Small Cats Get Their Due

 National Geographic turns a light on small cats usually out of sight

Awesome photography of these rarely seen felines by

Small Cats Iberian Lynx

A fascinating article at focuses on various cat species from around the globe many that most people have rarely seen, or even heard of.

“Advances in genotyping and sequencing reveal that Earth’s 31 small cat species hail from seven distinct lineages, each named for the first discovered species in the line.” Thus the title statement accompanying a chart showing who is related the to whom.

While large in size, the modern day cheetahs and pumas (aka cougars, North American mountain lions) are genetically related to small cats. This is why they do not roar like lions, tigers, and panthers (which include leopards and jaguars) due to a different bone structure in the neck, but can actually purr like a typical house cat.

But the world is full of all sorts of other cats that can appear familiar or incredibly exotic, and which are often singular in their remarkable habits. Or rather, it was once full of them. The all too familiar destruction of natural habitats by our own species has endangered many of this secretive members of our extended planetary family.

I have been a lover of cats since Year One

small cats tsp 1 yr old w kitten

But some of the furry felines in this informative article by were new even to me.

You can read the article and see all of the wonderful photos HERE.

Small Cats - Sand Cat

 Photographer Joel Sartore Official Website

The Somme in All Its Gory – Monday Map

Brilliant Detective Work at 4D Somme

Cartographers use the scarred landscape of France, World War I maps, and satellite imagery to plot the battlefield in stunning detail


The website 4D Somme is dedicated to the British units raised in Ireland and Ulster, who saw considerable action during the battle of the Somme, which began on July 1, 1916, and ended nearly 5 months later, on November 18th.

But the overall imagery provided covers the entire battlefield.


Above, the British lines at the start and end of the battle.

Hundreds of thousands died to move the front about 7 miles – over one million casualties in total among the British, French, and German forces fated to take part in arguably the most savage and costly battle in human history.

The satellite maps and the overlays taken from actual WWI strategic mapping can be zoomed into down to the individual village, trench, or observation post.


Above, actual reconnaissance photographs lined up perfectly where they were actually taken from aircraft similar to those operated by my maternal grandfather, who flew for the American forces father south near the end of the Great War.

While other sites go into greater detail about the people who fought and died along the River Somme in 1916, this site is entirely engrossing and highly recommended.

The 4D Somme full url is



Happy 75th Bob Dylan

A long life was granted to Bob Dylan

Despite the same perils and pitfalls that felled so many other iconic musicians and songwriters of his ilk and era.

And while this song pokes fun at the way pundits, scholars, and fans have described or imagined Bob Dylan, it is not entirely inaccurate or exaggerated, when it comes to what he does and why.

As for his reputation for astute social commentary, this could have been written last week, instead of half a century ago.

And so too could this…

And when it comes to precision strikes in the post 9-11 world, here Bob Dylan pays homage to any early influence from the Delta Blues tradition while landing direct hits on the delusional societal backsliding centered at Twelfth Street and Vine, which has never actually existed in Kansas City, any more than other myths people cling to while denying the reality of everything from Climate Change to Evolution.

Super Bowl 50

Real Football Upstages Lady Gaga and the Entertainment Machine in Super Bowl 50

A boring and poorly played game? Nonesense.

It was two classic defenses who played exceptionally well, humbling two offenses and one MVP and one 5-time MVP, AND an NFL that has tried to turn professional football and the Super Bowl into a glitzy scripted entertainment extravaganza that won’t offend family-oriented sponsors and be worthy of choreographed pop star dance offs.
Instead, they got football, not entertainment. Real football.
Out on that field between the whistles was real, old fashioned football where the only offensive TDs were accomplished by running backs making super human efforts to force their way through the kind of defenses that were common place in the 1970s, and only because their defense gave them a very short field.
The sound bite played over and over all week of someone saying “We gonna hit em in the mouth and make them feel like they never been hit like that before” became a reality, for at least one humbled offensive superman who had his wings clipped and couldn’t handle it, during the game or after.
It was two great defenses and perhaps one that deserves to be placed with the best ever, making two very good offenses look boring and poorly equipped. It was tense, for anyone with an emotional stake in the game, and with no offensive rhythm developing. But not for lack of trying.
It wasn’t pretty. But it was late in the 4th Quarter before it was truly decided, even if in the end both offenses failed to ignite any serious threat of breaking out.
Lady Gaga absolutely owned the National Anthem. The half time show was suitably not boring and shallow enough for mass appeal. The officials were pretty even-handed when it came to blatant fouls not called and iffy fouls that were called. The TV coverage was very poorly handled, especially at the end of the game and afterwards.
But the game itself? Seeing a defense so completely dominate the #1 offense gave me hope for football in the modern age where the rules are rigged to favor the offense every way possible.
While the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl it was football that was the big winner over those who want it to be some sort of expected spectacle.
That is why live athletic events on a champion level remains the best reality TV that has ever been or shall ever be. And why football is the true team sport that more than any other requires a team effort of so many minds and bodies working together, and every single one of them a possible goat or hero.

Paul Kantner 1941 – 2016

“Have you seen the stars tonight? Would you like to go up on A Deck and look at them with me?”

Founding member of the Jefferson Airplane, guitarist and lyricist Paul Kanter died today from complications following a heart attack. He was 74.

Paul Kantner was overshadowed by Jorma Kaukonen’s freak guitar playing and Marty Balin’s pop star voice. But he was the blonde guitarist who made girls stop wearing bras and start having sex. He should have been given the Freedom Medal by some President sometime.

kanter cassidy

At least he made the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame –

I have a special place in my heart for the song “Have You Seen the Stars Tonight.”

THE trippiest record ever to come out of San Francisco was Blows Against the Empire, in 1970 – two sides of vinyl that made Revolution #9 seem like a high school AV class project, and at the end of the far out musical maelstrom was this sublime little gem.

Jerry Garcia on pedal steel, Crosby and Nash on harmonies, each adding magic that was absent from all the Jefferson Starship missions that followed this transitional paradise that Paul Kantner put together after the Jefferson Airplane crashed and burned.

Rest in Peace in the Stars, Baron Von Tollbooth

Don’t Forget to Get Your Flu Shot


No, seriously. Get your flu shot.

At my early November doctor visit I felt a bit under the weather, so we chose to wait. Then I got busy.

And I have just spent one of the worst weeks of my entire life as a result. Tried to tell it that it was a cold. The first three days of writhing joint aches and chills were only the beginning.

Imagine every deep breath resulting in a good minute of convulsive, car-engine-trying-to-turn-over coughs until you feel faint from no oxygen, that finally spark and kick into truly gut wrenching, every muscle in your body clenched yeti howl coughs that cause a blinding headache, to maybe, if you are lucky, actually dredge from your lungs a plug of the thick sewage sludge, and having to expel nauseating lard lumps of it out of your trachea before it suffocates you – talking Linda Blair in the Exorcist amounts – and getting about 10 to 15 seconds before it happens all over again, for over 48 hours straight, when any sleep is counted in minutes during the 15 minutes every 4 hours when the Advil actually stops your chills and aches. And then laying there for another 3 days as it slowly lessens.

And then go get your flu shot.

Clowns Lose to Ravings in the Battle of the Bunglers

On the one hand, watching a game between two bad teams can end up a closely contested match that comes down to the very last play, as it did tonight when the Ravens blocked a potentially game winning field goal and returned it all the way for the winning TD as time ran out.

On the other hand, watching two bad teams for hours like that makes one want to slink out unnoticed after it’s over, as if they don’t want to be seen leaving a cow flop throwing contest

Vive la France!

Je ne parle pas le français, so I shall just say it in English.

The hate of the scum of the earth can claim lives today, but your civilization shall stand as a beacon of enlightenment and beauty a thousand years after the barbarism of these delusional swine has gone extinct from the world.