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Thread: Trivial (or not so trivial) stuff that makes you happy.

  1. #3631
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    The extraordinary reluctance to admit that the cat population is a major menace to birds and other desirables passes right over cat enthousiasts.
    Lots of cat owners recognize this problem. I am a big advocate of indoor only cats as pets because of this.

    As far as toxoplasmosis being the cause of people's affection for cats, or causing them to make illogical decisions regarding cat populations, I would like to see some actual evidence of that. I've heard such claims for years, but I have seen no evidence for it. Toxoplasmosis can cause neurological problems, but those are rare and I haven't seen that loving cats is one of the symptoms.

    CBS News
    Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic disease that is most commonly transmitted through the feces of infected cats. People can contract it from handling cat litter. It can also be found in undercooked meat or contaminated water. The parasite that causes it, toxoplasma gondii, is carried by nearly 30 percent of all humans and in most cases is considered relatively harmless. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 60 million people in the U.S. may have it.

    However, in some people, the researchers found a link between the parasite and Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED), a psychiatric disorder characterized by recurrent, impulsive, problematic outbursts of verbal or physical aggression that are disproportionate to the situations that trigger them.
    CDC
    A single-celled parasite called Toxoplasma gondii causes a disease known as toxoplasmosis. While the parasite is found throughout the world, more than 60 million people in the United States may be infected with the Toxoplasma parasite. Of those who are infected, very few have symptoms because a healthy person’s immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness.

    ...

    Symptoms of the infection vary.

    - Most people who become infected with Toxoplasma gondii are not aware of it.
    - Some people who have toxoplasmosis may feel as if they have the “flu” with swollen lymph glands or muscle aches and pains that last for a month or more.
    - Severe toxoplasmosis, causing damage to the brain, eyes, or other organs, can develop from an acute Toxoplasma infection or one that had occurred earlier in life and is now reactivated. Severe cases are more likely in individuals who have weak immune systems, though occasionally, even persons with healthy immune systems may experience eye damage from toxoplasmosis.
    - Signs and symptoms of ocular toxoplasmosis can include reduced vision, blurred vision, pain (often with bright light), redness of the eye, and sometimes tearing.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  2. #3632
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    The evidence that created a fuss a decade ago does seem to go away in larger studies, certainly:
    Is Toxoplasma Gondii Infection Related to Brain and Behavior Impairments in Humans? Evidence from a Population-Representative Birth Cohort

    Here's an interesting thing, though:
    Morbid attraction to leopard urine in Toxoplasma-infected chimpanzees

    Chimps infected with T. gondii lose their natural aversion to leopard urine. Which is perhaps bad news for the chimps.

    This sort of behavioural change would be difficult to study in humans. If we find an association between cat-loving and toxoplasmosis, we can't nail down which direction the causal arrow points in. We'd need to randomize a cohort of children living in cat-free houses to be fed toxoplasma or placebo, and then look at their cat ownership in later life. For some reason ethics committees get really stuffy about study designs like that.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  3. #3633
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    This sort of behavioural change would be difficult to study in humans. If we find an association between cat-loving and toxoplasmosis, we can't nail down which direction the causal arrow points in. We'd need to randomize a cohort of children living in cat-free houses to be fed toxoplasma or placebo, and then look at their cat ownership in later life. For some reason ethics committees get really stuffy about study designs like that.
    But we're doing it for SCIENCE!!!
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  4. #3634
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    I dreamed about my dad's family last night. My uncle was there, hanging out with us. He died nearly twenty years ago. In the dream, everyone knew that and was willing to ignore it because it meant we got to spend a little more time with him.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  5. #3635
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    Got my car back. Pleasant walk on a sunny winters' day, down to the local panel beaters.

    They've done a good job - as much as the car deserved, and stuff was fixed that was already broken before the crash, so I can't complain. (Heck, they even vacuumed it - that's something I've done twice in the 12 years I've had it.)

    The insurance company is taking their sweet time investigating, so I had to pay the excess of $400. Will have to wait and see if I get that back.

    Celebrated by going straight 'round to the supermarket for a few groceries. Been interesting being a motorcycle-only household for a while (in the coldest rainiest part of the year).
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.
    Wir fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn

  6. #3636
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    I didn't even know these places existed. Wood Libraries (xylaria) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-2...nches/10033194 It would be really relaxing to wander through here just touching and looking at the samples. I would also think that the whole place would still have a beautiful aroma.

  7. #3637
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozduck View Post
    I didn't even know these places existed. Wood Libraries (xylaria) http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-2...nches/10033194 It would be really relaxing to wander through here just touching and looking at the samples. I would also think that the whole place would still have a beautiful aroma.
    The pun in the title though!

    (Yes, had no idea such a place existed.)
    Measure once, cut twice. Practice makes perfect.
    Wir fahren fahren fahren auf der Autobahn

  8. #3638
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    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    The pun in the title though!

    (Yes, had no idea such a place existed.)
    I know - I just pretended it wasn't there. By the way good news on getting your car back - Wellington must be truly "bracing" at this time of the year with a slight amount of wind I imagine.

  9. #3639
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    Oh, my broken* back! It hurts!

    But it's a good hurt, because I've been falling farther and farther behind on my catapult work and just went out and solved a problem I created about three weeks ago, the last time I worked on it. Now I can actually go ahead and make some progress. And maybe even do some tasks that don't require so dang much bending over.


    *Literally. They screwed it back together.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  10. #3640
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    I've been laughing and laughing at video of two guys dressed up as a zebra apparently out in the wild. They get jumped by two lions and one of the lions runs off with their stuffed zebra head. The big cat keeps glancing back, somewhat surprised to see the "zebra", in two parts, running away. It looks baffled.
    Solfe

  11. #3641
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I've been laughing and laughing at video of two guys dressed up as a zebra apparently out in the wild. They get jumped by two lions and one of the lions runs off with their stuffed zebra head. The big cat keeps glancing back, somewhat surprised to see the "zebra", in two parts, running away. It looks baffled.
    Thank you for the dumbest thing I've seen all day!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  12. #3642
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Thank you for the dumbest thing I've seen all day!
    Only all day?

  13. #3643
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I've been laughing and laughing at video of two guys dressed up as a zebra apparently out in the wild. They get jumped by two lions and one of the lions runs off with their stuffed zebra head. The big cat keeps glancing back, somewhat surprised to see the "zebra", in two parts, running away. It looks baffled.
    That looks very staged.

    CJSF
    "Find a way to show what would happen
    If you were incorrect
    A fact is just a fantasy
    Unless it can be checked
    Make a test
    Test it out"
    -They Might Be Giants, "Put It To The Test"


    lonelybirder.org

  14. #3644
    The Lion is probably thinking how did this species survive. It could of been worse it could of been a male zebra that thought they were a female.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  15. #3645
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJSF View Post
    That looks very staged.

    CJSF
    Those lions look a bit too tame. I am pretty sure they are trained or at least around humans.
    Solfe

  16. #3646
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    I finally got around to climbing this improbable object:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    A big fin of rock that protrudes from the side of Sgurr Dearg in the Cuillin of Skye. It's customary to go up the east ridge (right) and abseil off the west face (left). The east ridge is just a moderate rock climb (which is as low as the scale goes for rock climbing in the UK) but the exposure is quite dramatic - the ridge is narrow, and the views to either side drop a long way.
    If you want a pretty good impression of what it's like to climb, take a look at the POV video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdYq2cWP4kk (The fella keeps calling it the "south ridge", but corrects that in the title of the video.) The very wide angle of the helmet cam makes for a slightly nauseating view, and makes the ridge seem narrower than it really is, but for my money gives a good impression of what it feels like to be there, if you're a pedestrian like me. He's also very appropriately concerned about the down-climb along the same route, whereas I did the customary abseil. And of course he's free-climbing the damn thing, whereas I had an avuncular guide and a tight rope all the way up.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  17. #3647
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I finally got around to climbing this improbable object:

    A big fin of rock that protrudes from the side of Sgurr Dearg in the Cuillin of Skye.
    I'd have given that a try in my youth. But given my condition, I think I'll content myself to sit on my mountain...at the precise location of my deck...with a dram of Talisker.
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  18. #3648
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    Quote Originally Posted by PetersCreek View Post
    I'd have given that a try in my youth. But given my condition, I think I'll content myself to sit on my mountain...at the precise location of my deck...with a dram of Talisker.
    Ah, appropriate choice.
    But that evening I watched the sun go down over Portree harbour with the aid of a Shackleton blended malt. A thoroughly inappropriate choice, but satisfying in its own way.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  19. #3649
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    Wow, the phrase “because it’s there” springs to mind. With all the implied motivations of human monkeys. On a similar but less ridge like climb in my youth, I remember the muscle freeze of panic part way up and the long time it took me to overcome it to move at all. It was a similar feeling climbing the spiral inside the Happisburgh lighthouse. It floors several visitors regularly who then descend sitting on each step. And that is depite a good solid hand rail.
    sicut vis videre esto
    When we realize that patterns don't exist in the universe, they are a template that we hold to the universe to make sense of it, it all makes a lot more sense.
    Originally Posted by Ken G

  20. #3650
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    I finally got around to climbing this improbable object:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	in pinn.jpg 
Views:	26 
Size:	337.1 KB 
ID:	23474
    A big fin of rock that protrudes from the side of Sgurr Dearg in the Cuillin of Skye. It's customary to go up the east ridge (right) and abseil off the west face (left). The east ridge is just a moderate rock climb (which is as low as the scale goes for rock climbing in the UK) but the exposure is quite dramatic - the ridge is narrow, and the views to either side drop a long way.
    If you want a pretty good impression of what it's like to climb, take a look at the POV video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdYq2cWP4kk (The fella keeps calling it the "south ridge", but corrects that in the title of the video.) The very wide angle of the helmet cam makes for a slightly nauseating view, and makes the ridge seem narrower than it really is, but for my money gives a good impression of what it feels like to be there, if you're a pedestrian like me. He's also very appropriately concerned about the down-climb along the same route, whereas I did the customary abseil. And of course he's free-climbing the damn thing, whereas I had an avuncular guide and a tight rope all the way up.

    Grant Hutchison
    Better you than me! My fear of heights would have always precluded me from doing such a climb, but congratulations on doing it.You were right about the video's "slightly nauseating view", my stomach took a definite flip.

    I am not a spirits drinker but I could certainly imagine sitting back looking at that sunset with a glass of rich red wine in my hand.

  21. #3651
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Wow, the phrase “because it’s there” springs to mind.
    Pretty much so, in my case. I fixated on it like a baby duckling the first time I saw it, 40 years ago. You climb a 3000ft hill, and when you get to the top you discover this huge flake stuck in the flank of the summit, like God's Own Hand Axe, and slightly overtopping the ridge.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  22. #3652
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    You climb a 3000ft hill, and when you get to the top you discover this huge flake stuck in the flank of the summit, like God's Own Hand Axe, and slightly overtopping the ridge.
    I managed to find a public domain image to show what it's like:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The big lump foreground right is An Stac, which we walked around on a "path" you can see as a paler strip of rock. Behind An Stac, sticking up above the skyline, is the splendidly named Inaccessible Pinnacle, which is what I climbed. There's a person standing beyond it, on the ridge and silhouetted against the sky, to give some scale.

    Grant Hutchison
    Blog

    Note:
    During life, we all develop attitudes and strategies to make our interactions with others more pleasant and useful. If I mention mine here, those comments can apply only to myself, my experiences and my situation. Such remarks cannot and should not be construed as dismissing, denigrating, devaluing or criticizing any different attitudes and strategies that other people have evolved as a result of their different situation and different experiences.

  23. #3653
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    The temperature looks to be nicely mild for at least the first two weekends of faire.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  24. #3654
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    I leave to be outstanding in someone else's field today. Last night, I spent ten or twenty minutes mending and have four or five pieces of clothing off my mending pile. I have to stop and buy elastic, and I have to remember to bring needle and thread. All the electronics have to charge, including the nifty little camping lantern I picked up earlier this summer. But the kids come this weekend, and I've got their staff all sorted. I picked up a large bottle of massage oil for my boss's daughter, who got her license as a massage therapist over the off season. (She's also getting the massage table that's been sitting in Simon's closet since before he was born.) Sure, most of my stuff is just in a giant pile in the living room, but I cleaned out the car yesterday and figured out how the rear seats get put away. Simon's going to help me go through my three check lists (one for each of us), actually being a useful part of the process for the first time.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  25. #3655
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    Unfortunately it just isn't very practical for me to go from here. Have a blast!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  26. #3656
    There might be another Star trek series being produced and this Picard is back.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  27. #3657
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Unfortunately it just isn't very practical for me to go from here. Have a blast!
    We did, though we felt lied to by the weather report. I had childcare issues--crossed connections meant that Irene's babysitters were only there for part of Saturday--but she was a pretty good kid, and Simon's babysitter is more important anyway. And he helped to fling a trebuchet full of water balloons!
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  28. #3658
    I'm not normally not a person who likes to get wet but I almost consider it today.
    From the wilderness to the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  29. #3659
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    We did, though we felt lied to by the weather report. I had childcare issues--crossed connections meant that Irene's babysitters were only there for part of Saturday--but she was a pretty good kid, and Simon's babysitter is more important anyway. And he helped to fling a trebuchet full of water balloons!
    I require pictures of that, forthwith!
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  30. #3660
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    I require pictures of that, forthwith!
    Click image for larger version. 

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    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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