Thursday Jots 13 December

** Climate Concessions Bad for US Business, so from the Bali Conference… “The U.N. climate chief warned Thursday that a deadlock between the United States and the European Union over emissions cuts threatened to derail talks aimed at launching negotiations for a new global warming pact. Washington has refused to accept language in a draft document suggesting that industrialized nations consider cutting emissions by 25 percent to 40 percent by 2020 during upcoming negotiations for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.” For shame.

** Word of the day is ululate: to wail in self-pity; howl with sorrow; to utter or emit a long, mournful, plaintive sound. This is one of those words (Latin origin) that is imitative–the word in some way reproduces the sound of the sound named. There was a gal at a recent performance here in Floyd who made this weird yodeling sound with her tongue as a kind of applause or appreciation while listening to some stage musicians. It sounded like this word. So when I came across ululate in a National Geographic last week, having never read it before, I recognized it by the sound of the word.

** Mapophilia: Check out The Weather Channel / Radar Map / Weather layers / Clouds and Radar / Motion. This interactive utility uses Live Maps with transparent weather overlay. It is clickable down to street level and moveable across the country with left-click-drag.

** Here Comes Another Bubble: (YouTube) With apologies to Billy Joel, this is pretty funny–unless you’re holding a lot of tech stocks. UPDATE: sorry, this video has disappeared from the web. Strange–it was such a riot it reportedly had Robert Scoble spewing Diet Coke out his nose. AH well.

** Twinkle twinkle not-so-little star: A diamond bigger than Earth

** No More Sense: Adsense, that is. Or Amazon for that matter. There for a while, the ads were bringing in enough to pay my DSL expenses and then some. And then they weren’t. So at least for now, enjoy an ads-free (also revenue free) blogspace at Fragments. And frankly, I feel better (if a wee bit poorer) not being a part of the omnipresent marketing machinery that commodifies visitors into click-donors.

** If this picture or this one doesn’t make you smile, you’re probably dead.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Both of those pics were worth clicking for! Not so with the You Tube video – removed from site they say. Thanks too for the mapophilia link. Maybe I’ll have better luck with that than I do with Google Earth.

  2. Love them both, Fred Is there lots of snow in Floyd County at the moment? We are literally drowning in the stuff, and this is only mid-December. We are trying to figure out where we will pile the white stuff in January. Cheers, Cate

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