Peacocks

by Terry Hargrove

In April of 2004, mom decided it was time to clean out my old room, unoccupied and almost untouched since 1978. I was going to bring home what I could and toss the rest, so Nancy and I hopped into the truck, and made the 23 mile drive to the Hargrove Homestead. As we sped over the crest of Lookout Ridge, we came upon a peacock. He was standing in the middle of my lane, with his feathers out in a glorious display, impressing two pea fowls who were on the side of the road. The peacock didn’t see me. He was focused on the females, and his feathers ruffled and swayed, and undulated, and the females’ heads bobbed in appreciation. When my truck struck the peacock, the females fainted at the wondrous display.

“Well,” I said. “We’ve learned something today.”

“Yes,” said Nancy. “Peacocks explode on impact.” Continue reading

Behind the warped wall: Katsumi Yamada can't let Sasuke go

by Alex Cole

Katsumi Yamada doesn’t have it easy. The 44-year-old Hyogo native alienated his family, lost his full-time job, and completely devoted his life to training for the sport he loves.

He’s a classic case of a tragic hero. Peaked too soon. Fell too soon.  Never seemed to ever pull himself back up after suffering more embarrassing defeats than any athlete or bodybuilder should know.

But no matter how many failures he posts – 23, to be exact –  he keeps coming back for more.

His love for the sport isn’t mutual. It continues to spit back in his face and kick him to the curb. Some may argue that it’s even ruined his life. Yamada’s lust for victory has left him with a bruised body, bruised ego, and bruised spirit.

You’ve probably never heard of him. That’s OK. Neither had I. Until three years ago. Continue reading

It's Climategate 2.0! (…not)

In December, the Goddard Institute for Space Sciences (GISS) published over 200 pages of internal emails as required by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). The emails involved how the GISS handled responding to a number of requests for information, data, and code from Steve McIntyre, founder of the climate disruption-denier website ClimateAudit.org. Clearly there was no metaphorical “smoking gun” in the emails, because the CEI didn’t crow about a likely Climategate 2.0 following the emails’ release.

However, today it appeared that Judicial Watch and number of large climate denier blogs didn’t get the memo. Continue reading

Nota Bene #100: Il Planetario di Figaro

Wow, 100 issues of Nota Bene! Props to Russ for helping me for a while with this nifty little S&R feature. Never mind all that now, let’s get on with this issue. “What splendid buildings our architects would be able to execute if only they could finally be less obedient to gravity!” Who said it? Continue reading

Haiti Relief

Haiti is so obviously beyond words that I’m not going to bother to even try. If you want to support relief efforts, may I suggest Paul Farmer’s outfit, Partners in Health, who have been operating in Haiti for some time. Farmer’s work in Haiti was the subject of a book by Tracy Kidder, Mountains Beyond Mountains. Their direct link to Haiti Relief is here.

And if you think speaking French is advantageous here, which it probably is, there’s Doctors without Borders, who also already have people there on the ground. Their Haiti donation link is here.