Eagles Make a Grand Re-Appearance: Pittsburgh, PA

Hi all,

Pittsburgh has a new mascot. Instead of steel, it is…

Eagles!

On a hilltop in Hays, not far from Becks Run Road and West Carson Street, a pair of bald eagles is busy raising its chicks. Two are here–one is on the way–and you can watch the new family live at the Pixcontroller website:

http://www.pixcontroller.com/eagles/.

Also, our Hays nest made the NBC Nightly News last night:

http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/pittsburgh-eagle-cam-find-out-why-everyone-watching-n69161

This is exciting stuff, especially if you’re old enough to remember how scarce these birds once were. When I was a little girl, bald eagles were very rare in Western PA; certainly, they never turned up  anywhere near Pittsburgh! Today, they often frequent our more remote, wooded, river-dotted regions.

But to have a pair make its appearance within sight of the city proper is a gift indeed!

Hays Parents

Mama and Dad Hays (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

 

Fierce Hays Mama

Mom defending the nest from a raccoon (Pixcontroller)

 

Hays Parents Feeding Chick

Mom and Dad “beaking”/feeding chick (Pixcontroller)

 

I’m Still Alive!

Oooh, thirty-seven people looked at my blog today, even though I haven’t written here for months! (Hopefully that doesn’t mean my WordPress has gone the same way as my Twitter feed, and gotten hacked.) Things are looking up!

Note: student teaching is going fine, just busy. I don’t really want to post much about it because of potential school and student confidentiality issues. I will say that I enjoy teaching my current crop of middle schoolers: two seventh grade classes and three eighth grade. They’re cute, they’re funny, and they make me laugh.

Stay tuned for future posts! I have not forgotten this blog, I swear it.

Some Say in Fire, Some Say in Ice

How cold is “cold?”

According to Cool Antarctica (http://www.coolantarctica.com/Antarctica%20fact%20file/science/cold_humans.htm), an air temperature of lower than 25 C (77 F) will feel cold to a naked person. But in the wake of the deep freeze clutching most of North America, we’re seeing temperatures about as low as they’ve ever been. Still, however bad everybody thinks our Deep Freeze is, it’s nice to know that things can always get worse:

Lowest recorded Antarctic temperature (July 1983, Vostok Station): -89.2 C (-128.56 F)

…But a new record recently broke this: -93.2 C (-135.8 F) at the East Antarctic Plateau, August 2010

Temperature of liquid nitrogen:-210 C to -195.8 C (-346 F to -320.44 F)

Temperature of Pluto: -240 C (-400 F)

Temperature of deep space/cosmic microwave background radiation: -270.45 C (-454.81 F)–just a couple of degrees above absolute zero. Thanks to heat generated by the cosmic microwave background, temperatures in space never quite reach absolute zero.

Projected temperature of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 3 am tonight: -20 C (-4 F), with windchills of -40 C (incidentally, also -40 F)

Nice and toasty!

Links:

http://www.universetoday.com/77070/how-cold-is-space/

http://education.jlab.org/qa/liquidnitrogen_01.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-record-new-coldest-temperature-on-earth-on-the-east-antarctic-plateau-8995135.html

9 Signs You Might Be Living in a YA Novel

9 Signs You Might Be Living in a YA Novel

Other signs include:

–You’re not allowed to do or be something pretty critical (ex: young, ugly, air-breathing, unattached to a faction, etc).

–You’re proficient at handling weapons, especially those of the automatic variety. Or, if not those, then at least you’re good at fencing, archery, or knife-throwing.

–You can lose yourself in your boyfriend’s soulful/mournful/deep/glistening eyes.

–You can engage in society on a par with its adult leaders, even though you can’t legally drive, vote, drink, or operate heavy machinery.

–You don’t go to school. Or if you do, then it’s not really a major aspect of your life (in that you actually have homework or extracurricular activities or something).

–If you live in a dystopian apocalyptic society, then you go to school to learn something other than traditional academic skills.

–Above all else, you inhabit adult roles before you are a real adult.

 

I Wrote an Article–And It’s In A Book!

I’m a famous writer!

Er, if you study postcolonial/structuralist/modernist theory, that is.

Since I graduated from Wake Forest in 2012, I’ve been trying to get portions of my masters’ thesis published. Though I had already succeeded in publishing a revised adaptation of Chapter 2 in an online open-source Italian journal (Altre Modernita), I was very excited back in August/September to learn that an (also revised) version of my thesis introduction was going into a real book–you know, with covers, a binding, an actual publisher, and everything.

Of course, it’s not like this is going to be a New York Times bestseller. It’s nearly sixty bucks–an academic essay collection–and it’s not exactly gripping reading (though if you’re like me and are interested in the modern philosopher Slavoj Zizek, you might want to take a look at the last article).

Anyway, here’s the link, along with an endorsement for the collection:

Official Plug:

In this witty and entertaining study, the eight contributors unleash a subtle polemic against doctrinal postmodernism. They argue that a post-modern filibuster in favor of indeterminacy and open-endedness has installed Mobius loops of recycling and infinite hybridization. Editor Christopher Brooks poses the point sharply: if postmodernism was the culture of late capitalism, then we need an updated conceptual vocabulary for diagnosing and responding to our as-yet unnamed current phase. This generative and surprising collection reinvigorates the historical concepts of progress, schism, and break. As postmodernism recedes, this remarkable book will be cited as a turning point.

The author of this supportive note is H. Aram Veeser, author/editor of The New Historicism and more recently of a critical biographical sketch/memoir of Edward Said.