Devil’s Cigars in My Backyard

Texas star mushrooms, or devil’s cigars, or Chorioactis geaster— named Texas’s first-ever state fungus in June 2021 — are a species that has so far been discovered growing only in select parts of southern Japan (in the Myazaki prefecture on the island of Kyushu and then in 2006 in a Nara prefecture forest on main… Continue reading Devil’s Cigars in My Backyard

‘Til the Sea Cows Come Home

Manatees were briefly in the news in recent months on account of wildlife officials successfully convincing some of the ones inhabiting the Atlantic coast of Florida to eat lettuce as a hopefully temporary replacement for the sea grass that pollution has helped deplete 90 percent of — an urgent fix since apparently almost 13 percent… Continue reading ‘Til the Sea Cows Come Home

Old Memories and Vegetables

2. Vegetables I almost definitely eat more of than you do: Baby spinach, cauliflower, radishes, mushrooms (assuming fungi count); possibly also shaved carrots and avocados (assuming those count and you eat less.) (Beer I almost definitely drink more of than you do: New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Imperial IPA, a/k/a The Beer Formerly Known As Rampant.… Continue reading Old Memories and Vegetables

Red Pandas Get Their Moment

I very much enjoyed the cartoon panda movie, give or take maybe one just barely over-long and overblown chase scene. So did my 13-year-old daughter, which probably matters more, given the plot. Turning Red, it seems to me, is New Wave to Pen15‘s Punk Rock. Not a criticism — I like New Wave. As of… Continue reading Red Pandas Get Their Moment

Aan Aartificial Aardvark

My longtime friend Sara Sherr, who runs karaoke nights in Philadelphia and whose written commentary on music is much missed, on facebook yesterday: “A funny I’m Old moment: on Saturday some young women asked for the Arthur theme and I immediately thought Christopher Cross-Dudley Moore movie, and wondered if 20somethings would still care about that.… Continue reading Aan Aartificial Aardvark

On Classifying Marsupials

When I was a kid, pretty much every zoology book I signed out of the library divided mammals (aka the class Mammalia) into 19 or so orders — 17 placental (giving birth to fully developed and gestated offspring — i.e., carnivores, rodents, cetaceans as in whales); one monotreme (giving birth to eggs — i.e., platypi… Continue reading On Classifying Marsupials

Choking The Chicken

My Exciting Saturday: Brought home 2 rotisserie chickens from H.E.B, and in the process of taking them apart, decided to break off a succulent little piece and pop it into my mouth. Except turns out it wasn’t so little. Lodged in my throat, and wouldn’t wash down with a glass of water like the hundred… Continue reading Choking The Chicken

A Psychotic Frog Hates Me

To be honest I have no opinion at all about the band, who I’d never given more than 30 seconds thought to before this week. Though I did mention them in print once, 31 years ago — hence my current quandary. I vaguely remember confusing Long Island’s Psychotic Frogs with the Psychedelic Furs when I… Continue reading A Psychotic Frog Hates Me