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Oil and Slaughter

September 22, 2011

Took the picture of the bugger above as it and several of its friends were trying to dispatch my potato plants. Hard to tell from the picture but they were up to an inch and a half long. Never seen the like of this before and it is a rather interesting and beautiful insect with its deep metallic blue carapace so I allowed its feast to continue until I could determine what it was.

Turns out it’s a member of the genus meloe, also known as the American Oil beetle or blister beetle, thusly named because if disturbed it plays dead and secretes an oily liquid from the joints of its exoskeleton which blisters human skin. And then there was this –

First-instar larvae climb to the top of a grass or weed stalk as a group, clump together in the shape of a female solitary ground bee, exude a scent that is the same as, or closely resembles, the pheromones of the female bee, and wait for a male ground bee to come along. When he does, he tries to mate with the clump of larvae, whereupon they individually clamp onto his hairs. He then flies away, finds and mates with one or several real female bees, and the larvae transfer to the female(s).
Each impregnated female bee then flies off and builds one to several nests in burrows she digs in the soil, and the larvae transfer again to the new nests. The female bee stocks these nests with honey and pollen for her own young, but the hungry blister beetle young are there to gobble up the provisions. They eventually pupate and finally emerge as adult flightless beetles. Brothers and sisters find each other and mate, produce eggs and the hatchlings start the process all over.

I’d had quite a few honey bees and bumble bees enjoying my sunflowers this year. I’d kind of like them to come back for the next. And this was just lovely-

Then there are the bipedal primates who use cantharidin from blister beetles to manufacture the notorious date rape drug, Spanish Fly…

After weighing the pollinators against those who would eat them and my potatoes and having visions of the next decade’s teenage boys pocketing a couple beetles before taking the squidlette to the drive in, the beetles’ fates were sealed. They attempted to retaliate as I took a stick and knocked them from their perches, trying to give me gangrene by spitting their oily yellow pus at me, but resistance turned out to be futile and they were eventually squashed under a heavy block of granite. No baby bees for the blister beetles this year but I imagine their carcasses made the ant colony in my back yard very happy and the circle of life continues.

57 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    September 22, 2011 9:55 pm

    When I was looking them up, there was one article I found that said the adults likes to eat various nightshades but others said it was unclear what the adults eat. Well, they do like nightshades. Not only were they all over the spuds, but after I got rid of the first batch, I went out the next day and saw three of them bunched together gnawing on one of my cherry tomatoes that had fallen on the ground.

    And speaking of arthropods, I checked in at one of my favorites The Artful Amoeba (now at scientific American blogs) and found this fascinating piece which gives further proof to Lynn Margulis’ theories – Cow-like Mealybug Home to Sexy Symbiotic Machine.

  2. cometman permalink*
    September 22, 2011 10:04 pm

    I simply do not understand why so many in what tries to be the reality based media do this. Instead of meta-news stories decrying the fact that the rest of the media is not adequately covering a certain story like this one about recent protests against Wall Street, how about, oh I don’t know, just covering the damn story.

  3. cometman permalink*
    September 22, 2011 10:09 pm

    CERN still hasn’t found the Higgs but they did find something they weren’t looking for which if duplicated would turn physics on its head more than not finding the Higgs would – Neutrinos Travel Faster Than Light, According to One Experiment .

    I suspect Bad Astronomy is likely correct with this assessment

    This result will, in my opinion, probably turn out to be incorrect for some reasons dealing with measurement. Faster than light travel is still a dream, even though I wouldn’t say it’s impossible… just very, very, very, very unlikely.

    Maybe someday we’ll boldly go. But for now, I’m not betting my dilithium on it.

  4. artemis54 permalink
    September 23, 2011 5:36 am

    Ain’t insect natural history grand? You couldn’t make these strategies up.

    Speaking of unbelievable, my jaw hit the floor last night, although there is no right to be surprised at this point: Gay Iraq Soldier WIns GOP Debate. The real point is that not one of the glorious war heroes, er, I mean hypocritical assholes on that stage said a word. Not one thanked Stephen Hill for his service. Too afraid to speak up against the bloodlust of the ignorant mob of yahoos they have created.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 23, 2011 10:09 am

      Dan Choi had something to say about the disgraceful crowd reaction.

      And speaking of little Ricky, I saw recently that he was complaining to the google about their search results for his name and thereby making his problems all the worse. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy! I can’t find the article but I did see somewhere that Dan Savage said he would do something similar with Ricky’s first name too if he kept up with the gay bashing and since he can’t keep his piehole shut, I’m assuming we’ll have something new from Savage soon.

      In the meantime, this one’s for you Mr. Santorum!

    • cometman permalink*
      September 23, 2011 10:32 am

      You know, I’d never actually clicked through to read the content at the Spreading Santorum website before but there’s some pretty good stuff there. Like this video of little Ricky getting owned by a college student while speaking at his alma mater recently –

      Only way he can “win” his patently absurd argument that the American Psychological Association doesn’t represent all psychologists is by refusing to allow the student to speak. Had she been allowed to continue, I’m sure she would have pointed out the obvious, namely that all religious people aren’t Xtians and not all Xtians are Catholics and therefore his own bigoted views certainly aren’t a representation of the entire religious community. And that’s assuming religious arguments against homosexuality should be given equal weight with empirical studies, which of course they shouldn’t.

      This seems to be the way a lot of politicians supposedly “win” debates. It has nothing to do with the correctness or rationality of their arguments.

      Think it’s time to add Spreading Santorum to the blog roll.

      • artemis54 permalink
        September 23, 2011 11:14 am

        And not all Catholics agree with Mr Frothy Mix either. For instance, none that I know and I know a few including the editor of the parish newsletter.

  5. artemis54 permalink
    September 23, 2011 11:23 am

    I spent the morning chasing balloons

  6. artemis54 permalink
    September 26, 2011 7:52 am

    The Mother of Trees has gone from us: RIP Wangari Maathai

    Statement from Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Program:

    Wangari Maathai was a force of nature. While others deployed their power and life force to damage, degrade and extract short term profit from the environment, she used hers to stand in their way, mobilize communities and to argue for conservation and sustainable development over destruction.

    She was, like the acacias and the Prunus Africana trees Wangari fought so nobly and assiduously to conserve, strong in character and able to survive sometimes the harshest of conditions. She was also immovable in the face of ignorance, political gamesmanship and wanton environmental destruction.

    Indeed she risked her life and limb on several occasions to campaign and coordinate women and young people through her work in the Green Belt Movement taking her messages, her charm, her unflagging humour and optimism, conviction, honesty and intellect from her native Kenya to the highest international debates on climate change to biodiversity loss.

    In winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the world caught up with the essence and lifetime understanding of this special person: namely that environmental stability and sustainability will increasingly be crucial for a peaceful world and for over turning poverty, inequality and meeting the rights of women.

    I am pleased that in some of the dark days of her campaigning, when not everyone welcomed her stance and commitment, Wangari was able to turn to UNEP for safety and sanctuary. She returned that support in so many ways by backing and batting for UNEP at home and abroad and by, for example, being a co-patron of our Billion Tree Campaign.

    UNEP has lost a real friend and an icon of the environmental movement. But her work and her vision will live on in the millions upon millions of people – young and old – who heard Wangari’s voice, resonated with her aims and ideals and like her rolled up their sleeves to design and define a better future for all.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 28, 2011 12:24 pm

      RIP and a very nice eulogy.

      On a related note, Doonesbury sums up those who would oppose Wangari quite well with this cartoon from last Sunday.

  7. artemis54 permalink
    September 27, 2011 9:18 am

    • cometman permalink*
      September 28, 2011 12:30 pm

      Thanks for that one melvin. I really needed to hear that message today. In a bit of a bad situation right now and the thing that gets me the most is not the situation itself, but that I can’t seem to think of a way out of it. I feel like I ought to be able to outsmart some of the dummies that put me into it and it’s frustrating that I can’t.

      Can’t outsmart the fire, all you can do is the best that you can. Even if I don’t win, at least I tried and can still look at myself in the mirror in the morning.

      • artemis54 permalink
        September 28, 2011 12:48 pm

        Sorry to hear it. I’m coming in about half a mile short of the runway myself. Like everyone else, I applied my personal austerity measures just a bit too late. Perhaps we could some raise some money with an idea I was discussing with Devore: a slapping booth for progressives. It would be like a kissing booth, but you get to slap mamz, Hamhando, whoever else irritates the hell out of you.

  8. artemis54 permalink
    September 27, 2011 7:08 pm

    Quietly, in its new collective bargaining agreement, the NFL Adds Sexual Orientation as Protected Class.

    In world politics, this was the year of the Arab spring. But in terms of American civil society, it was also the summer of brotherly love in professional sport. I have lost track of the comings out, pleas for support, and It Gets Better videos by professional teams. The NFL contract is the perfect ending. It is difficult to express how welcome these developments are. It is like a long overdue welcome home from those we always loved and respected despite everything.

  9. artemis54 permalink
    September 28, 2011 12:24 pm

    Ever since a facebook friend posted the vid below, I have become an instant fan of Roy Zimmerman. Serengettyup, pardner.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 29, 2011 12:37 pm

      Love that guy. I’ve spent a fair amount of time watching his videos after he was pointed out to me somewhere a few years back. Thanks for the new one.

  10. artemis54 permalink
    September 28, 2011 12:58 pm

    Forgot to add above, I have had certain “privileges suspended” on facebook, if you can believe it, for suspected antisocial behavior. All this because I sent a freind request to someon fb had suggested, with whom I had 50 friends in common.

    Is there something about the way I hit my enter key that brings out the worst in people?

    And oh yeah, I seem to be stuck in some encrypted version of google that I never asked for either. WTF? I am going back to my flowerbeds, at least I can understand wtf is going on there.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 29, 2011 12:41 pm

      I refuse to sign up for the facebook despite pretty much everybody I know being on there.

      Got quite a bit of satisfaction watching the squirrels polish off the remnants of my sunflower yesterday. Also left the broccoli which is going to seed up so the bumble bees can enjoy the flowers for a while longer. Made me feel more productive somehow than anything I’ve done in months.

  11. cometman permalink*
    September 29, 2011 12:44 pm

    Spent four hours I’ll never get back attending a mandatory group counseling session for job seekers today led by a woman whose main qualification seemed to be that she had been unemployed more times in her life than everyone else in the room combined. Among the other inanities we were treated to, we learned of the need to put “branding points” on resumes to better “market” one’s self.

    Here’s what I think of that (with a HT to Triv for making me a huge fan of Bill Hicks) –

  12. cometman permalink*
    September 29, 2011 1:07 pm

    Another good art forgery story, although the artist was caught and recently copped to it in court – Painter admits forgeries in ‘Europe’s biggest art scam’

    Rich investors were allegedly duped into buying what were claimed to be long-lost paintings by German and Dutch artists of the 1920s which had belonged to a collector, Werner Jaegers, who closely guarded his privacy.

    “I imagined in my mind an original, a picture that each of the painters had never got round to painting,” said B, whose surname has been withheld under German media guidelines on privacy.

    “I did paintings that really ought to have been in the oeuvre of each painter.”

    B, who attended art school but dropped out without obtaining a diploma, learned to copy art from his father, an art restorer who did replicas of the Old Masters such as Rembrandt. B said he began copying on a professional basis in the 1970s.

    “I didn’t much like the art market or the dealers,” said B. “I really enjoyed doing it.” He added, “You have to know how the art market functions and where the greediness is greatest.”

    Won’t get more than six years. That should give him plenty of time to hone his skills.

    More background here

    The foursome had apparently selected paintings to forge which were known to have been lost over a century again, but of which photographs and descriptions existed in catalogues and other records. Art lovers and collectors were ecstatic in Germany, with several museums buying up the “long-lost” works.

  13. cometman permalink*
    September 29, 2011 1:23 pm

    This guy raised quite a stir with his candid comments a few days ago and the video went viral for some reason. People are shocked! by what he says but he certainly isn’t the first to say that traders don’t give a rat’s ass about the real economy , ie people, and that Goldman Sachs has the whole world by the short hairs –

    Bunch of people thought he may be one of the Yes Men but both he and they deny it – Who is Alessio Rastani?

    He was also strident in stressing he is not part of an elaborate hoax. “I am a trader and I am a public speaker. But people can say whatever they want, it is a free country.”

    UK newspapers last night suggested he was part of the satirical duo the Yes Men, who create hoaxes to embarrass large institutions.

    Mr Rastani denied this, and the Yes Men duo claim they do not know him.

    “We’ve never heard of Rastani. Despite widespread speculation, he isn’t a Yes Man. He’s a real trader who is, for one reason or another, being more honest than usual.”

  14. cometman permalink*
    September 29, 2011 1:33 pm

    Another one for the blogroll – The Dead Sea Scrolls have been digitized and are now online for your perusal.

  15. cometman permalink*
    September 29, 2011 1:43 pm

    Finally instead of whining about the lack of coverage, some are starting to simply cover the story of the recent Wall Street protests. Of course it took a beating by the cops to get things rolling.

    As long as I’m dishing out the hat tips today, thanks for introducing me to Immortal Technique a few years back laura (if you ever happen to check in here). Enjoyed what he had to say recently. Not sure how to embed these types of vids but you can watch it

  16. cometman permalink*
    September 29, 2011 1:58 pm

    Couple notes –

    Another dubious “terrorist” arrest. From the WaPo – Mass. man accused of plotting to hit Pentagon and Capitol with drone aircraft.

    The Post tries to make The FBI’s case for them but it sure sounds like the g-men were egging the guy on the whole way as in so many other recent cases –

    The FBI undercover agents provided Ferdaus with the money to buy the drones, but law enforcement officials said Ferdaus came up with the idea for the attack. Prosecutors said Ferdaus “was presented with multiple opportunities to back out of his plan, including being told that his attack would likely kill women and children,” but that he “never wavered in his desire to carry out the attacks.”

    Even if this guy had plotted this all on his own without any assistance from Uncle Sugar, where could he have possibly gotten the idea to use little drone airplanes as weapons?!?!?!?

    And in case you missed it, Democracy Now! has very good coverage of the hikers recently released from Iranian prison. Ahem –

    In prison, every time we complained about our conditions, the guards would immediately remind us of comparable conditions at Guantánamo Bay. They would remind of us of CIA prisons in other parts of the world and the conditions that Iranians and others experience in prisons in the U.S. We do not believe that such human rights violations on the part of our government justify what has been done to us. Not for a moment. However, we do believe that these actions on the part of the U.S.—however, we do believe that these actions on the part of the U.S. provide an excuse for other governments, including the government of Iran, to act in kind.

  17. cometman permalink*
    September 30, 2011 9:44 am

    Bushwa Barry gets his first scalp from a US citizen after assassinating Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen without a fucking shred of due process. Wonder if the Nobel committee is having any second thoughts about that peace prize yet?

    Checked in at Klub Kumquat briefly. Very little mention of this story yet because evidently how dumb Rick Perry is is much more important than blatantly ignoring the Constitution one swore on oath to uphold. One post managed to tell the story without mentioning Barry’s involvement at all. Quite the trick, that. The pom pom girls are playing twister once again in an attempt to defend St. Barry against the few who have been critical.

    Thankfully there are still a few willing to tell it like it is and Greenwald was not so kind – The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality

    After several unsuccessful efforts to assassinate its own citizen, the U.S. succeeded today (and it was the U.S.). It almost certainly was able to find and kill Awlaki with the help of its long-time close friend President Saleh, who took a little time off from murdering his own citizens to help the U.S. murder its.

    More from Greenwald via Democracy Now!.

    My own take on this is that the murder of al-Awlaki was not meant to send a message to any potential “terrorists” in the Arab world. It was meant to make anyone in this country who may get too uppity and want to protest anything to think twice before doing so.

  18. artemis54 permalink
    October 3, 2011 12:46 pm

    A few minutes ago at, Peter Yarrow was at OWS teaching the crowd the old songs of solidarity. I don’t think most of them had any idea who he is, but they were certainly having a good time. And he of course was in hog heaven. There was a joy radiating from his face, as if he has been waiting forty years for this moment.

    • cometman permalink*
      October 6, 2011 2:08 pm

      Lucky enough to have seen his bandmate Paul Stookey few times in recent years at various events in Maine. He comes across in much the same way. Hopefully the joyous protesting will continue to spread. More on that below.

  19. artemis54 permalink
    October 5, 2011 9:31 pm

    A couple things on the web, new to me:

    A regular series of sci fi stories in nature magazine: Futures

    Free online doccos, many of interest: culture unplugged

    • cometman permalink*
      October 6, 2011 2:32 pm

      Thanks for those – bookmarked them both and added them to my “Things to watch” and “Things to read” lists which are getting pretty backlogged. One of these days I’ll actually get through them all.

      Very excited to see some of my favorites on the Sci fi list, Ken MacLeod among them. Some interesting political stuff on his website which I check from time to time – The Early Days of a Better Nation.

      Also, been meaning to post this sci-fi-ish story I ran across that I thought you might find interesting-

      The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees by E. Lily Yu.

      • artemis54 permalink
        October 11, 2011 12:04 am

        I find that story very beautiful. The style is what I think of as the permanent new wave. Vatic and outside of time.

        Speaking of, this is a book I will actually buy: In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination.

        But I would read a grocery list if she wrote it.

        • cometman permalink*
          October 16, 2011 8:17 am

          I saw a review of that one recently and put it on my list. The reviewer said some of the poetry was a little light but overall had the same felling as you did. Which reminds me I still have to pick up the sequel to Oryx and Crake.

  20. cometman permalink*
    October 6, 2011 3:11 pm

    Been bitching for years about protests that stay within the “free speech zones” and then everybody goes home after a few hours so I have been watching the Occupy Wall Street activities with great interest. Very heartening to see the unions joining in as well as some Marines and others who aren’t so easy for the corporate media to write off as dirty hippies with no direction. And at least one Nobel Prize winner in economics has actually shown up to join in –

    Since the rest of the media seems to have such a difficult time figuring out what all these people want, I was happy to see that Keith Olbermann took the time to read their list of demands on his show. I’d been getting really sick of Olbermann while he was on MSNBC but from what I’ve seen since his restart he has really found his voice again. He comes off as much more sincere in his less-viewed format – not nearly as much pandering to the pom-pom girls. I’m sure the corporate types will now try claim the OWS list of demands is just too long and confusing to decipher. When they do, I hope somebody points those on the idiot box to the Declaration of Independence so they can read it for the first time. I imagine the OWS list was deliberately modeled on it.

    Right now it sure seems like the more the Powers that Be try to ignore and/or denigrate these protests, the more they are spreading. Since I have some free time on my hands I decided to practice what I preach and went and Occupied Maine for a few hours today. Saw they they had local march a few days ago and went downtown yesterday to see if anybody was still there. They were so today I joined them and it felt really good. Had a few passers-by ask how they could get involved and since I’d had just shown up myself I told them to just stop walking and stand with the rest of us for a while. I was struck by the number of elderly people who were either protesting or expressed a lot of support as they went by. One lady who must have been 90 years old came by to offer people sandwiches she had made.

    This recent vid does a pretty good job of answering the “what do they want?” and “how do I get involved” questions at about the 1:23 mark –

    “What are our demands, you ask? They are simple. They are the same as yours.”

    Back at it again tomorrow.

  21. cometman permalink*
    October 6, 2011 4:02 pm

    I thought it was you melvin who pointed out a TED talk to me discussing how corporations were ripping up cities and constructing networks just to shave a few microseconds off the time it took to process all their computerized high frequency trades. Couldn’t find the link here though – maybe it was just farther back then I remembered.

    Anyway, they are still doing it and what a ridiculous waste of resources – Light is not fast enough for high-speed stock trading

    Now cable company Hibernia Atlantic is spending $300 million to build a new transatlantic cable to shave 6 milliseconds from the present 65-millisecond transit time between London and New York. It will be the first new cable to cross the Atlantic in a decade and trading firms are likely to pay premium rates to use it.

    You could feed a small country with the $$ to construct it, feed a medium sized nation with the fees they’ll likely collect, and probably feed the whole world with the $$ that traders will be able to steal once it’s in operation, all for something that serves no real useful purpose. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    • artemis54 permalink
      October 6, 2011 6:36 pm

      You are thinking of Kevin Slavin’s TED talk. I believe he mentions there a figure I have heard tossed around before, that at any given time 70% of trades on the NYSE are program driven. In other words, no one at CNBC or anywhere else has any clue what drives the market on any day, Obama’s speech, jitters over Greece, bad crotch itch, whatever. It is all bullshit.

      Look up today’s DemocracyNow!. Naomi Klein did an exceptional job of presenting a special hobbyhorse of mine, this nonsense of scarcity. She stated what I believe, that the purpose of money and markets is to invent scarcity, because there is none in the natural world but it is the perfect m o for power elites to grow and prosper; it is a key component of capitalism, this invention of scarcity.

      There is no shortage of air, water, blood, time, energy. There simply is what is. But now the world is falling apart because there is a shortage of “money”? Money is not a real thing, it is a marker. a conventional notation.

      • cometman permalink*
        October 16, 2011 8:30 am

        Well I just picked up this book the other day – Debt: The First 5000 Years. I’d seen it referenced on several financial websites lately and the author is NOT an economist but an anthropologist. Only about 50 pages in but the author seems to have a pretty good idea of what drives the markets and it is GOVERNMENT.

        He argues that many classical economic theories are based on assumptions that have no evidence whatsoever in the historical and archaeological record and they simply ignore evidence that doesn’t fit their models. The main one he tackles is the assumption that before coinage was created, societies used the barter system. He says that there is zero evidence that any society ever used barter before coinage. One striking example he used (that traditional economists ignore) was of Pacific NW tribes before the area was taken over by Europeans. he mentions that these people did not barter at all but if a person needed a new pair of moccasins for example, they simply asked one of the tribal elders who went to the longhouse, got some leather, and produced a new pair. Rather than barter, they simply shared.

        He argues that markets only came about after governments were formed that could regulate them and in the absence of regulation they fall apart. Then people revert to barter.

        Very interesting read so far (despite the numerous typos in it).

        Anybody out there need an editor?

        • artemis54 permalink
          October 17, 2011 6:38 am

          I saw a talk by that guy the other day, I think on cspan booktv. Very interesting.

  22. cometman permalink*
    October 6, 2011 4:34 pm

    Some notes –

    Here’s the best article I’ve seen yet discussing how the “faster than light” neutrinos mentioned above were measured – Faster Than a Speeding Photon: “Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam”.

    Answered all the questions I had and it sounds like they were extremely thorough- they even accounted for tectonic shifts. Guess we’ll have to wait to see if anybody can duplicate the results.

    So the Greeks are so broke they can’t borrow $$ to keep their public services but somehow Uncle Sugar can fund their purchase of 400 fucking Abrams tanks.

    More on the “superweeds” that have already become resistant to Monsanto’s GM Roundup ready crops, this time from a French publication . But Monsanto already has a solution!!!

    In an interview with FRANCE 24, Monsanto’s technical development manager, Rick Cole, said he believed superweeds were manageable. “The problem of weeds that have developed a resistance to Roundup crops is real and [Monsanto] doesn’t deny that, however the problem is manageable,” he said.

    Cole encourages farmers to alternate crops and use different makes of herbicides.

    Indeed, according to Monsanto press releases, company sales representatives are encouraging farmers to mix glyphosate and older herbicides such as 2,4-D, a herbicide which was banned in Sweden, Denmark and Norway over its links to cancer, reproductive harm and mental impairment. 2,4-D is also well-known for being a component of Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide which was used in chemical warfare in Vietnam in the 1960s.

    And some good news from the same French site – Brazil court halts work on controversial dam .

  23. cometman permalink*
    October 6, 2011 4:40 pm

    One more for the blogroll which came to my attention while reading my latest doorstopper which so far is a tremendous book – a little like Harry Potter (although I haven’t read those) except with science instead of magic.

    Anyway, here’s the link – The 10,000 Year Clock from The Long Now Foundation. Nice complement to the As Slow As possible link to the John Cage Organ Project.

  24. artemis54 permalink
    October 9, 2011 5:24 am

    Occupy Portland (OR) seems to be drawing some of the largest crowds in the country. Today, Sunday Oct 9, OP is joining forces with the mayor, the police department, and the Portland Marathon organization. The festivities will apparently include a citywide sing-along of Imagine in honor of Lennon’s birthday.

    Those not familiar with Portland might find this odd.

  25. artemis54 permalink
    October 9, 2011 5:47 am

    Way cool, you will enjoy this:

    • cometman permalink*
      October 16, 2011 8:05 am

      Thanks for that one! Poking around the site a little bit and I found this video about Maine farmer Eliot Coleman. Little difficult to hear the sound but he does get in a couple good Maine farming jokes at the beginning. Here’s the farm’s website – Four Season Farm. I may have to pay them a visit one of these days as I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about how I might be able to get into a little larger scale agriculture.

      My little garden did quite well this year. Picked about 22# of spuds from the one 6′ row I’d planted. Not bad at all.

  26. artemis54 permalink
    October 11, 2011 10:32 am

    Odd: the “Environment” tab has disappeared from the top of the guardian’s website The section still exists, but nothing links to it.

    • cometman permalink*
      October 16, 2011 8:36 am

      Looks like it’s back there now. Maybe just a temporary glitch?

      I’d noticed something similar at Salon recently where the header for Greenwald’s column wasn’t working for a few days. You’d click on it and an error message would come up. I think they changed the URL to his column but hadn’t changed the link in the header on the main site.

  27. artemis54 permalink
    October 11, 2011 3:52 pm

    Hartebeest 1, Mountian Biker 0

    • cometman permalink*
      October 16, 2011 8:38 am

      I do love those! Thanks for the chuckle.

  28. artemis54 permalink
    October 14, 2011 1:32 pm

    It’s a doozy: Top Ten Giveaways to Big Oil in Rick Perry’s “Jobs” Plans

    • cometman permalink*
      October 16, 2011 8:44 am

      But hey, think of all the new jobs that will be created at fire departments –

  29. cometman permalink*
    October 16, 2011 8:47 am

    Nice video by one of the OWS participants –

  30. cometman permalink*
    October 16, 2011 8:49 am

    Thanks again for keeping the place warm melvin. I don’t have computer access all the time right now so posting has been in bunches rather than every day but I am still checking in regularly.

    Hopefully I’ll get a new post up shortly since this one is starting to fill up.

  31. artemis54 permalink
    October 17, 2011 6:52 am

    President Jeebus Scientists confront Perry administration over censorship in Texas

    Mr. Perry talked about building a wall between Mexico and Texas. Scientifically, he has kind of built one around Texas.

    • cometman permalink*
      October 18, 2011 8:12 am

      Jon Stewart showed a clip last night of Perry’s wife making the rounds playing the persecution card as a reason for his plummeting poll numbers.

      All these poor persecuted Xtians with a church on every corner….

  32. artemis54 permalink
    October 17, 2011 7:46 am

    NYPD not so anxious to take on this Marine:

    • artemis54 permalink
      October 17, 2011 7:48 am

  33. artemis54 permalink
    October 17, 2011 7:52 am

    Damn I don’t get the embed problem

    • cometman permalink*
      October 18, 2011 8:21 am

      That ought to give the cops something to think about. A few thousand more of that guy please.

  34. artemis54 permalink
    October 22, 2011 9:36 am


    Royal Canadian Mint issues 10-kilo, $100,000 denomination gold coin in honor of Bill Reid. The Spirit of Haida Gwaii

    • cometman permalink*
      October 23, 2011 8:25 am

      But will Glenn beck buy one if it’s Canadian?

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