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Ah, the Natural World

Let me just say that the big b-day bash at the Ryan's was delightful. Of the many fine stories told there, my favoriate are "Emperor Jimmy Stewart" by JD and "Fully Involved House Fire" by Tammie. I can't do them justice in text, really, but ask me next time I see you and I'll spin you the tale in person. Other highlights include the invention of the "doglock" and a possible lead on tracking the elusive agent in the wild. It was a grand time.

On the drive home, just after 9 o'clock, clouds streaked the sky and twilight wrapped the city in a shade of purple that usually enfolds the mountains. The city's mountains were pierced by tiny fey lanterns up to the very peaks, where red lights blinked. It was one of those magical moments when one wishes for a camera while driving, even though one despairs of actually catching the twilight on film.

Link salad in lieu of real content:

Life in the Arctic Ocean. Any article containing the phrase "completely new to science" is music to my ears. Although "flea-like crustaceans" has a certain ring to it.

Bill-Collector Hyenas and Baboons of Nigeria (via Boing Boing). The best part of this isn't just the photography (which is stunning), but the fact that it shows me that the ancient Egyptian use of baboons as pets and police animals is a tradition not entirely dead. I first saw this depicted on tomb drawing kept at the Field Museum in Chicago. I always wanted one of those baboons, if only as a sort of guardian animal in high school.

The photos are the most beautiful pictures of hyenas you will ever see.


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