Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Let there be natural selection

I remember in 4th grade, learning about how stars and planets form out of nebulae; I was the kid who said, "But I thought God made the earth." My teacher muttered about this happening every year, and said, "Sure, but scientists are just trying to figure out how He did it." OK, so at the age of 10 I was taught science with an intelligent design slant. I still wound up an atheist.

The New York Times today reports on the survey results from the Pew Research Center, highlighting that 64% of respondents say that Creationism should be taught in schools.

I guess I could get behind this if it made the whole thing go away. "Class, the 'theory' of Intelligent Design is that God or the aliens made life happen on earth by magic. This will not be on the test. What will be on the test is how adaptation and competition for resources within ecological niches have helped shape the evolution of species over millions and millions of years. You'll also be called upon to properly define a 'theory.'"

Where is the intellectually rigorous religious thought? Aren't there Deists anymore? I could respect someone who said, "A creator set up the forces of physics that define and shape the observable universe." On the first day, God created math.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Leftovers Again

I still had some leftover Lamb's Pride and thought it might work with a fuzzy pink accent yarn. I'm not overjoyed with the result, but it's OK.

Sunday, August 21, 2005


A fun little project for the weekend.

Mom asked me to knit one of these hallowigs for someone she works with (something about a "Lollipop Guild" routine). Frankly, I think this looks more like Oompa Loompa hair, or like something out of anime. I wonder if one of the Elvis wigs might be more appropriate?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Leftover Pi

Despite Dodger's indifference, I started another cat bed, this one out of leftover Lamb's Pride. (I have lots of this stuff, due to past obsessions with felted clogs and jester's hats). The color scheme isn't great, but's a cat bed. Whoever gets it can put it in the basement or something.

As a benefit, knitting this thing destroyed my size 13 circular needle.

Seriously, it's a benefit. I love Addi's, but the connecting tubes on the larger sizes are horrid: the yarn sticks to them rather than sliding smoothly (the cause of the breakage, I'm sure). Still, they're so expensive that I couldn't really justify replacing it with something better until it broke. I was thrilled to see that now the size 13's have the normal thin Addi connector.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Imaginary playmate named principal

My mom called yesterday with this news item: my imaginary playmate has been named principal of Danville High School. "Roxie" was, in real life, a friend of my aunt.

I wonder if the students at Danville know that once upon a time their principal was invisible and lived inside a red vinyl Beatles change purse?

Yes, my imaginary playmate was named "Roxie." Further evidence that sexual orientation (or at least fabulousness) is something you're born with.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Three reading recommendations

In the past week, I've finished three books I can recommend. Arthur Phillips' The Egyptologist is a great summer read. Told in journals, letters and cables, it is the story of a man, Ralph Trilipush, who is trying to excavate a tomb at the same time Howard Carter is uncovering the tomb of Tutankhamen. Interposed are the letters, written decades later, from a private detective who is on a case that leads him on a collision with Trilipush. I thought the story got a little bogged down in the middle, but the unreliable narrators give this novel unexpected energy and humor.

One of my favorite books this year is Kenneth Oppel's Airborn. Engaging (if uncomplicated) characters, swash-buckling situations (with pirates even), glorious settings beautifully described. The plot hinges maybe a bit too much on coincidence, but this story of an airship cabin boy and the granddaughter of an explorer who find a new species (sort of a flying panther) cries out to be made into a movie. I could see something that uses the same film-making techniques as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. (Hint to anyone writing a book report on this: discuss the multiple meanings of "airborn/airborne" in the novel).

And finally, check out Jeff Parker's The Interman, a graphic novel with echoes of The Bourne Identity and The Pretender. Van Meach is the product of a Cold War experiment that makes him almost endlessly adaptable, able to grow gills underwater, to shrug off poisons, and survive temperature extremes. OK, so I'm easily charmed by stories of men who can breath under water.

Monday, August 15, 2005

I told you he'd ignore it

Despite my suspicion that he wouldn't care, I went ahead and knitted Dodger a Kitty Pi this weekend. How could I not? This is where he was sleeping while it was in the washer being felted.

Maybe when it gets a little cooler, he'll care. But for the time being he seems to prefer the comfort of a plastic bag.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Dodger inspects

Dodger walked into the frame just as I was snapping this picture. I made these one at a time, "magic loop" style on a single circular needle (rather than both at the same time on two circs, my usual preference). I also tried out a tighter gauge; these are made on size 1 (2.25 mm) instead of 2 (2.5 mm).

Thankfully, Dodger doesn't often show an interest in my knitting. The only work-in-progress he's ever taken out of the basket and played with was a cashmere scarf I was knitting in the Matthew Shepard pattern. I think he likes yarn with goat hair. I've contemplated making him one of the felted kitty beds, but I suspect he'd just ignore it.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

When do I get to vote for this man?

Senator Obama was the "Not My Job" guest this week on Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me. Smart, funny, charismatic. I can't wait to vote for him someday.

I never listen to the radio outside my car, but it has become a weekend ritual for me to listen to shows from the "Wait Wait" archive and knit.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Obey the Intarsia Giant

I couldn't resist this scarf from Knitty, even though I hate intarsia. And when my work looked like this...

...I was doubting how much I really wanted to go on. Nevertheless, I had 19 hours of Sweet Valley Hogwarts to listen to, so I went ahead and made two intarsia face panels.

I wasn't happy with them -- they were sloppy, even after blocking. Then I remembered a discussion on GLB-Knit about doing the Peace Blanket in double knitting: one side would be a negative, mirror image of the other. Something new to learn! After a few false starts, I got that going, and I'm much happier with the results. Here's the reverse:

Now it's just plain, boring circular knitting for 4 feet or so, then the "OBEY" panel.