Wednesday, February 11, 2009

go on Saturday and you can call it a date

a couple years ago I posted this about the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s annual nationwide bird count. it’s coming around again this weekend; this year it starts on Friday and goes through Monday (February 13-16).

it’s pretty straightforward and you can go to the website for answers to other questions. questions like: why count birds?

another answer to that why? comes recently from the Associated Press.

for those of us hurriedly skimming through blogs at work, trying to catch up and letting our “fingers do the walking,” the National Wildlife Federation has put together a very accessible little brief that tries to answer the larger, trickier question: “why care about birds?”
the report shies away from the well, they’re alive. like us. answer and goes for something they’re hoping we can better relate to: “birdwatching makes a significant contribution to Utah’s economy.” here's something your car dealer who moonlights at the state legislature might pause to consider, once his intern has highlighted it for him: “$237 million in 1996.” the remaining net value of Utah songbirds gets summed up more or less as, “boy, but they sure are handy as moth eaters and mascots.”

and if birds still don’t get our attention, there’s always climate change’s gadfly equivalent of al-Qaeda and the four horsemen of the apocalypse: Killer Bees!

related: all your fishbase are belong to EOL

Saturday, February 07, 2009

crossroads w/ snow

a warning: this takes forever to load on Vimeo.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Martin Frobisher’s voyage to Baffin Island “for the finding of a passage to Cathay”

But when the people perceived our departure, with great tokens of affection they earnestly called us back again, following us almost to our boats: whereupon our general taking his master with him, who was best acquainted with their manners, went apart unto two of them, meaning, if they could lay sure hold upon them, forcibly to bring them aboard, with intent to bestow certain toys and apparel upon the one, and so to dismiss him with all arguments of courtesy, and retain the other for an interpreter.

The general and his master being met with their two companions together, after they had exchanged certain things the one with the other, one of the savages for lack of better merchandise cut off the tail of his coat (which is a chief ornament among them) and gave it to our general for a present. But he presently upon a watchword given with his master suddenly laid hold upon the two savages. But the ground underfoot being slippery with the snow on the side of the hill, their handfast failed, and their prey escaping ran away and lightly recovered their bows and arrows, which they had hid not far from them behind the rocks. And being only two savages in sight, they so fiercely, desperately, and with such fury assaulted and pursued our general and his master, being altogether unarmed, and not mistrusting their subtlety, that they chased them to their boats, and hurt the general in the buttock with an arrow, who the rather speedily fled back because they suspected a greater number behind the rocks.

But a servant of my Lord of Warwick, called Nicholas Conger, a good footman, and uncumbered with any furniture, having only a dagger at his back, overtook one of them, and being a Cornishman and a good wrestler, showed his companion such a Cornish trick that he made his sides ache against the ground for a month after. And being so stayed, he was taken alive and brought away, but the other escaped

-George Best, 1578

Thursday, February 05, 2009

huzzah for sabotage! for the orphan sculptors! and a cowboy secretary!

a little follow up on our sabotage stories from a couple months ago.

in a nutshell:
Muntadhir al-Zaidi was "severely beaten" by security officers leaving a "large blood trail" where they then dragged him across the carpet. broken hand. broken ribs. internal bleeding. an eye injury. a limp. still in jail.

Tim DeChristopher may still also face federal prison but he does have a website. and in the meantime he’s been interviewing on a lot of local and national of TV and radio shows (including all things considered today). they’ve even done a shoot of dreamy, rustic press photos.

but what’s this about all those leases the BLM auctioned last December? canceled as of yesterday. interior secretary Ken Salazar’s got our backs this time. here he is addressing a bunch of Colorado hippies last summer.

and did you see this?! while some of us are just blogging comfortably by the south window, watching magpies and scrub jays, a tall glass of water at our left hand, others are taking to the streets, rolling up their sleeves and building big monuments. like the giant shoe sculpture that Laith al-Amiri and the orphaned children of Tikrit made in fiberglass, copper and concrete.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

names for the baby

some possible candidates:

1. Boris Aurora Borealis Brooks
2. Judas Prescott Nixon Brooks
3. Neil Diamond Phillips Brooks
4. *Juanita/o Vanitas Brooks
5. Waltzing Pneumonia Brooks
6. Guano Bonanza Brooks
7. Kyle
9. Belvedere Wheelbrow Brooks
10. Calypso Fishkite Brooks
11. Yigüirro Arenal Brooks

*family name

of course, we're still open to suggestions...