Archive for the ‘Broken Bits’ Category

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”


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!

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:

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:

And last of all, Scientific American had a small article on his work to create this painting:

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

February 6, 2011

The site that started it all is:

and includes these “photos.”

The Wikipedia entry for 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). 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. “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:

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?” –
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:

Is Something Wrong with the Scientific Method? Part 1 | Cool Green Science: The Conservation Blog of
Is Something Wrong with the Scientific Method? Part 2 | Cool Green Science: The Conservation Blog of  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:


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

The Post – LGBTQ Ally Week

January 23, 2011

Just starting to get back on track here for the new week. Last week we ate out a lot rather than deal with any new crock pot experiments. So I’ll be back on track soon with new posts.

I received this on my Facebook page, about an “Ally Week” event going on at Chapel Hill – University of North Carolina. While I can’t be present for it and don’t have a button to wear, I can still “put it out there” for all to be aware of and consider.

So click here to read about UNC’s event.

The Post – Meatloaf, The Aftermath….

January 19, 2011
Submerged the meatloaf in water to kill the smell, lit sandalwood incense, opened windows and turned on the furnace fans….the house has progressed to “wet dog”…
Never cook something overnight in a crock pot using a recipe never tried before….you wake up to that feeling of “if it smells like this all the way upstairs through a closed door…do I dare go down there?”