June 16, 2013

June 16

Refuge Notebook: Earthworms seen as invasives on the Kenai

Posted: Friday, August 06, 2010

Until recently, I have given little thought to the small earthworms that are common around dwellings here on the Kenai. I viewed earthworms as beneficial because they aerate the soil, mix organic material into the soil profile, and process coarse organic debris into a form that can increase nutrient availability. All these things are good for garden productivity.

Photo By Matt Bowser

Photo By Matt Bowser
Earthworm (Octagonal-tailed)

Unfortunately, the very fact that worms can alter soil properties means that when they successfully invade regions naturally devoid of earthworms, something is likely to change.

There are no earthworms known to be native to Alaska. If any earthworms had existed in Alaska, they would have been wiped out by the extensive glaciations over the past 100,000 years. The earthworms that we commonly see around dwellings here are recent introductions.

I have been finding that the octagonal-tailed worm (Dendrobaena octaedra) is already well-established around my house in Kasilof and at many places near roads on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge (see photo). Native to Northern Europe, this species has now colonized much of northern North America.

An especially cold-hardy worm, the octagonal-tailed worm can survive sub-freezing soil temperatures down to about 7 F by allowing most of its body fluids to freeze. It also thrives in acidic, conifer-dominated forests where most other earthworm species cannot survive.

(see more at PeninsulaClarion.com)


What a gorgeous place to be in the spring and early summer. Probably great here all summer! The ravens are a real presence here. The smells and sounds are sweet and local (small town). I like it.

Left brain today: studying local birds–including migration, studying Alaska, studying local insects.

Right brain activities today: never know what the right brain will come up with at a moment’s notice.


My kinds of intelligence:

Intrapersonal: the ability to understand oneself, one’s feelings, goals and motivations. (Examples: philosophers, psychologists, and theologians.)

Naturalistic: the ability to draw upon certain features of the environment, to grow and nurture new things, and to have a facility for interacting with animals. (Examples: farmers, gardeners, and conservationists.)

Linguistic: involving both spoken and written languages, the ability to learn languages, and the capacity to  use language to achieve certain goals. (Examples: writers, poets, lawyers, and speakers.)

Musical: skill in the performance, composition, and appreciation of musical patterns. (Examples: Musicians of all kinds.)

Bodily-kinesthetic: using parts or the whole of one’s body to solve problems. (Examples: athletes, actors, and dancers.)


I am much less endowed with these kinds of intelligence:

Logical-mathematical: the capacity to analyze problems, perform mathematical operations, and investigate issues scientifically. (Examples: scientists, engineers, and mathematicians.)

Spatial: includes having a very good sense of direction, as well as the ability to visualize and mentally manipulate objects. Examples: artists, architects, and engineers.)

Interpersonal: the capacity to understand the feelings, intentions, and motivations of other people. (Examples: salespeople, politicians, and therapists.)


I have finally figured out alcohol: it brings out people’s emotions. Or at least it has that effect on me. It’s fun momentarily; in the long run, it would lead me down the wrong path entirely.

What Sherlock Holmes (BBC) is interested in is interesting people doing interesting things. This is what results in the puzzles he loves solving (or trying to solve).

For me, letting go of (ignoring) the dumb stuff results in me being able to focus on what interests me.

Bright sun, nature, beauty, magic = alcohol plus right brain dominance.

Indulging in curiosity = not letting my brain stagnate.

Dwell on details = how I naturally see. This was discouraged early in my life (by my NT parents. I learned how to see stuff I was not remotely interested in. Now, with the help of Aspies/autistics/people like Sherlock Holmes (BBC) I am re-learning who I really am. I am learning for the first time to focus on things that actually interest me.

I was lied to (by parents, society, etc.). Emotions are NOT the all and the everything. Most NTs seem to idolize their own emotions; they enshrine them. Weird!

What is my day job?

What is the Underground?


Thwing Hall is a the home of some British aristocrats in Jeeves and Worster (P.G. Wodehouse). I was watching the TV episodes of same when I realized the estate goes by this name. My mother, Ann Krim, was raised on Thwing Street in Roxbury, Massachusetts (1908-1940 [when she married my adoptive dad, Karl John, and moved to Laurel Drive in Needham, Ma.). Connections interest me.


Cryptography and codes: it’s all computer-generated now (as Sherlock tells Watson in The Blind Banker.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Symmetric-key cryptography, where the same key is used both for encryption and decryption

German Lorenz cipher machine, used in World War II to encrypt very-high-level general staff messages

Cryptography (or cryptology; from Greek κρυπτός, “hidden, secret”; and γράφειν, graphein, “writing”, or -λογία, -logia, “study”, respectively) is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties (called adversaries). More generally, it is about constructing and analyzing protocols that overcome the influence of adversarie] and which are related to various aspects in information security such as data confidentiality, data integrity, authentication, and non-repudiation. Modern cryptography intersects the disciplines of mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering. Applications of cryptography include ATM cards, computer passwords, and electronic commerce.

Cryptography prior to the modern age was effectively synonymous with encryption, the conversion of information from a readable state to apparent nonsense. The originator of an encrypted message shared the decoding technique needed to recover the original information only with intended recipients, thereby precluding unwanted persons to do the same. Since World War I and the advent of the computer, the methods used to carry out cryptology have become increasingly complex and its application more widespread.


Mysticism without emotion. This is pure and undiluted.Emotion defiles mystcism, magic and, often, life.

And yet emotion may yield compassion, one of humans’ most wonderful virtues.

For me, to be invulnerable to weaker, lesser emotions and the actions/responses that proceed from them is a BAD thing. But to be vulnerable to some very deep, personal, authentic emotions (e.g. love) is a GOOD thing.

While I no longer am going to judge other people, I am going to keep very close tabs on myself. I am going to continue my habit of ruthlessly judging myself. If I consider an emotion false or beneath me, I will rid myself of it immediately. I won’t even go there. This is according to what they told me in psychology classes: emotions spring from thoughts. WE CONTROL OUR OWN EMOTIONS.

Sex, love and romance are three areas (actually they can all be one area) where emotions are manipulated, misunderstood and treated with total disrespect. Many false emotions come into play in this kind of “love, sex and romance.” It’s a game that people play for their own profit and pleasure. That’s the definition of psychopathy.

It’s probably the biggest NT/Aspie difference (and cause of misunderstandings) that NTs live according to the heart–emotions. And Aspie live by the head–logic, reason.


What is the Underground? I am talking about crime.

An underground culture is a subculture or counterculture that exists outside the scope of mainstream mass media and popular culture. (~~Wikipedia)


The Underworld is a different thing.

un·der·world  (ndr-wûrld)n.

1. The part of society that is engaged in and organized for the purpose of crime and vice.
~~from thefreedictionary.com
On the causes of “Organized Crime,” Wikipedia says:


The demand for illegal goods and services nurtures the emergence of ever more centralized and powerful criminal syndicates, who may ultimately succeed in undermining public morals, neutralizing law enforcement through corruption and infiltrating the legal economy unless appropriate countermeasures are taken.

This theoretical proposition can be depicted in a model comprising four elements: government, society, illegal markets and organized crime. While interrelations are acknowledged in both directions between the model elements, in the last instance the purpose is to explain variations in the power and reach of organized crime in the sense of an ultimately unified organizational entity.
The underworld or netherworld is thought to be deep underground or beneath the surface of the world in most religions and mythologies.[1] Typically it is a place where the souls of the recently departed go, an afterlife or a realm of the dead. Chthonic is the technical adjective for things of the underworld.
The science of deduction. Sherlock Holmes.
It’s about  eliminating the impossible, and, whatever remains, no matter how mad it might seem, must be the truth.
Precisely how brainwashed was I by Catholicism? What do I believe that is NOT TRUE?

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