Friday, February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy... dead at age 83. We'll miss you, Mister Spock! Here is Mr. Nimoy explaining how he came up with the Vulcan greeting:

So remember, when you make that iconic hand gesture, you're not just saying ironically, "Live long and prosper," but you're actually giving a blessing to the person you're greeting.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Springtime Already!

A few photos from this month:

The famous PDX carpet, in the process of being replaced.
Also at PDX
From the airplane, a few minutes after leaving PDX

Beautiful Lacamas Lake
Normal ripples

With ripples, caused by a cormorant diving down
Daffodils already!

And these busy bees --- see the pollen on their legs!

And some little girl's hat, left by its finder---almost as pretty as the daffodil
 Oh, and some of the reasons (Ellen couldn't stay for the photos) we were on that trip from PDX to SLC:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer

It breaks my heart to read about this, but also fills me with gratitude with the way this great doctor and researcher responds to the news:

"It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can. In this I am encouraged by the words of one of my favorite philosophers, David Hume, who, upon learning that he was mortally ill at age 65, wrote a short autobiography in a single day in April of 1776. He titled it '“My Own Life.'”

“'I now reckon upon a speedy dissolution,' he wrote. 'I have suffered very little pain from my disorder; and what is more strange, have, notwithstanding the great decline of my person, never suffered a moment’s abatement of my spirits. I possess the same ardour as ever in study, and the same gaiety in company.'"
I can't quote here everything he wrote, but here's a little more:
"... I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.
"This will involve audacity, clarity and plain speaking; trying to straighten my accounts with the world. But there will be time, too, for some fun (and even some silliness, as well).
"I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming."
Maybe you'll want to read the whole article. 

Archery, Again

I already showed a video of some amazing archery tricks. Here's something new:

And here's part of a workout of one archer. Hmmm...seems like a workout that would be good for anyone and everyone!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Frog Eggs in my own Back Yard! (Again)

I'll post a photo ASAP of a closeup of the egg masses
The Southwest Washington Amphibian Monitoring Project (SWAMP) has started its yearly search for the eggs of frogs and other amphibians.

We look for the eggs because (a) the frogs and salamanders and newts are really hard to see, being well camouflaged and fast moving; (b) let's say you see a frog and then a few minutes later you see a frog: how do you know it's a different frog; and (c) the eggs are easier to find, and they stay still long enough (days and weeks) so you can be sure you are counting each object only once.

When I was really doing this, every weekend, a few years ago, I started a blog, "Globber," where I could post some photos of our activities.

This year I'll probably get out with some of Peter's groups a couple of days, hoping to go searching for frog eggs with some of the young women in my ward.

Meanwhile, there are eggs in the pond in my own back yard (again). I just love going out there to check on them, especially once they start hatching and the little taddypoles start moving around.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Birdley With His Newest Friend

This is our home teacher, Brother Jason Wells, who came over last night with his family to get a "refresher" on how to take care of the birds. Birdley took an instant liking to him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Amazing Photos of Birds (and a Slug)

A friend from Jason's work spends a lot of time with his wife photographing beautiful animals and scenes in nature.

Here are some of their most recent photos.

I would post some of the photos right here, and I apologize to readers who don't like to click on a link to go to another Web page for them, but I haven't figured out how to transfer the photos here.

But please check out the snowy owl, burrowing owl, and peregrine falcons---and all the others!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Take My Hand, Precious Lord

I first heard this hymn when I played the organ for a Baptist church in Purcellville, Virginia, many years ago. It is one of my favorite hymns of all time.

From the article about Beyonce's performance of the song at the Grammy Awards:
Perhaps the most poignant moment in Selma—a film brimming with poignant moments—is less about the movement and more about the man: in a minor scene, Martin Luther King Jr. calls singer Mahalia Jackson and whispers for the “the Lord’s voice.” She sings him “Take My Hand, Precious Lord,” the timeless gospel tune that King loved. It was the song he mentioned just seconds before being assassinated, and it was the song played at his funeral. 

One of the members of the chorus says in this video, "Everybody should come together, to try to push together to one goal, and that's just to love each another."

Another one says, "What I would hope for the next generation is to know their identity, that they are pure, and that they are loved, and when you have that, when you have purity, and you have love in your heart, that's what you come to give every morning when you get up, no matter what you do, you can exceed, you can be successful in anything....I feel like that's what's missing in our generation, knowing their identity and knowing their purpose. That's what gets you to your destiny, that's what gets you far in life, is just having that love in your heart for people."

Sia: Elastic Heart

With Shia LaBoeuf---because you aren't really safe from him yet, are you!

Apparently some people thought this video looked like a manifestation of pedophilia. I don't think so, any more than I think the video of the same 12-year-old dancer Maddie Ziegler dancing with a blond-wigged Kristen Wiig on the Grammy Awards to Sia's "Chandelier" is inappropriate. But the singer issued an apology and has issued a video of "The Story Behind" the "Elastic Heart" video. Here's that video:

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sia: Chandelier

 Here's the official video:

I tried to post the video from the Grammy Awards last night, below, but (of course) the network has made it impossible to watch. Here's the link, anyway:

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Groundhog Day --- Again!

Groundhog Day explained:

7 Groundhog Day facts you (probably) didn't know

The original movie trailer:

Anyway, instead of getting all philosophical about it, I wanted to show here a clip of Harold Ramis, the director of the movie, getting all philosophical about it. I can't find the clip I'm looking for, though, so here's a link to my last year's post about this.

Because, hello, it's Groundhog Day, and so, yes, I'm doing this again.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Marshawn "I'm Just Here So I Won't Get Fined" Lynch Is Still My Hero

... Even though the Seahawks didn't win. If the coach hadn't called for that ridiculous final play, Russell Wilson would have passed to Marshawn, and they would have won.

And apparently the Seahawks agree with me, as they have offered him a contract extension.