Betsy Devine: Funny ha-ha and/or funny peculiar

Making trouble today for a better tomorrow…

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Entries from March 2010

Galaxy Zoo hits big Time

March 30th, 2010 · Comments Off on Galaxy Zoo hits big Time


Originally uploaded by gwydionwilliams

One of the top ten stories in Time this week is about the progress of Galaxy Zoo, which they call “Among the most ambitious and successful online “citizen science” projects to date,” saying further:

Galaxy Zoo asks its participants to help classify galaxies by studying images of them online and answering a standard set of questions about their features. For instance: Is the galaxy smooth or bulging? Is it elliptical or spiral? If it’s spiral, how many arms does it have, and are they tightly wound or thrown open wide?

I got to see some of the project’s early stages (as described in a blogpost from 2008 “Ox. docs shocks!,” so I am especially delighted to hear that their innovative work is ongoing and still so productive.

Tags: England · Science · Wide wonderful world

Cupcake with MBA ingredients

March 30th, 2010 · Comments Off on Cupcake with MBA ingredients

Cupcake nouveau

Originally uploaded by betsythedevine

The economics of the cupcake revolution are visible here. Not one, not two, but four or five levels of promise that the cupcake is fancy and loaded with sugar and fat in plentiful abundance.

But this is not a traditional bakery product. The skilled cook who has learned to apply smooth buttercream strokes and ornate decoration is no longer needed. Much lower-waged workers can be hired to apply the poured fondant icing, fat smear of frosting whose imperfections are well concealed by sprinkles, and topped with a candy easily mass-produced.

Perhaps the most cynical thing on the entire cupcake is the retro funk message of its peace symbol. “This cupcake was created by cool people who are just like you!”

Tags: Editorial · food · Wide wonderful world

“You have already succeeded.” Granny D Haddock of NH (1910 – 2010)

March 16th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Granny D

Originally uploaded by aahsa

“Never be discouraged from being an activist because people tell you that you’ll not succeed. You have already succeeded if you’re out there representing truth or justice or compassion or fairness or love. You already have your victory because you have changed the world; you have changed the status quo by you; you have changed the chemistry of things and changes will spread from you, will be easier to happen again in others because of you, because, believe it or not, you are the center of the world.”
Granny D, 14 May 1999

She walked across the USA at the age of 90 to promote campaign finance reform. At 94, she ran for the US Senate and gave Judd Gregg one heckuva run for his money — an indie film “Run Granny Run” resulted and can be watched on the interwebs.

She started her career as an activist rather late in life (!) and achieved a great deal in the mere ten years she gave to it. Thank you, Granny D, for the inspiration. A real New Hampshire icon has now left our planet. My thanks to Dean Barker and others at for so many inspirational quotes from Granny.

“Don’t walk away because you are confused or because it is difficult. We have entered an amazing time, when each of us has an important role to play. That time is now. It is the best time ever to be alive on this earth, because everyone matters. Everyone is needed if we are to survive. Your creativity, your love, your courage–all of it. As the smoke of battle swirls around you, smile. It is a privilege to be alive in such a time.”
Doris “Granny D” Haddock, 19 April 2002

Tags: Editorial · New Hampshire! · Sister Age · Wide wonderful world