Thursday, August 21, 2014

Author #124: Facts and Figures in the USA compiled by Dulberger

Michael D. Dulberger compares everything from Population Over Age 64 (Florida has the highest) to Grade 8 Science Proficiency Levels (North Dakota kids score highest) to Land Area (Alaska leads-dwarfing Texas by more than double the land area) to State Gasoline Tax ( Washington has the highest) to a slew of other categories.  It's a snapshot look at our nation and where each state ranks in Ranking America's Fifty States: A Comparison in Graphic Detail.  If you're any kind of a number cruncher, this book is for you.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Randomness #90: More inconsistencies in life


  • A few years ago Daisy was invited to a birthday party and we typically write notes to remind us of upcoming events.  The following conversation occurred: "Daisy, do you need to put a note on the mirror?"  "No, I remember things about parties."

Mica was going to go to see Nacho Libre with some friends and they were planning on having nachos .  She remarked it was going to be a cheesy affair in more ways than one.



  • A disgruntled Daisy to a jubilant Mica after playing a board game:  "I'm not a sore loser, it's just that you won."


  • At the beginning of the school year one of the girls got a water bottle with a smart code on the side and a statement that it was a bottle of knowledge.  They responded that it may have been a bottle of knowledge for most people but for them it was the bottle of ignorance because they didn't have a smart phone.


  • Our local library increased the number of items you can checkout.  When telling Mica about this she was all excited and asked if it was increasing to 100 items to which I responded no, only to 50 and she responded with a little "oh" of disappointment.  How many kids are upset that the library limit of 30 items has only been raised to 50 items?  (Side note-she typically has her card maxed out with the new maximum so maybe she really does need a 100 item limit!)
  • Thursday, August 14, 2014

    Author #123: Eating wild in your own backyard with Morgan

    Liz Brown Morgan  includes detailed current pictures in this Falcon Guide entitled Foraging The Rocky Mountains published in 2013.   We have a few of these plants in our yard and have eaten leaves from some of them such as mallow (marshmallow plant with the little button cheese wheels which are delicious), lamb's quarter, and of course dandelion greens.

    Thursday, August 07, 2014

    Author #122: Man Eating Bugs with Peter Menzel

    Man Eating Bugs: The Art and Science of Eating Insects by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Alusio.  The cover features a girl enjoying a deep-fried tarantula in Cambodia

    Descriptions for pictures below (all food as described by Mr. Menzel): Traveling from Australia (top left clockwise) with witchetty grubs which are roasted in a fire and taste like "nut-flavored scrambled eggs and mild mozzarella, wrapped up in a phyllo dough pastry" to China with black water beetles marinated in ginger and soy sauce with an orange carrot flower garnish that you eat like a lobster or crab-breaking open the exoskeleton and "sucking out the white insides" to the picture just below on the right with the three scorpions (also from China) that are sauteed and taste a little like eating a twig.  Under the scorpions on the right is a stink bug pate from Mexico that is spiced with oregano and marjoram among other things and below the stink bug pate is a handful of mushi, the larvae of aquatic caddis flies, from Japan that will be boiled and then sauteed with soy sauce and sugar and will end up tasting like the soy sauce and sugar.  On the spoon are stir-fried weaver ants from Cambodia and finally, above the ants, is a fire-roasted tarantula from Venezeula which is the size of a dinner plate.  The Theraphosa leblondi  tarantulas actually have muscles and not just goo inside their legs and according to Mr. Menzel, taste like smoky crab after being roasted for about 7 minutes.
    Although it was an engrossing book, I still don't think I want to change my western diet anytime soon.  The book was full of stories of the different cultures and bugs and other delicacies that they tried on their journeys along with many more pictures.    

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

    Author #121: Deborah Noyes shares a tale of Chinese silk

     Even if the exact history of the travels of silkworms is not known, this book gives a reasonable hypothesis of the possibility of the silkworm traveling to Khotan with the Princess.  Deborah Noyes wrote Red Butterfly and Sophie Blackall did the illustrations with Chinese ink and watercolor.