Watering Hole – July 19, 2010

When does being called a “bird brain” become a compliment?   If the bird is a crow, then it is a compliment.  Crows are extremely good at problem solving.

As researchers explore the nature of the intelligence of animals, the corvid family presents some arresting examples of brainy birds. The most common corvids are crows, ravens, and jays; other relatives are the rooks, magpies, choughs, nutcrackers, and jackdaws. The familiar corvids are large, noisy, and social, and they are not shy in the presence of people. They play pranks, tease other animals, and engage in aerial acrobatics for fun. Crows live happily in human settlements and have found many ways to exploit the curious human trait of discarding food.The strong social structure of corvids has been widely studied, as have their complex vocalizations and cooperative actions. Pioneering animal behaviorist Konrad Lorenz studied jackdaws in his native Austria; his King Solomon’s Ring reports his interactions with them and observations for their behavior.

Corvids are known to mimic human voices and other sounds and to enjoy the confusion that results. Zookeeper Gerald Durrell recounted the antics of his pet magpies, who learned to imitate the Durrell’s maid’s call to the chickens to come and be fed. When the magpies got bored, they called the chickens, who came running in anticipation of a treat. When the disappointed chickens went back to roost, the magpies called them again, and again, and the chickens, no match for the clever magpies, fell for the ruse every time.

Read more at this link, Cleverness of Crows

More here.

Now it’s your turn to Speak Up.


228 thoughts on “Watering Hole – July 19, 2010

  1. Good morning.

    I don’t get too many of these birds in my yard. I might get an occasional Blue Jay, but I don’t generally have food/feeders that are attractive to them. But when one does wander buy, and I hear the distinctive caw, I always go take a peek.

    Mostly I just get Gloldfinches, House Finches, Chipping Sparrows, House Sparrows, Black-capped Chickadees, Pine Siskins, and a semi-regular visit from a Downy Woodpecker, and a White-breasted Nuthatch. Mourning Doves, are pretty busy cleaning up all the dropped seeds.

    Grackles, Starlings, and Cowbirds are active in the yard on occasion, mostly to be annoying.

  2. There are crows in the few remaining trees beyond our back yard. I am currently feeding them (it’s actually not allowed, but I do it anyway, because I love them). My father in law shoots them and the magpies, because he doesn’t like the noise they make. Well, I don’t like my father in law and the stupid he spews everytime he opens his mouth, but do I shoot him?

    • My father in law shoots them and the magpies, because he doesn’t like the noise they make. Well, I don’t like my father in law and the stupid he spews everytime he opens his mouth, but do I shoot him?

      I bet you’re tempted. 😉

  3. I am having to endure mocking birds eating my blueberries. I put up one of those plastic owls that are supposed to scare them away only to go out back one morning to see a mocking bird perched on top of the plastic owl.
    He was mocking me, I could tell.

    I guess I’m the bird brain for falling for the plastic owl.
    I could put netting over the berries because the plastic owl just isn’t doing it.

  4. From zxbe on ThinkFast…”Pakistan could help itself if it could get past religion and corruption to a point where resources are actually provided to it’s people.”

    Sounds like a good prescription for the US at home as well.

  5. oops, sorry. Coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, zxbe. I did a quick skim read, saw the z and jumped.

  6. Mornin, all. Anyone know where the term ‘eat crow’ derived from?
    Would it make you smarter?
    Only if you were a troll?

  7. And off the MSNBC Wire this AM..

    WASHINGTON — The Tea Party political movement saw a major split over the weekend, with the National Tea Party Federation expelling a member group after its spokesman wrote an online post satirizing a fictional letter from what he called “Colored People” to President Abraham Lincoln.

    On its website, the federation stated it had given the Tea Party Express, through direct contact with one of its leaders, a deadline to rebuke and remove spokesman Mark Williams.

    “That leader’s response was clear: they have no intention of taking the action we required for their group to continue as a member of the National Tea Party Federation,” the federation stated.

    Therefore, effective immediately the National Tea Party Federation is expelling Tea Party Express from the ranks of our membership.”


  8. WASHINGTON — The Tea Party political movement saw a major split over the weekend, with the National Tea Party Federation expelling a member group after its spokesman wrote an online post satirizing a fictional letter from what he called “Colored People” to President Abraham Lincoln.

    I said this before but I feel it needs to be re-emphasized, perhaps to the media. “Racist humor” is an example of “racism”, not an example of “humor”. The letter wasn’t satire, it was racism.

    • I wonder why people and the media keep covering up for Williams? His type of ‘humor’ is where he says something absolutely horrific, and then says, “Can’t you take a joke?” That ain’t humor!

  9. lass – there is some strange connection between us. I created this post last week and scheduled it to appear today and then the crow became your alarm clock today. Uncanny. I like crows and I enjoy their sound. They are beautiful birds that visit my compost pile on occasion.

  10. If it isn’t racism that makes the teabaggers hate Obama, then what is it? I believe its racism which of course they deny. The question needs to be asked because I’ll bet that any excuse that the teabaggers present can be proven to be based upon lies.

  11. Exactly, Zooey. Too many racists get away with comments because they claim they were “just making a joke.” No, they weren’t. They were trying to get away with expressing their racist views in a way they hoped would go over better, by pretending it was humor. Just becaue he didn’t use the “n-word” does not mean it wasn’t purely racist. And the Mark Williams letter was pure racism.

  12. It’s Monday, I have three clients and I don’t feel like working today. I wish they were hypnosis clients instead of massage clients. Less physical work on my part.

    • Cats, they claim to hate Obama’s ‘policies,’ but never made a peep in the Bush years when he was actually dismantling our freedoms — something they claim to treasure. The only thing left is race, and they will scream and cry that they are not racists — many of them probably really don’t want to be racists — but they are. They need to stop, take a breath, and deal with their racism. And stay out of public until they do.

  13. Cats, we definitely are connected in many ways … We have talked about this prescience before and your “alarm” is just another pleasant confirmation of same.

    Getting ready to eat dome lavender gelato and English muffins before I head back out on the road again . . .

    Have a peaceful day, all ~

  14. I’ve been playing anagrams with the blog herpes handles. Some of them can be very amusing and I don’t think they’re getting it.

  15. Of crows and racism: Two summers ago in 2008, Milady and I worked at a high mountain lodge in AZ. We basically ran the restaurant and dining room there. The area is directly atop the Mogollon Rim in a dense mixed-conifer forest, elevation around 9000 feet. Suffice to say it’s gorgeous and loaded with wildlife of all kinds, a place where crows are very prominent.

    One fellow who worked there at the lodge, the wrangler, didn’t like crows. He didn’t like a lot of things. The one thing he learned that summer, and it was important for his survival, was to not refer to crows, in my presence, as “Obama Chickens.”

  16. We used to have lots of crows around here. Now, not so much. That’s troubling.

    • We have lots of crows around here. They can be pesty sometimes, but I love watching them and listening them to them ‘chat’ with each other. We have magpies too, and they are gorgeous birds. The black has teal highlights and the white is so snowy.

  17. I have two mega-cunning crows living in my cul-de-sac… they have the run of the three or four houses on this side. They are a team, one watches the other goes at whatever they have, they have watching the squirrels burying nuts and then going and digging them up. Bloody smart animals. Don’t mind the cawing myself.

  18. Morning all!

    I love crows. We have quite a lot of them near my house, though their numbers vary year to year for reasons I’m not sure of. Anyway, they have a spot down in the river bottom where they like to roost at night, so every morning and evening there’s this huge exodus. A few years ago their number were in the tens of thousands, and the sky would just be black with them. Occasionally they’ll get riled up for some reason and flock madly in the neighborhood trees, darting around in all directions. It’s like something out of Hitchcock! Very cool though, and I always love watching them. 🙂

    I was so glad they booted Williams and his Express group. That letter of his was pure racism…the more moderate baggers need to start admitting that they’ve got some fringe elements, or their entire party is over. Which would be fine with me. 😉

  19. Never met a bird I didn’t like!
    We have lots of crows and some ravens.
    Out here we have Scrub Jays (similar to the eastern blue jay).

    The Scrubs do not like ‘Clyde’ the cat and dive bomb him at every opportunity.

    Last week the scrubs were going on, non stop, for about 5 min. I went to check it out – that damn cat
    came over the fence with a juvenile scrub.
    The young jay was just fledging.
    The next day ‘Clyde’ was staying ‘under cover’ of the porch table as the parents were relentless at the dive-bombing: in tandem at the cat!

    “Obama chickens”!? OMFFSM – I’d not heard/read that before.
    vinyl, sorry about your blueberries – but so enjoy hearing Mimus polyglottos – trying to figure out where the Mocking bird spends most of its time by
    listening to its songs.
    Our current nightly singer sounds as if it may be/or has been near a fire station – siren like.
    Then it goes into a somewhat ‘car alarm’ song.

  20. Shooter’s Mom: He Was Mad At ‘Liberal Politicians’

    The suspect in a gun battle with California Highway Patrol officers on I-580 in Oakland Sunday had left the house angry at “liberal politicians,” according to his mother.

  21. When I lived in Northern AZ I had bluejays that would fly into the cabin and steal anything they thought was food. Then one day they found the bag of peanuts setting on the counter and they called all of their friends. After that I always made sure I had a bag to keep them busy. I had a steady stream of jays at my place. I thought it was cool but my roommate (a city boy) didn’t do well with the jays.
    Then the javelina were trying to come in the open front door one evening and he fritzed out, scared the hell out of him. He moved out and went back to the big city. I was better off with the jays and the javelina anyway.

    • vinylspear,

      When I was a kid, we went camping outside Yosemite quite a bit. We finally learned to bring an extra bag of peanuts, which we’d put on top of the car for the bluejays while we got set up. Otherwise they were a menace (although a totally gorgeous menace).

  22. Well, well, well. I was reading some replies over at Salon and look what I stumbled upon:

    LOL, McCain is such a dweeb. I find it hard to believe anyone with a single brain cell would take him seriously.



    Read WaggyMow’s other letters

    Our newest sock puppet from TP! Looks like he’s spamming some site of his too. Loser.

  23. The consequences of the misguided interpretation of the Second Amendment strike again. How sad.

    I feel for his mother. Coming up on two years ago, my niece’s 24 yr old son freaked out. He killed his cat early in the morning, then armed himself with two handguns and a rifle, murdered his boss, and died an hour later in a gunfight with police. All his parents knew for sure in advance of that horror was that he was under medical care for mental problems, some of which were religious in nature. But no one thought to hide the guns.

    • But no one thought to hide the guns.

      I’m so sorry to hear of that tragedy, Frugal. I wonder why they never thought to lock up the guns? That’s bizarre to me…

  24. Time to run this clip again. Not just any seagull, but a Scottish seagull!

  25. Silentpawz, that clown has has more socks than Imelda Marcos has shoes. He’s spams for some kind of internet security scam that no one buys into. It is usually a one liner with the word “dude” included in the sentence.
    dbadass hands him his ass periodically.

  26. There was an article from the Illinois Department of Conservation that said crows were smarter than dogs and cats and horses. It talked about how they constantly adjust their schedules to outsmart us. Of course since many humans are idiots (e.g. trolls) that’s not hard to do.

  27. Zooey: I’m so sorry to hear of that tragedy, Frugal. I wonder why they never thought to lock up the guns? That’s bizarre to me…

    His dad was/is a very right wing Republican. He’s also a gun nut, has several rifles plus several mean-spirited hand guns. I saw many of them (minus those the police had confiscated) and since I’m not interested in guns all I can say is that they looked ‘mean.’

    The boy’s father is taking it very hard; the two were very close until the lad started falling off the edge a couple years prior to the incident. I kept wanting to say, WHY DIDN’T YOU EITHER LOCK THE FUCKING GUNS UP OR GET RID OF THEM! but I didn’t, he wouldn’t have understood anyway, and I saw no need to exacerbate the pain.

    But still, the point remains: guns are not really of much good use. Q.E.D. Regularly.

    • Frugal, I know the feeling. You want to ask the question, but at this point all it does is add to the pain. Most guns in the US are made for killing people, not hunting. And they do their job well, sadly enough.

  28. Shayne — humans tend, for some mysterious reason, to always and invariably misoverestimate the intelligence of the human species. Sotospeak. 🙂

  29. och ma jock, hoot ma toots….

    That’s my Scottish phrase, only one I know…. don’t know what it means..

  30. A little girl was shot through the shoulder in her jaw in Chicago yesterday when her mother’s current boyfriend and ex-boyfriend got in a fight. Good thing they had that gun for “protection”. /snark

  31. My favorite word is cockahoop which my boyfriend Craig uses frequently. Keep your hands off Zooey!

  32. You are a good and decent person frugal. I admit I have guns, I live in a very isolated area and am home alone alot. I do often wonder about the ratio of folks who actually manage to protect themselves vs. those whose guns wind up acidentally shooting someone.

    • outstanding. I am a target shooter (nothing serious, just the occasional competition), I am, however, opposed to owning guns for home defense, mostly. Most people do not know how to handle a gun safely and even more people wouldn’t hit a barn door at two yards. So, mostle guns are just dangerous. The most dangerous about them is if people leave them lying about and loaded,too. Like the father of the boy did who has killed scores in a German school last year. I honestly don’t think guns are increasing safety. I don’t know about your exact situation, so please don’t take exception to what I am saying. You’re pretty level headed from what I read here and really I don’t think people like you are a problem.

      • I have fired guns at shooting ranges and tried to shoot skeet with my dad (and ended up covered with bruises), but I’ve never owned a gun. I knew I could never shoot anyone who wanted to take my ‘stuff,’ and I never wanted a gun around impulsive children. There are many gun suicides by teenagers around here, and I wonder if they had to find a way to hang themselves or jump off a bridge, they might have more time to reconsider or be found out.

        • Skeet can hurt badly, Zooey. Hubby does it and is adamant it is fun. I don’t because my eyes want a stationary target that I can focus on I just don’t see the stupid things flying.

          • EV, I kept pulling the shotgun away from my shoulder, trying to follow the damn thing, and I just couldn’t seem to stop doing it! 😀

        • Also, I live in an area that is populated mostly by college students. Sometimes I get a student walking into my house, having found the wrong address for his/her party. According to moronic gun nuts, I should shoot this person for waling into my home, rather than accepting their apology and waving goodbye.

  33. I’m not offended EV, I know what to do if a stranger kicks the door in, but I don’t think many people who have a gun for “defense” have given much thought to when and if they should use it. I know folks who swear they’d shoot if someone was walking out the door with their TV and that’s just crazy.

    • outstanding, if someone walked out the door with my tv I’d put the video player on top of it and wish him good luck with the clunkers 😆

  34. 2ebb – the shooter in CA should be made at the conservative Senators in Congress for withholding unemployment insurance benefits and at the Bush Congress for giving tax breaks for outsourcing jobs instead of liberals who tried to save his job. Idjut.

  35. Owning a gun is not much different than owning a chainsaw. You wouldn’t leave a chainsaw on the coffee table nor would you play with it. Rational people understand it is something of a tool and a dangerous one that needs to be treated with respect.

    The big problem comes in when people think they are some sort of toy. Sadly, I suspect some consider them a sex toy.

  36. Outstanding: I admit I have guns, I live in a very isolated area and am home alone alot. I do often wonder about the ratio of folks who actually manage to protect themselves vs. those whose guns wind up acidentally shooting someone.

    I have no worries when good, sane, well-intended people own a gun or guns, nor should anyone else. It’s when the not so sane, the not so well-intended people have arsenals that I start to worry a bit. Not for myself, understand (I’m too old to worry about myself anymore), but for the young, for the likely innocent victims whoever they might be. I guess it’s the ‘all or nothing’ gun ownership thing that bothers me. Sanity should certainly be a prerequisite , but how to see to it getting done?

  37. I haven’t fired a hand gun since 1978 and a shoulder piece since 1983. My daughter’s bf has invited me to go out to the local pistol range sometime this week and I’m looking forward to it.

    I have always appreciated guns as well made machines and have paid some attention to various styles and innovations. But I haven’t had a gun around the house in over 25 years. (Except for an old shotgun my dad took in trade on some deal. I don’t think it even works).

  38. I do think safety education should be a requirement for gun ownership. but VA balks if one must wait more than a few hours to complete a gun purchase. I think my state probably supplies guns to half the criminals on the east coast.

    • outstanding, in Germany you need a certificate that you took a safety and handling course. Then you need a confirmation from a club that you are a member and need a gun for practice, then you need a printout from your police record. A DUI is enough to disqualify you. If you are a licensed hunter it is a little easier to own a gun, but not much. The hunting license requires a test and the same police record. And we still have gun crime and accidents, however, those occur mostly with stolen guns. More guns, more risk. That’s what it all is about. Again, though I enjoy the sport, I don’t approve of blanket licensing.

  39. Did you notice who showed up on the conservatives on-mosques thread at TP?
    Yes, he managed to denigrate teh gay – he can’t ‘miss an opportunity’.
    It must be so lonely in that closet where he lives.

    75. bit says:

    You are talking about the same Thomas Jefferson who drafted a law in Virginia that would punish homosexuality, sodomy in VA of the time, with mutilation, aren’t you? Ouch!

  40. My Father-in-law had Alzheimer’s and kept a loaded gun in his den. We arranged to have it “stolen” by the local police for everyone’s safety.

    At that point in time, he was not able to feed himself, but took the gun down every once in a while and laid it at hand on a side table while he watched TV.

    He never realized that the gun was gone after it disappeared. Out of sight, out of mind!

    • My dad keeps a loaded pistol nearby his recliner. I asked him why, and he siad there was a home invasion way up the valley from us, and two old people were tied up for hours and hours (they were okay). He’s lived in this state for over 25 years, and has never been the victim of a crime, not one single time, but now he’s worried about having his home invaded. I’m not thrilled with the fact that he’s so fearful.

  41. Talk of birds invariably reminds me of ‘out there’, wherever that might be. Over much of the last ten years, we’ve managed to spend literally months each year camped out in the mountains (summer) or on the desert (winter) or in between the two (spring and fall). Every opportunity we had, be it for a single night or a month or more, off we’d go.

    One thing we knew: ‘out there’ was a lot more interesting than ‘in here’, in the city! I tried to summarize the ‘why’ of it all as briefly as possible; a sonnet — 14 lines:

    Voices in the Wind

    Though modern ears seem deaf to primal song,
    Ideas seek – and probe – subconscious minds.
    Where spirits walk, old muted voices long
    To search – as dust now gathered by the winds –
    To speak in silence, whispering to souls
    Their sacred manifests of unsung dreams.
    Then Suffrage of the land – through Gray Wolf’s howls
    And breath of noiseless Deer – expresses themes
    As surely as the murmur of the trees
    Announces wind and wingéd life, in kind.
    And silently as Eagle rides the breeze,
    These messages – the Sum of Life – remind:
    Man’s aimless, modern Din shall ne’er transcend
    The Wild – and Ancient – Voices – in the Wind.

    It turned out to be the title of a “book” of original poetry, essays, and photographs of ‘out there.’ Don’t know what I’ll ever do with it, maybe pare it down someday and see if I can find a publisher interested in that sort of thing. Way too many photographs for this day and age, also not terribly complimentary of human intrusions into wild places (or any other places, for that matter), assembled by an apparent misanthrope, some might say.

    They’d be right. 🙂

  42. If John Boner is now known as ‘TanMan’, what does that make Eric Cantor? “Lotion Boy’?

  43. I just posted this on TP:

    It is obvious that TP is either sponsoring or originating the troll posts and identity thieves. How else would they be helpless in controlling the misfits? Is there any other explanation for their lack of control of their site?

  44. Walt, I put forth that theory a while back and it fell as flat as a popcorn fart. And I don’t think I was the only one.

    • Walt & Hooda,

      I doubt TP is actively sponsoring or encouraging the idiot trolls — other than turning a blind eye on them, which certainly encourages them.

  45. Ed Schultz called Boner the ‘Tan Man’ on his tv show just a bit ago.

    I didn’t look that up, 2ebb, that was from some stand-up comedian, but I don’t remember who. Would you prefer ‘Bronzer Boy’?

  46. Zooey, while I respect your opinion as I respect few others I regret that I have no way to truly express my basic opinion of your assessment other than to say, pppppffffffffllllbbbbbtttttppppp.

    If TP wanted to police their site, they would.

    • Hooda sez:
      If TP wanted to police their site, they would.

      Which is exactly what I’m saying! Pfftttt!!

  47. House, Wasn’t certain if I missed an item/article.
    Was just inquiring – thought Cantor might have been ‘exposed’.

    I’ve heard of Cabana boys

    “Oh Cabana Boy!! Do be a dear an grab me another lime for this avacado daiquiri! And don’t you feel soooo constricted in those wet swim trunks? You really ought to just take them off.”

    but didn’t know what the ‘lotion boy’ may have referenced.

  48. TP? Deleted that link from my favourites bar months ago now…

    Blogs the Turtle reads:
    1. Oil Drum (before it was cool I might add 🙂 )
    2. C&L
    3. Alternet
    4. Rude Pundit
    5. Clusterf*** Nation
    6. Young Turks

    • Blogs the Turtle reads:
      1. Oil Drum (before it was cool I might add )
      2. C&L
      3. Alternet
      4. Rude Pundit
      5. Clusterf*** Nation
      6. Young Turks

      7. TheZoo 😛

  49. It was you who turned us on to the Oil Drum, for which I’m grateful. Getting that perspective, assists in trying to understand the complexities of attempting to put an end to this horror story-
    Or at least to stop the flow from mucking up anymore of waters.

    Unfortunately the nightmare will not be over for decades. The ‘clean-up’ appears to be ‘cosmetic’ (read: look, we’re doing something).

  50. Eugene Debs is pushing the envelope tonight! I’m surprised his vitriolic comments aren’t read every day on Limbought as an example of the ‘loony left’ at Think Progress. I doubt if he’d last three comments at Crooks and Liars. He’d never get his comments printed at Huffingtonpost either.

  51. “2ebb, is that from the calendar on your living room wall?”

    Why yes it is – and I think of you each time I gaze upon it, House!

    [that ‘calendar’ is on the same wall as the ‘Peregrine pin-ups’!]

  52. OK, this is embarassing (twice, actually):

    I finally took my laptop in to Best Buy with the various bits; the kitten I am fostering pried the spacebar off a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been typing by carefully and deliberately pressing the actual button with my right index finger. VERY slow.

    This had to change and I finally took it in. Showed the man the laptop, the space bar, the little rubber button that goes between. He looks at them a moment, fiddles a bit to figure out what moves, what doesn’t, how and why. Slips them together, eyes them one more time, and with light pressure snaps the whole damned thing back together again.

    “That’s it?” I say; he glances up at me and shrugs. “Sheeeeeeeeeee-iiiiiit,” I say. I recognize (after almost 25 years in the business) that it is foolish to go pushing and shoving on things that you are unfamiliar with, and the tech freely acknowledges that one can easily break parts that one seriously does not want brokent.

    But this is why men do not ask for directions. We don’t mind acknowledging that we are lost. We mind asking where the X building is and having our interlocutor stare at us like we are some kind of monumental retard and then point at the building we are standing in front of.

    That was #1.

    #2 is that I’m no longer used to typing with a spacebar, and I’m having to remind myself of the habit. It is coming back to me, but the fact that it has to come back to me is disturbing.

    I’ll bet crows don’t have these problems …

  53. Gary, oh, I’m with you on the ‘this must just snap in here’ and it’ll go ‘thunk’ instead of ‘click’ if you did it.

    Now keep the foster kitty away from the keyboard or teach her how to type!

    I just replaced the low-beam bulb in my 16 year old car – read then followed the instructions. 1/4 turn…
    there’s no room for a 1/4 turn.
    Frustrated I put the book back in the glove box –
    looked at the set-up: bulb replaced.
    Sometimes instructions are useful – other times…not.

  54. Gary – crows and Ravens (big crows) could have solved your problem. All you needed to do was place some food on the keyboard.

    This afternoon, I heard on NPR All Things Considered, that an upcoming topic was “Did Obama’s bail out of the oil company make getting jobs worse?” I thought, “What bailout?” So I did some research and found that Glenn Beck, the liar, stated that Obama loaned $2 billion to a Brazilian oil company. So I had to check out the facts and here is the link to Snopes.com

    I’m going to have to complain to NPR about making such a false statement. Frankly, I’m getting sick of these liars.

  55. Gary the reason men don’t ask directions is because they know the man they ask would never admit he didn’t know and would send them the wrong way anyway. That’s why they should always ask women but they don’t realize that women don’t play the one up one down game like men do. 🙂 My husband is a mechanic who can fix anything so I try for 3 seconds and hand it to him. It’s safer that way. Sure he thinks I’m an idiot but I’m a woman and I don’t care. 😉

  56. Cats, you aren’t gonna believe this ~ Our good buddy, Byron, prompted me to put on an ABBA CD and now I’m at the Corn Palace! What a hoot! (oh, that’s right, we’re talking corvids today, sorry 😉

  57. Lass, if you are at the Corn Palace exit for Mitchell, there is a Mex restaurant called Corona Village I think that isn’t too shabby.

  58. Thanks, Cats – I’ll tell ya more about BB later … Probably staying near Rapid City tonight – doing some exploring tomorrow ~

    Hope you all are well wherever you are 🙂

  59. International Gay Rights Group, Opposed By GOPers, Wins UN Status

    “Today’s decision, we think, is an affirmation that the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have a voice in the UN,” said Sara Perle, a spokeswoman for IGLHRC. “It’s a clear message from [the council] that diverse voices cannot be silenced.”

  60. House, that’s not Rasmussen, so how accurate can it be/

    41% approval in AL that was a, pleasant, surprise!
    The way the nematodes portray ‘the worst President’ ever – I expected to see something in the low 30s.
    Way to go Alabama!

    Idaho, well that wasn’t too unexpected.

    Cheney country didn’t surprise me at all (29% approval for the Presidetn).

      • Started training the new Zookeeper on the billing today. Ugh!

        She can only come in at 3:30, cuz she still has her old job, and by then I’m about shot for doing anything.

  61. Cats: So I did some research and found that Glenn Beck, the liar, stated that Obama loaned $2 billion to a Brazilian oil company.

    Motomoron ranted on that for a month. It came directly from Fox, obviously, as does all of his material. One day the snopes link showed up and voila, no more Soros-Obama-Brazil-oil garbage.

    It’s a pitiful world when someone — ANYone — believes ANYTHING that comes from Fox, or from virtually any other right wing station, radio or tv. The right wing has turned chronic lying into an artform, and people actually listen to them. We are not far from doomed, if/when those buggers ever regain control of the wheel in Washington.

  62. A very good evening to you, zxbe!

    The earth still spins on its axis and the regressive party still wobbles.

  63. It’s a blast, ebb, and thank you for asking. I just ordered a chimichanga vegetarians at Corona Village, the restaurant recommended by hooda in an earlier post (p.s. Thank you, hooda!)

  64. Climate scientist Stephen Schneider dead at 65

    Stephen Schneider, a Stanford University scientist who served on the international research panel on global warming that shared the 2007 Nobel Prize with former Vice President Al Gore, has died. He was 65.

  65. ebb, thanks so much for that video clip. I had never seen it. Craigy might be just a little bit crazy. 😉

  66. lass, doing well thank-you. Late day at work, so just got home a bit ago.

    ebb, thanks. The conservatives would gladly knock the earth off it’s axis if they thought they could get oil from doing so.

    • Gary, when I have an experience like yours at Best Buy, I just smile real big and say, “That’s why you make the big bucks!” The usual response is, “I wish.” But hey, I get a smile out of ’em and they forget how dumb I just looked. 😉

  67. “I wonder why Gallup surveyed such widely different numbers of people in each state?”

    Is there a connection &/or vague relationship between the states’ populations and the numbers of people asked? For example, it would make no obvious sense that I can see to ask 3 times as many people in Montana as in Illinois. Quite aside from the difference in population, there are also significant differences between Chicago and downstate.

  68. Gary are you teaching the foster kitty the Gregg typing method so she’ll not chew, paw up the repaired keyboard?

  69. Well, the fellow that put things back together for me (the physical things, anyway) was visibly and audibly appreciated by me.

    It was so simple they didn’t even bother to charge me anything. Almost like salt in the wound.

  70. No, I’m closing the laptop lid whenever I’m away for a significant period of time (longer than it takes to refresh my beverage). Cables and such I’ve already generously spritzed with “Bitter Yuck” (well named, if you’re curious) to keep from losing any more speakers, etc.

    (Because of my bad sinuses, I was breathing a little through my mouth at one time while spritzing this stuff. Because it comes out as an aerosol, it was not all going on the cables. Sweet Screamin’ Jesus, have you ever seen a picture of a frog that’s just been hit by a stink beetle, its tongue unravelled about six feet out of its mouth as it sits there with the very definition of a stunned, “deer in the headlights” look on a face that was already vapid to begin with? That was me … )

  71. “I think that must be it, Gary. They should have made that clear.”

    It is possible that this information is to be found at Gallup’s own website, in the technical details relating to their survey methodology — certainly it ought to be.

    Often when these things are reported, the methodology is not discussed in any detail.

    • Often when these things are reported, the methodology is not discussed in any detail.

      I was too interested in getting my wine to dig deeper. 😉

      Those details should be on a link, and it’s frustrating that they aren’t sometimes.

  72. “Those details should be on a link, and it’s frustrating that they aren’t sometimes.”

    Indeed, but contemporary MSM reporting is not about the responsible presentation of verifiable facts. Rather, it is about either breathless histrionics, he-said-she-said “balance”, or some publisher’s calculation of both.

      • The more post TP puts up about racist teabaggers, the more the trolls seem to feel free to spout racist obscenity. If that were my blog, I’d be so ashamed that I’d delete the whole damn thing.

  73. I think the truly sad thing is that Capitalism is to blame for the short attention spans of the average American. In that drive to earn take in as much of the limited supply of money as possible, Marketing has forced most advertising into a race to grab your attention long enough to implant something into your brain and scurry off. When these advertising methods succeeded, they began to “Market” the news, claiming to give you more news in a half hour than their competitors. But in order to do that, they have to shorten the stories. We have become conditioned to accept our information in small packets, delivered quickly by someone we’ve decided we trust implicitly (for reasons we can’t state).

    Capitalism, the thing that Republicans claim is what makes this country great, is responsible for so many stupid people voting for Republicans who, once they get into office, destroy our entire economy.

  74. Zooey, sometime the greatest punishment that can be inflicted on a person is having to live their whole lives as who they are.

  75. Hi Zooey ~ The events leading up to, and my venture into, the Corn Palace were absolutely surreal … A definite appreciation for the artisans and the outreach to educate – lovely display explaining ethanol production … And, I kid you not, “Dancing Queen” was playing over the PA system as I left … Memorable, that little side trip to Mitchell, SD …

    • Lass, isn’t it weird that the Corn Palace is right in the middle of town? The display in 2008 was firemen and police serving the citizens. What was it this year?

  76. The theme was “Though the Ages” (at least that was what the marquee said). The murals all seemed to depict a different time period throughout history … It seemed to only go back about 6000 years though 😉

    I know, without directional signs throughout Mitchell, I doubt I would have found it on my own … Glad I stopped!

  77. Funny you should ask, outstanding. There was plenty of popcorn and high fructose corn syrup “goodies”, as well as a decent helping of kitschy implements for eating the stuff ~ what I would have loved was sweet corn on the cob … but, nooooo ~ none to be had 😦

  78. “Gary, pink.
    White Merlot”

    Eventually I’ll get over my disappointment. At least it wasn’t “white zinfandel,” which is neither white nor zinfandel.

  79. We actually moved to this farm to start a vineyard. If you have a vineyard you must either have money for employees or you will never leave home for more than 24 hours. Oddly, my degree is comp sci and hubbies is agriculture. He’s an IT guy, I’m the farmer. Life is strange.

  80. I love a robust Zin; Haraszthy was the best I’ve ever had, out of the Buena Vista wineries.

    I was at the U. of Oregon, Eugene campus for a conference, and walked out the main gate into town to a very nearby Italian restaurant for my one culinary indulgence of that meeting. The special that day was a puerco rustico and on a guess I ordered a Cascade river merlot (a REAL merlot, thank you) to go with it.

    Merlots can span the whole spectrum in ways that other reds I’ve had do not seem to. But this one was simply … perfect. I spent the evening lingering over every bite, every sip, of what was simply the best meal I’ve ever had in my life. I was very emphatic in recommending that wine to the waiter, that nothing else could possibly compare.

    I sometimes regret not learning the name of that wine, but mostly I do not. Had I learned the name I would have only created endless disappointments for myself as I fruitlessly attempted to recreate that absolutely singular moment of my life.

    I simply do not get Pinot Noir. I find it scarcely has any noticeable flavor. That, and the fact that they insist on referring to Santa Barabara as “the California Wine Country” is no small part of my disdain for the movie Sideways. (That and the fact that the characters are impenetrably stupid.)

    • I’m glad you had such a wonderful experience, Gary.

      I find real merlot to be quite strong, but maybe I haven’t had the right meal with it. Or the right company.

  81. No Zooey I never met MJ. She lives far, far north and I live South and West. Oddly I was raised further north than she was and when I lived north the theory was there was never any reason to go South of Marshall Fields (now Macy’s) on State Street.

  82. Z, you might enjoy Pinot Grigio. I find it much more interesting than Pinot Noir, because patience for the flavors to all reveal themselves is rewarded. Light and subtle, it is a very refreshing wine on a warm evening.

    (Myself, I like my reds to grab me by the lapels and shake me until my teeth rattle.)

    • Gary, I’ve done “grab me by the lapels and shake me until my teeth rattle,” and who needs alcohol for that? 😉

      Pinot Grigio is is very nice. I like it extremely cold.

  83. Hey, Shayne, we’re not talking about the classic “Chillable” (Chill-ah-blay) here!

    Black Box Wines, for example, are very drinkable casual vinos, especially at their phenomenally good price. Because the wine is in a plastic bladder, no air gets in which is what causes the “vinegar” shift. I encourage you (no, seriously, I really do) to look into them:


  84. I met Katy Zooey. I am the cheapest drunk out there so a box would be overkill. I like Pinot Grigio though, yum. I cook with chardonnay and and cabernet so it’s always available. 🙂

    • Oh yeah, katy! She’s a pistol, too.

      I’m so glad I met you both that summer. It certainly was a highlight.

  85. Think Palin has had her very own Waterloo, even David Letterman is playing her refutiate comment.

  86. Because the air stays out, the box will last. Unlike a bottle, even with a vacuum pump (unless you’ve got one of those expensive nitrogen replacement systems), the box will hold its flavor for a good long while. (The whites evidently for quite a bit longer than the reds.)

  87. Re: FB,

    Yeah, I signed on mostly because it was the only effective way of communicating with my sister while dealing with my father’s and aunt’s medical issues. Then found a bunch of folks from my grad student days at C’dale, so I stuck with it and now actually find it interesting.

    I still refuse to run any of their applications (“Please sign this waiver so we can pillage all of your private information not only online, but on your hard drive as well. Please sign over the password to your email account because, after all, what could possibly go wrong.”)

    The only people I “friend” are one’s I conclusively recognize as people I actually know.

    Meanwhile, there is always this:

  88. Done.

    Recognized the contact URL, figured the time frame was too improbable for someone to have hacked both here and there. (But seriously, that is the kind of thing I calculate … )

    (God, it is nice to have a spacebar again … )

  89. Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
    In the forest of the night,
    What immortal hand or eye
    Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

    In what distant deeps or skies
    Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
    On what wings dare he aspire?
    What the hand dare seize the fire?

    And what shoulder and what art
    Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
    And, when thy heart began to beat,
    What dread hand and what dread feet?

    What the hammer? What the chain?
    In what furnace was thy brain?
    What the anvil? What dread grasp
    Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

    When the stars threw down their spears,
    And water’d heaven with their tears,
    Did He smile His work to see?
    Did He who made the lamb make thee?

    Tiger! Tiger! burning bright
    In the forests of the night,
    What immortal hand or eye
    Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

    — William Blake (1757-1827)

  90. We had fun. When you settle somewhere permanently we’ll come visit you. Make it somewhere nice. Hawaii is good. 🙂

  91. The tuxedo cat — Groucho — is actually a feral who was born under my trailer when I was a grad student at SIU, and walked inside one day (as I was nominally walking out) when she was a 10-week+ kitten and decided to stay.

    Nominally, such a cat will be completely untamable. And it is true that Groucho disappears the instant another human being appears upon my door step. She does not like “people,” so my best guess is that she decided I was just a funny looking cat. I am not prepared to dispute her judgment. In any case, with me she is quite the attention hog.

  92. Anyone know who got deleted on the Lamar Smith Impeach thread at TP?

    682 comments but only
    670 responses

    Did a troll/nematode actually get flushed?

  93. A mere curiosity, lass.

    Your adventure west sounds like a grand journey – getting to see some great sights.

    Continued safe travels, lass!

  94. Umm… Hi 🙂

    Late again, as usual.

    Something to be aware of…
    Over 70,000 Blogs Mysteriously Shut Down
    I excerpt:
    “But less attention has been given to another blog blackout–this time in the US: As CNET reports, some 73,000 blogs hosted by WordPress blogging platform Blogetery.com, were shut down last week by BurstNet , Blogetery’s web hosting company.”

    Good thing the Zoo is not one of them.

  95. ebb,
    I don’t know. But I did report two ad spamers…

    Was the header followed by the post #, entire post and time stamp.

  96. Evening Max-1,

    Yeah, that’s what I do for the martha troll – but I see she’s still present on the blog.

    Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! on that link to the Huff Po article –

    “by request of law enforcement officials, due to material hosted on the server.”

    “Please note that this was not a typical case, in which suspension and notification would be the norm. This was a critical matter brought to our attention by law enforcement officials. We had to immediately remove the server,” BurstNet

    Max, what do make of this mess?
    70,000 – for what reason?
    This smells rancid – what’s the government up to?

  97. HOME

    We are living in exceptional times. Scientists tell us that we have 10 years to change the way we live, avert the depletion of natural resources and the catastrophic evolution of the Earth’s climate.

    The stakes are high for us and our children. Everyone should take part in the effort, and HOME has been conceived to take a message of mobilization out to every human being.

    For this purpose, HOME needs to be free. A patron, the PPR Group, made this possible. EuropaCorp, the distributor, also pledged not to make any profit because Home is a non-profit film.

    HOME has been made for you : share it! And act for the planet.

  98. ebb,
    I have no clue. The web host was the issue. They refused to comply to prior orders to clean up. Me thinks it was pron related with a lot of innocent blogs getting yanked down with the web host.

  99. Porn generally is not ‘asked’ to be taken down – usually yanked (no pun intended) after an investigation.
    The ‘authorities’ usually broadcast the culprits have been apprehended.
    There was a ‘raid’ over the weekend here in my area – the news even showed the mug shots – these scum were rounded up for child porn. Computers seized, etc.
    I know blogs are different – but this secrecy of the shut downs just seems odd.

    Anyway, nice to read you!

Comments are closed.