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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Clam to Clam: "Don't Make Me Put My Foot Down!" or "Bivalve, Will Travel"

          Part of today's True North map looked like an open clamshell:

          [Maizie and I have been putting in extra semi-circular walks gearing up for watching a friend's energetic dog over Solstice-Christmas.]

          And then, just like that, the tide and other things nautical, such as puns, came in: "Don't make me put my foot down!" 

           These molluscs were likely quite similar to the clams which first appeared 510 million years ago during the Cambrian period.

            Some clams were opalized (or replaced with hydrated silica), as in these particularly magnificent Australian specimens:

                 The gemmy clams and other molluscs are full of fire, 

though, lately, I've been thinking of having a few of these ON the fire:

          Hmmmm, an ocean trip with some clammy companions?! That's my idea of steamy ;-). Would enjoy your clam tales of any sort. I am putting my foot down about putting my feet up. . .

Clamming up now (it's almost Wednesday here),



  1. Steph,

    I figured you were up to some clammy shenanigans when you exclaimed over at Blaine’s, “Happy as a clam at high tide!”

    The converse, “unhappy as a clam at low tide,” would be “clamitous” for the clam.

    But hey, every time I think of clams, I think of Elvis!


    1. Reposition one of the letters in CLAMBAKE and bisect the result to get this! (BTW, how did Mazie get in that gallery?!)

      Talk about your “Unhappy as a ham (or something that rhymes with ham) at Eastertide!”


    2. Lego, took me a moment but I did see "Maizie" amidst the lambs.

      I remember that puzzle, too, jan.

      "CLAMBAKE" and Elvis is a "classic." Clams going from being unclean (as are all shellfish in the kosher Jewish tradition; Happy Hanukkah, BTW) to being part of the genetic line to humans in Scientology is quite a lot put on the happy, little clam.

      And CLAMBAKE referring to an Norway-based organization refuting Scientology adds yet another meaning to the term.

  2. When my son got married in Boston a few years ago, we hosted a clambake at Community Boating the night before. Gorgeous sunset, sailboats and the occasional duckboat tour (don't tell skydiveboy) gliding by. Wonderful memories.

    1. jan, that sounds like the best association for ÇLAMBAKE!

    2. Thought I had a speck of dirt on my screen, but no. Is there a significance to the cedilla in your clambake?

    3. (Adding speck to a clambake would make it even less kosher.)

    4. It's a clam foot, of course! (Although I have no idea how it appeared in my posting).

    5. jan,
      This past August I too attended a Boston knot-tying. Beautiful city! Great visuals. Wonderful wedding. No duckboats though, but I do recall riding on them as a kid at Wisconsin Dells.

      BTW, duck boats don’t “glide,” IMO. “Swanboats” glide. Duckboats “water-waddle!”

      Okay, I’m still stinging from the “been there, done that” faceslap, so I will post this inferior effort (so inferior that Will wouldn’t possibly consider using it!).

      Take the word CLAMBAKES and double one of its letters. Remove three consecutive letters in the alphabet, and add two other consecutive letters of the alphabet. Rearrange the result to form a beverage.


    6. I think your link needs fixing, Steph.

    7. Cuomo announced the fracking ban the same day that his commission announced approval of 3 casinos in the Catskills, Albany and Finger Lakes regions. You know how casinos always have cocktail waitresses, keeping the resources well lubricated, under pressure, by pouring in liquid? Same basic principle.

    8. I thought the natural gas-related news event you were trying to link to was the report of a months-long methane plume on Mars. I'm impressed; my methane plumes rarely last more than a couple of minutes...

    9. And, Lego, I intended no faceslap with my posting of the link to the old NPR puzzle; more along the lines of "great minds think alike". Incidentally, the author of that earlier puzzle lives maybe 7 miles from the site of my clambake.

    10. Ok, Lego, this is a stretch as I've not heard of a SEELBACK cocktail before. Is that what you were thinking with your newer CLAMBAKES + E - KLM + KL puzzle? :-)

  3. Lego, 'twas a good puzzle.

    jan, the casino-fracking parallel was unparalleled.

    As to methane, I agree as to length. Enjoy the BBC pronunciation as MEthane.

    1. jan and Steph,

      No offense taken. No worries. My tongue was a bit in my cheek with my "faceslap" comment. Just making the clambake puzzle was fun. Looking at all those Lamb cakes was nostalgic for me; hadn't seen one since I was about 7.

      I love this blog. I is both fun and informative. Comments I post here, at Blaine's and at my own blog are mostly whimsical, fictional, said in jest. I approach others' comments as I would hope they would approach mine... with salt mines full of (not just grains of) salt. My material may often be thin, but my skin never is.

    2. Echoing the joy of camaraderie, Lego!

      Paul, thanks for serpentinization and here's Geobiology. And btw, why geobiology not biogeology? And also why biochem, not chembio?

      I know, I know. Playing DA today.

    3. So good, jan.

      Which brought me to turpentine and turpentine trees and pine tree resin harvesting in the southern U.S. And then to turpentine oil and Vicks Vapo-Rub. . .and then back to
      .... s
      .... n

      We'll see if the formatting stays there. . .

  4. Random factoid: In two weeks, the last of the Baby Boomers will be officially elderly.

    1. AARP aside, 50 can't be elderly?! When I was in my 30's and had little kids, I taught a water exercise class to get some adult time. It was called "50 plus." Even then, I thought 50 ought to have been 70 plus. Or 80 ;-).

    2. Most medical authorities, WHO, etc., consider 50 to be the start of old age. That's when we start really checking for the diseases of the elderly. Not that everyone over 50 is decrepit, or even in decline.

  5. Speaking of clams, how about the noble geoduck?

    1. Mascot of Evergreen State College. Motto: Let It All Hang Out.

    2. David, I had a geoduck image ready to go but decided against it at the last hour. They are pretty interesting and some are pretty elderly. Do you speak Lushootseed (Nisqually) , which gave us the word gʷídəq?

  6. Replies
    1. jan,
      I loved “The In-Laws.” Can’t beat Falk and Arkin. Always reminded me of “Charlie Varrick”, an underrated Matthau gem.

      BTW, I find scallops swimming in butter and garlic delicious!


  7. Replies
    1. OK, but how? This is what I find so unsatisfying about much of vertebrate neuroscience. Some area of the brain lights up when you do something, or some function degrades when you lesion some brain area. But that tells you so little about what's really going on. Except for a few really outstanding xperiments, like Hubel & Wiesel's work on ocular dominance columns in the cat visual cortex, or Eccles' work on the cerebellum, or maybe Mike Gazzaniga's work on split brain patients, there's really so little light shed on how the part of the brain involved in a particular function does its job.

    2. Clearly, orientation does not occur by occident.
      And what's a precuneus?
      i think I'll ask the duck.

    3. A favorite game during our awful neuroanatomy course was guessing where the professor's lesion was.

    4. I agree that the how is still a mystery, jan.

      Thanks for the precuneus research, Paul.

      My question, do you orient yourself when you walk into any building, take a walk, deplane? Until recently, I thought everyone did this.

    5. To clarify: Almost everyone. I have one friend who is quite geographically challenged (but has MANY other fine qualities ;-)).

  8. Maybe it's just me, but I saw today's featured picture on Wikipedia as botanical emojis. "Don't be [Obtuse]; you're such an [Aciuclar]; everything I say, you say the [Opposite]." "Che [Serrate], [Serrate]." "Imagine [Whorled] peas." Etc.

  9. Take a word that appears in Steph's PEOTS headline this week. Invert one of the letters and superimpose part of it onto a part of one of the other letters to form a new letter. Rearrange the result to get the name of a blog purveyor with which many here at PEOTS (and other aficionados of fine puzzling) may be familiar.


    1. With whom! (Sorry, E. B. White... and Charlotte, the webwriter)

    2. Just noticed a Yo La Tengo advertisement on PEOTS. We're gonna have to start running ads over at that other blog with double-zees in the middle and an exclamation mark at the end!


  10. Replies
    1. Pretty cool. Would you try them? My daughter likes rock climbing. . .

    2. Gordon Gekko here. My daughter Gertie, a former Geico CEO, used such Gecko Gloves to climb close to the top of my corporate Wall Street investment firm. I mean "climb" literally. She had to scale the glassy walls and windows of our skyscraping building because, even though Gertie is my daughter, I am still a male chauvinist pig.

      Anyway, she finally got in through an open window on the penultimate-to-the-top floor. There, however, she ran up against a glass ceiling, upon which her gecko gloves were of no use to her whatsoever. Hah!