Saturday, April 10, 2010

Monday, March 9, 2009

My job bugs me!

I wanted to share what my part time bug job is like. To the left is my workstation. All the vials have individual specimens in them. The wood racks hold the vials that make up the "catalog".
The plastic cup next to the glass bowl holds the sample. These are insects (and some non-insect arthropods like spiders, centipedes, etc) that were collected in a pitfall trap in the woods of Oregon.

Here I am seated and ready to go. I dump the sample into the glass bowl to sort and count the insects using the "catalog" as a reference.

All this work is making me hungry. I take a time out for a quick snack.

Here you can see a sample midway through sorting. The bigger beetles along the top of the towel are from the Family Silphidae, the carrion beetles. That's right, the same beetles I worked with at BYU. The smaller beetles are Carabid beetles and are very common in these samples. You can see there is still plenty left in the bowl. Better get back to work.

A job well done. Now I have all the insects in the two glass vials. I have written the type and numbers of all the insects in the sample. All that's left are miscellaneous parts and pieces that I will dump in the waste jar. Then I am ready to start on a new sample.

All in a day's work.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

If Astronomers ruled the world...

I thought this article was funny. I don't think you have to be a scientist to have heard about the events leading up to the emboldening of astronomers over the past months. (There I did it. I used emboldening in a sentance)
We love Pluto just as much as ever.

On a more serious note, (and certainly cause for continuing emboldenation) NASA successfully launched their latest techno toy Kepler into space this week. Kepler's mission is to seek out earth like planets in other solar systems. It should be very exciting to see what they find in the coming months. Stay tuned.
PS - Check out the price tag for this mission, $600 million. We can send a space craft into space to look at distant areas of the galaxy for a fraction of what certain businesses are asking the government for. Remember when 600 million (600,000,000) was an astromonical number?

Our economy is need of astronomical funds while our astronomy seems to be getting more economical.

I can't believe I missed this!

How many of you knew about this show? What a riot! Now raise your hand if you know who MC Hammer and Vannila Ice are... Now raise your other hand if you have ever owned an album by either artist. If you are sitting in front of your computer with both arms raised triumphantly towards the heavens ( I am ) then you will definitely enjoy this article. (and you might have enjoyed the concert)((Just kidding, the last people in the world that would want to see them perform today are those people that actually listened to them back in the day))

PS - you would also enjoy the article if you do or have ever lived in Utah, especially the Provo/Orem area.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Oh, wait... it's March isn't it. It's time for the Madness to begin. I love March and I love March Madness. It has been an up and down year for our red Cougs. But look out! We are on a hot streak and making a case for an NCAA invite. Look at our last three games (a win at UCLA, only the second time ever, and a home sweep of the 'zonas). Don't forget that UCLA and Ariz St. were ranked at the time. If you check out the sports writers bubble reports you still here them talking about Arizona. They've lost four in a row now. They had some big wins early but you have to look at who's hot and who's not come tourney time.
The Coug's are hot right now. With a win this Saturday against Washington and deep run in the PAC-10 tournament WSU will be dancing for the third straight year. Go Cougs!!!!

It also looks like the state of Utah will be well represented this year. Utah, BYU, Utah State should all make the field later this month. I hope you are doing your homework and preparing for this year's Tournament Challenge. I don't plan on going so easy on you this year.
Share your thoughts and predictions here.
Happy Month of Madness to all of you.

Update: The unthinkable happened... the Cougs were unable to close the deal against the Huskies. This means the Cougs will have to win the PAC-10 tourney if they want to see the dance floor this year. But that should be easy. They will probably do it. Go Cougs!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cool Pictures

Before Winter gives way to Spring and I flood the blogosphere with new pictures of bugs and birds, how about a tribute to the beauty of coldness. These are a few of the pictures I took around our place in January.
The crystals are the result of wet, dense fog combined with very cold temps with some wind thrown into the mix.
Winter is fine but bring on the Spring!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More invaders!

Insects are awesome! Check this guy out. I'm pretty sure this is a robberfly. They hunt and kill other insects. Who needs sci-fi when there are things like this out there.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The invasion has started!

We found this strange creature plotting to take over the world. These fearsome aliens will soon rule the world!
Ok it is not really an extra-terrestrial, and it only about an inch and a half long. It is a snakefly.
The picture is not great but she didn't give me much of a chance to adjust the settings. I got only one shot before she flew away.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It was a Dark and stormy Knight

I went and saw the Dark Knight today. For all of you who went to the theater to see it you will agree with me when I say I'm sick and tired of these unoriginal, unimaginative, cheesy, over the top, special effects driven remakes. I mean come on, the original was a classic. The hollywood people have way too much money and no new ideas. What's going on? I am talking of course about the preview for "The day the earth stood still". Why remake a classic at all, and if you absolutely must then be true to the story rather then bury it with special effects. And another thing, Keanu Reeves, seriously? He is Neo of The Matrix fame and should not ever try to be anything else. (He's just not very good).

Did I mention that I absolutely loved The Dark Knight. What an incredible movie. If you have not seen it yet then stop reading this now and go see it. It is definitely worth the price of a movie ticket and that is saying something. Not very many movies these days are.

So to recap

The Dark Knight - Amazing!

The Day the Earth Stood Still (the remake) - Why!?

Keanu Reeves - Cool as Neo, otherwise not so much.

Hollywood executives with too much time and money and no original ideas - maybe movie making isn't for you, perhaps you should try politics...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Camping with the loons

Over the 4th of July weekend we took our family camping. Our journey took us to the Colville National Forest in northern Washington. The site we chose was Swan Lake. It was a beautiful place, right next to a lake. There were trails around the site and birds and bugs everywhere! Day one was great. It was warm and the kids had a blast. There was a family of Common Loons on the lake that were calling the whole time. We also had a Hairy Woodpecker visit our campsite, along with many chipmonks and squirrels. The kids had a rough time during the night. There was a big lightning and thunder storm with lots of rain. The next day was cold and wet and it did not warm up enough so we decided to head back to civilization. We drove back to the city of Colville and stayed in a hotel. It was fun and we got to go swimming. It was fun to go out and have fun as a family.
It got me thinking though that it would be fun to go camping with just the Lee men. It could be a tradition we could start sometime. It could be a ManLee retreat. We could go camping or hiking or do something fun by ourselves. It might be fun. Sorry I didn't get any pictures, the weather did not cooperate. You guys are great.