The Post: Kids’ How-To Raise Fiddlers is in Progress!

January 18, 2016

Just thought I’d give you a hint of what’s in the works for kids in my new fiddler crab book:

Fiddler Crabs: If You Like Tweaky, I’m Your Pet – The Kids’ (or Kids at Heart) Guide to Raising Fiddler Crabs

by Debra Bailey, with Snarky Comments by Admiral Byrd

It will be a simple guide for middle grade ages and older on how to get started raising these great critters.  I will follow later with an adult version how-to, that will go into more detail. But I wanted to start with young nature geeks who might just fall in love with these tweaky creatures as much as I did.

So for now, here’s the Intro page to the book:”First, A word From Admiral Byrd”

adm-byrd-waving-resize-for-cafe-press

So, It’s about time you got here!

The name is Admiral Byrd and I was the KING of my aquarium.  Now my keeper has decided to write a book telling kids how to have fiddler crabs for pets.  It’s about time!  It sure took her long enough.

Well all I’m going to say is fiddler crabs are cool, tweaky and the BEST creatures you could ever have for a pet. And I have TONS of friends out there waiting for a good home.

So why are you still on this page?

Get reading and find out how you too can have a fiddler crab as great…well ALMOST as great, as me!  GET GOING!

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The Post: Admiral Byrd, Scarlett O’Hara & Melanie Hamilton reappearing!

January 4, 2016

Well, it has been a long quiet time on Soul Mosaic, for good reason.  I have been very busy creating STEM programs at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, NC for these last almost 4 years. It is a fantastic job with the opportunity to reach out to students from all walks of life and engage them in the excitement that is science.

It is my passion to reach out especially to underserved students and schools and get them actively involved in science labs so they can see for themselves that a career in science is not beyond them. It is all about demystifying science and removing the fear.  I love it.

Soul Mosaic, though, has never left my soul.  I’ve just been on hiatus, feeding my soul in new ways.

As a result, I have some new things coming up in the next few months.

I am working slowly on plans for a series of book and article projects, some of which will draw directly from my Fiddler Crab experiences with Admiral Byrd, Scarlett O’Hara, and Melanie Hamilton.  Hence my favorite crustacean creatures will be reappearing in this blog and in articles and e-books in the coming months.

One – Fiddler Crab Love – will be lighthearted retrospective look at all the blog entries, couple with new comments on each one.

Another will be the The Soul Mosaic Quick Start Guide to Raising and Loving Fiddler Crabs.  I’ve accumulated a lot of experience and info on raising fiddlers and on things to do to get your setup going quickly and successfully (and keeping it that way).  So I will be publishing a short e-book on that in the coming months.

A third project – Molting Through Midlife – a soul work for sure, will be a deeper, more emotional journey through the years I was raising Admiral Byrd and company.  There was a lot going on in my life, and it’s time to look back from 5 years down the road, to explore the many truths that made themselves clear.  It will be my memoir of a difficult time, of struggle, survival, resilience, and how some tiny creatures led me to the path for a better life.

Beyond that, I have material in progress for a young reader book sharing the adventures of Admiral Byrd, Scarlett O’Hara, and Melanie Hamilton!

So I will be chronicling the progress of these projects here and keep all posted as to when and where they will be published.  In fact, for the duration, my entire focus on this blog will be these projects.  In the past I had many projects and topics I wanted to pursue.  I realize now it is time to narrow the focus…to, as I said in this early blog entry, Pick a Nipple. (If you never read that entry, please do for the explanation to what that comment means! 😉 )

I hope you will come along for the ride. Thank you!

PS  A gift to anyone in the Raleigh, Cary or Wilmington NC areas.  If you are at all interested in saltwater tanks, reef tanks (as well as freshwater tropicals, and of course Fiddler crabs 🙂 ) I found a great place with knowledgeable and helpful staff, and lots of tanks, critters and supplies:

The Fish Room

Check them out!

The Post – Dinosaur Portraiture Methods

February 17, 2011

A neat video clip of an artist’s creation journey in bringing dinosaurs to life. James Gurney, of Dinotopia fame, speaks about creating the mud trap painting for Scientific American.

The article Gurney did the painting for was about the discovery of a group of small dinosaurs who died together trapped in mud. The article about the discovery, done by Paul C. Sereno, can be read at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=dinosaur-death-trap

If you want to read more about/by James Gurney on his work, check out his blog, Gurney Journey , and specifically, his post on this topic: http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com/2011/02/mud-trap.html

And last of all, Scientific American had a small article on his work to create this painting: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=dinos-gurney-video

The Post – The Rare Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, Part II

February 6, 2011

The site that started it all is:

http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/

and includes these “photos.”

https://i1.wp.com/zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/treeocto.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/sighting-galen_leeds-hawktopus.jpg

The Wikipedia entry for Pacific Northwest tree octopus,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Northwest_tree_octopus, adds that the site was set up in 1998 by Lyle Zapato. Even though he included a number of falsehoods on the site, such as “its affiliation with People for the Ethical Treatment of Pumpkins (P.E.T.PU.)” most students who read the site believed it.

Two sources were listed at the Wikipedia entry that give the actual research study information should you want to read those studies:

  1. ^ Beth Krane (November 13, 2006). “Researchers find kids need better online academic skills”. UComm Advance (University of Connecticut) 25 (12). http://advance.uconn.edu/2006/061113/06111308.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-11. “Don Leu, Chair in Literacy and Technology at UConn, “… anyone can publish anything on the Internet, and today’s students are not prepared to critically evaluate the information they find there.””.
  2. ^ Matthew Bettelheim (March 14, 2007). “Tentacled Tree Hugger Disarms Seventh Graders”. Inkling. http://www.inklingmagazine.com/articles/tentacled-tree-hugger-gets-legs-up-on-twelve-year-olds/. “Of the 25 seventh-graders identified as their schools’ best online readers, 24 recommended this bogus website to another class that Leu had told them was also researching endangered species.”.

Given this, even though the site was not intended for use as such, it is often used in Internet Literacy classes. Internet Literacy, as defined by the American Library Association and quoted on on Wikipedia’s entry for this, is: “To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.”

The article at Wikipedia goes to note that Terry Pratchett even referred to the tree octopus in his novel, Nation:

“The concept of “nation” can be extended to embrace all of humanity, anchoring Nation in the philosophy of humanism as an answer to the question of “what is the role of the individual in society?” As with the Tiffany Aching series, Nation contains an undercurrent of passive faith transforming into active scientific enquiry, without losing moral dimensions in the process. Pratchett reinforces this theme with an offhand reference to outspoken atheist and humanist Richard Dawkins as “that nice Professor Dawkins” who was bitten by a tree-climbing octopus).”

Anyways, just a really entertaining and interesting example……

The Post – Save the Rare Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, Part I

February 6, 2011

There is a great interview with UCONN professor Donald Leu, who participated in a study of online internet reading skills. He sent his students to a website for saving the “Rare Pacific Tree Octopus” and many of them believed it was the truth, even after he told them the whole thing was bogus.

When asked if he felt the current day’s students were less knowledgeable and more gullible than previous generations, he discounted that idea, instead noting that they’re actually brighter and more aware. The real need  is to teach strategies for evaluating websites and showing healthy skeptimism in the face of online information. One must validate with several sources and also question the origin of the source of information…ie a biased source such as medical information provided by pharmaceutical companies only, etc.

He further pointed out that it isn’t just young students not checking their sources. In fact many adults don’t bother to question the sources and information they look up on the web.

To see “pictures of the rare Pacific Tree Octopus” and to hear the interview, visit:

http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/02/04/exp.nr.tree.octopus.professor.cnn?hpt=T2

The Post – Something for the Soul

January 28, 2011

Just one last thing today….a bit of a scattered day and mostly my focus has been on the scientific and nature topics. And of course all those things are “spiritual” in their way.

But here’s a gift for the soul this morning. Enjoy:

Deb Bailey and Spiritual Judaism- One People World United shared a link.

www.youtube.com

http://playingforchange.com/ – From the award-winning documentary, “Playing For Change: Peace Through Music”, comes an incredible track written by Pierre Minetti performed by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it traveled the globe. “Don’t Worry” is the follow up to the clas

The Post – The Continuing Saga of Scientific Method

January 28, 2011
A while ago I posted an article on my Facebook page from the New Yorker : the Truth Wears Off: Is There Something Wrong with the Scientific Method?” – http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/12/13/101213fa_fact_lehrer?currentPage=all
It was an very interesting article on the growing difficulty of reproducing scientific results.  I had no idea…
NOW, scientists from the Nature Conservancy respond to that issue:

http://blog.nature.org/2011/01/something-wrong-scientific-method-jonathan-hoekstra-jensen-montambault/

Is Something Wrong with the Scientific Method? Part 1 | Cool Green Science: The Conservation Blog of

blog.nature.org

http://blog.nature.org/2011/01/is-something-wrong-with-the-scientific-method-part-2/
Is Something Wrong with the Scientific Method? Part 2 | Cool Green Science: The Conservation Blog of blog.nature.org  by Robert Lalasz. 

Conservancy scientists Rob McDonald, Doria Gordon and Joe Fargione respond to Jonah Lehrer’s New Yorker article.

And Jonah Lehrer – the one who started this discussion – adds some further thoughts from his blog:

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/12/the-mysterious-decline-effect/

 

So the saga of “do we trust scientific study results or not” continues…..

The Post – Some BEAUTIFUL, Award-Winning Sea life Pictures

January 28, 2011

It’s been a very hectic week, so hence, the quiet on the blog front. But it is Friday and just making it through the week deserves a “something special” gift for all of you. So here it is, from Carol Grant. You just HAVE to check out her pictures.

Carol Grant, winner of 2009’s Nature Conservancy Photo contest, explains her photographic motivation: “I want to help our underwater world because it is where I feel most at home.” To learn more about Carol, click here

Click on slideshow of her work to see some amazing shots of her underwater world view.

The Post – A Soulful Gift

January 25, 2011

A simple poetic gift to you all this morning, from the site: Spiritual-Judaism-One-People-World-United

A path, in the snow
Marked with,
crossed fence posts,
into eternity it goes.
……
Rose colored mountains,
behind the meadows.
Silhouetted in the evening,
with it’s shadows.

Snowy steps,
searching for the height.
Step after step,
leading to the light.

Life force in all,
one vibration.
Acceptance and celebration,
one happiness,
in our salvation.

 

The Post – Seagull Scape, Last pics

January 24, 2011

The malevolent eyes of the hunter….seeking stray french fries on the beach???

 

 

 

 

 

The disgruntled birds claiming territory….and any french fries….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ropes…..I saw them in my sleep after a while….little criss-crosses of fibers….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seagull scape, the final view…..and not a french fry in sight!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have this thing about seagulls and french fries after nearly being attacked on the beach by a flock of hungry gulls who had a love of french fries…probably due to their living next to a restaurant.   🙂

I am pleased with the outcome of this painting and it will get added to my artist website: Debra Bailey Fine Art