Saturday, October 11, 2014


A blast from the past!

There was a time when men smelled like seamen...

....but also wore blouses:

Here's to the '70's


AprilApple linked to this chuckle-worthy parody:


Anything to prick Roger Waters' overinflated, pig-shaped balloon.

Saturday Morning Cartoons

Still my favorite Tex Avery cartoon: "Rock-A-Bye-Bear" (1952):


h/t: Rock-A-Bye-bear by klangley

"Parents shocked after ‘dead’ son answers door"

"An Alaskan couple devastated after officials told them their son had been killed in a car crash got the happy shock of their lives when they drove to his home — and he answered the door."
“Justin?” his dad shouted. “It’s Justin! Praise Jesus, we thought you were dead!”
The mix-up occurred because the actual accident victim had the same first and last name as their son — but with a different age, birth date and middle name.

“I was shocked and astonished and had to keep grabbing him and hugging him,” Jay told the newspaper. “I never cried so much in all my life.”

Burning Down the House

For Eric the Fruit Bat. 

For we love him so, and because you did not comment on Lem's excellent find the first time. I mean come on, this has bullets and danger and everything.

Edit: I think this is fixed. Possibly. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

3rd Rock

Perfect together. 

The reason that is so ridiculous is her mother's refrigerator is actually quite small. Ha ha ha ha ha, what a loon. I mean come on, where does he live, in a camper?

Jan Hooks, playful and funny.

Actress Amanda Bynes Twitters Up a Storm (Update*)

After Amanda Bynes spent Friday morning tweeting detailed sexual assault accusations of her father on Twitter, the troubled actress has now seemingly recanted those statements with a tweet.

These Kids Today
After Bynes sent a barrage of earlier tweets accusing her father of verbal, physical and sexual abuse during her childhood — and saying she would be seeking a restraining order against him — her mother Lynn Bynes' attorney, Tamar Arminak, provided a statement to E! News on her behalf, denying any of the claims.

"I am heartbroken today for my husband of 47 years," she says. "Rick has been the best father and husband a family can ask for. He has never abused Amanda or our other children physically or sexually. These accusations are absolutely horrible and could not be further from the truth! These allegations stem from Amanda's mental state at the moment. They have no basis in reality. It saddens me beyond belief that my husband's character could be slandered in such a way."

The star had been embroiled with high-profile legal troubles last year, but appeared to be on a path to recovery as she attended rehab, moved in with her parents and was studying fashion design in college. But after a second DUI arrest in late September in Los Angeles, Bynes has seemed to have resumed her erratic behavior.
* "Reports: Bynes placed on psych hold at hospital"

NY Post: "Pregnant Austrian teens in ISIS: We’ve made a huge mistake"

The change of heart is a much different tune than the note they left behind for their parents when they fled back in April, which read: “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah — and we will die for him.

For weeks, social media accounts believed to belong to the girls have been posting pictures and information leading many to feel they enjoyed living a life of terror.

Authorities in Austria say this was all an elaborate plan set up by ISIS in order to get people to think the two wanted to be the poster girls for jihad in Syria.

They have contacted their loved ones and told them they are sick of living with the Islamic State jihadis, but they also said they don’t feel they can flee from their unwanted new life because too many people now associate them with ISIS.

“The main problem is about people coming back to Austria,” said Austrian Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck. “Once they leave, it is almost impossible.”

House Fire

Footage of firefighters responding to a suburban house fire in Orange Mass. A couple of people share with the videographer. 

"Supreme Court blocks Wisconsin's voter ID law"

"The Supreme Court on Thursday night blocked Wisconsin from implementing its new voter identification law on the eve of next month's elections."

"In a related action, a district court judge in Texas ruled that state's voter ID law is racially discriminatory and violates the Voting Rights Act. The state attorney general's office said it would appeal."

via Instapundit who says the "margin of fraud" just expanded.

Thursday, October 9, 2014


Song lyrics after the jump

STNG episode 10

This is an edit of a Star Trek episode, the segments selected and rearranged, edited to tell another story of Data's hobby getting out of hand. For amusing effect. Gazorra's's YouTube account holds several such episode edits and they are all similarly demented. A hobby, it seems.

If you choose to view, pause on Data's paintings to see them get worse and worse in the span of 1:25. All the Star Trek edits are this brief.

"Chris Matthews to Obama: Stop pandering to ethnic groups"

"Appearing on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Mr. Matthews argued that the reason illegal immigrants are flooding the U.S. borders is not for welfare opportunities or crime — it’s for jobs, and he said the best way to slow the influx is to ban businesses from hiring illegals."

“As long as we say you have to get papers to work in this country, it’ll work,” he said. “And nobody wants to say it. You know why? Because Republicans want the anti-immigrant vote and the Democrats want the pro-immigrant vote and the immigrant vote, but nobody wants a bill — a compromise. Somebody’s got to lead and say, ‘You know what? Game’s over. It’s time to get something done.’

Washington Times.

"Find Your Beach"

"Now the ad says: Find your beach. The bottle of beer—it’s an ad for beer—is very yellow and the background luxury-holiday-blue. It seems to me uniquely well placed, like a piece of commissioned public art in perfect sympathy with its urban site. The tone is pure Manhattan. Echoes can be found in the personal growth section of the bookstore (“Find your happy”), and in exercise classes (“Find your soul”), and in the therapist’s office (“Find your self”). I find it significant that there exists a more expansive, national version of this ad that runs in magazines, and on television."

"In those cases photographic images are used, and the beach is real and seen in full. Sometimes the tag line is expanded, too: When life gives you limes…Find your beach. But the wall I see from my window marks the entrance to Soho, a district that is home to media moguls, entertainment lawyers, every variety of celebrity, some students, as well as a vanishingly small subset of rent-controlled artists and academics."

“Why aren’t we all doing weird stuff like Bill?”

"In recent years, 64-year-old Murray has become as legendary for his wonderfully “weird” performances off-screen as he has for his performances on it."
During the last five months alone, the “Lost in Translation” star has crashed a Charleston, S.C., bachelor party where he dispensed love advice; showed up at a Los Angeles fan’s “Bill Murray Ice Cream Social”; danced (surprisingly well) to Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What” at a suburban house party; collected tickets at a minor-league baseball game; and photobombed an engagement shoot. 
“After dinner, he got up and brought the dishes into the cleanup,” says chef Brett McKee, who cooked up supper for the party. “He’s about as down-to-earth as they come.”

“I don’t have a plan and I don’t fit into anyone else’s plan. There are moments and sometimes a moment appears and you step in.”


Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I think that's a Smokey Robinson song in the background. Our local expert, darcy, could confirm this.

A while back I started wondering when and why it was that rock and roll music lost it's danceability.  See here for example. That was from 1956 when partner dancing was still going strong. Tonight's video purports to be from 1964, ten 8 years after.  I'm closing in on a more exact date.

"First Whitewater prosecutor says 'serious crimes' were uncovered in probe"

"The first federal prosecutor to probe the financial dealings of Bill and Hillary Clinton says he was poised to bring high-profile indictments against top Arkansas political and business figures — based in part on testimony from a chief witness against the then president — when he was abruptly replaced by a panel of federal judges, throwing his investigation into turmoil."
"I was angry, frustrated and above all disappointed that I was not going to be able to carry through and finish bringing the indictments," writes Robert Fiske, a former U.S. attorney who served as the original independent counsel in charge of the Whitewater investigation, in a forthcoming memoir, "Prosecutor Defender Counselor."
Susan McDougal
"The simplest way to put it, after I was replaced, the lawyers on the staff in Arkansas said the agents for the FBI and IRS were totally demoralized," Fiske said in the Yahoo News interview. "They thought we were on the brink of doing all these great things, and now that was not going to happen."

'First Ebola Patient to Be Discovered in US Dies'

NY Times link to the story.

'A Terrible Slaughter Is Coming'

"The theme of the week in the Syria conflict—that airstrikes are of only limited use in the struggle to degrade and destroy the Islamic State terror group—is about to be underscored in terrible fashion in the besieged border town of Kobani, which is under sustained, and mainly unanswered, assault by as many as 9,000 ISIS terrorists armed with tanks and rocket launchers."
I just got off the phone with a desperate-sounding Kurdish intelligence official, Rooz Bahjat, who said he fears that Kobani could fall to ISIS within the next 24 hours. If it does, he predicts that ISIS will murder thousands in the city, which is crammed with refugees—Kurdish, Turkmen, Christian, and Arab—from other parts of the Syrian charnel house. As many as 50,000 civilians remain in the town, Bahjat said. (read more)
the Atlantic


"Protesters killed in anti-Islamic State clashes across Turkey"
At least 12 people were killed on Tuesday in clashes between Turkish police and Kurdish protesters, who were pressing for more government action to protect the Syrian-Kurdish town of Kobane from Islamic State fighters. Violence erupted in the capital Ankara and Istanbul, as well as in several other towns and cities. The situation became tense after a warning from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that Kobane was about to fall. The authorities have declared curfew in six provinces across the country. The three-week assault in Kobane has left more than 400 dead and forced 160.000 people to flee their homes.


"Syria border town 'about to fall', UN envoy urges action"
IS jihadists launched their assault on the Kobane region three weeks ago, driving back the outnumbered and outgunned Kurdish militia defenders and forcing 200,000 mainly Kurdish refugees to flee to neighbouring Turkey.

But a Kurdish journalist inside the town told AFP there were still thousands of civilians who have refused to abandon their homes. 
Yahoo News

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

"What Happens When You Bake Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough Ice Cream?"

"It was a surprisingly sober night when, halfway through a pint of delicious Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, the thought struck me: sure, this was tasty and all, but what would a Ben & Jerry’s cookie actually taste like? Would the dough even bake into a cookie? Or had B & J created some sort of ice cream-exclusive cookie wonderfood, like Flubber with sugar, that thrives in cold and heat without changing form?"

"I had to find out." (read what happened next)

Jennifer Lawrence says Nude Photo Hack was a "Sex Crime"

"It is not a scandal. It is a sex crime," Lawrence declares.
Following "The Fappening," as Reddit unceremoniously dubbed it, Lawrence admits she was tempted to write a public statement, but "every single thing that I tried to write made me cry or get angry. I started to write an apology, but I don't have anything to say I'm sorry for. I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he's going to look at you.
"Just because I'm a public figure, just because I'm an actress, does not mean that I asked for this," Lawrence continues, referring to the victim-blaming that occurred in the wake of the leak, some of which came from fellow celebrities such as Ricky Gervais and Clay Aiken. "It does not mean that it comes with the territory. It's my body, and it should be my choice, and the fact that it is not my choice is absolutely disgusting. I can't believe that we even live in that kind of world."
What do you think of Jennifer Lawrence's comments?

Train Wreck In Mer Rouge

"We were sitting at a train track today on our way from West Monroe, LA to Memphis when we notice a tractor trailer with a crane stuck on the train tracks. Then the train crossing lights came on and I grabbed the camera as the train smashed into the crane. We are getting a lot of comments about how we should have called 911 instead of filming. There was no need as we were sitting right in front of the police station. Believe me, they heard the crash and came running out. By the time we were able to go around the train and get to the other side, the police were over there and the driver of the truck was there as well. He is fine but we understand that the train engineers were in pretty bad shape. The thoughts and prayers of David's Garden Seeds And Products are with them. We pray that God will heal them. At the time of the crash, we were in shock and I had no idea what had come out of my mouth until I played the video just don't know how you will react to tragedy that unfolds right before your eyes until it happens."

"Maher and Ben Affleck Battle over Radical Islam"

"Ben Affleck, Bill Maher, Nicholas Kristol, Michael Steele, and author Sam Harris got into what could only be described as a tumultuous continuation of Maher’s comments on Islam from last week, with Maher and Affleck tearing into each other over the influence of fundamentalists in the Muslim community."
“We have been sold this meme of Islamophobia, where criticism of the religion gets conflated with bigotry towards muslims as people,” Harris began. “It’s intellectually ridiculous.”

“Hold on — are you the person who officially understands the codified doctrine of Islam?” Affleck, on the show to promote his movie Gone Girl, interrupted, and argued that criticizing Islam, as Maher and Harris were doing it, was “gross and racist. It’s like saying, ‘Oh, you shifty Jew!’” 
You get the picture...

"Islam is the mother load of bad ideas"

orange and blue

Yay, go Broncos. These colors are real.

This was on a list of Instagram and Tumblr clichés.  But then, items on the lists cover pretty much all human activity. Sunsets, don't do them. They're boring. The critique is sunsets are like assholes, everybody's got one. But I don't think so. I never licked anybody's sunset. 

explosion, Parchin, Iran

The massive explosion occurred at Parchin military compound in Iran about nineteen miles southeast of Tehran.

Par chin.

The maps, or screenshots, provided the articles do not match. Some maps show some kind of large complex with buildings in a row other photos show a small insignificant site. If the small photo were a puzzle piece it does not fit anywhere in the larger photos. It's like they're faking us out with a stock photos.

What does it matter? Everything over there is brown anyway. Let's see for ourselves.

"A town where everyone knows everyone and nothing is what it seems"

Monday, October 6, 2014


The very first song on the first Led Zeppelin LP: "Good Times, Bad Times"

I always thought the lyrics were disingenuous...a rock star bitching about a woman dumping him?

The real reason I put this up tonight was to draw attention to the amazing right foot of John Bonham...specifically to the so-called triplets he kicks with one foot. I'm talking about what sounds like a horse galloping by (if you ignore Plant and listen to the drums).

I found this -- one of many YouTube videos -- which neatly explains the technicality of what Bonham did:

"Proposal goes awry when hot air balloon dips in ocean"

"Surfers came to the rescue of newly engaged couple Sunday when the hot air balloon where the man had just popped the question dipped into the water off the coast of Cardiff-by-the-Sea."

"Before the balloon started having problems, the man aboard the balloon proposed to his girlfriend, according the lifeguard captain."

"Lifeguards towed the hot air balloon, pilot and newly engaged couple to shore."


I rued the absence in my food desert (pdf) of a national hamburger spot nearby the whole time I lived here. The Arby's at the corner doesn't count because their curly fires are the worst. What a bummer. The bbq sandwiches are almost there compared to what other nearby bbq places put out. So close and yet so far in all things and you cannot get out of there for under $10.00, I don't think, I am always disappointed. I've been there three times. The last time this year the panhandler who veritably accosted me at my table doubled the cost. Dirtiest hands I ever saw, and I mean it. Top panhandling there, world class filth. And they are always laying about the place. The best thing Arby's has that I've seen is a French dip and their au jus is salty.

Now suddenly two hamburger restaurants opened in the immediate area of 1/2 block, one right next door, and they are both very good. They both make better hamburgers than I do.

First, there is the Rendezvous, a hamburger and sandwich restaurant that opened in the Colorado History Center's new building a half block away on Broadway.

And now there is BurgerFi taken up in part of the space vacated by the bottle shop that moved in the space directly below. BurgerFi is a bustling space right off. They've taken over half the sidewalk with tables, fenced it off, just a bus stop has been shifted directly in front parallel to that fencing off, to accommodate construction taking the entire next block, another Art Center hotel, most likely with its own street level shops. That displaced a lot of people taking any number of southbound buses on Broadway out of the city. With no new seating provided the bus riders all line up standing waiting and mingling disorganized on half a sidewalk width, the other half reserved with tables and chairs. Restaurant and bus stop are competing for the same sidewalk real estate. People actually sitting outside casually eating hamburgers with all the bus activity right there next to them. It is an odd situation to pass through, and you must to go to the library, museums, capitol, civic center, people seated and eating on one side of a sturdy divider and people standing, mingling, anxious for their transportation on the other side.

They must part for me to pass as the Red Sea did for Moses.

The conceit is all natural beef burgers, never frozen never microwaved. It shows. It really does. I've had three hamburgers so far. They are adorable. Photogenic little hamburgers. Each one is a piece of burger art tucked in its little envelope-wrapper. They look exactly like their photographs. No fake out photography. Everything there looks exactly like these photographs, the interior looks like that, the sandwiches look like that, the fries do, the frozen concoctions custard like sundaes with all kind of variations and additions they call 'concretes' look like that, onion rings do. Honest photography all around. Their buns are logo branded and a plain single hamburger with no thrills is disappointingly small although larger than a slider. They are the cutest little things.

"I'll have a plain single hamburger with cheese, no double, no frills."

"Don't you want no tomato, lettuce or mayonnaise on that?"

"What? Oh, yeah. Those things sound great. Well, you're just full of good ideas, aren't you?"

I guess most people get doubles. Mine was cuter than this.

I brought mine home. The fries were limp. I heated a pot of oil and revived the fries. But I still did not like them. I thought, next time get two single hamburgers instead. So I did.

Turns out, on their menu they offer "limp fries" and extra crispy fries. What are soggy fries? The opposite of extra crispy fries. So that was me ordering the wrong thing.

The next day I wanted the same thing except two hamburgers and no lousy soggy fries but I made a mistake and said "bacon lettuce and tomato" and that's what they did, and they were both wonderful little hamburgers.

My experience is with limp fries and wonderful small single hamburgers.  I recommend them.

Menu with alternatives. Prices not listed. They seemed a bit expensive. I don't know. It isn't cheap.  I think I got out of there for $12.00 and $16.00, but I'm not sure.

Daily Beast: Has North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Been Toppled?

"Hwang’s trip [to] South [Korea] on Saturday comes on the heels of a widely publicized report that Kim has been deposed. Jang Jin Sung, a former North Korean counterintelligence and propaganda official, is claiming that the Organization and Guidance Department of the Korean Workers’ Party, responsible for promotions within the regime, has taken over the country. Kim, according to Jang, is now merely a “puppet.”

"Leading Korea watchers, however, say they doubt Kim has lost his position at the center of the state founded by his grandfather and passed down to his father, his immediate predecessor. “This kind of travel would be way too out there if anything serious was going on in North Korea, so I don’t think it’s a sign of a coup,” John Delury of Yonsei University in Seoul told The Washington Post of Hwang’s jaunt down to Incheon, near the South Korean capital. Andrei Lankov of nearby Kookmin University, meanwhile, called the surprise visit merely a part of Pyongyang’s recent “charm offensive.” “North Korean diplomacy has been engaged in concerted, well-arranged, well-managed efforts to improve relations with pretty much the entire outside world,” he told the Post. “And you would not expect it to happen with nobody in control.” (read more)

Thomas Tallis the Artist Politician

"Throughout his service to successive monarchs as organist and composer, Tallis avoided the religious controversies that raged around him, though, like William Byrd, he stayed an "unreformed Roman Catholic." Tallis was capable of switching the style of his compositions to suit the different monarchs' vastly different demands. Among other important composers of the time, including Christopher Tye and Robert White, Tallis stood out. Walker observes, "He had more versatility of style than either, and his general handling of his material was more consistently easy and certain."

"People were naturally wary of their [Byrd and Tallis] new publications, and it certainly did not help their case that they were both avowed Roman Catholics. Not only that, they were strictly forbidden to sell any imported music. "We straightly by the same be brought out of any forren Realmes...any songe or songes made and printed in any foreen countrie." Also, Byrd and Tallis were not given "the rights to music type fonts, printing patents were not under their command, and they didn't actually own a printing press."


Biden giraffe

Other people noticed this, not me, Biden is a regular giraffe machine. They actually lock him up during important times like critical elections because everyone knows he's going to reliably step in it. Giraffes step in it a lot because their eyes are way up there. Everyone goes, "Oh, that's just Biden. Whatever clumsiness is a function of great height and that's why they call his sayings Biden giraffes.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Another Day, Another Joe Biden Gaffe

"Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday called the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates to clarify that he did not mean to imply in his remarks last week that the Gulf ally was supporting al-Qaida fighters in Syria."

"The vice president apologized for any implication that Turkey or other allies and partners in the region had intentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of ISIL or other violent extremists in Syria," the White House said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group

Biden said that "our biggest problem is our allies"

Smoke detectors

"The alpha particles from the smoke detector do not themselves pose a health hazard, as they are absorbed in a few centimetres of air or by the structure of the detector.
The radiation dose to the occupants of a house from a domestic smoke detector is essentially zero, and in any case very much less than that from natural background radiation. The small amount of radioactive material that is used in these detectors is not a health hazard. On the other hand, the ability of domestic smoke detectors to save life and property has been demonstrated in many house fires.
Even swallowing the radioactive material from a smoke detector would not lead to significant internal absorption of Am-241, since the dioxide is insoluble. It will pass through the digestive tract, without delivering a significant radiation dose. (Americium-241 is however a potentially dangerous isotope if it is taken into the body in soluble form. It decays by both alpha activity and gamma emissions and it would concentrate in the skeleton.)
...Disposal of individual units can be in normal household garbage which goes to landfill."
About thirty years ago I had a smoke detector that came with information that said something like, 'you could put a smoke detector against your skin for 10,000 years and not one isotope would enter your body.' So I haven't worried much about them since. But I have some old ones to dispose of and wanted to double-check the disposal rules, as I'd read you can just put them into the household trash.
I have two really old detectors I'll pitch, but several that are 11 years old. The recommendation is to replace detectors after ten years. Instead, I'll get all new ones, but keep the old ones for back up. For example, in the hallway I'll put one over each bedroom door, as well as a new detector in each bedroom. Yesterday, for the first time ever, I gently vacuumed the inside of the detectors, as per instructions.

"Smelling Liberal, Thinking Conservative"

"[R]esearchers found evidence that people are instinctively attracted to the smell emitted by those with similar ideologies. In one memorable instance, a female participant asked the scholars if she could take one of the samples home, describing it as “the best perfume I ever smelled.” The scent came from a man who shared her political views. Just before, a different woman with the opposite views had smelled the exact same sample, declared it “rancid,” and urged the researchers to throw it out. Ideological like-mindedness exerts a biological pull on our attraction, it seems — and deep disagreements can really stink."

I took this test back in the late 90's early 2000's and I was not surprised then to find myself in the purple. I am a little surprised, today, to find myself closer to the left. A quick inventory however, to use self help lingo, a quick rationale could be that the times, the zeitgeist, the things that define left/right now, have changed and I have changed along with them. As I went around the vortex. I think it also helped, or hurt, depending on your point of view, that I was a regular reader of the Althouse blog. I was traumatized ;) I'm kidding of course.

Upon further review, I believe the test is slightly skewed.

Sunday Morning With Van Morrison

Are we on the same wavelength today?   An awesome performance on SNL with a kick-butt band and singers.

Takashi Amano

Nature Aqiarium World: How You Can Make A Most Beautiful Aquarium Vol. 1

Oooooh too bad, no discounts for you. This book has become a collector's item, it seems. It is quite expensive now so just forget the whole thing. You can do as well by buying the whole set in one.

I have three of his books. They are based on size of aquarium, from nano cubes to huge hundred gallon tanks.

He applied the knowledge he gained in 3rd grade level science and asked would it help the plants to add CO2, and would it hurt the fish? 

By asking, he changed the whole world of freshwater aquarium plants. 

He began answering his own question by adding bottled soda water and tonic water to his tank. The additional COdid not hurt the fish but Amano quickly learned he must increase light to power plants underwater.

That is the key, increased light, good substrate, additional CO2 for improved plant life.

Until eventually his whole Tokyo apartment was filled with empty soda and tonic water bottles.

The above tank is in his home. The whole room is devoted to the tank. The roof is skylight for the tank. 

The answer to the above question is never! The whole line of specialized substrate, frameless tanks, and hardware is incredibly lucrative. And there is no point in messing around, you get best results with extravagant volumes. Everything counts in large amounts.

Every aquarium enthusiast knows this many angelfish in one tank invites problems. They pair off as they mature and it is nothing but breeding cycles and territorial disputes after that. All the unpaired fish are held at bay in a corner while the breeders fiercely dominate the tank. Then the mated pair clears out all their young for the next mating round by eating them all within minutes once the impulse kicks in.

In Amano's tanks the fish are always in schools, and as if the fish are incidental to the plants. 

Because they are!

It makes me want to change out my whole tank continuously. I never get tired of it but then I never get tired of changing it.

Plus, right now I could have neon tetras happily breeding all over the place every day in exceedingly soft water but the snails gobble up the eggs. The eggs need only survive 24 hours but they can never make it that long because of the snails. The snails come in with the plants. I haven't figured out yet how to get cool plants without also bringing in snails.

There are fish that eat snails but when they are done they eat everything else, taking nips out of fins of fish that are sleeping.

It's a problem.

Now there are competitions for the whole of Asia for aquariums in this Takashi Amano style. [AGA 2014] They're not finished this year, entries will be at the link. Results in November.

[AGA 2013] Results are by tank size. In liters, 200 L is 53 gallons. A 50 gallon tank is a nice size. 100 gallon tank is quite large and 20 gallons is hardly worth the trouble.

So, 200L-320L group,

2013 #1 in 200L-320L category. Oh, my goodness, they are all fantastic. Everyone is  much better at this than I.

Underneath is a black and white key that helpfully names all the plants.

Rotala Sp Green
Rotala rotundifolia
Rotala indica
Limnophila Vietnam
Hydrocotyle triponita
Collitriche sp.
Hemianthus calitrichoides cuba
Hotonia palustris
Microsorum pteporus sp.
Ludwigia glandulosa
Bucephalandra sp.
Staurogyne repens

You can buy all these plants here. And here. And many other places too, the whole field has grown impressively and mostly because of Takashi Amano.

One of the reviewers to one of Amano's books wrote that while traveling to Tokyo specifically to visit Amano's Aqua Forest Aquarium Store and taking in other tropical fish shops while there in the city, it was odd and eerie and wonderful hearing the Latin names for plants and for fish rattled off in the shops integrated with Japanese language.

My sense is most of the aquarium scenes look to be landscapes underwater. Here are the same pathways and arroyos and streams created underwater.

This one titled "Verdant Hills and Green Waters." The fish look like geese flying across. And I must add, verdant and green are the same thing. If water is green it will be from photo plankton, moss, algae, what have you.

All this came to mind by the item in Ace's sidebar about the cenote Angelita (little angel) with its halocline, a geologic situation caused by a strong vertical salinity gradient, that is, bodies of water mingling with profound difference in concentration of salinity. The result is an obvious river underwater with its own fog, that looks like an aboveground landscape with a river or swamp but is entirely underwater. 

My tank spilled water onto the carpet the other day while I was filling it. 

Turned on a timer but set if for six hours instead of six minutes. Became engrossed reading. Heard splashing. Hastened to shut off the water before gallons spilled out. Luckily the carpet cleaner with its powerful vacuum was right there. More powerful than a shop vac.