Mrs. Robin’s babies!

The first of Mrs. Robin's babies!

If you're following along with the story of Mrs. Robin and her eggs, I have big news: two of the eggs have hatched! And I mean, just hatched. I was out with Bailey and noticed a robin's egg shell in the grass - it hadn't been there this morning. So I snuck up into the garage attic to peek through the window. Mrs. Robin saw me and flew off the nest just long enough for me to catch these photos of her first two babies! Two eggs down, two more to go! Isn't life … [Read more...]

The dangers of leaving your dog in the car – it’s hotter than you think

9:20 AM - Temperature inside the car is 80 degrees; it's 72 outside, and the car is primarily in the shade. It's actually a really nice morning. Not too warm, nice breeze. At this point, the inside of the car is already too hot for a dog but I confess I wouldn’t have realized that without the thermometer to tell me.

Here in Western NY, the weather has finally warmed up and it looks like the s-n-o-w is gone until winter. That means it's time for a reminder about leaving your dog in a hot car. In July 2011, I wrote a post for my blog in which I explained how heat affects your dog, and then did some experiments measuring the temperature in the car compared with the temperature outside the car. It's worth reposting here, since it's such an important issue - and because I think we have a moral … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday, Patheos! #Patheos5Yrs

Happy birthday, Patheos!

A (fairly) long time ago, in a galaxy ... well, not far away, but definitely in another neighborhood that required as least one bus transfer ... I used to write about entertainment. Christian entertainment, and Christians in entertainment, and entertainment that Christians might like, and entertainment Christians might not like, and things that had a Jesus fish on it so Christians knew it was entertainment safe for Christian consumption, and "American Idol." I wrote for fabulous … [Read more...]

Mrs Robin adds to her nest – three more eggs!

Mrs. Robin has made a few additions to her nest.

Hopefully you're not sick of my updates about Mrs. Robin and her nest. But watching her overcome the obstacles to build the nest, and the fact that darling husband had to give her a helping hand, have bonded me to this bird and her baby egg. So imagine my surprise today when I went into the garage attic to peek on her and found ... three more eggs! The last two days Mrs. Robin has been fending off some attacks from a blue jay and crow. She's a feisty bird - and now I know why. Her family is … [Read more...]

Turning tree rings into music

Media artist Bartholomäus Traubeck turns tree rings into music.

Today I came across what might be the most amazing thing I've seen in a long time: the rings of a tree translated into music. Media artist Bartholomaus Traubeck has found a way to take the rings that appear naturally in the trunk of a tree and turn them into musical sounds using a high speed camera, a mathematical formula, and a special turntable. In a 2012 interview with PRI's environmental news magazine Living On Earth, Traubeck explained: "The tree slice is turning like a disk … [Read more...]

Mrs. Robin lays her egg

Mrs. Robin laid her egg!

If you've been following along with the saga of Mrs. Robin's nest, after a week of starts, stops and nests being blown away, not only did Mrs. Robin finally build her nest (with a little help from darling husband), you'll be happy to know ... we have an egg! As I write this, she's out in the yard fending off a blue jay and a grackle, and declaring from her perch in the lilac bush war on anyone - animal or human - who dares come near her egg.  I'll be watching from the garage window … [Read more...]

Mrs. Robin builds a nest – a lesson in perseverance

Mrs. Robin is back this morning for another attempt at our garage window.

There's a robin building a next in the window of our neighbor's house. I suppose "building" is an optimistic word; she's desperately trying to build a nest without much success. We live in a village where the houses are separated by a single car driveway, so close that, if we were so inclined (which I'm not), we could talk to each other without leaving the house. I've had a front row seat to Mrs. Robin's construction attempts over the last week and it's been a lesson in failure and … [Read more...]

Does self-driving car take away opportunities to be nice?

The Google driverless car is just one of the self-driving cars predicted to become the automotive norm.

Technology will make a giant leap from fiction to reality if self-driving cars hit the road within a few years, as predicted in this story in the Los Angeles Times. As expected, the big concern about the vehicle is safety ... I feel like I should add a "duh" here. If there's no one behind the wheel, the big question is obviously, "How does the car know where to go?" But there's one aspect of this science fiction achievement that no one has brought up: the self-driving car further isolates … [Read more...]

Dog and baby photos: are they cute or dangerous?

This meme is making the rounds on Facebook.

  This meme is making the rounds on Facebook - it's a photo of a baby and what looks like a Neapolitan Mastiff. The title says "How to Hug a Baby", but for dog trainers and animal rescue advocates, it's a red flag. While most people see a photo like this and say, "Aw cute!" we ask, "How long before the baby gets hurt and the dog gets sent to the pound?" What we often interpret as a dog showing love to a human baby is usually the dog's curious interest in that writhing, squeaking … [Read more...]

How cold is too cold to do the right thing?

jeep snow jan 2014

I ventured out to the grocery store today to pick up a prescription and a few other small items. I say "venture" because it's cold out. Not as cold as the arctic sub zero temperatures earlier this week, but it's still only about 20 degrees out, and though the sun was shining the slight wind swept away any warmth. Brrrr. After two months battling bronchitis, laryngitis and asthma, I've been trying to stay inside and away from humans and germs as much as possible. One lungful of cold air or … [Read more...]


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