Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Charismatic Macrofauna

Please visit Sparkling Squirrel in the next few days as I intend to be posting essays and photos from the summer adventures. In the meantime, a few reminder that verts can be attractive.

possible teaching resource?

Jenny probably already knows about this, but the rest of you preparing lectures might find this link interesting. There are some power points about native plants and pollinators that appear to be available to teachers for use in lectures. I also thought they were kind of cool just for general gardening information, although they are probably pretty specific to the midwest. http://www.nativeplants.msu.edu/publications.htm

Sunday, July 29, 2007

back Turkey and Austria

Hi friends,
Just wanted to let you know that I returned from Turkey and Austria yesterday, and just spent a lovely half-hour reading through all the posts and comments that I missed while I was gone. Congratulations to Beth and Josh (wonderful photos! I would love an update on the wedding sometime), Stelios for his inspiring career accomplishments, TT for her amazing defense... I'm certain to be missing something even though I literally just read all the updates... well, and to the rest of you bloggers for your general fabulousness. :)
The trip was good-- I learned a lot and collected some specimens that will help with my postdoctoral research (assuming that I'm successful in sequencing them)-- and also very hard-- physically demanding, conflict of personalities, food poisoning... I DID take a camera for once, and will upload pictures and share stories once my uncle finds his card reader for the camera I borrowed from him. I did absolutely nothing touristy other than see the Hagia Sofia during my 12 hour layover in Istanbul. And I also joined a 'bioblitz' sort of affair at a national park in the alps of Austria, so I got to do some hiking while collecting. Other than that, my trip went like this: either, 1. wake at 6:30, eat breakfast, gather collecting gear, ride in a car around to various country roadsides that had promising flowers in bloom (while praying a bit-- the driver was relearning manual transmission cars and the driving was generally crazy), do this all day except to stop every few hours for a very strong, bitter tea (no lunch stop-- just crushed chips and cherry juice-- did I mention personality conflicts?), return to hotel around 7, shower, eat dinner at 8, collapse into bed around 10. Or, 2. wake at 6:30, eat breakfast, walk to museum or our host's collection, study bees, eat lunch, study bees, eat dinner, walk home, collapse into bed. This we did for an entire month, every day, including weekends... I am VERY glad to be home.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

GBKD Fitness Challenge

I challenge you to challenge yourself in the GBDK fitness challenge!

What: A competitive-with-yourself fitness program
When: Labor Day to Halloween (8 weeks)
Why: To be in better shape

Why expanded: When I wore a pedometer in the spring as part of a state employee fitness program, I took more steps, felt better and lost weight. After a summer of riding in a car and eating hash browns, I need something to prompt me back into shape. I will exercise more regardless, but know that I did more (even though we set our own goals and didn't show anybody) because I was part of a program. Being part of a program also made it easier to explain why I was wearing a pedometer (in ten weeks, only one student noticed, who was also part of the program). Anway, I would like some group support and figure some of you might also.

What expanded: The easiest is to do a stepping program. Set daily, weekly, and 8 week minimums (e.g. my spring goal was a minimum of 7,000 steps every day, but a weekly goal of 70,000 steps and a grand total of 560,000 [at least averaging 10,000 a day] [I did not make all of the daily goals, and missed two weeks, but did make the grand total, by quite a ways--- an interesting look at averages and minimums]). I will pass out score sheets/excel files to record them on. At the end of 8 weeks, turn them in and be eligible for great prizes.
If just plain moving more is not your thing, set your own goals and record them. The month of August is so that you can find a pedometer if your are going to and wear it enough to figure out what reasonable goals are. NO BONUS FOR SETTING LOW GOALS AND MEETING THEM or SETTING UNREASONABLY LOFTY GOALS. 10,000 steps/day is a suggested goal from the AHA or someome similar.

Bonus: I will buy your pedometer if you need the external force, but then I will demand results.

Reward: Wonderful prizes in Novemeber. Suggestions? Oh, and, of course, stress relief, lower blood pressure, better lipid profile, better shot at longevity, fun with friends . . .


Saturday, July 21, 2007

A few New Mexico Photos and HP

I am very excited about the new Harry Potter book, I just know I will not have a chance to read it until I get back from New Mexico. I am afraid that I will hear about the ending before I get to read it. Oh well. Such is life.

New Mexico has been great fun, though the work is really tiring. Long days in the field and long nights keying out plants. We are working along the Gila River, which is great because we can take a swim break if it gets too hot. And it does get hot. Many of the plots that I have worked on are on gravel/cobble bars along the river. I don't even want to know what the temperature there. Well over 100 I am sure. But the plants are cool and the experience is great.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Harry Potter Thoughts

I was hoping to comment on Abby's blog about HP, but somehow couldn't connect. Anyway, Abby, I too am upset about not having anyone to share HP madness with. I'm hoping to buy a Canadian copy before returning to the states (tomorrow) but that is looking unlikely here in Niagra Falls (really a horrible scary place).

I did get to see the movie at in Imax 3-D and is was fabulous and it reminded me about how much I really want to know what does happen next.

Anybody actually going to the celebrations? Happy reading fans.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A thought about GBKD format

So I was thinking today... we never really did find an ideal solution to the issue of making comments easy to keep tabs on. This makes having "conversations" through the blog more difficult. Haloscan looked good but it had some problems... like not being able to see who made the comments, and also making all previous non-Haloscan comments invisible.

One option is to change the format of GBKD from a blog to a messageboard. For anyone who hasn't visited or used messageboards before, it means that instead of posts, you have threads - a thread is like a conversation. One person starts it, then anyone who's registered to use the messageboard can add to the thread. The main difference between a blog and a messageboard is how it's displayed - each thread is shown with an icon or bold text to tell you whether anything new has been posted in that thread since you last checked it.

Messageboards can also be divided into sub-topics: for example, in addition to a section for general news about our lives, a GBKD messageboard might have a Crafting section, a Travelogue section... mmm, what else.... maybe a Recipes section. And whatever else we want, really.

Here's an example: http://www.circleofcrafters.com/messageboard/

Of course, there's a lot of customizing that can be done so that it looks pretty and has functions we like.

Is anyone else interested in this idea?

Monday, July 16, 2007

IRENE in the news

I heard this on NPR this morning. Someone has invented something and named it after IRENE.
Pretty cool!

Visit to Kansas

I'm going to be coming into Kansas for field work and a wedding. I'll be there Tuesday night until Monday morning. I'm also going to be heading both to Fitch and Welda looking for snails if anyone wants to help me out looking for them. For some reason the husband will help but doesn't want to go play with ticks if it's not needed. Anyway - I'd love to meet up with all the knitters in the area so email me at elfwren at the lovely G provider of mail or give me a call on my cell (or at home if Monday). Other posters have my cell if needed and the husband (wow that sounds weird to type) and I will be at the Quality Inn for our time in Kansas up on 8th street.

hope to see people. woohoo!

Friday, July 13, 2007


Congratulations to Tucson Trekker for her successful dissertation defense!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Biologist Needed

A small college in West Virginia is looking for a biologist (to teach genetics, micro, A+P and other such classes). If anybody knows someone just finishing who might like to spend a year teaching intensely, they should apply immediately.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


I read "Overheard in New York" fairly religiously, and today I saw a quote that reminded me of myself and at least half of my friends.

So Much Social Awkwardness, So Little Time

By Djlindee

Weird girl: Did you bring the scepter?
Weird boy: No, I forgot.
Weird girl: That's the second time!
Weird boy: I know, I'm sorry! I got the Tetris theme song stuck in my head again!