About this site: This site has morphed into my personal blog, an amalgamation of photo essays, thought experiments, essays and the like.
Posted 2 days, 15 hours, 29 minutes ago
How the U.S. Almost Became a Nation of Hippo Ranchers
In 1910, a failed House bill sought to increase the availability of low-cost meat by importing hippopotamuses that would be killed to make “lake cow bacon”—Source: Smithsonian Magazine
Posted 2 days, 16 hours, 23 minutes ago
Despite having our blackout shades down, I was awakened a half hour before my typical 6am internal alarm clock thanks to a light show of what the weather observatory puts at more than 10,000 lightning strikes, including 3,000 in a single hour. This is all courtesy of the last vestiges of Typhoon Marwar. It was as if a disco was happening outside. Fortunately the entire light show with some loud thunder claps and rain was all condensed between 5:15am and 8am, so didn't affect my wife's walk to the office or mine to my home office. Negative consequences came in the form of dragging pollution over Hong Kong and some flooding in a few areas. Marwar is now on its way toward Taiwan.
Posted 3 days, 16 hours, 23 minutes ago
Posted 3 days, 16 hours, 51 minutes ago
H.P. Lovecraft's Shoggoth character is a meme for AI?
It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train—a shapeless congeries of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter. -- HPL, At the Mountains of Madness
As one commenter on the NYTimes story notes, anthropomorphize, much? Also: those poor penguins!—Source: NYTimes
Posted 3 days, 17 hours, 11 minutes ago
This is wild. Check @heykody on Twitter for more by Kody Young.
Posted 3 days, 18 hours, 32 minutes ago
Himeji Castle (Himeji-jō), in Himeji, Japan, a mere fort in 1333, was built enlarged and built as Himeyama Castle in 1346. Two centuries after that, it would become what we see today, although some regular upkeep to its roofing and internal structure may have changed to protect it from the elements, natural and unnatural. The castle survived the Hanshin earthquake of 1995 (6.9 magnitude centered in nearby Kobe), and WWII bombings of Himeji.| MORE »
Posted 5 days, 6 hours, 11 minutes ago
Completed in 1987 and financed by Bond, Alan Bond. With 1.3 million square feet to rent out smack in on the coast of Hong Kong Island surrounded by plenty of public transit and its own MTR station, what could go wrong? It could. And it did. Bond went broke four years later and it changed hands a number of times finally apparently ending up in the ownership of some Indonesian concern. The WIkipedia entry on it indicates that bad feng shui is to blame. (it's always after things are designed, built and turn to shit when architects and investors ask a feng shui expert to give his or her prognosis: 'what went wrong'? According to one it was the C-shaped protrusions that riddle the building and that are apparent in this black and white stipple image above. Color images can be viewed of the building on the Wikipedia entry for it.
Posted 5 days, 16 hours, 15 minutes ago
Barbara Kingsolver wins '23 Pulitzer. With an obvious nod to Dicken's David Copperfield in its title and main character's name (Demon Copperhead), the book's first-person narrative is described by Pulitzer.org as:
Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.—Source: Pulitzer.org
Posted 5 days, 16 hours, 27 minutes ago
Misinformation and disinformation are diminishing public trust in science and becoming an existential threat to the planet, researchers warned this week.—Source: Axios
Posted 6 days, 6 hours, 47 minutes ago
Clear, busy morning in Hong Kong. Like every morning, only with a bluer sky than usual and some decent reflections of buildings in a building.
Posted 6 days, 7 hours, 8 minutes ago
Mac OS Ventura has a security update. Click on this line to read about the fixes.—Source: Apple
Posted 6 days, 12 hours, 18 minutes ago
This opinion piece by Christian Cooper is a great read, not only for birdwatchers, but how a bad situation can make a total turn-around a year later. As readers, we're mostly human-watchers and this Cooper is a rare sighting. llustration by Wesley Allsbrook » Instagram.
Early in the morning of May 25, 2020, I biked from my apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side to Central Park to go birding in the Ramble. Despite the uncertainties of the time — New Yorkers were living in a hot spot of the raging Covid pandemic, with no vaccine in sight — I strove to start this warm, sunlit Memorial Day on a happy note by wandering my favorite urban woodlands in search of migrating songbirds. NY Times (no paywall)