Thursday, May 31, 2007

EEEEEK! Cicadas............

I dread it! I did not know about this 17 year cycle with the cicadas. I remember a bad summer several years back, but it wasn't 17 years! A certain amount of the noisy creatures is expected but I hate it when they are so loud you have to yell to make yourself heard out of doors.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

call me crazy.....

....but I still love Vin Diesel.
And, much to my delight, Cinematical tells me he has a new movie coming out soon, Babylon A.D.!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Inhibition of Return ? ? ?

Never heard of it...until today that is. Apparently we all have, to some degree, a visual perception deficiency where we do well at noticing new objects but experience a lagtime if a second object appears near the I wonder if thats why I never notice the typos in my posts until after they're published :) The same goes for my papers for class too...go figure....


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

anybody have a valium?.....zanex?....anybody?....Bueller?...

There are about 60 flirting, self-entitled teenagers yelling, fighting, etc in my department. Now, before you rush to pigeon-hole me into the stereotypical, sensibly shod librarian I would remind you that I find conformity's the rudeness and disrespect that bothers me. I watch them run when we ask them not to, I watch as they proceed to smash into old Mr. A as he toddles out from the stacks to head towards the elevator, maybe knock a little kid down the stairs in their headlong rush to be moronic. Make yourself look stupid if you want to but don't kill anyone else in the process!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Super Weapons!

'nuf said...

Oh No Mr. Bill ! ! !

eeeek! 10 animals that may be extinct in the next 10 years (according to a Scientific American article)
Iberian Lynx
Today, its numbers have dwindled to some 120 individuals divided between small populations in Spain's Andalusia region.
Sumatran Orangutan
There are no more than 7,500 Sumatran orangutans left in the world, and they are declining at a rate of roughly 1,000 per year.
Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat (maybe a different name would help?)
A mere 100 individuals survive in a small, protected area in Queensland.
Wild Bactrian Camel
Although the camel survived a 45-year period of nuclear testing in China's Gashun Gobi, it may not be able to withstand current pressures, which include mining, hunting, wolf predation, industrial development and genetic mixing with domestic camels.
Dama Gazelle
Populations of no more than 100 are sprinkled throughout north Africa—in Chad, Niger and Mali.
Seychelles Sheath-Tailed Bat
There may be only 50 to 100 of these furry flying mammals left on the planet.
Chinese Alligator
This secretive mini-alligator, which rarely grows longer than two meters or heavier than 40 kilograms, dwells in the wetlands of the lower reaches of the Yangtze—the same river that sheltered the rare and probably now extinct Chinese river dolphin.
Black Rhinoceros
Their horns are highly valued for use as ornaments and for their "medicinal" properties, even though they are simply made of keratin, the same protein found in fingernails and hair.
Pied Tamarin
Often called the "bare-faced tamarin" for its hairless face and ears, the pied tamarin inhabits only a small area of land surrounding Manaus, a city of two million in northwestern Brazil.
Leatherback Turtle
Leatherbacks are the largest of all sea turtles, measuring as long as eight feet and weighing as much as 2,000 pounds.

Get a good look at them for they'll no doubt be extinct before long.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Holley's House - The Science Edition ! ! !

What is it about the deep ocean that is so alluring? There's no light, no air, creatures straight out of Marilyn Manson's worst nightmares, and hey, let's not forget the volcanic vents. I like hottubs, but 750 degree (Fahrenheit) water is a bit much yet it doesn't prevent life from thriving there. One of my favorite books, Meg, is a scary look at what might live in such places and what could happen if those scary things (like your average 60 foot great white shark ancestor) escaped from the abyss. Isn't "abyss" a great word? The movie is one of my favorites as well. My RSS feed for Seed Magazine yielded an article several days ago on this very topic. It isn't a very long article, but I'm just fascinated with the whole subject so it was good reading for me!


In other news, the Hubble Space Telescope has a predecesor, The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Not real catchy name, but with its 2013 deployment researchers are hoping to see what no one (we suppose) has ever seen before:

"While Hubble was able to peer back to one billion years after the Big Bang, officials said the new telescope, with mirrors that will capture six times more light than its predecessor, will look even further into the origins of the universe—by seeing light emitted from even more distant objects that has taken hundreds of millions of years to travel this far."

I just didn't realize that Hubble had been snapping away up there for 17 years. If you haven't seen some of the great images the old rattletrap has been beaming back, you really should enlighten yourself. The Eagle Nebula is one of my absolute favorites... They will have to go up and make some repairs for Hubble to last until 2013; in its current condition it would break down by 2009.


My friend P was telling me that one of the only things she had misgivings about as far as parenting goes was a detachment with nature. It is pretty tough to develop an appreciation of nature when there is very little of it to go around, when you have no sidewalks to walk along or ride a bike on, etc. We have various stateparks in and around the Birmingham area, but you have to have time to go, time to enjoy yourself while you're there, just plain time which seems so hard to eek out nowadays with work schedules and, for parents, homework, sports, clubs, friends, and the virtual aspects of life that seem to be taking over reality.

Along that vein, if you can't get out to nature, let nature come in to you! The new extravagant Planet Earth series is just the vehicle for places little-known and virtually unexplored. The music, cinematography, and narration (go Sigourney Weaver!) combine for a visual tour-de-force (sp?) that makes you really want to travel around the world. Unfortunately many of these places are virtually inaccessible or the weather varies between deadly extremes so outside the boundaries of human comfort that it boggles the mind. I believe the episodes of this 11-part series are still airing on the Discovery Channel, but the DVD set will be well worth the money when it becomes available for public consumption.

Thanks for exploring the scientific world with me this afternoon! Hope you weren't bored. If you were, as usual, piss off :)


Wi-Fi woes

we have the craPst wireless network known to mankind! No one knows what the problem is and the people we pay to know what the problem is say they don't know. I think we should just call the Geek least their commercials are funny. I just hate sitting here with my nametag on saying, "I'm sorry, I can't help you with that. I also cannot fix anything and our tech people don't know what's wrong and don't plan to do anything about it either. Have a nice day! Bubye now." YET (and do please inject as much sarcasm into that word as you can cram in with a clean conscience) we have to advertise how great and wonderful it is that we have a wireless network. I always feel like the biggest moron when I have to do that because I'd rather put up a sign that says, "Our computers are down today but you're in luck, we do have a wireless network! You won't be able to use that either but please come in, try it, and get pissed off when it doesn't work then yell at the staff who have absolutely nothing to do with how such things work. We live to serve!" But I'm not bitter.....



Sunday, May 20, 2007

covered in candy and ready for my margarita!

We just finished the Summer Reading Kickoff here at EOL with 4 hours of chaos and fun. I worked a registration table this year and we did brisk business from 1 until after 3, then it was time to take down stuff and pull trash. The teen sign up table had a dispenser set up for Pucker Powder, which is just what it sounds like...sour powder the you put in a tube and eat (similar to pixie sticks). It comes in about 7-8 different color and is much finer than sand. As things were winding down, they started allowing some of the younger kids to use the dispenser just to use up the rest of the powder and it was like a freakin' school of piranha! I feared for my life! They were knocking bottles out and powder was going everywhere, thus I have sour candy powder in my nose (and I know that because it's stinging in there...nothing like purple snot to round out the day!), in my socks....hell, there's even some in my bra! It was like flour when things really started getting out of hand. I wouldn't be surprised if it's in my hair and ears.

Now we are required at La Paz for a celebratory drink but I'm starving so I'll be getting dinner as well. I'll need to in order to avoid getting absolutely tanked on a few 'ritas...I've become such a cheap date as I've gotten older :)


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

still laughing....

talent and a wicked sense of humor are genius when favorite site:

This is just a taste...



Monday, May 14, 2007

the creature stirs....

Now I know what the creature from the black lagoon feels like and let me tell you...the little guy gets a bad rap! All it needed was some freakin' sleep and it would have rescued kittens from trees and helped old ladies cross the street. I have class again this weekend and then interim will be over (if I don't die first). Here I am, off the clock, sitting at my desk in the ol' biblioteca doing homework. Okay, I'm blogging right now, but I've been doing homework since six o'clock and now I've got to drive an hour home...yada, yada, yada....I know, quitcha bichin'.....

Tomorrow is my morning off and guess what, no more swishing with the stuff from Hell! I get the plaque and staining cleaned off tomorrow and get to throw the rest of that godforsaken bottle away! I may soak my teeth in coffee all day tomorrow just to celebrate!

We are fully into the Summer Reading madness here at EOL and my goal is to remain semi-sane. No sense in making promises I can't keep :) We are turning one of the desks up here into the Mystery Machine, I'll have to take a pic so the world can worship our genius. T's done all the hard work, I just have to help with assembly. We debated over whether or not the teens would think it was lame, but I love it so those that don't bad scooby snacks!

Alright, that's enough blathering for tonight. I'm heading home to thoroughly examine the insides of my eyelids.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

got the link fixed.... Kenny's Korner! Thanks to my friends who pointed out that it wasn't working. I have no idea where I got the underscore from...just seemed like it should have one :)

Everyone bail on! there's a great, resonant pic up today...maybe that will be my next tattoo, still researching and getting ideas at this stage though. I'll have to wait till fall 'cause I don't want to interfere with all the swimming I have planned. For me, tattoos are a winter sport :)

Volcanic Slideshow

I'm just loving the Seed Magazine feed's Daily Zeitgeist feature! Today there was a link to a slideshow of 24 pictures and accompanying audio for each slide from a photographer, Djuna Ivereigh, documenting the eruption cycle of Mt. Merapi in Java, Indonesia. Check it out!

On a similar note, mark your calendars for October 14, 2007! That's when the Pompeii exhibit opens at the Birmingham Museum of Art!


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Beware the Irritated Librarian

Thanks for the find S!

Enjoy and remember....we're watching...



Tracking Multiple Objects

The daily stuff from the Seed magazine feed usually contains at least one thing I, as a scientific non-entity, can understand and enjoy. Today it was the cognitive ability to track multiple objects. One of the scientists notes:

"Most adults can, with a little practice, track four out of ten randomly moving objects for ten seconds -- they fall apart when there are more than four objects to track or more than ten total objects (the "most difficult" trial features four objects to track and twelve total)."

The University of Guelph website has a Multiple Object Tracking Demo that is sure to hurt the pride. I aced the easy and normal but bombed the difficult humiliating for my ego. I was sure I had those little b*%^$#d's nailed but it just didn't happen. First go around I got 1 out of 4, second 3 out of 4...I am too much of a sore loser to have gone for a third try (it would not have been a charm, shut up)


Friday, May 4, 2007

"Pure Reason is a Disease"

I just read this great article from The Boston Globe about the correllation between our feelings and our thoughts. Scientific research is now beginning to suggest that the brain cannot properly carry out its cognitive functions without emotions to go with them.

In 2004, Harvard psychologist Joshua Greene used brain imaging to
demonstrate that our emotions play an essential role in ordinary moral
decision-making. Whenever we contemplate hurting someone else, our brain
automatically generates a negative emotion. This visceral signal discourages
violence. Greene's data builds on evidence suggesting that psychopaths suffer
from a severe emotional disorder -- that they can't think properly because they
can't feel properly. "This lack of emotion is what causes the dangerous
behavior," said James Blair, a cognitive psychologist at the National Institute
of Mental Health.

This makes me reflect on all the problems I've been having these last couple of years...the whole time I've been in grad school actually. I have not traditionally been an overly emotional person so this whole depression thing has knocked me for a loop. To feel this way and be unable to do anything about it has been a very humbling experience. On top of the depression, I'm ashamed of being depressed...what is that called? Is there even a name for it? The harder I tried to feel better, the more miserably I failed, the worse I felt, talk about your vicious cycles. I don't like having to take the antidepressants, but I'm terrified of not taking them. Is this the new me? (Please, no) Will I be able to stop taking them after I get out of school and settle into some sense of normalcy? (Please, yes) I would love to be off of them by the end of the year but again, what if I can't? What if I'm forever unable to control my own emotions?

These are the questions that keep me up at night and are completely unnecessary because it doesn't matter. I won't be able to change anything if it turns out that this is my new persona. I'll just have to live with it and adjust like everyone else, but I don't have to like it. I liked being the steady oak, not the brittle, trembling leaf at the mercy of life's breezes that I've come to be. I guess that's what it comes down to...I don't like myself anymore. I love my job and I have great friends, but I don't like myself. I'd really love to know just exactly what is going on in my brain (chemically, hormonally, anything else-ally) to cause this. How is what I'm thinking affecting what I'm feeling? That is what caught my interest about this article I found. The author of the article, Jonah Lehrer, has a book coming out in November so I put in an order card for the library. Proust Was a Neuroscientist is a great title and the cover is unusual

What does a madeleine have to do with anything and how many people know what one is?
I love the quirkiness of that image :)


Thursday, May 3, 2007

one of my new fav websites


it doesn't stand for anything and has no hidden's just randomly chosen letters and I found it through my RSS feed for Seed magazine, a science publication. Here are some of my favorites so far:

There are archives on the website, so check em' out if you're interested and piss off if you're not :)


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The last...hopefully

I had scaling and root planing done on the left side today so HOPEFULLY that will be the last time I'll have to endure that loveliness and I can get this periodontal crap behind me.
Please let me be some kind of poster child for dental hygiene. Go to the dentist, he/she is your friend. Don't take a seven year hiatus during college because you don't have the money but you still buy pies from Milo's, doughnuts from Krispy Kreme, and assorted candies from every gas station between Montevallo and Gardendale yet you neglect to floss, don't brush before bed sometimes because you're too tired, yada, yada, yada, blah, blah, blah, wah, wah, wah ,wah, wah, wah, etc.
So kiddies, brush, floss, use a toothpick, use Listerine, see your dentist, get dental insurance just in case...take care of your teeth before they take care of you (or your pocketbook).

faces only a mother could love...

check out these photos of some of the crazy things living in our oceans. not that these creatures could get me, but yet another group of examples of why I don't like swimming in the ocean. We are not at the top of the food chain there, get over it. you want to go swimming at dusk? then don't bitch when a shark attacks you, moron!