Solstice time


I have mapped out my seasonal gift giving. Less for family and more for environmental groups like Audubon which lobbies for the fight against climate change. Other charities include my local animal shelter which has a spay/neuter program and educational sources, PBS and Wikimedia.

Too many cats and dogs. And feral cats are the number one wild bird killer along with destruction of the environment by human exploitation and development.

The US needs PBS for balanced news reporting holding the mainstream media to a higher truth, as well as Wiki for current and accurate information.

Mostly these days, animal shelters seems full of aging animals as seniors with reduced means give up pets they can no longer afford.  Kathy, in her late sixties, is hanging on with her remaining cat Wisp, although she has $4,000 in vet bills from losing his brother Elf earlier this year.  Kathy, still battling breast cancer, cares for other people’s pets as their owners jet off to Aruba or wherever, as well as continuing her work as an artist to supplement her income.



But for Humboldt’s influence on Scotsman John Muir, beautiful Yosemite National Park would not exist today.

I finished Andrea Wulf’s Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World and discovered he had a huge influence on artists, as well as scientists like Darwin and naturalists like John Muir. Naturalist painters (Ernst Haeckel), architects (Gaudi, Sullivan) and interior designers, (Tiffany, Art Nouveau)  were influenced by Humboldt’s ideas. Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and FDR absorbed Humboldt’s ideas and put them to work  conserving the National parks.


Barcelona, Spain, Gaudi

Below: 1/ Sullivan, detail from Bayard-condict building, one of the first examples of the Chicago school style of architecture in New York City; 2/ Haeckel, life forms later copied in Art nouveau/Art deco designs; 3/ Tiffany, Wisteria Lamp.




An extraordinary man


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I’ve spent the past week reading two books, The Fifth Woman, by Swedish writer Henning Mankell, author of the Wallender series, and The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt and the New World, by Andrea Wulf, science writer extraordinaire. I’m … Continue reading

Busy days


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This morning, before I began dealing with  “security” companies that protect Apple products, I thought I knew what I was doing.  I helped David with his HP products earlier this week, a nightmare because he can’t remember much these days. … Continue reading