Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday Open Thread

I have no idea how many times I've passed the Newsweek cover featuring "Lincoln versus Darwin". Today, however, I decided to take a moment to find out exactly how they were being pitted against each other. Turns out the subhead is "Who's more important?"

What an odd comparison to make, I thought. But then, I didn't actually take the time to read the article.

I did, however, take the time to make this...

Celebrity Undead Match

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Open Thread

My favorite song today...

I heard it at the end of the DVD Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees. Lyrics here.

Haloscan comment thread

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Submitted for your consideration

I saw the most recent offering from the McCain Girls today, thanks to a tweet (Twitter posting) from 23/ And I've decided something. The McCain Girls are "supporting" John McCain in much the same way Stephen Colbert supported George Bush at the White House Correspondents' Dinner a few years back.

Some of the lyrics:

Just an Arizona senator
Lookin' for the fight of his life
The Democrats don't see him as strong
They all say he's crazy
Keep in mind now, that "they", presumably the Democrats, "say he's crazy". One would assume that McCain's supporters would beg to differ. Yet they go on to give us this...
Purple Heart and Silver Star
McCain can cut you with his knife
Slice you up and slice and dice
if you challenge his candidacy

...accompanied by this picture

I rest my case.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Cats etc.

Visit The Daily Kitten for your daily requirement of kitten cuteness.

And here's something to give paws for thought, the Cat's Eye Nebula, courtesy of the Hubble Heritage Project.

Cat's Eye Nebula

Read about this beautiful nebula

HaloScan Comment Link

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Blog comment software

Quick update, which hopefully won't include any profanity. (But after hours of frustration trying to do something with the comments, I wouldn' t count on it.)

Here's the thing. I'd like to be less indispensable with regard to adding the comment links. In addition, Haloscan has apparently made some change so that we can't edit comments any more.

So I tried to install Disqus, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to get it to work all nice and integrated like it does at Americablog. So I went over to the old ShadowBFA url, which I have often used as my testing grounds for trying to figure such things out.

After trying long and hard and coming up empty-handed, I tried to reintall Haloscan over there, because that is where I "grow" the new comment threads. But for the life of me, I couldn't get Haloscan reinstalled. I've spent a couple hours trying to get back to where I was when I first started this little adventure. The ShadowBFA address still exists if you want to go back and look at old comment threads for whatever reason, but in the end, I had to set up a new blog for growing these threads. It can be found here.

One more thing...I'm having a rough couple of days, and the excursion into coding hell hasn't made things better. So if I came across cranky here, I'm sorry. It's the best I can manage at the moment. I hope no one has taken the crankiness personally, because that certainly is not my intention. But right now, I just need to step away from the computer for a couple hours.

Oh--and where it says "0 comments"--that's left over from when I tried to install Disqus. I will make that go away at a later time, when I am feeling slightly less hostile toward all things computer-related.

Haloscan comment thread

DemocracyFest 2008 Schedule

The 5th Annual DemocracyFest will be held on August 16-17, 2008 in Dulles, VA, just outside Washington, DC.

Get your tickets today at $20 off the regular price!

The DemocracyFest schedule includes many exciting trainings, speakers and entertainers again this year!

Democracy For America (DFA) will conduct trainings for activists on subjects including Canvassing & Phone Banking, Working with the Media, Event Planning, Mobilizing Young Voters and Fundraising. Whether you've worked in politics for years, are running for office yourself, or are a newcomer to volunteering, you'll find these trainings informative and useful!

Speakers this year will include Gov. Howard Dean (speech free and open to the public), Jeffrey Feldman, Jim Dean, Charlie Grapski, Nathan Gonzales, and more! We are currently awaiting confirmation from more exciting speakers, but we do have a few more speaking slots available if you or someone you know is interested in speaking at DemocracyFest, please contact us at

As always, DemocracyFest is as much about "celebration" as "education" and this year will be no different! Entertainers will include Subway Serenade, Bobby Kendes, and more! Plus, there will be parties late into the night on both Friday and Saturday nights!

Check the DemocracyFest schedule on our website often as we will be adding more details and speakers and entertainers as they are confirmed:

Lastly, we can't forget to mention the social interation and networking aspect of DemocracyFest. While it's not on the schedule, many attendees feel this is the most important part of the event. There will be many leaders from organizations there that you can talk to and learn what they've been up to, what is working well for them and what isn't. This is a unique opportunity to see old friends again and meet new ones. The inspiration of being surrounded by like-minded activists for a weekend, networking and planning with those activists and using what you've learned from each other to move forward and make a difference is priceless.

We look forward to seeing you there!

The DemocracyFest Team

David, Ellen, Jessica, Laurie and Quintus

Wanna Fledge?

I took the above photo while being divebombed by a Bluebird!
Yet I was further from the birdbox than usual (near my car, actually!),
but all day the adults have been more intense than usual.
So this may be Fledge Day! Stay tuned!


Apparently it was!

See the third Bluebird flying, while the parents keep watch at the top of the tree?
That little fellow has his lerner's permit and those parents sure look anxious!

Of course, last time I looked they were still feeding at least one chick in the birdbox still,
so this becomes a much harder project now.
(You know, sort of like post-Primary campaign time. LOL!)
I got out of their way and wish them all the best.

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Comment link added by Renee, who is currently researching non-Haloscan options for comment software.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Open Thread


Haloscan comment thread


As I was sitting out on the porch downloading new photos of Bluebirds (such as the one above, just landing on the birdhouse to feed the young!), and the goldfinches were taking their evening sips from the birdbath, I witnessed a male hummingbird doing a swinging territorial dance over the reddish-toned Yarrow in my garden. Those of you who have seen the hummingbird's dance ~ which involves flying back and forth swiftly in an inverted arc ~ will appreciate the fact that the little fellar kept inching closer and closer to the end fence post! Being so quick-witted, however, he fared just fine.

This is the busy season. All the birds in charge of young are industriously feeding them or fledging them, and it seems they have little time to stop at all.

It seems to me we are in the busy (sleepless) season of the campaigns too. And that worries me just a bit. There is so much information to get out to the public that the various central headquarters send off sound bites to their various groups (local and/or national). It is assumed that everything has been fact-checked and is accurate and true.

But isn't that a little like what happens in the Faux-cloned media outlets? I'm thinking of how Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert might show a succession of assertions made on a particular topic by a number of television news outlets and they are all using the exact same buzz words.

We can be careful to be a bit more Dean than that and make sure that what we are passing along this season is real and truthful (not merely truthy). Then, we can offer it deliberately and sincerely. That takes a little more time, but the quality difference could very well be what wins the election.


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