Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Blogging is a little bit like what I once fantasized about doing when I was a kid: having a license to send out transmissions on my shortwave radio. I never did; I had a receiver instead, so I mainly listened to dahs and dits from other people, the ubiquitous CQ...CQ (seek you, seek you), or growly voices, like sparrows gabbling in a tree. Or I roamed the shortwave band for Moscow and Hilversum, Holland, and once Johannesburg! which had commercials (Peter Stuyvesant cigarettes)!

This is not as instant a broadcast as radio would be, of course. But when you hit "Publish Post," it's gone, out there, on the airwaves, for better or worse. (Did I offend movie stars or friends of movie stars yesterday? Too late. I'm certain Steve Carrell and Meryl Streep are great. Too late.)

Anyway, I wasn't going to post anything today, but sometimes the hour is ripe. Matthew's playing guitar with Led Zeppelin at his laptop; Carol's learning some new animation technique at her desktop. I should broadcast, even if I don't have anything to say, because it's a busy living room, and I could always take a look at the calendar.

Barbie was introduced today, back in the 50s. It's also cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's birthday. At one time those were opposite poles of America's crisis of confidence: a doll of American perfection vs. Soviet scientific supremacy. Moving on...

It's Panic Day and it's Get Over It Day. They sort of cancel each other out. And it's Joe Franklin Day. Good old Joe, droning mainstay of New York TV, the precursor of all talk show hosts, but homey, like your uncle interviewing Alec Baldwin in the den. Like a broadcast from the living room.

And finally, it's Unique Names Day, a day to celebrate people you know who have unique names. Well, I don't know about people, but I spent the day researching weird sea animals, among which were the leafy sea dragon, piglet squid, hatchetfish, blobfish, gulper eel, yeti crab, Christmas tree worm, brittle star, fangtooth (ogrefish), pistol shrimp, glass shrimp, Dumbo octopus, Ping-pong tree sponge, dinner plate jelly and my favorite: the stoplight loosejaw.

Signing off!


  1. The blobfish is perhaps my favorite weird creature ever. HOW DOES IT HAVE A FACE LIKE THAT? It is amazing. Was the research for a reading passage?

  2. For a leveled reader. I think it's nature's doodle: "Kilroy was here." Have you seen this book?: The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss, by Claire Nouvian et al. (U. of Chicago Press) Extraordinaire!

  3. And I left out one more critter: the tasseled wobbegong (tip of the mouse to Ann Downer-Hazell).

  4. Poor wobbegongs sans tassels -- so incomplete.

    I will look up The Deep.

    P.S. Blogging is totally like shortwave radio broadcasting. Totally.