rydra_wong: Doonesbury, Watergate, two congressmen: "If only he'd knock over a bank or something ..." "By George, we'd have him them!" (bank -- watergate)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
So Sean Spicer's resigned (we all knew it was coming), Sessions discussed the Trump campaign and policy issues with Kisylak in 2016, and Trump looks like he's revving up to fire Mueller and Sessions and then pardon himself and his family for everything they've done ever.

And all I can focus on is this story that Sean Spicer stole a mini-fridge from junior White House staffers.

SHREW

Jul. 22nd, 2017 12:36 pm
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] common_nature
Yesterday I got to see a tiny shrew very close-up and it was very exciting.

So I was sitting on a muddy path in a wooded area because of reasons (ok, exhausted after climbing) when I saw movement and a tiny thing scurrying past me. I figured that glimpse was all I'd see, but I turned round to see where it'd gone and it was on the path on the other side of me, and with great caution so as not to startle it I managed to dig my phone out of my coat pocket:

longshot in which a tiny shrew may be visible among rocks and moss

(There's nothing to give a sense of scale, but the shrew is a few centimetres long. It makes mice look big.)

THEN --

Cut for blurry close-ups and blurry worm death )

Wood Pidgeon, York

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:43 am
highlyeccentric: A seagull lifting into flight, skimming the cascade (Castle Hill, Nice) (Seagull)
[personal profile] highlyeccentric posting in [community profile] common_nature
I get the impression these are perfectly normal birds in the UK, but they're quite a novelty to me. Those fancy collars! There were three in the yard of the pub we stayed in, but they wouldn't sit still to be photographed. Here's one from the walk into town:

Tawny owl

Jul. 20th, 2017 08:50 am
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] common_nature
Short-eared owl
[Grainy photo of a short-eared tawny owl sitting on a lawn]

I know this isn't the greatest photo of all time. In my defense, I did take it from behind a dusty windowpane in an upstairs bedroom where I was crouched breathlessly lest I frighten it off.

There've long been barn owls living at my partner's parents' home in rural Norfolk, but I'd never seen any other type of owl there. I was surprised, therefore, to see this tawny owl (h/t to [personal profile] shapinglight for corrected identification) sitting on their lawn at dusk a couple of weeks ago. I worked out that it was watching a group of four partridges who were pecking through the pebbles in the drive, closer to the house. They seemed a rather optimistic target, given that the owl wasn't much bigger than they were.

The owl flew off and returned to the lawn several times whilst I watched, but never made a move on the partridges, who eventually moved onto the roof of the house and over to the other side.
archersangel: (hufflepuff sheep)
[personal profile] archersangel posting in [community profile] cats
via [personal profile] twistedchick

it's free, they even give you supplies necessary to take care of the kitten.

all you have to to is feed them, care for them & clean up after then for a few weeks.

not sure how to take care of a kitten? humane society silicon valley has a 2-hour orientation & will give you the phone number of someone that will answer your questions.

this article has all the info, including links the the HSSV page & calendar with the next scheduled orientation.

if you're not near this place, check with your local shelter, they might have a foster program of some sort.

rydra_wong: Doonesbury, Watergate, two congressmen: "If only he'd knock over a bank or something ..." "By George, we'd have him them!" (bank -- watergate)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Trump had undisclosed second meeting with Putin, White House confirms

New York Times: Trump and Putin Held a Second, Undisclosed, Private Conversation

Note: it was "private" as in "out of earshot of anyone except Putin's translator" and "not mentioned to the public". It was not private as in "it was held in view of most of the other G20 leaders OMFG ARE YOU KIDDING ME".

Just to make the whole thing even stupider (on Buttercup's part) and more of a blatant power play (on Putin's).

[tumblr.com profile] plaidadder breaks this shit down: A Million Encores: Putin And our Playable President

And spells out one point in particular:

Why do we know about this? Because some of the European G-20 leaders were so concerned about this that they called their global risk consultant to get his opinion on it. That’s what Ian Bremmer does: he assesses global political risk for people who want to use it to make investment decisions.

Pigeon!

Jul. 18th, 2017 08:16 pm
rydra_wong: a woman wearing a bird mask balances on her arms in bakasana (yoga -- crow pose)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] common_nature
I had to check the comm profile to try to decide if this was legit, as this was clearly not a wild pigeon; it was obviously someone's sleek, well-fed and well-cared-for homing/racing pigeon.

However, it was definitely "unsupervised", as it was hanging out at a gritstone crag eating bilberries and watching the climbers.

It wouldn't quite let people touch it, but was otherwise very comfortable with humans and happy to let you get very close.

I took a lot of photos of it trying to get a shot of the tags on its legs, as I was worried it was someone's beloved pet and lost. But when I got home, I found out that the "report a found pigeon" websites (they exist, naturally) say in rather weary tones not to even bother unless the pigeon's been around for at least 48 hours; apparently they like to take pit stops.

Pigeon with beautiful iridescent neck

Cut for more pigeon )

Insect Season

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:43 am
redsixwing: Two water lily leaves with smaller plants between (stems)
[personal profile] redsixwing posting in [community profile] common_nature
Cattails and water skippers in a local ditch.

skippers and cattails

A very vivid ladybug on a maple tree.

ladybug on maple

Great crested grebe

Jul. 17th, 2017 04:18 pm
nanila: wrong side of the mirror (me: wrong side of the mirror)
[personal profile] nanila posting in [community profile] common_nature
Urban great crested grebe nest
[Macro image of a great crested grebe sitting on its nest.]

I spotted this great crested grebe brooding on its nest in the canal at Westerdok in Amsterdam. I thought its nest was a remarkable construction: the usual twigs, but also bits of plastic rubbish, and finishing touches of hollyhock. I was also impressed by the two female mallard duck bodyguards who immediately rushed over when I started taking photos. They didn't quack, but eyed me up silently as they circled the nest at a careful distance.

We were staying on a barge nearby for three nights and I checked on the grebe morning and evening. I don't believe it stirred from the nest in that time, so hopefully soon there will be some freshly hatched urban grebes learning to navigate the Dutch canal system!

(no subject)

Jul. 16th, 2017 02:20 pm
norfolkian: (Moana)
[personal profile] norfolkian posting in [community profile] gardening
Following on from my last garden update, here's a picture of my small front garden with more flowers:



I also have a small back garden with two raised beds which I use to grow vegetables. I'd had some terrible problems with slugs and birds eating stuff, early in the season, but I bought some netting which seems to have helped. To be honest, though, I feel like I've neglected my back garden a bit as I've been concentrating more on the front garden and have not had much time lately. So, it was a bit of a surprise when I thought I'd better go out there and start harvesting some stuff, and this was my haul!




So yeah, got scurvy again

Jul. 15th, 2017 09:08 pm
rydra_wong: Text: "Your body is a battleground" over photo of 19th-C strongwoman. (body -- battleground)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
For the sake of pedantic clarity: much as I like saying that, I don't actually have scurvy -- quite.

I do presently have plasma vitamin C levels which (Google tells me) would qualify me for a scurvy diagnosis if I was showing any particular symptoms. Which I'm not, beyond my usual levels of fatigue and physical crud (there's stuff -- flare-up of an old injury, etc. -- which, with hindsight I could construe as maybe related somehow, but basically I'm very well, and said stuff would not have made me suspect that anything was wrong). Possibly I'd get symptoms if I let the deficiency run on longer, but that's an experiment I am disinclined to try.

N.B.: this is on an intake of fruit and veg which should easily supply far more than the RDA from diet alone, plus supplementation of a gramme of vitamin C a day.

Which is absurd mega-dose levels.

It used to be two grammes, as that's what it took to drag my blood levels back into the normal range when this showed up on test results before; this past year I suggested tapering down to half-as-ridiculous and monitoring my blood levels to see if they stayed okay. Which they did, at least until last autumn.

Then I was getting a blood test for something else completely, my GP suggested checking my vitamin C levels, and boom, they have fallen through the floor again.

So now, back to double-ridiculous doses and waiting to re-test.

My medical Google-fu is usually pretty good, but it's failed me so far on this. I've asked my doctor to consult colleagues and see if I should be referred to a relevant consultant or WTF, on the basis that it's such a bizarre and extreme test result we should probably see if there's an underlying reason that could or should be treated (or, for example, something which might cause the test to give inaccurate results).

Anyway, I thought I'd lob it to the hive mind in case anyone's heard of a similar case or know of something that could cause this, because I am so baffled. And I realize that my belief that bizarre medical things should happen because of reasons has been shown to be delusional before, but still.

... maybe I have a tapeworm that consumes nothing but vitamin C.

This is a trope, right?

Jul. 13th, 2017 10:12 am
rydra_wong: Doonesbury, Watergate, two congressmen: "If only he'd knock over a bank or something ..." "By George, we'd have him them!" (bank -- watergate)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Where someone gets flustered into confessing more than they were actually accused of?

It has to be a trope, but a dive into TV Tropes has failed me. It's not quite Accidental Public Confession -- something more specific than that.

I mean, as I understand it, the NYT had sources who described a message they had seen in which "Skittles" Jr. was told that the information he was hoping to get was from Russia.

The e-mails he Tweeted show that he he was explicitly told he was going to get "high level and sensitive information" as "part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump."

From the WaPo: The email exchange showed clearly that Trump Jr. understood he was taking the meeting as a way of channeling information directly from the government of a nation hostile to the United States to his father’s campaign.

Here is a journalist who was chasing this story for a year. Here is the sound of his head exploding.

I'm still boggling that they wrote it in an e-mail, "part of Russia and its government support for Mr. Trump", come to the meeting so we can provide "very high level and sensitive information", maybe I've watched too much spy tv but I vaguely thought there'd be some sort of subterfuge, some sort of nudge-and-wink, if not actual covert communication, but LOLNOPE.

[tumblr.com profile] sashayed's commentary: #SUBJECT: wanna come 2 treason meeting #FROM: collusion at kremlin dot ru

(Like [tumblr.com profile] plaidadder, I have wondered if it's so absurdly blatant on purpose, as part of a Russian intelligence scheme of some kind. Or maybe everyone's just that fucking stupid.)

And then Skittles forwarded the whole e-mail chain to Kushner and Manafort at their work e-mail addresses.

Also, it's been suggested that talking about "adoptions" is basically standard code for talking about sanctions (the Russian ban on adoptions was imposed in response to US sanctions; re-starting adoptions would presumably mean lifting sanctions):

In which case, if Skittles is actually telling the truth that they went to the meeting and then this wacky lawyer just talked about adoptions so he concluded it was a dead end -- his official line of defense is essentially "I totally wanted to collude, but was too fucking stupid to recognize the quid pro quo being offered."

Also, anyone else have a McDonald's earworm? ("Collusion: I'm lovin' it".)

July Garden update

Jul. 11th, 2017 02:37 pm
dantesspirit: (Sycamore)
[personal profile] dantesspirit posting in [community profile] gardening
-IMAG6319

The beans are slowing down, boo. We've gotten a gallon so far, and today, just a handful. There's still more still growing, so hopefully we'll get at least another quart before they fade completely.

More! )
dancesontrains: (Ugly Betty)
[personal profile] dancesontrains
Basically, a rotation curation is when there's an account set up for different people to take over. People 'curate' it for a week or so. I was on https://twitter.com/TWkLGBTQ, which as you can tell is all about the LGBTQ+ community.

It was interesting! The account follows almost 3,000 people, which is very different from my usual account's 700 or so. I ended up spending a lot of time just reading people's feeds, also seeing the same news stories (Andrew Garfield making a joke that backfired, the hot mess with Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian, people killed in hatecrimes) again and again. That last one was really upsetting.

I also spoke to a larger selection of people than I normally would have - the account follows the LGBT Conservatives account and a few other, similar people. Obviously I don't agree with them, but it was still interesting/infuriating.

Overall, I had a very good experience and would rec it! Have followed a bunch of new to me people too.
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