Friday, February 17, 2012

Some levity

Here's the latest from Rachelle, with a great cartoon:

And here's a rolling-on-the-floor video clip from a British comedy (with thanks to Julie Daines, via Rachelle's blog):

Just hoping to brighten the day of writers, readers, & other human beings!
(I need light relief myself, after trying & failing to alter color and underlining on these links!)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lizard foolishness

Today in our front yard there was a sudden flurry of activity.  My dog chasing something.

Then  my dog was lunging at something on the tiled pathway. It looked like some kind of worm, wriggling back and forth in a sort of curving motion. There was no head to this worm, however. One end of it was a straight transverse line with some dark coloration; and it tapered to a pointed tip at the other end. Kind of disgusting.

Then I realized what it was.

I'd seen a lizard earlier. We have pretty lizards here. When they catch the light their stripes, which run the length of their body, turn a vivid greenish blue.

This was the tail of one of these lizards. A large part of the tail, perhaps half or two thirds. I'd heard lizards can grow back their tails. I went to the internet to check.

To my relief, it looks as if the tail will grow back. Especially because there was no bleeding. It will take several months to grow, though.

The tail was twitching for a few minutes, especially if my dog jumped towards it. This wriggling is a distraction for the predator, so that the lizard can escape, missing some of its tail and some of its dignity, but keeping its life. I tried covering the tail with my shadow and then removing the shadow. The tail seemed to twitch when the sunlight fell on it again.

About fifteen minutes later, while I was sitting in the sun and studying my hieroglyphics book, another lizard showed up. This lizard was intact. It seemed to be surveying the scene of the crime. "You'd better go away," I said to it. "My dog will come after you." As if it understood, it scurried under a trash can.

Well, the weather is warming up and young and stupid animals are coming out and getting into trouble. The lizard that ran under the trash can probably went and found its foolish progeny and gave it a lecture, telling it to be more careful in future.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Groundhogs and Mole Rats

Yesterday was Groundhog Day. So my friend Elizabeth (a second Elizabeth, not the one I referred to yesterday) posted this picture on FB. So I commented that there are no groundhogs in Egypt. And that there's no weather suspense here, because every day is sun, sun, sun. Although we've had a couple of bright but overcast days lately, and one very windy day.

I checked my facts before commenting. Referring to my trusty book: A Field Guide to the Mammals of Egypt, by Richard Hoath, The American University in Cairo Press, 2009, ISBN 9789774162541. [Visit They have some fantastic books!]

There are no groundhogs in the rodent section of this book. But there is a rodent called the mole rat. The Lesser Mole Rat, spalax leucodon, to be precise. This animal is a relative of gerbils and gerboas. Like moles, the mole rat is a blind burrower which throws up mounds of earth. Like rats, it is a rodent.

Here is a picture of the little cutie, courtesy of Wikipedia. [But Wikipedia lists its habitat as eastern Europe. No mention of Egypt. They should read Hoath's book!]

Because, per Hoath, there are no moles in Egypt, I've already eliminated from my book draft a reference to moles.

Now I might add the reference back in. An Ethiopian scathingly compares Egyptian "mountains" to molehills. Which doesn't work. But he could compare them to mole-rat mounds.

Or that might just sound weird!

Egypt does have real mountains, though. In Sinai, which was part of Egypt in ancient times as well.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games This freewheeling mother/daughter interview tells you everything you want to know about the book and movie. Including a rather useful distinction between action and violence. (The daughter is a literary critic and a linguist!)

Thanks to my FB friend and writing buddy Elizabeth for this link.

I hear you saying, "Finally, a blog post on ibischild! I've been waiting forever!" Sorry folks.

I'm considering starting an ibischild Facebook page.

It would be easier to post a sentence or two--or even (gasp!) a photo--on a FB wall than to agonize over composing a blog post with the requisite literary finesse and philosophical prowess. In other words, I think I would post more often about my life here in Luxor.

I would continue the blog as an ancillary, for days when I'm inspired to make a longer post with earth-shattering significance.

Too much info, I guess. But what do you think about the FB idea?

Linguistic question: Is it a FB wall or an FB wall?!