Many of you have probably heard of the blast furnace week we've had here in Phoenix. 118°F. (48°C.) is a tad crispy. Even sitting in the pool in the shade on that 118° day, I thought it was excessively warm. People are being warned again not to leave children and pets in their vehicles because they can die within minutes. However, one thing you don't hear about is being thoughtful when it comes to wildlife. I can make one entire blog post using nothing but photos of birds I've seen that are suffering from the heat. It's one of the reasons why I have several birdbaths that I keep filled. It's why I put out citrus. These poor critters don't have air conditioning or ice water. (I'd say something about taking a cold shower or bath, but there's no such thing as cold water coming from our taps in August. We're lucky if it cools down to tepid. Want instant scalding hot water? Here in Phoenix, we turn on the cold water tap.)
When it's August in Phoenix, birds with their beaks open aren't singing, they're trying to cool off. Having the pool's waterfall turned on brings relief to even more birds, and can bring the very shy out of hiding, like the migrating Bell's Vireo to the left.
But some birds just aren't equipped to handle this desert heat. I've lost count of the number of European Collared Dove corpses I've had to deal with. This makes me sad, but it also angers me. Why are the collared doves suffering more than other species? The clue is found in their name. European Collared Doves belong in Europe, not Arizona. Just another instance of some idiot bringing an animal or plant with them to their new residence so they'll have something that reminds them of home. Photographs would be better.
Last week a toxic spill in the Animas River. This week non-native species. This heat seems to be making me a bit cranky, don't you think? I'd best shut up and round up those links. Head 'em up, move 'em out!
►Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese are teaming up again. This time for Devil in the White City.
- Too bad I didn't go for a dip in this German lake!
- After taking an online poll asking which author's books would you want with you on a desert island, which writers do you think were the top three?
- How Princess Reema is opening doors for women in Saudi Arabia.
- Shall I compare thee to an algorithm? The Turing Test has gotten a creative twist.
- Some folks in Tallahassee have caused The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night-Time to be pulled from a children's summer reading list.
- Ursula K. Le Guin is breathing fire to save American literature.
- George R.R. Martin says that the ending of Game of Thrones will be "bittersweet."
- The ecological lessons of Frank Herbert's Dune were ahead of this sci-fi masterpiece's time.
- An infographic that shows us data never sleeps.
- I've loved Sam Elliott since 1976....
- The strange case of Agatha Christie's secret photo album.
- Reading doesn't seem to be a high priority in Russia.
- Yikes! 503 books are going to be hitting UK bookstores on the exact same day-- Thursday, October 8.
- Europeans are fed up with high eBook prices.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- A mysterious sunken ship may have belonged to a French baron.
- Greece's financial woes have brought work to a screeching halt at Amphipolis, the archaeological site that was a worldwide news favorite last year.
- Looters and vandals are threatening archaeological sites in the Verde Valley in Arizona.
- Combating book theft in medieval times.
- Interesting article about the "Pompeii of the East" in China.
- Has Queen Nefertiti's tomb been found?
- A mysterious Stonehenge-like monolith has been found off the coast of Sicily.
- The last time this looked at the world, Leonardo da Vinci and Christopher Columbus were still living.
- The bones of Napoleon's soldiers have helped to uncover many mysteries.
- I love it when this happens: seeds uncovered by archaeologists have been planted and have sprouted to life: a 2,000-year-old Judean date palm, and a (gasp) 32,000-year-old flowering plant native to Siberia. Will mammoths and dinosaurs be far behind?
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- Capturing the secret lives of squirrels.
- 20 animals trying to become professional photographers.
- Blakely the dog has a very important job: nanny to rejected zoo babies.
- Book storage in tiny houses.
- eReader cases that look like beautiful old books. (I'm drooling over the blue marbled beauty-- the fifth one down.)
►I ♥ Lists◄
- You can learn an awful lot about an era by reading the advertisements.
- 2015's top-earning authors in photos.
- 12 books that will lift you up when you are down.
- 10 books that changed the world.
- 11 one-word tattoos every book lover can appreciate and wear with pride. (If you like tattoos, that is.)
- In honor of Blast Furnace Week: 23 things you understand if you're from Phoenix. Many of them made me smile.
That's all for now. Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure!
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!