Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.
My MS degree from Auburn (just after the last Ice Age) was in Vertebrate Zoology. I would have been just as happy--if not happier--if it had been in Invertebrate Zoology since there are a gazillion times more animals without than with backbones.
And they have had oodles (another highly scientific word) more time to show up with bizarre, worthwhile and "clever" adaptations to life on Earth.
And it has never been easier for an armchair BoZo (I go both ways, botanical and zoological) to explore the world of animal wonders. How could I possibly keep from sharing from time to time?
► This … Continue Reading ››
There are, of course, those who say that this big-data psychometric neurosociological element had nothing to do with the Trump win. What do you think? Twig from this quote from Cambridge Analytica's own boast on their website on November 9 and go from there:
“We are thrilled that our revolutionary approach to data-driven communications played such an integral part in President-elect Donald Trump’s extraordinary win,” said Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica. “It demonstrates the huge impact that the right blend of cutting-edge data science, new technologies, and sophisticated communication strategies can have.”
The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine – … Continue Reading ››
So what do you call them? And if you say you've never seen them before or held one (or a couple of dozen) in your hands as a child, well--the pity.
We called them roly-polies. You might have called them pill bugs or sow bugs or wood lice, but they are not bugs nor lice, and they are not even insects. They are more closely related to shrimp and lobsters, and are Crustaceans living on land--the only ones fully capable of doing so.
And judging from the widely-divergent and varied names they have been given, you can assume that these innocuous detritivores are globally … Continue Reading ››
Go to medium.com to see more images for this post.We don’t know what goes on in their minds when they are with us, but only the smiles and memories they leave in our own hearts and memories when they are gone.
We did not even know her name in 2014 when we first insisted that the white dog go back down the road to the new neighbor’s house where she belonged. Surely her family doesn’t want her wandering too far from home, we reasoned, what with their small boys who would miss the dog if she was gone for long.
I … Continue Reading ››
This "slice of life" from 2013 also published on Jan 28 to Medium.com where you can see better views of the images. You might consider "following" my Medium.com articles and essays, and "recommend" a few if you find merit.