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Good Friday

I woke up this morning at 10:00 to the sounds of Con Te Partiro coming out of my shirt pocket. I had slept in my clothes, and Elle was calling me on my cell phone. Con Te Partiro is her ringtone. She mostly just wanted to chat , and we talked for about half an hour.

Beautiful music and conversation with a lovely woman is a great way to start the day.

The university is closed for Good Friday, so I didn't go into work. Actually, I don't have classes or office hours on Friday, so I didn't have to anyway. I usually do go in because there is still stuff to be done, and besides, most people go to work on Friday. But today was an official holiday and I wanted to officially take it.

I'd planned to walk down to the coffee shop, as I do on most days I don't work, but it was raining. I drove down. As usual, I stayed there much too long. I got into a conversation with one of the nerdy regulars about nerdy scientific things. A couple of days earlier I had seen him and he presented his case that the egg came before the chicken. Today he continued the theme and informed me that seedless grapes all come from one original vine. I didn't know that. 

I had also not given much thought to seedless grapes before. How can there be more than one generation of a seedless fruit? I asked him, and he explained that it's done by grafting of vines. It's pretty easy, but must be done by human beings. It doesn't occur naturally.

I learn a lot at the coffee shop. I told  him some biological trivia I'd learned from another customer a while back.  Someone had moved to a small island with their cat, and the cat proceeded to render an entire indigenous species extinct. I didn't remember what it was a species of, or where the island was, and admitted the story had the aroma of urban legend.

He found the story credible. He said that invasive species are often a problem, and told me about the problem we are starting to have with Asian carp. Apparently they are following trails of garbage across the Pacific Ocean here, and are gobbling up the eggs of native species of fish. It sounds like that could be a problem

This guys background is in Electrical Engineering, not biology. The cat story came from a friend with a history degree. In other words, I'm not sure how reliable any of these facts are. So if you are a student who happened to stumble across my blog, you are more than welcome to stay, but don't use this entry as a source for your biology homework.

I spent most of my time there reading Selected Poems Of Stevie Smith, which was enjoyable. It passed the "unusually good book" test. That is, it was so well written I felt compelled to read a passage to somebody else. In this case, it was the poem Autumn, which I read to Irene, one of the baristas. I presented it as a very sweet poem, and she agreed with me.

I had a good Good Friday.


Con Te Partiro? You have good taste in music. :)

The cat story I can believe...maybe. I heard it as fact from a high school biology teacher, the island was in New Zealand, and the species was a flightless species of wren. The Asian carp one, a little harder...I who have actually studied biology find it extremely hard to believe that a freshwater fish can swim across the ocean to America, garbage trails or not. They'd be dead in a few minutes in sea water. More likely someone brought them over and released them.

In other words that story is extremely fishy. (Sorry!) :)