Category Archives: Good Grief!

really silly and unusual findings stores and opinions that are very interesting and incredulous

Lycoris squamigera: how fast does the flower spike grow?

This lily (which i may wrongly call and august lily, but is well known as a surprise lily, naked lady, resurrection lily, but still confused with an amaryllis belladonna plant) Lycoris squamigera is one of my favorites.  Early spring dense foliage, which dies back (and helps keep weeds out of the flower bed) and then the spike and flower tip come up rapidly at the end of july (at least here in cincinnati it seems to be the end of july).  I was curious about how fast the spike grew (which seemed very fast) and searched but in the many posts did NOT FIND a single reference to any measurements.  So here is a quick and dirty estimate.

Measuring 5 stalks (not a big sample) crudely with a yardstick, at a 14 hour interval (most of it overnight) the plants can grow about one inch in 5 hours.  Also, just a casual observance, the taller the spike the faster the growth, which makes sense, because there are more cells dividing in a larger spike pushing it up faster.

I will post more measurements if i have time… LOL.

Alternative facts: a tourist activity?

when the republican congressman said today that the invasion of the capital was simply ordinary tourist activity…this came to mind. Probably nothing new…  (the comment about a visit to the white house was made by Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga)

With a lot that
I don’t understand or don’t see..
It may be a revelation that
Simply ignoring the reality of people
Being there may not be
A symptom but an idea worth
Trying. Some people might be there
Occupying space and yet have
No purpose to improve their
Tiny fraction of the universe.
With all the remaining room it
Is possible to lithely slip around
Them and hope the small
Waves you make fail to startle
Them into activity. It apparently
Takes a lifetime or more to
Get that hallucinations can be
Be ghosts or monsters or
Can create
non-entities when it becomes
Being able to not-see is a clever
And useful way to have the room to
Shake free of a reality that expects
you to fit among
shockingly unpleasant
characters when it stretches
your inherency less to
have them go away.

RLB 05/14/2021

Withdrawal symptoms

I am experiencing withdrawal. Really! I am ashamed to say but listening to the ineptness, deliberate mind manipulation, exaggerated emotion and rhetoric of donald trump gave me an adrenaline rush. Despite my total loathing of this man, disdain for his approach to life, abhorrence of his misappropriation of Norman Vincent Peale’s concept of positive thinking within the framework of a loving deity, his unwillingness to be wrong, and my disgust for his lack of respect and his self aggrandizing (an attitude shared by many middle aged white men with money), I am left with a void. A vacuum.

How sad to have fallen victim to his theatrics.  My bad, I should have been more careful, more alert.  Shame too, on consumers of social media (both for and against trump) for feeding his hunger for attention.  I refuse to participate.

sad addiction to media lies perpetrated by trump

I am not surprised that others feel this way as well, as in this great post from the Atlantic.


I got my covid shot (first one) two days ago, and I was overcome with admiration for those many many many individuals who were working in a parking garage, taking tabs on who comes in who goes out, asking about health and concerns, getting papers signed, directing the flow of traffic, entering and checking data, making follow up appointments, giving shots, standing by for the first 20 minutes post vaccination.  WHO WERE THEY? young women and young men.  WHO WAS MISSING? middle aged white men.  Just an observation.

BTW I was vaccinated to protect YOU, you, the people I dont even know and have nothing in common with.  And I am grateful to all the young people who were committed to YOUR health.

UC Health, thank you!

Science illustrations fun reminders: coronavirus charms, patterns for cross stitch, fridge magnets

Science illustrations fun reminders: coronavirus charms, patterns for cross stitch, fridge magnets — all made with some accuracy for the real SARS Cov 2 anatomy in mind. This has been an education for me, firstly in modeling proteins on RCSB and the pluses and lacks theirin, also for learning a little about virology, even more importantly, for releasing that pent up emotion over this crisis, having to work from home – which has its own problems and rewards and not knowing whether the crisis politically drive,  fear driven, whether this approach is good for society and the economy or bad for society and the economy, which leaders are telling facts which are telling fiction, and knowing the final impact will only be known in the passage of time).

BUT – here are some fun (at least fun for me) products of these last two months (made without apology and without fear).

metal framed coronavirus model keepsake refrigerator magnet
cute momentoes of models of the coronavirus coronavirus refrigerator magnet models coronavirus model refrigerator magnet with surfactant protein D model
coronavirus models around a decorated egg spike proteins and cross section model of coronaviruss on decorated egg counted cross stitch model of the coronavirus
tiny charm model of the corona virus one inch refrigerator magnet model of the coronavirus grey model of the coronavirus as a keepsake charm
three tiny models of the coronavirus charms two different colors of coronavirus models as charm keepsakes three cute little coronavirus charms as models
red and black models of the coronavirus used as charms for bracelets metal oval frame with coronavirus model refrigerator magnet counted cross stitch of a model of the coronavirus

Gratitude: for my mind and body

Gratitude: for my mind and body?  It has taken 76 years for me to arrive at this point. This should tell you that all this time I have really not appreciated the uniqueness of myself, my family (sibs, parents, grandparents, children too) particularly in the way my mind works.
It certainly works differently than most individuals I have met. I have wondered why, what differences in wiring, differences in the myriad chemicals, synapses which bring about the following cute list:

(posted from Hormones and chemicals linked to emotion):affection, anger, angst, anguish, annoyance, anxiety, apathy, arousal, awe, boredom, confidence, contempt, contentment, courage, curiosity, depression, desire, despair, disappointment, disgust, distrust, dread, ecstasy, embarrassment, envy, euphoria, excitement, fear, frustration, gratitude, grief, guilt, happiness, hatred, hope, horror, hostility, hurt, hysteria, indifference, interest, jealousy, joy, loathing, loneliness, love, lust, outrage, panic, passion, pity, pleasure, pride, rage, regret, relief, remorse, sadness, satisfaction, self-confidence, shame, shock, shyness, sorrow, suffering, surprise, terror, trust, wonder, worry, zeal, and zest.

I am sure the list could include some for every day of the week, every holiday from every culture that are not in this a-z set.
I marvel at what interests me, my energy levels, my need to constantly reinforce visual order/chaos at a balance that is somewhere between compulsive order and total chaos. These are likely governed by levels of satisfaction (seratonin, endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine, epinepherine and a host of others I know in a shallow way, and the host of others not recognized yet.

I am just thinking about the art that I create (found as stained glass patterns, as counted cross stitch, peyote stitch patterns and beads and relics, as scientific journal cover art (this blog), as polymer clay sculpture, as paintings, drawings, quilts, murals, walkways, landscaping and mosaic — just to name a few that come to mind.
I am not meticulous, and it might be nice to be a little more compulsive (a trait in my kids and my father) in my artwork (i am not sure which of the neurotransmitters keeps me from that trait, ha ha), but I am just full of joy and wonder and loving the beauty of nature, having a good time (most of the time) journaling my walk through life leaving behind silly artistic reminders of those steps.

My greatest regret is that I dont have an infinite amount of time to learn, and express the infiniteness that is out-there. I make no apologies for the time spent on art, or science, I am happy my mind works like it does. I cannot imagine being one that sits and does not “do”. I am blessed.

Groan — tared and torn

my pitiful joke to a cashier at whole foods…. who totally didn’t get it…

BACKGROUND: if one takes bags into whole foods one can get them to “tare” them… with black marker on the bag it will say “0.07 lbs or something appropriate for the weight of the bag…. that way one doesn’t have to dump out all the potatoes from the bag have them weight them and put them back in the bag… etc etc… for apples, and stuff…

so one of my tared bags tore, and i didn’t want the guy to pick up the torn bag and dump everything out all over the floor…. so i said this bag is “tared and torn” he just looked at me like i lost my last marble….. i thought it was funny pun… he did not….. the jury is out

Cutest infomercial song ever — Monty Python galaxy song

Kudos to the writers of these lyrics and melody (you can probably find the melody online but here is an updated more tame and hopefully accurate scientific version) and cute animation too.

Whenever life gets you down Mrs. Brown
and things seem hard our tough
and people are stupid obnoxious or daft
and you feel like youve had quite enough —
Just remember that you are standing
on a planet thats evolving
revolving at 1,000 miles an hour
Its orbiting at 19 miles a second
as its reckoned
a sun which is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me
and all the stars that we can see
are moving at 12 million miles a day
In the outer spiral arm at 40,000 miles a hour
of the galaxy we call the milky way.
Our galaxy itself contains a 500 billion stars
its a 100 thousand light years side to side
it bulges in the middle 6 thousand light years thick
but out by us its just 1,000 light years wide.
We are 30,00 light years from galactic central point
we go round once every 200 million years
Our galaxy is only one of millions and billions
its an amazing and expanding universe.
The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all dimensions it can whiz
as fast as it can go, the speed of light you know
12 million miles a second and thats
the fastest speed there is.
So remember when you are feeling very small and insecure
how amazingly unlikely is your birth.
And pray that there is intelligent life
somewhere out in space
cause its bugger all down here on earth.

Love this list

Geometric values all related to DNA according to wikipedia, and a cute hand drawn diagram.
For each base pair, considered relative to its predecessor, there are the following base pair geometries to consider:

Shear: a force acting in a direction parallel to a surface
Stretch: a one-way stretch
Stagger: an eclipsed conformation is a conformation in which X and Y on adjacent atoms A, B are in closest proximity, implying that torsion angle X–A–B–Y is 0°.
Propeller: rotation of one base with respect to the other in the same base pair.
Shift: displacement along an axis in the base-pair plane perpendicular to the first, directed from the minor to the major groove.
Slide: displacement along an axis in the plane of the base pair directed from one strand to the other.
Rise: displacement along the helix axis.
Tilt: rotation around the shift axis.
Roll: rotation around the slide axis.
Twist: rotation around the rise axis.
Pitch: the height per complete turn of the helix.
I will work on a diagram that is an improvement over the one found on wikipedia.