Wake Up Susan

Last night’s edition of our twice-monthly Tucson Old-Time Music Circle attracted a bunch of old friends from far as Wickenburg, Sierra Vista, and Yuma.  Here are my Yuman friends (they used to be half-Yuman, before settling year round), Dan and Jennifer Levenson, playing one of my favorites.

Hmm…what should I post here?

“Science” is the last section of my new blog needing an entry.  In fact, my main motivation for this post is just to get rid of the dreaded Nothing Found default entry.  It’s not that I can’t think of anything to write–there’s too much to write!  There’s so much science and technology news to talk about that I haven’t quite figured out what I’ll focus on for this space.  My inclination is to dig out weird and wonderful stuff.  Stay tuned.

What the heck is “Old-Time”?

Old-time, on this blog, anyway, refers to old-time music, which is arguably the most purely American form of music.  I got interested in old-time music by way of bluegrass banjo.  I tried playing bluegrass, or “3-finger,” or “Scruggs-style” banjo for a few years, but could never get those rolls rolling fast enough.  Even worse, that heavy resonator banjo gave me terrible backaches.  So I got an open-back banjo and started learning the old-time clawhammer style.  Well, before long, I caught the fiddle bug.  After all, clawhammer banjo and old-time fiddle go together like peanut butter and jelly.  I’m not good at either banjo or fiddle, but I have fun anyway.  I have friends who are really good.  Here are a couple of them.

Still Working on those Photos

I chose the NextGEN Gallery plugin to organize my photos on this site, but I still have a lot of learning to do before it all comes together.  In the mean time, you can take a look at some of my pictures on my other web album.

A couple baby bobcats born and raised in my parents’ backyard planter.

Retrieving Lost Memories

HHMI Bulletin | November 2007

“Every morning we took a short walk to the local market for groceries. One day, on the way back, there was a thunderstorm, so we took shelter in a little shed. After the rain, I said, ‘Let’s go home now.’ I looked at my grandmother’s face and it was completely without expression. ‘Home?’ she asked. ‘Where is home?'”  read in full issue (pdf)

Outsmarting the Toughest Bacteria

HHMI Bulletin | August 2007

Superbugs, the disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to even the most high-powered antibiotics, are becoming more commonplace.  One dangerous strain called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), once restricted to hospital wards, is turning up in soccer fields and gym lockers.  read in full issue (pdf)

The No-Brainer That Wasn’t

HHMI Bulletin | August 2007

Imagine your mechanic yanked the engine out of your car. You buckle up, turn the ignition, and off you drive, undoubtedly with a shattered notion of how automobiles work. That’s essentially what researchers led by HHMI investigator Pietro De Camilli experienced earlier this year when they eliminated a brain protein from mice thought to be an engine for transmitting nerve impulses.  read in full issue (pdf)

These Rodents See Red

HHMI Bulletin | August 2007

Some lab mice can see the world in a whole new light, thanks to HHMI investigator Jeremy Nathans and his colleague Gerald H. Jacobs. Their findings provide insight into the remarkable plasticity of mammalian brains, and shed light on a plausible means by which humans may have acquired the ability to see many colors.  read in full issue (pdf)