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Commentator, author and bird lover Julie Zickefoose provides an update on the birds of spring — and how they fared during an unseasonable cold snap a few weeks ago, when temperatures dropped to the 20s at night and 30s by day at her home in Whipple, Ohio.

Zickefoose was concerned that the migratory birds might not be able to find enough food during the cold spell.

But she tells Melissa Block that the birds stayed put down south — and followed the re-emerging leaves north. The birds are arriving now in one great front, albeit later than usual.

She discusses the many birds she has spotted and photographed in recent days, including the blue-winged warbler, and shares a sad story with a happy ending about a bluebird nest on her property.

- bill 5-03-2007 1:45 am [link] [add a comment]

For Sally McKay, a Branch of May, full of Cowbirds.


- alex 5-02-2007 5:38 am [link] [1 ref] [9 comments]

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival kicks off this weekend—good news from a city wracked by too much bad. Last year, the mounting of the event at its customary Mid-City Fair Grounds site was an inspiring triumph against odds. "Now, in a way, it's even harder," says festival producer Quint Davis, who has upped the ante for this year's event, packing its six days denser than last year, with stars ranging from Rod Stewart and Van Morrison to Gregg Stafford's Young Tuxedo Brass Band. "The euphoria of destruction has passed," he continues. "We're in the reality of the long-term recovery. None of this is going to get someone their check from the 'Road Home' program. None will rebuild their house or get their insurance straight. But it will do something important beyond all that."

Anyone in New Orleans will offer stern correction should you refer to Katrina as a natural disaster: Plenty of unnatural barriers and failures, a great many bureaucratic, are to blame beyond Mother Nature. And anyone involved in the city's culture will point out that new barriers, similarly unnatural, impede the city's ability to rebuild artistically as well as physically. You'd think that New Orleans would welcome back the communities and establishments that anchor its storied culture. But the message implicit in the post-Katrina skirmishes club owners, Mardi Gras Indians, and parade organizers have experienced with city officials is, "We don't want you back." Or at the very least, "We're not going to make it easy."

- bill 4-28-2007 6:36 pm [link] [add a comment]

"There was a guerrilla documentation made of the Orange County phenomenon usually refereed to as "the Disneyland Locals". The video documentation started in 1995 as an alternative to the afterschool task of filming skate videos. Now over 10 years later over 100 hours of video (Hi-8) shot at the park between 1995 and 1997 serve as a glimpse into a piece of Southern California history overlooked by mainstream media but never forgotten by the Generation who experienced it. It always seems pretty hard to explain this to someone who wasn't there during this time period but everyone who was anyone used to hang out in the old broken down tomorrowland. Sort of like the zephyr surfers who would surf at the brokendown theme park "POP" in dogtown z boys. To hang out in tomorrowland you had to have an annual pass that would grant you admission for most if not all days of the year (depending on how fancy your pass was passes were gernerally $100-$200). Most of the people who would hang out in Disneyland grew up going to the park during their childhood in Orange County and to find this as the main hangout as teeagers was very unlikely. During the summer of 1996 security guards started revoking the passes from teens who would hang around most often siteing it as "loitering". There were a number of ways a Disneyland security guard could justify revoking your pass but most popular were "loitering" and using "illegal dance moves" on the tomorrowland dancefloor basically no touching the ground with your hands but pretty much any dance move they didnt agree with. At this point it was already to late to take away passes, the secret was out everyone knew the park like the back of their hands by now .As hundreds of passes were revoked in an attempt to put an end to Disneyland Local culture the locals would comically sneak right back in. As you can imagine the inapropriate clearence of Disneyland locals was sharply responded to by the angery teenagers....and that is when things really started to get interesting. This was the time period when the Disneyland Locals returned the lack of respect and took it out on the park...this would be anything from sneaking in a high volume of people through the re entry with used handstamps Transfered by a wide range of materials and damaging park property to getting off on the rides and re-arranging the puppets into differnt locations (ussually on "its a small world") and other restricted behaviours some more innocent than others. Mostly weak things that teenagers would think funny but still good for a laugh. You can mark the the removal of the peoplemover (the main make out point for all teeagers) as the start of the decline in the "Local Culture". As the groups grew there were Territorial spots that would sometimes move form one side of Tomorrowland to another like a pack of Gypsies. The most well known rivalry between The straight edge groups and the teen smokers would have confrontations often resulting in countless kids getting Maced. The renovation of a new more name fitting Tomorrowland came in 1997 at this time the thousands upon thousands of kids who had set up after school and summertime residency at tomorrowland rapidly declined until it completely seized to exist. Now you can walk through the new highly different tomorrowland as if these moments never happened. Enjoy a look into the past at where videos will be added as they are edited since myspace video sucks." [via supercentral and mbs]
- tom moody 4-28-2007 8:43 am [link] [7 comments]

This image is (supposedly, and to the best I can tell) not animated.
- jim 4-25-2007 11:07 pm [link] [3 comments]

Astronomers find the most earth-like planet to date: "Of all the planets we've found around other stars, this is the one that looks as though it might have the right ingredients for life."
- jim 4-25-2007 8:00 pm [link] [4 comments]

David Halberstam R.I.P.
- steve 4-24-2007 5:24 am [link] [6 comments]

The characters who populate Savage's pages have never been linked before in a single story, if only because they span the entire class spectrum. The roll call of adolescent groups includes abandoned vagrant youth; semi- organized urban gangs like New York's Bowery Boys, Dead Rabbits, and the Montgomery Guards; the hobo children armies of the Depression; and the Wild Cliques of homeless youth in the outer rings of 1930s Vienna. Others were middle class and bohemian, like the neo- pagan ramblers who joined the Wandervogel in fin de siécle Germany, Woodcraft Indians in the U.S., and the Woodcraft Folk in England. Also making an appearance are upper-class factions like the Decadents, devotees of Oscar Wilde's delicious aesthetics, the flappers (whom Zelda Fitzgerald decided were "merely applying business methods to being young"), and the Bright Young People of London's 1920s gilded youth. The more familiar subcultures in Teenage include zoot suit–clad pachucos, Parisian zazous, British spivs, and American bobby-soxers. Savage details how the media, with tireless consistency, stoked moral panics about the threats to civilization posed by wayward youth, coining unsavory labels like "hooligans" and "scuttlers" (the more clinical term juvenile delinquent was in use by the 1810s), or more sensational ones like "the Apaches," applied in 1900 to publicity-seeking French ruffians who adopted a form of Indian pidgin speech.

- bill 4-23-2007 7:42 pm [link] [add a comment]

calling george washington

- bill 4-23-2007 4:48 am [link] [add a comment]

"Immense coils of hot, electrified gas in the Sun's atmosphere behave like a musical instrument, scientists say."
- jim 4-20-2007 10:39 pm [link] [1 comment]

a strawberry as big as the ritz
- dave 4-20-2007 8:51 pm [link] [add a comment]

Whale in Brooklyn.
- jim 4-19-2007 7:03 pm [link] [11 comments]

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well.

- bill 4-15-2007 8:49 pm [link] [7 comments]

so it goes
- steve 4-12-2007 8:38 am [link] [2 comments]

Gwen's voice

- bill 4-11-2007 4:55 pm [link] [add a comment]

Mark, make sure you see Trombone Shorty when you go down there. ( I recommend pressing pause and letting the video load completely before viewing.)
- jimlouis 4-10-2007 3:19 am [link] [add a comment]

we know from our own mr a wilson that the alexander wilson was a preeminent american ornithologist. what i didnt realize is that he was a skilled illustrator or birds as well. he is noted for the eight volume set posted here. first to find the wilson warbler wins.

- bill 4-09-2007 8:50 pm [link] [5 comments]

Johnny Hart R.I.P.
- steve 4-09-2007 7:26 pm [link] [4 comments]


It's an old epistemological debate, older, actually, than the koan about the tree in the forest. Plato weighed in on it, and philosophers for two millennia afterward: What is beauty? Is it a measurable fact (Gottfried Leibniz), or merely an opinion (David Hume), or is it a little of each, colored by the immediate state of mind of the observer (Immanuel Kant)?
- jimlouis 4-08-2007 5:52 pm [link] [add a comment]

its snowing.
- dave 4-06-2007 1:04 am [link] [6 comments]

i dont know if its some new edict but theres some prick of a traffic cop giving out tickets to motorcycles locked up to the fence on the allen street mall (the median). first they removed the benches so that the human flotsam would move elsewhere (although now noone has any place to sit) now this. im still waiting for that glorious revitalization project that they wasted money crowing about two years ago.

- dave 4-06-2007 12:25 am [link] [1 comment]

From now on all digitalmediatree matters will be resolved with this 101 gesture version of Rock Paper Scissors.
- jim 4-04-2007 12:45 am [link] [3 comments]

show down tonight! come early

After a two-year legal battle, the city of New York has dropped its lawsuit against Time’s Up!

The lawsuit, filed March 22, 2005, targeted the monthly Critical Mass bicycle rides in Manhattan, in which large groups of cyclists ride together. The city sought to require that Critical Mass obtain a parade permit, and also wanted to stop Time’s Up! from promoting Critical Mass.

“We’re very happy that the case was dropped,” said Bill DiPaola, director of Time’s Up! “We’re hoping that this is a first step in a more positive relationship between bicyclists and New York City.”

The city was forced to drop the lawsuit after the Police Department instituted a new rule, said Sheryl Neufeld, senior counsel in the Administrative Law Division of the New York City Law Department.

The new rule defines a parade as a procession of 50 or more pedestrians, vehicles or bicycles, Neufeld said. The old rule did not specify a number of participants.

- bill 3-30-2007 11:09 pm [link] [1 comment]

dc is for the birds.
- dave 3-30-2007 10:47 pm [link] [1 comment]

I think we saw a gyrfalcon on saturday. Alex, is it possible? It was HUGE, bigger than any eagle I've ever seen. But it had pointy bent wings like a falcon, and very dark, almost black, on the underside. We saw it quite close up, near the north shore of Lake Erie, which I know is a hot spot for migration.
- sally mckay 3-27-2007 12:06 am [link] [14 comments]