Wednesday


1
Jul 20

New month, old paper

Here’s video from dinner the other night, because I uploaded it and never shared it. And because we needed something colorful here.

Doesn’t hurt that it was quite tasty, either.

Anyway, not much here right now, so we go back, back, back in time. This is 105 years ago, 1915. Let us see what was going on around here.

Newspaper design was not going on, that is for sure. This is a four-page rag, and it was a slow week in a sleepy town and we’re going to get into all of the news and, this time, ignore the society pages altogether. I am inclined to think there was the editor, the typesetter and, otherwise, the old Evening World was a slim operation. There’s not a lot of unique local stuff to see. Let’s see what there is to see, though.

Do not go fast. Charley Stevens, who doesn’t pop up in a lot of search engines today, is warning you. You’re supposed to do 10 miles per hour, and no more. Ten miles to the hour, excuse me. Town squares are fascinating features. It looked exactly like this in 1915. It looked nothing like this in 1915.

This is the editor of the other paper in town. And this is a big description about an out-of-town trip. And this has to be an inside joke or something. Also, this is on the front page.

No one was in trouble. Grover Lazelle messed around got a triple-double. It was a good day.

This seems impressive. Remember, it was four years before Dwight Eisenhower’s transcontinental Army movement. His caravan covered 3,242 miles through 11 states in 62 days, an average of 52 miles per day, going from Maryland to California. Ol’ Willie Curry did the hardest part coming the other direction.

Ike lost two days in Nebraska. Curry apparently lost two tires over the whole trip.

There’s a big block of text about the fireworks you couldn’t buy anymore, and an editorial bit about the stuff you can buy. Some stories, it seems, never change. But to get SAFE AND SANE you had to be unsafe and insane, right?

Someone surely looked at the mangled hand of some kid the year or two before and said, “Y’all. This is insane.” Then there was legislation, and the marketplace kicked in to high gear. And, sure, stuff got safer, and more refined over time, thank goodness, but some of the stuff you couldn’t use anymore, by 1915, even, sounds kind of awesome? And terrifying?

Finally, this news update is brought to you by this advertisement. You figure Mr. Man, sitting there at his desk, let his eyes drift over the society mentions and saw that and thought, “You know, I haven’t had any look keeping the books all week … ” It’s easy to think he put two and two together there, but, you know.

It went on for two more paragraphs, but given what we know of the digestive habits of the time, surely this is all anyone need read. Sentanel, despite the unfortunate spelling, stayed an operating concern until at least the 1930s, but you don’t see much of it after that. I guess their job was done.

And so is mine, for now. Tomorrow … I’ll have something or other for you here. You’ll see!


24
Jun 20

Pictures of small fossilized creatures

Here are more marine animals turned to stone by time. I picked these up off the shore of a lake and now that they’ve been documented here for no reason I will return them whence they came. It’s important that these things go back to the wild. They’re destined to roam free, stepped on and kicked and maybe picked up and marveled at by children of all ages.

And, also, to take up a good day’s worth of space here on this humble little website. And maybe on social media. There’s always a need for content over there.

Check out these articulations. I believe these, at least some of these anyway, are comatulida, which is an order of crinoids.

Those layers, I just learned, are called synostosis.

Even on the broken ones, I like the ridges. These things have so much character.

If you squinted just right, and I put some greenery and fake foliage on the paper I might be able to trick you into thinking these were castle towers or something. Maybe you’d think I got them from a train set.

Donut or Cheerio?

OK, that’s a Cheerio. This is definitely a donut.

So there’s three types of the common crinoid fossils things in my experience — and the third one is relatively new to me. There’s the one that’s got dirt or mud or fossilized sediment inside. The more desirable version are the ones that are still hollow, like our friends above which resemble tasty treats. Through that axial canal runs, which ran through all the stem segments of the living organism, you would find the nerves and the digestive system that sent nutrients along the body.

Most of these look like they might be cyclocyclicus or pentagonacyclicus, according to this 1968 study I’ve suddenly found myself reading. And the new type, to me, are the ones with the specific shapes through the columnal feature. Like these.

Let’s take a closer look. This one is a floricyclus.

I just found something called The Fossil Forum and two things are clear. The little samples I find are relatively modest and, second, I can’t be sucked in my something called The Fossile Forum.

That 1968 paper — Classification and nomenclature of fossil crinoids based on studies of dissociated parts of their columns by Raymond C. Moore and Russell M. Jeffords — has almost 30 pages full of photos. I don’t see this one there, and it’s not even especially rare.

I’ve seen it’s kind in similarly vague and casual photographs like this one before, so it’s nothing new.

Please remember, dear expert reader who finds this at some point in the future, this is obviously and quite clearly not my field. I’d love to be corrected, however, on any of these errors, big or small.


17
Jun 20

Stand over there, well away, wash your hands, and …

I took the rare trip out today for a few important grocery supplies. I noticed pretty quickly how everyone’s mask estimation game is so popular. I noticed how pretty quickly, and throughout my brief trip, how I keep wondering if people are judging one another.

I wonder who should aggravate me more: the person not wearing a mask, or the person wearing a mask to protect their throat and chin. A lot contender to consider there is the person wearing a mask over their mouth, but not their nose.

The circulatory system, it seems, is a mystery to some fully grown adult human beings who are capable of otherwise sustaining themselves.

Anyway, I needed groceries. I still need a haircut. You need to wear a mask.

Look! It is easy being green.

A friend made this one for me, because she’s awesome. I’d brag on her by name, but she might not want the advertisement. Now I owe her a dinner one of these days when we can safely do those normal sorts of things again.

It’s not the time to let up. It’s the time to reconsider your habits. What we’ve done these past few months, we must continue to do again. And the best way to get back to normal, is to be diligent today. Part of looking out for yourself is looking out for each other. A big part of looking out for each other right now is to take a few simple precautions. Wear your mask.


10
Jun 20

Got 20 minutes? There are two great videos below

I found some fossils down at the lake yesterday. We have to spread these things out for content just now, plus I’ve been playing around with a new light box setup at home. So yesterday’s crinoid samples would have to wait. They’ve been sitting around for a few hundred million years, so what’s a few more hours, really?

Anyway, I am trying to remember how to take pictures of small things.

They look like shriveled Cheerios, don’t they? Really crunchy cereal bites with ridges. Don’t eat these, they aren’t that tasty, and probably difficult to digest at this stage.

It’s amazing, really. I’m taking these pictures and I’ll put these back out by the lake or a creek or something and maybe one day someone else will see them.

Or maybe they’ll just wait for another few hundred million years until the insect citizens of Perpaplexiconia dig through a few more feet of soil and who knows what they’ll think of tiny fossils. Maybe they’ll eat stones for their digestive properties.

Stuff from Twitter, to pad this out.

This is sort of self-explanatory. But I always wonder how people select the takeover person, and what that negotiation is like. Do you have to leave your license and car keys behind or something? Now, a full on swap for a day or so would be enlightening. I think it might be better on Instagram than Twitter, actually.

George Taliaferro is one of those people that, the more you read about him, the more you want to know about him.

He led the Hoosiers to their only undefeated season, helped end segregation in Bloomington by a few different methods:

He became the first African-American drafted by the NFL, and spent a lifetime, I mean the rest of his life, lifting up others. I regret not having had the chance to meet him before he passed away. But there are plenty of great stories about him, I mean plenty, and football is merely the way you learn about an otherwise great man.

Midway through this piece Taliaferro talks about he and the university president managed to desegregate the businesses of Bloomington. It’s a little choppy, but it goes like this: There was a photo in a popular restaurant right across the street from campus that had a picture of a championship IU team on the wall. Taliaferro said to Herman Wells, my picture is on the wall, but I can’t eat there. And Wells said, we’ll just see about that. It’s a big little story about two amazing men.

They don’t make many like that anymore, and they never did make enough of them to begin with.

I have an idea about this, don’t:

Can you imagine? One day you’re going through life’s drudgeries, the next day you’re in a pandemic, and then suddenly you’ve lost your father and your step-mother and now you’re the caregiver to five children and a stroke victim.

Where a mask, wash your hands, give the people around you plenty of distance.


3
Jun 20

Give this a listen

Today is going to be brief, because I have decided to take a bit of this day away from this glowing machine. So here’s a flower from a recent walk.

And if the photos look a bit larger around here today, they should. I decided to change the default photo size earlier this week. Mondays, first of the month and all of that. Usually these sorts of changes are made in August, in honor of the anniversary of the place. And, who knows, I have this vague idea that I’ve done this before and that somewhere along the way I forgot that and reverted to the older habit. Habits are like that sometimes.

Said the guy who knows he’s got too many of them.

I talked with sociologist Jessica Calarco today. She students social and socioeconomic inequities and their impacts on families, children and school. It seemed a good set up for the end of the school year, when the state’s school experts are expected to make their first announcements about next fall later this week. She gave us a really great interview.

I have at least three of them lined up for next week. More school issues, more economic issues, and who knows what else may appear. You should just go ahead and subscribe so you can get the latest episodes as they are released.

More on Twitter, check me out on Instagram and more On Topic with IU podcasts as well.