Entries from blogs tagged with “A Poetic License”

BEGIN AGAIN: 150 KANSAS POEMS book winners: Holiday Haiku, Loku, KUku, Politiku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme

Yeah, yeah! I know this is two weeks late, but I have the list of winning poets in hand!

First Place goes to:

rockchalker52: congratulations, rock! you win for amount of entrees, bantering within poems and sheer enthusiasm.

jay_lo: in particular for the poem beginning....cup them, the children's......, and for your good sportsmanship, ability to rhyme and humor.

cait48: "The Wild Hunt" is hauntingly beautiful and I will read it again and again.

autie: humor always works for me.

DustyAcres: this is Kansas after all!

riverdrifter: for his astute eye for beauty and his love of Kansas.

ShePrecedes: because I fear I'll be struck by lightning otherwise! (just kidding)

roe: for his support in all poetic endeavors, good nature and his blogs in general.

Ron Holzworth: for writing poetry when he's told me he does not and can not. You outdid yourself, Ron!

lonelane_1: so she won't be lonely through the upcoming snow and ice filled nights.

A special thanks to my friend and fellow poet, Lee Mick, for his help in deciding on the winning poet. Rock is our winner, but Jay_lo came in a very, very close second.

Lee has a poem in BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas POEMS, "Having a Ball" as well as several poems in TallGrass Voices.

To receive your copy, please contact me through the ljworld.com site and we'll work out arrangements. Thank you for playing!


Your Favorite comment thread of 2011 was … ?

Hello--I did a blog like this last year, and people liked it so I thought I'd ask fellow posters again at the end of this year.

In 2011 we've lost some familiar posters, and others seem to be back with a new name or three.

Sven joined us, actually using his own name for a change, last spring. And ... he promptly got himself TOSsed off when he came in last place that April election day. (Sven Alstrom, city commission candidate and well known ljworld poster under a dozen or more names.)

Now we're under new management. Knology owns this space. We have lost Jonathan Kealing, and his sidekick Witney. As of now, Alex Parker is in control here (Alexander Haig ref).

Which thread was the funniest?

Which one was your favorite? Your funniest choice might be different from your favorite thread choice. Perhaps a thread moved you to tears or anger?

When you identify threads, please include links to them.

*and for those who have followed my postings for lo these nearly six years, I am soon posting a blog on 'how I spent my summer vacation' or, how I nearly died and some other stuff.' I'm especially looking forward to this 'best of 2011 threads,' because I missed many weeks online this year.

Enjoy ... oops, saying that, according to one very angry poster, means I'm an ITG (internet tough guy), though until she told me, I didn't know what ITG stood for, so I guess I'm thus disqualified from ITGship. lol


Merry Christmas, fellow poster

Merry Christmas, and may god bless us all, every one.

I hope this day is good for you and that you get what you wish for as one or more gifts.

If you care to answer, please post here just what was your best gift or experience for today, Christmas 2011.


Holiday Haiku, Loku, KUku, Politiku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme - just make it seasonal

Tis the season to embrace them all - people, cultures and religions that is.

Allow your loving, forgiving hearts and minds the ability to extend over space and time.

Stretch your belief system, drop tradition and wrap your mind around the endless possibilities of poetry.

Today's poetry blog will encompass whatever form your words and thoughts want to take.

So be it Haiku, Loku, KUku, Felisku, free verse or rhyme, all is fine - just make it seasonal. I will pick twelve winning entries (with a little help from my friends), to post in an online blog 12-26-2011.

Viewers may then cast a vote for whom they think should win. (I'm sorry, but there can only be one winner. You may post as many poems as you wish) The winner receives an autographed copy of BEGIN AGAIN: 150 Kansas Poems (edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and published by Woodley Press).

Have fun! Safe travels this holiday season. Ku ku ka jube!


Haiku: (remember the first line is traditionally five syllables, the second line is seven syllables and the third line is five syllables)

Winter solstice bliss

Say goodbye - a final kiss

Stark lunar eclipse

Loku: a poetic form made up of three mono syllable words: the first two words are separated from the third word by a comma. Each line is complete, but additional lines can be used for a more complex story.

Snow comes, white

House full, friends

Sit round, eat

Join hands, pray

Tree bright, lights

Red nose, deer

Stops roof, gifts

Man suit, fat

Friends leave, belch

Shows on, snooze

Night cap, booze

Next day, cruise!


Gill is gone,

Weis now further west

I hear he's best anyway

What else do I hear

From up on the hill?

Raises for staff - nil

More work, less pay

Makes those who stay

Swallow pride, a bitter pill

Those who can, retire

Others left to inquire

Why? It's just not fair

With increased cost of living

All the knowledge and sweat

They give and share.

Have fun! I'll stop by to insert my own poems from time to time as well as read and enjoy yours. The contest ends Christmas Eve at midnight!


BEGIN AGAIN:150 KANSAS POEMS reading scheduled Tuesday, December 13th, The Jewish Community Center, 7 p.m.

Kansas Poet Laureate Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg will present approximately twenty four poets from around Kansas to launch the anthology BEGIN AGAIN: 150 KANSAS POEMS at 7 p.m. this coming Tuesday at the Lawrence Jewish Community Center located at 917 Highland.

The anthology, edited by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg and published by Woodley Press, features the work of over 90 writers, including the poems published on www.150KansasPoems.wordpress.com, a website Mirriam-Goldberg developed to celebrate Kansas' 150th anniversary of statehood.

Readings are being held throughout the state from Garden City and Ulysses to Leavenworth (Saturday, December 10th, at The Book Barn, 410 Delaware St., 1 - 3 p.m.), to Topeka (Sunday, December 11th, Topeka Library, 1515 SW 10th Ave., 3 - 5 p.m.), to Lecompton (Saturday, December 17th, at the Territorial Capital and Lane University, 1 - 3 p.m.).

The Lawrence reading promises to be one of the largest and will conclude with a signing party and reception. The anthology of 150 Kansas poems can be purchased at The Raven Bookstore, 6 E 7th St., Lawrence, KS 66044.

The readings will conclude for 2011 on December 30th, The Percolator, 913 Rd. Island, Lawrence, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

The anthology, which sells for fifteen dollars, makes a terrific gift for anyone who lives in Kansas, has lived in Kansas, has a Kansas connection, appreciates nature and the diversity of the human experience, or any connoisseur of poetry.


This Is Better Than That

"Whatever gets you through your life 'salright, 'salright, Do it wrong or do it right 'salright, 'salright, "

John Lennon's lyrics to "Whatever Gets You Through the Night.", have played through my head numerous times over the years, too numerous to mention.

Most of you reading this blog have at one time or another been in extreme pain, and whether that pain was physical, mental, or spiritual, more than likely you have had many opportunities to feel the effects of how life changing and challenging pain can be.

Pain over the sudden loss of a loved one, news that someone you know and love has a terminal illness, or receiving a negative diagnose of a personal nature is indeed life changing.

Whether it is depression that is getting you down, temporary blues over the loss of a job, a physical ailment, or something more permanent, I hope you'll give the technique I"m talking about a chance to change your attitude by focusing in a more positive manner.

I didn't invent, "This is Better Than That", I don't even remember what it was called when I first heard about it, but the idea is that you begin each day with a mental list that you keep track of to compare what you have done as to being better than anything else that you experienced in the day.

Example: I wake up in excruciating pain, I turn over and the pain is slightly less. I say to myself, "This is better than that".

Next I get out of bed and I feel the cool, smooth floor underneath my feet and I ask, "Is this better than the decreased pain of my earlier movement?"

If it is then it goes to the top of my list. Next item may be something as simple (and endearing) as seeing my child's smile and noticing he/she is missing a front tooth - this immediately goes to the top of my list.

The idea is that if we concentrate on always looking for the next best thing to put on the top of our list. we tend not to focus on the negative things; they are ignored or not as noticeable since they are not what we are paying attention to for our list

.At the end of the day, as your head touches the pillow and just seconds before you drift off to sleep, spend a minute or two thinking about your list and remember as you go through all of the positive things that occurred in your day which one of them was better than all the rest.

If you have been used to thinking in a negative manner, are seriously depressed over a diagnosis, it might take awhile to retrain your thinking pattern.

You DO have control over how you LOOK at things that are happening, or have happened, in your life even though you may not have control over what actually happens or happened. Take back some of the control by how you choose to look at things and don't forget to ask, "Is this better than that"?

What techniques or tools have you utilized to help you transition through a difficult time period or loss?

We have had numerous losses within our community over the past couple of months - what advice would you give to those people who have lost a loved one to help them make it through their life?


The poets are coming to Lawrence! ‘Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems’ - Sunday, November 6th, Lawrence Public Library

Bowlegged, gray haired women run after tobacco spitting squirts. Some of the children are their own, but form and features are unrecognizable in the blaze of squealing chickens and piglets as all embrace in glee, then quickly pull away, each vying for the best possible view of the poets.

They came! They are coming! Only one child will be chosen to return with them, to be taught how to tap into subconscious and allow memories stored through osmosis to distort, entangle, engulf, and finally, to create!

Millilng peasants and townspeople listen, enraptured, into twilight. Eyes slightly closed, parched beak agape, a scuffled, freshly poisoned magpie flies to the north, so frightful and uncommon this scene.

By sunrise, the poetesses gather their dust laden skirts around their shoulders, a few elderly poets taking off dress jackets to assist in providing warmth to a favorite.

No sooner has it begun, and it has ended. Adults come awake in the reality of everyday survival. With renewed energy and appreciation of words to grasp onto until the next visit, mother and child once again recognize each other and make their way home.

All except one. It is days before anyone realizes I'm a chosen one. I'm carried away among the shuffling, sandaled feet of the poets and into a way of life I have no means of comprehending. One day I too shall return, and I will bring words.

This, unfortunately, was not my childhood reality, but for many children, teens and adults over the next several months, it will be.

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, poet laureate of Kansas, has chosen 150 poems representing Kansas in Woodley Press release, 'Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems'.

Caryn, and a variety of poets, kick off a twenty city reading tour Thursday, November 3rd, in Wichita - Eight Day Books, 2838 E. Douglas.

Twenty-six poets who made the cut will be reading (The Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., large auditorium), Sunday, November 6th, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.

All readings are free and open to the public. Additional information about readings may be found at: 150kansaspoem.wordpress.com/readings/

The poets ARE coming. Allow them to carry you away........


Just a sample from New york’s CBS affiliate’s website—on Occupy Wall Street

I think "the natives are getting restless!" here's a sample of comments from the New York City CBS affiliate's website RE Occupy Wall Street and the record breaking [act of God] snowfall[apologies for the formatting]:

"BBONE I hope they all get the flu and expire. October 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm | |
greg they were counting on global warming. October 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm | |
abbeyconway Good one!! oops, now its global cooling….but of course, all man made, er man, woman and transgender made. October 30, 2011 at 5:49 pm | |
carl6352 this is so funny. the first time it has snowed in new york this early right about the time the retards showed up. is mother earth telling them something? i think she is. she’s telling them to go back to the rock they crawled out of and get off the grass. lol instead of let them eat cake i say let them freeze! lol October 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm | |
KTYBOFF Bring on the body bags October 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm | |
Steven Senior Occubaggers are’t[sic] really that bright – mater[sic] of fact pretty darn dim!!!!! HAHA October 30, 2011 at 5:27 pm | |
DawnJ I’d rather give my coats, hats, and gloves to the homeless, not this selfish, irresponsible bunch of brats. October 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm | |
Jim in Houston Maybe they could hock those iPhones and iPads to buy some cots if they are really sincere. October 30, 2011 at 5:31 pm | |
Gene Zucker They’re OWS-souls[sic]! October 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm | |
bumpkin heeheeeheeomigosh! OK. -People! They are TRYING to do something they believe in. Note is has nothing to do with work, uplifting others, or personal accountability, but…”always remember what’s taught is what’s known… the memories of children are written is stone….” (a song) …and, did they get their ideals from their parents? And, did their parents teach them common sense, like when to pull the plug on the ‘bathtub’, and just go home? If they weren’t getting PAID, you KNOW they would be gone. Hey! Maybe they signed a contract that stated if days they leave, they wont get a red cent for all the happy days they spent there- maybe they only get paid MONTHLY for being there! EEEK! October 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm | |
bumpkin heeheeeheeomigosh! OK. -People! They are TRYING to do something they believe in. Note is has nothing to do with work, uplifting others, or personal accountability, but…”always remember what’s taught is what’s known… the memories of children are written is stone….” (a song) …and, did they get their ideals from their parents? And, did their parents teach them common sense, like when to pull the plug on the ‘bathtub’, and just go home? If they weren’t getting PAID, you KNOW they would be gone. Hey! Maybe they signed a contract that stated if they go home early, they wont get paid for the days they leave, they wont get a red cent for all the happy days they spent there- maybe they only get paid MONTHLY for being there! EEEK! (This is what I THOUGHT I was posting… sorry some of it flew into cyberspace, apparently.) Don’t feel sorry for them, but don’t hate them, either. Just avoid their park. Wont be long now till the Mayor builds them a shelter… October 30, 2011 at 5:38 pm | |
Deb Budd With half a million in the bank, why are they asking for donations? Could it be they don’t want to spend their own money but prefer to beg for freebies? This is my surprised face :o October 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm | |
DawnJ Pretty much sums up their entire demonstration. October 30, 2011 at 5:28 pm | |
Sugahdaddy Any good looking hippy chicks can come to my place I’ll keep them warm…but they’ll have to leave with the rest of the trash in the morning. October 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm | |
rightcall Has anyone done an environmental impact study for the short and long term effects these ‘citizens’ are having on the local area? With the weather turning, perhaps some hot tea might be in order? October 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm | |
Temple J Now we break out the water hoses! October 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm | |
blancojoe A large snowplow going right down the middle of the park and then back up will do a nice job of cleaning up the snow and debris. If he misses anything, make several more runs. October 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm | |
Al Right OWS Movement has collected over $500,000 in donations so far, and yet they get angry when the homeless try to eat one of their 5 star chef prepared meals! How about Occupy a Soup Kitchen? Check out more of the stats on OWS at my website. October 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm | |
maggier Call home on your iPhone and ask Mom and Dad for winter stuff. October 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm | |
Robert Marvin Smith The poor pitiful weevils are huddled,( i.e. Occupards) in donated blankets while their cheerleaders, the likes of Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, are basking in the warmth of their 1% manisons[sic]. What a dishonest crock of greedy hypocrites. October 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm | |
D Carter Why doesn’t Soros or some other rich liberal pay for their hotel October 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm | |
Swamp Thing Suck it up, trust fund babies. Snow hurts when your nanny isn’t there to take you in for a hot chocolate after your mittens get wet. October 30, 2011 at 5:24 pm | |
Rayban64 Isn’t it ironic how many things they so desperately need that those evil corporations manufacture? October 30, 2011 at 5:23 pm | |
radsupporter hold firm,, huddle together in groups and shout give us back our electricity, block the roads and demand the return of the generators,,the world has heard the message, the corrupt money based upon a screw and optimize[sic] has harmed billions of lifes[sic] and needs to end.[sick?] October 30, 2011 at 5:22 pm | |
Kingfish Best solution is to light one of the protesters on fire, it should keep the rest of them warm for about an 1/2 maybe longer if they layered their clothing. October 30, 2011 at 5:31 pm | |
What's In a Name? This is really rich, the OWS protestors are asking the homeless for cold weather survial tips, after pitching a fit and turning away the homeless because the OWS cooks were tired of feeding the homeless and the OWS crowd wants only their kind taken care of. October 30, 2011 at 5:22 pm | |
lazy losers Notice how 99% of these kids are white and lazy ?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? October 30, 2011 at 5:20 pm | |
Steven Senior Yea – stupid crazy crakers October 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm | |
vera Racist! October 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm | |
Betty Great, now they’ll all get sick and clog up the already overwhelmed ERs. We’ll have to foot the bill while they get back to their mommies’ basements. October 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm | |
Homeless are better I would rather give $$$ to a homeless begger than to a white , middle-class art major who is lazy and full of himself October 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm | |
Robert Marvin Smith The weevils will soon return to the comfort of Moma’s flour cannister. October 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm | |
AngryDunmer Here’s an idea for the OWS bunch: GO HOME! Seriously you idiots, enough is enough. Why the hell aren’t the cops arresting you morons for trespassing? October 30, 2011 at 5:19 pm | |
whosthis They’re asking for donations of warm clothing, blankets, etc. that at this time of the year would usually be going to the poor and homeless. Of course, they made it clear earlier this week that the homeless were not welcome in their free food lines. Looks like there is a hierarchy of the 99 percent. October 30, 2011 at 5:18 pm | |
Rich Torquato And don’t forget, the organization has $500,000 in an evil bank. October 30, 2011 at 5:23 pm | |
Michael Phillips pick up a shovel and make some money .. or are you too lazy to do that , too October 30, 2011 at 5:18 pm |"


Sweet potato oatmeal breakfast pancakes with a spinach omelet..

When temperatures head south outside, you can find me turning up the heat inside! It's nice to even think about the joys of baking, frying and cooking 'inside' again.

So with the daily race to squeeze as many veggies and fruits into our diets as possible, here is a tasty way to start your day with three of them. (and if you're like me, you can't manage 5 - 6 daily servings let alone 7 - 10!)

Recipe for sweet potato oatmeal pancakes:

2 C old fashioned Quaker oats 3 C skim milk - place both in bowl and refrigerate overnight. Add 3 eggs - or substitute

1/2 c wheat flour

1 cooked and mashed sweet potato or butternut squash

1 1/2 teas. Baking powder

Dash of salt

1 T peanut or olive oil

1 teas. vanilla

1 T cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped pecans

Mix ingredients together and cook on lightly oiled griddle or pan. (makes about 16 - 18 small pancakes)

These are great rolled up with peanut butter spread on them and then dipped into your favorite syrup.

As breakfast sandwiches, you may place an egg, sausage patty, or omelet between two pancakes. We enjoy them with a spinach omelet as yet another means of adding a veggie. Serve with sliced cantaloupe, watermelon, or OJ.

Do you have a favorite way of getting your day started right with fruits and veggies?


A Birthday Poem for Jay_lo

Sing it high, sing it low

Sing it as you tie a bow

Shout it from the tops of trees,

or bubble it from below the seas.

Sing it in unison or all alone,

gather as a group outside his home.

Thank his mother for giving him birth

along with his father from whom he

inherited mirth.

Thank the doctor who cut his cord.

Hold hands and praise the Lord

for giving us an amazing man

who shares his poetry throughout our land.

He makes us smile, he makes us think,

he writes poetry quick as a wink.

He's kind, he's good, he's funny -

If he wasn't married he'd be MY honey!

So now it's time to say the words,

but words alone are for the birds.

For none can ever truly express

his humor, laugher, or tenderness.

A simple, 'Happy Birthday, Jay_lo!'

must suffice, many happy returns, now kiss your wife!


Teach the Controversy!

Should kids learn about Math?

A bit sexist, but the parallels with Kansas and what certain presidential candidates say about science needs no additional comment from me. ;-)


Don’t Kill These Guys!

You may have noticed these large wasps flying around and making burrows in loose soil.


They may look fierce and frightening but they are actually not very aggressive. These are Cicada Killers and the female digs burrows in loose soil and she provisions the nest with cicadas that she paralyzes by stinging them before carrying them to the burrow. It is possible to be stung by these wasps but you have to little put your hand on one to get stung-which is a pretty stupid thing to do. The sting hurts momentarily and the site doesn't seem to swell as a hornet or paper wasp sting does.

How do I know this? Well, guess who was stupid.

At The University of Kansas they used to aggregate around the entrance of Strong Hall - the entrance facing Snow Hall. I haven't checked to see if they are still nesting there.

Here is a pretty good summary of the natural history of these wasps:


You can control them with chemicals but there really doesn't seem any reason to do this from my way of thinking. Supposedly cultural practices like improving your turf in areas where they nest help, but I rather have the wasps myself.

In terms of identification there isn't a whole lot of insects with which you can confuse these wasps. The females are two inches or so long, their burrowing and swarming behavior in areas where you have loose soil is pretty distinctive. Again they are not likely to sting you; in fact I was standing in the middle of a cluster of wasp burrows on the JCCC campus when I took this particular shot. So use some common sense (not like me) and enjoy!


Consider the water lilies in the cool muck…

From Baker Wetlands today. Most critters had more sense than me. These lilies at least looked cool in spite of the 107F temp at the time. What would be the best critter to be on a day like today?


It’s too damn crazy hot!

I remember we had a blazing hot summer the year my cousin decided to come to Lawrence in preparation of attending KU - isn't that the reason we're all here? We had temperatures of 113 degree for a couple of weeks, or was that temperatures over one hundred for thirteen days?

I can't remember; who can the way the sun sizzles my brain and my bare feet when I hot foot it (literally) to the mail box. I'm sure it's an amusing sight, and I'm not sure why I refuse to wear shoes. I guess I just like feeling blisters building on my soles. I mean what's life about if it isn't accompanied by suffering?

And, since we all know how much misery loves company, we're going to share personal experiences and hardships incurred from this heat.


Mad Dogs and…

Biologists? Now that my summer semester is over, I just had to get out yesterday to do some hiking so went over to Prairie Park for a couple of hours. What struck me was how green the prairie area was with no maintenance.

Do you think maybe this is an indication of the sorts of plants we should use around our yards rather than the usual garden store fare?

Here by the way are a couple of shots from my visit.

First up is a hummingbird moth-resting- until I went to take the NEXT shot.

Next a very nice orb weaving spider that was hanging out near the nature center itself.

There was at least one other photographer out-a fellow from Ottawa with his new camera- and I steered him to the spider. Hope his shots came out well and that enjoyed his visit to the park.


Does creativity lend itself to addictions?

We see it again and again in the entertainment industry; a creative genius become famous, begins a cycle of drug and alcohol use and abuse and then they crash and burn.

The question is, does creativity lend itself to substance abuse? Remember it isn't just the entertainment industry that has a corner on creativity. There does seem to be an extremely high percentage of performers who have died from their substance abuse or who are taking a lengthy spiral down a long road to self destruction.

To make this more interesting, name your favorite musician, actor, entertainer who has never been connected to substance abuse.


G+ One week out.

G+ or Google+ is supposed to be Google's answer to Facebook. I have been using G+ for a little over a week now and so far it is a mixed bag. The good is that I can set up different circles for people I know in different contexts. This set of slides you can scroll through explains the concept quite well.

You can set up what ever circles you want and that way separate people you know say from work from those you know at the local bar....of course maybe these are the same people. That way each group gets only those posts that you think they might enjoy. It's really cool.

You can also follow people you don't know, celebrities for instance, no need to friend them. In fact there is no friend button. You can also control whether or not your posts can be shared outside your circle. Another cool feature is that you can set up a video "Hangout" for your friends and you can have a video chat with up to 10 friends simultaneously. Set up is easy- though I have not felt the hankering to actually start a "Hangout". Besides I don't have enough people in my circles to wait around for visitors. But I can see this as a good way to hold virtual office hours for students.

Google is still at the beginning of this experiment and that has led to no little controversy about Google's profile requirements. Google requires you to use your real name when setting up profiles. In fact Google has allegedly been suspending accounts if the name even sounds fake. If you want, you can also on a separate line provide other names you go by. As you might expect, privacy advocates have been upset at Google-there are after all legitimate needs for pseudonymous profiles safety being one.

Here is a good concise discussion of the issue. What astounds me is the blindness of Google executives to the whole issue. Former CEO Eric Schmidt is alleged to have said: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." Of course the fallacy here is that there are plenty of things that either you don't want everyone to know - example medical issues-. Then there are things that you might want everyone to know but not be able to trace the revelation back to you-whistle blower for instance.

At least some people in Google do understand the issue as evidenced by this post in Google's Public Policy Blog. The message seems to be that yes you can be what you want to be but don't expect to be able to use all of Google's products using a pseudonym. This is a tough balancing act for Google as it strives to integrate and rebrand it's diverse products.


Amy Winehouse found dead in N London apartment

News sources are saying that Amy Winehouse was found dead at her Camden apartment in n London. She is 27 years old. Winehouse has had previous difficulties with addiction, but no reports of 'the suspected cause of her death have as yet been released.

It's always difficult to say goodbye to anyone, especially someone as young and gifted as she was.

Please post your favorite song performed by Winehouse along with any tribute you'd like to add.


Summertime Haiku: include the word ‘hot’

Haiku does as many things for the human spirit as there are variations among humans.

Haiku generally speaks to the core of 'the psyche in ways of beauty, love, spirituality, nature, connection with changing seasons, peace, tranquility and harmony. You know, those essentials that balance our hurried and scurrying lives.

So sit back with an ice pack on your forehead or nape of your neck, grab a pitcher of your favorite lime water or sweet tea, put your feet up and transcend to anyplace you think of as cool, even if it's hot or tropical!

Write it in Haiku - the only must? You need to use the word hot at least once.


Serving hot chai

In earthen pots-

The curve of her hips

Note the old standard of five syllables, seven syllables, then five has fallen by the wayside.


Two Guests: One unwelcome; one welcome.

Yesterday while in my backyard with my camera I happened upon a not very welcome visitor to my Purple Cone Flower-a Japanese Beetle.

A not very welcome guest

Back East these are a serious pest of ornamentals but I had not seen them here in Lawrence before. The closest I have seen them is Arkansas-in fact I've blogged about them here: http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dangerous-ideas/2008/aug/08/another-beetle-pest/

Fortunately I have only seen the one so far.

The other visitor is much more welcome. I have been growing fennel in the hopes of getting Black Swallowtails to reproduce in my garden and finally this year got at least one larva.

Black swallowtail larva

And my favorite picture of this "cat:"

Black swallowtail larva 3

Actually I first noticed an adult Black swallowtail visiting my fennel before I found the larva.

Of course what makes part of what makes the Japanese Beetle unwelcome is partly that it is a pest. I suppose too that if I was raising fennel for cooking I might consider the swallowtail a pest as well. Indeed this one larva is probably going to pretty much destroy one of my fennel plants by the time it is grown.

This brings me to an interesting segment on yesterday's Science Friday. The biologists featured in the segment argue that much of our concern about non native species is misplaced and that many of these species are now part of our landscape. You can listen here while you are cooling off with a Gin and Tonic or what ever beverage floats your boat.

While I am on this topic, there is a controversy brewing about wild horse control. The standard view point about wild horses is that they are non native and thus need to be controlled. Of course horse lovers and animal rights people don't agree and some have pointed out that the horse WAS a part of the natural fauna in North America as recently as 11,000 years ago and indeed evolved in the New World. So are they really non native?

Read about that controversy at LiveScience or here at New Scientist-again while you cooling off with your favorite liquid refreshment.