Saturday, December 15, 2007

Citizen Science in Action!

I left something off of my list of important dates in December. It’s dates, actually. The count period for the Christmas Bird Count is from December 14th to January 5th. This is the 108th year. According to the Audubon web site, “More than 50,000 observers participate each year in this all-day census of early-winter bird populations.” How cool is that? It is our winter tradition to participate in several counts. One of my favorites covers some of my old stomping grounds from my youth. It starts at daybreak at my old high school – we count the ducks as they fly over (they spend the night on a small lake in the housing development) and count the Black-crowned Night-Herons roosting in the trees over one of the school’s parking lots. I hated high school – not the best place for a nerdy outsider – so it’s nice to return there each year and to feel good.

Today was a very rare day for me, indeed – 1) I was at home all day; and 2) I cleaned. I alternated between cleaning and de-cluttering and watching TV – How Clean is Your House (a British program that I love that is a thousand times scarier than Clean House), a Howard Hughes documentary, a program presenting new evidence on when humans made it to the Americas, something on dinosaurs, a show about dogs, Doctor Who, and Torchwood. I’m getting to like Torchwood – a spin-off of the newest Doctor Who. Torchwood is kind of a poor man’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Buffy was much better). I’ve been a fan of Doctor Who since I was a kid, and the latest version is disappointing to those of us who knew it in its heyday (OK, I’m only 36, but I did watch re-runs of Doctor Who and The Prisoner on PBS as a kid). I am not a prude, but they need to leave the sex and romance for Torchwood and leave that out of Doctor Who. The old Doctor never flirted with or kissed his companions. What’s up with that? As my uncle, a fellow Doctor Who fan who is also a bit disappointed with the latest series, said “There is no place in the Doctor’s two hearts for love.” Well, at least David Tennant isn’t as annoying as Christopher Eccleston was. I could go on, but I will now step down from my nerd soapbox :-)

Good night,

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