What – another hairy story?!

December 21, 2020

Photographer Davin Weiller captured this video of a monkey slug caterpillar in Puya, Ecuador. It disguises itself as an eight-legged, hairy tarantula.

Okay, the South American rain forest is another place that is on my anti-bucket list. Never going there.

A number of years ago I read the book, I Married Adventure, by Osa Johnson. In the book she recounts the adventures she and her husband (a photographer) had in their travels to Borneo, the Congo, and other unusual places for a young wife from Kansas to find herself. I think it was in Borneo that a 3 inch long leech dropped from a tree and attached itself to her neck – so lightly that at first she was not aware of it. I still shudder. Never going there either.

If you are unfamiliar with the book, I recommend it. It is interesting, readable and, even though she is telling about events that happened in 1940 the narrative holds up.


More hairy stories

December 18, 2020

The National Beard and Moustache Championships will be held this Saturday.

For more information, go to this link.

Below are just a few of the contestants from last year’s event.


Upon what shall we gaze?

December 18, 2020
credit: Getty images

“The Solar System’s two largest planets are on course to “collide” in an exceedingly rare event not seen since the Middle Ages.

On December 21, Jupiter and Saturn will come so close together that they will look like a “double planet,” a conjunction that will appear to us on Earth like one super-bright point of light.

“Alignments between these two planets are rather rare, occurring once every 20 years or so, but this conjunction is exceptionally rare because of how close the planets will appear to be to one another,” Patrick Hartigan, astronomer at Rice University, told Forbes. “You’d have to go all the way back to just before dawn on March 4, 1226, to see a closer alignment between these objects visible in the night sky.”

Related: How to Host a Stargazing Party

This incredible phenomenon has been known historically as the “Christmas Star” or “Star of Bethlehem.”

In fact, it’s theorized by many that the fabled star in the story of the Three Wise Men could have been a rare triple conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus.

Hoping to catch a peek of the “great conjunction” yourself? According to Forbes, the event will be observable anywhere where skies are clear for about an hour after sunset on December 21, the Winter Solstice. Be sure to mark your calendars, a conjunction this close won’t happen again until March 15, 2080!”

from Southern Living


What am I sappy cat blogging?

December 18, 2020

Hairy Stories

December 17, 2020

No-Shave November is an annual event where many men forgo shaving for charity – in this case, cancer awareness. A group of friends decided to have some fun with this and they stage photo shoots every year, each year trying to outdo what they created the year before. Since they started posting their photos on social media, they have become very popular. No-shave November? Some might say No-Shirt November.

From My Modern Met


Cool II

December 16, 2020
Humpback whales and northern lights in Norway

What am I noting today?

December 15, 2020

Eastern Illinois University :: Teaching with Primary ...

Today is recognized as Bill of Rights Day.  It commemorates the ratification of the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. What follows is from the National Center for Constitutional Studies:

Preamble to the Bill of Rights

*Congress of the United States

begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.

THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution. RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz. ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.

Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg Speaker of the House of Representatives John Adams, Vice-President of the United States and President of the Senate.

Attest, John Beckley, Clerk of the House of Representatives. Sam. A. Otis Secretary of the Senate. *On September 25, 1789, Congress transmitted to the state legislatures twelve proposed amendments, two of which, having to do with Congressional representation and Congressional pay, were not adopted.  The remaining ten amendments became the Bill of Rights.

Amendment 1
– Freedom of Religion, Speech, and the Press

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment 2
– The Right to Bear Arms

A well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.

Amendment 3
– The Housing of Soldiers

No soldier shall, in time of peace, be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment 4
– Protection from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment 5
– Protection of Rights to Life, Liberty, and Property

No person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

Amendment 6
– Rights of Accused Persons in Criminal Cases

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment 7
– Rights in Civil Cases

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment 8
– Excessive Bail, Fines, and Punishments Forbidden

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment 9
– Other Rights Kept by the People

The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment 10
– Undelegated Powers Kept by the States and the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.


Cue the drums

December 11, 2020

What am I sappy koala blogging?

December 11, 2020



December 9, 2020

snowtime from Slava Ivanov on Vimeo.