Miscellaneous photos

I’m off to look for hooded mergansers, which have been sighted not far away in Hyde Park.  In the meantime, while looking for photos this afternoon, I came across some old ones of interest—at least to me. I’ll share them. TRIGGER WARNING: Some self aggrandizement.

My landsmen uncles: Bernie and Moe. The brothers of my mom, they had a thriving auto parts business in Pittsburgh.  Look at those golf outfits! (I wonder how they got into the country club. . . )

My first student, Allen Orr, and I on the Great Wall of China at the International Congress of Genetics in 1998:

My dad (right) with Sophia Loren at a toy store in Athens, ca.  1956. Loren was there to film the movie Boy on a Dolphin, and my dad helped with the vehicle logistics (they used Army petrol and vehicles as there was a postwar shortage of both in Greece).

Feeding cats at a convent in Mystras, Greece, ca. 2000. I always carried a box of cat food in my backpack while in Greece. The nuns, who didn’t take good care of these hungry moggies, were peering out the windows:

At the Karni Mata “Rat Temple” in Deshnoke, Rajasthan, India, 2003. The rats (there are thousands who run loose in the temple) are eating one of the offerings: a pan of cream.

Pushing flies, 2005. My station at the lab bench. This is what I did for the vast majority of my career:

Beef brisket BBQ at the City Market in Luling Texas (2005)—in my experienced view, the best barbecue in America. No plates, just white bread, raw onion, pickles, beer (sausages if you want ’em), and their fantastic sauce.

Greg Mayer, who wrote this morning’s election post, in his office in 2005, cutting up a kringle for us to eat (this is a pastry speciality of Racine, Wisconsin):

A “Big Dat”, the monster donut that’s the speciality of Dat Donuts on the South Side. I see this is getting food-themed.

With my buddies at the end of a two-month field course in Tropical Ecology run by the Organization for Tropical Studies. Costa Rica, 1974:

Feeding a real Texas longhorn on the Hillis/Bull Double Helix Ranch, 2007

And shooting beer cans (I have never fired at a living thing!):

A ride on a tamed wild mustang, New Mexico, 2007. At last I got to put my cowboy boots to genuine use!

A beautiful feral kitten at the Şehzade Mosque, Istanbul, 2008:

Tasting wine with my oenophile BFF, Kenny. Denton, England, 2008.

Time to look for mergansers!

41 thoughts on “Miscellaneous photos

  1. In that picture from Costa Rica, you appear to be stroking the head of a cardboard cutout of a young Carl Sagan. Sure, why not!

    The penultimate photo is the finest cat photo I’ve seen in a long time!

  2. Tasting wine? Looks more like getting hammered. Tell us you had someone throw those beer cans and you didn’t kill them just sitting still. Did you get your limit?
    I like the photo with Sofia best. They just don’t make women like that very often. She had it in all the right places. I mean the brain of course.

    1. “Hammered” is too harsh a word to be associated with wine – “slightly squiffy” or “totally blotto” depending on the outcome!

        1. My memory is still good enough to remember a pretty devastating hangover from wine. Not something you want to do a second time.

  3. Lovely. The beard suits you! You should grow a Dan Dennett/Darwin/Santa Claus beard now; it would look very distinguished. (I live vicariously when it comes to beards as I can’t grow much beyond a poor goatee myself.)

  4. The food pictures made me realize how much I’ve missed your travels and associated meal reports. Lets hope we can all get back to traveling and eating soon.

  5. Thanks, PCC(e), fun photos. Besides Racine, Wisconsin, the Scandinavian neighborhood in Seattle is also well acquainted with the kringle. Although normally credited to the Danes, the Norwegians also lay claim to it.

  6. Lovely and instructive pictures, Dr Coyne.

    I utterly / thoroughly enjoy trap – shooting,
    an extremely expensive fun thing to do.
    During such targeting, I can shoot up ~$50.00
    – worth of shells and clays within, O say,
    20 minutes or so. THAT is wicked – costly !
    But so, so much fun.

    And NO perfumes which I own ( which are a
    lotta.lotta. ) has to it the darlingest aroma
    that to it spent gunpowder has. Such a scent
    in a perfume I so would purchase ! Gunpowder aroma ?
    Is a perfect stress – buster via olfactory – therapy !

    I once had a hunter safety instructors’ shoot
    – off at the week’s end of the kiddos’

    IF of us five instructors firing, the shooter
    misses, why, the very next instructor in line
    and, yet, UPON THAT SAME CLAY, tries to get
    it targeted BEFORE it hits the ground.

    Of 25 such tries that came to me as its
    second shooter ? I succeeded in 24 of those.

    THAT is when I ceased. I doubt that that
    ‘ld e v e r occur again ! For me.


    1. Mighty fine, mighty cheap STRESS – buster =
      http://www.tintoyarcade.com/super-bang-roll-caps-1200.html. Especially ‘ helpful ‘ come,
      say, upon awakening some Saturday mornings
      after one’s work week. Or the previous
      night’s drunk.

      Feeds FOUR outta one’s five senses. All one
      needs is a strong wrist, a tough ballpein
      or claw and a strip o’concrete somewhere.

      Or … … one’s hospital overbed table edge.
      Even. ( … … at where her or his table
      knife handle ‘ll work. One does not need
      that hammer at all, that is. )


    2. That is impressive Blue. As a youth I achieved marksman 1st class in all positions, though I never have done any trap shooting. But I have a good idea of the skill to do what you did there.

      But spent powder perfume? Not so sure about that one! 🙂

      1. ¡ W H O A, Mr darrelle, W H O A !

        Mine was just freakin’ ( literally ) l u c k.
        Yours … … marksman 1st class ?
        THAT … … is of S K I L L !

        But I do so enjoy the sport. Just, for several
        years, now, I ‘ve not been wealthy enough
        to indulge myself. You ?


        1. Gonna have to disagree Blue, no way that’s just luck!

          I haven’t done any regular shooting for decades. Maybe 3 or 4 times over the past 35 years or so I’ve done a bit of shooting with friends or family. And you are so right, it is quite expensive.

  7. Thanks for sharing these photos of family, friends and food. Also travel. I’m envious of them all. I, like a lot of others here, am desperately in need of being able to take a trip. And, the brisket: mwah!! I’ll have to stop in for some next time I can travel through Texas

  8. An ether man! i always used CO2 back in my fly pushing days. The smell of cooked fly food… I always liked it. Even better was the smell of grape juice agar plates that were used to collect eggs.

    1. I used carbon dioxide for all work on flies that entailed keeping them alive. The ether was to put them to sleep, permanently, before I dumped them in the motor-oil filled morgue.

      Ether is bad for anesthetizing flies that you want to use for breeding or behavior experiments

  9. Enjoyed the photos. Your uncles Curley and Moe (hehehehe) have to have been the snazziest dudes on the course that day. 🙂

    I also bring cat food on my travels. I remember you writing about how they look after strays in Chile (which I found in Beirut also) but in too many places there are sad moggies and I like to give them a feed.

    It causes some consternation at customs from time to time though.

    D.A., NYC

  10. Okay. That’s it. I’ve long since mastered smoking, pork butt, turkey, chicken, seafood of all kinds, but I’ve only done brisket once, years ago. Time to start practicing brisket. I’ve done plenty of reading up on it over the years. Should be a piece of cake. This weekend I’ll try “the crutch” method.

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