Category Archives: Uncategorized


Decorah_perspective_view-3Site of impact crater under Decorah in northeastern Iowa  Photo credit Adam Kiel, US Geological Survey

An airborne geophysical survey mapping mineral resources revealed the existence of a previously unknown 470,000,000 year-old impact crater below Decorah, Iowa, home of the famed and much-filmed Decorah Bald Eagle nest.

In 2008, geologists digging water wells first suggested the presence of the crater because they’d found evidence of a previously unknown shale deposit.  Robert McKay from the Iowa Geological Survey found the deposit formed a perfect circle about 5.5 kilometers across—nearly five times the size of Barringer (Meteor) Crater in Arizona.

Further examination of sub-shale breccias (sharp fragments embedded in clay or sand) revealed shocked quartz—a telltale sign of an impact.

Andy Kass, a geophysicist at the US Geological Survey in Denver says, “We were really lucky in this case that the shale layer was preserved within the crater, as it was eroded away nearly everywhere else.  If you travel to Decorah, you see a beautiful town, but certainly no impact structure.”

The diameter of the crater suggests that the impactor was a meteorite about 250 meters in diameter.   As such, it becomes a part of a group of impact craters in the Midwest—craters in Ames OK, Rock Elm WI and the Slate Islands of Lake Superior in Ontario Canada.   These craters may or may not have resulted from the same impactor.

Kass says, “It’s a tantalizing possibility.  Unfortunately, it’s impossible to use dating techniques to see if all the impactors happened on a single day.”  He also said that statistically, impactors of the size of those in the Midwest hit somewhere on Earth every 30,000 to 60,000 years.

SOURCE:   Earth Magazine, July 6, 2013       Airborne geophysical survey funded by US Geological Survey Mineral Resources Program.



is0082_1lSnowy Tree Cricket  Photo credit Calibas

There’s more to nature than meets the ear.

And when the calls of birds, insects and amphibians are recorded and translated by noted musician, educator and naturalist Lisa Rainsong, I promise that you’ll experience the calls of the natural world in a new dimension.

Here’s the link to Lisa’s recordings of the Snowy Tree Cricket and her formula for calculating the temperature from its song:

Lisa is an interesting and entertaining speaker; you can contact her through her website.


period-store-bags-620x400Photo credit The Period Store

Feminine hygiene is a $14,000,000,000 global industry with a long-held tradition of shamelessly using euphemisms, period shaming and secrecy in addressing menstruation, thereby reinforcing social discomfort about the subject.

Enter The Period Store, a monthly subscription service based in New York that’s making menstruation a less uncomfortable and easier to discuss subject.

Co-founder Ashley Seil Smith was raised in a household of five girls where all subjects were discussed freely and says The Period Store was a natural outgrowth of her early experiences.  She added, “I wanted an unbiased place where women might see all of the options available for period management and be able to discuss them openly.”

To that end, the company created a blog, The Periodical, where women freely exchange their personal anecdotes, product reviews, humorous videos and hygiene tips.

Smith and business partners, husband Nate and friend Rubi Jones, opted for an online business model to keep costs low and to reach a broader community of women.

The store offers period packs in a choice of four configurations.  Each pack includes tampons, pads and liners as well as gourmet chocolate, art prints and herbal pain remedies.  The choice of sanitary products goes beyond well-known US brands and includes a selection of international brands and eco-friendly products, such as reusable pads and sponges.

New subscribers fill out an online form detailing their cycle information.  After the first package arrives, subscribers receive a reminder to update cycle details so the next delivery cycle and menstrual cycle are in synch.

The immediate success of the service is attributable to its guileless approach:  no gimmicks, nothing cutesy–just honest, straight talk.

My Take on this business model:  Kudos!

I recently saw a tampon commercial in which 2 women entered the ocean.  A shark immediately clamped on one of them, creating a huge pooling of blood—her tampon evidently leaked, driving the shark to a feeding frenzy.

I vanted to womit at this disgusting display of taste gone worse than bad.

Source:   Smart Planet Daily, June 24, 2013


DSC_0016For scale, the plants you see are Myrtle, and the board is 5.5” wide.

From 6-6:45 AM yesterday, I watched as this Snapping Turtle, about the same size as the one that commandeered my lower deck a couple weeks ago, slowly examined the area adjacent to the deck.

She repeatedly crawled a foot or so and then lowered her chin to the ground, hindquarters in the air.

As this was the area I was digging up when I’d accidentally hatched a Snapping Turtle last fall, I was convinced she was looking for a place to drop her eggs.  I was also convinced that now that my previous deck no longer protected the hard clay, she wouldn’t lay them here.

Reluctantly, I had to quit observing and leave the house at 6:45.

When I got home in the late afternoon, I was delighted to find a 10:30 AM email from my neighbor, Sarah, with a photo (below) of what she called “your turtle friend” enjoying the flowers in my front garden.  Note that the tail is helping support the turtle’s body.

IMG_20130606_100529_525-1I went out to check the spot my new friend had occupied, and I found long gashes (below) cut in the sandy loam and was convinced the turtle had laid eggs.  The gashes were about 5-6” deep.

DSC_0046And then I remembered another spot in the garden where, about a week ago, I was puzzled to find a large depression, about 18″ in diameter and about 5” deep, which I couldn’t blame on deer.  I believe now that it was another nest of Snapping Turtle eggs, made by another or by the same female turtle that was fertilizing a second clutch of eggs.

Female Snapping Turtles can hold sperm from the male for several years, dispensing it as she chooses, a choice generally guided by the degree of favorability for the viability of the hatchlings.

Other critters in the natural world also have unique ways to ensure the survival of species.  Male bears (boars) impregnate female bears (sows) in the fall.  If the sow is not in good enough health to survive cub birth in January or February, or if she is not strong enough to provide adequate lactation for the cubs, she reabsorbs her fetuses.

Whatever the reasons, it looks like a bumper year for Snapping Turtle hatchlings.

Females lay 25-80 eggs in a clutch, and they’ll hatch in 9-18 weeks, depending on temperatures.

Temperature determines not only the length of incubation; it also determines the gender of the turtles.  Females hatch in warmest area of the clutch, and males hatch in the coolest area.  Depending on the ambient temperatures, warmest and coolest could be at the top or at the bottom of the stack.

Because of climate change, some species of turtles are experiencing a shortage of males.

I’ll need to be careful not to change the depth the turtle or turtles selected for their eggs because I trust turtles’ maternal instincts.  They predate dinosaurs by a bunch, having existed for the last 300,000,000 years and probably know exactly how deep their eggs need to be buried.

Photos © Carole Clement and Sarah



Researches from the University of Utah have reached one conclusion about multitaskers:  You aren’t as good at it as you think you are.

David Sanbonmatsu, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, said, “Our data suggest the people talking on cell phones while driving are people who probably shouldn’t.

“We showed that people who multitask the most are those who appear to be the least capable of multitasking effectively.” 

The study focused on tests given to 310 university undergraduates.  The students’ abilities to multitask while driving and using cell phones and electronic media yielded these observations:

**Those best able to multitask were the least likely to do multiple tasks simultaneously.

**The more the students multitasked, the more they lacked the ability to multitask.

**Those most likely to multitask were those with personality traits with high levels of impulsivity and sensation-seeking.

 **The reason multitaskers do so is because “they are less able to block out distractions and focus on a singular task,” not because they’re good at it.

In summary, David Strayer, co-author of the study and also a professor at the University of Utah, said, “The people who are most likely to multitask harbor the illusion they are better than average at it, when in fact they are no better than average at it, and often worse.”

My Take on the study:  If the shoes fit, take’em off—one at a time, so you don’t miss one.

Source:   Smart Planet Daily, January 25, 2013               Study published in PLOS ONE, January, 2013


_DSC4191“Waterloo Ballroom” @ Slovenian Workmen’s Home

15335 Waterloo Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44110, Ph:  216/481-5378 – e-mail:

3:00 PM until 7:00 PM

$12 per person includes a sandwich and a soft (water or fountain) drink

Dances every Sunday October, 2012 through May, 2013

March 3rd – Bobby Kravos

March 10th – The Culker Band

March 17th Mike Wojtila

March 24th & 31st – NO DANCE

April 7th – Frank Spetich, Jr.

April 14th – Joey Tomsick

April 21st – Bob Kravos

April 28th – Jeff Pecon

May 5th – Mike Wojtila

May 12th – Fred Ziwich

May 19th – Frank Moravsek

May 26th – Bob Kravos

End of Season – Back in October





Thanks to Mary Ann Wagner for sharing this reassurance with me.