Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's a small world

Thanksgiving day morning, I received an email from the Copyright Editor of the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) requesting that I forward an attached copyright permission request to Margie Mitchell, whom faithful readers will recognize as the Beach Coordinator for the City of Cocoa Beach.
The SACE folks wanted permission to use Margie's picture of a purple sea snail published in this blog March 25, 2009. SACE had used the photo in their 2010 Year 12 examination paper for Specialist Mathmatics as the basis of this question - "As the purple sea snail (Janthina janthina) grows, the lateral dimensions of its shell can be modelled by the differential system" .... (followed by a bunch of stuff involving x's and y's that I will not even pretend to understand). The picture in the exam was provided with full credit to Margie and this blog. Now the exam will apparently be made available to the public, so copyright permission was being requested.
I loved the fact that the SACE went to such meticulous detail to do the right thing - certainly the likelihood of discovery had they simply used the photo with no attribution and no permission is slim. But their four-page permission form included illustration of how the photo was used in the exam and a replication of the applicable portion of the blog post and our Copyright Notice.
Margie, of course, immediately provided SACE with permission (by email rather than snail mail - tee hee). And we both marveled at the chances of somebody in Australia finding Margie's photo of a little purple critter posted 18 months ago and using it as the basis of a math question!
As Disney would say, it's a small, small world!
(Photo by Margie Mitchell)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Remembering John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Today marks the 47th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Jr., our 35th President.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Talented Friends

Faithful readers will recall my speaking of friend Vickie Henderson, she of the fabulous art who came to visit last January for the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival and again in July to learn about sea turtles. When she came in June, she brought me some beautiful cards based on her field journal artwork, and now she sells them on her web site (see Reference Links below). Vickie lives in Tennessee, and a recent post on her Sketchbook blog tells about an article in the Tennessee Conservationist featuring her art and photographs. Beautiful stuff! You'll want to take the time to wander through this blog - some amazingly beautiful photos and sketches.

And speaking of the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival (January 26 - 31, 2011), friend David McCree is once again blogging professionally about it. His current post (see Reference Links below) is about a nature bloggers' luncheon at the Festival! What a cool idea. When you think about it, blogging has not been mainstream for very long - there were precursors in 1997-98, then the politicians picked up on it in the early 2000's, and it started becoming more popular with "the masses" in the 2004 timeframe. My first blog post was in May 2008, and I remember having to explain the term "blog" and the concept to folks. So the nature bloggers' lunch at the Festival should be interesting indeed.
I'm so glad my friends are doing wonderful things - I'm on the work/laundry/grocery shopping/work/pay bills/clean the bird cages cycle and have done nothing particularly noteworthy recently (except pick four ripe tomatoes today).

Reference Links:
Vickie's Sketchbook (The TN Conservationist Magazine article is in her November 13 post)
Vickie Henderson Art target="_blank" (Vickie's other blog - her art prints and cards are available on this one)
Blog the Beach (David's post about the networking luncheon at the Wildlife Festival)

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Yesterday, I ate the first tomatoes from my Fall planting. Yummy! The unusually cold nights we've had over the past few weeks really sweetened them up.

A mere 10 weeks ago, Kari Ruder (Naturewise and The Green Marketplace in Cocoa) brought me four heirloom cherry tomato plants in little cups, along with some really smelly fertilizer. I put two plants in each of the two grow boxes I keep in my courtyard, and voila - thanks to Mother Nature and Kari's strong stock (and that fertilizer), I have eight foot tall plants with scads of tomatoes.

I love the grow box approach - once you get it set up, it's just a matter of keeping the reservoir full of water. The screen behind the plants is to cut down the reflection from the building - one year, my plants got fried.
Just look at these little beauties!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veteran's Day 2010

I'm looking forward to hosting my Fifth Annual Veteran's Day lunch tomorrow. Attendees will be co-worker veteran friends, and it's always a privilege to honor their former military service. We hold this luncheon at Loreen's Cafe, which is decorated year-around with flags, red, white, and blue, and anything and everything patriotic! (Eagle photo by Jim Angy, illustration by Matt MacQueen)

Tomorrow, we'll honor the warfighter, past and present. To all, thank you for your service.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Discovery Delayed

The Halloween card lingered on here while I prepared to post news of the final launch of the Shuttle Discovery, STS 133. The launch was originally scheduled for last Monday, but a series of technical glitches delayed it on a day-by-day basis. Finally, the window of opportunity closed, and the launch is now scheduled for November 30 at the earliest. Meanwhile, e-friend Becka, she of the fabric art genius, has created a beautiful shuttle-related counted thread embroidery piece that you space buffs will covet. Be sure to read her description of what prompted her design (see Reference Links below). Given that I can't hem a dishtowel, I'm in total awe of her talents!

Other e-friends, Cactus Jack Splash, Mushboy, and DOR, have submitted their photos to NASA's Fly Your Face in Space program. so they are eagerly awaiting the launch (see Reference Links below). After the launch, they can retrieve a Flight Certificate - a commemorative certificate signed by the Mission Commander.

Reference Links:
Becka's Project Journal (shuttle counted thread embroidery piece)
The Journeys of Cactus Jack Splash (their photos in space)
NASA (STS-133 Mission)