Arachnid in the Bathtub!

And what kind of name is “Shelob” anyway?

Photo by Roman.

For this I beg your pardon. Some will object to the image quality. Meh! The lighting was poor that morning. Some will object to simply being presented with a spider. Eek! But the spider is now dead and I wish to present its image to all and sundry because I killed it out of fear. Although, when it appeared in the tub that morning, it was warned: You have six or seven hours to leave.

Centipedes heed this warning more often than not and are gone by then. If not, it is removed, scoop and toss, leaving it perhaps a bit less fit but still alive and able to do what it does so well: Hunt other bugs.

The spider remained in the tub and was whacked with a sandal. Yes, that is a double standard for rescues. Centipedes are reliably venomous and are far more alien-creepy than any spider could be and they move real fast. Using alarm as a standard, centipedes should die on sight. But centipedes seem to listen whereas spiders have a cold just-business-nothing-personal affect even though they may be harmless and shy. I lief leave spiders be when they’re not in the way. Otherwise…

So this is my apology to the spider. It was entirely personal. You were not even food.

Snow Fence

Photo by Roman.

There is something about this image that is moodily autumnal. It is a snow fence, erected across the beach at Loyola Park. This is how they attempted to control / preserve the sand at the beach for many years. I don’t believe they ever entirely abandoned their use, but my impression is they were hoping that beach grass (plus volunteers) might hold the line at less expense. It works, sorta, except that Mother Nature would decide that the best spot for a primary dune would be… the sidewalk and park benches. So maybe reviving the snow fence will give them more control? We’ll see.

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Photo by Roman.

I know very little about the dog, only that it was quite pleased at spending time at the beach.

Everything is Green Now

In case you’ve missed this…

Anthracite Unite

by Mitch Troutman

It’s happening again. A few months ago, Talon Energy announced it is building a bitcoin mining facility onto the Berwick nuclear power plant. Now, a bitcoin mining company has bought the coal-fired power plant in Nesquehoning, outside Jim Thorpe.

I knew this was happening in poorer countries and ignorantly assumed it wouldn’t happen here. Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) is anonymous, ultra-secure digital money that was intended to subvert government-controlled currencies like the dollar. Instead, it has become a high-stakes gambling market. Crypto’s backbone is a world-wide network of computers used to solve purposely-complex equations, called “mining”. Baked into its DNA is that every new transaction requires more computer power than the one before it. As of July, a single bitcoin transaction required enough electricity to power the average home for 2 months. These transactions happen 240,000 time every day.

The margins on bitcoin “mining” are…

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“The Ballad of Holland Island House”

You know I’m not hip. How many times have I told you that I’m not hip. I’m not hip. That’s why it took six years for me to discover this lovely, soulful animation by Lynn Tomlinson. And you can find more like it at Lynn Tomlinson’s Vimeo channel.

“The Ballad of Holland Island House is a short animation made with an innovative clay-painting technique in which a thin layer of oil-based clay comes to vibrant life frame by frame. Animator Lynn Tomlinson tells the true story of the last house on a sinking island in the Chesapeake Bay. Told from the house’s point of view, this film is a soulful and haunting view of the impact of sea-level rise.”

That Fungus Among Us

keeping Glenwood Avenue weird…

For some reason (I’m not hip but you’re hip to that) there is a steady trickle of folks who’ve been visiting a particular page on this site after having done a search based on “There’s a fungus among us.” So I suppose the title to this page could be regarded as a kind of click bait. But rather than speculating on the origins and meanings of the sentence, here instead is some actual fungus.

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Photo by Roman.
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Photo by Roman.
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Photo by Roman.

See ya later, alligator…

Photos by Roman.

Prey Ablaze

Photos by Roman.

The morning sun set the victim ablaze, as if it were not just meat and drink but rather a spirit of light.

“I am,” the bug declares, “an imaginary number borne away on a flood of neutrinos.”

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Photo by Roman.

Nonetheless it is still and fundamentally a meal…

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Photo by Roman.

And still alive and wiggling, perhaps impatient to be eaten though the prospects seem dim judging by the state of the web.