Every Day, Dramatic Change

It’s really surprising to me how fast these critters grow:

We’re rigging the safety device today. I put some thought into it, and netting was not a viable option because I did not want them to get stuck in it, and I also did not want something that would be really taut and have a trampoline effect and instead of rescuing them, launch them into the ether, so I am rigging a tarp that will have a slight grade to the floor of the porch, and then blocking off the porch so rogue animals can not get near them. I’ll post pictures when the contraption is done.

Rainy Miscellany (Open Thread)

Yesterday, as Parkland students held “die-ins” at Publix supermarkets, the popular Florida-based grocery chain announced that it was suspending all political campaign donations. This is huge fucking deal. Publix is Florida’s largest employer. It had donated more than $600K to self-proclaimed “NRA sellout” Adam Putnam’s campaign for governor.

Putnam has been a fixture in the FL GOP for ages and currently is the state’s commissioner of agriculture. I think most folks expected him to skate to the GOP gubernatorial nomination, but Trump stuck his big fat snout into the race by endorsing a Republican congressman, and now all the Republican contenders are trying to out-wingnut each other by humping guns and huffing Dear Leader’s farts. Putnam will likely still win, but it’s not a sure thing.

Anyway, the capitulation of Publix is a big relief for me personally since I shop there and was not looking forward to boycotting it over the holiday weekend. Gonna make a big pot of red sauce since we’re on the dirty side of a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico and thus will not be able to cook out.

In other news, it looks like Ireland threw off the shackles of the Catholic Church and decisively defeated the abortion ban in yesterday’s referendum. Well done, Ireland! Aside from robbing women of their autonomy, the ban had led to needless deaths, such as that of Indian national Savita Halappanavar.

From what I heard on NPR, no one saw the amendment going down by a big margin, which it seems has happened. May oppressors worldwide — and here at home! — continue to be surprised by an active citizenry!

Speaking of which, maybe call your senators and congresscritters about the hideous, shameful Nazi-like behavior of ICE?

This morning, Trump is absurdly trying to gaslight people about a cruel initiative publicly announced by his own minions to appease Trump:

What a fucking lunatic, but the silver lining may be that even that amoral cockroach dimly senses that Americans are ashamed of the way ICE is treating families who are seeking asylum.

Anyhoo, open thread!

Saturday Morning Sci-Fi Open Thread: Mars Needs Believers!

Even as a very young hardcore sf reader, I knew I would never be part of a one-way space mission, because I can barely stand to spend a long weekend trapped in the house with a handful of people I love, much less a bunch of random strangers. (And, yes, I did not rate my chances of appealing to a quorum of those strangers, either.) But Murphy the Trickster God bless the… idealists… who are willing to share their dreams of Martian colonization with all the world and the Boston Globe:

When the initial tingle had passed and the idea had been given time to marinate and settle, Peter Degen-Portnoy said his family split into camps regarding his decision to commit to a one-way trip to Mars.

His sons think it’s cool.

His two oldest daughters stopped speaking with him.

And his wife left him.

Three years ago, Degen-Portnoy, a 54-year-old father of five from Stoneham, was one of 100 semifinalists chosen for Mars One, a wildly ambitious Dutch-led project that ultimately seeks to colonize Mars, beginning in 2032, with 20 permanent, never-to-return-to-Earth settlers. The plan has been controversial from the moment it was announced in 2012, with serious questions about the technological feasibility, as well as the plan to fund much of the mission.

Mars One organizers say the project can be accomplished for roughly $6 billion; critics say that is preposterous, as is the plan to raise much of that through corporate sponsorship and the sale of television rights.

The mission is currently far, far away from becoming a reality — millions of miles and millions of questions remain about how they will get there, how they will survive on Mars and build a self-sustaining colony, and of course how they will survive the trip. The current plan involves sending supplies ahead, then sending crews of four crammed into spaceships the size of a tour bus for the 18-month journey. When solar flares erupt, they will retreat into a bathroom-sized pod, surrounded by water for protection, for several claustrophobic days at a time.

While space experts and keyboard cowboys continue their debate, Degen-Portnoy and the three other semifinalists from Massachusetts have been dealing with the very real impact on their personal lives that comes when you make a commitment to a one-way trip to outer space.

For whether they go to Mars or not, “the 100,” as they call themselves, are the first humans to actually experience the terrestrial repercussions of making such an extravagant extraterrestrial commitment…

But there’s also a love story! Much more at the link — along with a full-sized version of the video clip at the top.

Floriduh! Something: Tales of Lust From The Mangroves Of Myakka

Someone (cough, BettyC, cough) got’s some explaining to do…

Also, a traveler’s service dog had puppies at Tampa International Airport today. PUPPIES!!!!!

Stay lusty! And, if you’re in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and/or parts of Georgia this weekend, stay dry and safe!

Open thread.


Friday Evening Respite Open Thread

It’s been One of Those Weeks, my sleep schedule is gehfuckten, and there are still mail-order tomatoes that need to be tranplanted. How’s your day been?

The Fire This Time

Some folks say Trump is just the logical extension of a white nationalist strain in the Republican Party that began with Nixon’s Southern strategy; inspired Reagan to kick off his campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi; germinated HW Bush’s Willie Horton ad; led W Bush’s dirty tricksters to spread rumors about John McCain’s adopted daughter; and culminated in the racist freak-out during President Obama’s two terms in office.

That’s all true. But there were exit ramps along the way. The Republican Party faced a hard choice after Romney’s defeat. They could adapt to changing American demographics or lose. Trump offered a third option: stop tinkering on the margins with voter suppression and dog whistles and go all in on racism, sexism and xenophobia and openly subvert American democracy to keep white folks in power by whatever means necessary.

The vast majority of the party chose door number 3. Now we not-Republicans face a choice: utterly defeat the Republican Party or watch as the U.S. morphs into an apartheid state and its law enforcement organizations engage in a never-ending ethnic cleansing project. Does that sound crazy or extreme? I don’t think it is. Read more

Five by Five

I couldn’t wait to post this (sorry other FP posters) because A.) we live in a dystopian world of shit and B.) ALL BIRDS PRESENT AND ACCOUNTED FOR:

There were five eggs, and I see five little noggins, including the emo teen facing the back of the bus listening to Dashboard Confessional while worrying about worms.

I’m going to end up going to Lowe’s and buying a safety net, aren’t I?