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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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15 October 2012

gratuitous image

No. 9,323 (cartoon)

Some day you’ll find yourself.

That’s an execrable idea.

16 October 2012

Lick the Cream Off the Priest!

There are so many perverted priests in the news these days that it’s not really news any more. The most recent example comes from Lubin, Poland, where children engage in a bizarre—even by San Francisco standards—initiation ceremony. Father Marcin Kozyra, a Catholic school principal, has pupils crawl up the stairs on their hands and knees, then lick cream off his bare legs.

Janina Jakubowska, a trustee of the Lower Silesia Education Board, warned people not to jump to conclusions. “Maybe it was the kids’ idea.”

The pope’s campaign to reduce pedophilia to acceptable levels has a long way to go.

17 October 2012

More Ice Than I Thought

I like useless facts, including this one: icecaps and glaciers cover more than seven percent of the planet’s surface; that’s more than—or should that be “greater than?”—North America and Europe combined. I suppose that should be obvious to anyone who looks at a globe, but who has a globe these days?

18 October 2012

gratuitous image

Gratuitous Photo of the Weak: Tadarida brasilinesis

I love living at the Internet Archive, especially the myriad visitors. For example, last night a Mexican (or Brazilian) free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasilinesis) flew in to spend the night here. The fur is darker than usual which probably means it’s a yearling.

S/he’s still here, so I decided to photograph the critter that was slumbering on the ceiling of the Really Great Room, a dozen meters above the floor below.

I haven’t done any wildlife photography since my Greenpeace days decades ago: hanging out of helicopters, shooting from speeding inflatable boats covered in salt spray, seal snuff films, that sort of thing. Photographing the bat proved to be pleasantly easy. The wee beastie was motionless, so I set up my camera with the equivalent of a thousand-millimeter lens on a tripod. I used a two-second exposure in order to achieve the optimum technical quality.

I drank a couple of glasses of wine while determining the optimal exposure. The bat coöperated by remaining motionless. I doubt I shall ever make another wildlife photograph again unless it’s this easy.

19 October 2012

Pelodiscus sinensis

Dr. Shit Fun Chew, one of my favorite researchers, recently published a spectacular paper, “The Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis, excretes urea mainly through the mouth instead of the kidney.” It’s a wonderful story, but it doesn’t have a perfect ending. When it comes to excrement, Pelodiscus sinensis sends it out the other end, just like the rest of us.

The world is full of creatures with feces coming out of their mouths; Willard Romney comes to mind. Should Dr. Chew examine Mittens, I think she’d have an even more interesting presentation than her groundbreaking work with Pelodiscus sinensis.

20 October 2012

Coincidence? Probably Not.

A liter a day. That’s how much saliva the average human produces. And that means I’ve produced 20,741 liters of saliva to date. I’d have to check my database to confirm this, but that number is within spitting distance—pun intended, sadly—of the number of liters of Rainier Ale, cheap wine, and other sophisticated adult beverages I’ve consumed to date in my wonderful life.

Coincidence? I don’t think so.

21 October 2012

Coexisting with Dinosaurs

New Orleans is a wonderful city, but I’ll never live there for at least a couple of reasons. First, it’s too damned hot and humid. Second, it’s in the miserable state of Louisiana, where politicians are doing their best to speed devolution back to the stone age. Or, in the case of Louisiana, perhaps the swamp age.

One recent example is the state’s provision of funding vouchers that allows parents pull their children out of public schools send them to private schools run by ignorant religious zealots. The Accelerated Christian Education program features textbooks “proving” that the almost universally accepted theory of evolution is false. The proof: humans and dinosaurs really did live together. The evidence: the Loch Ness monster. I don’t know if they also cited the Flintstones; I didn’t read the rest of the article.

Although I’d never want to live there, I look forward to another visit to New Orleans one of these days. And as for Louisiana, things could be worse, and across the border in Mississippi they certainly are.


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©2012 David Glenn Rinehart

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