Friday, February 01, 2019

A Just Visiting Weekly Link Round-Up

This is definitely the time of year for visitors to Phoenix. I mentioned earlier in the week how much I loathed February when I was growing up in central Illinois-- well, I think a lot of people agree with me because thousands upon thousands of people flock here each winter. And when baseball's spring training starts up at the end of the month? Katie, bar the door!

A pelican? In Phoenix?
I thought I'd share a photo I took at the Water Ranch last week, primarily because I think most of you would not associate pelicans with the desert. Over 30,000 sandhill cranes alone come here to the desert to spend the winter. Can you imagine how many thousands of other feathered species join them? Yes, the desert in spring can make you believe you're experiencing a little corner of paradise.

I've lived here long enough to have seen a few changes. For example, many businesses in Phoenix either closed down during the summer or had abbreviated summer hours. (Like the main branch of the library!) Most of the roadwork was done during the summer in order not to inconvenience winter visitors. With over 5 million people living here, that's all gone out the window. There's no way any business is going to shorten its hours, and as far as roadwork goes, winter visitors are being inconvenienced along with everyone else. (Well... actually, the residents receive the double blessing of roadwork and thousands upon thousands of people on the roads who don't know where they're going.) But any way you look at it, roadwork and tourists are a very small price to pay for living here in February.

Oops! I'd better get myself off to the corral. It's gotten very noisy out there. Head 'em up! Mooooooooove 'em out!

►Books & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
  • On the casual sociopathy of the traditional mystery, or... should there be such a thing as a "comfortable" murder mystery?
  • This book lover arranges her huge library of novels into imaginative scenes.
  • How the Chicago Public Library is bringing story time to the laundromat.
  • Arizona's new superintendent took the oath of office on a children's book on inauguration day.
  • When Dell flipped on mystery readers: how a publisher and two legendary bookstores made mysteries into jigsaw puzzles
  • Here's what we know so far about The Devil in the White City movie adaptation. 
  • What we gain from keeping books-- and why it doesn't need to be "joy." (The flap over Marie Kondo and her "less than thirty books" is making me smile.)
  • A home library can have a powerful effect on children. (Ya think?) 
  • The disastrous decline in author incomes isn't just Amazon's fault.

►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
  • Why a medieval woman had lapis lazuli hidden in her teeth. 
  • Burials suggest that Icelandic Vikings had a thing for stallions.
  • A rare bronze penny sells for more than $200,000 at auction. 
  • An Egyptian schoolboy's 1,800-year-old lesson is to go on display.
  • The hunt for the Nazi loot still sitting on library shelves. 
  • What llama-poop-eating mites tell us about the rise and fall of the Inca Empire
  • Days before its authentication, a possible Michelangelo painting disappears from a Belgian church.

►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
  • A very naughty kitty slashed a 17th-century portrait. Bad Padme!
  • A pack of wild dogs in Texas carries the DNA of the nearly extinct red wolf.
  • A Hawaiian snail named George, believed to be the last of his species, has died. 
  • A 'bouncing" baby orca has been spotted among the endangered population.
  • An iguana species last documented by Charles Darwin has been reintroduced to a Gal├ípagos island. 
  • San Diego's Frozen Zoo offers hope for endangered species around the world.
  • A year later, his profile pays off for the world's loneliest frog.
  • Scientists are using AI to decode the ultra-sonic language of rodents.

►The Happy Wanderer◄
  • In Cloughmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, you can see the entire village knitted out of wool.
  • The best twelve cities in the world for book lovers.
  • Once a year, over 27,000 Elvis fans flood Parkes, Australia
  • From Lady Liberty to Hollywood to the Middle East, these are the most exciting museums opening in 2019.

►Fascinating Folk◄
  • Alice Lee, the statistician who debunked sexist myths about skill size and intelligence. 
  • Navajo Code Talker Alfred K. Newman, among the last of the World War II heroes, has died at the age of 94.

►I ♥ Lists◄

That's all for this week! 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!


  1. That's a beautiful 'photo, Cathy. I didn't know there were pelicans in the desert - how cool! And it's interesting how population changes also mean changes in everything else, like business hours and road work... OK, time for me to go visit those Vikings...

  2. I agree that most people wouldn't think about pelicans in the desert. Are they saying 'where's the fish?'. OK, I'm old - thinking about the whole 'where's the beef' thing. I know you remember that. Ha! And, yes, I've certainly been one of those visitors to Phoenix in February. This year, it won't be me. My daughter is going on a bachelorette (or whatever you want to call it) party next week to Scottsdale. It's amazing how many young women now do these weekend jaunts before their wedding. Daughter told me that it was with a bunch of her nurse co-workers. She said that she'd be the 'old lady' of the bunch, having been married 12 years now. Ha! I told you I was 'old'! I asked her if she'd get to slip away and visit the Poisoned Pen and she said she was trying to figure out a way to do that.

    1. There are plenty of fish in the ponds at the Water Ranch, so I imagine those pelicans (there were three) enjoyed their lunch!

  3. I always find something interesting to check out! And what I find interesting, especially after our polar vortex week and 75 or so hours below zero, is how many animals and birds stay here! It was about 5 degrees yesterday morning and I watched 3 squirrels running and chasing and junping--you could just see how happy they were to be out again!

    1. It's amazing how they can survive, isn't it?


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