Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm a "Beaner"!

No, I'm not actually Mexican. I beach comb and collect seeds that wash ashore from other lands, like the hamburger bean (right). Cocoa Beach is a good location for finding drift seeds as well as host of the annual International Seabean Symposium. People bring their collections from near and far to discuss finding, polishing, growing, sharing, crafting, etc. Some are lucky, some mystical, some make great jewelry or art . This is my collection. Yeah, i know, "get a life". But there's plenty of science here.

Sea-beans (also known as drift seeds) are seeds and beans that are carried to the ocean, often by freshwater streams and rivers, then drift with the ocean currents and (hopefully!) wash ashore.

(These i found in an hour or two on vacation on Costa Rica's west coast near Dominical.) Seabeans get caught up in the global currents much like the garbage that collects in the pacific gyre where there is a floating island of plastic twice as big as the state of Texas.
(WARNING! not for environmentally sensitive viewers)

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch! - The bulk of it will not decompose in the traditional sense. Exposure to sunlight will eventually break it down into small pieces that will make it more likely to be consumed by wildlife like sea birds and fish which leads to death of the animal. Furthermore, plastic pieces can absorb toxic chemicals, which migrate up the food chain and eventually make it to humans. For every pound of plankton there are as many as six pounds of marine litter. Sad but true.

Ron Paul

I was never too seriously interested in politics until recently. Oh, I did vote, registered democrat, until Ron Paul. I switched parties for that man! He made perfect sense to me. No one else was saying it. Stop the spending, stop the war. I joined the Ron Paul Revolution. Not many took him seriously. When it gets bad enough, maybe they will.

"A govt strong enough to give you
everything you need is powerful enough
to take everything you have."

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vaseline glass

Im not typically into antiques, esp not glassware, but vaseline glass really caught my attention. It was produced initially from 1880s -1920s and then again in the 50s. It is usually yellowish to light green and glows under UV (black) light due to the presence of uranium. Some consider only the yellow glass to be vaseline, but i also collect green uranium glass, purely because it glows! slightly because its old, not because its valuable, it isnt very. I just like the way it looks.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Herbal Essence, Patchouli and Stevia

Once in a while, and more often as my kids grow, i get to nourish my own spirit. When i turned 50 we were in California and i went to a spa retreat (enough with the "over the hill" parties). I hiked, did pilates, hot tub, yummy food, all by myself. It was deeelightful. Maybe im strange (yeah, yeah) but I frequently prefer my own company.

Anyway, i took a herb growing class last week to facilitate my gardening hobby. Did you know that patchouli is a plant? You know, that nostalgic scent from the 60's that hippies wore to disguise the smell of pot. You either love it or hate it. It smells very musky, like wet dirt or your grandmothers attic, or a Grateful Dead concert. Anyway, i was thrilled that i can grow it in my yard! And i bought a piece of ginger root and planted it for cultivation, along with some garlic. I also now have a stevia plant which is a natural sugar substitute. Freakin' amazing. The leaves actually taste v sweet. I can pick some limes from my key lime tree, slice them in a glass of water and add a few stevia leaves. Voila! simple pleasures.

Oh yeah, and here are a couple other extraordinary horticultural treasures i happened upon lately:

Dragon fruit (left) grows on a
cactus like tree. Mild taste, v juicy.

Cashews (left) are really strange. The tree bears bright red fruit and ONE cashew grows from the bottom of each one.

My other escapes are seabeaning (, hiking, photography, (to be continued...)

Happy and godless in Denmark

People of Denmark probably aren't very different from the rest of the world, except... they are self professed to be the HAPPIEST people in the world AND... they are not religious. The majority of people in Denmark don't believe in God. That blows me away yet doesn't surprise me at all. What i mean is, i believe it but i'm surprised it's being acknowledged.

Did you know? many of the most intelligent, creative, thoughtful minds of today and throughout history are largely atheists: Einstein, Edison, Mark Twain, Carl Sagan, Asimov, Freud, Dawkins, Nietzsche, Bill Gates, George Carlin (but he questions everything). So, the likelihood of your believing in God is inversely proportional to your level of intellect.

I'll say it again. The higher an IQ level people have the less likely they are to believe in God. In a 1998 survey of more than 500 members of the National Academy of Scientists, it was found that 72% were atheists, 21% were agnostics and 7% believed in God. Hmmm. Just ponder that a bit...
By the way, this is a recent photo i took of sunrise here on the east coast of Florida. It was glowing so bright orange that it lured me from my home 5 blocks away. I wonder who the artist is?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

How to catch a scallop

A lot of people don't even know what a scallop looks like, or where it comes from, or how you catch them. A quick trip to the west coast of Florida in search of the elusive scallop paid off. Ok, if it was a survival trip, we would have starved. But it was very cool. Did you know scallops have lots of blue eyes along the edge of their shell? You simply snorkel in the shallows, spot one, grab it before it scoots away, bag it and move on. We all caught some. Dylan won. Thanks to our hosts Donna and Ray and an awesome weekend on the Weeki Wachee River.

Roman is 11

Roman had a sleepover Runescape marathon for his birthday. Nerd alert! (Bill Gates was a nerd ya know!) Dad made a brave appearance. There were 5 laptops powered up. Pizza made a brief appearance also. Roman's friends come in all sizes, eh? A good time was had by all. Dad took him for a cheese steak at the Eagles Nest for his actual birthday on Monday.