"You see, Wendy, when the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces, and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies." James M. Barrie Peter Pan.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A second marshmallow when I return?

Oh, The Temptation - click here

Here's a reprise of a now-classic Stanford psychological experiment from the 1960s in which kids are put in a room with a marshmallow and told they can either eat it immediately or wait until the researcher gets back, and they'll be given a second marshmallow. Hilarity ensues as the kids suffer marshmallow temptation!

But the consequences go deeper: In the New Yorker article "Don’t!" from May that detailed the very same experiment, it turned out that the ones who passed the marshmallow test enjoyed greater success as adults. Said Walter Mischel, the Stanford professor of psychology in charge of the experiment, "What we’re really measuring with the marshmallows isn’t will power or self-control... It’s much more important than that. This task forces kids to find a way to make the situation work for them. They want the second marshmallow, but how can they get it? We can’t control the world, but we can control how we think about it.”

The illusion of free choice.

How apt in this day and age

Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia

Fran would like to go to Spain

Who's been?

Some of the fascination in visiting the Sagrada Familia is the fact that it has been an ongoing project ever since it started in 1882.
Legend has it that the world will end once the church is completed, which would explain why architects are estimated to be struggling
with the fulfillment of Gaudi's flamboyant vision for years to come. Yet a more probable reason is that the young artist conceived of it as
a memorial of remorse for modern materialism in Barcelona and envisioned it so elaborate that it's simply no way of telling where the
structure ends and its decoration begins.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Now is the time to panic!

A giant threat materializes in the shape of a male orca with a six-foot-tall dorsal
fin, alarming penguins driven from shore by torrential rain. Orcas prefer elephant
seals to penguins, but will eat any they can catch.

Who knew hippo teeth grew like that!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Working out this morning I saw a bobcat go by my window and up the neighbours side walk. Then he/she swung into the seagrapes on my oceanfront dune. I went out on the back deck and it just stood and looked at me from the foliage seemingly not too concerned. He/she proceeded to carry on south along the dune, under our dune crossover to point unknown.

Maybe 12 years ago we had a juvenile come into our yard and our dog took exception to it. This time ... he just carried on seemingly unconcerned.

Not my picture.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Islands in the stream, that is what we are


I thought this was so touching.

In contrast to the young usually pushing themselves away from the older generation, I've had both, my paternal grandmother and my birth mother push me away.

Life has it's twists and turns, doesn't it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I guess this is "heartwarming dog story" weekend!!


Dog saves toddler lost in Yukon bush

A dog named Koda was found with a B.C. toddler who was lost in the Yukon but discovered alive more than 24 hours later. Searchers found the two-year-old who had wandered away from a campsite near Tay Creek, about 50 kilometres north of Ross River, Yukon.

Vancouver From Monday's Globe and Mail

When a young British Columbia family stopped to make camp in the Yukon wilderness they were surprised to see a scruffy dog that looked a bit like a coyote come out of the bush.

They saw the mongrel had porcupine quills sticking out of its face and tried to help, not knowing that simple act of kindness would be repaid in the most remarkable way – with the deliverance of their son from a life-threatening ordeal.

Two-year-old Kale disappeared into the bush wearing only a T-shirt on a cool and rainy night late last week. More than 24 hours later, search-and-rescue authorities found him alive, thanks in part to Koda, the yellow mutt with the quill-covered snout who protected the toddler and kept him warm overnight.

“A bear could have got him. Anything could have happened,” said Mike Bondarchuk, a local hotel owner who volunteered in the search for Kale. “What we do know is the dog stuck with him, all night and all the next day.”

Kale and Koda will now be able to stick together for good – Koda's owner has given the dog to the toddler's family.

“He was meant to be there at that time,” said Kim Dolan, the owner of Koda, who had been missing for about a week before meeting the boy.

“It was tough to give him away. I was in tears … but it was the right thing to do,” she said.

The toddler, whose last name has not been released, disappeared at about 6 p.m. Thursday while his parents set up their trailer near where North Canol Road crosses the Tay River, about 50 kilometres north of the Ross River, Yukon.

The parents, who asked authorities not to release their names, are experienced in the outdoors and had driven from Kamloops for the camping trip

The Tay River area is about as wild as it gets, with dense forest interspersed with willow thickets, marshes and rushing streams.

After the RCMP in Ross River – population 400 – were notified the boy was missing, a full-scale operation began, with search-and-rescue teams and volunteers responding from three Yukon communities.

But darkness fell with no sign of Kale, who had vanished into the dense bush.

Among the volunteers to arrive were Mr. Bondarchuk, who co-owns the Canol Road Hotel and Koda's owner Ms. Dolan, the daughter of his business partner.

Ms. Dolan said Sunday that when she heard the mother of the missing boy describe the yellow dog that had been hanging around, she knew instantly it was her mutt, Koda, who is also called Squeak.

“She said the dog was kind of coyote looking and he had a face full of porcupine quills … I thought what are the chances? It's probably my dog,” said Ms. Dolan.

“He's a total mutt. A total kid dog … he just wants to be loved,” she said of Koda, an abandoned dog she adopted from the streets of Ross River several months earlier.

Koda had wandered off before and often came home from the bush with porcupine quills in his face.

As the mother of two sons, Ms. Dolan said she knew what Kale's mother was going through, and comforted her by saying: “That's my dog out there. He won't leave your son.”

Mr. Bondarchuk, who joined the ground search, said he was told the father of the missing boy had pulled some porcupine quills out of the dog's face before his son had vanished.

Keiser Sterriah, 14, was getting ready to go hunting with his father, Norman, when news about the missing boy spread through Ross River. They were among a group of about 25 volunteers who responded, along with search and rescue specialists from Faro and Whitehorse.

“They told us we were looking for a little boy in a T-shirt, he had no jacket, and he was last seen with a yellow dog,” Keiser said. “They told us to look under logs because he might be curled up there. And we just started going through the bush … it's very dense there, lots of marshes … there were grizzly tracks nearby,” he said.

“I can only imagine what was going through the mother's mind at the time,” Michael Pealow, a member of the Whitehorse District Search and Rescue Society team wrote in blog posted on the weekend.

“The night was cold and wet and the terrain in the area is rough. . . Most adults wouldn't make it through the night before succumbing to hypothermia, let alone a two-year-old child.”

At 6:40 Friday evening – nearly 25 hours after Kale vanished – a helicopter using forward-looking infrared radar picked up a heat image on the ground, about two kilometres from the camp site. The pilot saw a dog running for cover.

Bill Wood, of the Faro Search and Rescue team, said a ground crew working nearby went to the scene and found the boy, about 40 metres off the gravel road.

They later recovered Koda, who had been scared by the helicopter. He was still stuck with porcupine quills, which the rescuers removed.

“I'm sure it definitely helped [the boy survive],” said Mr. Wood of the dog.

“Overnight they would have been able to cuddle for warmth and a companion makes a world of difference – it doesn't matter if you're a little boy or an adult.”

Friday, September 4, 2009

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are my weakness!

Abandoned piglet is lost and hound: Giant farm dog saves baby pig's bacon by adopting it as one of its own

A giant farm dog and a tiny piglet cuddle up as if they were family after the baby runt was dismissed by its own mother.

Surrogate mum Katjinga, an eight-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, took on motherly duties for grunter Paulinchen - a tiny pot-bellied pig - and seems to be taking the adoption in her stride.

Lonely Paulinchen was luckily discovered moments from death and placed in the care of the dog who gladly accepted it as one of her own. Thankfully for the two-week old mini porker, Katjinga fell in love with her at first sight and saved her bacon.

Enlarge Dog and baby piglet

Motherly love: Baby piglet feeds on its new surrogate mum

And the unlikely relationship has made the wrinkly piggy a genuine sausage dog. In these adorable images Paulinchen can even be seen trying to suckle from her gigantic new mum.

The two animals live together on a huge 20-acre farm in Hoerstel, Germany, where Katjinga's owners Roland Adam, 54, and his wife Edit, 44, a bank worker, keep a pair of breeding Vietnamese pigs.

Baby piglet and farm dog

Nose place like home: The baby piglet nuzzles up to its new mum

Property developer Roland found the weak and struggling piglet after she was abandoned by the rest of her family one evening after she was born.

He said: "The pigs run wild on our land and the sow had given birth to a litter of five in our forest.
"I found Paulinchen all alone and when I lifted her up she was really cold.

Baby piglet feeding on farm dog

Feeding time: Piglet's new canine mother has no problem providing milk for the youngster

"I felt sure some local foxes would have taken the little pig that very night so I took it into my house and gave her to Katjinga.

"She had just finished with a litter of her own, who are now 10 months, so I thought there was a chance she might take on the duties of looking after her.

"Katjinga is the best mother you can imagine. She immediately fell in love with the piggy. Straight away she started to clean it like it was one of her own puppies.

"Days later she started lactating again and giving milk for the piggy. She obviously regards it now as her own baby."

Mum of the year? Quite possibly.

Farm dog and baby piglet

Doting: Caring pooch checks up on her new addition

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


An incongruous portrait with Lincoln

Sometimes the best part of having all these photogenic monuments in the city isn't the monuments themselves, but all the random folk who come out to do photo shoots by them. Weddings parties, fashion models, tourists from Oklahoma – all of them line up to get a portrait with President Lincoln. Here, akabyam gets a great shot of some colorful ballerinas on the Mall, waiting patiently to pirouette in front of Honest Abe for the camera. [http://dcist.com/2009/08/photo_of_the_day_august_31_2009.php]