March 25, 2011

This most inconsolable of sorrows

Bounce at the cabin, looking for the bobcat. August 2009.

She's gone. My good girl, best, dearest, friendliest, happiest, smartest, kindest. She had the biggest and most joyful personality. All heart. All good.

Found out last fall that she would not, in fact, live forever, but I kept hoping. It's impossible that she's gone. Dear, brave, noble to the end.

Went to the shelter later, looked at the run where I first saw her 13 years ago. Everyone who knew her, loved her.

I can't believe she's gone.

I hope to heaven Julie Zickefoose can forgive me for repeating this, since it comes from a post honoring the memory of a human loved one, but I'll say it anyway: "Death is undone by love." I love you, Bounce.

March 22, 2011

Seismology quote o' the day

The San Andreas Fault runs through Cajon Pass [lower left to upper right] in Southern California. See Lost Lake in the middle of the photo? Good place to bird — I saw a Purple Martin there last year. Photo by cocoi_m on Flickr.

A most excellent comment from geologist [specializing in tectonics] and science blogger Chris Rowan, on Twitter:
Anyone using the word 'overdue' automatically forfeits their right to be taken seriously.

Chris tells it: How to (and how not to) talk about earthquake hazards in the media. USGS seismologist Susan Hough, A+! Newsweek and "journalist" Simon Winchester, F- and dunce caps all around.

H/T: Ed Yong on Twitter.

March 17, 2011

Nature, you so scary

"Vladimir! Put the !@$*!! camera down and get this thing off me!"

This lucky shot of an unlucky videographer [I've messed with the quality - follow link to the original] was taken by Vladimir Zaikin of Kazakhstan, and is posted on his photography blog here, in a post with other shots of raptors and their handlers. Mr. Z has some impressive landscape photos as well [and some NSFW shots elsewhere in the blog, FYI]. The photo above did some viral rounds a year or so ago, but never, as far as I can tell, with any kind of attribution. Thank you, TinEye and Google Language Tools.

March 14, 2011

Fear not, till Birnam Wood do come to Dunsinane

A couple videos of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and what you can do to help:

Reclaimed land and liquefaction: Californians will feel a chill.

This is one of the most hair-raising videos I think I've ever seen. The sight of the roofs moving in the smoke and dust...

Gracious my lord,
I should report that which I say I saw,
But know not how to do it.

Well, say, sir.

As I did stand my watch upon the hill,
I look'd toward Birnam, and anon, methought,
The Wood began to move.

************* has an excellent round up of "many options for online donations, as well as sites that will help you keep tabs on the rescue effort." I recommend California's own International Medical Corps: "The group said it will focus its efforts on earthquake and tsunami affected communities that have not yet been reached. To donate, text MED to 80888."

Our hearts are with Japan.

ETA: Satellite before/after shots at the NY Times here.

March 5, 2011

Quote of the week

From Language Log:
I am sure I have said this before, but here I am saying it again, for the Guardian's editors to hear: you just cannot exaggerate the stupidity of the brigade of morons who carry on the "things they don't have words for" trope. (I should add that I hope it's stupidity. It may be worse than that: mere bullshit, written by sophisticated people who know they haven't looked for the relevant facts but couldn't care less.

Here, for good measure, is Language Log's 'No word for X' archive. Awesomesauce.

H/T, again: the most excellent and essential Ed "No one puts baby in a cohort!" Yong. I am so stealing for a tag line his "Nature! Hell yeah!" aside.

Well written

Jessa Gamble had a close and unforgettable encounter along a frozen lake in Canada’s Northwest Territories: read A Dead World at Sunset over at the science blog The Last Word On Nothing.

H/T: the most excellent and awesome science journalist Ed Yong, whose most excellent, awesome and totally addictive blog is essential reading in these parts.