Long, Long Ago In a City Far, Far Away

Ben Watches Over the Front DoorsWhat does Ben Franklin have in common with George Lucas?

A museum in Philadelphia.

We went to visit Diana and Wonderman (and little WonderDude) in Philly this past weekend, and while there, visited The Franklin Institute. The Franklin Institute is the coolest Science museum in the universe, and it’s always a treat to go. One of the most famous permanent exhibits is a huge model of a human heart that you can walk through, following the path of the blood. There are a gazillion other cool things to see and do, lots of stuff for kids of all ages to touch and play with, an IMAX theater, a skybike, the list goes on.

But this trip was a little extra special for a bit of a return to my childhood. For a short time, the Franklin Institute is being visited by the traveling Star Wars exhibit. I took some pictures, but my little digital camera takes pretty crappy pictures indoors. I’ve done the best I can to enhance them for you. I’m a good host like that.

Head below the fold to check out the best of my pictures of some of the props from the Star Wars movies, and click them for really big versions.

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Thanks for All the Squirrels

Mom and Dador, Lessons from Lawrence County.

It’s an intricate business, writing an obituary. My father-in-law left for California last week, but not before he passed on some priceless wisdom. I’ve been honored to write the obituaries to be read at both Mom and Dad’s funeral, but there’s only so much that can be stuffed into an obituary. There’s so much about a person that just won’t fit. There are so many lessons and stories that can’t be easily compressed into a two minute reading, and those lessons and stories are much too valuable to be lost. Things like how Dad taught me to hunt squirrels out on the back forty (which was more like the back seventy-two plus the adjoining properties). And like squirrel hunting, there’s a bit of an art to it.

Y’see, you can’t just pick up a shotgun and walk out into the woods and expect to come home with a bag full of squirrels. You have to know what you’re looking for, where you’re going and how to get there. You have to know what to take along, what to leave behind – what’s safe to ignore, and what can kill you.

The first thing you do is scope the territory out ahead of time. You have to know where you’re going, and where you’re going is wherever the squirrels are.

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Gone to Say Goodbye

Mom and DadI’ll be gone for a few days.

It’s the Little Things

(I’m crossposting this from a post I wrote at BlueNC.)

Marshall Adame at Home 2007I found a little something to smile about in an otherwise disappointing Letter to the Editor.

From yesterday’s Jacksonville Daily News, there is a rather disheartening Letter to the Editor entitled Politics run amok cancels blood drive.

From the title, I guess it was obvious that the ending would not be a happy one.

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If I’d Have Known You Were Coming

BlueNCI’d have baked a cake.

(UPDATE: As the updated image would indicate, I’ve had a change of heart about the BlueNC blog, and can no longer recommend it in good conscience. See here.)

Welcome BlueNC community members. I was a little surprised at the welcome and the link love on the front page there, so let me first say, “Thank you”.

Have a look around. There’s a section on the right side bar called “Some Personal Favorites” that contains some things I’ve written that are… well… personal favorites. There’s some information about me and this blog here on this post. The Incident of the Red Dress is documented mostly under the tag Aunt Helen, if you’re interested in seeing me in a dress. I hope you are brave. The deep background on that incident is over at UDoJ.

That ought to keep you busy for a while, so pull up a chair and relax. Feel free to get half lit and post a comment. Say hello.

For the rest of you who happen by here from time to time, I’ve recently reacquainted myself with Thomas Brock’s blog, called Bloviations, and a link there led me to BlueNC, a community political blog. I’ve been reading there to become more familiar with the political scene here in my little corner Down East.

You might have also noticed I’ve done a little rearranging to accommodate the Atheist Blogroll (bottom of the left sidebar) a little better, and I’ve added a few blogs to the Monkeysphere.

Afarensis is a great anthropology blog at ScienceBlogs, and Bob O’H has moved Deep Thoughts and Silliness onto the Nature network. I found out that Dr. Gary Hurd has a blog to which he occasionally posts, and you might take a moment to visit Stones and Bones and encourage him to write a little more often.

Natasha Yar-Routh has returned to the blogosphere at A Gender Queer View and by the way, who the heck knows where Kevin went?

From whence came the art:

That visual commentary on the BlueNC blog is my own work on their logo, and would fall under fair use.