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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Leon County, Florida
Member since: Tue Feb 12, 2008, 09:18 PM
Number of posts: 26,055

Journal Archives

The Rarest Ducklings on earth

ETA - this the the same guy that posted "The Smallest Bird you have ever seen" video about hatching a tiny egg and raising the chick that came out! His YouTube channel is A Chick Called Albert: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBjh-uGy5RcclATnFpQBobw

The Bell Museum at the University of Minnesota

Was just rededicated in a new building this past weekend. My husband and his brothers, plus one of our nieces and her family attended - because my husband's great grandfather, Dr. Thomas Sadler Roberts was the first Director of the Bell Museum.

Dr.Roberts grew up in Minneapolis and in his teens he worked as a surveyor and explored much of the state of Minnesota. Even as he continued his education to be a physician, he kept his love of the wilderness and of birds. He was as much an ornithologist as a medical doctor, writing The Birds of Minnesota, a massive two volume compendium that exhaustively covered the birds of his home state.

One of his patients was James Ford Bell, the founder of General Mills and a dedicated conservationist. Bell donated the money to found the museum and enlisted his friend, T. S. Roberts, to organize it. As T.S Roberts traveled the state of Minnesota to collect specimens, he was upset to realize how much the environment had changed since he first explored the land. He had to go to other states to collect samples of some of the species.

The dioramas at the Bell are renowned for their natural depictions of the varied habitats of Minnesota. The specimens are put into settings that emulate their native areas. Those dioramas were the hardest part about moving the museum since the curators wanted to preserve not only the specimens but the murals that provided the background for each scene.

There is an hour and a half long video about moving the dioramas - I haven't watched it yet since my husband just told me about it today. he got home at four this morning so we are still catching up on his time in Minnesota. But I found it on YouTube:

A VERY STABLE GENIUS - Randy Rainbow Song Parody

Two months ago the WH Eliminated Cybersecurity Coordinator

White House Eliminates Cybersecurity Coordinator Role

By Nicole Perlroth and David E. Sanger
May 15, 2018

The White House eliminated the position of cybersecurity coordinator on the National Security Council on Tuesday, doing away with a post central to developing policy to defend against increasingly sophisticated digital attacks and the use of offensive cyber weapons.

A memorandum circulated by an aide to the new national security adviser, John R. Bolton, said the post was no longer considered necessary because lower-level officials had already made cybersecurity issues a “core function” of the president’s national security team.

Cybersecurity experts and members of Congress said they were mystified by the move, though some suggested Mr. Bolton did not want any competitive power centers emerging inside the national security apparatus.

The decision was criticized by Mark R. Warner, a senator from Virginia and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I don’t see how getting rid of the top cyber official in the White House does anything to make our country safer from cyber threats,” he wrote on Twitter.


So how are we going to protect our country from Russian cyber attacks?

Making a cat portrait with felt

This is needle felting, which I have seen done, but never this beautifully. The artistry is amazing.

A Newly Excavated Settlement Highlights Florida's History as a Haven for Escaped Slaves

"The archaeological findings, eyewitness historical reports and Brown’s history established the existence of a maroon settlement in east Bradenton from 1812 to 1821." Wonderful new information about a settlement of "black Seminoles in what is now Bradenton, Florida!

A Newly Excavated Settlement Highlights Florida’s History as a Haven for Escaped Slaves
Called one of the most significant historical sites in Florida and perhaps the U.S. by Florida historian Canter Brown Jr., Angola is a story of struggle, tragedy and, ultimately, survival in the quest for freedom.

By Isaac Eger 6/27/2018 at 4:35pm Published in the July 2018 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Buried under three feet and two centuries of earth near the banks of the Manatee River, a cylinder of white clay no bigger than a cigarette butt was found in 2009 during an archaeological dig at Manatee Mineral Spring in east Bradenton. Nearly mistaken for debris and tossed by a volunteer, this fragment—the stem of a British clay pipe—revealed the shadow of Angola, a community of up to 750 escaped slaves who briefly made this region a haven of freedom before being destroyed in 1821.

Called one of the most significant historical sites in Florida and perhaps the U.S. by Florida historian Canter Brown Jr., Angola is a story of struggle, tragedy and ultimately, survival in the quest for freedom. Angola also reveals Florida’s important role as a sanctuary for escaped slaves who established settlements, farmed, traded and traveled.

This month, descendants of these escaped slaves—many of whom live in the Bahamas where their ancestors found refuge—are returning to the Manatee Mineral Spring site for the first Back to Angola Festival. In September, the National Park Service is meeting to determine if Angola qualifies as part of the Underground Railroad Network of Freedom. “From what I know now, this is one of the largest Florida settlements of resisters to enslavement,” says Sheri Jackson, southeast regional manager of the program.

Today it’s difficult to imagine that an important part of American history occurred on these shores. There’s no museum dedicated to the site’s history, no illustrated exhibits or descriptions on big signs. The freshwater spring called Manatee Mineral Spring is sealed and covered with a slab of cement. The field is patchy mowed crab grass. The Manatee River peeks through the pines to the north, and old Florida homes with children’s toys scattered across front yards surround the perimeter. A solitary plaque mentions Angola and the people who lived there.

More: https://www.sarasotamagazine.com/articles/2018/6/27/a-newly-excavated-settlement-highlights-florida-s-history-as-a-haven-for-escaped-slaves

My Mom worked with Canter Brown, Jr. when he was working on "None Could Have Richer Memories: Polk County Since 1940" and while she was editor of the Polk County Historical Quarterly. She helped him locate documents and photographs for the book.

$25 billion for a border wall?

OK, give it to them - but out of that $25 billion must come ALL the costs of housing parents and children separated at the border, the costs of reuniting every single family, the legal costs to the families and to the government as the "zero tolerance" policy plays out, the costs to communities across the country for policing the protests against family separation, and any other costs from this mis-administration's bigoted policies. Oh - don't forget reparations paid to families for the stress, counseling needed so that the children can recover from their experiences at the hands of the government paid goons.

Of course not one penny of that $25 billion can be spent on a wall until every single case is fully resolved and damaged determined and settled. I think it could take decades before that happens.

Fire in Eastpoint, Wakulla County takes 36 houses, and cars and boats

Officials continuing to investigate cause of Eastpoint fire
By: Aubrey Brown | WCTV Eyewitness News
Updated - June 26, 2018

EASTPOINT, Fla. (WCTV) -- Crews in Franklin County are working to contain a fire that has already destroyed 36 homes.

According to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, the fire started Sunday afternoon in Eastpoint near Buck Street and Ridge Road.

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam says the fire has burned 950 acres. As of 9:30 p.m. Monday, officials say the blaze is 95 percent contained. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Approximately 36 structures have been destroyed by the fire, and local residents had to wait for hours before being allowed back into their neighborhoods to survey the damage. Crews said that they needed to secure all power lines before they could allow homeowners into the area.

More, including video and recent updates: http://www.wctv.tv/content/news/Officials-working-to-contain-Franklin-County-fire-486400281.html

Way to go, Britbox! What a screw up.

About half the reason I subscribed to Britbox was to watch the Classic Doctor Who series. Yesterday I sat down to watch one of the William Hartnell series (The Web Planet) and most of the episodes for the First Doctor and all the others I checled were marked as "Last Chance." When I went to the web site Doctor Who was not listed on the Last Chance page though the recent movie about the creation of Doctor Who was, "An Adventure in Space and Time."

I called Britbox and the customer service lady told me she didn't know - they already had a LOT of tickets about this but Customer Service would not get word until today. So I called back today - Classic Doctor Who is NOT being taken off Britbox. Something messed up and they were accidentally marked wrongly.

I suspect that whoever was supposed to mark last chance options just put in Doctor Who and got them all mislabeled!

Well, damn - another body part breaking down

Actually this is not a recent development - but we just found out about it.

After my aortic valve replacement and kidney removal last year, I was set to lose weight and get back in shape. I did over three months of prescribed cardio rehab and other than some back spasms that went great. So after that was finished my husband and I went to one of the better local gyms and signed up for memberships.

My husband is doing great - three or four times a week, really pushing himself to get fit - until one latest echocardiogram showed an enlarged aorta just above his heart. So now he's just trying to keep his fitness level up but not pushing for cardio fitness. He gets CT scans in July to better image his aorta and see what is going on.

Meanwhile I was doing my cardio, working on the weight machines and happily increasing duration, reps, and weight for each activity. Until two weeks ago. I checked out one of their balance/brain classes - I have not been certain of my balance after shoulder and knee surgeries and thought those classes would help. The next day my lower back and right hip were agonizing. I went to my doctor's and the PA sent me for X-rays. Those showed deterioration in the lower spine and iliac crest. So I was referred to back and hip guys at the orthopedic clinic I've been going to for twenty five years.

I saw the ARNP for the back guy Monday. I have an instability in L5 - the last lumbar vertebrae, just above the sacrum. He thinks when I fell off a horse thirty five years ago and messed up my lower back and pelvis, that vertebrae was broken and has finally migrated enough to impinge on a nerve. I get MRI scans whenever they can schedule me and those should give details about the location of the nerve and the disc. He still wants me to see the hip guy - it usually takes over three months to get an appointment at his office, but I have one for next week.

I'm pissed - with the pain in my lower back and hip I can't exercise right now. The gym will extend my membership so I'm not out any bucks, but I will AGAIN lose all the fitness I have built up since January and have to start over from scratch.

And just to piss me off even more it turns out that the recliner I bought for the living room last fall is exactly the wrong thing to sit in with this back problem. We watched Thor: Ragnarok last night and my back is even worse than it was. Even with a pillow to reduce pressure on the lower lumbar area, it hurt like hell.

So my husband's aorta probably needs fixing, my back probably will need to be screwed together and the world in general sucks right now. Plus, there is no way we can get out to protest about anything in person.
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