Unadulterated Colour

Am I getting confused about spelling? Ah hell I'll just leave it. Anyway, sunset early on Thursday evening:

South Africa is cold after all

Never thought I'd see this:

The tiniest bit of snow Thursday morning on the Hottentot Hollands Mountains - this morning it's about half gone but another cold front is expected in the northeast this weekend - hope this doesn't affect my departure out of Johannesberg on Saturday night as they are not prepared for snow on the runways, that's for sure.


Why I don't skype you

And this is over vacation when the dorms are empty.


Not ready for lecture, but something is done:

Baby blanket for Benjamin - not that he will be needing it now in the middle of summer! Oh well:

Love this yarn for some reason.

And a WIP: Moss-stitch basket made from parcel twine - inspired by an Afrikaans knitting book I saw at Fishhoek Wool Boutique -

Home Improvements

I cleaned up the living room:

And planted some broccoli!


Clear skies and no insulation...

It is so cold that I am making another one of these. Seriously do not underestimate the value of the French Press Cozy - that's 2 hot cups instead of one hot and one warm. Yippee!


work in progress

Sila picked out some yarn for hats. The lighting was bad in the store. When we saw it in the sunlight we didn't like it for hats. What a windfall - a baby blanket for a new member of the WPC family... Almost done now, it's 3x4 miter squares and I'm doing something like a 20-stitch applied i-cord border on it. I may rip it back and switch to garter because it doesn't have anything like as much stretch as the garter squares. We'll see.

Credit for the inspiration goes to Anne and Kay who are the paragon of all knit bloggers, and the Interweave miter rug which actually has even better colors than my blankie.

The New Digs

OK so I realize now that I didn't take very many pictures - it has been raining and dark for going on three weeks now! Everyday! and I am unmotivated to clean up and sort the place out. The other rooms will be revealed when they are more ... decent.

Half of the bathroom - that's the shower (drains directly onto outside patio) across from the washing machine (fills from garden hose tap, drains into bathroom sink which drains through a hole in the wall into patio - discovered this morning that the shower doesn't drain when there is standing water in the patio. Whooopee!

View from the kitchen window out onto patio - peak of Devils Peak there - if only it was a clear day, ever...

And the patio-slash-neighborhood stormwater collection pit! Luckily the bricks aren't mortered so it does drain into the subsurface pretty quickly when the rain stops. This must be why the center is depressed, forming an 8" deep pool of water between my front door and the gate out to the alley.

When it rains, make lemonade...


Best thin section storage... EVER

This gorgeous thin section chest was coated with several decades of dust and full of Scottish Basalts. I feel like a bandit looting the Mayan pyrimids but I put all the basalt sections in a box and gave them to Ronel. Then I took this gorgeous mohagany (?) chest and made it MINE ALL MINE.

Oh yah and does my husband look like the University of Bath logo? Just wondering.

Found this while following up a mention on some random blog that length ratio between middle and ring fingers correlates to testosterone exposure in the womb correlates to SAT math scores - but I am pretty unconvinced by the study! [Since there is no way to test testosterone exposure on the guy's subjects who are staff at Bath U. and the finger length thing seemed pretty eronious and some of the measurements came from photocopies of hands. I know I'm constantly belaboring the fact that SOCIAL SCIENCE IS RARELY SCIENCE but this guy seems to be trying to demonstrate that academic success is linked to teststerone exposure - for example he suggests that women academics have a digit ratio (0.98) similar to the male average for larger populations (0.984) but neither mentions nor tests the significance against whatever the female average for the larger population might be. Seems to me that he need not prove that women academics look like men generally but that women academics look more like men generally than they look like women generally, in order to justify his point. Just saying.] Also since he points out that there is no statistical difference between male and female academics in his study, what is his point anyway! Anyway, interesting to wonder why this makes me defensive-slash-desperate to measure my own digit ratio. Objectivity, see, that's what we value around here...


When Mom was Here

Sorry I'm behind on everything - work, play, cleaning up my house! And posting pictures on this blog. Here are a few from Barb's visit. I stole them off her shutterfly page.

The old whaling port at Hermanus - the signs said it was for unloading fish but there were some SERIOUSLY BIG WINCHES up there...
Wine tasting in Stellenbosch with Jodie and Chris
Mom tests the Indian Ocean waters at Cape Hangklip - verdict: Cold!
Overview of Hout Bay from Chapman's Peak Drive - you can't smell the fish & chips from up there.
Cable car ride up Table Mountain

Who's your tourguide?


One less argument for Aquatic Ape Hypothesis - Bidedalism explained

Science 1 June 2007:
Vol. 316. no. 5829, pp. 1328 - 1331
DOI: 10.1126/science.1140799

Origin of Human Bipedalism As an Adaptation for Locomotion on Flexible Branches
S. K. S. Thorpe,1* R. L. Holder,2 R. H. Crompton3*

Human bipedalism is commonly thought to have evolved from a quadrupedal terrestrial precursor, yet some recent paleontological evidence suggests that adaptations for bipedalism arose in an arboreal context. However, the adaptive benefit of arboreal bipedalism has been unknown. Here we show that it allows the most arboreal great ape, the orangutan, to access supports too flexible to be negotiated otherwise. Orangutans react to branch flexibility like humans running on springy tracks, by increasing knee and hip extension, whereas all other primatesdothe reverse. Human bipedalism is thus less an innovation than an exploitation of a locomotor behavior retained from the common great ape ancestor.

That's for you Dad! And somebody else's dad who once commented on my blog when I last heckled my dad about his interest in AAT! I'm sending the full text pdf of this paper to my dad - other dad, if you want it too, let me know where to send it.