Comments by mcbakewl

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Posted on March 28 at 3:03 p.m.

Nice to see spiders getting some good press!

A couple of comments:

1) "Little wolf spiders, with their fuzzy red backs, leap about adventurously to ambush their prey."

I doubt those are wolf spiders. Most likely Redback jumping spiders (Phiddippus johnsoni), which are very common here. They have especially keen eyesight (while many other spiders are dreadfully nearsighted), and they pounce like a cat on their prey.

2) The published link to "University of California websites" is no good. [It is now, we fixed it -- webadmin] Here's one that works:

Fascinating footnote:

Spider silk is a polymer that leaves the spinneret as a fluid. There is still debate as to exactly when and how it becomes a solid, but one theory is that polymerization is triggered by "strain crystallization" -- imagine a fine jet of sticky fluid that's all at once transformed into a thread of silk the instant its free end makes contact with another object.

Very, very challenging to photograph orb weavers making that initial cast, but endlessly entertaining to try.

On Spider Senses

Posted on August 17 at 11:19 p.m.

>The ultrasound showed an irregularity, and an MRI uncovered an 8 mm cancerous tumor. A tumor 2 mm larger would have required chemotherapy, but the early detection meant she only needed surgery and radiation therapy.

I'm confused. Isn't 8 mm > 2 mm, and, if that's not a typo, then why did the patient not require chemo?

On Dense Breasts

Posted on February 25 at 11:56 p.m.

Lovely, and makes me smile in so many ways. I'm going to save it to my iPod, to reread in airports and empty nests. Thank you.

On Take a Banana

Posted on November 1 at 11:01 p.m.

Ravi Shankar's performance tonight will long be a treasured memory for a lot of us. As for sewanee's comment about his relationship with his daughter, Norah Jones, I say a man's personal business is none of ours, but to set the record straight please see CBS 60 Minutes Feb. 11, 2007 -

> Norah's father is the famous musician, Ravi Shankar, the virtuoso Indian sitar player. "I knew who my dad was," she says. "I saw him sporadically until I was nine and then I didn't see him again or talk to him until I was 18."

> Shankar never married her mother their relationship, Norah says, was complicated and it ended when she was young. Her mother, she says, didn't want her talking about him.

> Jones acknowledges it was kind of a secret. "You know, when you have a father who's pretty well known but you don't see him, the last thing you want to do is start talking about him all the time to people," she says.

> When Norah turned 18, she sought out her father, who was living in California with his daughter (Anoushka) and second wife.

> Asked if she was angry or sought an apology from her father when they reconnected, Jones says, "Yeah. I might have. I might have wanted that."

> Today she says they are close.

A search on "Anoushka Norah" will reveal more, including this: Anoushka, Norah patch up with tattoo sisterhood

On Ravi Shankar -- 11/01/09 at Arlington Theatre

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