Monday, September 15, 2008

Bees, Boats, A Planet, Some Assembly Required

Another Roadside Attraction

Bees surviving away from GM crops
Roadsides may seem like the crummiest real estate around, but new research suggests that in fact they could serve as nature preserves for crucial pollinators, particularly native bees.

Roadsides planted with native plants hosted more than twice as many total bees and almost 50 percent more bee species than roadsides covered in non-native grasses, according to the study, published in Biological Conservation.

Jennifer Hopwood made the discovery while in graduate school in ecology at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. She started the research after picking up a book on roadside ecology from her colleague's desk and starting to read.

"I just became really interested in the idea that roadsides could be potential habitat for animals and could also be a haven for plant species," she said.

Ike's Boat Sales

No Money Down, Fixer-uppers, You Haul Away.

Some Cruisers Get Extended Tour

Carnival is canceling two cruises scheduled to leave Monday out of storm-damaged Galveston, Texas -- a move that will affect at least 5,000 vacationers.

With the port of Galveston closed, both ships will end their current cruises in New Orleans instead of Galveston. The Conquest should arrive in the Big Easy on Monday and the Ecstasy on Tuesday, meaning that both ships will be ending their voyages a day behind schedule (giving passengers a bonus day at sea).

Once in New Orleans, the ships apparently aren't going anywhere for a bit. Once the ships arrive in the city, passengers are welcome to stay on board.

Another Star Attraction

Planet and distant Star

Astronomers have taken what may the first picture of a planet orbiting a star similar to the sun.

This distant world is giant (about eight times the mass of Jupiter) and lies far out from its star (about 330 times the Earth-Sun distance). But for all the planet's strangeness, its star is quite like our own sun.

Here in Redding

Rack in a box 9/14/08
On Sunday, one of my neighbors brought a bathroom rack for me to assemble. She said she tried to put it together, but it was too confusing. "Could I put it together for her?"

"I will give a try," says I.

I love to assemble stuff. I guess it goes back to all the model airplanes, cars, and boats I built as a kid. I wonder if kids today still buy plastic kits made by Revell and Aurora? I sure haven't seen any balsa wood and paper airplanes lately, either.

I may have mentioned this before, but, it is so easy if you just read the instructions.

Step 1...Read the instructions 9/14/08

Step 2...Follow the instructions 9/14/08

Step 3...Admire the results and watch football!
It was a good day Sunday.
The Raiders won, and the 49'ers won.
Outside, it was a sunny 100° Inside, I keep it at a cool 80°, and the full Harvest Moon happened on schedule at 8:37PM.

The Adventures of Bat Girl

"Bat Girl", rests up for big trip 9/15/08
Beginning today, we will follow Bat Girl's adventures as she travels across America. She is currently building up energy reserves for her trip from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Stay tuned for the next exciting installment.

Beach House?

Sue's Crystal Beach, beach house June 2000
This is the beach house as it looked when Chris and I went to Texas in 2000.
We had a lot of fun on that trip.

Crystal Beach, Texas today 9/15/08
I found this picture of Crystal Beach and it doesn't look too good for Sue's beach house. I am still waiting to hear from her in Houston, but power and phone service is still spotty there.

Today's relatively appropriate song;

Lennon Sisters - Melodie D'Amour


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