it's an alga and two fun guy

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:37 pm
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[personal profile] darkoshi
How a Guy From a Montana Trailer Park Overturned 150 Years of Biology - he discovered that a large group of lichens are a symbiosis between an alga and not 1, but 2 different types of fungus. I learned that the singular of "algae" is "alga".

Jon Batiste Reinterprets 'Battle Hymn of the Republic' for The Atlantic - I really don't care much for the original song and I quite dislike the lyrics, because of its religious and warlike nature. Yet Batiste's version gives me goosebumps and is worth listening to at least once, I can say that much. From what I understand, he produced all the many different instrument sounds in the song using only a piano. The video at the above link describes how he did it, but doesn't include the whole song. If you only want to listen to the song, it's at the end of the 1st podcast on the Radio Atlantic page - starting at 1:03:00.

reaction to unexpected noises

Jul. 23rd, 2017 02:53 pm
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[personal profile] darkoshi
The other night, while checking the thermostat in the hallway, I heard a thump against the front door. Both dogs were inside, in the other direction. So the sound gave me a momentary fright. (Who is out there?? Did someone throw something at my door?) But it might be the neighbor's dog which occasionally gets loose (he can climb/jump fences like it's the easiest thing in the world, but he's friendly so I'm not afraid of him)... I walked to the door and looked outside, first through the window, then by opening the door. There was nothing there, even though it had only been but a few seconds between me hearing the noise and looking outside.

I sometimes hear similar thumps from other parts of the house, as if something is hitting the outside wall or a window. It must be due to thermal expansion, or maybe sometimes squirrels or birds.

The curious thing is that no matter how odd and unexpected the sound, and how much it makes my heart jump into my throat, once I've determined that it's inexplicable and there's no apparent danger, I quickly forget about it. "Don't know what it was, no way to find out, got other things to do."

Today while in the bathroom with the door open, I heard a distinctly fluttering sound from the next room. Like a bird fluffing its wings. Followed by silence. There's definitely no bird in that room. Oh well, who knows. Maybe the dogs in the room at the other end of the hallway made some noise, and it only sounded to me like it came from the nearby room.

There have been other times I've heard other more inexplicable noises. Things which people who believe in ghosts, might attribute to ghosts. But I don't have any clear memories, just the knowledge that it has happened before, more than once, and it's not that unusual.

There was one strange noise which I did figure out. This one has happened both in my cube at work and in my kitchen at home - an intermittent quiet hissing noise from close nearby. It's from air escaping out of (or into?) the top of a bottle, when I haven't tightened the cap all the way, and the temperature difference between the bottle and surrounding air is right. At home, I store tap water in liter-sized glass bottles in the fridge, because I like my drinking water to be cold. But sometimes I'll leave a bottle standing on the counter. When I go to work, I take a small glass bottle of water with me, and during the day, fill it up from the drinking fountain.

(no subject)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:32 am
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[personal profile] disneydream06
16. One of Your Favorite Classical Songs:

17. A Song That You Would Sing As A Duet On Karaoke:

18. A Song From The Year You Were Born:
Taped in 1965, but I was born in 1963 when the song came out. :)

19. A Song That Makes You Think About Life:

20. A Song That Has Many Meanings For You:

darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
I've been trying to support independent journalism by getting paid accounts on some news sites whose articles I occasionally read (even though most of the time, the pages I read are ones that other people have linked to).

I had made a note that charges $49 for a year's subscription. Today the site even shows an introductory price of $35/year. So I decided to sign up. But after fighting with their website for the last half hour, I've changed my mind.

First problem: The Join Slate Plus page says what the membership costs and what special perks you get. But there were no fields for signing up, and no link or button for any sign up page. I had to click NoScript's "Temporarily Allow All This Page" icon 4 times for the fields to finally be displayed. (Each time you click that icon, NoScript allows JavaScript for the domains that were previously blocked, but then encounters additional domains which the page indirectly references, and for security reasons, NoScript doesn't allow them until you click again. And so on.)

Furthermore, the fields that show up aren't for buying a paid account, but rather for "Try it Free for 2 Weeks!" That's not what I wanted.

So instead I used their normal Sign Up page to create an account. It asks for an email address, display name, and password. It took me a while to decide on a display name to use. Upon submitting my info, the site then brought up the Terms of Service. But there was no Accept button. I repeatedly clicked the "Allow All This Page" icon, until 30 or more domains were unblocked (and my laptop fan started spinning on high speed from all the crap it was trying to load each time, because underneath the ToS, the page showed a bunch of news articles), and still no Accept button displayed. Yet when I tried to go to my account page, it kept re-displaying the Terms of Service, like it was waiting for me to accept them.

Then I tried a different browser without NoScript. That way, I was able to log in and open my account profile. The account page has a "Manage subscriptions" link. But when I click the link, it only opens the homepage. So I can't see whatever email lists they may have added me to by default. Hopefully I'll be able to unsubscribe from them somehow, supposing they did add me to any lists.

Then I tried logging in from my normal browser again. But when I click the login button, it ...

(oh thank goodness for Dreamwidth's AutoSave. I just closed both browser windows, to see if I was only having trouble because I was still logged in from the other window, not realizing that I was also closing the tab where I was writing this post.)

When I click the login/account icon, nothing happens. I have to again allow JavaScript from a bunch of domains, just to get the login fields. But then when I enter them, I still don't get logged in. Sigh.

This is way too much trouble. I no longer like their website, so I don't want to give them any money after all. The articles I see on their site today don't seem so great either (or is that sour grapes speaking?).

Turkey vultures by pond

Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:30 am
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[personal profile] darkoshi
Turkey vultures hanging out by the pond, with Canadian geese swimming in the background.
The quality of the video isn't good, I know. I had to use zoom to take this, because if I go too near to the vultures or if they even notice I'm watching them, that usually scares them away.


(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:37 am
disneydream06: (Happy)
[personal profile] disneydream06
I was talking to a nurse at work this morning and this song came up, so I thought I would share...
I saw Teri Gibbs in concert one time and she even signed a tshirt I bought. By the way, if you can't tell, she is blind.

And a bonus video that was shown at an awards show. Just too funny...

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:25 am
disneydream06: (Happy)
[personal profile] disneydream06
12. A Song From Your Pre-Teen Years:
The first record I remember buying was a 45 rpm of this song...

13. One of Your Favorite 70s Songs:

14. A Song You Would Love Played At Your Wedding:
Talk about unconventional wedding... :p

15. A Song That Is Covered By Another Artist:

(no subject)

Jul. 22nd, 2017 10:24 am
disneydream06: (Happy)
[personal profile] disneydream06
Back to the Song Meme.....

9. A Song That Makes You Happy:

10. A Song That Makes You Sad:
I so wish this version had been released on an ablum.

11. A Song You Never Get Tired Of:
This is one of my current favorites...

(non) vegan ingredients

Jul. 22nd, 2017 02:23 am
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[personal profile] darkoshi
Every once in a while I come across an article like Hidden Animal Fats which indicates that ingredients like glycerin or stearic acid are typically non-vegan. Those 2 ingredients and their derivatives are quite common, and I've been of the belief that they were "probably vegan/ok". So reading an article like that, and thinking that I've been buying and ingesting non-vegan things, is surprising and disappointing.

Then I find a page like Vegetarian Journal's Guide To Food Ingredients which indicates that both of those are typically vegan. I tend to trust that organization's information. For the purposes of their article, they contacted several of the large companies which produce the ingredients for commercial use, which gives it more credence. So then I breathe a sigh of relief.

But there are some items the VRG lists as "typically non-vegetarian", which I didn't expect. Palmitic, Oleic, and Myristic acids. Even modified food starch may be non-vegetarian, due to oleic acid being used in the processing.

That bone char is often used in the production of white sugar, I was aware. (I buy unbleached organic sugar rather than white sugar, but I don't avoid items which have sugar as an ingredient, as that would be too limiting.) But it never occurred to me that activated carbon/charcoal might also come from bone. That may be in my water filters. I'll have to find out.

Wait. The VRG page says that activated charcoal is vegan... oh, I guess that only refers to the kind which is intended for ingestion. The VRG page says that the activated carbon which is used in filters may be non-vegetarian, from bones.

This page about PUR water filters indicates that the activated carbon in the filters is made from coconut shells. (I've read that about Brita filters too). However, the page has a disclaimer at the bottom: "This post was created as part of my collaboration with PUR. As always, all of the opinions, thoughts, and ideas in this post are my own. I am solely responsible for the content."
So, as it's not an official statement by the company, I've contacted PUR's customer support for verification.

(no subject)

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:21 am
disneydream06: (Default)
[personal profile] disneydream06
Sorry this is dark.
Obviously I had my camera on the wrong setting and didn't realize it. :o

But last month I had the pleasure of seeing, and then meeting the comedian, Paula Poundstone...

 photo 011_zpswcrxnd4c.jpg

flight skills

Jul. 18th, 2017 11:39 pm
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[personal profile] darkoshi
Walking back from my lunch break, I passed a group of 7 crows cawing and flitting between trees.

Next, I came across a group of vultures standing together in a group on the grass. At first glance, they looked like black crows too. I tried not to look at them very directly, as doing so generally scares them away. But I got out my cell phone and took a furtive photo.

A few of the vultures flew upwards and bumped into the side of the building behind them before landing back on the ground. Huh? A couple more did the same thing, and I wondered what were they doing. Then I realized... they were all younglings, and were frightened of me and trying to fly up onto the top of the building. But their flying skills aren't good enough yet to fly straight up 20 feet like that. I walked away, not to scare them further, poor things.

It reminded me of a day last week when I walked right past a single young vulture that was sitting on a railing, not even noticing it until the last moment, as I had just walked out of the building into the sunshine.

A few days ago I was reading about vines... ah yes, to see if my mom was correct that letting them grow up the pine tree trunks can hurt the trees. While doing that, I found out the name of one of the vines that grows in my yard: Virginia Creeper. It has little suckers on its tendrils that helps it climb, and 5 leaflets in each compound leaf.

Earlier today while walking, I saw a similar looking plant with leaflets of 3... and remembered that rhyme, "leaves of three, let them be". I wondered if it was poison ivy. It looks so innocuous; I walk by it nearly every day. In lieu of touching the leaves to find out, I did a web search on my cell phone to find some images of poison ivy, and sure enough, that is what it was. Now I know what it looks like. For the moment, anyway.

The 80's Rock Tuesdays.......

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:39 am
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[personal profile] disneydream06
This song came out in 1987, but it didn't chart on the Top 100 Chart here in the States...
But I think it's a great new version of an old classic.

(no subject)

Jul. 15th, 2017 09:14 am
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[personal profile] disneydream06
A T.M.I. meme?
I swiped this from [profile] hoobird...

Would you date someone who still lived with their parents?
I don't see a problem with that.

Are you a generous person?
Usually to a fault. :p

Do you have a close relationship with your family?
Close enough I guess. :p

Would you have to sleep with someone before marrying them?
Not necessarily, but couldn't hurt. :p

Do you think there is life on other planets?
I hope so.

Do you own a car?
I own a vehicle. :p

Would it bother you if your bf/gf flirted with someone else?
I think it would. Depends on if it was serious Flirty. :o

Would you enjoy a night of playing video games?
I would prefer board games.

Are you sexually attracted to any inanimate objects?
EWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In your ideal sexual encounter, do you take control or do they?
I probably tend to be the passive one. :p
A Whole Lotta Questions )

(no subject)

Jul. 15th, 2017 06:47 am
disneydream06: (Happy)
[personal profile] disneydream06
6. A Song That Makes You Want To Dance:

7. A Song To Drive To:

8. A Song About Drugs or Alcohol:

The Full List )

(no subject)

Jul. 14th, 2017 04:32 am
disneydream06: (Happy)
[personal profile] disneydream06
Day 2 of the Music Meme.....

3. A Song that Reminds You of Summer:

4. A Song that Reminds You of Somebody You'd Rather Forget About:

5. A Song That Needs to Be Played LOUD:

The Full List )
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
Note to self: If you want to put pasta into that soup or stew that you're cooking, first pre-boil the pasta. Don't put dry pasta into the soup. Even if it may have worked well in the past, now you'll likely end up with it stuck and burnt to the bottom of the pot.

Remember the orzo incident? It's not only orzo. It's the macaroni too. (But what about noodly noodles? Surely they wouldn't sink and stick?)

solar power

Jul. 12th, 2017 11:05 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
Our electric company has a program where you can either buy or rent solar panels which are set up out in the countryside (rather than on your roof). They take care of all the setup and maintenance. As I want to support clean renewable energy, it sounds like a great thing for me to do. But after reading the details about the program, I have a nagging feeling that it sounds too good to be true.

Especially the part in the FAQ about renting panels, which says "Monthly credits are expected to be greater than monthly fees providing for instant saving."
I wonder if the panels provide more power when they are new, so that to begin with, the credits might exceed the fees, but in later years the reverse would be true?

Do any of you have experience, or know someone with experience, in these type of programs?

The electric company also has a rooftop solar program. Each customer can only participate in one of the programs, not both. I've seen several houses with solar panels on their roofs. My house would likely be a good candidate for that too, as it gets a good amount of sunshine. But the idea of putting solar panels on my roof worries me in that
- the panels would interfere with getting the shingles replaced, whenever the shingles eventually need to be replaced (although maybe they lengthen the life of the shingles underneath them, as the shingles would be less exposed?)
- if someone needs to walk on my roof for something (cleaning gutters, fixing leaks, trimming tree branches), the panels would be in the way
- if not installed well, they might cause roof leaks?

cashews and olives

Jul. 12th, 2017 10:46 pm
darkoshi: (Default)
[personal profile] darkoshi
I've discovered something that's even better than the dried olives I mentioned here: those same dried olives eaten together with salted cashews! Who would have thought that eating something oily and salty together with something else oily and salty would be a thing? Maybe that's the appeal of cheese and olive appetizer plates.

On a side-note, I had tried some unsalted dried olives, and they were one of the most unpalatable things ever. What a difference some salt can make.

(no subject)

Jul. 12th, 2017 09:06 am
disneydream06: (Happy)
[personal profile] disneydream06
A music meme I have swiped from a couple of people. :)

1. A song you like with a color in the title:

2. A song you like with a number in the title:

The List of Songs Categories... )


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Samantha Josephine Hunter

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