Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Badgers and Bees

Yesterday I was digging a tunnel, so I pretended to be a badger. I also pretended to be a worm and a backhoe, but I found that being a badger was by far the most fun. Badgers are rather creepy looking animals, but extremely cool nonetheless.

I'm not sure if I would call this guy cute, but he's definitely interesting to look at.

On the other hand, check out this one:

Rather a nasty looking fellow, if I do say so myself. On the completely opposite hand, or my third hand, if you will, check out this video:

Those are much cuter badgers than the real ones. Anyway, pretending to be a badger was fun. I got be nocturnal, I got to hunt with coyotes, I got to eat grubs and small amphibians, and I got to run 16 miles per hour! It is also interesting to note that it is illegal to badger badgers in the UK.

The only thing I don't really like about badgers is that they eat bees. I happen to be rather fond of bees in general, as they are cute and mostly harmless insects (well, honey and bumblebees at any rate). Badgers have a tendency to dig up bees nests in the ground, or climb into trees to root around in a hive for the honey. They don't just like honey, though, they also like to eat bees. I hope the badgers stay away from Dad's beeyard. Or else the badger will see the same unfortunate demise as the bear did, that is, it will get a nice electrical shock from the fence protecting the bees. 

That said, if you have any tunnels that need to be dug, I would love to help.
Next time, maybe I'll pretend to be a centipede. Or a mole--then I could be blind! Or a gopher! Or a meercat! Or a weasel... or a wild guinea pig!

...or a rabbit... or a groundhog... or a vole... or a chipmunk... or a skunk... or a raccoon... or a squirrel... or a woodchuck... or a shrew... or a rat... or a fox! ... or a mud bee! 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Gaheris the Turtle

This is my turtle:

His name is Gaheris (after a knight of the round table, Arthur's nephew and Gawain's brother), and he is is an Eastern Painted Turtle. I rescued Gaheris from the malevolent schemes of an SUV, who tried desperately to squash Gaheris into the saddest lump you've ever seen. All I can say, is that somewhere a butterfly must have flapped its wings one time too many.

Today, however, I realized it was time to let him go. So, together, Goblin and I took the long journey to deposit him back into the wild. Now, he is free, and the universe is right again.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What Kind of Book Are You Looking For?

What kind of book are you looking for? There are millions of them, some less tantalizing, others more so--but sometimes you just can't find what you want. Here are five books, in five different genres, that I enjoyed.

Do you like fantasy? Do you like swords and sorcery? Are you tired of happy fantasy, where everyone lives and good always triumphs? Are you looking for something dark and mysterious, but with all of the imagination and captivating detail of any good fantasy novel? Try Christopher Kellen's newest novel Legacy, the second in a three part trilogy about a dying world and the desperate efforts of five heroes to save it from the rotting torments of death. Of course, you might just want to start at the beginning, so check out Elegy too!

Do you like plays? Do you like social satire? Do you like British Humor? Do you like classic literature? Try Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, a hilarious story about a gentleman who pretends to have an ill cousin in order to avoid unfavourable social events. And if you click here you can get it for free!

Do you like adventure? Do you like King Arthur? Do you like a world of knights and kings and the fight of good versus evil? Do you like a little humor and romance mixed in (but not too much because it might make you gag)? Try Gerald Morris' The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf. A young princess travels to King Arthur's court to find a knight to rescue her castle from the siege of an untoward knight. Along the way there (and back) she learns about what love, life, and knighthood are all about.

Do you like princesses? Perhaps the rather typical "princess discovers birthright, princess marries prince" or "girl is poor, girl marries prince" story lines are getting a bit old. Try Kate Coombs' The Runaway Princess, in which the main character, Margaret, discovers that her father is holding a contest for all the princes to come rid the kingdom of the dragon, the witch and the bandits,. The prize for winning is Margaret herself. She gets locked in a tower but escapes in an act of definance, and sets off on a mission to rescue the dragon, the witch, and the bandits from the evil princes.

Do you like science fiction? Do you want something a little weird and hard to digest? Do want a book that might have a happy ending or might have a sad ending depending on your perspective on the world? Try Greg Bear's Blood Music. An angry scientist, cleaning out is laboratory after being fired, injects a strain of intelligent bacteria into his blood stream and watches as the world around him (and the world within him) begins to change.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Why We Should Go to Space, Part 2

Recently, there have been a few things to inspire me. One is this little girl, speaking on behalf of the future to the UN:

The second thing was this quote by President Obama. He said this in 2009:

“Reaffirming and strengthening America’s role as the world’s engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation is essential to meeting the challenges of this century."

So my thought is this: let's reaffirm and strengthen America's role as the world's engine of scientific discovery and technological innovation by going to space as much and as often as we can. Let's go to the moon--we did it once, we can do it again (maybe this time we'll find the giant metal aliens that like to pretend to be cars). Let's land on an asteroid and pick up some platinum or palladium or some element we've never seen before. Let's go to Mars and set up a place to live (and hopefully not get infected by an intelligent water virus). Let's go to another planet and find life--micro or macroscopic--let's find that the universe, which seems so huge and empty, is actually teeming with life and possibilities.

And in the meantime, let's find a way to take care of our beautiful Earth.

Pinwheel Galaxy, NASA: