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Choo Choo

This miniature train is one of the main attractions of the Great Clay County Fair.

Dirty Words

A list of clean dirty-sounding words.

Weird Toys

Who gives a fish? There is a Jesus fish eating a Darwin fish.

Giant Sloth

The search for the giant sloth.

Something fishy, etc., etc.

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - First came the fish bumper stickers, imported from the United States and pasted on cars by members of Egypt's Coptic minority as a symbol of their Christianity. Before long, some Muslims responded with their own bumper stickers: fish-hungry sharks.
The fish vs. sharks on Cairo streets are reminiscent of how proponents of the theory of evolution responded to fish stickers in the United States with depictions of fish with tiny legs, sometimes with the word "evolve" or the name "Darwin" printed inside the fish.

Ahhhhhhhhh (choo)

I wonder why I can't get past the adult content barrier on the sneezing webring? Allah "likes sneezing and dislikes yawning." I'm interested in sneezing partly because I suffer from the "amusing abnormality" ACHOO, which I inherited from my father. Thank heavens I don't have SNATIATION, too.

So Mimsy


Ever wonder, "What kind of sound does the aye-aye make?" Animal sounds and videos.

Greasy Kid Stuff

Since we've got our computer back, we've been enjoying wfmu again. Our family favorites are The Inner Ear Detour and Greasy Kid Stuff.

Morton's Maypole

Morton moved to Massachusettes and pissed off the Puritans by erecting an 80-foot-tall maypole to celebrate and to christen his plantation "Merry Mount." He wrote an account of the incident, as did Nathaniel Hawthorne. The Puritans marooned him on an island with no provisions and burned down his house. He escaped, but he never really got the best of Standish.

If you want to irk a Puritan, try singing this:

The Songe

Drinke and be merry, merry, merry boyes,
Let all your delight be in Hymens joyes,
Iô to Hymen now the day is come,
About the merry Maypole take a Roome.

Make greene garlands, bring bottles out;
And fill sweet Nectar, freely about,
Uncover thy head, and feare no harm,
For here's good liquor to keepe it warme.

Then drinke and be merry, &c.
Iô to Hymen, &c.

Nectar is a thing assign'd,
By the Deities owne minde,
To cure the hart opprest with grief,
And of good liquors is the chief,

Then drinke, &c.
Iô to Hymen, &c.

Give to the Mellancolly man,
A cup or two of't now and than;
This physick' will soone revive his bloud,
And make him be of a merrier mood.

Then drinke, &c.
Iô to Hymen, &c.

Give to the Nymphe thats free from scorne,
No Irish stuff nor Scotch over worn,
Lasses in beaver coats come away,
Ye shall be welcome to us night and day.

Then drinke, &c.
Iô to Hymen, &c.

Blog Spam

Aaarg. My weblog is being spammed by Viagra and other pharmaceutical vendors! The last five "comments" here were spam.

The Back Yard

In our back yard, we have these, these, and one of these.

The Hood

Here's a website about our new neighborhood, Old West Durham.



Read the Weekly Piracy Report to update your image of seafaring criminals.


I got a job at this place today.


Here's something to listen to or read for those of us who love machines.

More New Animals

This is what frogs looked like in the days of the dinosaur.

Geeks need Love

An old high school friend of mine has set up a group for Tolkien fans who are looking for love. He had almost 300 people sign up in 24 hours.

Debating Nanowrimo meeting venues on the forum, I decided to check everyone's websites out. Here they are by username:
Amelie This is the online diary of a first-year UNC student. She's into jui jitsu and wants to be a doctor.
Arctiki A high-school senior's nanowrimo site. Watch his novel-in-progress.
Curlygrrl A single mom and freelance writer's mostly professional page.
Kuniklos The schmancy site of a reincarnated Nazi. Apparently there are several. Links to dead Bonapartists.
Kuya Ongoing comic collaboration, "Death on the Snowfield." Unfortunately on hold for Nanowrimo.
Laurahcory Well-written online journal of a freelance writer in her 30s who is into all things Celtic.
Lithele The weblog of a college student who shares my birthday. She's very manga.
Lulu-Guy Online self-publishing, not a personal site.
NaKaithus Nice online journal of a guy who's into stuff like this.
Space_Samurai Read his Nanowrimo inspired sci-fi trilogy.
Ten Miles to Midnight A College girl's online journal. I don't like chocolate, either.
Tsaiko New site in progress linked to old rants. Why are there no pop songs about impotence? Good question.
Turtyl Nicely designed site evolved from a Yahoogroup of old college pals.


This is for those in need of some good squirrel recipes. Squirrel hunting was always my favorite.

Bored Homestarrunner fans can now join an online community on Blurty. It's called Fhqwhgads. (Beware: sound.)

Caught in Traffic

Eating Out



Play the Striperella game.
Not everyone loves Striperella as much as I do. Ah, those Socialist Workers...


Compare the subways of the world.


Reshaping skulls since 1988.

Legal Fauna

My friend David Suisman sent me this very interesting NYC health code link, outlining which animals it is not legal to have in the home.

Don't forget to sign up for Nanowrimo.

I finally found out what a scuppernong is!

Glaucomys Volans

The "Tree Amigos" shook some of these out of a dead tree they came to cut down.

Uh oh

I broke my glasses yesterday. Now I have to wear my old ones, which are large, rectangular, and black. And scratched.

I bought a Pilates book today. Old Joe Pilates didn't call his method Pilates. He called it "Kontrology". The man loved to hang out in his undies. In the book there is picture of him at age 82 standing out in the snow wearing nothing but his briefs and a pair of ballet slippers. I couldn't find it on the internet. I bet he was a pretty weird guy.


Meade Instruments, which specializes in telescopes, in financing free planetarium software, available through the PBS show Jack Stargazer. The software will show you what's in the sky now or at any date in the past or future. You can have the constellations drawn in, no constellations, or draw in and name the constellations to learn them yourself. You can also have the computer show you the stars rising and setting in real time or accelerated.

Write to
Meade "Star Gazer" Softwarr
Meade Instruments
6001 Oak Canyon
Irvine CA 92618

Include $1 for shipping and handling. If you're in France I suggest sending a preaddressed envelope with an international return stamp which you can get at La Poste.

Mammals this time

This time I'm not two years behind the breaking news. A new primate has been discovered in the Congo. And an almiqui, a mammal previously believed extinct, was found in Cuba.

Crop Circles

last night I saw part of a documentary about crop circles. I've never been attracted to crop circles because of all the para-whaterver woohoo surrounding them, but seeing the pictures of these things I realized that crop circles are just beautiful.


I spent so much time today screwing around on Friendster. Want to be my friend? I'm tracy and my email address is tracy_the_astonishing at hotmail dot com.


Vampire Squid

This is big news, published in Science, but maybe some of you haven't yet seen these incredible pictures and footage of the newly discovered squid. Squid Links.


I don't have a link for this one, but I just wanted everyone to know that Elvis Presley's manger, the Colonel, was actually an illegal Dutch immigrant named Andreas van Kuijk.

Giant Squid

Four giant squids killed off Spain.

Wiggeldy Woo

Chris Marstall sent me this. It is FREAKING ME OUT!

Know Your Facts

What is the official Ohio State Rock song? (beware, plays automatically). Don't settle for knowing the capitals, learn these arcane state facts.

Drive Away

Need a free car for a road trip?


I loved my Etch-A-Sketch. Most online Etch-A-Sketch games don't really let you turn both dials at the same time. That's no good!


My grandma had a Spirographe at her house. Spirographe is very popular.

Lite Brite

I always wanted a Lite-Brite when I was a kid and never got one.

Good Friend Mole

moles vs mole rats. New word: eusocial.


The other day I met someone who had never heard of Metafilter.

Hirsute Theremin

Thinking I had a very slight chance of a Googlewhack with "hirsute theremin," I gave it a shot, and the Sputterly Utter didn't even show up at all. What's up with that?

All the Demons

I just started Paradise Lost and learned that Satan's castle is called Pandemonium. Of course.


Men get bored and experiment with and document their facial hair. Some men take their manly adornment fairly seriously, and can even be competetive. Beards make good disguises. You can tell a lot about a man from his beard.


A theremin-based robot at the Robot Talent Show reminded me how neet theremins are. You can get an email address at thereminworld. How about a downloadable desktop theremin? Or theremin's cousin the rhythmicon? Videotheremin, anyone?


Some of the owl species to be found in New York City are the saw whet owl, the great horned owl, the screech owl, the snowy owl, the barred owl, the long-eared owl, the short-eared owl, and the barn owl. One barn owl nest in Jamaica Bay after housing a couple for one year was cleared of the remains of 546 house mice, 234 Norway rats, and 1,947 meadow voles. Vandalism of nesting boxes had prevented successful owl programs in city parks, where they would control the rat population. You're unlikely to actually see an owl, unless you go birding at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge or to see the screech owls in Central Park.


Despite my slight agoraphobia, I love this idea.

"You are invited to take part in MOB, the project that creates an inexplicable mob of people in New York City for ten minutes or less. Please forward this to other people you know who might like to join.
1. At some point during the day on July 16, synchronize your watch to
2. By 7p, based on the month of your birth, please situate yourselves in the bars below. Buy a drink and act casual. If you are attending the MOB with friends, you may all meet in the same bar, so long as at least one of you has the correct birth month for that bar.
January, February, March: Puck Fair, 298 Lafayette, just south of Houston. Meet just inside the front door, to the right.
April, May, June: 288 (a.k.a. Tom & Jerry's), 288 Elizabeth Street, just north of Houston. Meet in the back to the left, by the jukebox.
July, August, September: Bleecker Street Bar, 58 Bleecker Street, at Crosby. Meet in the back to the right, by the jukebox.
October, November, December: Pamela's Cantina, 1 West 3rd Street, just west of Broadway. Meet near the right side of the bar, by the television sets.
3. Then or soon thereafter, a MOB representative will appear in the bar and will pass around further instructions.
4. If you arrive near the final MOB site before 7:18p, stall nearby. No one should arrive at the final mob site until 7:17.
5. At 7:28 you should disperse. No one should remain at the Mob site
after 7:30p.
6. Return to what you otherwise would have been doing, and await
instructions for MOB #5."

Peregrine Falcons

Where to see NYC's falcons: the Manhattan Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Metropolitan Life Building on East 45th St, the bell tower of Riverside Church, and 55 Water Street. (I'm reading Wild New York by Mittlebach and Crewdson).

Swimming Pool

There are 52 public outdoor pools in New York City. Unfortunately McCarren Park Pool, two blocks from where we live, is not one of them. The Next Big Thing, one of my favorite public radio shows, recently did a segment about it. There are pictures on the website.


Yesterday I went to the Police Station to report that my purse had been stolen at the playground. I was appallingly hassled by the incompetent person who was supposed to be helping me. I was unable to file my complaint because I was told that I would need ID. Nobody around me seemed to think that asking a person who has just reported her purse stolen for ID was in the least bit odd. I left, and used a trick I learned during my beauracratic experiences in France: Instead of going right back, I returned at a different time in hopes of being dealt with by a normal human being. I went back this morning and was pleased to find a welcoming helpful police precint. The woman who was to take my complaint said,"You told them your purse was stolen and they told you you need ID? Who did you talk to? What planet was she on?" They gave Vigo a junior police badge and a coloring book.

More Robots

While looking for robot websites for Vigo, I came across this Cool Robot of the Week site from someone at NASA. I realize it was just on Slashdot, but not everyone is a regular there. Check out the nine-minute-long computer animation of the Rover mission to Mars.

Gelatinous Mass

Everyone has probably heard by now, but a Giant sea creature has been found washed up in Chile.


The newest addition to Vigo's bookmarks: ASIMO the humanoid robot who can walk up and down stairs.


This morning we were wondering, what the heck is a cotter pin.

Anita Conrade passed on a piece of Père Lachaise lore this morning concerning Victor Noir and his magical member.

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