the state legislature, would I be able to do the job? What about a book-on-tape job contract from Fiverr? What about...any contract from Fiverr, much as I want and need them. I won't know whether I'll have Internet access, or from where, even one day ahead during the official winter holidays, and whatever snow days we may get after the third of January. Today's Categories: Animals, Censorship, Food, Holidays, Music, Nice, Phenology, Picture, Writing.


Today's Petfinder pictures are dogs...hounds. Why are hounds so popular? Because they're a good type of dog--not inbred for bizarre mutations, so they tend to be healthy; big enough to get respect, small enough to be easy to carry; generally friendly, sensible, and good-looking. But notice what the nasty Humane Pet Genocide society says about that poster-girl dog Ellie. Well, it's your call. Animals need rescuing from shelters but HSUS shelters need to be...completely taken over by a different organization whose goal is not to render domestic animals extinct by making it harder and harder for people to own pets.

Lily from Atlanta:
Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia from Jersey City:

Ellie from North Carolina...they think black dogs don't photograph well!?!
Do dogs' personalities reflect their humans', or vice versa? +LadyNightwaveBrendaMarie Writer contemplates her lovable Leelee...and as a total introvert who shares my life with the world through a blog, raised a lot of money for various missions by singing, and could be accused of being a professional activist, I suppose there is some resonance between my personality and the similarly contradictory-sounding concept of a social cat family.

Super-size tropical silkmoth. They're harmless (most moths in this family don't even eat) but some moths found close to the equator are huge--this one looks like the Atlas moth, sometimes considered the world's biggest with a wingspan that can measure 65 square inches. Close to ten inches across, they're almost twice the size of the biggest North American silkmoths. (Citheronia regalis can measure six inches across; many individuals are smaller. Eacles imperialis, the big silkmoth species to which my "personal moth" belonged, are about half the size of Attacus atlas.) Individuals of some other tropical moth species can be longer, wider, or heavier even than Atlas, so it's hard to say whether Atlas are the biggest moths on Earth. But they come close. They're almost too big to fly.


I'm on the fence about this one. Ryan Hudson went beyond cursing BLM to directly insulting his correspondent, but... (1) If that's the way he thinks, by all means he should be free to let the world know it so that people can avoid him. (2) If that's the way he thinks only when he's drunk, why has he not already stopped drinking alcohol? Who wants to drink cleaning fluid anyway? Yuck. (3) There's usually more to this kind of story than makes the headlines. Part of the key to this story is in the first paragraph...the fireman is forty years old, which is the cut-off point for most jobs that require youthful strength and energy (whether a forty-something still has those or not), and a standard retirement age for fire fighters. Welcome to middle age, Mr. Hudson.

This one is just plain bad. Even cursing and insulting people (as long as the curses don't escalate to serious threats, or the insults to serious slander) should be protected by the First Amendment. Expressing opposition to political positions, whether or not those positions are popular with certain minority groups, must be protected by the First Amendment. There's a very, very large difference between wanting to kill Jews and/or Arabs, and wanting to withdraw part or all of the financial or military support it's been proposed that we should send to Israel, and/or some Arab big as the difference between wanting to kill Monegasques (chosen as an example because I suspect most U.S. citizens don't even know what "Monegasque" means), and saying that there's no particular need for the U.S. to send money to Monaco.

(Why mention Arabs above? Because some people like to forget that "Semite" is a quaint term for Jews and Arabs; thus, if withholding support from Israel is anti-semitic, withholding support from any of the Arab countries is equally anti-semitic. This way madness lies. This web site has no foreign policy and no idea which countries may or may not need financial aid or military protection from these United States, but even this web site recognizes that criteria for financial aid or military protection have to be based on a lot of things other than the mere fact that we don't particularly hate a specific country.)

Food (Yum) 

Gluten-free cookies if you have safe sources of oats:

Chocolate version:

The last delicious fruits of autumn are the nuts. Shagbark hickory nuts are like pecans, only with much harder shells and smaller edible "meats." Some think the flavor of these nuts is worth the trouble of cracking them, but forget about regular nutcrackers--you need a hammer or a heavy lead weight. If you set the nuts on end on a sawed-off chunk of pine or poplar wood, these hard nuts will bore their way down into the wood so that you can swing the hammer as hard as you want to. At least it's a good way to work off surplus energy.

Sweet and sour smoothie:

One of those fruit breads that would taste good if made with gluten-free flour, but would need to be eaten with a spoon. (Why fight it? Serve in a bowl of milk and call it panada, or with applesauce or orange juice.)

Chicken and peas...and tomato sauce? Different in a good way? Your call...

Article about Indian snacks:

This one may be an Asian specialty. I've not seen moringa could make a nice clear fish soup without them, though; it just won't be the same.

These cupcake-sized pies probably can't be made gluten-free, since you need gluten to hold the crisp little crust together...


December can be an uncomfortable time for some whole-Bible Christians as well as Muslims, Jews, and Hindus...but the position of this web site is that they should get over themselves. There's no reason why school end-of-term parties need to be different in December than they are in May--the end of term is something to celebrate; there's also no reason why people should get agitated about the fact that others may be celebrating things they're not celebrating. Professor Kessler's "guidelines" seem as whacked as his affiliation with "Texas Women's University."

At least in Germany +Thelma Alberts ' neighbors seem to be content with celebrating what they're celebrating, not trying to make it so "inclusive" as to be meaningless...

+Sandy KS has a wonderful list of things to give your favorite blogger for Christmas...actually, I prefer Paypal, can also accept Amazon giftcards, but all Amazon Associates/Affiliates presumably have Amazon Wish Lists! Cha-ching-a-ling...


John Horvat tells the story of "Stille Nacht" ("Silent Night"):


Congratulations to Kirk Douglas.

Phenology Links

First snow story from Illinois, proving that phenology posts can be written well enough not to need photos, if a blogger takes the time. (Shame on me for giving up. Should I try to revive the phenology theme next year?)


"Dancing lady" orchids...from some angles the petals really look like dancing ladies:


There's a fair bit of "backstory" in the Left Behind series...