Abat-sons are devices which reflect sound in a particular direction. Typically they take the form of large louvers which direct the sound of tower bells toward the ground. In general use, any louvers in a bell tower are commonly called abat-sons, whether they are designed to redirect sound or merely to prevent water.

With this entry, I predict I will become the web's leading English-language authority on abat-sons.


Some Beverage Origins:

Hires Root Beer - 1876 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Coca-Cola - 1885 - Atlanta, Georgia
Dr Pepper - 1885 - Waco, Texas
Barq's Root Beer - 1898 - Biloxi, Mississippi
Pepsi-Cola - 1898 - New Bern, North Carolina
Faygo - 1907 - Detroit, Michigan
Orange Crush - 1906 - Chicago, Illinois
Cheerwine - 1917 - Salisbury, North Carolina
A & W Root Beer - 1919 - Lodi, California
Nehi - 1924 - Columbus, Georgia
7-Up - 1929 - Saint Louis, Missouri
Royal Crown Cola - 1933 - Columbus, Georgia
Dad's Root Beer - 1937 - Chicago, Illinois
Frostie Root Beer - 1939 - Catonsville, Maryland
Grapette - 1939 - Camden, Arkansas
Sun Drop - 1951 - Saint Louis, Missouri
Mountain Dew - 1954 - Johnson City, Tennessee
Tab - 1962 - Atlanta, Georgia


In a Box

Dystopia Box is currently the third hit when you search Google for "virgins in a box."


It's not Camping if You Have AC and Cable

We had a wonderful weekend at De Soto State Park and the Little River Canyon. You can check out my photos in my Yahoo! album (the De Soto folder). We saw the stragglers among migrating geese, plenty of circling hawks, all sizes of fluttering butterflies, some very focused darting trout, hovering fat carpenter bees, lurking gray spiders, skittering lizards, lingering dogwoods, radiant azaleas, budding magnolias, rushing water, and blazing sun. On Saturday we went adventuring at De Soto Falls.

And we ate like kings all weekend.


Flutterby leads the way to the latest technology in automatic hog splitting.


The Mosquito Hawk

You've seen them, those big, gangly, ridiculously long-legged bugs that look like mosquitoes on stilts. What little anecdotal information I gathered on them at Boy Scout camp led me to believe that they are hunters of mosquitoes, but this turns out not to be the case.

What we are seeing (and occassionally ducking out of the flightpath of) is a crane fly. (see bio at bugbios.com) The common crane fly around here is of the family Tipulidae. The adult flies live for only a day or two - long enough to mate, but not long enough to eat. Hopefully they ate enough while they where larvae to keep up their stamina. The larvae are fat gray-brown beasts that roam around in decaying organic matter, like in the top few inches of your yard. They are a favorite snack of songbirds.

In England, these flies are known as "Daddy Long-Legs," which are not the spindly spiders which we have here, and which are also known as mosquito hunters. While they might eat a mosquito now and then, they apparently prefer other spiders, which they kill with their venom.

It has been said that Daddy Long-Legs are the most venomous spiders on earth and that we people are lucky that their mouths are too small to bite us. There is some truth to that rumor. They are venomous and their mouths are too small to bite a person, but there is no evidence that their venom is any more or less poisonous than is needed to kill the small insects and spiders it eats.

Oh, and technically, the Daddy Long-Legs, while an arachnid, is not a spider because it has a penis. (Hence, I guess, the name "Daddy")
Frans Masereel: The greatest woodcut artist of our time.


The Spirit of Wisdom (first part)

A word was secretly brought to me, my ears caught a whisper of it. Amid disquieting dreams in the night, when deep sleep falls on men, fear and trembling seized me and made all my bones shake. A spirit glided past my face, and the hair on my body stood on end. It stopped, but I could not tell what it was. A form stood before my eyes, and I heard a hushed voice: "Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker? If God places no trust in his servants, if he charges his angels with error, how much more those who live in houses of clay, whose foundations are in the dust, who are crushed more readily than a moth! Between dawn and dusk they are broken to pieces; unnoticed, they perish forever. Are not the cords of their tent pulled up, so that they die without wisdom?"

Job 4:12-21


What the American Flag Stands For
by Charlotte Aldebron (age 12)

The American flag stands for the fact that cloth can be very important. It is against the law to let the flag touch the ground or to leave the flag flying when the weather is bad. The flag has to be treated with respect. You can tell just how important this cloth is because when you compare it to people, it gets much better treatment. Nobody cares if a homeless person touches the ground. A homeless person can lie all over the ground all night long without anyone picking him up, folding him neatly and sheltering him from the rain.


Good Times.

We took advantage of the extra hour of daylight by cooking out: Steaks, Sausage, Baked Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, and Ice Cream with Brownies.