Saturday, March 13, 2010

anyone need any cotton?

A while back, something like more than 2 years ago, I thought I'd give hand-spinning a try, using a drop spindle. My friend the Extreme Chef, who works for the USDA, acquired for me a substantial amount of fresh and free cotton to give this a try with. I used a small amount, spun successfully, but still had a large clear trash bag full of it up in my upstairs closet. I left it there, safely encased in the clear trash bag... Nearly a year ago I acquired Loki, aka Bitey Whitey, and during that time he's been slowly and steadily destroying the bag in the closet. Finally, this morning, I committed to extracting the cotton explosion from my closet in order to be able to retrieve important things, like my camping gear for example, but I am now faced with an enormous pile and nothing resembling a bag to fit it in...

Say, do you notice anything NOT cottony in that pile?

Sunday, March 07, 2010

"Mailable Monday" (TM) on Sunday

The title is being borrowed just this once from the originator of Mailable Mondays (TM) - as most of the contents of the envelope were being sent for said feature, and were somehow lost...

"Insufficient address" it tells me. Well, I tell you, when I mailed this there was a complete envelope, including the postal code and country.

"we care" they say. Oh you do, do you? Might I ask then why you had your postal wolves devour 1/4 of my envelope and consequently lose half the contents then?


What's new in 2010 at Bakersfield College? Fossils! It started with a grant that we wrote to build a display for Sharktooth Hill, a Natural National Landmark that is owned by the school (little known fact). We have the main display done, below, and are now working on a map that will reside on the slanted portion inside the cabinet and informational fliers that will reside in the trays at the front.

The other thing that is fossil-related and new (is that an oxymoron?) is the Historical Geology class that I am teaching. It only took a year to get the curriculum proposed, submitted, approved, approved for General Education, approved for transfer and articulated with the local university. With that done, it got on the schedule, and then I had to actually start compiling it... Anyway, yesterday was the first official field trip for the class, and I took the opportunity to take students out to the "Trilobite Wilderness" south of the Mojave Desert National Preserve. There one mostly finds cephalons (heads) of Olenellus mojavensis (aka: Bristolia mohavensis), the species of Cambrian (about 530 million years old) trilobite that is named for this "type locality". But, yesterday, a couple of sharp-eyed students found perfectly complete specimens (the photo below) and several more found almost complete bodies as well. No one left without at least a cephalon. I was quite astounded actually!

Hmmm, now that I look at this photo, I think they might be Olenellus clarki rather than mojavensis. Not sure. Not a paleontologist...