Monday, December 21, 2020

It's the Winter Solstice

Greetings on the shortest day of the year, which due to remarkably bad planning on our part 35 years ago is our anniversary.  Getting married was sort of an impulse decision, we'd already paid for a ski trip in Utah, so we decided to make that a honeymoon.  A judge friend of Jim's said the words and it was done.  It's too close to Christmas.  Back in the day when Christmas was a thing, we invariably forgot about the anniversary part.  

Who knows the name Katalin Kariko?  Like so many women who were critical to scientific achievements such as Rosalind Franklin (DNA crystallography), or Vera Rubin (discovered evidence of dark matter), or the ladies of Bletchley who broke the German codes, or the ladies who did the computations of orbital mechanics for personned space flight, I feel like Ms Kariko and her contributions to mRNA science are being overlooked.  She worked on it for decades.  Now she works at BioNTech and they do know what she did for the science.  I'd like to see more in the media than the husband and wife team who made the vaccine.  They stood on her shoulders.  You can read more here and a better article is here.

It was another good day, it hit the upper 70's.  While we were riding, it was windy, but as soon as we got home it stopped.  Funny how that works.  This is a cholla, he drops pups in the desert.  Some root and live, many don't and die.  This has been a tough year for the desert.  Monsoon was a bust, and in December we've had one day of rain.  December is generally wet.

Tucson is in a caldera.  Because of all the volcanoes that used to be active, we have a lot of different rock.  I need to hire a geology student to come out and explain what we're seeing.  There is a lot of rock like this that is easy to break.   You see it in ridges in the dirt. 

Here we see one of the ridges.

Bow hunting season for deer has started.  We're seeing hunters in Tucson Mountain Park with their bows.  It's still a mystery to me how they find a deer, sneak up on it, kill it, and then get it out of the park.  Deer are heavy.  We're wearing brightly colored jerseys on the bikes, so we don't look like prey.

The orange ectoplasm continues to insist he won by a landslide.  AG Barr has said no to seizing voting machines, appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the election fraud, and appointing a special prosecutor to torment Hunter Biden.  He's leaving in two days, it's easy to be brave.  The new budget has $2Billion for Space Force while children are going hungry.  There is something seriously wrong with Republicans' priorities.  This week VP Pence announced that members of Space Force would be known as Guardians, which immediately unleashed a torrent of Marvel memes on twitter.

That's it! That's all I've got.


  1. I always look forward to the Winter Solstice and the turning of the year. Seasons greetings.

  2. I'm ready for the days to be somewhat longer. But not ready for the hundred degree weather. Happy Anniversary. Two of Jim's sons are bow hunters. They seem to be pretty good at it. Both use the meat to help them through the winter. I've made the mistake of watching the news the last couple of days and I need to stop it. I get so upset. Will it ever get better?

  3. I love your shout out to all the women who accomplish amazing things and get very little credit. It's time for a change.
    Happy Anniversary!

  4. women not getting credit is the way it's been sine the dawn of the patriarchy. artist Judy Chicago did an installation on the achievements of women throughout history...those they did get credit for but mostly all those their brothers, husbands, or work partners got credit for from art to music to science to engineering, you name it...many years ago called The Dinner Party. There's a book about it. I had a copy but it was one of those that got ruined in the flood.

    sorry you aren't getting rain. weather patterns have changed so much in the last 15 years. we used to get lots of rain in the summer but no longer.

    I laughed my ass off at Pence's announcement. They'll rip off anybody. first Star Trek, now Marvel. Trump is going batshit crazy. for once in his life he can't buy, lie, or bully his way out and his ego can't handle it. these last 30 days are going to be horrible. and yeah those fucker republicans. $600. what a joke.

  5. Guardians? Why?!

    I have never heard of Katalin Kariko -- thanks for spotlighting her. I have heard of several of the other women you mentioned, so at least some are beginning to get credit. (Too little too late, admittedly.)

    You haven't had any rain and we haven't had any freezing weather. We're already off to a bizarre start to this winter!

  6. Despite your eeyore-esque anniversary announcement, I'd like to wish you both a Happy Anniversary! Thirty five years is a grand accomplishment and something to be proud of.

  7. I am so hoping we take advantage of global warming and skip much of winter this year.

  8. Guardians??? One has to wonder where that man's brain was when he made that announcement. My guess is he's watched too many space movies tho it could be worse - could be called Stormtroopers!

  9. Happy's to many more adventures for you two, and a much brighter 2021 for all of us.

  10. Happy anniversary, you two! We managed to hit our 35th during the pandemic year as well. Not much celebrating, but I guess we could celebrate being COVID-free, so far.