Monday, June 23, 2008

The third annual owl wall

Yesterday, my collection of kitschy owl memorabilia was arranged upon its third kitchen wall. This is becoming a ritual in my life: Move into a new place, put up the owls, and I'm at home.

This time, I'm living alone and I have the walls all to my self. So the owls decided they wanted to stretch out a bit. The original owl (from the late, great, Springs landmark "The Theater of Mankind") is the wise centerpiece of the largest kitchen wall, looking skeptically (or coyly?) to the right.

The counter wall is lined with the all-natural material owl tableau, and the cluster of three owl shaped hot plates.

The rusty Las Vegas stained glass owl looks out the kitchen window.

And thanks to Sara Rubin, who subconsciously knew my life would not be complete without owl salt and pepper shakers.

That said, please do not give me more owl stuff. While I adore the owl wall year after year, the contemporary owl market has become oversaturated. You cannot turn a corner in a clothing store, a toy store, or even on the internet, without ramming your face into the large eyes of an owl. And the stuff is not as cool as hot plates.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I want to be him

Or maybe I just want to hop in a wicker basket and float my cares away.

via the Smithsonian Institute's Flickr stream.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Scooping the New York Times

Today's Science Times featured an article called, "Plants found to show preferences for relatives."

Last August, I did a radio show titled, "Plants appear to recognize own kin."

From the Times:

“I’m just amazed at what we’ve found,” said Susan A. Dudley, an evolutionary plant ecologist at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, who carried out the study with a graduate student, Amanda L. File.

“Plants,” Dr. Dudley said, “have a secret social life.”

From my show:

Susan Dudley: Mostly we think about plants as passive, just the victims of their environment and just growing in response to the physical environment. But they actually actively sense and respond to the environment, including what is specifically the presence of other plants, and I think that’s a really neat thing.

Why so long to break this exciting plant story, NYT?

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hummer bites the dust?

I screamed with delight this morning when I heard that G.M. may discontinue the Hummer. Finally! G.M. is closing down four truck and S.U.V. factories in favor of smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, just as we near the $4 a gallon gas mark. I guess this is the turning point where economics meets the environment. People are making actual lifestyle changes based on fuel economy. More and more I hear people say they don't want to drive somewhere unnecessary because of gas. My co-worker is buying a motorcycle to commute to work. A friend of a friend is moving closer to the city. This is all good news. I just wish that we had an infrastructure to support the alternative fuel vehicles people would buy, and the affordable, higher-density living choices people want to make.

So for a hopeful farewell to the Hummer, here's a haiku from a website dedicated to giving the finger to the H2.

Haiku by Tim

Hulking black Hummer
Purchased in rank atonement
small peckered driver