Saturday, February 28, 2015

Farewell Spock

I had heard the other day that Leonard Nimoy was hospitalized and could not remember why. This morning, I read the news that he died Friday from complications of COPD. His Twitter advice? "Don't smoke. I wish I never had." Even though he had quit smoking 30 years ago, complications occurred.
I was nine when the Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the moon, and watched Star Trek reruns as a young adult. Then later, fell in love with Star Trek: The Next Generation. The character of Spock was timeless. He appeared in all of the genres of the show, even the newer reboots of the movies. I think he touched a chord in many of us because he was of mixed race (half human-half Vulcan) and because he was the logical calm that I know I would like to be in stressful situations. Except for the two remakes, which I really like, my favorite Star Trek movie is IV: The Voyage Home. I most enjoyed the interaction between Spock and Captain Kirk while walking through modern-day Earth. The environmental plug was awesome as well. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it, even though it is a little dated now.
Farewell Leonard Nimoy. Your memory will live long and spark the imaginations of many.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Flooding due to climate change

Tidal Flooding to increase over the next 30 years

I know most of us in the East are dealing with snow right now, but spring is on its way, I promise!

The Union of Concerned Scientists has been gathering data and evidence of increasing flooding along the eastern and Gulf coasts due to rising sea levels. If you look at the US population distribution, you see that this will affect a large percentage of our people. We already know that New Orleans is below sea level, but most of coastal Florida is below ten feet above sea level. The Tidal flooding page shown above discusses how flooding will occur regularly based on monthly tide schedules. This site ( has a map of the US illustrating how rising sea levels will impact land area.

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images North America

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday

These are my two sweet kitties, who are brothers, back in 2006. We had to keep them in a crate at first because they were feral-born, so were quite shy and wanted to hide behind furniture. With lots of love and handling, they got over that quickly and still entertain us today.

Currently, their hobby is bird-watching through the windows, which face all of the bird feeders. Sometimes I hear squeaky noises emanating from them, I guess imagining themselves out chasing a bird.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mae Jemison

In honor of Black History Month, I would like to highlight a woman scientist! Dr. Jemison, also a physician, is the first African American woman to fly in space. She flew aboard the Endeavour in 1992. She also served in the Peace Corps before that, and currently has her own company researching the application of technology to daily life.Jemison's inspiration for joining NASA was African American actress Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Winter Workhorse

This New Holland tractor & backhoe is used to dig water and sewer lines for new plumbing, or to repair/replace damaged lines. Thankfully, it is also very useful for clearing snow off of the driveway! Our neighbors are also very happy we have this around! We live in an area that is not at the top of the VDOT list of places to clear during inclement weather. The tractor is also handy when moving firewood from storage areas to the house, and for spreading mulch around the yard. Country living just about demands owning one. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday PunDay!

Because I love science and reading good books:

I'm reading a book about anti-gravity. I can't put it down!

Have a fun week everyone!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Winter scene

This is my neighbor's pond this morning. It's a good thing there are no ducks or geese using it currently! After a week of cold temps preventing any melting, we get another five inches with a layer of sleet on top. Dan cleared our driveway Saturday afternoon, only for it to be iced over. But, I now hear dripping on my roof, good news that temperatures are rising! Now if only the sun would come out. Everyone stay safe and warm!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cute Archibald

Not the best photo (copied from a newspaper), but this red panda resides at Mill Mountain Zoo, accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The original was taken in the summer of 2014, so he is adult size now. He was one of two born at the zoo to the resident female, but was abandoned, so the zoo keepers had to raise him. Recently I read where the zoo is adopting another bottle-fed, abandoned red panda from another zoo to give him a companion. I am proud of this small, species-protecting zoo that focuses on education and maintaining the genetic diversity of the animals it has taken in. There are some birds of prey that were injured and therefore unable to survive in the wild. Most of the species kept at the zoo are under a species protection plan for breeding with other zoo animals, in order to protect the genetic diversity of that species.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Make a change, make a difference

I have noticed many organizations encouraging others to buy local, especially food from local farmers; avoid using chemicals, and to read your labels! More small farmers are setting up in local markets so the general public has access to their goods. I like this turn of events, and although I know it has been going on for quite sometime, not so much in the mainstream until more recently. I really enjoyed the "Tonight Show" plug for Fair Trade by Ben and Jerry's ice cream. They were on the other night, and it was wonderful to hear that they have gone 100% fair trade in their product. I will buy their ice cream for sure now! There is also a local homemade ice cream sold in my area, so competition continues. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lunar New Year

What exactly is a lunar new year? This is not exactly science, but I am assuming it has a pagan background. Yesterday was a new moon, but there was one in January as well. But anyway, I want to see if you know your moon phases, and why they occur!

This illustration is excellent because it shows where the moon is in relation to Earth and the sun, and it shows what we see from Earth to make the phase. Notice that half of the moon (and Earth) are always illuminated by the sun, but due to the moon's position around Earth, we see different areas of the moon, some not illuminated. Since we are in the new moon phase today, the dark half of the moon is facing the Earth. It is called a new moon because the lunar cycle is starting again, a new cycle of moon phases. By the way, when we call it the "dark side of the moon", it's really the same side we see all along, because the same side of the moon always faces the Earth.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Snow of 2015

The first snowfall for Coopers Cove, 2015!
While the snow was falling on Monday, I tried my best to keep the feeders full of black oil sunflower seed and suet. The cardinals gathered in a flock. They are my favorite winter bird due to their beautiful plumage.  They also stand out and make great photo targets, especially for this novice photographer. I liked that both a male and female posed for me here. (All images taken with a Canon PowerShot SX30IS.)
 Again taken on Monday, Bo and I explored the creek in my "backyard", which is located in a slight valley between me and my neighbor. The creek is the unofficial property line, although it really is to us. We have had it officially surveyed.
Below, taken Tuesday morning in a place away from trees and the house. This is about as accurate a place that I can find. Thankfully, the snow is dry and fluffy, so it is easy to shovel. We were working on that this morning before the sun melts and weighs it down!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Monday PunDay

Monday Science Pun!!!!!

In honor of Harper Lee and science measurement terminology:

What do you call 2000 mockingbirds?
2 kilomockingbirds!!!!

Hahahaha.....just couldn't help it.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Super Bowl Football!!!!!
Langston Hughes Birthday!!!
The start of Heart Health month.

A lot of things happened today or on this date.  Of everything, I am most happy that winter is halfway over. Spring will be here sooner now. I will start pruning the forsythias, plum trees, and peach trees. Those pruned branches will be placed in water inside where it is warm. I always look forward to some early blooms. They inspire me and help me get through the last few weeks of winter.

BTW, Katy Perry's halftime show was awesome! Loved the lion at the beginning.