Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Texas Black Walnut--Lookalike to Deadly Manchineel


During a walk in the neighborhood in June, I spotted a tree with yellowy fruits that resembled miniature grapefruits. I sent out some images requesting help in identifying the plant. Steven Schwartzman ID'ed it as a Texas black walnut. (The site identifies it as "Juglans microcarpa".) He said that botanically speaking that the walnut orbs are the tree’s fruits.

Recently, Yahoo's news feed displayed a fruit with leaves that caught my eye. The fruit strongly resembled the fruit I'd been photographing. When I clicked the link, no such picture showed up. I did find the source article at "The Scary Tropical Tree That Can Kill You", which included the pic. More about this deadly plant farther down.

Note: Images and clips are of only the Texas black walnut that I spotted and captured. For viewing manchineel images, this article has references. Or you can find them by doing online searches.

Texas Black Walnut

My image shows a tiled image, one of two "fruits" next to each other with nearby leaves and a measuring stick, and a more distant shot of a cluster of fruits and leaves. View the video for some motion and spliced-in still images.

The Trees of Texas webpages for Little Walnut (Juglans microcarpa) and Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) contain succinct info, each with images of a tree, nuts, and leaf formations.

Little Walnut (Juglans microcarpa)
11 to 25 leaflets, …. Leaflets are 2" to 3" long, narrow, only 0.5" to 0.75" wide
A small, round nut enclosed in a green leathery husk with no seams measuring 0.5" to 0.75" in diameter.
Black Walnut (Juglans nigra):
15 to 23 leaflets, each 3" to 5" long and 1" to 2" wide, …."
A large, round nut, borne singly or in pairs, 1.5" to 2.5" in diameter, enclosed in a solid green, leathery husk
My own confusion is that the fruit and leaf formations that I photographed seem to have larger fruits but smaller leaves.

"Foraging Texas Black Walnut" has robust information. Images are also more plentiful and detailed, accompanied by descriptions. The distribution is very wide in mostly east to midwest continental United States.
Black walnut leaves are compound with an even number of leaflets and being deciduous, drop off in the fall. … The round nuts of this tree are contained in a thick, green cover which begins to splits [sic] open when ripe. …They are a little larger than golf balls when ripe.
"Tree ID: Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)" has general information about black walnut trees. About 2:10 into the video, the narrator shows some nuts and nearby leaves, providing a good overall image.

Manchineel

The image of a couple of yellowy globular fruit in a Yahoo news feed reminded me of images I'd taken of some "fruits" of a nearby Texas black walnut tree. I became interested enough to Google some resources.

From "The Manchineel Tree":
scientific name is Hippomane Mancinella which literally translates into “The little apple that makes horses mad.” ...The fruit of the tree is greenish yellow and resembles a little apple, is 1 to 2 inches wide.
From "Why manchineel might be Earth's most dangerous tree":
Resembling a small green crabapple about 1 to 2 inches wide, the sweet-smelling fruits can cause hours of agony — and potentially death — with a single bite.
"World's Most Dangerous Tree - The Manchineel" is an informative narrated slide show video. About 35 seconds in, it shows a map of the habitat to be in and around the Caribbean area of North America.

"The TOXIC Manchineel Tree" includes closeup and narration about the fruit that starts at 2:40.

As you might conclude, just about anything to do with manchineel is nothing to fool around with. And don't confuse its fruits with Texas black walnuts.

Comparing Texas Black Walnut with Manchineel

Opening links to images in different window and tiling them side by side makes it easy to compare and contrast texas black walnut to manchineel. Although the fruits might look similar, the leaves are dissimilar in shape and configuration.

At "Foraging Texas Black Walnut", view an image that shows front and back of leaves. View an image that shows Texas black walnut "fruit" and leaves.

At "Stay Away From The World’s Most Dangerous Tree", view the image of manchineel fruit and leaves.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Orangey Encounter--Monarch Butterfly


During a neighborhood walk, we spotted a flitting butterfly. I know better than to try capturing a still image of a moving object. I recorded it, played with the video, and uploaded a ~1 minute video to YouTube. I decided to create a longer video to accompany this article, which also includes a half-speed clip so that the wing movement is easier to follow.

For way slower motion, especially for taking off and landing, view "Butterfly Flying in Slow Motion". (I noticed those flower batches resembled the ones in my video.)

Monarch Butterfly Lookalikes

After I had viewed my original video, I thought about past times I'd read about possible lookalikes to monarchs. I did not want to incorrectly ID my butterfly.
  • Viceroy butterflies closely resemble monarch butterflies. "Monarch or Viceroy?" contains good basic info site with contrasting pictures and content.
  • "Butterfly Look-Alikes: Monarch, Queen, Soldier and Viceroy" describes butterflies that resemble monarchs (in addition to viceroys). The 2x2 grid of the four butterflies makes for excellent visual contrast.
  • "Distinguishing Queens, Monarchs, and Others" goes into more details about differences between mostly monarchs and queens. The site also mentions wing butterfly terms.
    The four areas typically described are upperside, seen when the wings are opened; underside, or “side view” when the wings are upright; forewings (upper pair); and hindwings (lower pair).
Orange Moths that Look Like Monarch Butterflies?
Not even close. I thought I'd do a Google image search for orange moths. BTW, a huge difference in looks between butterflies and moths is the antennae. Butterflies' are rod-like, sometimes with a small "bulb" at the end. Moths' look feathery. Visit "Leggy Bugs—Caterpillars (Lepidopteran Larvae, which Become Butterflies and Moths)" for more information and resources.

Want to visually contrast orangey moths with monarch butterflies? Open Google image results for "monarch butterflies" and tile it next to Google image results for "orange moths".

A Few Monarch Butterfly Resources, for Beginner Level to More Advanced

The following sites are a sampling of resources. Google "monarch butterflies" for loads more. (Also revisit my section about monarch butterfly lookalikes.)
  • KidZone's "The Monarch Butterfly" is a good elementary site about monarch butterflies. It also describes the butterfly's toxic protection from predators, and that a lookalike—viceroy butterfly—resembles the monarch. A side-by-side image comparison and text points out the main between the viceroy and the monarch. The viceroy has a black stripe across its bottom wings that the monarch doesn't.
  • "The King of Butterflies – The Monarch Butterfly" emphasizes the life cycle, which takes four generations to complete: "Monarch butterflies go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year."
  • NatureWorks "Monarch Butterfly - Danaus plexippus" is a well-laid-out site for sections, descriptions, and accompanying images. Sections: Characteristics, Range, Habitat, Diet, Life Cycle, and Behavior.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Orangey Encounter--Pride of Barbados


During a recent walk on an overcast day, I spotted some fiery flowers on commercial property. I requested ID help on LinkedIn, and received info in about an hour. A couple of days later, I went back to get another still pic. As the wind picked up, I decided to video-record.

Reviewing the clip later, I saw bean pods that resembled Chinese snow peas. Curious about possible harvesting and edibility of the pods, I searched online for info. Eventually, I wrote to a resource, who replied quickly. The beans are poisonous. I'd infer the pods would be also.

The reply nudged me to seek the exact text on the web, which was in “Pride of Barbados, Caesalpinia pulcherrima”:
The flowers are followed by the seedpods, which are 'beans' several inches long. The seeds contain gallic and tannic acid and are poisonous. … It is reported that people in central Africa eat the seeds after boiling them in several changes of water to remove the tannic acid.
This site shows nice images of the plant and flowers, young and more mature leaves, and seed pods and seeds. Note the resemblance of the green seed pod to a Chinese snow pea.

My pixstrip shows contrast in the flower cluster and sky for September 3 and 5. I was fortunate to not get rained on. The third image shows mature seed pods near a flower cluster. (I have also interspersed these images into my YouTube video.)

"The Pride-Of-Barbados Becomes The Pride-Of-Texas!" describes this plant extensively and has images for clicking to enlarge. The upper right image provides an eyeful of clusters, leaves, and seed pods. An appealing bit of info is “As if the flowers were not showy enough on their own, nature has made them attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies which add movement and excitement to the summer spectacle.”

Note: In case you have a plant question, write to “Ask the Answer Man”. (Having wanted to ask about snow peas and seed pods, I had navigated to the page from “The Pride-Of-Barbados Becomes The Pride-Of-Texas!”.)

"Pride of Barbados, (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) Lisa's Landscape & Design "Plant Pick of the Day" provides an enthusiastic introduction to the plant. The butterfly is eye-catching. In addition, she also pans across the area, which shows a goodly amount of snow-peas-like seed pods.

Trees of St Lucia | Pride of Barbados” is a compact info site that includes rudimentary info. Among pictures, images of seed pods show that they resemble snow peas.
For more extensive (and adoring!) information, visit "In Praise of Prides of Barbados".
This member of the pea family (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) is one of the showiest of the landscape perennials in central Texas. … Native to the West Indies, it is also known as dwarf poinciana. … The flower clusters are orangey-red with yellow edges, approximately 8 to 10 inches across.Each cluster has crinkled petals 2 to 3 inches across. In addition the flowers produce bright red stamens that extend beyond each flower.
With seemingly additional boosting about the plant, caring for it doesn’t sound too difficult.
The main requirement for ‘prides’ is sun. Plant them in full to part sun, and they will flourish. They aren’t too fussy about soil, and will be equally happy whether it’s acid or alkaline soil. Another important requirement is good drainage. They have shown a great tolerance for drought-like conditions … they produce bean pods. By fall, the seed can be harvested for planting in the spring.
Beautiful Pride of Barbados” is another site with glowing text and images.
The colors of this beautiful plant are remarkable — the blossoms consists of a combination of reds, yellows, and oranges, and the leaves are some of the coolest I’ve ever seen. … I grow my Pride of Barbados both in pots and in the ground. They do very well either way. They are somewhat drought resistant, …
Want to grow your own from seed? “Pride of Barbados - Knowledgebase Question” describes the process, following text that the seed pods (“look a little like flattened pea pods”). "Propogating [sic] The Pride of Barbados" is more of a quick narration about the seed pods. Though a a bit short on details, viewing the speaker, plant, seed pod batches, and leaves puts the plant part sizes in context.

"When to Harvest Snow Peas" shows actual snow peas, which are edible. Visually compare these pods to ones in other videos and images to see their similarities. Remember though, Pride of Barbados seed pods are not safe to eat without treating them.

September 26, 2018 update—Composites

To view more details of the three close-in images of the September 25 composite, click here, here, and here.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Motorized Three-wheelers, Mostly Part 2

"Motorized Three-wheelers, Mostly, Part 1", is mostly about transportation three-wheelers. Think wind-in-the-face trikes for grownups. Best-known might be those that Harley Davidson manufactures. This article is about motorized three-wheelers that pertain to lower-speed vehicles, mostly for short-distance transports for people and goods, the primary focus being forklifts.

Not having worked in environments with forklifts for a long time, I'd been unaware of three-wheeler forklifts, which seem very common these days. I had been about to publish my three-wheeler article when I saw a three-wheeled vehicle in motion during one of my walks. I hadn't seen the front end to know what it was; I I asked the driver and other person what it was. A forklift, a Spyder brand, so they said. I took a few pix.

They pointed to a flatbed truck and said the vehicle fit at the back. Turns out that the method of forklift transport is "piggybacking". (I had arrived after the operator already unloaded and moved the forklift onto the homeowner's driveway.)

In my previous article, I mentioned having spotted the forklift. Before I reviewed my pix, I Googled "3 wheeler spyder forklift", based on the guys' declaration that it was a Spyder. I found scant Spyder forklift info. Amusingly, however, the Can-Am Spyder showed up as a hit. Then I Googled "3 wheeler Spyder"; Google never returned a hit for the forklift.

About a week later on another walk, I spotted a flatbed with house siding on it, with a forklift piggybacked. Turns out the load was headed to and arrived on the street I picked for my route. As the workers hadn't unloaded anything yet, I was able to take pix of the goods and piggybacked forklift.

The tiled images are of the two forklifts I spotted. I'm glad I captured identifiers, especially for the first one ("Moffett, NX series, HIAB, M88"—no "Spyder" ID anywhere). The second forklift had Palfinger identification ("Palfinger GT55, www.palfinger.com").

Three-wheeler Forklifts
Various brands abound for three- and four-wheeler forklifts. This section pertains to three-wheelers, although I'd say some of those forklifts technically have four.

  Moffett
This is the forklift I spotted after the driver detached it from the flatbed truck. The MOFFETT M8 NX webpage claims "specialist for high lift capacity … compact enough to be carried on almost any truck or trailer". "Home Depot 16177-Moffett M8 NX fork lift-2/8/18" shows the process of forklift detachment from flatbed, unloading and delivery of construction material, and forklift re-piggybacking onto the truck. For additional safety details of the forklift piggybacking, view "LOADING MOFFETT PIGGYBACK ON FLATBED TRAILER".

  Palfinger
This company is huge! Visit "Truck Mounted Forklifts site" for info. Then hover over the Products index.

  Hyster
Hyster's title text says"3 wheel electric trucks", followed by "Energy efficient and productive 3 wheel electric forklift trucks". The text seemed a bit indirect or less than clear. "Electric" seems like the word should be in all three models. And if all three are three-wheelers, the text should be consistent.
  • The J30-40XNT image "HYSTER ELECTRIC FORKLIFT" shows two wheels in front, and a double-wheel setup in back.
  • The A25-30XNT image shows two wheels in front, one wheel in back, but caption says "THREE WHEEL ELECTRIC FORKLIFT".
  • The E30-40HSD image's text says "HYSTER 3 WHEEL FORKLIFT"; however, a diagram I found shows ID for "Steering or Rear Wheels" (plural) rather than singular. Other wheels had text "Drive Wheels".
In my research, I found cases where three wheels actually technically amount to four.

  Toyota
"three-wheel Electric Forklift" shows two wheels in front and a double wheel setup in back. The video clearly shows a rear rotating wheel set.

  Yale
"ERP025-030VC" shows two wheels in front, single-wheel in back. "ERP030-040VT" shows two wheels in front, double-wheel setup in back. "ESC030-40AD" shows front view. The product summary says "Three-Wheel Stand". Googling for further info, I found a document for the forklift with "Electric 3-Wheel Stand-Up" on the cover, which shows two wheels in front, double-wheel setup in back (Page 7 shows an image with text "Three-wheel configuration with dual steer tires".)

  Princeton
Princeton Delivery Systems seems to lay claim the term "piggyback", even naming their forklifts "PB" something something. Noteworthy and informative videos: "Princeton PiggyBack Unloading and Loading Demo", "Piggyback Forklift", and "Princeton PiggyBack EZ Hitch Mounting Kit".

Contrasting Three- and Four-wheeler Forklifts
"Key Differences between 4-Wheel Forklifts & 3-Wheel Forklifts" is very succinct, without naming brands. One way to make info even more succinct could be a formatted table with features in 1st column and contrasts between two types in 2nd and 3rd columns. Additional links for contrasting forklifts: "3 Wheel Electric Forklifts vs 4 Wheel Electric Forklifts" and "3 And 4 Wheel Forklifts – What’s The Difference?".

Three-wheeler Transports
These vehicles transport people and goods. Apparently, three wheels do the job well enough.

  Motrec
Motrec MP Series shows personnel transporters, several that have three wheels. Some have the single wheel in front. A couple have the single wheel in the back, although the "single" wheel looks more like two attached together to make a small-diameter wide wheel. Motrec MS 260 shows a "stock chaser", which has two wheels in front very close together, two in back.

  Cushman
"KMH Systems - Cushman Commercial & Utility Vehicles" shows some vehicles with one wheel in front, two in back. View sections "Tug" for towing, "Minute Miser" for transportation, and "Stock Chaser" for moving loads.

Circling Back to Forklifts (Miscellany)
In case you are curious about how and when forklifts came about, or wondering about forklift types and capabilities, visit the links in this section.

  Forklift History
  Forklift Types ("Shopping" Guides)
Discount Forklift and ForkliftCost provide images and types. Channeling Spock, I'd say, "Fascinating", but with maybe a little more enthusiasm.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Motorized Three-wheelers, Mostly, Part 1

A couple of months ago, I spotted a motorized vehicle with three wheels. This vehicle had two front wheels and one rear wheel. Thanks to a friend, I learned it was a Polaris Slingshot. Previous motorized three-wheelers I've seen resembled motorcycles with one front wheel and two back wheels. (Occasionally, I've seen pedal-power three-wheelers that resemble "tricycles for grownups". A different slant on pedal-power three-wheelers is recumbent adult tricycles.)

A Google search for "three wheel motorcycle" yielded some sites for Can-Am Spyder and Polaris Slingshot, two vehicles that have two wheels in front and one in the rear. "Best Options for Riders Looking for Three-Wheel Motorcycles", besides info and images for the Can-Am Spyder and Polaris Slingshot, also includes info on Harley Davidson three-wheelers (one wheel in front, two in back). Be sure to view that article's gallery of three-wheelers.

Two Wheels in Front, One in Rear (Slingshot)

The Polaris Slingshot site shows that the vehicle operates like a two-seater manual transmission car. It has a steering wheel, a passenger seat next to the driver, and glove box. In "How to: Polaris Slingshot | Royalty Exotic Cars", the vehicle resembles a convertible with recent tech features and a small storage area behind the seats. View more Slingshot info at "2018 Polaris Slingshot First Ride Review" and "How It Works: The Polaris Slingshot Three-Wheeled Supercar".

Two Wheels in Front, One in Rear (Motorcycle Type)

  Can-Am Spyder
The Can-Am Spyder site shows that the vehicle operates like a motorcycle, with most controls in the handlebars. "How to Ride a Can-Am Spyder" provides very rudimentary instructions about the controls.

  Yamaha Niken
The Yamaha Niken site shows the three-wheeler resembling a motorcycle with two side-by-side front wheels. Click index items for closer look-see for features and 360° viewing option. "Yamaha NIKEN - LMW Product Overview" packs a lot of info in less than two minutes. (This vehicle's controls might be more like my perception of traditional motorcycles that require 4-limb coordination than the Spyder.)

  Honda Neowing
I Googled and found very little 2018 info about this three-wheeler. An op-ed from February mentions it in passing—"History is littered with esoteric three-wheelers, but is now their time to shine?"

"Auto Expo 2016: Honda Neowing Concept Showcased" writes glowingly. (Apologies for copy/paste link for https://auto.ndtv.com/news/auto-expo-2016-honda-neowing-concept-showcased-1272952. HREF URL results in a hung-up redirect, and Blogger hyperlinks anyway.)
Honda Neowing is a trike motorcycle with two wheels up front and one at the rear offering excellent cornering capabilities and impressive low speed stability. …Under the sporty and well scalpted [sic] bodywork, the Neowing is powered by a hybrid powertrain that combines a horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with electric motors.
Google results mentioning "concept" and lack of Honda site info makes me wonder about the Neowing's viability against the the two other cycles that have two front wheels and one rear wheel.

One Wheel in Front, Two in Rear (Motorcycle Type)

Harley three-wheelers seem to be street- and highway-oriented. Honda three-wheelers seem to be all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

  Harley-Davidson Freewheeler and Tri Glide
"2018 Trike Motorcycles } Harley-Davidson USA" shows an intro and image for a three-wheeler. (For vehicles in action, visit YouTube and use "harley three wheeler" for search term.) The "See the Bike" link goes to "2018 Freewheeler | Harley-Davidson USA", where you can scroll for pix and info. A fancier three-wheeler Harley is the Tri Glide Ultra.

  Honda ATV/ATC
Info regarding Honda one-wheel-in-front-two-wheels-in-back seems to center around all-terrain vehicles. I find it odd that so many Google hits for "honda three wheeler" are historical info and selling links, and nothing pointing to an official Honda website.

Dirt Wheels Magazine has extensive coverage about Honda's three-wheeler background "THE BEGINNING & END OF HONDA 3-WHEELERS".

Another look at Honda and ATVs:
Honda brought the world’s first ever three-wheeled ATV or rather ATC (All-Terrain-Cycle) to the United States in 1970 and it was a hit.… The three-wheeled US90 had a seven horsepower engine and sold for $595.
Some Odds and Ends

  The Ultimate Three-wheeler?
"Indiana Trike Builder Believes Bigger is Better" is about a hybrid truck and motorcycle, built by someone who is a semi truck builder and owner of a trucking firm.
The Tower Trike features 15-inch wheels and an 80-gallon diesel tank that fuels the supercharged, turbocharged Detroit Diesel 6V92 engine. Mated to an Allison HT-740 transmission, the powertrain produces 335 horsepower and a staggering 1020 lb-ft of torque. It can reach a top speed of 84 mph and is equipped with an air suspension.

  Banning and Unbanning of Slingshot in Texas
In 2014, the Slingshot ran into a snag regarding its street legality in Texas "Texas Bans The Polaris Slingshot Three-Wheeler" (published in Jan. 2014). Then Texas gave it the green light the following year "Texas reverses ban on Slingshots; Polaris hits the gas on production" (published May 2015).

  Coincidental Kinship between Harley and Polaris
As I'd previously associated Polaris with only the North Star and missiles, my recent research found it coincidental for news that included Polaris and Harley Davidson—"Polaris May Join Harley-Davidson In Overseas Production Move".

  Three-wheelers Spyder Motorcycle and Spyder Forklift
A chance spotting of a Spyder forklift, which has three wheels, led me to Googling for "3 wheeler spyder forklift". Odd that the Can-Am Spyder showed up as a hit. When I Googled "3 wheeler Spyder" while researching for this article, Google never returned a hit for the forklift.  More about the forklift and related items in "Motorized Three-wheelers, Mostly Part 2".

Friday, July 20, 2018

Delivery Pancakes or Not

My jaw just about dropped when I read "IHOP Now Delivers Pancakes to Your Front Door"
And to kick off the service, the company’s waving [sic] the delivery fee on orders over $10 (through July 22).
IHOP's "Menu + Order" states, "Get $5 off your first online order over $25. Use coupon code IHOPNGO at checkout when you register for the first time or using your existing account." (Contact your nearest IHOP for delivery details.)

I suppose people are taking up IHOP's pancake delivery offering, and might continue after the waive incentive. I am bewildered to think that pancakes delivery has a market. Some considerations WRT to pancakes, whether delivered or not.
  1. No pancake tastes fresher than any made within the consumer's reach. The time between thoughts of "I want pancakes" to "I'm eating pancakes" might be an additional hour for delivery time.
  2. Pancakes that eateries make and charge you for are always more pricey than ones you make yourself. Even convenient microwave pancakes are less expensive than eatery pancakes.
  3. Transporting goods add cost. Post-incentive, IHOP's charge for bringing pancakes to you would be $10 (according the the previously cited article). As for menu prices, the least expensive pancakes seem to be pancake sides for $3.99. Most are about $8. Sure, they add loads of yummies. In any case, I'm guessing ~$20 for a breakfast indulgence that has about ~$2-4 of yummy ingredients, accounting for menu item size. (One unadorned pancake "serving" can cost as little as 10 cents in ingredients. More on that later.)
Want to have pancakes with little effort and cost? First easy method is microwave pancakes. Slightly more effort but less cost is pan frying your own pancakes and using pancake powder that requires only water. The third method, scratch ingredients, is more effort-intensive because of the number of ingredients. Oddly enough, the add-water pancake-powder method is actually more economical than acquiring and mixing scratch ingredients.

The bottom of my table at "Instant Pancake Mix, Info Table, Etc., for 12 Brands" indicates cost per serving according to the brands I checked in 2015.)

Microwaveable Pancakes

Want 'em fast? Find microwaveable pancakes in your store's freezer case. My supermarket HEB shows the pricing category of "Waffles and Pancakes" (prices subject to change). It's apparent they stock WAY more varieties of waffles than pancakes. The list shows the following brands, quantity, weight, and price.
  • Pillsbury Buttermilk, 12, 16.4 oz, $2.36
  • Pillsbury Heat-N-Go Mini Pancakes Blueberry, 1 pouch, 2.82 oz, $.98
  • Eggo Chocolate Chip Pancake Bites, ~30 (5 pouches), 8.4 oz, $2.25
  • Kellogg's Eggo Star Wars Buttermilk Pancakes, 12, 14.8 oz, $2.24
  • De Wafelbakkers Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes, 18, 24 oz, $2.48
  • De Wafelbakkers Fluffy Blueberry Pancakes, 18, 24 oz, $2.48
  • De Wafelbakkers Fluffy Chocolate Chip Pancakes, 18, 24 oz, $2.48
  • De Wafelbakkers Fluffy Chocolate Chip Pancakes, 18, 24 oz, $2.48
  • De Wafelbakkers Buttermilk Mini Pancakes, 60, 21.2 oz, $2.48
  • HEB Organics Mini Pancakes, 40, 14.1 oz, $2.27
  • De Wafelbakkers A+ Cinnamonn Spelt Sweet Potato Pancakes, 6, 8.25 oz, $2.88
DIY Pancake Mix that Requires Only Water

On April 27, 2015, I wrote and published "Instant Pancake Mix, Info Table, Etc., for 12 Brands".
In preparation instructions, about half the brands call for a ratio of 2/3 cup of water to 1 cup of powder, and the rest of the brands call for 3/4 cup of water. … The prices for the powders range from $1.47 (Hill Country) to $2.78 (Whataburger).
Bottom line, making these pancakes requires only two ingredients—powder and water. (An entire box makes ~15-20 servings.) If you can measure, stir, and pan-fry, you can easily make pancakes fresher and in less time than going out for them or having them delivered.

Whataburger Pancake—Try at Eatery or DIY at Home

On April 10, 2015, I wrote and published "Whataburger Pancakes, Mix, or Scratch".
Yummy, quick, and economical! Know that you can buy Whataburger Pancake Mix at HEB? Have you tried making scratch pancakes? Also yummy, even more economical, but not quick! The scratch recipe, which I've used for many years (with slight occasional tweaks) comes from Pillsbury's Simply From Scratch Volume 2 booklet. This method of obtaining pancakes is yummy, slow, and economical, although surprisingly, more expensive that the Whataburger mix method.
Bottom line, DIY pancakes is way more economical than dine-out pancakes or delivery pancakes.

Something Else Doable with Pancake Mix

Another item you can make if you buy pancake mix or scratch ingredients is oven donuts. You would need to buy a donut pan, available at Amazon and craft stores. Do Google lookup and price comparisons. Often, craft stores provide weekly discount coupons.
On September 18, 2015, I wrote and published "Pancake-mIx Baked Donuts" (My recipe is for 6 donuts only.)
Why only 6? Coz they're quicker to consume so that fewer might get stale. Also, good way to avoid overconsuming in a short time.
Hoping you think give some thought about pancake options. When you control the pancake method at home, you can spend the saved money for something else. And the cakes taste at least as good as eatery pancakes. However you decide to get your pancakes, bon appetit!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas

On June 29, 2018, USA Today's article about Amazon HQ2 mentioned Kansas City—"They 'listen when it's Amazon.' Second headquarters race revives transit, education projects". Seeing "Kansas City, Missouri" text piqued my curiosity about Kansas City. Questions arose, in no particular order.

Why do both Kansas and Missouri have cities named Kansas City? Why isn't Missouri's city named Missouri City? I got to thinking—how old are these cities? Did they precede statehood for the states? Are they near each other? Did they used to be one city that got split up into two, one state having its own portion? Which state is the Kansas City song about?

Bird's-eye Viewing Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO) and Kansas City, Kansas (KCK)

From "Kansas City metropolitan area"
The Kansas City metropolitan area is a 15-county metropolitan area anchored by Kansas City, Missouri, that straddles the border between the U.S. states of Missouri and Kansas. With a population of 2,104,509, it ranks as the second largest metropolitan area with its core in Missouri
Google map information about the two cities:

Quick facts section about KC in KC Kansas Google map—"Kansas City sits on the eastern edge of Kansas, at the border with Missouri."
Quick facts section about KC in KC Missouri Google map—"Kansas City sits on Missouri's western edge, straddling the border with Kansas."

The Quora forum "Are Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS actually the same city or are they two different neighboring cities?" lists replies from current and former residents of both KCs. In addition, the forum suggests additional sites having related topics. Two such closely related topics:
More Comparing KCMO to KCK

"Comparing Kansas City, MO vs. Kansas City, KS" displays all sorts of stats comparisons—populations, demographics, family structures. Maybe the most striking difference between the two cities is KCMO's population being triple KCKs, about 1/2 million to 150,000. The population difference might explain MLB and MLF teams association with Missouri's KC rather than Kansas'.

Note: The site lists Kansas City being compared to Kansas City, omitting the state names in the detailed text. The top of the website shows KCMO map image first, then the KCK image.

Play Ball

I wondered about Kansas City sports teams—KC Chiefs, KC Athletics that moved to Oakland. (Athletics were in KC, 1955–1967.) Were both teams associated w/Missouri? My roundabout way of finding out the Kansas City that the teams are associated with: "How many states of the USA have no professional teams in the four major sports?"

Kansas is listed with **. "** Note that the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs both play on the Missouri side of the border."

Back to the Past

From "KANSAS CITY, KANSAS AND MISSOURI"
The present-day Kansas City, Missouri, city center was incorporated in 1850. At around the same time settlement was beginning along the river bottoms in Wyandotte County just across the border in the state of Kansas. So from the 1850s on there were two Kansas Cities, divided by the Missouri-Kansas state line, and both grew from a consolidation of villages rather than from a single unit.
From "Why is Kansas City split between Kansas and Missouri?"
Kansas City, Missouri, was the first to take the name. It was settled in 1821, but didn’t have an official name until years later. There’s a legend in these parts that city fathers rejected such names as Possum Trot and Rabbitville before naming the city after the Kansas Indians. When the town was incorporated in 1853, it took on the name City of Kansas. In 1889, it officially took on the moniker Kansas City.
The Kansas counterpart became known as Kansas City, Kansas, in the 1880s when several small towns were grouped together to become one large city. The idea, it’s said, was to basically ride on the coattails of Missouri’s now successful Kansas City.
"Kansas City History Facts and Timeline (Kansas City, Missouri - MO, USA)" has additional history. "Why Kansas City is (Mostly) in Missouri" is a YouTube video with narrator explanation, accompanied by description text.

Kansas City Song

When Wilbert Harrison recorded Kansas City, which Kansas City did he mean? (As a youngster, I probably assumed Kansas City, Kansas.)

"Wilbert Harrison "Kansas City" (1959)" has about a one-minute intro by Dick Clark. "Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show. May 02, 1959." Note: Dick Clark had a weekly evening pop/rock show; show is not part of American Bandstand.

Songfacts' "Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison" displays lyrics in one tab and history in another tab.
One notable Beatles performance of the song came on September 17, 1964, when Charles O. Finley, the owner of the Kansas City Athletics baseball team, paid them $150,000 to perform at their stadium. … It was the only time The Beatles played the song in the United States - they performed it on the US TV show Shindig, …
Speaking of the Beatles, view "The Beatles - Kansas City" (1964 Shindig appearance). Rock Music Wiki's "Kansas City (Leiber and Stoller song)" has loads more history about the song, including numerous additional artists' versions. Amusing to me is looking up several history websites about the song and not being able to find "Missouri" in the content.

Where is Twelfth Street and Vine? Let's go for easy answer here. "News Flash To The World: Kansas City Has No '12th Street And Vine' — Here's Why" explains.
Today, what once was 12th and Vine is a five-acre patch of grass with an informational kiosk officially known as the Goin’ To Kansas City Plaza At Twelfth Street And Vine. Little else is there, except for a couple of ornamental street signs where sometimes befuddled-looking tourists can have their pictures taken at the historic, but now-nonexistent, corner. …
Next time you hear or read about Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Athletics, Kansas City Royals, or the Kansas City song, remember they're all about the Kansas City in Missouri.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Piqued Enough to Peek into Offbeat LinkedIn Video Posts

On LinkedIn news feeds, what would be offbeat, you might wonder? From Dictionary.com, "differing from the usual or expected; unconventional". Let's first consider a basic premise about LinkedIn. Google answers for my query about what LinkedIn included several hits to non-LinkedIn URLs and also common q/as. Best answer I consider is from WhatIs.com.
a social networking site designed specifically for the business community. The goal of the site is to allow registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally. … A LinkedIn member’s profile page, which emphasizes skills, employment history and education, has professional network news feeds …
My LI news feeds have included a few videos that have intrigued me for entertainment value. Imho, they don't have anything to do with the working world, but they sure have been entertaining! Another commonality, besides non-work entertainment, is tendency for skimpiness of posts' intro details. Thus, the paucity of info piques my curiosity to dig for alternative info or extra details. (Dang! Seems that the noun form for curious should be spelled "curiousity"!)

The LinkedIn URLs for the posts definitely work for members logged in. Only one seems to require login or joining. Maybe those LI links work for public visiting for a limited time until LinkedIn detours to a join window.

The videos pertain to the following topics:

 A skier for all surfaces (Audi Quattro ad)
 Anna's Hummingbird, which displays dazzling iridescence
 Dragon fruit
 Wednesday Addams giving Lurch dance lessons
 Manta rays playfully leaping out of water
 ZeNa Attachment, different kind of toilet paper roll replacer

Audi Quattro Ad with Compiled Clips of Extraordinary Skier on Dissimilar Surfaces

The LinkedIn poster's video runtime is 2:52. I wanted more details about the video scenes and whether Audi used different athletes. I was surprised to learn the skier was the same guy! Visit "French skier Candide Thovex reaches new heights in Audi advert". The extended video is viewable there.
Thovex ups the stakes, travelling to the far reaches of Europe, Asia and America in search of new and challenging terrain. He floats along water, skis down the Great Wall of China and whizzes through the jungle …
Thovex and the rest of the team had to contend with bad weather in northern Europe, damaged equipment from sand dunes, blazing hot temperatures and tricky visibility in the jungle and obstacles from the rocks on a still-active volcano.
Anna's Hummingbird, which displays fascinating iridescence

From the intro text—
when the light reaches the bird, called Anna's hummingbird, it passes through two kinds of feather filaments called barbules and is reflected in different colors ... which gives the impression that the bird changes steadily.
The video piqued my interest to find additional Anna's Hummingbird videos on YouTube:
"Anna's Hummingbird Macro 4k 60FPS", "Stunning up-close footage of an Anna's Hummingbird"

Dragon Fruit Harvesting

The topic intrigued me enough that I Goggled it and found "What Is Dragon Fruit and Does It Have Health Benefits?"—"Its taste has been described as a slightly sweet cross between a kiwi and a pear." Coincidentally, a well-known beverage purveyor is releasing some dragon fruit beverages very soon.

Wednesday Addams Giving Lurch Dance Lessons

Note: The LinkedIn post's URL opens a join window, unlike other LinkedIn URLs that I list.  BTW, vlicking works if you're a member and log in first.

"The Wednesday Dance" YouTube site provides more description—"Wednesday Addams teaches lurch to dance in Season 2 Episode 29 Lurch's Grand Romance". (Lisa Loring is Wednesday Addams, so adorable with her dance moves!). IMDB info shows the episode released on April 1, 1966, making Lisa only 8 years old then.

Mantas Playfully Leaping Out of Water

I felt the post had very little info and wanted to see and know more. I found a similar video about mantas leaping out of water. "INCREDIBLE FLYING RAYS!" from BBC had added bonuses of pelicans and a large group of rays. In further searching, I ran across the apparently full BBC video that the poster seemed to have excerpted—BBC's "Mobula Rays belly flop to attract a mate - Shark: Episode 2 Preview - BBC One". The synchronization at the BBC's video seems to start at ~1;23 and stop at ~2:19.

About the time that I wanted to find more info about the rays, an old curiosity resurfaced--what's the difference between a manta ray and a stingray? DifferenceBetween.com's "Difference between Manta Ray and Stingray" has helpful sections that describe mantas, stingrays, with a nice pic of each. The site also has sections describing similarities and differences.

More videos to consider:
"Manta ray, a giant of the ocean", "COOL STINGRAYS", National Geographic's videos for each ray—"Gigantic School of Rays | Untamed Americas",  "Stingray | National Geographic"

Stingray Infamy—One impaled Steve Irwin in the heart and killed him. "September 4, 2006: 'Crocodile Hunter' Steve Irwin killed by stingray while filming TV show".
Attacks by stingrays are extremely rare – and while their barbs are coated in venom, it was the strike to the heart, not the poison, that caused Irwin’s death. ... "They have one or two barbs in the tails which are not only coated in toxic material but are also like a bayonet,” explained Australian wildlife filmmaker David Ireland.
Ay, caramba! As I was wrapping up and ready to publish this article, I stumbled onto "Mobula" in the BBC video title. It turns out mantas are now reclassified. From "Manta rays reclassified as mobula after DNA study":
Manta birostris (the giant, or oceanic manta) and Manta alfredi (reef manta) are no more. Instead, they are now known as Mobula birostris and Mobula alfredi. … NOTE: A possible third species – Manta birostris sensu, is yet to be formerly reclassified but is currently under DNA examination by Dr Andrea Marshall of the Marine Megafauna Foundation.
I think it's going to be awhile before I use the term "mobula ray". Too used to "manta ray".

ZeNa Attachment (Innovative Replacement for Toilet Paper Holder)

The design was interesting for one-hand switching out, quite a time-saver. I wanted to find more info. At KickStarter's "ZeNa Attachment: Update Your Existing Toilet Paper Holder", the following info:
Funding Unsuccessful
This project's funding goal was not reached on October 5, 2017.
A few days later, I re-watched the Cheddar video and noticed the blurb at about 30 seconds into the Cheddar video about project not reaching its Kickstarter goal.

I don't foresee the end of offbeat video posts to LinkedIn. Fun to watch and poke for extraneous info!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Spiky-head, Multi-branch, Blooming Yucca (Elata/Soaptree)

This is one rare article that I'm not totally convinced of my subject's ID. The 3-tile composite image shows an entire multiple-branch plant and enlargements of two prominent features—end of a branch with leaves radiating out from the center (rosette), and one of the bloom stalks. At one time, I thought the plant might be a Joshua tree because of spiky heads and multiple branches.

From “Not all yuccas are Joshua trees”:
Known as soaptree yucca (Yucca elata) because a sudsy cleansing agent was once pounded from of its roots by Native Americans, this is another widespread yucca found from Arizona east through New Mexico and Texas and south into Mexico. … Unlike the Joshua tree that has rigid leaves, the leaves of the soaptree yucca are pliable and move about on windy days. More about soaptree and soapweed later.

Requests for ID Help

I'd sent requests, accompanied by image or link to image to the following types of recipients:
  • Techie email group
  • LinkedIn (Public + Twitter)
  • Neighbor who might know someone knowledgeable
  • Neighborhood email group
Techie Group Help

I received two responses. Dave's Garden was helpful. iNaturalist seemed more overwhelming than I had in mind to poke around in.

LinkedIn (Public + Twitter) Help

In the two months my post was up, LI reported 139 views, 3 likes, and no comments. I'm not sure how LI knows people "view" posts. My post included "Help w/IDing this blooming yucca plant pls?" and a 2-tile image—too short to require "...see more" expansion.

Neighbor Help

A neighbor who retired from working at the Sierra Club had a friend who tried to help. That friend also requested help from others. He and friends agree the plant is "likely" elata yucca (soaptree), and provided a yahoo image site. The range he provided includes areas "far W. TX, S. NM, & S. AZ". Maybe the plant is a bit far from its normal area, and that's why it's not common in my neck of the woods.

Neighborhood Group Help

One person prefaced info by first modestly declaring no expertise about yuccas. However, the replier, based on looking at the picture and Wildflower Center database, opted for yucca elata (soaptree).
A helpful suggestion was entering "yucca" and space in the "Enter a Plant Name" field. This action causes prospective terms to pop up. Another possible action was to try "Smarty Plants Question Topics".

Comical Attempts to ID Yucca By Using Google Images

I ran across someone I've seen often on my neighborhood treks who suggested I Google for how to have Google help ID an image and try it. From Google’s support page:
Upload an image
On images.google.com or any Images results page, click Search by image Search by image.
Click Upload an image.
Click Choose file.
Select the image from your computer.
Sounded good and easy! I uploaded a lasso-selection of the plant.
Google guessed "cushion", and provided images of cushions.

I uploaded a 2nd image, this time a full-size unmodified one. (Locational identifiers blanked for this blog article.)
Google guessed "pond pine", and provided images of pond pines.

I uploaded a 3rd image, a closer-in view of the leftside leaf branch, uncropped and unmodified.
Google guessed "agave azul" and provided images of "agave azul". Well, not ok.

Attempts to ID Yucca By Using YouTube

I decided to see if YouTube might help ("how to use Google images to ID unknown item").
In these cases, it seems that the images might have been more obvious than mine. I abandoned further pursuit.

Soapy Syllable—Soaptree vs. Soapweed Yuccas

While Googling "yucca elata", I noted the common name is soaptree yucca. However, I've also encountered "soapweed" in some articles that described elata/soaptree. Turns out that soapweed yucca is the common name for "yucca glauca". Soaptree and soapweed yucca are not the same yuccas, and do not resemble each other.

Dave's Garden's "Introduction to Yuccas" has good sections about these two types of yucca and pictures for contrast.
Yucca elata (Soaptree Yucca) This southwest U.S. and Mexican native ... short tree Yucca with a reliable branching habit with multiple heads of thin, pale green leaves with distinctive fibers along their margins. The leaves have sharp tips but are fairly flexible .... It has cold hardiness down to about zone 6a (-10F or -23C). This plant needs very well draining soil and full sun.
Yucca glauca (Soap Weed, Bear Grass or Great Plains Yucca) This small, stemless or short-stemmed, wispy to spiny plant is a cold hardy native of the Midwestern U.S. .... Some varieties are somewhat soft and have relatively harmless leaves while others have dagger-like, stiff and incredibly sharp blades. This is probably the hardiest of the Yuccas, growing happily in the snow-covered Rocky Mountains where temperatures dip down to -30F or -34C.

Confusion Over Images of Yuccas with Spiky Heads, Multiple Branches

As if differentiating soaptree and soapweed weren't enough for my wee yucca knowledge, Dave's Garden site included additional pictures of spiky heads of leaves besides yucca elata. The following sections show at least one picture each of leaves that radiate from a "head" center.
  Yucca faxoniana (syn. Yucca carnerosana; Eve's Needle or Giant Spanish Dagger)
  Yucca filifera (Tree Yucca or Peter-pan Palm)
  Yucca rigida (Blue or Silver-leaf Yucca)
  Yucca rostrata (Beaked Yucca).

As for multiple branches, the following sections show at least one picture.
  Yucca filifera (Tree Yucca or Peter-pan Palm)
  Yucca brevifolia (Joshua Tree)
  Yucca filifera (Tree Yucca or Peter-pan Palm)
  Yucca filifera (Tree Yucca or Peter-pan Palm)
  Yucca filifera (Tree Yucca or Peter-pan Palm)
  Yucca grandiflora (Large Flowered Yucca)
  Yucca filifera (Tree Yucca or Peter-pan Palm)
  Yucca rigida (Blue or Silver-leaf Yucca)

Unless or until I hear from someone who declares me incorrect, I'll go with the flow that my picture is probably of a yucca elata (soaptree). :-)

Friday, May 25, 2018

Road Tripping Time of Year

Summer's pretty much here. Ready to hit the road? Although gasoline's been inching up the last month or so, driving travel might be less hassle than flying and its own set of preparations and endurances.

Seeing SNL's skit in March about "Californians" made me think about road trips. The "Californians" is one of several similar-theme skits that SNL has created over the years. The music is reminiscent of "Ventura Highway" by America. The seeming melodrama is offset by people recounting their driving directions during the conversations. Visit "The Californians Collection" and "The Californians".

If in the mood for listening to road-trip theme songs while actually on the road, maybe save choices to your device(s) ahead of time. The suggestions I've listed are from YouTube.

Some General Purpose Road Trip Songs
"On the Road Again" by Willie Nelson
"On the Road Again" by Canned Heat
"Me and You and a Dog Named Boo" by Lobo
"Route 66" theme song by Nelson Riddle

Some Road Trip Destination Songs
"Woodstock" by Crosby, Stills, Nash
"Kansas City" by Wilbert Harrison
"Georgia on My Mind" by Ray Charles
"Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
"By the Time I Get to Phoenix" by Glen Campbell
Pack what you need, but don't sweat over items you can pick up later if you forget. Stay tankful with your road trip!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Purple Daze 2, Deeper into History

In "Purple Daze 1, Various Purply Names", I focused on various purply colors. I mentioned a "The Meanings of Purple" statement: "The earliest purple dyes date back to about 1900 B.C. It took some 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye - barely enough for dying a single garment the size of the Roman toga." This article dives deepter into purple history.

From "Purple Color: Meanings and Uses"
The color purple is synonymous with royalty. This mysterious color is associated with both nobility and spirituality.

Purple has a special, almost sacred place in nature: lavender, orchid, lilac and violet flowers are delicate. Because the color is derived from a mix of a strong warm and strong cool color, it has both warm and cool properties.

Deep or bright purples suggest riches, while lighter purples are more romantic, delicate and feminine. Use redder purples for a warm color scheme or the bluer purples for a cool scheme.

Crayola actually has a crayon named "orchid" (purple family). On the other hand, "The Amazing True History Of Orchids And What Their Colors Represent" contains a few non-purply orchid images that don't fit the Crayola model.

From "Why Is the Color Purple Associated With Royalty?"
The color purple has been associated with royalty, power and wealth for centuries. … Purple fabric used to be so outrageously expensive that only rulers could afford it. … it became associated with the imperial classes of Rome, Egypt, and Persia. Purple also came to represent spirituality and holiness because the ancient emperors, kings and queens that wore the color were often thought of as gods or descendents of the gods. …

In 1856, 18-year-old English chemist William Henry Perkin accidently created a synthetic purple compound while attempting to synthesize quinine, an anti-malaria drug . … he patented the dye and manufactured it under the name aniline purple and Tyrian purple, … The color's name was later changed to "mauve" in 1859, …

From "The Rich and Royal History of Purple, the Color of 2018", which includes similar historical information as "Why Is the Color Purple Associated With Royalty?". It also describes Pantene's color of the year for 2018.
The Pantone Color Institute, which helps makers of products select color for designs, announced this week that it chose to paint the coming year Ultra Violet, a purple-highlighter shade.

Leatrice Eiseman, the institute’s executive director, told The New York Times in an article in the Fashion and Style section published Thursday. “Because it takes two shades that are seemingly diametrically opposed — blue and red — and brings them together to create something new.”
About "ultraviolet": "The 2018 Pantone color of the year is definitely not purple" stresses "Pantone’s 2018 marquee color’s name is a misnomer. Ultraviolet is not a color that most humans can see because it’s outside the visible spectrum. … Only individuals with a condition called aphakia (the absence of eye lens) can perceive ultraviolet as a color."

More Purple Passion Links

Want more purple-themed resources, purple-possessed people?
"Purple Lives Here" claims "Over 1,100 purple items. We find the true purple items so you can trust it won't arrive pink or blue."

"All About The Color PURPLE" has exhaustive lists about purple, including sections for "COMPANIES OR BRANDS IDENTIFIED BY PURPLE" and "SONGS WITH PURPLE IN THE TITLE", purple WRT food (taste, sense of smell), and political and societal connotations. Chances are good if you've thought of a purple term, this site lists it.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Purple Daze 1, Various Purply Names

Occasionally, I kick around purple colors in my head. I've been dazed about them more than other colors pertaining to elementary school crayon colors, primary/secondary tempra colors from art class, and visible light colors. Purple seems a more dominant color name than violet, which Crayola uses, but with a nod to purple. "What were the original eight (8) colors in the 1903 box of Crayola Crayons?" lists the color as "violet (purple)".

My pixstrip shows purply clothing items (some with only smaller purply bits) and corresponding color snippets with lighter background. I wistfully thought about a couple of purply items I donated in the distant past.

Eye See Violet and Purple 

Hmmm, so what's the deal about the dodgy term "violet (purple)"? Are they the same color? Some resources explain:

"Difference between ‘violet’ and ‘purple’" (purple/violet contrast image at the author's article)
purple looks more “reddish” than violet … Purple is formed by mixing red and blue at a ratio close to 1:1, whereas violet is perceived by your eyes as containing more blue than red. … no spectral colour activates the “blue” path and the “red” path at the ratio of 1:1 without also stimulating the “green” path. In other words purple is not a spectral colour.

Purple is a mixture of red (which is at the opposite side of the spectrum than violet) and blue (which is relatively far from violet), so it is, in terms of wavelengths, a completely different colour.

"Violet and Purple Aren't The Same Thing"
When you see brown, you're seeing a mixture of light wavelengths that activate different cones in varying ratios to produce a color your brain finally interprets as brown.

Violet activates the blue and red cones—the blue cones a lot, the red cones a little less. Purple, on the other hand, hits your eyes in the same way our brown example did above. It's a combination of the spectral colors blue and red. Rather than activating blue and red cones in a given ratio, purple combines the cone ratio for blue with the cone ratio for red to come up with an entirely new color.

"Purple Color Meaning – The Color Purple"
The difference between violet and purple is that violet is displayed in the visible light spectrum, while purple is simply a mixture of red and blue. Violet vibrations are the highest in the visible spectrum. … violet is not quite as intense as purple

"Primary colors: The truth about purple"
Purple is a mixture of colors, like white. If you mix blue light and red light, your eye will see purple, but in reality, it’s just a mix of blue and red. … Scientifically, purple is not a color because there is no beam of pure light that looks purple. There is no light wavelength that corresponds to purple.

"The Meanings of Purple" is loaded with information; however, the absence of "violet" is somewhat suspicious. The article does link to a probably more technically correct explanation regarding visible wavelength, which is violet.
Purple is the most powerful visible wavelength of electromagnetic energy. It’s just a few steps away from x-rays and gamma rays. …

Variations of purple convey different meanings: Light purples are light-hearted, floral, and romantic. The dark shades are more intellectual and dignified. …

The earliest purple dyes date back to about 1900 B.C. It took some 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye - barely enough for dying a single garment the size of the Roman toga.

For more extensive information about purple history, read "Purple Daze 2, Deeper into History".

Loads of Various Purply Colors

Besides violet and purple having dazed me, I've also been befuddled by other purply terms, which I hesitate to label such-color items. Many of them pertain to flowers or fruit.

Lilac and lavender have confused me lots over the years. "Lavender vs. Lilac: What's the Difference?" contrasts these purply colors with pictures, a table, and descriptions. I thought about the song "Lavender Blue". Coincidentally, I ran across another similarly worded song that also mentions "lavender blue", "lavender green", "dilly, dilly", "king", and "queen".

Grape and plum are a couple of foods with purply colors. For grape flavors, such as ades, jellies, and jams, seems all grape colors are purple, excepting wines and juices ("white grape" somethings).

The oddest purply color I've encountered is "aubergine", associated with another food—eggplant. "Why Is It Called an Eggplant?" explains the color as well as the eggplant name itself.
There is actually a color — aubergine — that resembles the purple of the eggplant.

A long, gourd-shaped, purple fruit is what most people think of when they hear the word “eggplant." … way back in the 1700s, early European versions of eggplant were smaller and yellow or white. They looked a bit like goose or hen's eggs, which led to the name “eggplant."

I mentioned "mauve" earlier. Oddly, Merriam-Webster's entry for "mauve" shows differing definitions that seem non-committal:
a : a moderate purple, violet, or lilac color
b : a strong purple

Three Purply Colors in My Box of Crayola Crayons
I rooted around looking for my box of 64 Crayola crayons (with sharpener) to see what purples I have—"violet (purple)", "blue violet", and "plum". During the very elementary grades when receiving the 8-pack (BIG-size for indelicate handling). (Maybe I was too young to think of "violet" or the parenthetical purple, only remembering "purple" as the dominant term.) IMO, the wrappers and sticks look a lot closer to each other than the circular marks I'd made. The "violet (purple)" mark looks a lot more like the "plum" mark than the "blue-violet" mark.

A Blog Article with Three Mentions of Purple Regarding Spiderworts

Only about a week ago, a blog article mentioning some purply terms nudged me to firm up my theme about purple. From Steve Schwartzman's "Another white variant"—"white variant of a spiderwort, a wildflower that is normally purple or magenta or violet. Another purplish wildflower that occasionally shades to white is the bluebonnet".

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ride-sharing with a Snail


During a trip (October 25, 2002), I spied the critter on my rain-spattered rental car that I needed to return. It looked interesting enough that I took a dozen pictures over a period of a little less than a half hour (Oct 25, 2002, from 9:06 AM to 9:32 AM). I'm not sure it was still on the car by the time time I finished the car return process.

I noticed a few features in poring over some of the pictures. The body had a certain translucence to it. The antenna were interestingly pointed. The spiral on its shell was cute.

Snail Wrangler's "Anatomy" describes external and internal parts and includes labeled diagrams. Well, now I know those "antennae" are tentacles. The relevant page at Today I Found Out elaborates about tentacles and antennae ("feelers"). (While prepping my images to made a video, I wondered why my snail showed four "extensions"—two longer upper ones and two shorter lower ones.)

While thinking about looking up snail info, I also thought about slugs, which I thought had a lot of similarities to snails. And how! Looks like if a slug had a shell on it, it would easily pass for a snail. The shell seems to be the biggest identifier of difference between these two mollusks.

Snail vs Slug

I ran across numerous hits when I googled "snails vs. slugs". Most sites explained similarities as well as differences besides describing these animals and displaying images.

From Snail Wrangler "FAQ":
Q: What’s the difference between a snail and a slug? Are slugs related to snails?
A: Slugs and snails are very close relatives. They both glide along on a muscular foot, have tentacles. Snails have a shell while most slugs have little or no shell, and slugs with tiny shells cannot withdraw their body into it.

Q: Why are snails so slimy?
A: Snails make slime from special glands to help protect their bodies from drying out. The slime also helps the snail to adhere to surfaces as it glides along, and it also protects the snail’s foot from sharp protrusions.
Diffen's "Slug vs. Snail" has extensive info—comparison images, comparison table, and expansive explanations.
Slugs and snails are generally distinguished by the presence of a large exterior shell on the back of snails. Snails and slugs are both gastropod mollusks, and unlike most gastropods they are terrestrial i.e. found on land.
The site also describes similarities.
Both mollusks have several similar features, like eye spots at the end of slender tentacles, downward-directed mouths, and single, broad, muscular, flat-bottom feet, which is lubricated by mucus and covered with epithelial cilia.
Difference Between | Descriptive Analysis and Comparisons' "Difference between Snail and Slug" is another site with images, comparison table, and explanations, including similarities.
Snails and slugs are both members of a larger group Mullusca. This group or phylum generally includes soft-bodies animals which do not possess any type of body segmentation and often bear an external shell composed of calcareous material. …

Like snails, slugs also belong to the Phylum Mollusca. Slugs and snails both leave a silvery slime trail on the ground. Like snails, slugs are also commonly hermaphrodites. Both have one or two pairs of tentacles on their heads. They eat through radula covered with rows of teeth. Radula is similar to the tongue.
More slime info from Wonderopolis' "How Are Slugs and Snails Different?":
That slime is called mucus. Snails and slugs make mucous so that they can move on the ground. The mucus keeps their bodies from losing moisture to the dry soil beneath them. It also protects them from being cut by sharp objects in the soil. ... Because of their small size and the way they move, snails and slugs are naturally slow-moving creatures.
Note my tiled pic (left side) shows a good-length slime trail. The image is #6 of 12 of my slideshow video.

For lots more info about snails and slugs, do google search for "snail vs slug".

Video Entertainment (A Day at the Races)

"Snail & Slug Race"
An entertaining YouTube video of a side-by-side race between a slug and and snail. Music is abbreviated William Tell Overture, AKA Lone Ranger theme.

Another snail race—"2012 Race Night - Race 2, The Snail Race"
An 8-snail, side-by-side race. Participants were drafted when club members found them loitering at the premises. Music is a portion of "O Fortuna" soundalike and lots of "Chariots of Fire".

OK, not exactly a race—"Snail Gives Birth - Birth of a Snail"
The parent snail in the video resembles the one that rode with me.
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