PEACHFRONT SPEAKS

PLEASE NOTE: MANY PHOTOS HAVE BEEN REMOVED WITHOUT WARNING BY AN EXTORTIONIST PHOTO HOSTING SITE UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP. THUS MANY PHOTOS ARE MISSING FROM ENTRIES MADE BEFORE 2011. I WILL REPLACE THE PHOTOS AS TIME ALLOWS BUT PLEASE BE PATIENT.

The Amazing Bolivian Parrot and Rare Macaw Escapade
Eagle Overload: More Eagles, More Cats, the South Africa Edition
MY KENYA DIARY: IN QUEST OF EAGLES
MADAGASCAR DIARY: SERPENT-EAGLES, GOSHAWKS, AND MORE
A Very Partial Index to the Entries
A for the time being not even remotely complete guide to all 4,300+ plus entries
BIRDS***BIRDING***WILDLIFE GARDENING
SF/BOOKWORM***NUCLEAR/SPACE *** TRAVEL
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Recent entries

apocalypse of the paperbacks - 2017-08-28
hurricane harvey - 2017-08-28
loving the way my banded agate/carnelians came out of the tumbler Friday - 2017-08-05
dolomite sphere comes to town - 2017-07-29
it can't really be legal for these people to park on my blog after I closed my account, can it? - 2017-07-24


Read my new book, The 10 Best Things You Can Do For Your Bird at Amazon or at many other fine distributors like Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and more.


By public demand, and after a delay of an embarrassing number of years, I've finally put my notorious essay, Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman, free on the fabulous internets.

A bibliography of my published books and stories.

Here's a simple card-counting FAQ to get you up to speed on the basics. Here's the true story of the notorious DD' blackjack team, told for the first time on the fabulous internets. No other team went from a starting investor's bankroll of zero to winning millions of dollars.


A Sadean take on Asimov's classic Three Laws of Robotics can be found in Roger Williams' NOW REVIEWED ON SLASHDOT!!! The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect. Adult readers only please -- explicit sex and violence. For updates on the "Dead Tree Project" and other topics, you may visit the official fan site, Passages in the Void..


My Bird Lists -- My Louisiana State Life List, My Yard List and, tah dah, My World Life List.


HEY! What happened to the Peachfront Conure Files? The world's only OFFICIAL Peachfront Conure site now features free peachfront conure coverage, including a magazine length Intro to Conures previously published in American Cage-Bird Magazine, now free on the web. I offer the best free Peachfront Conure information on the internet. If you have great Peachfront Conure info, stories, or photos to share, contact me so I can publicize your pet, your breeding success, your great photograph, etc. on my site. Thanks.







before i die, hmmm, i did that one, better think of a new one

2013-12-04 - 9:22 a.m.

Today the local fish wrapper informs me that Candy Chang's Before I Die post-Hurricane Katrina wall has been copied in 400 known places in 60 countries, in addition to the original still standing on an abandoned structure in New Orleans.

Better watch what you scribble, is all I'm saying. I remember once I cut out a little snip of paper in a magazine about the Madagascar Serpent-Eagle being rediscovered and put it on my wall, saying, "One day I'm going to see that."

As far as I know, I may still be one of only six or seven tourists who have done so, although plenty of scientists have. So this stuff has wings. Don't waste it on air like "brighten someone's day." Yeah, "brighten someone's day" is reportedly an actual wish. Why bother. That's easy. Just do it.

Speaking of hard, does David Quammen even want to live? Check out this excerpt from his book Spillover:

"Turns out that, during my journeys with Mike Fay across the Congo basin, seven years earlier, besides footslogging through Ebola country we had also passed very near the cradle of AIDS....I thought it might be illuminating to go back."

That's near the end, but it sure answers one question I had which was: Does National Geographic just call Quammen every time they have a shit assignment chasing some disease that no sane person would take? Or does he actually seek out danger? This dude apparently knows no fear. Random example: A chilling scene where he stumbles by accident into a scary wing of something called the Cholera Hospital. He basically just politely puts a busy look on his face and keeps walking through it until he finds wherever he's really supposed to be.

But it seems like he's in the situation in the first place because he's too polite to tell the driver he dropped him in the wrong spot.

Yeah, polite is the word that frequently comes to mind. On that Ebola trip, he ate the mystery meat in the field. On the trail of SARS, he ate things like little cubes of blood we don't even want to think about. At least he drew the line at drinking the Nipah-laced raw tree sap in Bangladesh...but only because everyone else in his party did the same. One can't help but suspect that if everybody else jumped in the lake, Quammen would too.

"I didn't intend to let anyone hand me a Nipah-dripping bat if I could reasonably avoid it," he assures us at one point in his adventures. The research leader, knowing Quammen better than he knows himself, continues to instruct him in the proper Nipah-dripping bat handling procedures.

"[E]verybody had an assigned role. Mine was to stay the hell out of the way, and occasionally to assist with a swab."

Was Quammen handed any Nipah-dripping bats? Oh who the hell knows?

"Later he [the lead field researcher] said to me: 'Any one of those six bats could have been infected. That's what it looks like. They look totally healthy...'"

At a conference, an unnamed researcher with asthma told Quammen to drop Ebola and start studying asthma "which afflicts 22 million Americans." And for extra bonus points asthma doesn't involve strolling through forests of mysteriously dead gorillas or caves of expired bats and very much alive cobras. But Quammen wouldn't be Quammen if he took the road well traveled, would he?

Anyway, a good read and an important story. Also, part of Quammen being a polite and rather agreeable person is that he doesn't bend over backwards to gross you out. So you can actually follow the story even though it's about disease and death. I think I once read two paragraphs of The Hot Zone, and no. Not going there. Not reading that!

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