Sunday, February 25, 2007

New Bird, and Blue Skies

We've had a new birdie at the feeder here the last few weeks, and I was finally able to get a pic today! It's a White-throated Sparrow, distinctive with the yellow streak near its eyes (why it's not called "The Yellow Streak Sparrow" or something like that, I'm not sure...the white throat is not really the first thing you notice about this little guy).

Today was a lovely day, with bright sunshine and clear skies - got a nice pic of the Quaking Aspens in the back field. Such a pretty blue sky!

Friday, February 23, 2007

I don't know whether to be excited or scared...

Check out this pic featured on Mainichi today - the horizontal line going across the photo is a human hair. Those little squares around it are MICROCHIPS!!! Can you believe they've gotten miniaturization THAT SMALL???? It's unbelievable!

Hitachi has created these chips (small enough to be embedded in a sheet of paper) to be used as product trackers relaying information wirelessly - I assume to help with computerized inventories, etc.

Shows what I know! Just SOME of the uses I found online for these chips, also called "Smart Tags", are:

• Hitachi uses them in its production processes to keep track of printed circuit boards that are compliant with the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) directive. Read

• For people who have to take a lot of medication: interactive blister packs of pills. "The pack is configured to alert the user when the medication is due to be taken. Removal of a pill from the blister triggers another alarm, which is disabled when the user answers a question printed onto the pack. The time of each operation and the answers are stored, to be uploaded later via the Internet to a secure site." Never forget your pills again! Read

• "Has the vaccine been overheated in transit?"
"Has the surgeon left something in the patient?"
"Has this single use catheter (or other one-time-only use item) been used already?"
The chip will let you know!

There's tons more uses out there, check out this Google search for more.

It's very cool, but it's also a little scary! The thought of everything you come in contact with being tagged and potentially tracked and monitored by someone is a little spooky too. But the benefits look to be huge, so I guess it's just a matter of benefits outweighing risks - I wonder where the line will end up being drawn? Hard to say, but it should be interesting technology to watch!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Lunar New Year!

Today's the first day of the Year of the Pig! Celebrated by Asian cultures, Lunar New Year is known generally in North America as Chinese New Year.

Wikipedia has tons of info on the celebrations, including lots of things to bring you good luck in the coming year.

AND, of course, as with most celebrations, FOOD is central to the fun! Check out some of the great recipes and info at for Lunar New Year!

We're going to make some Chinese food to celebrate tonight - not sure yet what's on the menu, but I'm sure it'll be delish! :D

Have fun everyone!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Baby Pandas!

I know, I know, ANOTHER batch of cute photos...but they're just so ADORABLE!!!!! :D

The BBC has a photo journal of the newly named baby pandas at China's Wolong Nature Reserve. Enjoy the babies! :D

Friday, February 09, 2007

Exciting Pysanky News!

I just found out that a BRAND-NEW pysanky design book has been released by the Ukrainian Gift Shop in Minnesota! This is the place that published the first Pysanky design books back in the '70s, and since then have published tons more, and have continued to be huge supporters & spreaders of Ukrainian culture in North America.

So, if you're a pysanky fan, check this new book out: Ukrainian Easter Egg Design Book 5! It's a limited edition hardcover, so order soon! :D (Yevshan in Canada is selling it too!)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lovely evening, fading to dusk

A shot of the backyard this evening, with the setting sun tinging the trees orangey-pink - looks cold though! (And it is!) :)

Friday, February 02, 2007

I LOVE cute stories like these!

I'm such a sucker for this stuff...

A Rottweiler, not much more than a baby herself, has become mommy to some baby lambs that had a difficult birth.

Quote by Ms. Foster, the dog and lambs' owner: "The first 12 to 24 hours for a lamb are absolutely crucial and if Molly hadn't been doing what she was doing, I would have had to have been there rubbing the lambs through most of the night to keep their circulation going."

It is SO frickin' adorable! Read the rest here (there's more pics too!).