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I gotta do my homework!

americangut

It’s the sixth and final week of my online microbiology course – finals due Sunday – and I ain’t done nuffink. It would be just like me to fail at the last hurdle, so I best get a move on.

This last material should be pretty easy, though — it’s all about the American Gut Project, a combination of crowd-funding and citizen science. Basically, you give them money, you give them a (ahem) sample, you get a detailed report of their findings, your data gets added to the giant rolling pool of gut data.

Four years, over 10K guts analyzed, $1.5M raised.

I suppose the cynical take is that you get played for a mug coming and going, but I love this idea and projects like it, I do. It’s like the people who told me “ZOMG 23-and-me is selling your genetic data to big pharma!” and I’m like “Whoa! That. Is. AWESOME!

Anyway, their website is above. Their Fundrazr is here. Yes, there’s a British version. No, I haven’t signed up yet. No, you don’t have to touch the poop (you get a perfectly good swab sample from toilet paper). Yes, you can have your cat’s gut analyzed (good luck getting him to use toilet paper).

The idea is probably a lot more exciting after six weeks of studying gut microbes, but I’m pretty jazzed. I’m saving my pennies.

Good weekend, y’all!

addendum: I’m adding this to the main post so you don’t miss it. First, if you haven’t played with today’s Google Doodle, do. (hee hee! Googledoodledo!). I never heard of Oskar Fischinger before, but that music thingie is fun to play with. No direct link, alas, so it probably will be gone after today. ALSO, starting Monday at 11 PT, they’re doing the longest ever MST3K marathon on Twitch. Yes, classic episodes. Thirty eight of ’em. (Has anyone seen the new one? Is it as rubbish as it looks?).

June 23, 2017 — 7:11 pm
Comments: 25

Happy Solstice!

Sorry guise! Got jammed up sitting in the garden watching the stars and drinking Aussi wine. Talk tomorrow. Love you. *mwah*

June 21, 2017 — 11:39 pm
Comments: 19

hypnotic

wood

Brett Foxwell is a professional stop-motion animator and, if I can be the judge, a loonie. He’s done this fantastic frame-by-frame animation of him…sanding wood, I guess is what. The result looks like breathing creatures or microscopy or aerial photography of a seasonal river delta. Watch it. Wear headphones. It’s something else.

This was not a simple idea. He would have to take a precise amount off each time to make such a smooth animation. Even harder than that, though, he’d have to move either the camera or the wood closer by exactly the amount he’d shaved off, or likewise the animation wouldn’t be smooth. Hence loonie.

If synchronized sanding ain’t your thing, we’ve been enjoying watching this litter of Canadian kittens grow up in real time. They’re all ready to be adopted out, so don’t get attached, but I’m quite sure they’ll follow another litter after this. It’s what they do.

June 20, 2017 — 10:30 pm
Comments: 11

That’s illegal, surely

weaselbaiting

Weasel baiting. Okay, it’s only part of a weasel, but still.

Terrier races from a local village fete this Saturday. Third from the left — the long-leggedy one — won three out of three while we watched. I think they ought to have instituted a size class.

This fete is currently our favorite. Good beer, superior ice cream from a local dairy, some interesting stalls.

Uncle B bought me a coat that I may or may not have the courage to show you (or, for that matter, wear in public). I wouldn’t think of modeling it today, though — it’s what passes for super hot here (mid-80s, at a guess).

If they call it a fun dog show, why was everybody so serious about it?

June 19, 2017 — 7:50 pm
Comments: 33

Perfidious delphiniums

godinton

June 23rd to July 2nd is Delphinium Week at Godinton House! The sharp-eyed among you (I realize that’s not many) will note that it is, in fact, only the 16th of June, but nobody bought the delphiniums a calendar. They are early. They are likely to be all done by the time Delphinium Week proper gets here.

Also, those are not delphiniums in the picture. They’re tulips.

Never mind. We were tipped off and went today. We’ve been to the gardens many times, but this is the first time we’ve toured the house. It’s another one of these great old country houses that accreted centuries of new build around a Medieval great hall center. The carving throughout the house was spectacular!

Sadly, no photography anywhere inside the building, so I can’t share. I bought the guidebook, but it was a little light on reproductions of the paintings – my main interest.

All that and a proper cream tea in the tea room.

Good weekend, y’all!

p.s. I didn’t owe you a Dead Pool, did I? Nobody had Adam West this time, I know.

June 16, 2017 — 9:10 pm
Comments: 15

One angry rat

rattus

Rattus and I have been playing a game all evening. He finds an opening, I steal a brick from the path and plug it up. It won’t be long before I have bricks all the way around the run.

No, seriously. That’s what I think I’m going to have to do — put a course of brick all around. Unfortunately, I’ve run out of scavanged bricks. Probably have to buy some.

That is one angry, puzzled rodent…hee hee.

I think we’re going to have to shoot him. To answer the question from the thread below, yes we can get a proper .22, but the restrictions involved are way too onerous. Believe it or don’t. For now, we still have some pretty potent air rifles, though.

If we can figure out how to light him up.

June 15, 2017 — 10:42 pm
Comments: 30

Consarnit!

morehedge

Pictured: the adorable hedgehog who has put on a little show for the surveillance cameras all evening.

Not pictured: the giant rat who has been eating my chicken feed all night. The sonofabitch is a LOT faster than I am and managed to scoot before I could catch him every single time. I’ve got him now, though — I found his tunnel. He’d cleverly dug it behind the ramp to the henhouse so I never spotted it before.

Let’s see if you can dig through a brick, rattus!

June 14, 2017 — 10:44 pm
Comments: 24

Chikken!

chickensoap

This young feller, Daniele Barresi, is making a name for himself doing quick food sculptures. Though this particular one is a soap sculpture. BUT IT’S A CHICKEN. A friend of mine in art school used to do soap carving, so I have a warm spot. More soap.

Here’s some of the better food ones, on Bored Panda. Yes, despite the name “Daniele” it’s a he. And he bites his fingernails.

Unrelated note: I have just put into the oven the greatest meatloaf ever made — I suspect — and no-one will ever know. But me. AHAHAHAHA!

June 13, 2017 — 10:35 pm
Comments: 17

I want this!

moom

But I can’t have it. It’s from one of those American clearance places. You probably can, though. My Facebook has a hard time targeting advertising to me (heh heh).

Did I ever tell you about my moon dream? I was very little, but I still remember. I looked up, and the moon was in my livingroom, looking (as it does) about the size of a half dollar. I reached up and plucked it out of the air and immediately realized that was a Very Bad Thing to have done and I was Going to Get In Trouble.

Sure enough, I flipped the moon over, and there was a dial on the back. It’s said, “You will go to…” and “Hell” was on the left, “Heaven” was on the right. As I watched, the needle flipped over to HELL!

I woke up terrified. I thought about waking my parents. And then I thought, “pff! Hang on! I can’t even read yet.”

June 12, 2017 — 10:52 pm
Comments: 12

Night visitor

hedgie

Did I tell you I got a four-camera surveillance system for my b’day? It’s essentially to replace the wildlife camera, which broke. I’ve had a high old time watching…moths, mostly. Oh, I’ve had fun, but this is the first really cool thing I’ve caught.

Hedgehog!

Last night. Only the second one in almost ten years. They’re getting rare, sadly. This one stuck his nose under a sack of coal and decided he was completely hidden and safe. I left him a tribute of cat food and came back to find him tucking in (pictured).

p.s. just went out and nearly stepped on him. Or another one. Hard to say, but this one might have been smaller.

Yes, we’ll probably stay up until the election returns start trickling in. Not with much enthusiasm. This is a choice between bad and really fucking awful.

June 8, 2017 — 11:01 pm
Comments: 11