Thursday, June 30, 2016

Time to learn about skunk spray

Back in the Project Trillium post you got to see Bell, our hound dog.  She's a very friendly dog who greets you with a wagging tail and she actually has her very own chair!  BUT, she IS a hound.

This spring she's honed her hunting skills and has managed to nab a turkey, a snake and just yesterday...  a skunk

The skunk didn't go peacefully.  Bell got sprayed from ear to tail and spent the night in a box in the garage after two baths...  So that got me curious.  What is it in skunk spray that makes it so horrible...

It's the thiols and acetate derivatives of these thiols... So what does a thiol look like?
The folks at Humbolt State University worked out the chemistry as shown below...



 Above are seven volatile compounds that exist in the spray.  If you live in a part of the world that has no skunks, you may never have experienced what these compounds smell like.  They are horrible, nauseating, and acrid to your olfactory.  The work at Humbolt is so cool! 

So how can you get rid of the odor?  The trick is to break down the Thiols into something that doesn't emit that obnoxious odor... fortunately there are chemical reactions that do the trick! For a pet you need something that won't hurt them, but will react with the thiols.

Forget about tomato juice, or other mythic solutions. What we need here is good old science!  As it turns out a combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda work very well... here's a recipe - should you ever need it!

Bell is now back in the house.  A little smarter about little creatures with whit stripes, a lot cleaner, and still just a bit "skunky."


Monday, June 20, 2016

Solar Impulse arrive in Seville

Here's to the pioneering human spirit!  People who did what 'experts' said was impossible.  This puts solar aircraft and solar powered travel in a new light.  Reliability, zero emissions and performance... although not stunning, perhaps enough to power your home reliably inexpensively and cleanly.  This is uber disruptive in that our concept of giant power generating plants has just been eclipsed by solar panels on our roofs and storage batteries in our garages...  I think this fragile little plane just changed the world. -That's what I think!

Spanish air force
Solar Impulse arriving in Seville to a Spanish AF salute!

Coming into land
On final... a beautiful thing. Doesn't this image evoke a sort of harmony as no burnt jet fuel is cast over the green crops below on this approach... an inspiring glimpse into the future. Thank you Solar Impulse Team!

Renewable energy also creates more jobs than other sources of energy – most of these will be created in the struggling manufacturing sector, which will pioneer the new energy future by investment that allows manufacturers to retool and adopt new technologies and methods.” - Jay Inslee


Saturday, June 18, 2016

A wonderful wedding at a nearby farm...

What a perfect day for a wedding!

An inspiring message of remembrance.  

Some of the guests were colorfully adorned...
I think this wedding was one of the warmest, creative and beautiful that I can recall.

A few odds and ends...

I remember when these were new!  Single cylinder fun that left a cloud of 2 stroke smog behind it where ever it went.

Still have mine! - Keep it in my wallet...

This is really more of roadside oddity... A school bus hoisted onto an old grain silo complete with a stairway...

So cool.  A coffee-foos ball table.  This makes me wonder what other furniture intersections could there be?  A pin-ball-kitchen counter?  Maybe a laptop-dinner table - oops, those are already here! 

I always thought Buckminster Fuller was the genius behind the tear drop shaped car (Dymaxion Car) BUT, NOOO, this is an Alfa Romeo from 1913! 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


Friday, June 17, 2016

Ojibwa (Native American dance)

At lunch today I had the great good fortune of watching a few of the Ojibwa Native Americans demonstrate their music and their love of life and culture.  This is just a quick video.  If you are interested in this very inspiring culture, look here.


Friday, June 10, 2016

The Sicily - Rome American Cemetery and Memorial in Nettuno

I was working in the town of Nettuno today and friends told me about this beautiful memorial, so I visited it on my to FCO.  A beautiful place.

The main gate

Looking down the mall towards the memorial

There is a stone cenotaph in the center of the reflecting pool.

The memorial has a chapel, center "Brothers in Arms," sculpture and a map room explaining where these soldiers fought

7860 Headstones

Each a partially written story.  A life lost before the story could be written...

Each plot is separated by these beautiful pines.

The stones are Lasa marble, the care is pristine.

Anzio is just a few kilometers away...

A closer look at the memorial

On the right, an angle cradles the fallen

In the center of the memorial a circular courtyard provides a focus for this sculpture.

On the walls inside the memorial are the names of 3095 more soldiers who are not buried.  They are the missing.

"Peace on Earth Good Will Among Men"

A apnoramic view of the center court

The South Garden sculpture

The North Garden and 4 stars...

A somber place, a beautiful place.  The many who repose here gave all.  I am reminded of the poem "In Flanders Fields," written by LTC McCrae during WW 1.  As my own father used to say, "why do we not learn?"

Friday, June 3, 2016

A little walk in a beautiful place

Just a few pics from this evenings walk. 

Just outside my door, there is this vibrant shrub.

Of course, a beautiful Rose - my mother's name!

Yup, a rainbow...

A little buggy, but such a nice walk.  This is near the Poggio Manente

What a beautiful view of an Umbrian field