Archive for January 2013

Okay I lied   1 comment

I have sometimes had to write poems for my older sister. But this morning, this poem about my sister just showed up.

Cathrine With a C

You should visit my sister’s website!
It’s cathrinehancher.com
That’s Cathrine Hancher with a C
But that Cathrine has no E
Why would you even have an E?
You don’t even say that E
But it’s still Cathrine with a C
Does that Cathrine Hancher have a K?
No it’s Cathrine with a C
Didn’t you even hear me say
It’s Cathrine Hancher with a C

Obviously this poem is complete, as Cathrine does have an E (you may have noticed), but I can’t think of anything for that verse besides “But Cathrine actually has an E”. I need to justify the existence of that E.

Katie is also on Etsy if you want to check her out there as well.

Here’s a poem I wrote at her request years ago:

Every day is a winding road
Still as a cup a la mode
You wake up so very thirsty
You take it slow ’cause what’s the hurry?
Let’s take it up to a dull roar
You’re going places you’ve never been before
Changing, laughing, here’s a toast
You feel the burn and you quench the most
And just when it looks like you have it all
Life goes down like a waterfall
You’re still as a cup a la mode
Every day is a winding road

Posted January 28, 2013 by agentksilver in Personal

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News News News   Leave a comment

thanks

naganowrimo

I have the best friends ever.


Updates will probably be slow for the next month. National Graphic Novel Writing Month (NaGraNoWriMo) is February, and I intend to participate. I tend to be more creative when I’m not blogging. I’m excited, though, and I’ll definitely post whatever results come of it!

Posted January 27, 2013 by agentksilver in Personal

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I am become Cookie Monster   Leave a comment

So it seems a way that people become internet famous is by appealing to something people are automatically interested in, like food. So maybe I will transfer my Food Odysseys to here. I used to do them on livejournal, until I ran out of storage space for photos. But I have 10GB of storage space here! I can do all the Food Odysseys I want.

(Food Odysseys are where I try out a new recipe. I take pictures of all the steps including going to the grocery store, and then take a picture of me eating the final product.)

I’m thinking about this right now because today is the first day of classes for the spring semester. I’m trying to buckle down and study, but I can’t get my mind off of cookies.

Bears in Tea Cups, which is really just a way to dress up bread rolls
Pumpkin Snickerdoodles, which sound SO NUM
Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies, which I would make without the chocolate chips

THAT IS ALL I CAN DO RIGHT NOW OMG

Posted January 22, 2013 by agentksilver in Food

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I tried to find a funny quote to put here, but apparently the internet is very serious about Vestal Virgins   Leave a comment

Source

I will admit that this is not the most exciting video out there, with its 17-minute run, necessarily-slow pace, carefully-enunciated narration, and slow, thrumming music, but hell yes. The particular points that made me squee were the parts where Janet Stephens announces that the hairdresses were lined in purple, then showed them lined with our modern-day red, and also her conclusion, where she compares the results of her hairstyle with non-Vestal hairstyles and indicates how such a hairstyle was a trend in Roman society, indicating modesty on the part of the wearer. Tying your research into general practice? Do I need to say hell yes again?

I nearly lost it when we saw the model all decked out in Vestal Virgin gear. HY.

If you’re not up on the basics of Roman society, the hearth was considered the most important part of the home, the hearth being the gigantic fire in the fireplace. Perhaps it was born up from prehistorical times, when fire was new and we didn’t necessarily understand the science of fires. It was easier and more understandable to maintain one constant fire than to try to start a new one every day (archaeologists once found a fire that had gone for twenty years). Because fire was so crucial to survival, the hearth reached a religious status within the home, and women in particular were tied to it, just as they are tied forever to child-raising, agriculture, and cooking. Vesta is a little-known goddess in the modern day; she was goddess of the hearth. She didn’t do a whole lot, being quiet, staying out of trouble, and maintaining the hearth, although she was very popular in early ancient Rome. By the middle period of Roman history even they had decided she was too boring to think about a lot. It was common practice to nominate your enemy’s daughter to become a Vestal Virgin. By the time she got out of Vestal Virginity, she was too old to be married off and would be nothing but a burden to your household expenses. Roman society ran on marrying your daughters off to strengthen political ties. Your enemy could not turn down a nomination of his daughter, but now his daughter was useless to his career.

Vestal Virgins were powerful women. They maintained the hearth of Rome. They were beautiful and powerful. They were elite. And now we know how they did their hair.

Posted January 21, 2013 by agentksilver in Latin

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You guys I really recommend turning down the volume for these videos   Leave a comment

I’m sorry to have more than one lizard post in a row, but someone has been making trouble for multiple days in a row.

Who, me???

Who, me???

Yes, You. Mr. Sonny Marx! Look at what you’ve been doing:

You have been doing that for two days! This has been my soundtrack for two days. Notice he stops for several seconds (about 15). That’s just long enough to give me hope that he’s stopped. He hasn’t.

Morning until night, this is what I see and hear. And no, he can’t bother being graceful about it.

No, frequently he gets into messes like this:

Oh this is a good spot.  I think I'll just hang out for a while.  Oh you're here?  Can you get me outta this?  That's cool.

Oh this is a good spot. I think I’ll just hang out for a while. Oh you’re here? Can you get me outta this? That’s cool.

If I wasn’t here to help him, he’d be stuck like that forever. Oh you think I’m joking?

He has me trained well. Look at him. “Oh help me Mom I’m stuck.” He’s lucky I’ve been home the last few days. But hah! I’m more clever than he is. I control his home.

Yeah this will last exactly as long as the initial surprise.

Yeah this will last exactly as long as the initial surprise.

Her Pet Ology   Leave a comment

So because I am the person who has to pay attention to these things (because I nominated myself), Florida is dealing with an invasive species problem by allowing hunters to cull the herd. In this case, the “herd” is Burmese pythons. I am suspicious of things that don’t have feet.


Source

Actually for serious, snakes freak me out. I once held a baby snake and I spent the entire time thinking about how vulnerable my wrist was to fangs, mammal-biting fangs that long for blood. It’s the head of the snake that scares me. Not the body.


Snakes can be quite lovely, actually
Source

When I’d first heard of the snake-culling on NPR, I thought “huh, that’s interesting” and then filed it away in my brain to dump later. I did not care, is the point. NPR gave much the same analysis as the linked article above — that is to say, none. NPR reported that the population of Burmese Pythons, a non-native species invasive to Florida, had risen to the levels that the government was allowing hunters to kill the pythons at will. That is pretty much what the Miami Herald says, except that it gives a bit more information on the rules of the hunter’s cull.

The Hunter's Cull

Repticon (the convention for reptiles!) posted the Miami Herald link above, asking for thoughts. This was literally the first time I had to given the Burmese Pythons any active thought. I gave my response:

my response

And then did some serious research on Burmese Pythons, and by “serious research” I mean Wikipedia. Because that’s how things are done on the internet. According to Wikipedia, Burmese Pythons are not poisonous. “The snake uses its sharp rearward-pointing teeth to seize its prey, then wraps its body around the prey, at the same time contracting its muscles, killing the prey by constriction.” Oh, oh goody. “In captivity their diet consists primarily of commercially available, appropriately sized rats, and graduates to larger items such as rabbits and poultry as they grow. Exceptionally large pythons may even require larger food items such as pigs or goats, and are known to have attacked and eaten alligators and adult deer in Florida…” Wait, aren’t humans smaller than alligators and adult deer? “A three-metre long Burmese python can easily kill a child and a five-metre long (around 16.5 feet) Burmese python is certainly capable of overpowering and killing a fully grown adult.”

The Wikipedia article also can’t decide if Burmese Pythons are going to leave Southeastern Florida or not. First they point out that the USGS showed that, thanks to climate change, they could migrate northwards. But then Wikipedia points out that article wasn’t peer-reviewed! In fact, Burmese Pythons died of exposure when brought to Southern California! Then the USGS brought out another study saying that the Burmese Pythons could migrate north! Then herpetologists again contradicted the study! Who to trust?

I recognize that I’m focusing on only the horrible parts of the Wikipedia page, but most of it is the standard neutral data on where the Burmese Python comes from and what it does. Did you know that snakes are born with egg teeth, which allow it to break through the egg, I guess? Also, sometimes Burmese Pythons brumate! What a strange thing for a reptile to do. On the pro-side of things, Burmese Pythons are “made popular by their attractive colour and apparently easy-going nature” and that…that is about it on the pro-burmie side of things on Wikipedia. Reptiles are easy-going, guys, I’m not going to lie. Give them a hot spot and a cool spot and some food and plenty of alone time and man, reptiles are easy pets.


Now that we’re all a little more educated on the subject of Burmese Pythons, let’s see what my fellow Repticon page-followers have to say about the culling of the pythons.

Honestly, most of the responses were along the same lines as mine. “It has to be done,” most of us said. “It’s sad that animals have to die because of human stupidity, but it must be done, for the sake of the environment and the other animals.” Keep in mind that having an non-native predator with those sorts of numbers means that native predators can’t eat and the prey animals are dying faster than they ought to. There were also those who were fully against the hunt:

uproar
against

There were conspiracy theorists in the group:

its all a conspiracy

Could it have something to do with land development? I honestly have no idea. I do know that land down there is a goldmine. When my cousin and his fiancee visited for my grampa’s birthday, they told us about how Miami was trying to kick out Burn Notice in order to build condos. Sure, Burn Notice provides hundreds of jobs and makes people interested in visiting Miami, but condos! Perhaps more research is required on this, I don’t know.

There was also lots of advice for the hunters.

advice

One person didn’t seem to understand the question.

off-topic
That’s a fantastic song by Oasis by the way

Another person didn’t seem to understand the issue. Like, at all.

just plain incorrect

I might be new to this whole Burmese Python issue, but:

1) Burmese Pythons are non-native, meaning that they don’t belong in the Everglades and they are invading our space
2) “this” is singular and “animals” is plural, so you should have said “these animals”
3) Burmese Pythons would still need to get caught in order to get “ex-ported”
4) And anyway they’re non-native, so it would be “deported” back to their native country
5) Rainforests? Do you want to set an invasive species on the Amazon?

what are we nazis

Any answer I give to this would invoke Godwin’s Law and therefore I can’t comment.

2013 resolution   1 comment

I’m never going to become internet famous if I just keep thinking about ways to TRY, rather than actually TRYING.

I think my New Years Resolution is to TRY to become internet famous. Doesn’t matter if I succeed or not — I will TRY. I will make a good youtube channel. I will actually follow through on some twitter feed. I will update my tumblr feed.

This year, I will try to gain a following.