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King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at California Science Center

April 23rd, 2018 No comments

King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at California Science Center

King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh

On Saturday we toured the King Tut Exhibit at the California Science Museum. It is a wonderful exhibit and I will be featuring photos here over the next several weeks. 
You can see the entire collection of King Tut photos on my Flickr and Facebook pages. 

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Learn more about King Tut with these books

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

Yellow-rumped warbler (Setophaga coronata) from My Word with Douglas E. Welch

March 26th, 2018 Comments off

Hummingbirds at the feeder in 4k – 4 in a series [Video] (1:00)

March 13th, 2018 Comments off

Hummingbirds at the feeder in 4k – 4 in a series

We have had regular visitors at our window-mounted feeder so I took the time to capture a few.

This video is available in 4k. I recently upgraded my camera and am trying it out on a variety of subjects.

Hummingbirds at the feeder in 4k - 4 in a series [Video] (1:00)

Hummingbirds are birds from the Americas that constitute the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) in length. Indeed, the smallest extant bird species is a hummingbird, the 5 cm (2.0 in) bee hummingbird weighing less than 2.0 g (0.07 oz).

They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings which flap at high frequencies audible to humans. They hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, which vary from around 12 beats per second in the largest species, to in excess of 80 in some of the smallest. Of those species that have been measured in wind tunnels, their top speed exceeds 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph) and some species can dive at speeds in excess of 22 m/s (79 km/h; 49 mph).[1][2]

Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any homeothermic animal.[3] To conserve energy when food is scarce, and nightly when not foraging, they can go into torpor, a state similar to hibernation, slowing metabolic rate to 1/15th of its normal rate.[4] — Wikipedia

More information on Hummingbirds:

 Learn more about Hummingbirds

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Reading – The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty – 13 in a series

March 11th, 2018 Comments off

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas

Reading – The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty – 13 in a series

Reading - The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty - 13 in a series

A dizzying swirl of food and life and history and slavery and food and genealogy and stories and Africa and everything else that is a part of Twitty’s life. I learned and/or felt something new on every page.

I originally decided to read this book as it was about food and food history, but as I made my way through it I discovered so much more. Even with an authority on United States Slavery living here in my own home, I still learned even more about it with each page. Twitty’s journey to discover who he is by discovering where he came from is a familiar one, but also unique in so many ways. Informed by DNA analysis, deep food-ways research, personal stories and his encounters with people throughout the American South delve deeper into the past and root out basic historical reasons why food, race, history, and families are so complicated today.

At times this book is hard to read. The stories are just too despairing and most modern readers have no frame of reference. It does force you to face the past — all of the past — and come out a better person on the other side with a deeper, if still imperfect, understanding of our collective history.

As other reviewers have mentioned, I wish there had been more recipes throughout the book, that isn’t really its purpose. The recipes provide cultural touchstones but it is the stories that resonate long after you close the covers.

** My version of this book was available from the Los Angeles Public Library in print and ebook versions.

From Amazon.com…

A renowned culinary historian offers a fresh perspective on our most divisive cultural issue, race, in this illuminating memoir of Southern cuisine and food culture that traces his ancestry—both black and white—through food, from Africa to America and slavery to freedom.

Southern food is integral to the American culinary tradition, yet the question of who “owns” it is one of the most provocative touch points in our ongoing struggles over race. In this unique memoir, culinary historian Michael W. Twitty takes readers to the white-hot center of this fight, tracing the roots of his own family and the charged politics surrounding the origins of soul food, barbecue, and all Southern cuisine.

From the tobacco and rice farms of colonial times to plantation kitchens and backbreaking cotton fields, Twitty tells his family story through the foods that enabled his ancestors’ survival across three centuries. He sifts through stories, recipes, genetic tests, and historical documents, and travels from Civil War battlefields in Virginia to synagogues in Alabama to Black-owned organic farms in Georgia.

As he takes us through his ancestral culinary history, Twitty suggests that healing may come from embracing the discomfort of the Southern past. Along the way, he reveals a truth that is more than skin deep—the power that food has to bring the kin of the enslaved and their former slaveholders to the table, where they can discover the real America together.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library.
Check it out! † Available from the LA Public Library

Previously in (Re)Reading:

Categories: Books, Cooking, Education, History Tags:

Reading – Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies by by Andrew Degraff and‎ A.D. Jameson – 12 in a series

February 26th, 2018 Comments off

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas

Reading – Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies by by Andrew Degraff and A.D. Jameson – 12 in a series

Reading - Cinemaps: An Atlas of 35 Great Movies by by Andrew Degraff and  A.D. Jameson - 12 in a series

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See more cinemaps on the author’s web site

All movies take place in a world of their own design and Cinemaps helps to map out those spaces for 35 of our favorite movies from Star Wars to Pulp Fiction to Back to the Future. Each map details the passage of the main charactear, showing how and where they encounter one another, diverge, and meet again throughout the passage the film. This is a new way of understanding films, providing a visual summary of the movies and a piece of art in its own right. A.D Jameson’s essays on each film provide more illumination to the “illuminated” maps showing how one informs the other.

A great gift for movie and map buffs!

** My version of this book was available from the Los Angeles Public Library in print and ebook versions.

From Amazon.com…

This beautifully illustrated atlas of beloved movies is an essential reference for cinephiles, fans of great films, and anyone who loves the art of mapmaking.

Acclaimed artist Andrew DeGraff has created beautiful hand-painted maps of all your favorite films, from King Kong and North by Northwest to The Princess Bride, Fargo, Pulp Fiction, even The Breakfast Club—with the routes of major characters charted in meticulous cartographic detail. Follow Marty McFly through the Hill Valley of 1985, 1955, and 1985 once again as he races Back to the Future. Trail Jack Torrance as he navigates the corridors of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. And join Indiana Jones on a globe-spanning journey from Nepal to Cairo to London on his quest for the famed Lost Ark. Each map is presented in an 11-by-14-inch format, with key details enlarged for closer inspection, and is accompanied by illuminating essays from film critic A. D. Jameson, who speaks to the unique geographies of each film.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library.
Check it out! † Available from the LA Public Library

Previously in (Re)Reading:

Hummingbirds at the feeder in 4k – 3 in a series [Video] (0:57)

February 21st, 2018 Comments off

Hummingbirds at the feeder in 4k – 3 in a series

We have had regular visitors at our window-mounted feeder so I took the time to capture a few.

This video is available in 4k. I recently upgraded my camera and am trying it out on a variety of subjects.

Hummingbirds at the feeder in 4k - 3 in a series [Video] (0:57)

Hummingbirds are birds from the Americas that constitute the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) in length. Indeed, the smallest extant bird species is a hummingbird, the 5 cm (2.0 in) bee hummingbird weighing less than 2.0 g (0.07 oz).

They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings which flap at high frequencies audible to humans. They hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, which vary from around 12 beats per second in the largest species, to in excess of 80 in some of the smallest. Of those species that have been measured in wind tunnels, their top speed exceeds 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph) and some species can dive at speeds in excess of 22 m/s (79 km/h; 49 mph).[1][2]

 

Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any homeothermic animal.[3] To conserve energy when food is scarce, and nightly when not foraging, they can go into torpor, a state similar to hibernation, slowing metabolic rate to 1/15th of its normal rate.[4] — Wikipedia

 

More information on Hummingbirds:

 Learn more about Hummingbirds

 

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

Reading – Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt – 7 in a series

February 1st, 2018 Comments off

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year — Douglas

Reading – Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt – 7 in a series

Reading - Mozart's Starling Hardcover by Lyanda Lynn Haupt - 7 in a series

It all started with a starling. The story goes that Mozart, walking about Vienna, came across a starling that could sing a melody from one of his, soon to be famous, compositions. So taken was he by this bird that he bought it and installed it in his home for the next 3 years. This story intrigued author Lyanda Lynn Haupt so much that she decided to adopt her own starling chick to better understand this story. This led to a book that encompasses Mozart, history, music, animal behaviors, natural history, linguistics, science, pets, and home.

I never expected to be taken on such a wide ranging trip with Mozart’s Starling, but it quickly pulled me in and through the various personal stories and sidebars into all the topics mentioned above. For me, this is a nearly perfect book. It has a theme that runs throughout, but within that theme it runs here and there engaging a little bit of this and little bit of that, tickling my need for variety and giving me a host of conversation items for any upcoming party. 

After reading, I now know more about Mozart’s music and history, the invasive nature of starlings in North America, how a pet can become part of a family, the different styles of language/song among birds and much more. I think you’ll find Mozart’s Starling and interesting read, too.

** My version of this book was available as an eBook from the Los Angeles Public Library

From Amazon.com…

On May 27th, 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart met a flirtatious little starling in a Viennese shop who sang an improvised version of the theme from his Piano Concerto no. 17 in G major. Sensing a kindred spirit in the plucky young bird, Mozart bought him and took him home to be a family pet. For three years, the starling lived with Mozart, influencing his work and serving as his companion, distraction, consolation, and muse.

Two centuries later, starlings are reviled by even the most compassionate conservationists. A nonnative, invasive species, they invade sensitive habitats, outcompete local birds for nest sites and food, and decimate crops. A seasoned birder and naturalist, Lyanda Lynn Haupt is well versed in the difficult and often strained relationships these birds have with other species and the environment. But after rescuing a baby starling of her own, Haupt found herself enchanted by the same intelligence and playful spirit that had so charmed her favorite composer.

In Mozart’s Starling, Haupt explores the unlikely and remarkable bond between one of history’s most cherished composers and one of earth’s most common birds. The intertwined stories of Mozart’s beloved pet and Haupt’s own starling provide an unexpected window into human-animal friendships, music, the secret world of starlings, and the nature of creative inspiration. A blend of natural history, biography, and memoir, Mozart’s Starling is a tour de force that awakens a surprising new awareness of our place in the world.

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library.
Check it out! † Available from the LA Public Library

Previously in (Re)Reading:

Hummingbirds at the feeder – 25% Speed – 1 in a series [Video]

January 30th, 2018 Comments off

Hummingbirds at the feeder – 25% Speed – 1 in a series

We have had regular visitors at our window-mounted feeder so I took the time to capture a few.

This video is slowed to 25% normal speed to allow you to see the hummingbirds and the behavior more clearly.

Hummingbirds at the feeder - 25% Speed - 1 in a series [Video]

Hummingbirds are birds from the Americas that constitute the family Trochilidae. They are among the smallest of birds, most species measuring 7.5–13 cm (3–5 in) in length. Indeed, the smallest extant bird species is a hummingbird, the 5 cm (2.0 in) bee hummingbird weighing less than 2.0 g (0.07 oz).

They are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings which flap at high frequencies audible to humans. They hover in mid-air at rapid wing-flapping rates, which vary from around 12 beats per second in the largest species, to in excess of 80 in some of the smallest. Of those species that have been measured in wind tunnels, their top speed exceeds 15 m/s (54 km/h; 34 mph) and some species can dive at speeds in excess of 22 m/s (79 km/h; 49 mph).[1][2]

Hummingbirds have the highest metabolism of any homeothermic animal.[3] To conserve energy when food is scarce, and nightly when not foraging, they can go into torpor, a state similar to hibernation, slowing metabolic rate to 1/15th of its normal rate.[4] — Wikipedia

More information on Hummingbirds:

 Learn more about Hummingbirds

* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

 

5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School

January 16th, 2018 Comments off

5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School

5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School

Still life is a particular style of photography that slowly lured me into its clutches. The gateway drug was, of course, food photography, and before I knew it, my weekends were spent combing secondhand shops for props and buying up linen in all different shades.

he popularity of Instagram has given rise to images of every different kind of food, drink, dessert, cake, and cocktail. You name it, someone is shooting it, adding a filter and posting online before they even taste it. Except for the one thing it really shows, is how hard it is to compose and take a good still life image, especially with a cell phone. There are a lot of really awful shots out there. Someone even made a hilarious video about the effort needed to get a good shot.

Of all of the techniques I have learned in my photography journey, none has taught me as much as doing still life work.

Read this entire article – 5 Lessons I Learned by Doing Still Life Photography via Digital Photography School





An interesting link found among my daily reading

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii): Back Again – 1 in a series from My Word

January 1st, 2018 Comments off
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