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Bird Time! [Apr. 30th, 2017|10:16 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , , , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

More from the Bird Jungle, from when I visited back in February. I didn't like these much at first, being too aware of what I saw vs. what I managed to capture. As time goes on, and memory fades, I like them better. Very pedestrian poses, without any action, but they're acceptable to me now. I'm that way with a lot of art and photography.

Some sort of an Ibis.
An Ibis of some sort, I'm sure, but don't know exactly what. He's by no means a pretty bird, but is elegant in his own way, with a great deal of presence.

A Balinese Mynah perching.
More of the Balinese Mynah.

A Nicobar Pigeon.
A Nicobar Pigeon. Most pigeons are iridescent to some extent, but this guy's pretty much the champ. Long, waterproof feathers too. He's prepared for the daily downpour.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/8216.html
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Meanwhile, at the Zoo [Apr. 30th, 2017|07:28 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , , , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Genesis: The Silent Sun]

Spent 90 minutes or so at the zoo today. That's what I love about having a season pass, is that I can make a brief visit and not feel like I'm wasting my money, especially now that it's $10 to park, and $12 for admission. Zoo pass covers that all, plus lets me bring a friend along if I'm in the mood. I normally avoid the place on weekend days with good weather, simply because of the crowds, but it really wasn't that bad today.

An Alligator
One of the alligators was sunning himself right by the glass window, watching the people who were watching him. That pink on his back looks like they painted a pink stripe on him at some point, and it's wearing off. I have no idea why. They all look pretty much alike to me, but I'd have to think their keeper could tell them apart without a stripe.

A Trumpeter Swan.
The swans fascinate me. Sometimes I'll come, and just spend an hour watching them. Today they were in a very laid back mood, and didn't terrorize the ducks or anything. They can be mean, aggressive birds when the mood strikes them. The vegetation is just exuberant right now, remarkably so for April. It looks more like late May.
-
A Balinese Mynah.
A Balinese Mynah, in the Temple of Birds. The zoo's Bird Jungle is designed in such a way that you're standing on the porch of a (Buddhist?) temple looking out into the jungle.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/8155.html
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... [Apr. 29th, 2017|12:45 am]
xolo
[Tags|]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |annoyedannoyed]

Because nothing betters the lot of the poor quite so effectively as setting fire to busses.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/7850.html
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How the Mighty Have Fallen! [Apr. 27th, 2017|02:21 pm]
xolo
[Tags|]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Kansas: Icarus]

Heh. The Listverse author's guide (http://listverse.com/authors/listverse-author-guide.pdf) now classifies CNN among the "tabloids and fake news sites" that can't be used as citations:

Some sources are always off-limits: tabloids and “Fake News” sites like HuffingtonPost, Buzzfeed, Daily Mail, National Enquirer, The Sun, Mirror, Metro, CNN, Examiner.

It's kind of sad, really. That was once a respected news organization. It was perhaps inevitable, though. Traditional television news is operated at a loss, as a community service, using revenue from the sale of advertising on the entertainment shows. CNN had to sell advertisements on their news shows, which resulted in them skewing more and more towards entertainment presented as news.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/7539.html
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United Airlines Strikes Again [Apr. 27th, 2017|12:45 am]
xolo
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |discontentdiscontent]
[music |Genesis: The Knife]

United has now managed to kill the World's Largest Rabbit. United apparently has the highest death rate by far for animal passengers in the business. Some animals are unavoidably going to die in transit, and that's just how it is, but United accounts for 40% of all the deaths singlehandedly. I'd not been aware of that, and ATM I think I'm pretty much done flying United, unless there's a major house-cleaning.

*****

I didn't even know you could get rabbits that big. I'd love to cuddle with a bunny that size in the winter. I wonder what the market would be for some sort of guest-house, where you stay overnight and get a giant bunny to snuggle with?

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/7242.html
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Macabre Musings [Apr. 26th, 2017|12:10 pm]
xolo
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulbloody-minded]

So, with all the fuss being made about Arkansas executing two men in one day, I started to wonder what was the most ever executed by a state in a single day? The federal government, of course, holds the obvious record, with 38 hung in one day at Mankato, MN, after the Dakota uprising in 1862. It was originally scheduled to be 303, but Lincoln put his foot down, and insisted that only indians who had committed rape or murder during the uprising (and not those who had only taken up arms against the government) could be executed.

I'd thought that Texas held the record, sending no fewer than five men to the chair on one famous day in 1924. It turns out that South Carolina also executed five in one day in 1915. In the end, it turns out to be New York, executing seven men on the same day in 1912 (five of them for the same crime - the notorious Croton Reservoir murder) that holds the record.

Interestingly, the second time New York used the electric chair, in July of 1891, they executed four men on the same day. They also executed three brothers in 1903, letting them decide among themselves what order they'd go in.

Ohio's first use of the electric chair, in 1897, was a double event. The prison officials made the two men flip a coin to see who had to go first.

And, oddly enough, in July of 1917, Pennsylvania sent a guy to the chair whose name was unknown. Just one man executed on that day, but he staunchly refused to give his name. They ended up calling him John Nelson on his journey through the courts and prison system, since this was apparently before "John Doe" had become standardized, and the paperwork involved required him to have a name.

*****

So, in reading about executions, I ended up reading a bit as well about the old Ohio State Penitentiary, which used to be right downtowm here. All of Ohio's executions from 1885 to 1963 took place here. They tore it down a few years before I moved here to build the Nationwide Arena, so I never got to tour it. They made the prisoners build it, beginning in 1834, and, it seems that the State House (a magnificent building, with an under-appreciated museum in the basement - they have a preserved rose from Abraham Lincoln's funeral blanket) was built by prisoner labour as well!

The prison building was brick and stone, but built with a wooden roof. This wasn't seen as enabling escapes, since the cells were basically fully-enclosed iron cages. In 1930, they decided to replace the ancient roof, and true to tradition, they used convict labour to do the work. Three of the workers decided to use this opportunity to stage an escape - they concealed an incendiary timebomb amongst the contruction, intended to go off at the end of the day, when everyone was in the mess hall eating dinner, allowing them to escape in the confusion.

Sadly, the proper design of timebombs was not among their criminal proficiencies, so that the fire started much later than intended, after all the prisoners were locked up in their cells for the night. The roof, being nearly a century old and tinder-dry, and coated with tar, went up pretty much like a firework. 322 inmates died, many of them broiled to death by radiant heat from above, just as though they'd been in an oven. It's the third-deadliest structural fire in American history, surpassed only by the Iroquois Theater in 1903, and the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in 1942.

What surprised me, though, was this picture, of the coffins laid out for the mass funeral. I recognize that building. It's the Ag and Hort Building at the State Fairgrounds, and it's still there to this day, largely unchanged. I had no idea it was ever used for something like that. You can see how there's a kind of lightwell visible in the picture. The upper floor of the place is built with an enormous clerestory, and it illuminates the ground floor through that big square well. There seem to be American flags hanging in the lightwell then, as today.

The entire time I've been going there, and I strongly suspect since at least the 1950s, the upper floor is used for an all-you-can-eat buffet during the Fair. That's probably the only restaurant I've ever eaten in that was once used to stage a mass funeral, then. For about the past ten years or so, they've positioned one of those climbing towers in the middle of the light well, so you can watch and cheer on kids climbing it while you eat.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/7142.html
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So, anyway... [Apr. 24th, 2017|10:17 pm]
xolo
[Tags|]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |mischievousmischievous]
[music |Me: It's Execution Time!]

Picture the scene...

A multi-level cell block at a prison. Morose prisoners can be seen sitting on their bunks, or staring through the bars. Suddenly, a door in the foreground bursts open! It's the warden! He strides to the middle of the aisle, faces the far wall in a wide-legged stance, and bellows, "Hey guards! What time is it?"

The double doors at the far end fly open, and the prison guards, parading four abreast, begin to march into the cellblock, wheeling an electric chair, and a gurney. The ones on the outside twirl nooses, like trick lariat performers, and the firing squad juggles their rifles, as they all begin to sing lustily, to the tune of the "Howdy Doody" song;

It's ex-e-cution time! It's execution time!
The judge and jury too!
Have decreed death to you!
Today's your final day!
Now for your crimes you'll pay!
It's execution time! It's execution time!

That so needs to be an animation.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/6759.html
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There's a Killer on the Road [Apr. 17th, 2017|12:10 am]
xolo
[Tags|]
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulsafe]
[music |Zager and Evans: 2525]

So, we seem to have a psycho on the loose. Cleveland's about two hours north of us, but even here, I saw an absolute ton of police cars out and about today.

If you're in the area, he's reported to drive a white Ford Fusion with Ohio temp tag #363630.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/6551.html
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And... [Apr. 14th, 2017|10:58 pm]
xolo
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]

Taxes done and submitted. I let Ohio keep my refund to spend on rehabilitating wounded soldiers. The feds don't give you that option.

*****

And... ZOMG! Kansas released a new album last year! I hadn't known. I shall have one of those. It's even got a bird on the cover.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/6165.html
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Telegram [Apr. 14th, 2017|10:50 pm]
xolo
[Current Location |East Trumpistan]
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Kansas: Angels Have Fallen]

BTW, I'm @Rain_Gryphon on Telegram, if anyone wants to add me.

Original posted at http://rain-gryphon.dreamwidth.org/6106.html
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