Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Links at Last

I have had to drop some as not timely-- but finally a feast of the good, the bad, and the strange.

Good: first, and rather belatedly considering how long I have been following these people's work (one has even bent an elbow at the Spur): three blogs by poets plus. First in line and I think newest is by New Formalist poet, writer of novels in the form of epics and a thriller in the form of a short poem collection, philosopher of biology and religion, martial artist, professor, and rare polymath Frederick Turner of Dallas.

Second is the blog, literary at least as much as musical, and website of border and all- round American (NOT just cowboy!) singer- storyteller Tom Russell, perhaps my favorite popular singer alive.

Third, the website of by- no- means- only cowboy poet Paul Zarzyski, among other things another half- Italian Catholic schoolboy like me. He may be best known for his haunting poem "All This Way for the Short ride" or its slightly different ballad version sung by Russell, but he has written on everything from a Midwestern boyhood to South Africa. Need I urge you to buy all these peoples' books and CDs?

More good? Daniela sent this link to a NYT article on hybridization that gives some credence to my arguments in the "Big Black Nemesis" post on Gyrfalcons and Sakers a while back.

And Anne Price of the Raptor Education Foundation, one of our honorary "Russians", sent one to this extraordinary archive of pre- Revolution Russian color photos.

Good at least in my book, if only for the sake of burying the hatchet and getting on with science: Richard Dawkins, our best evo writer and an outspoken atheist, has publicly signed a statement that he has no quarrel with religious people who accept evolution. Of course this act of charity and reason has made him an instant object of attack from whack jobs on both sides, especially atheist fundamentalists who denounce him as an "accomodationist". (The book mentioned, The Greatest Show on Earth, is excellent).

Bad? How about cannibalism, very early (with a somewhat sensational title), and relatively recent.

(Chas says further:

"Nothing new here–a Park Service archaeologist at Chaco Canyon said all these things to me about 1980, describing kivas full of tumbled skeletons that had been excavated in the 1940s.

"Funny thing, though — he would not discuss this topic in his office but only if I came to his house. “The walls have ears.”

"Back then, no one wanted to disturb the idea of the early Puebloans as peaceful, corn-growing ceremonialists. The Park Service still does not."

I have been told of deliberate re- burials, by federal employees, in confidence!)

More bad: "PETA" video. It is a spoof but full of real amazing idiot dogma. Did you know it is wrong to wear imitation leather because it mimics animal torture? That one must eschew medicine because it is tested on animals?--!!

Worse: "funny" video showing kids being blown up because they didn't want to do enough to reduce their carbon footprint. THAT'LL win hearts and minds. It has been yanked but the "apologies" seem more of the "sorry you didn't get it" variety.

Finally, what would we do without just plain WEIRD? Here are radioactive wild boars (HT Peculiar), and an extremely strong (55% alcohol), extremely expensive ale made with nettles and juniper and bottled in roadkill. (HT JDZ).

I think I need a drink.

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