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Life’s Better Down Stream

River ecosystems are actually deceptively complex, there's a bunch of different types of organisms living in all different parts of the river. The easiest way to describe it would be to divide the river into three parts: The top layer of water, the middle, and the bottom. Different types of organisms exist in each of these sections, and some are more influenced by river flow than others.

"Plankton" is a general term. It includes a huge variety of organisms.

There are organisms in plants that will get washed into the water and start to grow and then get classified as plankton. There are bacteria in the air that will start to grow in water and then become classified as plankton. Even newborn fish can be plankton as long as they can't swim strong and just go with the flow. Basically as long as they can't move by themselves and are photosynthetic and life in water, it's a plankton.

It's important to point out that Neustonic fish aren't constantly fighting against the current. They can float above or under the surface, and if they wanted to stay in the same place then they'd have to use energy to swim against the river current. These can be fish, or even water striders which float along the top of the water.

Even in the most rapid of rivers, there will always be eddies, fissures, and washouts where fish can literally duck into into to sleep, eat, and mate.

The plankton grow and reproduce in ponds, and lakes upstream.

Even mountain based rivers have millions of contributing streams many of which only add water when they over flow with rains. There is a constant addition of nutrients and organisms that come from everywhere even farmers fields. This why algae blooms happen more frequently.

It's impossible to stop the addition of plankton and other nutrients that are constantly being added, to do so you would have to kill the river. Some systems are so complex that the actual source of the river becomes a disputed issue.

Rivers begin as tiny trucks that combine to form small streams which band together to form a small rubber that grows add it goes along merging with other sources.

The top of the river is not a raging rising body of water washing everything away in its path.

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Paedophryne Amauensis

World's Smallest Frog (and Vertebrate)

Paedophryne amauensis was discovered in 2009 by a research team from Louisiana State University, this wee beastie holds the title of the world's smallest vertebrate at 7.7mm in length.

The previous champion was a fish called Paedocypris progenetica, meassured 7.9mm in length.

Hailing from the undergrowth of Papua New Guinea's rain forests, they live a crepuscular lifestyle – coming out at dawn n' dusk to call (presumably to find other smol frog hotties), with a series of high-pitched notes said to resemble that of an insect. In fact, this is how they were discovered – boffins took recordings of evening frog calls and noticed one they couldn't quite identify.

By scooping up and closely examining bits o' leaf matter from where they thought the noise was coming from, they managed to spot a wee frog or two crawling about.

What's very interesting is that they emerge as a smaller adult instead of having to develop from a tadpole.

Most amphibians have a typical three stage life cycle – eggs, then aquatic tadpole-ey things with gills, then mature adults without gills – there are plenty of notable exceptions. Turns out most super miniature frogs, like Paedophryne amauensis, ditch the tadpole stage altogether, with their eggs hatching directly into even teenier versions of the adults.

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Dante: The Divine Comedy

It certainly is not a piece of theology so it should not be viewed as doctrine, and is full of errors, but really, it wasn't meant to be doctrine. It is meant to help us grow as people. Basically the only parts literally taken from scripture and church teaching are the existence of heaven, hell, and purgatory. But as literature, it is easily one of the greatest things ever written.

It's more of a tale of the spiritual life rather than about the afterlife itself. I thoroughly enjoyed getting a different perspective of Hell, purgatory and heaven. I liked the ideas he was trying to portray.

Even if Dante's The Divine Comedy isn't particularly accurate. Yet,I would say it affects not only Catholics, but all Christians to some extent.

The Divine Comedy is an epic poem so it's not 100% literally accurate, it's a deeply allegorical work and as such there's definitely a lot spiritually and theologically to be learned from it. Some parts are in line with Catholic belief though. For instance while we can't know who's in hell or its exact layout it has been traditionally believed that hell is indeed layered or sinners in hell being punished to the severity of their sin.

We may know that it isn't biblical, but for the most part it is the same description you end up with most places (although not everyone adds in the ice). The conclusions Dante drew still affect how we "view" hell and how it appears in our mind. This is the same for Milton's paradise lost. it may not be biblical, but it definitely influences thoughts and mental pictures.

Dante was Catholic. And because of that he does a pretty good job with his poetic descriptions of theological reality.

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We Need to Talk Dad

I agree that you cannot argue taste. Everybody is different. But that doesn't mean that everyone makes up their own mind. Dad. You know I am talking to.

My father has owned some cars with terrible colors. The cars were find but, they just looked terrible when you looked at them because of the paint.

He has owned:

  • Cream
  • Brown
  • Yellow (which in all honesty looked like earwax)

Maybe on other cars, certain colors just look good or bad on different objects, maybe a car isn't any different.

In general I'm not a fan of gray, silver (I am talking about the Dodge silver and the one found on a lot of entry level imports, there are hundreds of different shades of silver, but the common ones…) and black (it is hard to keep it clean and it hides body lines), because they're boring. Why pick normal/boring when you can pick something that is more catchy or eye pleasing? A truly good looking car needs color to show it off.

What colors do you find particularly ugly?

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St. Augustine

He is my Patron Saint.

He is so great.

I love his writings, his philosophy, his theology. He made me return to the Faith when I called myself an atheist. He is helping me in my discernment process. His "Confessions" gave me peace of heart, because I can relate to his life.

His mind bending, full time job to grasp philosophical writings quickly dispelled my former atheist ego when I thought religion was primitive. Thanks to him, I returned to the Church.

Complete works: English Spanish

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Rate Your Season Finales

This is actually really tough for me because I love them all. It depends on whether I want to laugh or have my heart ripped out. Apparently tonight I'm feeling like a masochist.

  • "A House is not a Home" (Season 5)
  • "Raincoats and Recipes" (Season 4)
  • "Partings" (Season 6)
  • "Those are Strings, Pinocchio" (Season 3)
  • "I Can't Get Started" (Season 2)
  • "Love, Daisies, and Troubadours" (Season 1)
  • "Bon Voyage" (Season 7) So sad . . . .

A House is Not a Home – Season 5

The ending of this episode, with Lorelai staring at Rory putting away her things in the pool house while Claudine Longet mournfully intones "I Think It's Gonna Rain Today," absolutely slays me.

Again, no one can demonstrate what it looks like to have been sucker-punched as well as Lauren Graham.

When this finale first aired, I was so angry, but now I really appreciate it as a significant, albeit painful, turning point in all of the Gilmores' relationships with one another. And then we have Lorelai's spontaneous, genuinely heartfelt proposal to Luke, one of the rare moments where she lets down her guard.

Earlier in the episode, we have some humorous scenes, such as when Lorelai picks up Rory from jail and then later when she sticks Rory's mugshot up on the fridge and sets out the fake jail phones, etc.

Raincoats and Recipes – Season 4

I love the dinner at the Dragonfly and how it brings together various members of the community, even Richard and Emily, and who doesn't love naked Kirk and his night terrors?

And we witness our first Lorelai-Luke kiss. But mostly I'm so happy for Lorelai and Sookie that they've finally realized their dream of opening their own inn together.

Partings – Season 6

I feel like I can't do it justice right now because I'm tired, but this episode hits all the right notes for me: it's raw, but there are accents of humor and warmth.

Lauren Graham is phenomenal in this episode, which makes the ultimatum scene bearable even though it devastates me.

This episode is so bittersweet not only because of the breakup, but also because it's the Palladinos' last episode of the OS, and we'll never know how they would've resolved the storylines they set up.

By this episode, Lorelai has been so worn down because of the April thing, and given the staggering extent to which her relationship with Luke has deteriorated, I understand why, especially after she has an epiphany sitting in the car with Carolyn, that she gives Luke an ultimatum.

No, this wasn't the healthiest way to go about things, but she was so sad, and she wanted to move on and not be sad anymore, and I understand why she was tired of waiting.

I was tired for her.

And I get why she goes to Chris.

As someone pointed out to me, Rory wasn't available to wallow with her, and Sookie had kids and a husband – she needed to seek out comfort from someone she was close with (though I know, she didn't have to sleep with him and vice-versa). And that opening with her on Sookie's couch, and then hiding from Luke in her house – so sad, so painful, but it tugs at all the right heartstrings.

Meanwhile, Rory and Logan's goodbye is sweet and well-done, especially when he begs her to tell him not to get on that plane.

And then there are the troubadours.

Those are Strings, Pinocchio – Season 3

This episode marks an important transition in the show: It signals the end of the Chilton era, and Lorelai and Sookie are finally able to buy the inn; both Gilmore Girls are moving on.

Rory's speech about her mother and grandparents gets me every time, and Paris and Brad add a nice touch of levity.

This episode is sweet, fun, and full of hope, and not too dramatic for a season finale.

I Can't Get Started – Season 2

I'm a sucker for Chris and Lorelai, I'm sorry, so I enjoy seeing them together so happy, until of course the Sherry being pregnant anvil drops, and then Chris disappoints once again by hightailing it out of there without even explaining why to Rory or staying for the wedding. (When I rewatch this episode, I usually hit "stop" before Chris can tell Lorelai the news.) I mean, would it have made a difference if he'd waited an hour to leave? And it always ticks me off that he doesn't realize he could be there for Gigi without having to be in a relationship with Sherry. And then for Jess fans, we get Rory welcoming Jess back to town with a kiss.

Love, Daisies, and Troubadours – Season 1

I like Lorelai and Max together, but he moved way too quickly.

Still 1000 yellow daisies is an impressive sight. What has always put me off is that he did not propose in person. What reason did he have to not show up in person?

Who the hell proposes over the phone? Though I have seen FB proposals but I regress. But they don't go through the trouble of sending 1000 yellow daisies.

Rory tells Dean she loves him for the first time.

Bon Voyage – Season 7

I actually think this was a pretty satisfactory series finale.

Rory gets to meet her idol, Christiane Amanpour. Rory gets a pretty awesome job that promises her a potentially successful future.

The town coming together to bid her farewell is cheesy and seems a bit far-fetched, but it actually matches the outpour of love and adoration that Stars Hollow residents show her in season 1 in "Rory's Birthday Parties."

Luke staying up all night to sew together a makeshift tarp is such a kind and loving gesture, and he and Lorelai finally reconcile.

Richard makes a heartfelt speech to Lorelai, Ed Herrmann's last words ever on the show, and Lorelai agrees to continue Friday Night Dinners without Rory, no strings attached.

And then the closing shot of the finale mirrors the closing shot of the pilot. Pretty damn good.

And I tear up every single time.

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Emily Gone Casual

After seven years watching Emily Gilmore wear elegant attire as she grew it is sort of a shift seeing her in normal every day clothing. In fact I would say as much as it is seriously revolutionary. And I am not sure that that is a good thing or not.

When I first saw her in casual clothing, I don't know, it bugged me. Which I felt was strange. Why would it?

I mean I get not wearing those suits that they put her in. For the majority of the show she always wore them, but still, there are at least a few steps in between them and t-shirt and jeans (I'm sadly in that category far too often). Why not dress down to slacks with a random blouse? That would work wouldn't it? Or if it absolutely has to be jeans then why not combine it with an fashionable cardigan?

For the most part though I am fine with it. ASP is being honest, and taking characters in new directions is part of that. I would find it worse when they chase cheap nostalgia as a means of drawing you in. I wasn't really worried that that would happen however. Once I stepped back. Let my personal issues die down I understood what ASP was doing. Emily is lost without Richard. She is no longer sure how to define herself and her clothes are a big part of that.

I see some people think it's too far away from what she used to wear, I was in that camp and I slip back in to it now and then, however, I saw it as something else: imitating Lorelai.

We've seen Emily lean on Lorelai when she doesn't have Richard – during his health scares during the original run – and I think this is more of the same thing. I had a love hate for those moments. And it is mostly love. But the emotions are there. They are so strong. Emily doesn't know who she is or how to dress and she looks to the closest person in her life, Lorelai, and what does she wear? Jeans and t-shirts. When you lose your husband of 50 years, that sudden change in your life is a like a full stop and casual clothing fits that change. So yes from a writing standpoint it makes total sense to me.

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What You Wear Defines Who You Are

I think growing up in a sunny warm state has made me see color and fashion differently. A lot of the places I have visited just got for some, jeans & t-shirts with basic colors. Or some darker shades of colors.

Here in San Diego you get a lot of vibrant colors of clothing. Though maybe not as much as places like Florida or the likes.

Yet, I still find it hard to find the right color of emerald.

Emerald green is so pretty.

But with greens it can be pretty tricky. It's really annoying the way that fashion industry gets fixated with a really narrow color palette. Because it is near impossible to find colors outside of that range.

It's just endless gutlessness of brands who are terrified to deviate away from what trend forecasters say that people want. How many pink shirts do I need? I'm so sick to death of blush/ pink.

I've never been into pink and I can just not buy pink things. But I'm so sick of seeing it and the fact that color options for clothes these days are cream, pink or black just makes me crazy.

I'm just bored of seeing insipid, boring colors everywhere and everyone thinking that they look so sophisticated and classic in boring colors that are going to date just like lime green and turquoise did.

Clearly this is an emotional topic for me.

One thing that I have begun doing, and this has been working well for me: I shop at thrift stores. There is a literal rainbow to choose from.

Many thrift stores will organize their racks by color as a unifying element for a ton of disparate styles, which makes the shopping experience fun and entertaining. And I get to look at a certain range of color!

When I'm thrifting, I seek out only my chosen colors as a way to narrow my focus and limit the overwhelm of choices. I grab anything in my best colors and my size, head to the mirror, and hold it up to see if I like it on me.

A quick binary of yes or no eliminates about half of the stuff I grabbed.

Then at other times I'll fiddle with the "yes" items to chose a few that are good quality, fit, condition, and filling a gap in my wardrobe.

Since $1 to $5 recycled clothing is perfect for guilt-free impulse purchases of fantasy styles it makes the experience extra rewarding. When I sort out my collection I will take them back to the Goodwill and donate them. This way they get double out of my purchase.

Like this I can feel comfortable selecting clothing which is my color, my size, but not my style. Other times I will decide to attempt an item in a color that I usually look terrible in by looking at all of the items in that color family and choosing one that is an okay shade for me.

For example, I own a thrifted cropped burgundy sweater in angora wool with embroidery and beading around the shoulders.

I would never buy such a thing new because angora is straight up unethical and that sort of detailing is a trend led design feature which clearly dates an item. But in this instance it clearly looks like it’s an 80s jumper, from the 80s.

So no problems with it looking dated because that is the one thing that makes it desirable to wear in the first place.

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A Horse Of A Different Color

Or A Neopet

I've been playing the game for years! I have my main pets, then always have one lab pet.

I try to get well-named ones as well. More on that later*

Pretty much any painted pet will get adopted. Any color is better than a basic, so I'm sure you'd get interest for basically anything. And as a seasoned player I think it's nice for those who are just starting out and want the "prestige" of owning a painted pet.

Some good ones are faerie, woodland, halloween, zombie and so on. But I'd suggest picking a well named pet to zap. A name like thrtjhre_432 won't get much interest, even if it has been painted well.

The labray is a fun addition to the game, I love it when I get a new color! It makes using it so exciting.


I know some people look for owners but, honestly, I am lazy and just send them out into the world again.

I keep a list- pet name, when I adopted, when I put them back in, and what color and stats they had when adopted. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I find that a new owner has dressed them up and given them a nice customization

It's fun to check up on them.

On the downside, it's kind of disappointing when I get a really rare zap and the first person out of several asking for it, gets it. Then when I go and check up on the pet see that they stoped playing Neopets and just left the pet to rot.

Catch and Release

Sometimes when I get a color/pet that I don't want to keep for myself I just release it back into the pound.

I don't tell my Neofriends, but in the past when I "abandon" a pet that might be of interest. I had the peace of mind knowing that they will eventually get adopted.

Picking A Good Name

Names are important in NP and picking one that doesn't sound random is what most consider "good." But here are some other tips:

  • No numbers or underscores
  • Pronounceable
  • 4-6 Letters are preferred (by some people at least)
  • Real words are popular
  • Even some misspelled words are (again by some people) considered nice.
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A lot of the best games just so happen to be some of the oldest. For one hide-and-seek and tag can be observed in not just early human childhood but also in other members of the animal kingdom.

According to the Encyclopedia of Play In Today's Society, it can be traced back as far as 2nd Century Greece.

Julius Pollux apparently described a game called Apodidraskinda, which involved choosing one player who would keep their eyes shut for a set time, and then try to find the other players. But this was a variant of the game where everyone else tried to make their way back to the starting point (with the first person there becoming the new "seeker").

There's lots of evidence of the game being well-established in Elizabethan England, again with slight variations.

The game "King By Your Leave," for example, was exactly the same as Apodidraskinda. In 1572, Richard Huloet described it as:

"A playe that children have, where one sytting blyndefolde in the midle, bydeth so tyll the rest have hydden themselves, and then he going to seeke them, if any get his place in the meane space, that same is kynge in his roome."

There are also two likely references to hide-and-seek-like games in Shakespeare: one in Love's Labors Lost, when Biron says "All hid, all hid; an old infant play," and one in Hamlet, when Hamlet makes a reference to a hide-and-seek-like game called Hide and Fox when he says "Hide Fox, and All After" (in reference to Polonius' body).

The answer to how old the game is falls under one of the many questions which I don't think ever will be answered.

Simply because it's pretty much a given that they existed before the existence of written records. You won't find find physical traces of children playing hide and seek they same way you can find physical traces of people using stone tools.