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i hadn't laid eyes on a golden-winged warbler in years and at first i couldn't believe what i was seeing until someone else called it - 2016-11-14
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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..


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


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the return of audubon zoo and my first visit to orleans since the disaster

2005-11-26 - 6:40 p.m.

kissing salmon-crested cockatoos
salmon-crested cockatoos
2005 by Elaine Radford
The zoo opened for the first time since the catastrophe yesterday, for members only. We would have loved to go, but DH had to work. It sounds pretty emotional, since the newspaper reported that they even had people to give hugs at the door.

We visited today, the first time it has been open to the general public, and it was a zoo, all right. The crowds were out in force.

national guard at audubon zoo re-opening
2005 by Roger Williams
I'm not sure that the crowd control really required the presence of armed National Guard troops though.

golden lion tamarin
2005 by Roger Williams
The primates were cranked up from the excitement of having their people back. My ears may still be ringing from the enthusiasm of the Siamang Apes, and the Golden-Lion Tamarins flashed goldeny-orange in the sun as mom, dad, and baby leapt from feeding platform to tree. The most joyous welcome back came from one of the orangutans, who couldn't stop himself from putting on an entire show.

orangutan clowning around

2005 by Roger Williams
We later saw from the photo essay posted about surviving Katrina at Audubon Zoo that a National Guardsman had given the orangutan the shirt off his back, and apparently, now he's a fashion god, because he was eager to try on the new T-shirt in the display.

gorilla with stick
2005 by Roger Williams
The lowland gorillas came out to people watch, but there was a hint of friction because the orangutan clown kept drawing away all of the people. Finally, this gorilla came over with a stick in her hand. I asked, "What are you going to do with that stick?" and she threw it at me. I swear to God. When this trick only attracted the amusement of me, DH, and the one other person who noticed it, she was really in a mood. As the orangutan continued to show off, she began to very, very sarcastically clap her hands. And I didn't even know that lowland gorillas were capable of sarcasm.

Another cute incident occurred when we were at the South American exhibit, and a train came by sounding its horn. The Black-Necked Screamers got all excited, started screaming back, and then got all hot and bothered and started shivering their head feathers and kissing each other. Hey, whatever floats your boat.

There were hundreds if not thousands of Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks wintering at the zoo. I've never seen them in such numbers. There were decent numbers of adult White Ibis too.

We were even allowed to pet one of the elephants and feel the bristle-like hair on its wrinkled skin.

black necked screamers getting romantic
2005 by Elaine Radford
The zoo has pretty much sailed through the catastrophe, but they said that 10,000 fish were killed at the aquarium. And, of course, in the case of the nature center, not just the nature center was destroyed, but the neighborhood where it was located, and not just the neighborhood was destroyed, but square miles and miles of neighborhoods around it.

After the zoo, Roger took me around Orleans to see what remained of the houses I'd lived in and just to get a general look at the situation. It's just awful. Miles and miles of dead neighborhoods, with hardly any people to be seen. Here and there, you could see a square cut in a roof from where somebody escaped from an attic. One roof just said, "Help" in white paint and had a square hole in it, which led me to believe that they escaped and were then trapped in the heat and direct sunlight until (I hope) someone rescued them.

The entire Little Vietnam of New Orleans East was destroyed, including the Buddhist temple. Irish Bayou was also destroyed, with many houses smashed to smithereens or even just washed away except for a foundation. From a distance, I saw the gleaming white of the painted castle and thought it might be OK, but up close I could see that the first story had been gutted. It's a wonder the thing is still standing.

When we drove by the Cameron Street house, the only person around was the young teen boy sitting on a porch a couple of houses down with a shotgun. I'm guessing his parents asked him to watch the house while they went out to find groceries or other supplies -- which they probably had to go to Jefferson Parish to buy.

While Gentilly looked to be pretty much abandoned quietly, the residents of Lakeview were a little more bitter. I saw sarcastic Christmas decorations in front of red-tagged houses, and the Steak Knife had a sign on its door saying, "35 years of business ruined by the New Orleans Levee Board."

I planned to take a lot of pictures, but I didn't take any, except of the houses I'd actually lived in myself. It was just too big for photography.

swamp exhibit, post katrina
2005 by Elaine Radford

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