The crane flies have been all over the house and attacking the windows for about a week. According to Wikipedi, Although crane flies look like mosquitoes, they do not bite humans. Adult crane flies do not eat at all; most adult crane flies only mate and then die. The larva eat the roots of grass so they no doubt love the golf courses here. Looked at old blogs — didn’t mention crane flies last year. Maybe was too busy to notice. But two years ago they showed up in April, not March. This must be a warmer year, climate change and all. (For all of you folks back east, buried in snow, notice that I didn’t say global warming.)
It’s spring, and with the bit of rain we’ve had, the flowers (mostly alyssum) that I seeded in my “meadow ” are thick, as well as the volunteers in my vegetable garden, from snapdragons that I’d planted years ago to wildflowers, California bluebells (shown here), desert verbena with both thin and wide leaves. Plus my Lady Banks rose, which I have tied up
to the back fence, is starting to bloom more than it ever has before. BTW, this website is good for identifying flowers and recommending ones to plant: http://www.cvwd.org/conservation/lush_book/lush3_8.html
But even nicer to look at than flowers are the bicyclists of spring, packs of svelte bodies clad in lycra, riding up or down Anklam, taking in Gates Pass.
Seen yesterday: six cars stopped on the main drag through Starr Pass (a road with very little traffic) as a small herd of javelina crossed the street.
Life In The Universe
This week’s lecture, Intelligent Life Beyond Earth by Christopher D. Impey, University Distinguished Professor, Astronomy, was the best! Chris has such a great sense of humor. (65 million years ago a comet killed off the dinosaurs; unfortunately it missed Barney.) You must watch the podcasts. All are on this site except for this one, which should be there in a week:
Here is the introductory spiel:
One question rises above all others when it comes to our place in a vast and ancient Universe, ‘Are we alone?’ With a billion habitable locations in the Milky Way galaxy, and more than ten billion years for biological experiments to play out, a search for intelligent life beyond Earth is well-motivated. Unfortunately, the single example of life on Earth gives no clear indication of whether intelligence is an inevitable or an extremely rare consequence of biological evolution. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, is more appropriately called the search for extraterrestrial technology. So far, the search for intelligent aliens by their electromagnetic communication has met with half a century of stony silence. It’s challenging to define life, and even more difficult to make general definitions of intelligence and technology. We’ll look at the premises and assumptions involved in the search, the strategies used, and the profound consequences of making contact.
He also mentioned that, according to the eminent physicist Stephen Hawking, “If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn’t turn out well for the Native Americans,” … He argues that, instead of trying to find and communicate with life in the cosmos, humans would be better off doing everything they can to avoid contact.
This week we discussed the movie Mildred Pierce, with Joan Crawford, 1945. Here is some of the editing that was done:
Apparently the book would not have passed The Code. So, in addition to the language being cleaned up, the panoply of screen writers (including the uncredited William Faulkner and Catherine Turney), changed the plot to a murder mystery, simplified characters to make them either bad or good, and killed off one of the “bad guys”. It was a box office hit, and won many Oscars. You can get it from the library or Netflix.
This is what I picked up at the CSA today: Beets, Carrots, Collard Greens (which I traded for more beets, as I can cook them and freeze them), Hakurei Turnips, Navel Oranges, Salad Mix, Sweet Potatoes, Swiss Chard. Lots of veggies to finish before the weekend, when I leave to visit my brother during spring break.
You don’t have to see a picture of James Beard to know what he looks like, just read the descriptions of his breads in Beard on Bread, [They] should be eaten fresh, with plenty of good sweet butter.