Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hexagonal Prisms in Amethyst Crystals

Amethyst is a purple form of quartz. I became fascinated with the structure of the crystals after zooming in on this photograph of an amethyst geode that I took a week ago in New Hampshire at Gemstar Gemstones in Enfield. I saw the individual crystals in the photos below. This was the first time I ever saw a hexagonal prism in "real life." I have read that the crystals have a tetrahedral structure. Tetrahedrals are one of the five Platonic Solids (regular polyhedra). I also read that amethyst crystals are trigonal, meaning they have three-fold symmetry. An excellent discussion of trigonal crystals appears here.
To see more amethyst crystals, click here.

Here, I zoomed in on the first photo. You can see the six-sided prisms here.

If you have Apple's QuickTime software click here to see an interactive QTVR crystal of amethyst. Click here to view an interactive 3D model of the amethyst structure (this will open a new browser window).

Here I zoomed in even further and clearly saw the hexagonal prism.

If only we had the time to teach polyhedra to our students in the field while we collect rocks. I know they would never forget the experience or the mathematics.

Gemstar Gemstones Set

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LOL Cat Bible: Lectionary Readings for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

Fifth Sunday of Lent
Jeremiah 31.31–34
Psalm 51.1–12 or 119.9–16
Hebrews 5.5–10
John 12.20–33

Psalm 51.1–12 or 119.9–16

1 HALP, CEILING CAT; u said u wood luv me 4evar, and ur nice n stuff so plz make my invisible errors moar invisible
2 OH NOES TEH BATH but its ok coz mah invisible erorrs be washin' away
3 I knows what i done, mah invisible errors r like mirorrcat. Y U FOLLOWIN ME.
4 I dun u bad... u seen me doin it and sos u kan hit me with teh noosepapar and tell me to stfu.
5 I was bad even when i was a kittan.
6 U been lookin at me sinse i was all rollin around wit my bruders and sistars, wtf? How u been teechin me der?
7 I can has harbl? Den i will be kleen. Oh noes bath
8 I can has cheezburger? Mah broked legs will be dancin'
9 Plz dont be watchin' me masturbate, ceiling cat; if u watch plz foget.
10 Plz bake me a cookie, Ceiling Cat, but do not eated it :-( I can have ninja skills plz?
11 Noes pleez dont throw me into teh cold! Outside is bad 4 kittehs.
12 Halp me be moar like Happycat. I will maked a cookie for U.
13 Den I tell dogz 2 B like U. And all kittehs will love U 2.
14 Doan let nobudy eat me plz Ceiling Cat. Den I will say YAY!
15 Ceiling Cat, I can has singing plz?
16 U would not like I bring you the bukket I stoled.
17 Ceiling Cat likes sad kitteh? Cheezburger not mine? OK, I sorreh.
18 Nice Ceiling Cat. ::: pat pat pat :::
19 Cheezburgers for everybudy!

funny pictures of cats with captions

Hebrews 5.5–10

5 So christ also did not taek upon him teh glory ov becomin high priest. But ceilin cat sed 2 him, "u r mah son; Todai i has become ur fathr.[a]"[b]
6 And he sez in anothr place, "u r priest forevr, In da ordr ov melchizedek."[c]
7 Durin teh dais ov jebus life on earth, he offerd up prayers an petishuns wif loud criez an tears 2 teh wan hoo cud save him frum death, an he wuz herd cuz ov his reverent submishun.
8 Although he wuz son, he lernd obedience frum wut he sufferd
9 And, once made perfik, he became teh source ov eternal salvashun 4 all hoo obey him
10 And wuz designatd by ceilin cat 2 be high priest in da ordr ov melchizedek.

teh notz
* a - Hebrews 5:5 or has begotten u
* b - Hebrews 5:5 psalm 2:7
* c - Hebrews 5:6 psalm 110:4

John 12.20–33
Jebus is all liek "O NOES!"

20 Sum Greeks21 wented up to Philip (who wuz from Bethsaida in Galilee), and dey was all liek "we can has meet Jebus?"
22 So Philip wented up to Andrew, and wuz liek "they can haz meet Jebus?" an Andrew was liek "I dunnoes" so dey wented togedder to Jebus to ask him.
23 Jebus sed, "It r time for Man's Kitteh (dat's me) to haz many cheezburgrs.
24 It r like catnip: oen catnip seed r make oen catnip sprout. But wen teh catnip r ded, it r maek many catnips. An teh catnip, it has a flavr.
25 If u luv life, u will be all liek "O NOES!" wen u r ded. But if u r liek "life is teh suxors!" den u be happy-cat wen u r ded.
26 If u r freinds wit me, den u can has go to ceiling wen u r ded, liek me. Cuz Ceiling Cat, he lieks teh peoplez dat tink I am teh roxors.
27 Naow I is all liek "oh noes!" What u think I shood say to Ceiling Cat? I no can be all liek "I stay alive kthnx", cuz it r important to teh plan dat I be all sacrifieced n stuff. Srsly. So instaed I say,
28 "Dad, be teh roxors, kthnx."
An den a BIG MEAOW came from teh cieling, an it sed "WTF? I AM TEH ROXORS!!1! An I will MORE teh roxors! Srsly."
29 All teh peoplez hearded teh voyce. Sum wuz all liek "STFU, it r just thundrz." Othr peoplez sed teh voice wuz frum an angel kitteh dat wuz speaknz to Jebus.
30 Jebus sed "Dat voyce wuz for u peoplez, not for me.
31 Naow it r teh time for all teh peoplez to be judjed. Naow teh hitlercats of teh urfs is goinz to be kickd out.
32 But r goinz up, away from teh urfs, an all teh peoplez r goinz to come to me."
33 (An here, Jebus wuz hinting bout how he wuz goinz to be killd, but it wuz very suttle and not all kittehs getted it).

Basement Cat summons his legions...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

ABC Wednesday: J is for Jasper

John and I went to Gemstone Gems and I learned about jasper for the first time:
Jasper is an opaque,[1] impure variety of silica, usually red, yellow or brown in color. This mineral breaks with a smooth surface, and is used for ornamentation or as a gemstone. It can be highly polished and is used for vases, seals, and at one time for snuff boxes. When the colors are in stripes or bands, it is called striped or banded jasper. Jaspilite is a banded iron formation rock that often has distinctive bands of jasper. Jasper is basically chert which owes its red color to iron(III) inclusions. The specific gravity of jasper is typically 2.5 to 2.9.[2]
Jasper. (2009, March 5). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:23, March 22, 2009, from

A wall of jasper beads of all different colors.
Gemstar Gems Set

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Cats Tuesday: Cat's Eye Cats

John took me to see Gemstar Gems in Enfield, New Hampshire this weekend. We found these tiny cats made from cat's eye. Cat's eye is a quartz with the quality of chatoyancy — a fancy name for a fancy gemstone.
Better known as a cat's eye this stone is named for the actions of a cat's eye when exposed to light. The line forms an aperture that opens and closes as it is rotated under a direct light source.
For more information, see Your Gemologist here.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Wild Edibles: Wintergreen

Gaultheria procumbens
I'm in New Hampshire again and John showed me wintergreen growing by the roadside. Wintergreen is also called Teaberry or Checkerberry. Harvest the leaves any time of year, and harvest the berries from fall through winter. The berries improve with freezing. Use the leaves as trail nibble or brew into tea. Add to pancakes and muffins, or make uncooked jam.

Wild Edibles Set (unfinished)
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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Buddy Was Birding

Last week, Buddy was under the birding tree with George. The birds were safe because these two wouldn't climb the tree. They just sat underneath and chattered at the birds while the birds ignored them and continued to eat. I opened the window and Buddy ran over to me and I shot this photo.


LOL Cat Bible: Lectionary Readings for the Fourth Sunday in Lent

Fourth Sunday of Lent
Numbers 21.4–9
Psalm 107.1–3, 17–22 [or 107.1–9]
Ephesians 2.1–10
John 3.14–21

Numbers 21.4–9
Teh Bronz Snaik

4 Tehy lookd at teh Google Maps an wer going on teh rode frum Mount Hor 2 teh Red Sea, goin passt Edom. But teh Israel kittehs gotz in-pashents.
5 Tehy whine an complane an say verry bad thingz abowt Ceiling Cat an Moses, liek: "Egyp waz bettr tahn dis. Wheel die in teh desert! Wer's R bred an our wadder? Our food no tayst good."
6 Ceiling Cat wuz angries and furrius! He droppd off sum poizon snaiks wif teh Israelites. Oh Noes! Teh snaiks bites many ov teh kittehs an tehy is killd dedded.
7 Teh kittehs uv Israel wennt 2 Moses an sayz "We is sorries for arr Invisible Errors agenst Ceiling Cat. We askxs yu 2 prai to Ceiling Cat for hav snaik remoovel." So Moses prayz.
8 Ceiling Cat sez 2 Moses: "Oh Hai! Heer iz recipee for snaik-poizon-go-away. Maik faik snaik an stik it on a longe stik. Enniwun hoo haz been bited by a reel snaik can has luuks at teh faik snaik an will getz better.9 Moses maiks faik snaik outta bronz an stiks it onna teh stik. All kittehs hoo getz snakebit justt had 2 luuk at teh bronz snaik an tehy livved. Tehy iz Happycats.

Psalm 107.1–3, 17–22 [or 107.1–9]

1 Sai thanx to Ceilin Cat cuz him luv go on forevah. KTHX CEILING CAT.
2 N Ai is hoping da kittehs he wuz niec to is going to say KTHX CEILING CAT, da kittehs he saevd from the doggiz,
3 doze kittehs in da hole wied world wied web, he pickd dem up bi da scruf uv deir nex.
4 Sum kittehs wuz aut inna wildz wif no hom an no hoomin to gif kitteh food n cheezburgrs.
5 Dey wur rly strving wif no food but rats! but dey was so weak it wuz so hard to kech. And dey wuz thirsty cuz there wuz draot. An no wader for kittehs to drinkorz. N dey ded almost.
6 Den dey sayed "HALP" to Ceiling Cat n asked him "I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGRS PLZ" n Ceiling Cat give dem halp.
7 He bring dem to a hom ware dey can live wif nice plaec fr nappin. An dere wuz cheezburgrs and plenty uv wawder and hoomins to give kitteh food lyk kibbles n plus for pettin.
8 So say KTHX to Ceiling Cat bcuz he dus nice stuff fr kittehs an ppl an he also luvvs us alot,
9 he give wawder bole to thirsteh kittehs an fills hungreh kittehs wif cheezburgrs.
10 some kittehs he locked up in DA POUND WIF BARZ ON DEH KAGES and doggiz barkin in da next room!!!
11 bcuz dey waz rly bad kittehs.
12 so he put dem IN DA POUND, dey got lost from comfy homez and nobody waz halp dem.
13 den dey finly axed "CELING CAT! PLZ HALP US! WE IS RLY SRY! N we is wants soem cookiez kthxbai" and Ceiling Cat heard meows and said "kay".
14 So he let dem outta da pound. He broked da barz on da cagez and dey wuz FREE agn.
15 Say KTHNK to Ceiling Cat bcuz he duz nice stuff to ppl an kittehs. An he luvv us for alweyz
16 and Ceiling Cat can brakez down barz uv cagez and kittehz free if he wantz
17 sum moor bad kittehz got st00pid dey wer so bad and dey got hurted bad too, ao!
18 dey stopped lykin cheezburgrs an cookez an kitteh food and dey wz gon to ded soon
19 so axed "Hay Ceiling Cat, halp!"
20 Ceiling Cat change him mind. Dey not ded. Him save dey lifez.
21 Say KTHX CEILING CAT bcuz he duz nice thingz for kittehz and ppl an him is luvvin dem stil, him love no FAIL
22 Nao gif him yur cheezburgrs an sing songz baout him, kthx.
23 I rite srsly long pome. Den dere were kittehs dat goes on shipps in oshin.
24 Dey seed krazy paower Ceiling Cat haz.
25 Lotz and lotz of storm iz in oshin. Srsly scary hurrykanes n tempists. Wave go rly hai. Scary place for kittehz.
26 Dey go up an doan wif wave n see ceiling and bottom of oshin an big wave almos cum ovr n covr dem. An dey wuz not fraidy-catz but den dey wuz big waves no plaice for little kitteh.
27 dey krawled araon lyk catnip even doh dere wuz no catnip. So dey can not has hai sept wen waves bring dem up. Dey go crazy, dey srsly crazy, de oshin messing wif dem. Dey so sick, no can has cheezburgrs or cookies
28 So dem asked "CEILING CAT WE IS SEESIK PLZ HALP US NAO FAILBOAT" an Ceilin Cat say "kay"
29 An Ceiling Cat he make waves go wai.
30 Now dey happie kittehs. Ceiling Cat bring shipp to land an kittehs see famly an cheezburgrs again.
31 Say KTHNX CEILING CAT. Ceiling Cat does nice stuff for kittehz n ppl an his luvv has no FAIL.
32 Ceiling Cat gud covno toppick plz tell grandmaw n grandpaw baot him kthx.
33 Ceiling Cat duz magic he make big wawder all go way an nao its drai here
34 an thers dis place wif cheezeburgrs, nao dey has none. Kittehs there bad.
35 den he make drai place nice wif milk for good an thirsteh kittehs.
36 an place to live wif food an hoomins to mak thingz comfy.
37 dey mad gud cookies there.
38 he gave cheezburgr an dey do the secks an have lots of baby kittenz. I rite rly long poem, lulz.
39 ltr sum kittehs ded an dey were sad;
40 bcuz Ceiling Cat hatez no bulls an makes dey walk roand forevah.
41 but Ceiling Cat is nice to kittehs hoo iz sad.
42 Happy kittehs talk, mean kittehs aer kwieit.
43 if yu smrt kitteh, think baot dis pome. Dat's all I has to sai.

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Ephesians 2.1–10
A moar betteh laif. We haz it.

1 B4, yu wuz bad kitteh, srsly.
2 U no smell gud.
3 Wuz alwais goin in heets, LOLs. Ttly embaresin. An all time u fite fite fites. Ceiling Cat not want.
4 But Ceiling Cat lovded yu newayz.
5 Even tho yu not gud kitteh, Ceiling Cat tell Jebus bout u. Jebus go finded u, even tho u wuz vereh stinkeh kitteh.
6 Jebus washed u off an maded u smell gud.
7 Now you iz speshul an can haz RESPECT! An Jebus give yu best cookie EVAH!
8 U can haz cookie not cuz u earnded it, but cuz iz preznt frum Ceiling Cat.
9 Kittehs braggin "See teh cookie? Maded it mah selfz!" got to STFU, srsly.
10 Ceiling Cat maded kittehs cuz He wantz kittehs keepin Him compny an watch Him make cookies nstuf.

John 3.14–21

14 I gots 2 b lifteded up lyke Moses an his snakedy thingy,
15 coz if u beleeves ur not gon be ded! Eternal lifes, u can has it!
16 So liek teh Ceiling Kitteh lieks teh ppl lots and he sez 'Oh hai I givez u me only kitteh and ifs u purrz wit him u wont evr diez no moar, k?'
17 Cuz teh Ceiling Kitteh not snd hiz son 2 take all yur cookies, but so u cud maek moar cookies 4EVAR!
18 U beleevz him u getz cheezburgrs, but els you get invisibul error.
19 Lytes ar on now heer, but catzes no caer cuz they can see wit no lyte anyway.20 Invisibul error no liek lyte, him no liek be seed.21 Good kitteh no skeered of lyte, cuz himz not messin up."

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Weekend Cat Events

Weekend Cat Blogging
#198 Samantha Black & Mr Tigger at Life From a Cat’s Perspective

Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos
Edition 89 |
Diamond Emerald Eyes at Diamond’s Lair
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The Carnival of the Cats
#262 - When Cats Attack Five Year Anniversary
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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Signs of Mud Season

 Wordless Wednesday
See the first comment for an explanation.


ABC Wednesday: I is for Ice Fishing

John and I drove over to the South Beach of Willoughby Lake for photos of the cliffs and we found a small city on the ice. There were trucks, cars, snow machines and many people on the ice. The ice shacks have to come off the lake the last weekend of March. John says that in New Hampshire the shacks are called bob houses and have to be removed on the same date. Thank you for stopping by!


Monday, March 16, 2009


One of my best contrail photos. This jet was coming from Montreal.

Cats Tuesday: George Goes Birding

George sitting under the bird feeder tree. Nom Nom.
George Barton Cabot Set

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Signs of Spring: The Redwings are Back!

Redwing Blackbird, Female, originally uploaded by Ken Blackwell.

I have blogged this Flickr photo by Ken Blackwell because I don't have any redwing blackbird photos this season. This morning I heard them for the first time. It is an exhilarating sound to hear.

Redpoll Fanny

Sometimes our oddest photos tickle our fancy most. I enjoy looking at this photo of the backside of a little redpoll because I know their behavior so well and this shot illustrates redpoll squabbles and racket as they feast on thistle.

Signs of Spring: Brat Kicks Up Mud

I finally learned the names of the neighbor's horses from Matt. Brat is this brown horse and Cutter is the white horse that loves to roll in mud. And we are in mud season now! The horses are frolicking quite often again.


LOL Cat Bible: Lectionary Readings for the Third Sunday of Lent

Third Sunday of Lent
Exodus 20.1–17
Psalm 19 [or 19.7–end]
1 Corinthians 1.18–25
John 2.13–22

Exodus 20.1–17
Noo Roolz - Teh Ten Commanders

1 Then Ceiling Cat spoked all them werds:
2 I iz Ceiling Cat An I iz Top Cat, An I broughted u out of hawt lend wit no cheezbrgrs for hard werk at all
3 No can has other ceiling cat!! U gotz other Ceiling Cat, I shoot yous wit mah lazer eyes
4 If u try be Ceiling Cat of any of mai creayshunz up in floaty skai, down in erth or in watr or I shoot yous wit mah lazer eyes.
5 If u think faek Ceiling Cat iz Ceiling Cat, I mek u ded An ur kittens ded An if yur kittenz have kittenz, dey be ded too, for being stupid.
6 If not I wuv u An all ur lotz uf kittenz!

7 U sez Ceiling Cat bad, I shoot yous wit mah lazer eyes, cuz I dun liek it. Srsly.

8 Remembur caturday An keep holy.

9 U werk 6 dais An finish werk, K?

10 Caturday, u no werk. U An all ur peepz go wrship me. And, if yu beez gudd, I maks it so yu can stays home and do alla stuffs yu wanted tu doos.
11 I maded heavenz An erth An see An the stuff that does teh funney hoppey stuffz in An on it - so I make it holy cuz I no werk.

12 Bez u good to papa An mama so u has long lief.

13 U no maek peepz ded! Srsly!

14 U no maek sexxes wit other gurlz or menz than ur wief (so no awsum treesum alowed!).

15 U no taek stuffs for free if not getz for free.

16 U no tell bad stuff about ur neibor.

17 U no wantz neibor stuff! No wief, no gurlz, no menz, no abimalz, NO BUKKITZ! DEY NOT UR BUKKITZ, K? dey da LOLrus' bukkits.

Psalm 19 [or 19.7–end]

1 ok guyz so liek dat hole in ceiling makez me worship Ceiling Cat.
2 evry nite he iz liek come into hoal n watch me masturbate n stuffz.
3 He nevar talkz or makez noize
4 but I no he watchez n mebbe vidyo tapez. Hole in ceiling == Ceiling Cat'z home.
5 In moarning he iz liek "4 shayme" but lukz happy n e wai.
6 No lolcatz hied from hiz watchingz.
7 OK so wat Ceiling Cat sez goez. He iz alwais rite.
8 liek srsly alwaiz. u lissen u be happyz and den it can be hugz time.
9 Ceiling Cat alwaiz fair n stuffz. liek alwaiz bow 2 him.
10 Srsly! moar want Ceiling Cat commandzmentz than cookiez or cheezburgerz!
11 Dey makez me smartcat n I getz prezentz foar obaying liek at crissmus!
12 we all haz invizible errorz but Ceiling Cat fixez dem withowt voiding warranty. plz be mah geeksquad, Ceiling Cat!
13 n dun let meh bez evul on porpoise. den I beez purrrfect.
14 OK srsly Celing Cat! Plz luv me n givez meh cheezburgerz. kkthxbai

funny pictures of cats with captions
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1 Corinthians 1.18–25
Ceiling Cat iz Smartr than U

18 Msg 4m cross 2 teh dyin: i iz just silly. msg 4m cross 2 us who iz being savedz: i iz the powr of Ceiling Cat!
19 Ceiling Cat writed: "I iz gonna eat the wise d00ds' wisdom! N hied the smart d00ds' smartz!"
20 Wise d00d: where iz u? Honnr studentz? Modern smart d00dz? Ceiling Cat has maded all the smartz of the world into stupidz!
21 Teh world, in all itz wizdum, did not noe Ceiling Cat! But that wuz Ceiling Cat's plan so haha pwned! Ceiling Cat saw teh silli thingz that differnt d00dz tolded teh beleevrz an it crackt him up LOL.
22 Jews say "Miraklz plz kthnx bai" an Greeks say "Wizdm plz kthnx bai",
23 but us preachez Christ who wuz on teh cross. This iz hard 4 Jews n silli 4 Gentiles,
24 but 4 teh onez Ceiling Cat haz callded (Jews n Greeks both) Christ iz teh powr of Ceiling Cat n teh wizdm of Ceiling Cat.
25 Ceiling Cat's silliness is smartr than man's wizdm, n Ceiling Cat's weaknss is strongr than man's strenth.

John 2.12–23
Happy Cat Pwnz At Teh Temple!!!1!

12 Tehn Happy Cat goed to Capernaum wit momz and doodz for soem dayz.
13 It wuz almost Jewish partee day an Happy Cat wen Jerusalem.
14 He seed ppls selling shinees and aminalz an thingz in Ceiling Catz place.
15 So Happy Cat PWND TEHM IN TEH FACE LOLZ!!!!11!!!1!.
16 He sed "Don sel crap in Ceiling Catz place n00b"
17 His doodz lookt it up in a book or somthing.
18 Then teh Jews sez, "Why yu tihnk you hav pwnzor skeels to do tihs?"
19 Happy Cat is like, "Eated this temple up and ai maek nother in tree dayz, n00b."
20 Teh Jews sez, "Oh hay, we don werk dat fast. Took us 46 manz yeerz"
21 But Happy Cat was messin wif tehm cuz he wuz talkin bout his bod.
22 His doodz figgered it out later.
23 So him wuz havin partee in Jerusalem an pplz saw hiz mad skeelz of pwn.
24 But Happy Cat no trust catz.25 No 1 had to tell him cuz himz a cat too LOL.

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Weekend Cat Blogging
#197 Breadchick and LB at The Sour Dough

Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos
Edition 88 |
Miz Mog and Kitties at Mind of Mog
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The Carnival of the Cats
#261 - Nikita’s Place
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

STS-119 Shuttle Discovery With Moon (200903110001HQ)

NASA is now on Flickr. Go now and add them as one of your contacts.