Creek Running North August 2005 Archives

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August 31, 2005

Here's another couple of people who were "too dumb to evacuate." - A wife's desperate journey with her husband's corpse - Aug 31, 2005 Bowie, 57, a truck driver who had been with Turner for 16 years, had advanced lung cancer and could not be easily moved. When Turner could...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:58 PM

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On the topic of looting

Katrina's powerful hurricane-force winds did an efficient job of peeling that thin layer of tolerance from the hides of many so-called liberals. A chorus swells of condemnation over those people, abandoned by their supposed protectors and surrounded by an increasingly...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:16 PM

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One hero among many

Via Roxanne, A Small Victory has an emailed note from an MD who's helping set up an impromptu hospital in the NOLA Ritz-Carlton. Read it. Then drop some cash on the red Cross. (That last link is getting tons of...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:32 AM

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Partial sigh of relief

Tulane claims all their students and staff have evacuated to Jackson. I'm presuming this means my pal and former co-worker Liz Davey - who I haven't seen in four years - is OK. Fingers crossed....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:45 AM

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August 30, 2005

Picture these captions

Via Teresa and Patrick Nielsen-Hayden, guess what prompted the difference in these two Yahoo News photo captions (click links for photos): "Two residents wade through chest-deep water after finding bread and soda from a local grocery store." "A young man...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:10 PM

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Meanwhile, rightist pundits fairly ooze compassion

Do they ever even think before they publish this kind of shit?...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:37 PM

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May 1984

Elissa and Matthew and I had been crammed into the little Civic hatchback for two days almost non-stop from Berkeley - excepting five hours' motel rest in El Paso - to get to Rockport, Texas, not far from Corpus Christi....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:40 PM

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Reader poll

I've been asked by someone I respect to join a blog advertising network. Cons: design issues, increasing commercialization of every other goddamn aspect of my life, occasional offensive ad slipping through Pros: some control over ads, possibility of covering the...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:39 AM

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August 29, 2005


Via Roxanne. It's been a while since I've done a meme thing. When I do the Friday Random 10, it always turns up 8 obscure Peruvian nose flute things, one embarrassing 1970s hit, and a wolf howl. I don't have...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:20 PM

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While we wait for news...

... it's worth watching this January 2005 NOVA segment on hurricane research, using New Orleans as a catastrophe scenario. There are some downright spooky images here, given the last few hours....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:54 PM

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August 28, 2005


Summer sunset hills moon slides across half the sky. where is that tow truck?...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:32 PM

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To my Gulf Coast readers, lurkers and friends

I dearly hope any of you in or with loved ones in Louisiana/Mississippi get through the next couple days safely. Liz Davey, if you read this sometime soon, let me know how you are. In fact, anyone else in that...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 02:19 PM

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Sure, an A-list blogger like my pal Amanda might get interviewed for a Salon article, but has she ever been quoted in the Mumbai Mirror? Hmmm?...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:42 AM

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August 26, 2005

The Lancet versus homeopathy

Not that this will make a difference to those who bravely defy the medical establishment by buying expensive water from wealthy hucksters. Homeopathy no better than a placebo, says study "The researchers found that in small trials which they deemed...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:55 PM

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A small blow for something or other

Yesterday in the San Francisco Ferry Building, which is lately a foodie destination with many high-end shops and restaurants, Matthew and I were heading in the general direction of Peets Coffee. (None for me: I've tapered down to third-caff and...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:00 PM

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Burning Man again

Looks like not all environmentally concerned people are as sanguine about the smaller-scale impacts of Burning Man as I am. These guys document a whole lot of potential damage, from small-scale diesel pollution to large-scale ecosystem degradation of the Black...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:37 AM

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I have a few new photos up at my Flickr site today....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:10 AM

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August 24, 2005


My father thought I was fun to be with, until I turned eight. He said that to an ex-girlfriend of mine one day in an attempt at levity. She smiled thinly, but was secretly horrified. I thought it was funny....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:37 PM

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Good things to read

It's been a little while since I sent y'all off to read some of the other wonderful blogs I read on a regular basis, so here's a batch of them that - though some are well-established - are new on...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:54 AM

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Look for more stories like this to come

Ron sent along this story from the Los Angeles Times. Excerpt: CARRIZO PLAIN NATIONAL MONUMENT, Calif. - First she killed her dogs, shot them in the head with a .38-caliber revolver and covered the two bodies with a quilt. Then...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:44 AM

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August 23, 2005

Durio zibethinus

I count any day an overall success if it involves eating durian. If you don't know what a durian is, rest assured there is no way I can explain it to you online. Oh, I can send you to web...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:25 PM

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August 22, 2005

And some things are better than reading Gould

So the neighbor's fucking asshole good-for-nothing dog streaks out of nowhere last night as Zeke and I are leaving for an evening walk, and attacks poor old Zeke, clamping down on him but good around the earal region. Zeke -...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:26 PM

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Well, Matthew...

... here's how that Mid-Hills campsite we liked looks now. I liked it better this way. Do me a favor and drink to it with a little rye, would you? (I was gonna say "toast it," but, well, you know.)...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 02:51 PM

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Burning man

I've posted before on my less-than-glowing opinion of Burning Man. (Elevator version: I go to the desert to get away from the kind of people who go there.) Today, via Boing Boing, commenter Tim Holt directs us to this satellite...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:44 PM

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August 21, 2005

Luna llena

The more I learn about the desert fires, the bleaker my outlook becomes. I have spent the last weeks immersed in scientific studies, talking to wildlife biologists and range ecologists, reading about the history of fires and the politics among...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:29 PM

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August 19, 2005

Travel plans

Sometimes Becky will open her mouth and out will come astonishingly silly things. Like this morning. She went off to the rock yard to inspect the green granite that's being cut for our new kitchen counters, and she called. "I...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:03 PM

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Busy writing...

...but looking for something in the archives to refresh my memory on a Mojave-related topic, I found this little gem from last year. Ah, memories. What were we talkng about again?...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:01 PM

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August 18, 2005


Out of the night she comes out of the owl-flecked night she comes her robes of darkest sable, banded ermine. Out of the heavy-lidded night she comes she knows no fear. so placidly she creeps between you tired campers here...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:44 PM

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August 17, 2005

A Picture's Worth...

The car I owned when I lived in Columbus, Ohio was liberally (heh) decorated with bumper stickers. I occasionally got some heat from passersby about the "Come the Rapture, Can I Have Your Car?" and "The Religious Right is Neither"...

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Posted by Stephanie at 11:57 AM

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August 16, 2005


In summer, wind comes down the Pacific coast from Alaska. It pushes near-shore waters before it. They do not move in a straight line. Blow on a bowl of soup to cool it, and eddies will circle back to the...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:51 PM

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August 15, 2005

Last night

The town was east of here, and in the desert. I thought of it as Tucson, but it bore a strong resemblance to Reno and to another city as well, one that exists only when I sleep, when California stretches...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:12 PM

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Charles' day

I hope Charles doesn't mind that I'm moving his comment up from here. I just thought it deserved a bit more prominence. Charles had mentioned in the Zeke health thread that his sweet old dog October was scheduled to be...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:22 PM

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August 14, 2005

A public service announcement

From Phil Plait at Bad Astronomy: I usually don't participate in these things, but I’ve been on an anti-creationism/ID tear lately, and the folks at National Center for Science Education (NCSE) are friends of mine, and really, maybe this'll help...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:05 AM

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August 13, 2005

Music's ugly duckling

I see the New York Times has taken notice of the theremin, the precursor to the synthesizer, the MIDI, and a host of other electronic musical instruments. The other main "spiritual" ancestor of synthesized or computerized music, the accordion, was,...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:33 PM

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August 12, 2005

"Since when does 'people' equal 'men'?"

My niece's pal Deirdre Hess is a young writer of charm and talent, and the linked piece on sexism and US foreign policy is no exception. It deserves a wider audience. And don't stop reading her blog when you get...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 02:41 PM

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When I find myself in times of trouble, Stephen Jay Gould comes to me

Another great walk this morning with my pal Zeke, who is taking all this far better than I am. As people often do when confronted with bad news, I turned my mind to scripture as we walked, to see if...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:22 AM

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August 11, 2005

How Zeke ran away

This morning, after a lovely if rather slow walk. Pyramid Lake is a large saline lake in the barren Nevada desert north of Reno. A relict of wetter times in the Pleistocene, the lake is entirely contained within the...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:12 AM

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August 10, 2005


The bad news is that Zeke's x-rays today showed no sign of bone deformation nor arthritis, his spine is straight and no disks out of place, neither tumors nor injuries obstructing the flow of information from brain to legs. Thus...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:17 PM

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August 09, 2005

Tangled Bank #34

Attention Tangled Bank Readers: welcome to Creek Running North. I'm Chris Clarke, this week's host. Attention Creek Running North readers: Welcome to the 34th edition of the Tangled Bank, a carnival of the scientific vanities. Every two weeks, the host,...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:06 PM

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Fun with contractors

This morning, 8:00 am: Dave (the contractor): "... and that way there'll be room for Becky to start putting urethane on the windows this morning." Me: "Actually, Becky's gotta be at a training today. I'm going to do the first...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:21 PM

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August 08, 2005

Data are where you find them

Since the large photo was taken by Anton Corbijn in 1986, the single-stemmed Joshua tree near Death Valley has grown to about 130 percent of its 1986 height. It has flowered once, with a subsidiary branch subsequently growing from...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:47 AM

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August 07, 2005

Catching up

The Sunday Writer's Workshop will continue next week, with a submission from Wallace Stegner. In the meantime, you might - if you missed it two weeks ago - check out the Barbara Kingsolver entry from last time. In fact, blogging...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:57 PM

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August 06, 2005

Mono Lake

South Tufa Reserve, Monday, August 1 2005....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:59 PM

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August 05, 2005

In other dental-elitism news

Commenter Windypundit over at Skelley's joint provides a link to this little marvel of compassion. It occurs to me that we're heading toward a society in which teeth can be used not only to pry open beer bottles or tug...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:49 PM

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A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun

I only knew Rob for a couple days. He was a carpenter from the Pacific Northwest, a slender, athletic fellow, who wandered into an informal campsite near mine in the middle of the desert almost a decade ago. We started...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:38 AM

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August 04, 2005

Wolf tracks

This might be the best thing I've read all week....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:02 PM

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Beautiful downtown Cima, California

Saturday, July 30 2005. We'd just watched thunderstorms pass us by for an hour or two on either side of our campsite. When they passed, we saw a new fire on the upper peaks of the Kingston range, about...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:05 PM

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August 03, 2005


Every once in a while, I post in haste about people who claim to be liberals - or even progressives - but who display what I find to be contempt for working people, or the poor, or the unprivileged. And...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:41 PM

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Bush simultaneously espouses, disproves "Intelligent Design"

The president has gone on record, in his usual "speaking in code to the Talibaptists" mode, as supporting the teaching of so-called "Intelligent Design" in schools as an "alternative" to evolution in explaining why living things are the way they...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:27 PM

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Mojave nerd photos

Sunrise Rock, Cima Dome, Mojave National Preserve, California. Photo by Matthew Carlstroem. I wasn't blogging, honest. The desert has no wi-fi. I was just emptying my camera's compact flash card so that I could take more depressing photos of...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:47 AM

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August 02, 2005

Mojave burn photos

I've put a couple dozen photos up on the Creek Running North photo site....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:17 PM

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The burn

Matthew and I didn't get too far into the burn on Saturday. The subsequent storms had washed out the roads, and the Park Service closed them. It was probably a good thing that we only saw as much as...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:03 PM

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Murder and place

While I was in the desert, a 25-year-old man, David Ruiz, is said to have walked up to more or less the exact spot from which I took this photo and shot three other people, two of whom have since...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 02:42 PM

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(Thank you, Stephanie.)

I couldn't have hoped for a better guestblogger. What a wonderful writer. (That last entry - aaaahhhh.) And thanks to all of Creek Running North's faithful commenters for helping to keep things lively in my absence. Though with such a...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:07 AM

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August 01, 2005


The ranger assured me that there wasn't much difference between the temperature at Furnace Creek and that at Badwater, 20 miles south. Furnace Creek sits about 210 feet below mean sea level, and Badwater's only 72 feet lower than...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:43 PM

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