You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2010.

It’s Bob Marshall’s  fault.

Resign, idiot.

Reminds me of another (much less — what was Bristol Palin’s word? “heartless”) Salt Lake-circa- ’70s vignette.  Not good like Mrs. T’s BBQ, just good for a laugh.  Some LDS leader postulated that the lack of snow that winter was payback for an increase in Sunday skiing the previous season.  So the year after that, it flooded all over the place.  I don’t know what everyone was being punished for then.  Preemptively, for gay marriage, maybe.  For skiing on a day other than Sunday when they should have been out picketing women’s clinics.  Who the hell knows….


…a Soul Food and Gospel Event (during class on February 24):

(~sulk, sulk, sulk~)

Grits taste like soap, though.  Although as a cake … with red  onion marmalade…

Fried chicken is a very touchy thing.  It has to be mostly chicken.  It has to taste great cold, and not everyone can accomplish this.  Almost any kind of barbecue > mediocre fried chicken.  I have a bad fried chicken association from my Louisville days — no, not that, although I don’t like that.  Another very popular and traditional sit-down restaurant with its own lift station; one night in a howling gale the town wastewater operator (this was a pretty small town) called to report a massive bypass caused by a VW-Beetle-sized ball of grease in the lift station.  Restaurants always have grease, I know, I know.  But that kind of put me off the place.  That and this .. some kind of beigeish grey creamed casserole side dish that looked very much the same coming out of a toddler’s mouth onto the ladies’ room floor as it had going in fifteen minutes before.

So I stopped going there eventually.

There was a BBQ place in Salt Lake City during the ’70s that served all these fixin’s and more, with dark, dark ribs that were made of smoke and memory and fell apart when you thought about them.   Dry ribs.   It was Mrs. Taylor’s — Mrs. T’s.  The ribs were only served on Fridays.  This was such a small place, I think it was actually her house.  It was a very special occasion to go to Mrs. T’s for ribs on a Friday.  You might see elected officials or Utah Stars basketball players there.  Too long ago; you can’t find anything about the place.  Except this, I guess.

Not long after my father died in 1993, his best childhood buddy came to visit me, to buy me lunch and talk about Dad.  One thing that I hadn’t known was that Dad’s favorite movie was They Were ExpendableThey went to see it a million times.  I really need to rent that.  Why haven’t I?  Because I put off everything.  Like grading things, for instance.  I suddenly remember other time-critical stuff to do, such as posting to this blog.


Ants Were Expendable:  Heroic altruistic ants face death alone to save colony.  The pathology of those parasitic spores has been bothering me since I first heard about it on some nature show 25 years ago.  This story makes me proud … damn proud.  Regnum Animalia — hoooah!

…nor are they found primarily in the classroom. I think they spend most of their time tweeting and emailing about their dim hindbrain reactions to news items. Like this one.  But I’m referring to some people who blatted out their foolishness for the TV version of the story, not to any online commenters who may or may not be fabulous people.  See, news readers always want to know what “you” (i.e., couple of arbitrarily chosen nitwits) think about a breaking story they’ve just spent a whole 30 seconds briefing “you” on.  In this case, “you” took “classified information” to mean “private details about me (me! me! me!)” and boasted that “you” had nothing to hide and were proud to submit to whatever body-cavity rummaging the agency might demand, because they have A Job To Do, which is called Keepin-me-n-my-famly-safe-from-terrists.  One of the proudest and most patriotic (is that even the right word?  we need a new one to indicate that the borders of our nation now lie at the tip of each individual’s nose) of these livestock, Bob somebody (McDouche?  McTool?) had a special request.   He’d like TSA to collect family histories of the mental health and substance-abuse status of every airline passenger because “people like that don’t need to be sitting” next to him.  Should “people like that” just not be allowed to fly, then?  Didn’t register with Bob at all; they just didn’t need to be sitting next to him.

I think they did eventually find one person who cared about actual, you know, classified information.  Of, like, the country and stuff.

Cladorhizidae (Gk. “branch” + “root”) are carnivorous sponges. Unlike the others, they don’t feed by gently filtering bacteria and other particles through innumerable pores.


Tiny Asbestoplumae and other carnivorous sponges have hooklike spicules that trap small crustaceans and other passersby, and this is not necessarily a passive process: these species can actively fish (or shrimp) for their prey. Then other kinds of cells grow around the victim and release enzymes that digest it over the course of several days. These carnivores are usually small sponges that live, unsurprisingly, in nutrient-poor waters.

WeirdFins:  Carnivorous sponges

Life History and Ecology of Porifera

Help some kid win some contest.

Do it for the puppy.  For Caltech.  For America.

You want me to send you my notes from class?  In addition to the PowerPoints I’ve been putting on Blackboard?  No no no.  I don’t take notes.  I’m the instructor.  Watch me sometime and you’ll see:  I’m not taking notes up there.  The people around you, the ones sitting in chairs, the awake ones, some of them are writing things down.  Talk to them.  It’s not cheating. 


So happy that Hulu has it.  Thirty years later it’s still without equal.


Alternative flag designs for New Zealand.

In Haiti, MSF and local workers set up inflatable hospitals just like back in the 144th Evac Hosp (UTARNG).  Great photos!

(Photo by Benoit Finck)



The Ratel Motel