7 Days of Nature Photos: Day 5

My friend Ben challenged me to a 7-day nature photo challenge, and that seems like fun, so I’m going to take him up on it. If you want to play along, you can send me a photo at bio_dork@hotmail.com and I’ll post your nature photo up here with credit in the form of name, nom de guerre, website, etc. and we’ll nature photo the shit out of this challenge.

Day 5: Winter Berries

Nature Challenge Day 5

Reader contributions!

From Phil H:

magpie

This is a magpie that was sitting in my grandparents’ nectarine tree yesterday. Not having much to do, and without anything worthwhile on the TV, we all went outside to watch it jumping around (originally it was much deeper into the tree) and calling out for a good half hour.

From Leslie P:

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I took this last winter of my car in Stamford, CT!

7 Days of Nature Photos: Day 4

My friend Ben challenged me to a 7-day nature photo challenge, and that seems like fun, so I’m going to take him up on it. If you want to play along, you can send me a photo at bio_dork@hotmail.com and I’ll post your nature photo up here with credit in the form of name, nom de guerre, website, etc. and we’ll nature photo the shit out of this challenge.

Day 4: Sunset at Wood Lake Nature Center

Photo Challenge Day 4

7 Days of Nature Photos: Day 3

My friend Ben challenged me to a 7-day nature photo challenge, and that seems like fun, so I’m going to take him up on it. If you want to play along, you can send me a photo at bio_dork@hotmail.com and I’ll post your nature photo up here with credit in the form of name, nom de guerre, website, etc. and we’ll nature photo the shit out of this challenge.

Day 3: Rain Drops

A tight shot with depth of field out to there. Photo is comprised of a mess of bare, red-barked branches. In focus is one skinny branch with four raindrops hanging from it, surrounded by a tangle of nearby branches, some also with raindrops.

 

Drip…drip…drip

On the radio I hear MOTS interviews from San Bernadino residents saying that they’re shocked that a mass shooting occurred in their neighborhood. With so many mass shootings occurring on a regular basis around the country right now, how can we be shocked when it happens to us? Horrified, yes.  Traumatized, yes. But to be shocked is to be surprised, and I’m not anymore.

We argue about the definitions of terrorism and racism and pontificate on motives and mental illness, and in all of that talk we’re not making anyone less dead or safe from future attacks.

An article on stochastic terrorism made the rounds last week, and I find myself thinking about it a lot. It’s a concept that makes a lot of sense, and one that we learn from a very young age. It’s depressingly easy to verbally manipulate people into physically attacking other people.

A coworker says in all seriousness “I’d vote for Donald Trump before I’d vote for Bernie Sanders and watch him tax hard working American businesses out of existence.” I work with someone who is in a place where the idea of politicians – the US government – condoning humanitarian atrocities is a lesser evil than the idea of companies going out of business.

In line for coffee: A patron says that it doesn’t matter whether the terrorists in San Bernadino were affiliated with a larger organization; they were influenced  by  Muslims who spout hate speech against Americans, and that’s why Muslims are dangerous. I didn’t interupt to ask him whether he would apply that logic to the Colorado Planned Parenthood shooter and the violent rhetoric espoused by activists in anti-abortion circles; I’m pretty sure I knew what his answer would be.

7 Days of Nature Photos: Day 2

My friend Ben challenged me to a 7-day nature photo challenge, and that seems like fun, so I’m going to take him up on it. If you want to play along, you can send me a photo at bio_dork@hotmail.com and I’ll post your nature photo up here with credit in the form of name, nom de guerre, website, etc. and we’ll nature photo the shit out of this challenge.

Day 2: Squirrel at Dawn – Powderhorn Park

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7 Days of Nature Photos: Day 1

My friend Ben challenged me to a 7-day nature photo challenge, and that seems like fun, so I’m going to take him up on it. If you want to play along, you can send me a photo at bio_dork@hotmail.com and I’ll post your nature photo up here with credit in the form of name, nom de guerre, website, etc. and we’ll nature photo the shit out of this challenge.

Day 1: Setting Sun Nature Photo

The sun has set. A thin strip of orange is visible beneath a blanket of black clouds. A dark blue sky still faintly touched by the last of the sun is at the top of the photo and is reflected off the still surface of a lake in the background bottom of the photo. Tall trees with bare branches an skeletons of low bushes are black silhouettes against the lake and sky.

This is the product of a Galaxy S4 – I am still amazed at what cell phone cameras can do these days. I mean, sure, it would be clearer with my Nikon and a tripod, but not bad for a handheld night shot.

This is the view from my the back of my work building. After nearly 10 years, the view remains a reason to get out of bed in the morning on days when the going is tough.

Give to the Max: Atheists Talk Radio

I have been volunteering as a host, interviewer, producer and social media hyper for Atheists Talk Radio since 2011. The first show that I was part of was as a host with Carl Hancock. He was speaking with David Eller about his book Cruel Creeds, Virtuous Violence. Since then I had participated in some truly memorable interviews with guests such as Shelly Segal,  Neil deGrasse Tyson, Katherine Stewart, Rebecca Stott, Howard Bloom, Seth Andrews, Dale McGowan, Victor Stenger, Greta Christina, Adam Lee, Keith Lowell Jensen, Amanda Knief and Baba Brinkman – to name a few 😉

A recording studio - carpeted walls, microphones, and a table filed with electronics. Me and Scott Lohman are sitting in two of the chairs.

Me and fellow interviewer, Scott Lohman, in the recording studio at KTNF AM950.

Atheists Talk touches a lot of lives -mine  and those of our listeners. It’s a pretty amazing, well-established project. We have:

  • A seven-year history. Our first show was Richard Dawkins in January 2008.
  • 335 shows and counting available on our website, iTunes and SoundCloud
  • 932 likes on our Facebook page (there shall be much hip-hip-hooraying when we hit 1000!)
  • Twitter account that allows us to promote guests and increases our visibility
  • People behind the scenes doing web support, fundraising, amd promotion, and supporters giving recurring donations to help us fund our not inexpensive air time.

It’s a pretty awesome project, is what I’m saying. So I shall join in the chorus of voices asking you to consider using Give to the Max Day to financially support our project if you find it worthy of support. You can learn more by clicking the image below (it redirects to the Give to the Max website)

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Vertigo sucks

As a mostly neurotypical, healthy adult, I’m not used to being in situations where my body betrays me. But vertigo has laid my ass out. The diagnosis from the PT is Unilateral vestibular hypofunction, and she says it usually resolves in 3-14 days (that’s a wide range, innit?) as long as I regularly practice these focusing exercises  that she gave me (which I’m supposed to do for about two minutes OR until I feel slightly horrid – nauseous, off-balance or out-of-focus)

photo is of a Popsicle stick with a smiley face drawn at one end. At least my PT equipment is low-tech, and thus, cheap. I’m supposed to hold it in front of me, keep my eyes trained on the smiley face and move my head back and forth, then up and down, for two minutes or until I feel like I’m going to hurl. Good times. I’m already done with that smiley face.

The most debilitating part is not the loss of balance, but the associated nausea and the extreme concentration that’s needed to do almost everything (typing this blog post is ending me).It hasn’t affected my desire to get work done, and has increased my anxiousness about everything that’s not getting done, but it has made everything extremely difficult and tiring.

Big shout out to those of you who routinely deal with these kind of symptoms. Imma go lay down now.

Remember Savita Halappanavar

Today marks three years since the death of Savita Halappanavar. Savita suffered health complications from a miscarriage at 17 weeks, presented to University Hospital Galway in Ireland for care, and was denied what would have been a life-saving abortion. Savita did not have to die. She was murdered by medical ineptitude, deadly and outdated abortion laws and moral outrage.

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A Rally In Dublin In Memory Of Savita Halappanavar (2012) – William Murphy on Flickr

The New Republic published an article today called Let’s Just Say It: Women Matter More Than Fetuses Do. In the article Rebecca Traister talks about her own awareness of abortion as a crucial medical option during her two wanted pregnancies. She puts abortion alongside nuchal screening, amnio, and early Cesarean – that is, one of many tools that may need to come into play during a routine pregnancy. The article did not focus solely on “abortion as medical necessity” – this was simply the opening salvo. [Read more…]

I don’t want to be Elfstar anymore!

Oh my FSM – the Hubby and I just finished Dark Dungeons and I think I tore some nasal tissue from all of that snorting. I wish I would have had a chance to contribute to the Kickstarter for this film. By playing it straight, the director and cast highlight the delightful, hilarious absurdity of the claims intimated by the original Chick tract. They even managed to get a book burning in. Good on ’em!

Front of a DVD case showing the Dark Dungeons artwork - a shrouded figure holds a dagger and one hand held up to the view, moving through a cloud of smoke.

Like Debbie and Marcie, I didn’t have any experience with RPGs until college. And the RPGers were definitely thought of as the most popular kids at school (hahahaha!). And like Debbie I did unwittingly chant spells from the Necronomicon…oh no, wait. That didn’t happen. What happened is I spent way too much of my meager college money on source books and costume pieces (LARP is so waaaaay cooler than pencil and paper nerdery), devoted untold hours to studying fictional lore, and spent six hours every Saturday night running around Winona State’s empty English hall brandishing index cards filled out with handwritten weapon names and stats and throwing rock paper scissors. And then going out to Perkins at midnight to devour french fries and bottomless carafes of coffee.

It was awesome. No calling Cthulhu from the depths as far as I recall. Although I did have this one Gangrel character that was decent at Animalism until…goddamned Setites.