Goose the Blog 2.0

"Oh, ha! Sarcasm: The last refuge of sons of bitches!"


feeling impotent?

by John at 6/28/2007 07:26:00 AM

Feel like you don't have the power to influence the further slide of our society into a slimy morass of hate, fear, stupidity, and greed? Well, you should.

But maybe you can make yourself feel a little better by pretending you can make a difference, and all it takes is a few minutes of work.

Any other ideas?

Update: This is appropriate.

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by John at 6/27/2007 10:17:00 AM

I saw this at the airport last night while I was waiting to pick up Wendy's mom.

Totally insane.



Happy birthday, Elias!

by John at 6/24/2007 08:53:00 PM

He's two years old today.

A good time was had by all.

You know the drill - click and browse.

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It's Thomas!

by John at 6/19/2007 08:37:00 PM

Sunday we went to the Strasburg Rail Road (across the street from the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania) to enjoy a Day Out with Thomas. Elias loves Thomas!


(click the pick and browse forward and back to see more photos)

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when I woke up this morning Mr. Wizard was dead

by John at 6/13/2007 04:41:00 PM

Don Herbert died last night. He was 89.

Back in Junior High, Steve and I used to leave school at lunch time, walk to my house, eat some soup, and watch What Will They Think of Next* and, I think, Mr. Wizard's World (the 80's incarnation of his science show for kids), on cable TV. Or maybe we watched Mr. Wizard after school. The memories are getting fuzzier as I get older. I do recall trying to make a steam-powered jet boat out of a tin can and a candle, and a hot air ballon out of a paper bag and some liquor.

Anyway, I can't do him justice, but Mr. Wizard was a different caliber - Bill Nye the Science Guy was probably his rightful heir, although he was never as cool and understated as Mr. Wizard. Beakman? That guy was a hyperactive DayGlo® twit.


* Hosted by Joe Campanella, whose son went to highschool with Wendy.

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sleeping with the television on

by John at 6/11/2007 08:13:00 AM

I learned something interesting this morning.

These two photos have something in common.



The same photographer: Pulitzer Prize-winner Nick Ut. (Yoink - Andrew Sullivan) Incidently, they were also both taken on the same day, June 8, thirty-five years apart.



I did not know that

by John at 6/08/2007 07:55:00 AM

While Sillett's brother watched in horror below, fearing that Steve had lost his mind, Sillett and his friend Steve Marwood threw themselves into a small tree next to the giant and climbed branch by branch to its top, which is called a "leader." Seventy feet aboveground, the leader swayed under his weight as he stared across the gap between himself and the lower fragile branches of the immense redwood trunk. Struggling to control his fear of heights, he threw his body into space and grabbed the branch like a trapeze, landing safely in the tree. Sillett and Marwood climbed the crown of the immense tree they called "Nameless," entering a dense labyrinth of branches more than 200 feet high holding beds of soil where masses of ferns, lichens and ripe huckleberries grew.

"The top of Nameless had been sheared away in a storm that occurred many centuries earlier, and the tree had reacted by driving a radiance of branches spreading horizontally in all directions away from the broken trunk, like spokes coming from the hub of a wagon wheel. Those branches had sprouted vertical trunks, like spikes on a crown. A forest of small redwoods had sprung out of the top of Nameless -- Nameless Wood." As far as anyone knows, Sillett was the first person ever to visit the upper redwood canopy. It was one of "the last unseen realms on the planet." He has dedicated his life to canopy science, going on to make the first 3-D map of the upper reaches of a virgin redwood grove, where new species, such as earthworms and lichen, are still being found. He also became a master tree climber; never again would he climb a giant without the proper equipment -- it's a miracle he didn't die that day.

The redwood defines "superlative," not only in terms of big, but in terms of complicated. It is "the largest and tallest individual living organism that has appeared in nature since the beginning of life on the planet." The fern gardens in old redwood crowns are second only to Olympic Peninsula rain forests in their density, and scientists estimate the crowns hold so much water they function as airborne aquifers, supporting species such as salamanders and copepod crustaceans, the most abundant animals in oceans. The oldest titans, such as Ilúvatar, in Prairie Creek Redwood State Park, contain some 37,000 cubic feet of wood and are so dense you could "put on a pair of snowshoes and walk around on top and play Frisbee there." Many of the trees, Preston explains, reiterate themselves numerous times in the crown, repeating their own shape in smaller scales of size in the form of a fractal. Ilúvatar has done so six times, creating "Ilúvatars within Ilúvatars, " and is considered one of the most complex living structures ever discovered.

Can you believe it? Better than I even imagined. You can read more about it at Salon, and there's a book, too, that I will probably have to look into.

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