Is the voice of the (snapping) turtle heard in our land yet?

If it is, the spring must be hear. When planting tender plants, gardeners rely on the "average last frost" dates in their calendars, but an unexpectedly late frost, often ruinous, is always possible. Wise farmers have various rule of the thumbs to figure when one should plant in a particular year. None of them, however, sounds better to me than this piece of advice shared by Susan Weisand, who grows hot chili peppers in southern Indiana, in a recent issue of the 812 Magazine:
Animals know the land better than you do.
I don’t plant until I see that my snapping turtle has laid her eggs in the spring. If she’s not out, I’m not planting.
(Photo of the snapping turtle by Willy Logan)
Now, where do I get a snapping turtle?


"Shopping-enabled Wikipedia page on Amazon"

Now working for Amazon.com's benefit!

Everybody is probably aware of a panoply of "parasitic" web site whose entire content consists of a huge number of articles copied, usually with no changes (other than poor formatting, character set confusion, etc) from open-source web sites such as the Wikipedia. There are even a few publishers (or, more precisely, "publishers") which reprint assorted Wikipedia articles as books (or "books"), and sell them through various channels including Amazon.com. But do you know that Amazon.com itself has joined the game?

Hmm, Bixi (tortoise) - Shopping-enabled Wikipedia Page on Amazon... I wonder what suitable products are available on that topic on Amazon!...

Looking at a few articles, it turns out that the "products" on which shopping is "enabled" are mostly books (real books, that is) whose ISBNs are mentioned in the article. Well, even though a tad parasitic, that's at least reasonable.


Kangyuan Yellow River Turtle Farm Inc.

Strange things one can find on Youtube: a music video about Kangyuan Yellow River Turtle Farm Inc. (镇平县康苑鳖业有限责任公司) in Jiasong Town, Zhenping County, Henan Province of China. The facility, one of the largest of its kind, is said to raise some 6 million Yellow River turtles (a variety of the Chinese softshell turtle, Pelodiscus sinensis) annually, and occupies 600 mu (100 acres) of land and water. I wish the guy who took the video had a better camera, though!

It is apparently here on Google Maps.


The bear and the Littl Shyning Man

The city of Zheleznogorsk adopted a new coat of arms, which, according to the city councils, is described as a "bear or tearing apart an atomic nucleus argent". Considering the city's location and its main industry, the design is quite appropriate. But am I the only one who wonders if the emblem's designers have read too much Russell Hoban?