Friday, June 30, 2006

Being Grateful

Today I am grateful for;

  • For tech, your post, “What we carry” is thought provoking and inspirational. I have huge amount of respect for you and wish there were more people out there like you.
  • The impromptu backyard play and dance recital held at my neighbors house staring every child under the age of twelve that lives on my block. They even had painted scenery on sheets and handmade programs. Afterwards there was pizza and soda with the entire cast! I was lucky enough to get autographs. What a blast! =0}
  • My butcher, Tiny. Not only did he have it ready for me when I got there, I did not have to stand in line to pay for it and he helped me put it into my truck! Best service in town! His wife is one lucky woman because he is so good looking.
  • Sandy at UPS. Recently during a semi crisis at work, Sandy went way above the call of duty and for that I thank her. I have also written a letter to her supervisor for a job well done.
  • For all the bronze men and women on our local beaches. Absolutely gorgeous!

I would like to thank all of my readers and commentors! TGIF!

N Posted by Rain at 6/30/2006 12:47:00 AM

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Art and Madness Series~ Science

An American chemist, Wallace Hume Carothers (1896-1937), was enticed in 1928 to leave a prestigious teaching position and instead head a new research group at the DuPont company.

In 1930, his researchers discovered that it was possible to make a strong new synthetic fiber out of chains of large molecules called polymers. The next year, Carothers applied for the first of many patents related to these "linear condensation polymers." On February 16, 1937 he was granted patent number 2,071,250. The DuPont company coined the name "nylon," mimicking the words "cotton" and "rayon."

Carothers noted in his patent application that the strands of his artificial fiber were "pliable, strong and elastic" and that they resembled silk. Nylon has proven itself important as a cheap alternative for silk, and it has been used in countless products, from tennis rackets to toothbrushes.

In 1938, DuPont went public, announcing the invention of nylon, "the first man-made organic textile fabric prepared entirely from new materials from the mineral kingdom." Nylon stocking, modeled by women at the New York World's Fair in 1939 and put on sale in 1940, were a huge hit.

Meanwhile, frustrated at times with the flaws of his "silk" superpolymer research, Carothers set aside the project to investigate another interest of his -- cyclic compounds. One of them, he noticed, gave off an intriguing aroma. Marketed as Astrotone, it became the first synthetic musk. The Carothers group also continued to work on another creation, a polymer that became neoprene, or, synthetic rubber.

Sadly, Carothers did not live to see his invention put to good use. Like many other brilliant creators, Carothers was prone to severe attacks of depression. He became obsessed with the notion that his scientific career was a failure, and on April 29, 1937, he committed suicide with cyanide, two days after his 41st birthday.

Despite his worries, Carothers's reputation for genius had been well established in the scientific community. He led the way in showing the usefulness of polymer chemistry, an area of research which engages over half the industrial scientists in the U.S. to this day.

N Posted by Rain at 6/29/2006 06:43:00 AM

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Pirates Life For Me!

My pirate name is:
Captain Jack Read
Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. Even through many pirates have a reputation for not being the brightest souls on earth, you defy the sterotypes. You've got taste and education. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from

It has been a very loooong day. I was sent this link in a email, go ahead and find your own pirate name and let me know what it is! I sure hope tomorrow is a better day.

N Posted by Rain at 6/27/2006 12:19:00 PM

Thar's Rattlesnakes in Them Thar Hills

Southern Pacific Rattlesnake

I received a phone call from a friend M, who at the moment is going through a very difficult time in his life, asking me to meet with him for a walk around a local lake so we could talk. M and I are very fond of one another, having known him since kindergarten I arranged to meet him in the parking lot on Saturday morning.
Upon arriving in the parking lot I noticed M sitting at a picnic table looking very sad. I parked, put my dog Rascal on a leash and started walking towards the table. Meeting us at the beginning of the trail we started walking and M started to tell me his tale of woe.

About half way around the lake Rascal started barking and pulling me along trying desperately to go around the corner. His back hairs standing on end, he started growling and continued to try and pull me faster. At this point I looked at M and said “something is up, Rascal is never like this.” So M took the leash from me and stopped Rascal from going any further. At this point we could hear the distinct sound of a rattlesnake. Sure enough he was in the middle of the trail some distance away from us. We immediately turned back around to find a park ranger to deal with the situation.

Since Saturday I have been thinking about all the people in my county as well as the entire state of California who hike, rock climb, campers, gold diggers and spelunkers that need to be aware of the dangers of rattlesnakes.

Colorado Sidewinder

What do rattlesnakes look like? The main features of rattlesnakes include:

  • a broad, triangular head on a narrow neck
  • folding fangs
  • cat's-eye or elliptical pupils instead of round ones
  • usually a rattle at the end of the tail (though this may be missing or broken)

What rattlesnakes are found around San Diego?
In my area, the only venomous snakes are rattlesnakes. In the coastal and mountain regions of San Diego County there are three kinds: the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake(Crotalus viridis), the Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake (C. mitchelli pyrrhus), and the Red Diamond Rattlesnake (C. ruber). In the desert is the Colorado Desert Sidewinder (C. cerastes). Unverified reports have been made of the Western diamondback rattlesnake (C. atrox), which is known from neighboring Imperial County.

Red Diamond Rattlesnake

What should you do if you come across a rattlesnake?

Don't let your fear keep you from enjoying the outdoors. For all their fearsome reputation, rattlesnakes are quite shy and do not come after people. They will strike only in self-defense. If you can learn to behave in a way that does not frighten snakes, you will greatly reduce your chances of a confrontation. Here are some common-sense suggestions:

  • If you will be hiking in a remote area, do not hike alone.
  • Always wear sturdy shoes (not sandals, jellies or flip-flops) with socks when you are out walking in grassy or rocky areas. Don't allow children to run outside barefoot or in silly shoes.
  • Don't ever put your hands or feet anywhere you aren't looking. Don't put your hands on rocks or branches over your head, and don't put your hands or feet under anything.
  • Snakes usually pick up the vibrations of feet and walking sticks and get out of the way, but sometimes do not.
  • Walk, don't run, especially in unfamiliar, grassy, brushy, or rocky areas. Never let a dog run loose; always keep a dog leashed no matter how good it normally is. Running means that you may surprise a snake (and they don't like surprises), and dogs are fascinated with rattlesnakes and will not leave them alone. A large snake can easily kill a small dog.
  • If you have to turn over a rock or log, turn it toward you, keeping your hands on your side of the log, not reaching over it. If it's in your path, walk around it; don't step over it (a snake might be lying on the other side).
  • Don't try to catch snakes. This may sound obvious, but most snakebites happen this way. Wild snakes do not make good pets and should never be killed. The only good reason to try to catch a wild snake is to move it out of harm's way to a safer place, and this should only be done by someone with knowledge and training. Don't tease snakes by throwing rocks or cornering them.

Western Diamond Back

What do I do if I do get bitten by a rattlesnake? Or if my child does? Or my dog does?
Do not panic. First, take a deep breath. Let your adrenaline rush subside a little before you act. A rattlesnake bite will leave two well-defined puncture marks and there will be an immediate, lasting pain. If you are unsure if the snake is a poisonous species, treat it as a medical emergency anyway.

  • If you have been bitten by a rattlesnake, it is important to get help as soon as possible. Call 911 for medical assistance. The best treatment for a rattlesnake bite is to seek medical treatment immediately. Get to a hospital emergency room as soon as possible.
  • If someone else has been bitten, keep that person calm and transport them to the hospital immediately. Call 911 if the medical condition of the person is severe. Don't chase the snake.
  • The antivenin treatment for a rattlesnake bite does not require knowing what species of rattlesnake it is. In the southern California area, the only poisonous snakes are rattlesnakes. Therefore, the emergency medical staff should be able to identify the characteristics of a bite without knowing exactly what kind of snake it is.

Do not apply a tight, constricting tourniquet.
Do not cut the bite area.
Do not ice the bite area.
Do not attempt to suck out the venom with your mouth.
Do not give alcohol to the bitten person.
Seek medical attention immediately. Visit the California Poison Control Center at San Diego's UCSD Medical Center for further information.

If this keeps someone or their animals from being bitten, it will make my day! Anyone out there ever been bitten by a rattlesnake? I would love to read your story.

N Posted by Rain at 6/27/2006 01:13:00 AM

Monday, June 26, 2006

Hunky Monday

Firemen in kilts!

N Posted by Rain at 6/26/2006 12:05:00 AM