Monthly Archives: February 2012

Without a safety net, ctd.

Yesterday’s post got an interesting comment conversation going, so I thought I’d add in a bit of data. The term “safety net” is more applicable than some might think. Because most Americans get their health coverage from their employers, being … Continue reading

Posted in USA | 8 Comments

Without a safety net

Portugal certainly has its share of problems, but one thing its citizens don’t have to worry about — even if they have lost their jobs in this miserable economy — is the “luxury” of basic health care. This narrative, written … Continue reading

Posted in life, USA | 11 Comments

Wallpaper Monday

National Geographic captions this photo: “African buffalo create tracks in the salty mud at the edge of a crater lake in Queen Elizabeth National Park.” Uganda isn’t a nation I hear any good news from, so it’s nice to be … Continue reading

Posted in wallpaper | 1 Comment

Tax culture

For those who keep up with the EU economic situation, it will probably not be news that one of Greece’s biggest ongoing issues is the (non)collection of taxes. But it might be news that at one point, the Greek finance … Continue reading

Posted in culture, Europe | 2 Comments

Porcelain Unicorn

The contest: “Tell it Your Way.” The judge: Ridley Scott (director of Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, and Black Hawk Down, to name just a few). The rules: Make a film of no more than three minutes in … Continue reading

Posted in culture, video | 5 Comments

The constellation has no clothes

To my surprise and glee, I learned this morning — courtesy of web comic xkcd — that I am not the only one to have made a certain observation about a certain constellation. They told me it was a sword, … Continue reading

Posted in humor | 4 Comments

Adopted English

I’m often startled by the English (or American) words that are incorporated into the Portuguese language. For instance, “okay” or “OK.” There is no letter K* in Portuguese, and yet “okay” is a word in frequent usage, meaning exactly what … Continue reading

Posted in language, Portugal, USA | 10 Comments

Wallpaper Monday 3-for-1

Two weeks ago I said that if I were an astronaut, I’d spend all my time with my nose pressed against the window. So it was with considerable enjoyment that I found this on NASA’s Flickr page: astronaut Tracy Caldwell … Continue reading

Posted in wallpaper | 6 Comments

Headline of the day

(I just found this in my Drafts folder, from mid-November. The news content isn’t current anymore, but the fun is.) MacDuff Marine Aquarium is preparing to release Rip, a 6-foot (1.8 meter) conger eel, so that he can migrate to … Continue reading

Posted in humor, life | 1 Comment

Gecko adhesive

This is the Mediterranean house gecko, Hemidactylus turcicus, which runs rampant all over Portugal (including at least one living around my veranda container plants). Anyone who has ever seen a gecko in action knows that their ability to stick to … Continue reading

Posted in science, tech | 2 Comments