Category Archives: News

Escape Artists

Photo Credit: Texas Biomedical Research Institute

Baboons were making the news again yesterday – escaping from a facility in San Antonio.

Per CNN, “Four baboons, having clearly read too much dystopian fiction, escaped a biomedical research lab in San Antonio by climbing a 55-gallon barrel and jumping out of their enclosure.  The institute says the three baboons and their turncloak co-conspirator are all “doing well.”  The blue barrels they used to escape, however, have been removed from the enclosure and will be evaluated. Perhaps they enriched too much.”

What would you like for a little enrichment?



Optical Illusions

Husband and I were buying groceries when a magazine cover on display near the checkout gave me pause.  It was a magazine tribute to Billy Graham. The way the magazine rack was designed made it look as though the Reverend Graham had payot, those locks of hair  sported by Hasidic men near their ears.  I had to look twice to convince myself I wasn’t seeing what I thought I was seeing.  Whew! That would have really rocked my world had it been true!

I am the sort of person who sees fanciful designs and drawings in floor tiles.  I like administering the Rorschach Inkblot Test because I like to hear all the interesting things people tell me they see.  I know the person is in trouble when not even I can see what they see.

James Thurber writes about his poor vision and the interesting things he thought he saw, like an elderly admiral in dress uniform peddling  a bicycle next to a vehicle Thurber was sitting in.  The admiral wasn’t really there, of course.  Thurber thought it was probably a billboard or starlight shining through the trees.  He also writes of throwing stones at what he thought was a flock of white chickens that had invaded his neighbor’s vegetable garden, only to find they were newspapers placed on top of the plants as protection from frost.

I am going to pay more attention to the magazine racks next time I buy groceries. Who knows what I might see?

When have your eyes played tricks on you?


Napoleons of Crime

The police here arrested two enterprising  local men last week and charged them with passing thousands of dollars of counterfeit $20 bills around town. The men, ages 19 and 20, were caught with the fake money and the equipment for making the money. It was the wrong shade of green and had the wrong designs on it, but their scheme seemed to work, for at least a while. I think they might have had longer success had they gone to other cities to pass the bills.  I am amazed that they were able to pass so many bills without people noticing the poor quality of the money.  I guess people don’t pay as close  attention as I thought they would.

Our two local guys reminded me of some shop lifters I heard of in the news who used the same method and the same  get away car for multiple thefts from multiple big box stores. They always left through the fire doors of stores, and the police just started to watch the fire doors and surprised the thieves and the get away driver.

How do people come to ignore the poor chances of getting away with criminal activity? It seems to me that, eventually, most people get caught, whether at the local or national level.

What do you think makes for a successful crook?  Have you ever known a real crook?  How do they fool themselves?

In It For the Long Haul

On this day in 1806, after three months overwintering at Fort Clatsop, the Lewis & Clarke expedition headed home from the Pacific coast. When they arrived back in St. Louis in September, they had been gone for 2 years, 4 months and 10 days.

I’m usually good with delayed gratification. I eat the cake out from under the frosting, then eat the frosting on its own.  I do my weekend chores right away on Saturday morning.  I get my taxes done the first week of February and you all know I do my Solstice cards and gifts way ahead of time.  But 2 years, 4 months and 10 days seems like a long time to finish a project to me.

As the temperatures begin to climb a bit I’ve been thinking about the front yard these days.  My long term plan has always been to diminish the grass and increase the flowers.  Although I still have grass, it’s not much and only takes me about 10 minutes to mow these days; the flowers have definitely taken over.  This is year 11 of my plan.

So I guess 2 years, 4 months and 10 days isn’t too long after all.

What gratification can you wait for?

Space Cadets

Astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly are no longer identical twins. After almost a year on the International Space Station, tests have revealed that some of Scott’s chromosomes have been altered – becoming longer.  He is also about 2 inches taller.  Medical science is not sure if these changes will be permanent.

You just came back from space. What change would you like to experience in your chromosomes?

Waffle Kindness

In world that sometimes seems cold and heartless, where bad behavior gets rewarded too often, it’s wonderful to see the story of a waitress who was given a $16,000 college scholarship for being kind to an elderly gentleman who needed help cutting up his breakfast.   The story speaks for itself.


Has some ever been kind to you?