Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If you want to feel tiny...

...just take a look at today's Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD). It's a picture of  Abell 2744, also known as  Pandora's cluster.

That's a lot of galaxies!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Utha Graduates

About a month ago RuthAnne was awarded her Associate of Arts from Harvard Extension School; I've finally tracked down my SD flash card reader so I can upload the pictures. I expect complaints about this from RuthAnne...

Owen testing out the cap

See, they can smile!
The cap on its rightful dome
The Goods
So - tell me how... really feel.

A final update: the "official" picture.

From RuthAnne 2011-06-29

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Henna, again

Last weekend RuthAnne re-dyed my hair with henna. I've been using henna from, which is quite expensive; this time I use henna from a local store in Central Square.

It was $3.00 for a 5 and a half ounce bag (of which I used about half a bag, with a lot of what I mixed left over). It's excellent henna; there was a very strong dye release, and I like the resulting color.

So much for the high-priced spread. But The Henna Page (same people as is still a great information source for henna, both for use as a hair dye and for mehandi.

...and the sins of the father shall be visited upon the sons to the third and fourth generation...

Jose Antonio Vargas is a former reporter for The Washington Post and shared a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings. He was sent by his family to the US. from the Philippines when he was 12. Four years later, he discovered that he is an illegal immigrant.

some of Vargas' papers, from the New York Times Sunday Magazine

Vargas went to college and, as noted earlier, became a successful journalist. He has a Social Security number (obtained illegally) and pays state and federal income tax. He did not choose to enter the U.S. illegally. But here he is. What should we do about it?

He has decided he can no longer live this lie and tells his story in this week's New York Times Sunday Magazine (and also at If we can't provide a legal, reasonable path to citizenship for someone like Vargas, then what are we?

Update: Vargas is not alone.Recently the government agreed to an unusual deal in the case of an Iraq veteran who was brought to the U.S illegally as a baby. According to the New York Times, the government offered to drop a passport violation charge against the Navy petty officer if he completed a term of probation.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Rant, rant, rant

I can't stand it. I have to vent.

Yesterday the Republicans walked out of negotiations on raising the federal debt limit - because they absolutely refuse to consider any tax increases - not even simply revoking the Bush tax cuts on households earning over $250,000/year.

This is absurd.

I can't bring myself to provide calm, reasoned argument about this. These guys are nuts! The plutocracy owns Washington, and the rest of us are doomed.