Showing posts from August, 2019

A Book to Read and Love: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz

A short summary of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: The challenges of growing up Dominican.

Questions to ponder while reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: Have you ever struggled for acceptance?
What challenges have you had to overcome?
My thoughts about The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar  Wao: A gut-wrenching journey through the Dominican Republic.
Culturally enlightening.
A great way to practice your Spanish.

Meditation 8.27.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

Dear Henry,

Today was, in a word, rather crappy.

A powerful windstorm (tornado?) came through our area last night and there are trees down everywhere. We were fortunate and didn't have any structural damage to our house although we did end up with at least five trees scattered about the property.

Stumbling across a coprolite article seemed like a fitting story for the day.

It seems, back in the 1960s, researchers at Texas A&M collected a couple of human coprolites (fossilized poo) from Conejo Shelter Texas and then stuck them in storage.  They were recently rediscovered (imagine finding that) and analyzed (5I was complaining about cleaning up trees). It turns out, one of the fossils is rather odd.

The sample, carbon-dated to around 1460-1520, contained the remains of a rodent, eaten uncooked and whole, and the bones, fang, and scales of a rattlesnake suggesting that it too was consumed whole and raw.

I have no idea why anyone would do such a thing (researchers are guessing a …

A Book to Read and Love: Zoo - James Patterson

A short summary of Zoo: When animals attack.

Questions to ponder while reading Zoo: Do you have pets?
How attached are you to your cell phone?
My thoughts about Zoo: Fast-paced fun.
A good piece of brain candy.
I'm thinking of reducing my cell time.....

Meditation 8.7.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

Dear Henry,

Did you know that Leonardo da Vinci had a favorite cheese?

Today, after falling into a rabbit hole of cheese making, I learned about the wonderful, Italian cheese called Montebore.

Montebore is a cheese made in the Northern mountain provinces of Italy and first appeared in written documents around 1300.  During the heyday of its popularity, it was a widely-produced, although now, there are only a few cheesemakers left.

Montebore is a fresh cheese and is made predominately with full-fat sheep's milk (the ratio is about 70/30 to cows milk) and it is arranged in a salted wedding cake shape.  It is only aged about 20 to 30 days.

Montebore is the recommended cheese for Rabaton.

It turns out, da Vinci was quite the nutritionist and his diet of mostly vegetables, cheeses, and grains would impress any modern dietitian. He would recommend his diet of well-chosen, well-cooked, and simple meals to others. 

After reading about his eating habits and food choices, I am now on the l…

Meditation 8.3.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

Dear Henry,

It isn't a secret that I am a total Jules Verne fan and have been completely enamored by his books.  My favorite, of course, is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is particularly cool because it was the book which largely inspired the development of submarine technology.  The book particularly inspired the creation of the nuclear submarine.

The idea of a submarine has been "floated" since the late 1500s, with the first documented submarine being built in 1620 by Cornelis Drebbel and used oars for propulsion. The first military submarine (also human-powered), was called the Turtle and was built in 1775. It wouldn't be until the late 1800s that a submarine would operate with any type of fuel-driven engine.

Because of these propulsion difficulties, it took until the early 1900s (and the widespread use of the diesel/electric engine) before navies began regularly using submarines, although, once the technology was developed the submarin…