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Brown Creeper April 24, 2019

Posted by Sobek in News.
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This little weirdo has a beak like a cucumber, and it hangs upside-down, and it climbs trees instead of flying to the top, and I love this little freak so much.

Updated Steller’s Jay April 24, 2019

Posted by Sobek in News.
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I thought Laura was right that it looked unfinished, but I didn’t want to over-work it.  So I took a solid piece of watercolor and smeared it on like I was using a crayon, then gave it four quick swipes with a wet brush.

Steller’s Jay April 15, 2019

Posted by Sobek in News.
6 comments

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Owl April 8, 2019

Posted by Sobek in News.
3 comments

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“I bet barn owls were pretty stoked when barns were invented.”  Mike Ginn

Art April 2, 2019

Posted by Sobek in News.
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This is #14.  I’m donating to an auction as part of a fundraiser to help with cancer treatments for the daughter of a co-worker. This is a hooded Oriole. It’s far and away the fastest I’ve ever done one of these things, but deadlines can be wonderful motivators.

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The text around the edges is from Malachi 4:2, “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”

Hooded Oriole March 28, 2019

Posted by Sobek in News.
2 comments

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Hanging Up My Spurs (Again) March 22, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Has it really been 4 years?

4 years since we “closed” Innocent Bystanders?

Y’all may recall that back in March 2015 we decided that with the passing of Michael and the lack of interest in posting, Innocent Bystanders had reached the end of its natural lifespan. We had a series of farewell posts, with a lot of old friends popping up to say goodbye.

And on March 25, 2015, we stopped posting.

Then, two months later, the blogging bug bit me again, and I started writing. And we limped along for the next 4 years.

Bringing us to now, wherein I have to say that personal and work demands are making it very difficult for me to continue posting (as if you couldn’t tell). So I’m going on hiatus (I don’t dare claim that we’ll “close” the blog again).

Here’s where we were back in March 2015:

6032 posts
5.13 million hits
137,524 comments

4 years later we have:

7122 posts
5.31 million hits
142,258 comments

Not great stats over the past 4 years, but it was worth it, at least to me.

Wherein I Find Common Cause With Cher March 13, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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Cher speaketh:

REPUBLICANS BELIEVE THEY’VE GOT GOD GIVEN RIGHT 2 DICTATE WHAT WE DO WITH OUR BODIES.WOMEN MUST MAKE LAWS 2 CONTROL MENS BODIES. NO VIAGRA,ROGAIN, TESTOSTERONE‼️ALL MEN MUST BE CIRCUMCISED,& SHOW PAPERS OR PENIS 2 PROVE IT.MASSAGE PARLORS PUNISHABLE BY☠️.MEN MUST TAKE THE💊

— Cher (@cher) March 9, 2019

Honestly, I don’t have any problems with that…

…so long as I get a free license to murder.

Slave to Noise No More March 12, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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This is way too cool:

Scientists have discovered a shape that blocks all sound–even your co-workers

A team of Boston University researchers recently stuck a loudspeaker into one end of a PVC pipe. They cranked it up loud. What did they hear? Nothing.

…The pipe was actually left open save for a small, 3D-printed ring placed around the rim. That ring cut 94% of the sound blasting from the speaker, enough to make it inaudible to the human ear.

Here’s the ring, which is totally passive:

BU Noise Cancellation Ring

[Photo: Cydney Scott/Boston University]

It appears that you have to design it for specific frequencies, and the size is likely to be dependent on the frequencies (making it bulky when blocking low frequencies.

But it’s still way too cool.

A Chart to Lift Your Spirits March 10, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
3 comments

Didn’t see this chart when it ruffled some feathers after Bill Gates tweeted it in January. If you didn’t see it either, here you go:

Two-centuries-World-as-100-people.png

It’s particularly worth noting the very small graph at the lower right, which shows the increase in world population. These metrics didn’t just improve for the original population, but for almost 7X the original population. That means, for example, that the 6 people not living in extreme poverty 200 years ago increased to 630 people today.

The group who made the chart, Our World in Data, had another interesting one:

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Money may not be able to “buy” happiness, but it’s certainly an enabler.

Manufacturing a Little Sluggish This Month March 8, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
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As is the case for the employment situation posts, this will be my last regular post on the status of manufacturing jobs. I’ve only been doing those for about 6 1/2 years, but I think I’ve made the point (Pres. Obama fell flat on his face with his promise to create a million manufacturing jobs in 4 years) and beaten it to death.

Still, it’s always nice to see the recovery in manufacturing jobs since President Trump was elected, even though this month wasn’t as impressive as previous ones.

ManufJobsMar2019Report

Holy Uptick, Batman!! March 8, 2019

Posted by geoff in News.
5 comments

As I mentioned last month, this will be my last regular post on the employment situation. After 10 years of tracking employment, I think it’s time to say “enough.”

But this month’s employment report almost made me change my mind – it’s that good. Largely due to an enormous (> 800K) drop in part-timers, the IB metric almost crested 0.51, a level not seen since September 2008.

Here’s the chart:

FullTimeEmpvsCivPopMar2019Report1990