More dog/wolf

More good comment on the dog/wolf post – I may have to look at adding a ‘greatest hits’ category to the Blogroll/Booklist/etc. series on the right…

As I was dashing off a reply to the latest comments, it occurred to me that I had read a pretty good fictional account of prehistoric wolf cub raising. I think it was in Elizabeth Marshall Thomas’ Reindeer Moon, but it could have been in The Animal Wife. I’m on the road right now – I’ll check when I get home and post an update. Both books are highly recommended – stories of prehistoric life written by someone who lived with hunter-gatherers. IIRC there was a major omission from both books, though – no giant hyenas! I have been very close to Siberian Tigers (couple feet away w/ a chain-link fence between us, up close and personal with wolves (also in captivity) – the one critter I didn’t want to get anywhere near was a spotted hyena. They are scary animals, as far as I’m concerned. And, before you ask, no, they are plenty intimidating on their own – I don’t think I need to invoke any Jungian race-memory or suchlike.

Update – the wolf passage was in Reindeer Moon.


You might have seen long load times for DoaMNH over the past couple days (or maybe not – what do I know?). I’ve been seeding the Ubuntu Studio torrent – I have the torrent bandwidth throttled back, but the number of simultaneous connections is stressing my little consumer-grade router. I’ve turned off BitTorrent for the day – I’ll probably try to run it overnight (east-coast US, which means late night into the morning UK/Europe and early evening to late night western US). The Ubuntu Studio folks are getting hammered – their web site is currently down – but for those who don’t follow such things, Ubuntu Studio is a variant of the very popular Ubuntu Linux distribution with added packages for audio, video and graphics editing. Tutorials and Studio download status here.

Non-technical version of above – the site may be slow – it’s probably on purpose, because of weird stuff I’m doing – I’m going to try to make it as painless as possible.

Just give it a couple years…

Via Engadget, a dog collar that combines a GPS receiver and a cell phone. The collar can phone home with long/lat coordinates – with the right device on the other end, putting a dot on a map is trivial. Right now it’s way too bulky, but I’d imagine that a year or two down the line we may be able to put a similar unit on a large hawk or falcon. Many folks put two telemetry transmitters on their birds now – substituting a GPS/cell unit for one might make sense in some circumstances. Two critical considerations – battery life (always an issue) and density of cell towers. What might make sense here in the east (or across the Atlantic) might be foolish in the middle of Wyoming where the falcon is more likely to be eaten by a Goldie than it is to find cell service. There’s also the fair chase aspect – incorporating yet another gadget into an ancient practice. The question may never arise – my bit of technological prognostication may be off base – but if it does, I have to think that avoiding a plane rental (for an aerial search) may be a good thing. To illustrate the post (you may have noticed that I likes me some pitchurs) a falconer with bird and sighthound:

Random Violets

I crack myself up. I just uploaded a few springtime flower pictures to Flickr; click here to go to my account (or you can use the Flickr badge on the right).


As always, click to embiggen. All shots taken in the yard – I’m messing with the macro capabilities of my newish camera.

Ger interior

Steve was kind enough to send over this shot – he’s drinking airag in his friendĀ  Nyamdorj’s ger – 2001. For info on ger versus yurt versus all the other names for this type of structure, click here and for a great Tetrapod Zoology post on sheep (wall hanging reference), click here.

Two Flickr links

A few months ago, Steve posted about John McLoughlin’s visit to the Black Hole in Los Alamos. Last night, while wandering around Flickr, I came across Telstar Logistics’ Black Hole photoset. It’s well worth a look, and man – that is one great Kachina string tie!


Via BB, I found the Reading Stack photo pool – pictures of the To Be Read stack that folks have staged and ready. I find it reassuring – my bibliomania may only be garden variety – though I might be BS-ing myself…

One of the Reading Stack pictures featured a Sticklebook. Aside from a good name, it is a very interesting gadget. I’ll bet it would allow me to double or triple the number of books on or around my nightstand (actually clean my nightstand off? ha ha ha ha – it is to laugh!).



Later – by way of explanation: I can’t think of sticklebacks without thinking of Mr. Jeremy Fisher, and I can’t think of Mr. Jeremy Fisher without also remembering the “I know a good place” quote (also the title – not coincidentally – of an enjoyable book).

Sterling to Milles to Hedin

Yes, six degrees of separation and all, but this stuff continues to be scary. I was checking Bruce Sterling’s blog this morning; there’s an entry where he mentions that ‘I’m staying at Cranbrook — in this guy’s house‘. ‘This guy’ is Carl Milles, a sculptor I was unfamiliar with but whose work (in 2D and on a computer screen, unfortunately) I like. So, I’m reading the wikipedia entry on Mr. Milles when another name jumps out at me – one of Milles’ sculptures is ‘Sven Hedin on a Camel’. Hedin traveled though Asia and the Mideast; I was reading The Silk Road, Trade, Travel, War And Faith over coffee this morning. Here’s a bit of an image dump inspired by all this.

One of Milles’ sculptures, with work by an artist I was already familiar with (I’m not completely ignorant!) – Dale Chihuly:


Europa and the Bull (aurochs!):


Hedin on a camel (sorta courtesy of the RGS – thus the watermark):


Hedin w/ camel in front of yurt (I’m going somewhere with this, I promise):


Interior of a present day yurt – one way I’m thinking about doing up the interior of the Airstream (when I get it):