Saturday, April 19, 2008

Help the Honey Bees

Haagen-Dazs ice cream has launched a new campaign to help honey bees. Appealing to our selfish instincts, they point out that bees are essential to many of the wonderful foods we eat, including ice cream. When people eat flavors like Vanilla Honey Bee Ice Cream, Haagen-Dazs is donating money to support honey bee and sustainable pollination research. Of course, advertisements like the one I saw today are helping raise awareness of the honey bee crisis. Related to my dissertation, the company is giving employees flower seeds to plant bee-friendly gardens in their yards as well as sponsoring volunteer days where employees can help create bee-friendly gardens in their communities.

Though I don't care about ice cream, I do care about honey bees, and I'm glad Haagen-Dazs has instituted this campaign.

Help the Honey Bees Website

Friday, April 18, 2008

Celebrate Earth Day at the Phoenix Zoo: Computer Recycling

Tomorrow, folks will be at the Phoenix Zoo to accept computers and outdated, unused electronics for recycling. It is related to my dissertation, so I'm going to be there checking out the event! Donations will benefit Arizona schools and non-profit groups. It also benefits the environment by keeping the toxic materials in these items out of landfills.

More information

I Don't Like This

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, California is attempting to pass a law that would "protect" animal researchers by allowing facilities to withhold information if universities believe that the information would harm the researchers. In addition, the law would allow organizations to sue PROTESTERS for harassment for standing up for the rights of the animals as well as provide new criminal penalties for protesters.

I'd rather see a law protecting the ANIMALS!!!!!!!

Toxic Pets

They aren't toxic to us. We are toxic to them according to a study by Richard Wiles of the Environmental Working Group. Mercury, stain-fighting chemicals, and flame retardant chemicals are found in dogs and cats at an alarming rate. Makes sense, right--our dogs and cats lounge on the floor much more than we do. The EWG published a list of steps to reduce the dangerous chemicals in pets. I care about this because I believe animals have a right to a healthy environment, but if you are more Machiavellian than that, you should care about this issue because the amount of chemicals in pets is a likely signal of the myriad dangerous pets in our own selfish tissue. (For more on that, see Exposed by Mark Schapiro out of the Center for Investigative Reporting. If you have kids, you should definitely check out the CIR site.)

Larry Glickman, of Purdue University, studied thyroid problems in cats and found it is likely linked to high consumption of canned cat food--a chemical that lines the cans is a prime suspect. (Ethical issues prevent a study that proves causality, but the correlation is strong.) Story

Gold Star

In class tonight, student teams presented, and their peers were required to complete evaluation forms. I often get random notes, doodles, or drawings on these types of forms, but one from this evening was so cute, I had to capture it for my blog. (This may be a violation of student privacy and teacherly ethics, but it's also what he gets for drawing on the evaluation form! ; ) )

Perhaps I should not encourage this type of behavior, but it reminds me of my college Anthropology class Oral Narrative (which happened to be the only class Allen and I ever took together). Three things were memorable about that class: 1) my professor told me he copied parts of my final paper he thought it was so insightful, 2) another student, a total tool, said at least once a class period, "As a musician, I....", and 3) a student knitted throughout class rather than take notes. Such behavior was a bit strange, but our professor embraced it and praised her knitting-in-class as the example we should all follow--not taking notes, he claimed, we could really experience the discussion and be a part of it, rather than observing it and capturing it in some artificial way.

I'll leave it up to you.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Butterfly Effect

Edward Lorenz, discoverer of the Butterfly Effect and known as the father of chaos theory, passed away. Most of what I knew about the Butterfly Effect was very unscientific, so the obituaries on NPR were interesting in that they provided a better base of understanding Lorenz's claims. Story

Sick Sloane Thursday Update

Sloane is still at the animal hospital and not doing well. They've given her steroids, which has been shown in some studies to help jolt cats out of this behavior, but Sloane doesn't seem to be interested in food. George and the doctors at the clinic are keeping a good eye on her, so we're hopeful. It does seem to be that this illness was caused by the changes in our house--workers making noise, visitors, and moved furniture. It's heart wrenching that we can't do anything to help her.

UPDATE: Tonight George said that the doctors X-rayed Sloane's head and that the likely culprit of her illness is a severe inner ear infection. She is still at the hospital receiving antibiotics and fluids.

Thanks to the doctors and staff at VetMed for taking such good care of her!

Puglicious Treasury

Being in Etsy treasuries is fun, but so is curating them. Etsy limits the number of treasuries available at any one time, so it's notoriously difficult to snag them. The first time I got one, I was so surprised, the theme wasn't too coherent, kind of like when you get voice mail and expect a live person or visa versa. Tonight when I got one, I was better prepared!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Great Escape

I was sitting at my craft table making a necklace--I mean, I was sitting at my computer working on my dissertation--and I heard a dog barking outside. Not too strange--New River has lots of dogs. But as I listened, I realized that the bark was distinct, special somehow. And I realized Walter wasn't in the room with me!

I ran to the backyard where Walter was standing on the path barking at folks from Teen Challenge who were walking the perimeter of their property. It was easy enough to coax him inside--I just had to wave a treat in the air. But Harvey wasn't anywhere to be seen. Not in the front yard. Not in the back yard. Remember, we have 2-1/2 acres. I tried watching for a flash of yellow and listening for his bark, but nothing.

At this point, I wasn't panicking. I jumped in the truck with a leash and jar of treats and thought I'd drive around the neighborhood. Harvey is such a lug, he had to be lollygagging. I was just worried that a crazy driver would hit him. Down Wolf Trap I went, with the window down, yelling his name. No luck. Down Fig Springs. Nada.

I turned around at Teen Challenge's main gate, and it was then I began to panic. I didn't want to go up and down New River Road looking for him because I would surely find his corpse along the side of the road given the ineptitude and speed of the local traffic.

In tears, I started back toward the house. And there he was, hanging out with a Rottie in a yard across the street and two doors down. Then I wanted to kill him! There was a woman with the dogs. Harvey wasn't as skittish as usual, but he was shy, and with the scar on his back, the woman thought Harvey had been shot. Nope. Just stupid.

So, Harvey's great escape was thwarted, though he is walking around looking very pleased with himself.

You may wonder how the dogs managed this? We've (George has) been doing so much work on the house. We have beautiful new doors in the kitchen, but they are not exactly secure. Unless the door is locked, it will easily blow open. Because I was outside doing laundry and expected to go back and forth, I didn't lock the door. The wind opened up the door, and the dogs took the opportunity to explore the greater outdoors.

UPDATE: George says that it is not the door but my door closing skills that led to the dogs' adventure.

Poor Wrigley!

Wrigley, a cute bunny, was found abandoned in a school playground by 3Bunnies Rescue in Connecticut. Wrigley had very bad ear mites and required costly surgery. Please spread the word that 3Bunnies is seeking donations for Wrigley's treatment, and, if you can, donate!

UPDATE: 3Bunnies thinks Wrigley was a bunny given as an Easter gift who was either "set free" or abandoned. Please do not give bunnies, chicks, or other critters as gifts on Easter. This is what happens to too many of them. Luckily, Wrigley was noticed and rescued, but others are not.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cat Shelter Needs Help!

Ollie's Place, a shelter for cats in New York City, had a major sponsor pull out recently. Due to my experience with Anthem Pets, I know how devestating this can be for a small non-profit group. More information about the situation is available on the Etsy for Animals blog or you can go directly to the Ollie's Place website to make a donation.

Sick Sloane Update

Sloane is still very ill, and we are at a loss about her diagnosis. George has been force feeding her and giving her IV fluids, but she continues to hide under the bed or in the closet. Disturbingly, she has stopped using her litter box. George took her to work today. Maybe the doctors will be able to figure something out.

Vegans Do It Better Treasury

Thanks, Jody, for including me in your awesome treasury! Check out my jewelry and the wares of other vegan artists on Etsy!

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Lovely Monday Treasury

I almost missed this treasury that features some of my earrings! Paging through the list of treasuries, I saw a yellow star. This means something, I thought! And it did!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


The Arizona Pug Adoption and Rescue Network (APARN) hosts two major fundraisers each year, Pugapalooza and Pugstock. Pugagpalooza, in October, is great fun because it's around Halloween and most of the pugs dress up in costumes. Pugstock, in April, is also fun and has a "peace, love, and pugs" theme.

Of course, Walter and I go whenever we can. (We had to miss the last Pugapalooza because I was out of town for a job talk.) Walter loves getting out and seeing the people gush over him. This year was fun because one of my student teams is doing their service learning with APARN, and they were there and got to meet Walter.

After the pug party, Walter and I went to Bead World and hung out with Brittany for a few hours. Walter was beside himself with happiness!

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